TrueHoop: Shelden Williams
- Pop Quiz: Who is the NBA's leader in corner-3 accuracy (minimum of 30 attempts)? (A) Paul George (B) Ray Allen (C) Wes Matthews (D) Shane Battier (E) Klay Thompson. You'll find the correct answer is at the bottom of the post.
- Dwight Howard says there are moments when he can't feel his feet.
- Kevin Draper of The Diss discusses how Blake Griffin has used the KIA campaign as an effective platform for elevating his public persona with a light, self-deprecating touch.
- Jordan Heimer of ClipperBlog and The Clippers Podcast on Blake Griffin, Season Three: "After routinely being described last year as a WWE heel, Griffin has hugely reduced his expressive commentary, limiting his smirks, stare downs and incredulous hand gestures. He seems more content to let his game speak for him; even when calls don’t go his way, it no longer seems to distract him the way it did in the past. Tonight, after Shannon Brown sent him sprawling into the baseline photographers on the fast break, Blake skipped the scowling, untangled himself quickly and sank both free-throws."
- Noam Schiller of Magic Basketball on Tracy McGrady's historic 2002-03 season: "The man was the beginning, middle and end of everything the Magic did. The raw numbers (32.3 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, and 5.5 assists per game) and the advanced stats (a PER of 30.3, one of just 8 players to cross the 30 threshold, and a True Shooting percentage of 56.4 percent) are mind-blowing even without the YouTube archives. It had to be watched to be believed. He was a unique combination of other-worldly athleticism and every single skill the basketball court offers."
- The Nets' offense reside in the top half of the league, but they're not maximizing their potential. Deron Williams says the absence of a coherent system like the one he ran in Utah is a factor. Rob Mahoney of The Point Forward: "Some initial success (and an early run to an 11-4 record) helped disguise the stagnation of Avery Johnson’s offense, but so far Brooklyn has lived and died by the limits of isolation basketball. Whether enabling center Brook Lopez in the post or guard Joe Johnson on the wing, the Nets’ sets have been rudimentary and clear in their intention: Players like Williams get the ball to a specific place with few programmed alternatives, and a shot attempt is manufactured from that player leveraging some perceived advantage in a one-on-one matchup. That approach has helped Lopez post a career high in field-goal percentage and points per minute, but also worn on the patience of a point guard accustomed to the continuity in movement of the flex offense. But couched in Williams’ quote-slinging is another complicating factor: The max-contract point guard tabbed to usher in a new era of Nets basketball is having essentially the worst season of his eight-year career."
- Populating a roster with good guys, as the Wizards did this past offseason, doesn't guarantee harmony. Here's what Nene told NBA.com's David Aldridge: "When you play with confidence, and you're together, it's different ... You feel, you know your teammates know you, and you give your best. But right here, right now, it's the opposite. Total opposite ... Because people have no respect for the game ... They think this opportunity's nothing right now. That's the problem with the young guys. They don't take advantage of being in the NBA, the best basketball in the world. A lot of young guys want to be in their position. But right here, I don't think they realize that."
- Avery Bradley is close to returning for the Celtics. Romy Nehme of 2 Girls, 1 Ball writes a paean to Bradley at Celtics Hub: "As Bradley’s return draws near(er), it’s funny to think about how the size of his body of work and impact seem somewhat incongruous; it also bears reminding fans that his surge from irrelevancy wasn’t some time lapse chronicling a player’s evolution over a year. It unfolded in real time, in little time, and documented a progression no one saw coming. At least I didn’t. It transformed Bradley from a specialist into someone who was now making roaming defenders pay with baseline cuts, fulfilling Rondo’s longings for an up-tempo companion and nailing corner 3s like he was #20."
- Jason Gallagher of BallerBall polled NBA players over Twitter about their favorite Christmas movies. The results, with a little bit of vacillation from Corey Maggette.
- On the agenda for several NBA players on Christmas Eve? Go-Go inspired D.C. rapper Wale's newly released mixtape, "Folarin."
- If you don't have proper stemware this holiday season, you can always do what Shelden Williams does in a pinch -- drink your vino from an old spaghetti sauce jar.
In return, the Knicks sent forward Wilson Chandler, guard Raymond Felton, forward Danilo Gallinari and center Timofey Mozgov to Denver. The Nuggets will also get the Knicks' 2014 1st-round pick, the Warriors' 2012 and 2013 2nd-round picks and $3 million cash.
ESPN's Chris Broussard reports the Knicks will also receive Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves and send center Eddy Curry and forward Anthony Randolph to Minnesota. The 12-player trade (not including draft picks) is tied for the second-largest trade in NBA history.
Chandler, Felton, Gallinari and Mozgov combined for 53.4 points per game this season (50.3 percent of total team scoring). The Knicks acquired a combined 50.9 points per game in the five players that they received from the Nuggets, 47.3 percent of the points that Denver had scored this season.
The Knicks gave up an awful lot to bring Anthony to town, especially when it comes to outside shooting. New York ranked among the league's best in spot-up shooting metrics, including 25.3 points per game. Chandler, Felton, Gallinari and Mozgov contributed 13.1 of those points.
In the last five minutes of games in which the score is within five points, Raymond Felton (32.4), Danilo Gallinari (30.8), and Wilson Chandler (24.0) have the three lowest FG percentages among Knick players who have attempted a shot.
Conversely, Billups and Anthony have shot a combined 43.6 percent in those situations, slightly above the league average of 41.8 percent.
When you are a scorer, you need to find different ways to provide your team with points. For Carmelo Anthony, the leak out play has been a key cog in his arsenal. He is the only NBA player who has had more than 100 leak out plays during the past five seasons (133).
From a Goodwin Sports Management press release:
Candace Parker gave birth to a baby girl today at 11:29am. It is the first child for the WNBA MVP/ROY and husband Shelden Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The baby girl weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 20 inches in length.
"Shelden and I are thrilled," said Parker. "This is such a life changing moment for us, we feel blessed to have a healthy and beautiful baby girl."
Parker plans to rejoin the Los Angeles Sparks once she has received clearance from her physician.
The WNBA regular season runs from June 6 to September 13.
I just looked up several articles about how quickly after childbirth moms can expect to return to exercise. Many suggest that for women who exercise throughout pregnancy, exercise of some kind can be safely resumed within a week or two -- although at reduced levels of exertion.
I'm sure there will be pressure on Parker -- the biggest star the WNBA has had in a long time -- to return as fast as possible, hopefully she'll have the luxury of playing again only when she feels it's right.
The timing might not be perfect for Parker, but it's A-OK for Shelden Williams. My calendar says summer is the perfect time for him to get really good at changing diapers.