Thursday, January 17, 2013
By Kevin Arnovitz
- Joe Johnson made his return to Atlanta last night for the first time since the Hawks shipped him to Brooklyn. Bo Churney of HawksHoop writes that however outsized Johnson's second contract with the Hawks might have been, if you zoom out and look at the landscape from afar, you'll see the impact Johnson made in Atlanta: "Joe Johnson isn’t LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, or Chris Paul. You can easily argue that he was never a top ten player in the league, and point out that he only garnered two total MVP votes in his career. But what you have to acknowledge is that Joe Johnson revitalized a franchise that had fallen into the fiery pits of NBA hell. In the six years before Johnson arrived, the Hawks only won more than 30 games twice, and were in a certain type of futility that resulted in a 13-69 record in the 2004-05 season."
- Many gifted transition players are guys who phone it in during a defensive possession just waiting for the moment they can take off and run the break. They're basketball's equivalent to people who aren't listening so much as waiting for an opportunity to talk again. As Zach Harper of CBS Sports writes and illustrates, Corey Brewer isn't one of those guys. Brewer is an elite base defender in the half court who can leak out in transition as well as anyone.
- Carmelo Anthony had a cameo on "Nurse Jackie" a while back. Here's his audition still from London for "Downton Abbey."
- Orlando's Arron Afflalo is a solid NBA player, but he's not exceptional enough to subsist on his midrange game.
- Garbage in, garbage out -- true in information technology and on the basketball floor. Ian Levy takes a studied look at how shot selection correlates with offensive efficiency, and why the Mavericks struggled offensively prior to their current winning streak.
- Andrew McNeill of 48 Minutes of Hell after the Spurs' drubbing of the Grizzlies on Wednesday night: "It’s games like these that make me think that it would take a hell of a haul to trade Stephen Jackson. Jack thrives in games like these where the game gets physical and the Spurs are looking for someone to stick their chin out and challenge someone. San Antonio needs his toughness in these games. Jack had eight points and five assists against the Grizz, hitting 2-of-5 3-pointers."
- Adam Koscielak of Gothic Ginobili on Shannon Brown's dribble fetish: "Even the folks at the weekly pickup game I wrote about last week have more awareness than [Brown], and there's no shot-clock to respect, nothing to stop them from doing them but the purity of the game. They seem to embrace it. In a way, it's impressive that Brown -- despite all the pro experience, despite his two championship rings -- still manages to dribble the shot-clock out like that. It's impressive that his teammates and coaches still trust him enough to give him the ball. But the most magical fact of all is watching what exactly Shannon Brown does with that ball. Puts it between his legs, plays around with it, throws it behind his back, dazzles with it -- ... and ends up going absolutely nowhere. He rarely gets layups. If anything, he'll hit a lucky pull-up jumper that he'll follow with a brick or five."
- Stephen Curry re-aggravated his ankle injury, Jarrett Jack is gimpy -- and now the feel-good Warriors and their depth are being tested.
- The Lakers haven't been very animated this season, something this video from Michael Smith seeks to correct. Smith also explains why the Lakers' road to the postseason is so rocky.
- Marquis Daniels' GMC Savana has party lights, a cutting-edge A/V system, seats that can accommodate the Bucks' platoon of young 7-footers and a lot of loose change lying about.
- On egraphs, Reggie Evans wishes a fan a happy 27th birthday with a personalized audio message, in which he also asks for some dental advice.
- From this day forward, Jamaal Tinsley would like to be known as "The Listener."
- Wages of Wins is helping to raise money for cancer research, which increasingly relies on quantitative analysis not entirely unlike what we're seeing in basketball, one reason the fundraiser are asking donors to offer a "guess for which player will have the largest Points over Par game and which game" on Thursday or Friday's NBA schedule. The winner will have his contribution upgraded to the next donation tier.