TrueHoop: Sean May
- Minnesota president of basketball operations David Kahn emphatically vowed that his next head coach will embody "uptempo DNA." Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak notes that last season's Timberwolves squad played at one of the fastest clips in recent NBA history. The problem isn't pace, it's a lack of precision required to translate that speed into success: "Michael Beasley’s speeding arrest ... is a tidy metaphor for the way the Timberwolves played last year: A young person with a history of making bad decisions goes too fast and gets punished in embarrassing, if not monetarily consequential, fashion." In related news, Marc Stein reports that Don Nelson -- he of the uptempo DNA -- has interest in the Wolves.
- J.M. Poulard of WarriorsWorld on what could've been had Chris Webber remained in Oakland for the duration.
- For ACC basketball fans, N.C. State's Julius Hodge was a dazzling sideshow. The Pack never resided at the top of the conference, but Hodge's intensity was infectious. His epic battles with Chris Paul were electrifying and his game-winner against UConn in the 2005 NCAA tourney was a sequence for the ages (call by Gus Johnson). Hodge has never had more than a cup of coffee in the NBA and has spent the past few seasons playing pro ball in Australia. But this week, he's going mano-a-mano with John Wall in the North Carolina Pro-Am Summer League -- and holding his own.
- For those who scratched their head when the Lakers drafted Sudanese prospect Ater Majok in last month's draft, here's some video via Inside Hoops of Majok playing streetball in New York's famed Rucker Park.
- Talk to enough NBA execs and you'll hear Kelvin Sampson mentioned as a natural candidate for a head coaching gig. In the meantime, he'll join Kevin McHale's staff in Houston, along with J.B. Bickerstaff.
- How a one-word answer from an NBA executive induced a threat of a seven-figure fine.
- NBA teams in search of a free agent point guard are going to find that the shelf is pretty bare.
- Sactown Royalty does a nice survey of small forwards on the market. It's a measurably better field than the point guards, but a menu that's still lacking elite impact players.
- Part Three of the Byran Colangelo report card from Raptors Republic.
- After the Pistons declined to extend a qualifying offer to DaJuan Summers, the young forward signed with Siena in Italy. One of his first stops in his new home? The World War II Memorial.
- The American Century Celebrity Gold Tournament tweets that Michael Jordan will not be allowed to play alongside any active NBA players. (Hat tip: Greg Wiley)
- If you see Sean May driving without a grande coffee in the cup holder, it might be best to pull over.
- Al-Farouq Aminu via Twitter: "I don't need a shirt that says making it rain .... I need one that says I pay bills lol"
- Remember the possession that ensued following Ray Allen's missed 3-pointer from the left corner with the Celtics trailing by four and just under a minute left remaining in the game? Steve Weinman of D-League Digest: "One one-thousand. Two one-thousand. Three one-thousand. Four one-thousand. Five one-thousand. In the time it takes you to read that last line, Fisher, the oldest man on the court, jogs the ball out past halfcourt, realizes only Kevin Garnett is even close to getting back defensively and that no one is under the rim, accelerates into a full sprint, beats everyone to the basket, lays the ball in with his left hand, absorbs purposeless contact from at least one (Glen Davis) of three late-arriving Celtics and draws a foul … There is no excuse for not getting back down the floor on and playing balls-to-the-wall defense for that possession. If the Lakers score, fine. A bunch of their players are really terrific offensive players. But make them earn the basket and the win there."
- Slate's Alan Siegel is the latest to examine Kobe Bryant's clutch stats.
- Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie caught an early turning point in the Lakers' favorite that blunted the Celtics' jackrabbit start: "After Boston leapt out to a 6-0 lead, and after a couple of nasty offensive possessions for the Lakers, Bryant made a point to bring up the ball himself, and made a hand signal in the backcourt for the Lakers to run a sideline triangle set. Suddenly, the Lakers were spaced properly, and the ball was moving. Andrew Bynum missed the resulting short shot, but with the C's suddenly having to cover larger areas of ground, Ron Artest was able to sneak in and grab an offensive rebound and put it in for two. Storm weathered, run over, Lakers back."
- Sebastian Pruiti takes a look at what gummed up Boston's offense through long stretches of the second half.
- More big overnight ratings for this year's Finals.
- A must-read from Tom Haberstroh, as he takes a final tally of the Isiah Thomas era in New York: "In all, Isiah Thomas effectively lit $50.6 million on fire by paying Jerome Williams, Maurice Taylor, Dan Dickau and Stephon Marbury for seasons in which they did not play for the Knicks. While it's true that the Knicks may have been better off without them, $50 million is expensive kindling. By comparison, the Oklahoma City Thunder leveraged a similar sum of money into a playoff appearance and a near-dethroning of the defending champion Lakers this postseason."
- What kind of offense will new Hornets head coach Monty Williams install in New Orleans? In interviews, Williams pledges a more up-tempo offense, but then offers a series of disclaimers. Ryan Schwan of Hornets247: "[Williams] wants Paul and Collison be creative in the open court, but then immediately says the team needs to add structure to create better spacing and take advantage of the double teams Paul and West command. These aren't the words of a guy who just wants to run, run, run." This is an important distinction. At first blush, why wouldn't a team with Chris Paul manning the offense not want to get out and run as much as possible? Transition offense is a useful tool to have in the shed but, as Schwan points out, few teams have both a point guard and a big man who both demand double-teams, and that's a dynamic that can be best maximized in the half court.
- Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball takes a smart, thorough look at J.J. Redick's 2009-10 body of work on both ends of the floor.
- Os Davis of Ball in Europe gives you 10 reasons to watch the ACB (Spanish League) Finals between Regal FC Barcelona and Caja Laboral. Ricky Rubio and Tiago Splitter make the list.
- A video chronicle of Kevin Durant's tour of China.
- Did you happen to catch a glimpse of Stephen Strasburg's major league debut before the Celtics-Lakers Game 3? Strasburg's knee-buckling, 12-inch breaking ball was mesmerizing -- for fans, the opposition, his catcher and the home plate umpire. Strasburg's performance got me thinking ... Who's his NBA comp? Post your suggestion in the comments below! Count Greg Monroe among Strasburg's fans.
- The Kings' Jason Thompson will dabble in Bikram Yoga today. And Sean May has a case of the ... Wednesdays?
Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
- As of right now, the small-market Jazz are carrying at least $94 million (maybe more) in salaries and potential luxury tax payments into next season. Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune asks, "Nobody from the organization has portrayed it as such, but doesn't spending $28 million more this season than last season constitute a crisis?"
- Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Sportando.net, a Spanish site, is reporting that Cavs' first-rounder Christian Eyenga has signed a deal to play for Ricky Rubio's (once and former?) team, DKV Joventut.
- Blazers Edge tackles fatalism and the sports fan when an e-mailer asks, "If you knew the Blazers weren't going to win a championship in the next ten years would you stop watching or like them less?" Blazers Edge then answers Nate McMillan's question about whether former players make better coaches.
- Miami re-signed center Jamaal Magloire on Wednesday. Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel on the Heat's current 13-man roster: "The rotation order at power forward will be decided during camp. But for such a center-centric roster, it sure seems a bit limited at small forward and point guard."
- Zach Harper tells you why you're wrong about Greg Oden: "Greg Oden is a beast of a man, ready to unleash hell on the rest of the NBA. He's a rebounding vacuum. He's a shot-blocking, missile defense system that the Pentagon would be envious of ... He's a decent enough free throw shooter and he moves as smartly without the ball as any young center in the NBA. Greg Oden is not only a good player; he's a sure-fire perennial All-Star who will help his team win a couple of titles. He's a Defensive Player of the Year a couple times over."
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer to Bobcat fans: "Sean May never gave up on you. You gave up on him. I have this contrarian hunch his second act might make you wish you'd been more patient."
- Brian Robb of Celtics Hub explores whether Stephon Marbury is worth bringing back to the Celtics.
- Bust-a-Bucket's diagram of NBA off-season moves is a thing of beauty. If the diagram were a route map, the Pistons would be Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest hub in the world.
- At Dime, Ben York makes a strong case for the WNBA.
- Go ahead and add Derek Fisher to the pro-Odom lobby in Los Angeles.
- I could watch old NBA on CBS intros from the 1980s with Brent Musburger all day. Just one question: Did the network really join Game 1 of the 1983 Finals already in progress?
Doctor Dribbles at We Rite Goode (Right now, you're thinking there might be some credibility issues with this, right? Don't worry. This is good stuff.) is here to remind you that as scary as microfracture surgery is now, ACL surgery used to be just as bad. He has charts and numbers and everything to back up the claim.
If ACL is any guide, soon it'll be time to stop being so crazy afraid of microfracture. Doctor Dribbles writes:
And why has ACL reconstruction stopped setting off alarms? Because the more procedures they did, the docs gained experience and got better. (It's a proven medical fact.) The rehab programs grew more comprehensive and targeted. Not to mention, understanding spread that an injured player could make it back. (Another reason why, performance aside, Bernard King was a trailblazer.) ...
Back in the 1990s, fans and players were starting to rationalize and understand ACL reconstructions after 7-8 players returned; as we've surpassed that point with microfracture, it's time to do away with fears of it as a "death sentence." More importantly, for a procedure that's very much in progress (one recent major breakthrough was made because an athlete was too lazy to go to rehab--yet recovered faster and better), the first decade's outcomes have to be encouraging, as clinicians will only get better. Oden going under the knife isn't Penny in 1997 or 2001, nor even Allan Houston in 2004. And by the time that undetermined big man in 2012 needs microfracture--who knows how far along microfracture surgery will be ... or really, why we'll even bother with it, when we have stem cells.
Certainly worth reading the whole post -- the good doctor goes into a bunch of important caveats.
Us Portland fans have been through it. Everyone loves Greg Oden all summer. They dance on the Rose Garden floor, literally, when the pick is announced. Then he gets hurt -- an unforeseeable event -- and suddenly a big chunk of Blazer fans are traveling back in time, and revisiting that same decision to draft Oden, that they loved back in June.
In Charlotte, they're doing the same thing with Sean May, and the blog Queen City Hoops nails it:
There are two schools of thought into time travel (at least when it comes to movies). First is the romanticized version of time travel, as depicted in movies like "Back 2 the Future" -- travelers have the ability to change the past, which ultimately changes everything else from there on. Marty goes back to his parents' high school prom, spills crap on the bully, and his dad winds up a successful science fiction writer.
The other version of time travel is not as pleasant. The other depiction shows characters as being able to go back in time and be part of the past, but this had already happened, so the present/future does not change. In "12 Monkeys," James Cole goes back in time, realizes who spreads the virus that will ultimately wipe out most of the human race, and dies unable to do anything about it.
Being a sports fan is more like being James Cole. As fans, we look at moves made in the past and see ways to correct them or better them. As Bobcats fans, that is what we are dealing with right now. Sean May's injury has created a new "virus" that we feel the need to go back and stop ... Instead, what matters is to take what lessons we can from the past and apply them going forward.
Pretty awesome video follow up.