Points in the Paint

» May 25, 2009 6:58 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • The Cavs-Magic series is heating up, as reported by Tim Povtak of FanHouse:  “Johnson got called for a Flagrant I foul on his drive to the basket when he nailed Williams in the face with an elbow, opening a bloody, four-stitch cut on his face. Williams also was called for a personal foul. ‘Duck next time,’ essentially was Johnson’s message to Williams. There was no apology, no sense of remorse. ‘Elbows are part of the game. Good and bad,’ Johnson said Monday at the Magic’s practice facility. ‘Sometimes they turn out in a bad manner, but elbows are part of the game, as in hockey, as in other sports.’ Williams, meanwhile, said there would be no retaliatory play when the series resumes Tuesday. The Magic lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1, after Sunday’s victory. Williams also predicted – actually guaranteed – Monday that the Cavs still will win the series. ‘They [Magic] are one of the four best teams still in the playoffs,’ Williams said. ‘We are the best team.”
  • Woody Wommack of Orlando Magic Daily:  “Brown has shortened his bench during the series, which is something that most coaches do as the playoffs wear on. But valuable regular season role players like Wally Szczerbiak and Daniel Gibson have barely seen the floor. Both are regarded for their ability to knock down outside shots, and with Williams and Delonte West combining to shoot 11-for-38 (28 percent) so far in the series, don’t Szczerbiak and Gibson deserve more than a combined total of 20 minutes through three games? This is where a lack of adversity comes into play. Inside the Cavs locker room a few of the team’s role players could be heard openly opining about the team’s struggles during the series, and their lack of time on the floor. That’s not something you see from a team that believes in itself and its coaching staff.”
  • Sam Smith of Bulls.com made waves in the blogosphere last month when he suggested LeBron James gets more preferential treatment than Michael Jordan did. Smith has a hard time believing James has committed only 1.6 fouls per game in the playoffs:  “Dwight Howard, who fouled out of Game 2 after an obvious missed foul call for James, who shot a stunning 24 free throws in Game 3, was asked after Sunday about the league and ESPN featuring Kobe and LeBron and said all they could do was try to win the game. Yes, Howard fouled out for the third time in the playoffs and has been in foul trouble virtually all series against the Cavs. James, who was voted first team all-defense and was runner up to Howard in defensive player of the year, again is being called for the fewest fouls of any of the top players in the playoffs. James, who is averaging almost 14 free throws per game in the playoffs and only just started to defend Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu after hiding early in the series on Rafer Alston, is averaging 1.6 fouls per game in the playoffs and never has been in foul trouble with a three fouls the most he’s been called for in any game.”
  • Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register:  “In case you don’t grasp the subtleties of zone-based NBA defense, both Houston and Denver have more than a little Boston in them with the way they overcommit troops toward someone such as Bryant. Denver coach George Karl actually prepared for this series by studying what Boston did to hold Bryant to 40.5 percent in the NBA Finals after he shot 49.1 in the three previous playoff rounds. Bryant can tell the Nuggets are being physical and crowding him, mimicking the way Boston defended him. Yet against Denver he’s shooting 48.6 percent from the field and averaging 37.7 points, 4.0 assists and 1.3 turnovers. It is not just randomly happening. ‘I had all summer to work on that,’ Bryant said of beating Boston’s style of defense.”
  • HOOPSWORLD’s Travis Heath has noticed a change in Phil Jackson:  “Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson is not the same guy he was a couple of seasons ago.  It’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly what it is, but something is definitely different. In years gone by he had a sort of arrogance about him that he wore on his sleeve.  It was never outrageous, but it was enough to let everyone in the room know just how important he was.  Of course, having nine rings entitles a coach to that sort of thing. This season, though, Jackson is not the same.  Perhaps he’s tired.  Coaching in the NBA is certainly a rigorous profession and Phil has done it for a long time. Whatever the reason, the ‘Zen Master’ is a different guy.  Over his career Jackson has been very reluctant to give credit to the opposition, brushing off losses with a smirk.  In these playoffs Jackson looks far more uncertain and far less defiant than in years past.”

2 Responses to “Points in the Paint”

  1. john amaechi Says:

    In Response to Sam Smith.

    According to Basketball Reference dot com LeBron averages 1.1 fouls per game career.

    Dwight Howard 3.2

    KOBE!! 2.7

    MJ 2.6

    so LeBron averaging 1.6 fouls per game in these playoffs is somehow a suprise?

    can someone please search sam smith’s office for drug paraphanalia?

    LeBron rarely fouls, does this mean he’s the gr8est defender on the planet?

  2. john amaechi Says:

    KOBE!! averages 2.7 fouls per game career and 2.6 in these playoffs.

    SHOCKER!!

    carmelo averages 3.0 fouls per game career and 3.9 fouls per game these playoffs.

    EEEE Gads!!!!

    who would have guessed.

    Sammy put down the pipe, and do just a little research before you spew. Here’s lookin’ at you babe.

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