TrueHoop: Otis Smith
Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
- What's the secret to the Spurs' success -- apart from good lottery fortune? Timothy Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell says it's the appreciation of human limitations.
- With Linas Kleiza headed over to Greece, Jeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company nominates Wally Szczerbiak and Steve Novak as logical successors at the limited-but-proficient-long-range-threat position for the Nuggets.
- Heat stalwart Udonis Haslem is at peace as he enters the final year of his contract with Miami.
- Royce Young of Daily Thunder is one demanding blogger. In addition to wanting Kevin Durant to aid and abet a child in peril, Royce would like to see the Thunder mascot get a haircut, Byron Mullens revert to B.J., the team in black kicks for the entire season, and Desmond Mason patrolling the sideline as an assistant.
- Chris Bosh: Not exactly a force on the block. A recurring theme in conversations at Summer League about the state of the NBA game was the unwillingness of big men -- even elite big men -- to develop their post games. Execs didn't lament this as a byproduct of superstar entitlement or laziness, but rather a cyclical phenomenon in the evolution of the game.
- O.J. Mayo is once again in the market for a kitchen cabinet of advisors.
- Kurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold, for one, is happy for Kurt Rambis. He points out that the line of succession in Los Angeles was far too murky for a quality coaching talent like Rambis to clockwatch: "Rambis could not sit around waiting for Jackson to retire and hoping that Buss decides to go with him instead of another big name from the outside. We may have thought Rambis the logical successor, but could he really bank on that?"
- Is Nick Anderson and his career PER of 15.8 worthy of having his No. 25 jersey hanging from the O-rena rafters?
- The Hedo Turkoglu backlash continues, with Magic GM Otis Smith allegedly fanning the flames.
- A data-driven look at why the Sacramento Kings will be better next season.
- A bunch of familiar names are bringing their A Games in the Eurobasket qualifying tourney.
- The world's first Twitter Opera [Hat tip: Cowen]
- Provided the alleged victim is telling the truth and not an extortionist, you don't want to stand between Zach Randolph and his pizza.
As traumatic as the first trade of a young player's career is said to be, Ryan Anderson appears to be grieving about as much as a lottery winner after being sent to Orlando from New Jersey as part of the draft-day deal involving Vince Carter.
Ryan Anderson: "He's one of those guys ... It leaves his hands and you say, 'It's in." (Fernando Medina/NBA via Getty Images)
out of here....'
"That's definitely not what it was. I talked to the whole staff in New Jersey. It was a hard decision for them to make, but if I could go with anybody, I'm glad I came with Vince.”
It took just five summer games for Anderson to make Orlando look like his personal Magic Kingdom. He finished with 33 points -- one shy of Travis Diener's league-record -- and 14 rebounds Tuesday against
He followed with five 3-pointers and 26 points against Utah. At times, Anderson was the second-best player in Orlando after Russell Westbrook and showed just how much he could thrive playing behind
Rashard Lewis with the Magic.
"How many guys in the league, when the ball leaves their hands, do you feel like, 'It's in'?” Jazz assistant Scott Layden asked. "All of a sudden the basket looks like a hula hoop.
"He's one of those guys, really. It leaves his hands and you say, 'It's in,' right? He's that way. And what a team to play for. Wow. Think about that. You get looks on Orlando.”
Anderson had one sequence Thursday during the second quarter against Utah in which he hit a 3-pointer, put the ball on the floor against Goran Suton -- spinning back for a layup -- and then buried another 3-pointer off a pick-and-pop.
Anderson averaged 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds as a rookie in New Jersey, but played in only 66 games. The 21-year-old spoke about the importance of confidence, which he figures will be easier to maintain
with a defined role off the bench in Orlando.
"Rashard didn't really get too much of a break, so I'm there to relieve him,” Anderson said. "You can play the same game with Rashard on and off the court.”
Not even two weeks after the trade, Anderson crossed paths all week in Orlando with the Nets' Lawrence Frank, Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe, in town to watch their own summer-league team. Anderson said there was no awkwardness in the least.
"I think it's kind of nice,” Anderson said. "I have that team family and now I have a brand-new family.”
The vibe around the Magic couldn't have felt better this week. Dwight Howard was a regular -- even for Friday's 11 a.m. getaway game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City -- while Vince Carter stopped in a handful of times.
Even after signing an offer sheet with Dallas, Marcin Gortat watched games every day, evidence perhaps of how tough it is to leave Orlando right now ... or, in Anderson's case, how easy it is to arrive.
"It's a good fit for us because he fits into our style of play,” Magic general manager Otis Smith said. "He's another tall forward that can shoot and you can't have enough of them.”
Having traded up from the Nets to the Magic, from a 34-win lottery team to one that reached the Finals, from winter in the Meadowlands to year-round fun in the sun, Anderson clearly is enjoying the view from the penthouse.
"I think I've always been an underdog guy my whole career,” Anderson said. "I'm finally in a spot where a team really wants me and needs me. Last year in New Jersey, I'm a rookie, so they don't know what to expect of me, really. But here they do, and it's exciting. This is a winning team. I'm really excited to be part of it.”