Friday, January 6, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- Worst fears of the lockout? Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler points out injuries have already taken a massive toll on this season. Another sign of the lockout: Matt Bonner outscoring Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki combined.
- Rip Hamilton was famously disgruntled in Detroit, but with whom? This video suggests Joe Dumars is the leading candidate. I'll offer an informed theory as to why: Look at the amazing lengths Dumars went to reorient that team around Rodney Stuckey. It simply hasn't worked, and the price was the breakup of a powerhouse.
- Take a look at the Heat's active, rotating defense. For the moment the Heat have the NBA's fifth-most efficient defense.
- John Hollinger (Insider) on the Kings front office: "Sacramento has the league's most ossified front office; everybody has been there forever and the path of least resistance appears to be the only road traveled. The Kevin Martin trade was a perfect example; the Houston Rockets did all the legwork and got most of the goodies, leaving the Kings with an OK deal when they could have had a great one. Every contract negotiation with their own players has ended in a quick surrender, which is how Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia and Marcus Thornton (among others) ended up with the deals they have."
- New idea to mull: Luol Deng, All-Star. The Bulls bandwagon got Derrick Rose an MVP award last season -- this is easy by comparison.
- Just a litany of brutal Bucks plays and stats from a mighty collapse against the Kings.
- J.J. Redick is among the top-ten funniest NBA players, as he shows in this video.
- David Thorpe on Jimmer Fredette (Insider): "I remember years ago when the Pistons were playing against a strong team in Europe in the preseason. Isiah Thomas was providing commentary on the game when he saw one of the Euro guards with the ball sizing up Joe Dumars, hoping to take him one-on-one. Thomas started to laugh. Then the player ended up taking a horrible shot that had no chance of going in. The play-by-play announcer asked what was funny, and Thomas responded, "That's Joe Dumars he's trying to take by himself." I mention that here because Fredette did the exact same thing late in a blowout in Memphis against Tony Allen. Yes, Allen, who many people think is the best wing defender in the NBA not named LeBron James. Fredette ended up driving, jumping up with no plan and weakly passing the ball directly to the other team."
- Digging into the video to learn about Tristan Thompson.
- Nuggets rookie Kenneth Faried helping out the community.
- Jacob Mustafa calls it first. He says the Blazers will win the West. Even talking like that makes me nervous.
- Mike D'Antoni's seat is getting warmer.
- The players who have shone in the early going.
- Danny Nowell on Magic Basketball: "I’m not happy about the Nuggets becoming one of the hot topics for the season. Do I want to hear people for eight months yelling about how, if you adjust for pace, their defense is way better than conventional wisdom suggests? I do not. Do I want to read advanced shooting percentage breakdowns that take into account the Denver altitude? I do not. I want them to keep being the only team my girlfriend likes -- because she likes the word “Nugget” and pronounces Nene’s name “ninny.” I want them to continue to play forty players every game. I do not want their glorious ragtag weirdness to be scrutinized for effectiveness by every corner of punditry; I just want to let them keep being rad."
- Maybe Xavier Henry can hit a 3. Hornets need somebody to. Worth noting: He has made two 3-pointers in his NBA career.
- Kyle Weidie of Truth About It considers the public relations high-wire act of Gilbert Arenas, who is turning 30: "Arenas always considered himself an entertainer along the lines of a musician or an actor, so he never understood why his bad decisions came under such scrutiny on the sporting stage. He felt that as long as he was playing well, he was entitled to do as he pleased. And when he lost his effectiveness on the court, he thought he could cure everything with a joke. No one cares to see the tightrope walker go back and forth all day; you either get to the other side or you fall. After hitting the safety net last year, Arenas remains entrenched in embarrassment bordering on irrelevance. No one knows if anyone’s going to extend him a ladder for a small climb from the depths, or if he’s just going to quietly fade under a deflating big top. It was a memorable performance nonetheless."