TrueHoop: Jimmer Fredette
- Thank you, Bruce Arthur, for compiling "The year in lip," the most hilarious sports quotes of 2012.
- Andrew Han of ClipperBlog estimates that, coming into the 2012-13 season, Vinny Del Negro had served as an NBA head coach for 10,080 hours. Those who subscribe to Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule would note that that's the amount of time it takes for a person to achieve mastery at a skill: "Another factor in parsing out Del Negro’s evolution is what David Thorpe refers to as “royal jelly”; the stuff that turns baby bees into queens. Thorpe suggests that some players would be able to thrive anywhere. But others need the right environment, the proper nurturing to reach their potential. Without it, these players could struggle or even fall out of the league. This could be a case of royal jelly not being just for the players, but for the coach as well. Maybe being paired with the smartest point guard in the league, three of the most coach-ready active players ... is what will enable Del Negro’s continued improvement. Already, this season, the Clippers run cleaner sets out of timeouts. Vinny’s rotations, substitution patterns and timeouts hint at a definable thought-process."
- Darius Soriano of Forum Blue & Gold sees a Lakers team under Mike D'Antoni running sets and working within schemes that would look at home in a Mike Brown playbook.
- Brook Lopez makes strong reads without the ball, and destroyed Cleveland and Charlotte over the weekend. Beckley Mason of the New York Times: "Though Lopez actually does pretty well from the post, he is not a great passer, and the Nets prefer to make him the finisher rather than the creator. Against the Cavaliers, the Nets frequently used Lopez in early pick-and-rolls. Deron Williams is a master of the pocket bounce pass, and a couple of times he found Lopez on the roll where the seven-footer could pull off his odd but effective lunging finishes. But even when the Cavaliers rotated to take away the initial pass, Lopez was still able to establish great position for a post up. It’s an action the San Antonio Spurs have used for a decade to get Tim Duncan to his preferred spot on the left block and one that can be similarly effective for the Nets. Perhaps we will see a steadier stream of Lopez-Williams pick-and-rolls to initiate the Nets offense going forward."
- Gregg Popovich tells the San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald that he still hasn't been informed by the NBA what the guidelines are for resting players in the regular season.
- A most unlikely tandem is named the NBA's Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week.
- Tom Ziller of SB Nation names Jimmer Fredette as his early favorite for Most Improved Player: "Jimmer doesn't even resemble the confused, overwhelmed rookie we saw in Sacramento a year ago. Last season, Fredette was an infrequent scorer, a poor shooter, an iffy passer and an overmatched defender. This season, he's a really frequent scorer, a dope shooter, a decent passer and ... well, an overmatched defender. The calling card to Jimmer's improvement is this: Thanks to improved shooting and more aggression, his points per 36 minutes has risen from 14 to 22. Right now, he sits behind a (mostly) elite list of scorers in scoring frequency: 'Melo, Kobe, KD, LeBron, Harden, Kyrie, Brook Lopez, Chris Copeland (I said mostly) and D-Wade."
- The Score's slideshow of the year's 26 most Outrageous NBA outfits is such fun viewing, it's destined for syndication.
- The Raptors have won seven of eight, and Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic has some New Year's resolutions for the newly resolute Raps.
- As a kid, Kendall Marshall once camped out with his Dad at the mall at 4 a.m. to be the fourth and fifth people in line for a pair of Altitude 13s.
- For $2,000, Vin Baker will be your fourth on the links, and will regale you with stories of life in the NBA. Or, for the same amount, Anthony Mason will hang out at your fantasy basketball draft for a couple of hours or, better yet, your Bar Mitzvah.
- It's hard not to be impressed with the condiment selection at T.J. Ford's house.
July, 22, 2012
By Andrew Lynch, Hardwood Paroxysm
- The Bobcats brought a large chunk of their regular-season roster to Las Vegas Summer League, and it's shown. James Herbert of Hardwood Paroxysm shared his thoughts on the new additions and what they might mean for Kemba Walker. Is Walker primed for a breakout season? As Herbert points out, there was no summer league prior to Walker's rookie season. He and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are making the most of their opportunity this year to develop a rapport. That chemistry and Walker's emergence as a leader will go a long way toward determining how this season goes for Charlotte.
- The word around Kings observers, both writers and fans alike, is how poorly Jimmer Fredette has played this summer. Over at Cowbell Kingdom, James Ham gets to the root of Fredette's problem: "Jimmer Fredette is too nice. He wants to fit in too badly. He doesn’t want to steal the spotlight, he just wants to be one of the guys and by doing so, he has lost the edge that made him great."
- Andrew McNeill recaps Cory Joseph's struggles Friday night, when Joseph turned the ball over 10 times, as well as how summer league as a whole went for the Spurs. Joseph's disappointment in his own play shows he's committed to getting better. That's been a common sentiment among young players who have struggled here in Las Vegas. Overall, the week was a success for both Joseph and the Spurs.
- When the Phoenix Suns signed Goran Dragic and drafted Kendall Marshall, there was talk about pairing the two in the backcourt. Regardless of that possibility, the Suns re-signed Shannon Brown to a two-year, $7 million deal to shore up their depth on the wing. Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns details how that deal fits into Phoenix's long-term cap situation. That story also includes a quote from Grant Hill indicating Hill would have liked to return to Phoenix. He, of course, ended up in Los Angeles, across the hallway in Staples Center from Steve Nash.
- The team that dines together garners gold medals together. Don't let the demonic look on Anthony Davis' face distract you from the real star of this picture -- Chris Paul's shirt. Even Russell Westbrook has to respect that sartorial selection.
- One of the scariest moments of summer league was Portland's Nolan Smith falling to the floor after a hard foul earlier in the week. Smith suffered a concussion and was taken off the court on a stretcher. He should be fine going forward; said Smith, "I’ll just keep playing with the same confidence and just being aggressive. That’s when I’m at my best. This injury isn’t going to slow me down."
- Greg Stiemsma is living the dream for which so many summer league participants are striving. The restricted free agent has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the same team that offered him his first NBA contract way back on April 13, 2010.
- The curious case of the vanishing Terrico White and his re-emergence with the Los Angeles Clippers' squad this summer.
- Even the referees at summer league are looking to capture the memories of their week in Las Vegas.
- For my money, the most fascinating team in action has been the D-League Select team, which vanquished the Phoenix Suns on Friday night and held a 45-35 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves at halftime Saturday evening before eventually losing 86-78. The Select players are playing with the massive chip on their shoulder that one would expect from those who see themselves as just as talented as the franchise-affiliated summer league invitees.
- Quickish releases its list of What's Out for 2011 and What's In for 2012. In the cuddly, telegenic collegiate sharpshooter category, Jimmer Fredette gives way to Creighton's Doug McDermott. In the rookie sensation division, Ricky Rubio takes the seat formerly occupied by Blake Griffin.
- Bethlehem Shoals of GQ on the Mavericks' Christmas Day banner ceremony: "The Mavericks and their fans watched it ascend, bathed in light, a presentation whose religious connotations came almost by reflex. When it came to a rest, it was still glowing a little. Its slow climb had more aura to it than any of the athletes on the floor (LeBron James was hidden away in the locker room), and affirmed both last season--the past--and the community around it--that arena, that day."
- Does LeBron James' new free throw delivery violate the NBA rulebook? Centers' Little Helper explains: "He's got a relaxed, fluid and free arm motion, which is working well with his somewhat more open stance. But he's also following his shot, stepping over the line with his right foot before the ball reaches the basket. It's like he's daring the refs to whistle him for this rather obvious violation of the rules."
- Marc Stein's NBA Power Rankings -- five years ago this week.
- Zach Harper, writing for a Wolf Among Wolves and very apprehensive about the Heat's arrival into the Target Center on Friday: "According to Synergy Sports, of the 60 transition plays Miami has had, 22 of them have come off of rebounds, 22 of them have come off of turnovers, 10 of them have come off of blocked shots and six of them have come off of made baskets. Any slip up you make as a team in terms of getting back defensively, the Heat will take advantage of it."
- Ty Lawson: Brutally efficient or efficiently brutal? Danny Chau of Hardwood Paroxysm: "Few can match his burst of speed after a hesitation dribble, and even fewer can match his top end speed racing down the floor in transition. Defenders are forced to give him space to account for his quick penetrating ability, which unfortunately means giving him space usually reserved only for Rajon Rondo." The difference between Rondo and Lawson is that the latter has a career 3-point shooting percentage of 40.6 percent.
- Bullets Forever discusses the tricky task of distributing minutes when a team is rebuilding.
- For 99 cents, you can have an app on your phone of a bobble-headed Allen Iverson in a Grizzlies Jersey.
- Brandon Knight has looked awfully good during his 45 minutes of NBA basketball. Should he be the starter in Detroit?
- Nick Gibson of Sheridan Hoops write that the Bulls' first-round draft pick, Nikola Mirotic, is finding his stride in Europe.
- The ultimate Jimmy Rodgers-ism during his stint as the Timberwolves head coach 20 years ago: "We ran into a buzzsaw tonight."
- James Harden: A man of simple needs.
- If you're not reading Tom Haberstroh's explorations into the nuances of the pro game, you're missing out. Among Haberstroh's conclusions at Hardwood Paroxysm today: "[T]he ability to finish at the rim (as measured by at rim FG percentage) is more strongly linked year-to-year than 3-point field goal percentage." Charts & Graphs enthusiasts will find plenty of eye candy.
- Kelly Dwyer on the unselfish Utah Jazz: "31 assists on the road -- on the road! -- for Utah on 43 field goals. I point out the assist-to-field goal bits not to tell you that it's an indicative of brilliant play or that having nearly an assist per made basket is an ideal thing. Sometimes it isn't. But it does tell you, if you couldn't watch the game, of just how the action went. Pass, score. Quick pass, quick score. The Jazz are trouble, NBA."
- The Pistons' Jason Maxiell tells the Detroit News that NBA players are starting to scrimp and save in preparation for a potential lockout.
- Knickerblogger's Mike Kurylo revisits three questions facing the Knicks last fall: "A. Could Gallo survive playing a big dosage of minutes? B. Could Toney Douglas become an NBA caliber rotation player? C. Could the Knicks find inexpensive talent for next year? From the results of the last 3 weeks, the answer seems to be yes on all accounts."
- Informative breakdown by John Schuhmann of offensive efficiency quarter-by-quarter. One key finding: "[C]heck out the Boston Celtics, the most inconsistent team in the league from quarter to quarter." At Celtics Hub, Zach Lowe delves into the implications of the Celtics' second-half struggles.
- Who in the NCAA Tournament is impressing Kevin Durant? "A lot of players have caught my eye, too, aside from the obvious guys like John Wall, Evan Turner and DeMarcus Cousins. There’s Jimmer Fredette from BYU, he had a great tournament. Omar Samhan from St. Mary’s, he’s having a great tournament. Jordan Crawford played really well for Xavier. There’s a lot of guys. Jacob Pullen is playing very well. It’s a great group of guys and it’s going to be fun to see what they can do for their teams this weekend."
- A big night for Ron Artest in San Antonio, as ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi explains.
- Any way you slice it, the Heat will have their hands full in a first-round postseason matchup. Surya Fernandez of Hot Hot Hoops breaks down Miami's possible opponents.
- A comprehensive catalog of Denver's ugly defensive lapses last night in Boston.
- A female friend of mine -- a Wizards' full season-ticket holder -- emails her thoughts on Sarah Tolcser's post on NBA dancers: "Like Tolcser, I, too, have filled out those surveys. While they ask if you'd like to see 'more,' 'somewhat more,' 'about the same,' 'less,' or 'a lot less' of the ads/promotions/hip-hop, etc., they NEVER ask about how you're liking seeing the 'girls' -- or they're asking in a way that doesn't allow you to respond 'NEVER AGAIN.' I often bring male friends or dates to the game; I always feel uncomfortable when the scantily clad dancers take the court. Every woman in that arena is demeaned when those young women come out wearing next to nothing. The dancers may 'choose' to put themselves in that position (and I'd argue against that point if I had more time), but the women in the audience certainly don't."
- For many in Dallas, Drew Gooden is a forgotten man. Rob Mahoney of Two Man Game takes a look at the vagabond's contributions during his short stint in Dallas: "Gooden was only a Maverick for about half a season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate what he did for the Mavs. As with Howard, I think there’s a natural inclination with Gooden to point out what he can’t do without proper respect for what he can."
- Dog bites man in Cleveland last night.
- Jon Brockman is paying far too much for his oatmeal.
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