Wednesday, July 28, 2010
By Kevin Arnovitz
- Tracy McGrady isn't winning friends and influencing people during his job search. There's a certain irony to McGrady's behavior: Teams seem confident that McGrady is healthy enough to contribute as an important piece off the bench, but his off-putting, petulant comments during his workout tour are hurting his prospects. Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub picks apart the absurdity of McGrady's most recent comments.
- Amare Stoudemire is in Jerusalem, embracing the ancient language and, though reports can't be confirmed, has the vibe of a guy who might just orchestrate one of those adult Bar Mitzvah for himself at the Wailing Wall. Question: What would you get Stoudemire for his Bar Mitzvah?
- Neil Paine of Basketball Reference has been examining which NBA players perform best against elite (and the most porous) defenses. Today's results might surprise you. Guess who was more productive against the stingiest teams (using offensive rating), better than LeBron James, Chris Paul, Brandon Roy, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki? None other than Corey Maggette.
- John Krolik explains what "Entourage" has to do with LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. If you e-mail with Brian Kamenetzky and me, we'll explain what "Mad Men" has to do with the Lakers.
- Everyone has an opinion about the Knicks' new big man, Timo Mozgov, but few have seen him play. NBA Playbook features a breakdown of his game.
- Here are the vitals on Emeka Okafor: A 16.53 Player Efficiency Rating. Four years and approximately $52 million remaining on his contract. Much of the discussion surrounding potential trades for Chris Paul operate under the premise that any team serious about obtaining Paul would have to take on Okafor's onerous deal. Tom Ziller of Fanhouse writes that Okafor's deal might not be a beaut, but it's hardly an albatross for an offensively productive, defensively solid big man in the NBA.
- Zach Harper, writing for A Wolf Among Wolves, offers some hope that Nikola Pekovic could be a solid addition to Minnesota's beleaguered frontcourt. Check out the guy's stats from Europe -- they look a whole lot like Marc Gasol's production overseas. Bottom line: "Nikola is impressively efficient in scoring the ball in the post. The fact that his lowest field goal percentage is 57.4% should tell you a lot about his patience and ability to get off quality shots inside. There’s not a lot of wasted movement. For the last couple of years, we’ve been used to watching Al Jefferson pump fake eight times before awkwardly getting his shot off. It went in more than it rimmed out for a rebound opportunity but it wasn’t the most efficient way to get a good flow in your halfcourt offense. But with Pekovic, you’re going to get direct movement that gets the ball into the basket in the quickest and most proficient way we’ve seen with this franchise."
- Who's been the biggest Phoenix Suns bust over the past 15 years? Wil Cantrell of Bright Side of the Sun takes inventory.
- In Chris Palmer's feature article on Rashad McCants in a recent issue of ESPN the Magazine, McCants insists that his reluctance to smile doesn't make him a bad guy. Ben Polk of A Wolves Among Wolves responds: "No dude, not smiling does not make you a bad person. But making an exasperated spectacle of sighing and rolling your eyes when you don’t get the ball, looking vacantly into the distance during team huddles, and audibly castigating other players for minor sins for which you yourself are also guilty (all of which were on full regular display during his time as a T-Wolf) does make you pretty rotten teammate."
- Rudy Fernandez wants out of Portland -- and that's old news. Dwight Jaynes writes that the Trail Blazers waited too long to grant Fernandez his wish: "A year ago this guy was thought to be a rising star and considered quite possibly to be one of the best young shooting guards in the world. Now? The Blazers will be lucky to get much for him."
- Former Florida Gator standout and new Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has agreed to endorsement deal with Jockey. This puts him in direct competition with Michael Jordan, who has been a pitch man for Hanes forever.
- Hey, Wizznutzz! Darvin Ham has been named the head coach of the D-League's New Mexico Thunderbirds. (Hat Tip: Scott Schroeder)
- Apparently, Greg Monroe's grandma has yet to embrace the cordless phone movement.