Monday, June 18, 2012
By Beckley Mason
- As Tom Haberstroh reminds us, Chris Bosh has come a long way since his days with the Raptors: "Think about this: a team anchored by Chris Bosh is suffocating the league's top offense, in the Finals no less. Yes, that Chris Bosh, the same one who anchored the lowly Raptors for so long, a franchise that perennially ranked as one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. The same Bosh who was ridiculed for padding his stats on a team that laid down defensively and couldn't get out of the first round of the playoffs. Well, maybe this is a different Chris Bosh." It's an important lesson to keep in mind. These players can change their stripes in the right environment.
- Video and pictorial evidence of Bosh playing big.
- Video: Guillermo from The Jimmy Kimmel Show has many questions at NBA Finals Media Day, and most involve facial hair.
- John Hollinger's Draft Rater is available (Insider), and it loves Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Dion Waiters: "As I noted with Leonard a year ago, wing players -- especially bigger ones -- with strong Draft Rater marks virtually never fail. Of the eight players to rate above 13 in the past decade, the worst among them was Josh Childress. Five of the players have played in an All-Star Game, and Rudy Gay may play in an All-Star Game soon. The seventh player is Leonard. This year, we have two names to add to that list: Dion Waiters and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Kidd-Gilchrist is probably the safest pick on the board -- a big wing who plays defense, has strong stats and comes with no character questions. From a risk-aversion perspective alone he should be a top-five pick; I have him third on my board after Robinson. (See below for how I would rank the prospects, regardless of their Draft Rater numbers.) I have Waiters fourth for similar reasons. His size, 6-foot-4, is more of a concern, but whatever team made him a promise did a wise thing. Waiters projects as the best small wing since Dwyane Wade, and he'd be a steal if somebody got him in the Nos. 8-10 range currently being discussed."
- SI's Jack McCallum profiles Hubie Brown.
- The Heat defense is succeeding by making the the Thunder hesitate.
- A David Foster Wallace essay informs our understanding of LeBron James.
- Contrasting how Erik Spoelstra and Scott Brooks have managed their rotations.
- With the draft and offseason approaching, it's time to learn about talented Euros like Mirza Teletovic.
- Some suggested reading for Blake Griffin, including a book Kobe Bryant refused to read.
- Our Kevin Arnovitz breaks down Scott Brooks' decision to sit Kevin Durant with four fouls in the third quarter: "Presumably, the decision to sit Durant for nearly six minutes is to ensure that he doesn't pick up his fifth foul, in which case he'd have ... to sit. This logic is completely tautological. The Thunder absorb 10-12 possessions without their best player because they run the risk of possibly having to absorb, say, 10-12 possessions without their best player should he pick up a fifth foul. (We can litigate whether it even makes sense to keep Durant off the floor with five, but Brooks answered that question in the negative during Game 2, didn't he?) In short, keeping a player like Durant on the bench with four fouls during the final third of the game is an insurance policy that rarely pays for itself."
- Not sure why (or how) this was kept secret until now, but Tyson Chandler owns multiple capes.
- For those who question the fanaticism of the Heat faithful.
- HoopSpeak's Ethan Sherwood Strauss on whether the Thunder's youth is a problem: "Title-winning vet lectures the kids on what’s what. Except, Kendrick Perkins turns the ball over, misses shots, fouls frequently. The 'ancient' 27 year-old has the profile of someone who could use a bit more seasoning. Or possibly, he needs a bit more time on the bench to make room for the 22 year-old Serge Ibaka."
- At Forum Blue and Gold, Darius Soriano says that Pau Gasol is a center, not a power forward: "It seems, what we’ve done is mistaken Pau’s versatility to play PF as an indicator that he’s better playing that position. We’ve overvalued his height advantage, overplayed his strength deficiency, and concluded that his best fit is one that explores the facets of his game that aren’t as strong (his mid-range shooting) as the ones he’s used to his advantage his entire career in both the NBA and internationally (his post up game). The reality is, though, what we’ve really done is not looked closely enough at the advantages of him playing C. Today’s NBA is really about speed. The quicker and more athletic the player, the better suited he is to today’s NBA. If that athleticism comes in a physically imposing frame (think LeBron or Dwight Howard) the better, but this is not a requirement to be effective. In playing Pau at PF he is effectively surrendering his quickness and athleticism advantages on nearly every night."
- History lesson: It took a while for the NBA to adjust to the 3-point line.