TrueHoop: Jerry West
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that he became the first player in NBA history to reach each of those thresholds in a playoff game. Five other players had recorded 40-10-8 games: Tracy McGrady, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson (twice).
He was also the first Celtics player with at least 40 points and 10 assists in a playoff game.
Rondo had never played every minute of an NBA game in his career. He is the first player to do so in this year’s playoffs. Dwight Howard played every minute in a playoff game twice last year.
Before Game 2, Rondo had never made more than six shots in a game from 15-plus feet from the basket. On Wednesday, he was actually better from long range than close to the basket.
Rondo was 10-for-12 from the field when he was at least 15 feet from the basket but just 4-for-9 from inside 5 feet. The rest of the Celtics struggled from long range, hitting just 14-of-36 shots.
At halftime, Rondo had outperformed the combination of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Rondo had 22 points, four rebounds and seven assists in the first 24 minutes; James and Wade had combined for 15 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists at that point.
The Celtics led by as many as 15 points late in the second quarter. But the third quarter has been the key for the Heat in the playoffs.
Miami outscored Boston 35-22 in the third quarter of Game 2. In the playoffs, the Heat have outscored their opponents by 87 points in their 10 wins. In three playoff losses, they’ve been outscored by 37.
After shooting 85 percent from inside 5 feet in Game 1, the Heat struggled from that range early in Game 2, going just 5-for-13 in the first half. They turned it around after halftime, shooting 7-for-10 in the second half and 4-for-5 in overtime.
James turned in another 30-point, 10-rebound game. It was his sixth in the playoffs since joining the Heat, moving past Wade for the franchise record. Since he first made the playoffs in 2006, James has more 30-10 games in the playoffs than any other player.
Wade finished with 23 points after scoring only two in the first half. From our friends at Elias, he is the first player to score at least 20 points in 12 straight playoff games against the Celtics since Jerry West did so in 18 straight games from 1966 to 1969.
- J.A. Adande and Sam Smith offer two evocative impressions on Scottie Pippen, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.
- Albert Lyu of Think Blue Crew has put together a series of compelling work on the blocked shot. Today he unveils part three, which examines which types of shots are most and least commonly blocked. Here's an interesting finding: "19.73% of all generic layups were blocked in 2007-2010."
- Neil Paine of Basketball Reference's blog looks at how teams with unusually high turnover in personnel traditionally fare the next season. The post offers further evidence that watching the 1978-79 San Diego Clippers would've been a joyous ride.
- A fine, fine blog post from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Cunningham after observing Larry Drew's assistant coach clinic. Not only did Cunningham get to watch Tyrone Hill play the role of Al Horford, but he witnessed a more fluid game plan than the one that the one Hawks fans were accustomed to: "For weeks L.D. has said his system would 'force the ball to move' and I get that now. Things happen so fast there’s not much opportunity for holding the ball. The screens and cuts happen quickly and if the first option is not there then the ball quickly swings the other way, leading to move movement. Not much possession time is spent on the one- or even two-man game. Each guy gets a chance to touch the ball at different spots on the floor. Decisions must be made quickly for things to flow correctly."
- Trey Kerby of Ball Don't Lie visits with Kevin Durant. The interview gets off to a fun start: " Trey Kerby: I know you're going to deny it, but ... Kevin Durant: Then why are you going to ask? Why you have to ask me this, Trey? (laughing)."
- The average ticket price for the Heat's home opener in Miami against Orlando? That will be $806 please. (Hat Tip: Magic Basketball) For the Bobcats home opener in Charlotte against Indiana on the same night, you can get into the lower corners for $51 per ticket.
- There's little discernible excitement for Derrick Favors outside of New Jersey and specific precincts in Atlanta, but I'm not sure why. As Devin Kharpertian demonstrates through video, Favors is an explosive force with a soft touch around the rim. 20 percent of Favors' field goals at Georgia Tech came on dunks which, when you consider the Jackets' guard play, is worth noting.
- Unlike Favors, Al Harrington is a known quantity, but his versatility still warrants examination. Fortunately, Jeremy Wagner has opened up the Roundball Mining Company Film Room for regular showings of Harrington's irregular game.
- Rahat Huq of Red94, Ryan Schwan of Hornets247, Jared Wade of 8 points, 9 seconds and Sebastian Pruiti of Nets Are Scorching gather around the virtual roundtable and discuss Wednesday's four-team trade. Huq has some interesting misgivings about Ariza's defense: "The issue of Ariza’s defense is a contentious one. His reputation precedes him, but his is a reckless, instinctual approach, garnering him gaudy steals totals but often leaving his teammates scrambling to rotate after blown coverage. Still, this manner can be conducive to forcing tempo if that’s your cup of tea."
- The Hornets have long needed some help on the wings. Here's a stat pack from Hornets247 on how Ariza and Marco Belinelli can help.
- Indy Cornrows breaks down Darren Collison's stellar rookie campaign.
- Jeff Skibiski of Forum Blue & Gold on Shannon Brown: "Shannon’s insatiable appetite for scintillating dunks and seemingly endless energy has been one of the most exciting facets of the Lakers’ past two title teams. In many ways, I think this is what ultimately hurt Shannon more than anything in his disappointing dunk contest appearance. Like Kobe, Brown is more a jaw-dropping in-game dunker, which in my opinion, is a much more valuable skill set to have than the creative costume faire we’ve see at the past few All-Star Weekends. After the viral 'Let Shannon Dunk' campaign, his lackluster performance in the dunk contest was definitely a lowlight of last season, but I don’t think it’s indicative of much of anything as far as his play with the Lakers is concerned."
- Roland Lazenby joins the Los Angeles Times' Lakers Roundtable to discuss Jerry West and the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team under coach Pete Newell.
- Zarar Siddiqi of Raptors Republic: "[I]t’s easier to be a defensive specialist than it is an offensive weapon, the latter requires a degree of tangible skill like shooting, dribbling, creativity and finishing whereas playing defense is more about effort. I’m not suggesting that playing defense doesn’t require skill, but it’s a skill that is born of effort (which Doc Rivers swears is a skill). Got that?"
- Nate Robinson's home court in Seattle.
- Brandon Rush and DeMar DeRozan: Two native Angelenos with two different ideas of go-to joints. Advantage Rush, not only for restaurant choice but his willingness to order breakfast food in the middle of the day.
- The Nets hosted the much-anticipated workouts for DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors. The Nets are sitting with the No. 3 pick on Thursday night and will likely have a choice between the two big men. Cousins impressed, but the Star Ledger's Dave D'Alessandro believes that the Nets are leaning toward Favors: "DeMarcus Cousins passed every test they gave him — with honors." But, D'Alessando disclaims, "He failed to prove that he is better equipped and contoured to play the power forward position than the more athletic and equally promising Derrick Favors. And in a draft that is now predominantly about marking and developing Brook Lopez’s frontcourt sidekick, that’s a problem for Cousins."
- Every June, David Stern steps up to the podium and announces a few draft selections with international pedigrees. The immediate reaction from casual fans of the teams making those picks is generally, "Whooooo?" Jay Aych of The Painted Area offers a primer on a couple of potential first round hopefuls from across the pond.
- Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog is blown away by John Wall's skill set. One observation: "Wall runs faster while dribbling a basketball than Kevin Durant runs without a ball."
- We tend to poo-poo ballplayers who are characterized as single-dimensional. But Fran Fraschilla points out that a specialist fills an important place on an NBA roster. Fraschilla has divided his list of talented niche players into three categories: shooters, energy guys and rim protectors.
- Speaking of specialists, you could do a lot worse than plucking a monster offensive rebounder and nasty screen-setting big man like Brian Zoubek in the second round.
- Plan on heading over to Madison Square Garden for the draft? Tickets don't go on sale until the morning of the event at 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
- Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm on Evan Turner's resilience at Ohio State: "I started gawking at the kid’s numbers five games into last season. I thought they’d tail off (and they did, sort of), but the fact that they were there showed what he was capable of, and when trying to determine a ceiling, that’s a pretty good sign. Then he broke his back. I figured that meant a drop to the teens for him. I mean, the kid broke multiple vertabrae. Who comes back from that? Who fights through that?"
- The pros and cons of Xavier Henry for the Warriors.
- Is Paul George the sleeper of the 2010 draft?
- Doc Rivers says that the Celtics were too eager to help off Ron Artest in Game 7. He's also getting regular texts from Paul Pierce and Ray Allen pleading with him to stay with the Celtics. (via Sports Radio Interviews)
- Do you remember when a portrait in Life Magazine represented an official induction into the highest rungs of celebrity? Free Darko does.
- Lamar Odom, Jerry West, W.H. Auden, Joseph Stalin, Mike Tyson and Kobe Bryant all in one place.
- The arrest count in Los Angeles from last Thursday's post-game violence now tallies 45. For those who love the city, who appreciate that our municipality can ill-afford frivolous expenditures and who feel for business-owners who stuck it out downtown when central Los Angeles was being written off (and found their property destroyed when they came into work Friday morning), images of what transpired in the name of celebration evoke profound sadness.
- Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub continues his catharsis. Lowe lists some of the most painful losses in Celtics history.
- Watch the draft with Raptors Republic.
Of course, you know about the excitement over the last few days, in which Kobe Bryant has made clear that he'd really really really like Jerry West to join him once again in Los Angeles.
And, at the above link, ESPN's Marc Stein has reported that it's entirely possible West will return in some capacity -- but not likely full time.
What I'm curious about is: how's Jerry West's relationship with Phil Jackson?
In Roland Lazenby's excellent book about the Lakers, "The Show," Lazenby cites many sources saying that during the Lakers 2000 Western Conference Finals against the Blazers, Jackson reportedly asked West to leave the locker room at one point so he could address the players in private.
Remember, these are Jerry West's Lakers ... the team he put together long before Phil Jackson blew into town. Lazenby interviews people who suggest that moment was one harsh moment of many between the two men, and precipitated West's departure a few months later.
Phil Jackson's assistant Tex Winter and former Laker coach Del Harris are among those who talked to Lazenby:
Winter said Jackson had calculated that West's pride would be hurt by Jackson requesting that he step out of the Lakers' locker room so that the coach could have a word with the team. It was seemingly a subtle thing, yet its implications rang like a hammer through the organization. By doing it, Jackson had sent this message: Jerry West, who had lived and breathed the Lakers for 40 years, was not part of the team. The coach, it seemed, had found the perfect way to nudge West out of the organization. As coach of the Bulls, Jackson had used a similar technique and called it "setting boundaries." Only a few were allowed inside the team circle. In L.A., West was no longer one of them.
Del Harris, former Lakers coach: "Only someone with six rings could have done it. I don't know if it was so much Phil as it was his status. I don't know that needed to be done. I always felt Jerry was a plus for us, not only by getting the players there. Yes, the Lakers had always been Jerry's team, but if there were other issues that came up, I could always count on Jerry ... it's true that Jerry's involvement was a factor, but I didn't necessarily see it as a negative thing."
Lazenby goes on to say that West departed not long thereafter with a statement that thanked many in the organization but failed to even mention the coach who had just led his team to a title.
I wonder if the Jackson and West have patched things up in a meaningful way. And if not, assuming the tale above is true, is it even feasible for West to play any role with the Lakers? From the outside, they already a confusing power structure, and consultant West would not make things any clearer.
Kobe Bryant (loyal, it would appear, to West), Phil Jackson, Jerry Buss (loyal, it would appear, to Bryant), Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak (West's former understudy, who has apparently integrated peacefully with Jackson), and then West too? If Jim Buss, Phil Jackson, Mitch Kupchak, and Jerry West all have different ideas about who the team should draft, who wins?