– All for the Love of the Triangle (from Harvey Araton, New York Times):
” Phil Jackson Is Out to Prove That His Signature Offense Still Fits”
– Kyle Korver vs. perfection (from Jeff Zillgitt, USA Today):
” Where does a basketball player find the perfect shot? In a gym? A high-tech sports science and medical lab? On a paddleboard on the ocean? In marriage? Mind? Body? In a system that accentuates three-point shooting?
For Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver, the best three-pointer shooter in the NBA, it is all of those places and more.”
– Breaking down the play of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ big man rotation during 10 game win streak (from David Zavac, fearthesword.com):
– ZACH RANDOLPH: THE BEAST HAS COME TO PASS (from Rogelio Lorenzo, 3sob.com):
” How good has Zach Randolph been since he came back from his injury? Let’s have a look at his statistics before and after his forced absence. Since his minutes have gone up significantly after his return (from 31:36 pre-injury to 34:29 post-injury), we will use per 36 figures so the comparison is valid:
– Before the injury: 18,35 PP36, 13,01 RP36, 1,40 AP36
– After the injury: 20,15 PP36, 14,05 RP36, 2,73 AP36
How good are these numbers? For someone who’s almost 34 years old, absolutely incredible.
Notice that while his points and rebounds increased only a bit (per 36) after the injury his assists doubled. The figure itself is not shocking, since he dished 2.7 assists per 36 last season (no small feat for someone that was once deservedly labeled a black hole), but the pattern is remarkable.
It’s well known that Dave Joerger tried to implement a new offense at the beginning of last season, but his plans were derailed by a sluggish start and Marc Gasol’s near catastrophic injury. As a last resort to salvage the season, Joerger fell back on the well known and trusted Hollins offense: slow pace and ball to the paint at the expense of everything else. It was in this well known context that ZBo’s assist numbers swelled.
This season, however, Joerger went full steam ahead with a new offense that stressed ball movement and tried to take advantage of the available perimeter options, without going away from the team’s interior power. During this process Zach’s assists numbers went significantly down. This was due partly to reduced touches as Marc gained prominence in the offensive schemes. But there was another aspect to it: Zach was not comfortable enough to dish the ball out when the opposing teams collapsed on him in the paint, in part because the offense didn’t provide easy set outlets for ZBo.
(The) subtle but important change in the way the Grizzlies position themselves in offense when Zach Randolph goes to work in the paint (no doubt facilitated by the addition of Jeff Green) is surely a big reason for Zach’s renewed eagerness to give the ball back. The team has learned how to feed the beast in a way that helps the beast to feed the team back.”
Read and view it here: http://www.3sob.com/2015/20759/20759/
– Danny Ferry (from David Aldridge, NBA.com)
– Memphis Grizzlies (from David Aldridge, NBA.com);
Read about Ferry and about the Grizzlies and more from Aldridge here: http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/david_aldridge/02/02/morning-tip-atlanta-hawks-keep-surging-while-danny-ferry-waits-on-sideline-memphis-grizzlies-rise-ranks-behind-marc-gasol-qa-with-toronto-raptors-kyle-lowry/index.html
– All-Star break will be a working vacation for Sixers’ Brett Brown (from Boob Cooney, philly.com):
– Don’t Sleep on the Clippers! (from Zach Lowe, Grantland.com):
– Cavs Update: KLove/LBJ (from Chris Haynes, cleveland.com):
” For the first time in Love’s career, he is impacting the game in other ways besides scoring and rebounding. His defense has improved dramatically, specifically his defensive awareness. He seems to be in the right spots on rotations.
Love is doing the dirty work that’s not showing up on the stat-sheet. His head and heart are in the right place. He’s remaining patient with the firm belief that he’ll eventually find his niche within the offense.
“I think it will continue to evolve, but if we continue to win and I’m not necessarily being asked to score the ball or shoot a volume of shots, that’s fine by me,” Love said. “I’m going to continue to keep working and getting extra shots up, getting in the weight room so if my number is called and there’s some sort of continuity and flow, that I’ll be able to be assertive and be as efficient as I can.”
There’s no drama to see over here. Keep it moving.
“At the end of the day, if you want to win, you sacrifice whatever you need to do to help the team win,” James said. “That’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter about shot attempts, it doesn’t matter about how many touches you get. If you want to win, then you’ll do that.
“I’ll go 0-for-0 from the field to win. I’ll get rebounds, I’ll get assists, I’ll take charges, I’ll get steals. I don’t need to shoot the ball at all because I’m about winning and that’s all that matters.”
– Randy Wittman: ‘We don’t play hard anymore. I’ll take the blame for that’ (from J. Michael, CSNWashington):
” Despite all the veteran leadership on the Wizards’ roster, which was constructed to put a more mature product on the floor, they’ve fallen back into somewhat juvenile habits. It didn’t take much to get Wizards coach Randy Wittman going as his voice raised an octave with each passing thought as he assessed Monday’s 92-88 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
His star players, John Wall and Bradley Beal, agreed. So did everyone else. They’ve lost three in a row to tie their longest losing streak of the season and five of their last seven games. They’ve also lost three in a row at Verizon Center.
“The key to tonight was that we don’t play hard anymore. That falls on me. I’ll take that,” Wittman said after his team allowed 54.8% shooting in the first half and went without a point for the first six minutes of the third quarter. “Until we all get back on the same page and come out and play hard for 48 minutes and look at ourselves in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do more?’ rather than point our finger (and say) ‘It’s not me.’ … I’ll take the blame for that, of allowing us to get there.””
– The night the Hawks’ streak died (from Paul Flannery, SBNation):
” Playing a superb game on both ends of the floor, the New Orleans Pelicans ended Atlanta’s 19-game winning streak.”
– The Hawks’ Unlikely Magical Season (from Michael Lee, Washington Post):
– Gary Neal and Lance Stephenson Trying to Make It Work (from Frank Berndt, atthehive.com):
” When Kemba Walker went down, the Hornets found themselves with just one true point guard: Brian Roberts. Gary Neal and Lance Stephenson have taken over backup duties and the results have been mixed.”
– Bucks aiming high and succeeding with defense, depth (from James Herbert, CBS Sports):
” Giannis Antetokounmpo extended his outrageous arms to the ceiling. It might have been intimidating if he wasn’t smiling. The Milwaukee Bucks forward was describing how his team shuts others down.
“It’s hard for the opposing team to execute because we are so long, everybody on our team is so long,” Antetokounmpo said. “We’ve just got to raise our hands up. Grg [Tim Grgurich] is always getting on us: ‘High hands, high hands!’””
Read it here: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25026563
QOTD (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer):
“Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is really important to (the Hornets’) bottom line: The unintended downside of fantasy leagues is fans thinking players’ value can always be quantified by an aggregate of their statistics.
MKG trivializes statistics. He brings an energy, a resolve, to this team that is important because it rubs off on others. You can debate forever whether he should have been the No. 2 overall pick, but that’s old news. He’s a keeper because – and this is rare – he makes want-to a skill.”
Additional Player Updates:
– Tyler Johnson: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article8970602.html
– Matthew Dellavedova: http://kingjamesgospel.com/2015/02/03/matthew-dellavedova-back-best/ and from Jason Lloyd, Ohio.com:
” (Last night) Dellavedova played the entire fourth quarter. Good thing, too. He scored 10 points in the fourth and went 3-for-4 on 3-pointers, including two in the final three minutes. His 3-pointer with 2:35 left was one of the biggest shots of the night and extended the Cavs’ lead to 91-83.
Don’t look now, but Delly is shooting the highest percentage on 3s of any Cavs player (42.4 percent). His assist-to-turnover ratio is better than 3 to 1. And he still has the trust of his head coach, who acted surprised to hear fans are tired of seeing Dellavedova.
“That kid deserves nothing but love and support,” Blatt said before explaining what he sees in him that he likes so much. “Mental toughness, defensive capability, hustle, makes open shots at big moments.”
Delly’s primary thing is to come in and play as hard as he can, defend at a high level, get us into our offense and make the right plays,” LeBron James said. “Everything we get from him is extra.”