Tuesday, May 22, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- Trailer for a very cool-looking documentary on New York City pick-up basketball. Kenny Anderson, Fly Williams, God Shammgod, Homicide, Kenny Smith, Smush Parker, Headache, Julius Erving, Pee Wee Kirkland and others. What you might already be thinking.
- A very rough scene, including multiple shootings, in Oklahoma City after the Thunder win. Royce Young of Daily Thunder: "There were an estimated 10,000 people outside the arena Monday watching the game in Thunder Alley. It’s a question now as to if Thunder Alley will continue after this incident."
- John Hollinger (Insider) on JaVale McGee: "Turns out he's not just a punch line. McGee showed more development in two months in Denver than he had in four years in Washington, particularly on the offensive end where he showed some refinement with a sweeping hook shot. McGee still takes ridiculous chances on blocking shots he has no hope of reaching and leaves his feet constantly on the defensive end. On the other hand, he went for 21-14 against an elite frontcourt to key a close playoff road win, rejected a phenomenal 22 shots in 181 minutes, and had three 14-rebound efforts in seven games. In other words, while he's still something of a project, he's a productive project. Which makes him one of the league's most interesting names in restricted free agency. We know he's an athletic freak who probably has the highest leaping reach in basketball, so if he can just get halfway decent on the mental aspects he'll be a star. That tantalizing possibility, as the first round made clear, may cost Denver a lot more now that he's shown signs of possibly achieving it."
- Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register on the Lakers' season: "All the meanings could be seen in the final game: The Lakers were too slow, failed to defend consistently, had virtually no bench help, didn't get a team game from Bryant, couldn't depend fully on Bynum and had to accept excuses afterward from Gasol about what a tough year it was. 'He always wants me to be aggressive,' Gasol said of Bryant, 'but it's been tough for me. I've been in a facilitating role most of the year, pretty much the third option most of the year.' Then one of the last things Gasol said for the season was simply this: 'A lot going on this year.' Yes, more than enough to keep the Lakers from making that leap they've made look so seamless before ... from talented players to championship team. 'We just weren't doing it together,' Bynum said."
- This is turning into another one of those years ... if the NBA is rigged to favor big markets, they are terrible at rigging things. Out: New York, both Los Angeles teams, Chicago. In: Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Boston (bear with me), Philadelphia (likely not for long) and Miami.
- Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor on KFAN, when asked about the "one and done" rule that allows players to join the NBA after one year of college or equivalent: "My wife writes the checks. And she would not like to write a check if I told you what I thought about the whole thing. Because the NBA would calling up ... and saying to send a check."
- Idea from a Blazer fan's active imagination. How about hiring both Van Gundys in Portland, to take over jobs as coach and GM as they see fit? Would eliminate trust issues, dramatically improve the defense and create one hell of a sitcom.
- The owner of the Warriors and mayor of San Francisco making very strong comments, loaded with certainty, about the Warriors moving to San Francisco.
- Kevin Garnett has some thoughts about Philadelphia fans.
- Heat superstars wonder aloud what Danny Granger is up to with his tough talk, which is probably a decent sign Granger's tactics have been effective.
- Is Shaquille O'Neal in position to make fun of Metta World Peace for having too many names?
- Time lapse video of Staples Center's busy weekend, with a thumpin' rock beat.
- Kevin McHale gets a C+ for his coaching.
- Holy Italian league playoff buzzer beaters.
- A while ago, I got very excited about Ian Levy's pretty charts showing team's offensive plays and how often they use them. Now he has them for all 30 teams. There is a lot to glean from them. But also ... the lines of the charts, like clouds in the sky, luck into recognizable shapes at times. Can't help but notice that the chart of the Lakers' offense looks like a dead bird. The Heat's looks like a little singing cartoon dude. The Thunder's is a fighter jet. The Hawks (work with me on this) resembles the head of a Great Dane.
- Russell Westbrook had four turnovers in the whole series.