Points in the Paint

» September 14, 2009 1:48 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • Mike Wells:  “Granger showed he can score against anybody and any team last season. That should be the case again this season because the All Star always commits himself to the gym during the summer. What he also showed last season was that he wasn’t too interested in playing defense. Part of the problem was that the Pacers needed Granger to score so much. They need him to score again and to play some ‘D’ this season. The Pacers are a relatively young team, so Granger, who enjoyed playing defense during the first few years of his career, has to lead by example on both ends of the court.”
  • George Karl on Allen Iverson in Memphis, as transcribed by Tas Melas:  “I think the only change that he’ll have to make is understanding he’s not gonna be on the court for 40 minutes.  He’s gonna be on the court for a shorter period of time, put more energy, more intensity in to the possessions that you’re on the court, and I think you’ll see that AI can still deliver big time games and be a big time factor off this court.  If he kinda has the mentality that he still should be a 35, 40-minute player, I don’t think that will be successful.  I don’t think coach Hollins will be able to figure that out; I think if AI realizes that he’s a 20 to 25-minute player, and on some good nights a little bit more, I think he can still have a major impact on a basketball team.”
  • Derek Fisher on the Kobe-Shaq feud, also via Sports Radio Interviews:  “I think some of it was definitely over exaggerated and kinda added on top of the difference in personalities or difference in beliefs, how our team should be playing and run.  They didn’t always see eye-to-eye but there was never any feeling on our teams these two guys can’t function together.  They weren’t walking in to the locker room, punching each other out, so, it wasn’t as big as it was made out to be, but at the same time, I don’t wanna say that it was nothing either and it was totally made up.”
  • HOOPSWORLD analyst Mike Moreau takes a look at some major worries that could derail the Lakers, Spurs, and Nuggets’ title hopes. Here’s a snippet of Moreau’s take on the Lakers:  “Last season only four teams in the NBA had a lower PER at the point than the Lakers. This position is the Lakers weak link. They don’t need great play from Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown, they just need solid production. Case in point: When Derek Fisher scored in double figures in last year’s playoffs, the Lakers were undefeated at 8-0. When he didn’t? They went 6-8.”
  • Dave at Blazers Edge:  “If you were to ask me what team’s I’d least like to see in a playoff series this year the L*kers’ name would still be at the top for the experience factor if nothing else.  Denver’s name would be second, above San Antonio, Houston, or anyone else in the West.  And I’m not sure Denver’s name would be that far behind L.A.’s for us.  The L*kers present a couple of intensely difficult matchups but also potential avenues of attack.  The Nuggets cause more mismatches in more places.”
  • Larry Bird, via Indy Cornrows, reveals he “still has dreams of playing and recently had a dream when he won a championship. Usually his dreams end poorly.”
  • Chris Sheridan penned a good article on David Robinson, that includes this passage about Robinson’s final season:  “I went to the Spurs’ shootaround at the team’s practice facility 15 minutes down the interstate from the Alamo (and the Alamodome, where I first covered the Admiral) and bided my time while the local TV guys gathered their footage for that day’s noon broadcasts, then pulled Popovich aside and asked him to comment on the lack of hoopla surrounding Robinson’s impending exit in comparison with what had been seen that season with Jordan. The question somehow caught him off guard, and Pop reacted as if I had kicked him in the groin, the veins in his forehead popping into full view as he tried to control and contain his temper. (I Googled the story to refresh my memory and discovered that the phraseology I had used that day was that Popovich ‘reacted like someone tried to jab him in the eye with an ice pick.’) ‘What the hell kind of question is that?’ he asked, perplexed and seemingly offended by the premise. You could tell he wasn’t even comfortable, to a degree, hearing those two names mentioned together in the same sentence. ‘Look, Pop. It’s just weird,’ I said, explaining my outsider’s perspective on the contrast, how it was like being in an alternate universe witnessing the ho-hum national reaction to Robinson’s final days compared with Jordan’s. That was when Pop composed himself, said he meant no disrespect to Jordan’s career accomplishments, but then started speaking about class and character — and how Robinson had exuded so much of it, so genuinely, for so many years, never being accused by anyone, anywhere of being anything even remotely resembling a phony — something Jordan’s enemies would whisper behind his back in those post-dynasty days.”

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