Wednesday, February 9, 2011
By Henry Abbott
- HoopSpeak's Ethan Sherwood Strauss wonders if point guard defense matters. "The reason guys like Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul contribute relatively less on D might have something to do with guys like Rondo, Westbrook and Paul. No one can stay in front of these dudes, not even these dudes."
- A huge roundup of Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers links. Phil Jackson, for the record, says he hasn't considered it. Kobe Bryant saying the team's biggest strength is size.
- If stat geeks picked All-Stars.
- The NBA is bragging about how the NBA is embracing the D-League: "NBA teams to assign a player: 23 (Already a record, next-highest was 19 in 07-08). Total assignments this season: 39 (Three shy of last year's total, 14 shy of record 53 in 07-08). Total players assigned: 30 (Six more than last year's total; Two shy of the all-time high 32 in 08-09). Lottery picks assigned: 5. First-round picks assigned: 16. 2010 NBA Draft picks assigned: 18 (23 total NBA Draft picks from 2010 Draft have played in the D-League this year).
- A case for Chris Paul as MVP. I'd point out that he's fantastic, and his team is good, but fair or not teams with MVPs are better than just good.
- The secret sauce of Kevin Love's outlet passing: Cheating! In all seriousness, he just didn't quite get the ball out-of-bounds before hurling a beautiful strike for a bucket. He also hypnotized the Rockets into double-teaming Jonny Flynn.
- Wayne Washington, a guy trying to crack the NBA, has been keeping a journal, which is on FreeDarko. He writes: "When people find out I play, they ask me one question. 'How much do you get paid?' In the words of the Fresh Prince 'Mind ya business just mind ya business.' (You gotta do the neck thing, too). Why don't people understand it's a rude question to ask? In no other profession would someone feel like this was acceptable. I usually respond that 'it's not millions'. It's not enough to live off without another source of income, but it is money in exchange for basketball. There’s a lot of guys who play in this kind of league for free, so I really can’t complain."
- We don't seem to be able to solve malaria, but slow beer has been beat.
- In fairness, the Cavaliers have lost a lot more than one player. Brian Windhorst: "The team elected not to re-sign centers Shaquille O'Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. They traded Delonte West (technically a moot point because he had a partially-guaranteed contract the team did not intend to pick up after his troubles in Cleveland). Then Anderson Varejao went down with a season-ending ankle injury just after New Year's. (Some background: The ankle hadn't been healthy since August, when Varejao hurt it playing for Brazil. Now, after delaying surgery to evaluate his options weeks after the Cavs hoped he'd get it fixed, he has scheduled his ankle surgery for Friday at a clinic in Charlotte.) Mo Williams didn't show up to camp in shape for the demanding workouts Scott had planned, though the team hasn't discussed this publicly. He's missed three weeks with a groin injury, one of a series of upper leg and abdominal muscle strains. Some of the issues may be traceable back to LeBron's move -- Williams has admitted he fell into a bit of a depression over the summer after learning James was leaving."
- Will LaMarcus Aldridge ever have more trade value? (Now ducking, as Blazer fans hurl things at me.)
- The Thunder suddenly seem unable to run a good crunch time play.
- Bill Laimbeer is known as one of the NBA's real 3-point shooting big men. But he hardly shot any for the first several years of his career. And while shooting a lukewarm 33 percent, over his entire 14 years he made 202 -- plenty of players have made more than that in a single season. So, how'd he get that reputation? I'd guess it's simply that back then nobody appreciated the 3 as much as they should have, and hardly any big men used it at all. So he stood out. But today, all kinds of players, big and small, shoot it more and better.