Monday, February 22, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- Various things not to like about a key crunch-time Cavaliers inbounds play. And, more not to like about a key crunch-time Blazers inbounds play.
- Roland Lazenby's new Jerry West book includes a passage about Magic Johnson's sex life, when West ran the Lakers. In particular, West says he was aware of all kinds of crazy things happening, some of which Lazenby describes. On his blog today, Lazenby gives the whole conversation some context. In short: This kind of thing is hardly new.
- Over one game, plus/minus doesn't really tell you which players are good and which are bad. But it does tell you who's on the floor when the various teams make their runs. For instance, look at the box score from last night's Wolves vs. Thunder game. Al Jefferson -- widely seen as Minnesota's best player -- was an amazingly atrocious minus-37. His broadly maligned backup Darko Milicic, on the other hand, was plus-35. What does that mean? To me, it means a couple of things. Looking around the box score, you'll see that Minnesota's bench generally outplayed their Thunder counterparts, which can have lots of causes. But if you look at Popcorn Machine's Gameflow, you can see that Minnesota's best runs of the game came -- perhaps for a reason, but very possibly coincidentally, every time Jefferson sat down. Does that mean Jefferson is a terrible player? Absolutely not. In fact, it's possible he was tremendous even last night, but something about the team dynamic wasn't working when he was in there. But to me it also means that if you're trying to understand Jefferson as a player, you'd be smart to watch his minutes from last night -- because something was happening.
- Zydrunas Ilgauskas, long-time Cavalier, was recently traded to the Wizards, and is expected to be bought out early this week. That'll make him a free agent. One of the teams that could re-sign him is ... the Cleveland Cavaliers. If they do, all kinds of people are going to be upset, and already several have alleged that it was all planned that way from the beginning. Here's what I find amazing: How is it that this has happened so very many times before, and it's still unclear if this is allowed or not? It's not specifically disallowed by the current collective bargaining agreement, and yet the League has sternly frowned on it time and again, and there's the suggestion they would not allow Ilgauskas to return to Cleveland. For those directly involved, I imagine it would be very nice to have known in advance precisely what rules apply.
- We should all be paying attention to Darren Collison these days. "I'm constantly amazed at Collison's motor. Never seems to drop off, does it?" writes Niall Doherty of Hornets247. "... it's not unusual for Collison to grab the defensive board in the lane and beat all his teammates up the floor on the break. The best thing about that energy though is that it seems to be contagious. He got the offense rolling tonight by pushing the ball early, and was also able to break the Hornets out of a third-quarter funk by getting out on the break and getting to the free throw line. ... He finished with 26 points (10-17 FGs), 9 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals in 42 minutes."
- Meet the team that surrounds Mikhail Prokhorov, incoming Nets owner.
- Marcus Camby had 18 rebounds in his second game as a Blazer, but everyone really wanted him to get that 19th.
- Several smart people assess how the Lakers are different without Kobe Bryant.
- Tyrus Thomas has been good in Charlotte so far.
- Out of six timeouts, the Bulls had five misses and a turnover.
- The Antawn Jamison update, from John Krolik of Cavs the Blog: "The good news of the Jamison trade fallout: the third quarter. The third quarter has long been a problem for the Cavaliers. They tend to get stagnant offensively, and often allow teams back into the game going into the fourth. On Sunday, the third quarter was easily the best quarter for the Cavs, and Jamison was the reason why. Jamison started the third with an 8-0 run, really showing his versatility as a scorer. He posted up, he cut for a layup, and he banged in a pick-and-pop 20-footer. Jamison did exactly what the Cavs want from him on Sunday. He made good cuts, he hit open shots, and he provided a scoring boost when they needed one. I’m not quite sold on his ability to keep defenders from driving on him, but he did a good job of staying with Rashard Lewis on the perimeter. Jamison finished with a game-high +10, and it was clear that he was helping the Cavs when he was on the floor." (Also, in this video of Jamison driving his car, they blocked out his license plate, which was nice enough. But on the other hand ... if you see a car that looks like that one? It's probably Jamison, right? How many quarter-million dollar cars like that are there?
- Check out Manu Ginobili's play-by-play in crunch time.
- Rahat Huq of Rockets blog Red94: "This DVD should be sent to Chris Bosh’s home on July 1st: The camera is angled from the right high post. Up top is Aaron Brooks, coming towards you for the pick&roll. On the wings wait Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger, ready to launch 3’s at a moment’s notice. Inside waits the game’s most dominant big man, now because of you, guarded by single coverage. Friends and family litter the stands."
- "They say a good defense always beats a good offense," writes CelticsHub's Zach Lowe, in introducing video analysis of recent Celtic plays. Then he adds: "They are stupid."
- Morris Almond was a high draft pick who had trouble sticking in the NBA. And while he has been playing really well, now he has even been traded away from his D-League team. The coach says they were looking to improve team chemistry.
- UPDATE: Bloggers there in person see some evidence that Timberwolves are getting a bit annoyed, in the heat of the battle, at Jonny Flynn.