Wednesday, February 24, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- LeBron James is on pace to get more assists per game than any forward in NBA history.
- Kevin Martin and Aaron Brooks will start together for the first time tonight. What will that be like? A clue comes from when Martin played with Mike Bibby in Sacramento -- Bibby then, and Brooks now, have similar numbers.
- Nothing could be easier than getting some one-on-one time with Kobe Bryant in the middle of All-Star Weekend.
- Who says you can't coach mental toughness?
- When the Nuggets four top players -- Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Nene and Kenyon Martin -- are all healthy, they have won 27 of 33 games.
- John Hollinger: Oklahoma City hasn't lost to a team outside playoff contention since a Nov. 15 defeat to the Clippers.
- Ryan Schwan of Hornets247 on Marcus Thornton's 37 points on 22 shots against the Cavaliers: "Thornton unleashed the demon tonight, scoring every way imaginable. He started the second playing point for Collison, and quickly realized that Mo Williams was not up to defending him. Soon, any pretense of being a point guard was by the wayside, and Thornton was in full attack mode. He would push the ball hard, and if the drive wasn't there, he'd stop at 10 feet and hit a pull up. After a few of those went down, the Cavs started playing up on him, and he started driving to the basket, nailing floaters, and an amazing array of quick shots. In the fourth the Cavs ended up flat out double teaming him, and eventually turned him into a three-point shooter with their quick-footed and always impressive perimeter defense. If there was anything Thornton highlighted tonight, it was his incredible ability to release the ball at any point on his drives without any decrease in his control. He launched floaters from his hip, at shoulder height, and the classic above-the-head "teardrop". As an undersized shooting guard, that skill is a must, as it keeps the shot from being blocked. Many undersized guards never master it. Thornton is already there. As much as his game was a joy to watch tonight, I do have to call him out for one back-breaker play at the end of the game: After being blocked by Delonte West, he came down the court, checked Delonte once at the perimeter and then basically left him there, cheating to the opposite side of the court and looking for a steal. Two passes later, Delonte received the ball and had all the time in the world to knock down his three. 6 point game with just a few minutes to go."
- On his website, Jason Kidd talks about LeBron James: "... each year LeBron shows us something different. He's almost to the point of unstoppable. Now he's shooting the ball so well from the three-point line. He's so strong and so fast. He can get to the basket. It's great to see each year that he's added something new."
- Signs of life from Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince.
- Is Joe Johnson a top tier free agent this off-season?
- Plantar fasciitis is apparently in the water in Chicago. Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, and even a Bulls blogger.
- David Stern is right that in the big picture, the NBA doesn't lose much talent to Europe. The total salaries here are vastly more, and that matters. Worth noting, though, that the Spurs are reportedly going to have to compete with Real Madrid for a big man they could really use to try to get Tim Duncan another title.
- There are reports Rudy Fernandez might want to go back to Europe, although look closely and it seems to be far more sensationalistic journalism than on-the-record quotes. Also, FIBA countries (like all of Europe) honor NBA contracts, and Fernandez's has two more years after this one before he could be a free agent.
- A diagram of a sneaky inbounds play for Kevin Durant.
- Man, we don't have a massive compilation of Caron Butler interviews on video, nor any pictures of him serving roast beef at some swanky buffet. Wrong!
- A nice DeAndre Jordan dunk.
- Brian Scalabrine gets a spray tan.
- Back when fans scrapping with players was not that big of a deal. Also a crime on that video: Robert Parish's travel early in the video.