TrueHoop: Chris Douglas-Roberts
- "Thumbs Down" is one of Orlando's favorite sets. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard run a high screen-and-roll in the middle of the floor, with a shooter to the left of the action. Last spring, this play call was lethal, but the Celtics' defenders have it well in check. Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub breaks down what Boston is doing defensively to stop it.
- Disarmed by the Suns' 2-3 zone on Sunday night, the Lakers launched a barrage of 3-pointers. Phillip Barnett of Forum Blue & Gold points out that shooting from the perimeter is a dicey strategy against Phoenix: "[T]hose long shots lead to long rebounds, which create transition opportunities for a team that likes to run as much as the Suns do. The Suns had 18 fast break points in Game 3 compared to just 20 in the first two games combined."
- Assuming the Suns stick with the zone in Game 4, how do the Lakers attack it? Mike Fratello explains that confronting the zone doesn't require a complete overhaul of your offense -- just small calibrations.
- Wayne Winston is very bullish on the Suns. He echoes what Haralabos Voulgaris has been saying since the series started: Phoenix needs to keep Robin Lopez on the floor at all costs.
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus suggests that the Lakers might want to switch up their pick-and-roll defense: "[T]he Lakers probably don't want to have to bring over a third player and invite the Suns to get open looks from the perimeter. Perhaps then the answer is softening up the post player's hedging against Nash with the goal of turning him into a scorer instead of a playmaker. That's a dangerous game, certainly, but now it's the Lakers who find themselves forced to choose between unpalatable alternatives on defense."
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post asks Magic fans if they prefer to be taken out of their misery tonight in Game 4, or have the Magic return to Orlando for a Game 5.
- Grant Hill heartily endorses Doug Collins.
- There are some features of the NBA Draft that make Benjamin Polk of A Wolf Among Wolves a little uneasy: "[P]layers are essentially consenting to become commodities. They are referred to as 'assets' and 'pieces,' and are bought, sold and traded as such. The movements and labors of their bodies are known as 'the product,' and their inner lives deemed valuable only in the extent that they can a) foster their teams’ production or b) be packaged into digestible, televisable bits."
- Canadian youth, meet Randy Foye.
- Do the Washington Wizards hurt the Washington Captials?
- Is yoga making Chris Douglas-Roberts taller?
- Did viewers lose interest after the Lakers throttled the Suns in Los Angeles? Not quite. From Sports Media Watch: "The Suns' Game 3 win over the Lakers drew a 6.1 overnight rating on TNT Sunday night, up 13% from Game 2 (5.4), and the highest overnight of the series."
- The Knicks are often dismissed as a desirable destination for LeBron James because of their thin supporting cast. Wilson Chandler is one of the Knicks' pieces and he's become a more efficient player this season by raising his true shooting. that's the good news. The bad news according to Mike Kurylo of Knickerblogger? "There are a few ways to increase your TS%. Two main ones that would coincide with a sign of Chandler’s development are increasing the number of times converting from the charity stripe and an uptick in three point percentage. However Wilson did neither of these as he scored fewer singles and connected less often from downtown in 2010. His fta/36 fell from 2.8 to 2.5 and his ftm/fga dropped as well (from .16 to .15). Meanwhile his three point percentage was a shameful 26.7%."
- Orlando guard Jason Williams values his space.
The Salt Lake Tribune's Ross Siler has this dispatch from the Orlando Pro Summer League, where the Sixers and Nets are strange bedfellows:
The union became official at halftime of Monday's summer-league opener at the RDV Sportsplex, when 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski pulled up a seat along press row next to Nets president Rod Thorn.
For one week at least, the Atlantic Division rivals have come together, with a joint New Jersey/Philadelphia entry in the Orlando summer league prompted by the worst economy in a generation.
Nets rookie Terrence Williams: Would this man steal Eddie Jordan's trade secrets? (Fernando Medina via Getty Images)
"I'm not a fan of it,” Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan admitted. "I like working with your own players and teaching your own guys, getting your own guys in your system.”
"I don't want to have to berate their player for not picking up. It just doesn't seem right to get on their players for doing something that you want them to do.”
The marriage has led to some strange scenes, to be sure. Philadelphia's newest first-round pick, Jrue Holiday, warmed up for Monday's game in a Nets shirt, leading one Sixers staffer to observe that a free shirt is a free shirt.
After Monday's game, Jordan was asked about Nets rookie Terrence Williams, prefaced with the qualifier: "You won't have him beyond this week ...”
(Jordan's answer: "He's a very competitive player. He's strong, he's a bull out there. He's got great, quick moves. He can change direction in a heartbeat. He's an aggressive player. I really like him.”)
In addition to their own draft picks and players, the Nets and Sixers each made four selections for the team. The offense can best be described as an overlap of Jordan's and Lawrence Frank's systems.
"It's a combination of what they've done and what we're going to do,” Jordan said. "And that's why we make it work, because we know the Nets.”
Frank called it "a little bit of an introduction” to his offense, adding, "But I think this has to be more about the development of the guys as opposed to putting in your system. Especially when you're
splitting a team, it makes it tougher.”
The biggest benefit, Frank said, comes in having a deeper summer-league team than most. The Nets/Sixers have four recent draft picks in Chris Douglas-Roberts, Holiday, Marreese Speights and Terrence Williams.
Were it not for the history between Jordan and Frank, Thorn and Stefanski, as well as assistants Tom Barrise and Mike O'Koren, the Philadelphia and New Jersey pairing probably would be doomed to
"It's a joint venture, where it only works for us because we know the Nets guys,” said Jordan, who nevertheless described the partnership as being "different” three times in one answer.
Of course, the Nets and Sixers players still have it better than Bobcats second-round draft pick Derrick Brown, who is playing with the Jazz in Orlando with Charlotte not fielding a summer-league team to cut costs.
Brown ended up with the Jazz thanks to a longtime connection between Charlotte coach Larry Brown and Utah general manager Kevin O'Connor. (There's a lengthy explanation as to why the Jazz didn't also end up with Bobcats lottery pick Gerald Henderson.)
Brown had nine points in his NBA debut Monday night, which came in a Jazz jersey, playing for a team coached by Jazz assistants. In fact, Brown wasn't even sure if the Bobcats were sending a representative
to Orlando to watch him.
"It's definitely a good opportunity to be out there and start the ball rolling in the NBA,” he said. "Whatever it takes for me to make a stand in this league, I'm going to do it.”
Frank was asked if the Nets and Sixers were just ahead of the curve, whether next summer will feature other entries based on geography and cost-saving, like the Heat and Magic, the Bulls and Bucks, the
Warriors and Kings or the Jazz and ... nobody.
"In these economic times, look, you've got to be fiscally very responsible and I think you just have to be prudent in the decisions you make,” Frank said. "Every group is different. This worked for us and Philly and it made sense, and who knows what the future holds. Hopefully, things get better.”
How upset were you at dropping to 40?
"Ooof. That first day I was extremely (upset) -- extremely. I'm pretty sure anybody in the world knows how I feel to be under-appreciated. That's all it was. But once I looked at the situation and once I looked at where I was picked, I looked at it in a positive way. Because it's a blessing to be here (New Jersey). I could have ended up on the Lakers, you know? Somewhere like that, where there's no playing time. So being here is great for me. I looked and over all it's great. Being picked 40 is horrible, and I don't know what people are thinking, but overall I'm happy."
Chip on your shoulder?
"Big. Big chip. Big. That's the biggest motivation I have. Getting picked 40, I'm gonna write a book."
Where did you think you might go?
"Oh, I was, like, 15 to 25. And it just so happened that some teams I didn't work out for had 25 to 30, and I didn't workout (for them)... that's how it happens. That's just how it happens. Why? I still don't know why. But that's yesterday's news. You have to be mentally strong to be in this business, and you have to form amnesia. And that's with anything in basketball. You make a mistake on the floor you can't let it affect the next four trips down the floor."