Points in the Paint

» October 9, 2009 3:51 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • Pau Gasol comes in at 14th on SLAM’s list of the top 50 players in the league. John Krolik’s profile of Gasol starts like this:  “In the 1990s, Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause had one of the great dynasties of the modern era. He had the greatest player of all time at shooting guard. Alongside of him was all-time second banana Scottie Pippen, who Krause had hand-picked from relative obscurity. The team was winning championships, setting records, dominating. But Krause was never happy. He never found the player he was looking for. Krause was obsessed with big men-he believed the best teams were built around them, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary in front of his eyes. And he didn’t want just any big man; the perfectly competent and sometimes fantastic bigs the Bulls brought in, from Luc Longley to Horace Grant to Bill Cartwright to Dennis Rodman, never satisfied him. He constantly pushed Phil Jackson to make Toni Kukoc into the superstar Krause believed Kukoc would become, when in reality he was always best suited as a complimentary player despite his skills. Before Michael Olowokandi was drafted, he ran around the front office telling anyone who would listen how big of a superstar Olowokandi would become. He attempted to trade Scottie Pippen for the draft rights to Keith Van Horn, only to have MJ nix the trade. After Phil, MJ, and Scottie left, he attempted to build his new dynasty around rookie giants Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. Krause was chasing a dream; he wanted to find a big man with true center size but the skills to change the game entirely from the pivot position, young and malleable, a giant who would dominate through unorthodox finesse rather than pure lumbering power, from a place most wouldn’t think to look. He was looking for Pau Gasol.”
  • Doc Rivers recalls the summer pickup ball scene during the 80s, as quoted by Dan Duggan:  “I actually thought we played more basketball than the guys do today because we didn’t have weights. . . . We just played basketball every day. I would go to LA or Chicago – wherever the best games were that week or that month. You would literally rent a hotel room and just play.”
  • Dave McMenamin“Was just thumbing through the Collective Bargaining Agreement and found this: All-Star Game winners get $35,000 while losers get $15k.”
  • Matt Moore previews the Bobcats:  “The Bobcats are a playoff contender, and have been since Larry Brown decided to dump his best player (Jason Richardson) to Phoenix for jack-of-all-trades-master-of-awkward-spacing Boris Diaw and older than dirt Raja Bell. When that trade occurred, there was universal questioning of what in the carolina blue blazes Larry Brown was thinking. You don’t ditch your best player! But Brown understood a resounding principle of rebuilding/makeovers/reconfigurations. Whatever the core pillar is of the function that is not being successful, it is the first thing that must go. It definitely made sense to question the team at the time. How could Diaw, a notorious gap drifter, a player specifically not known for his toughness, focus, or leadership, thrive on a Larry Brown team? How could he make Emeka Okafor and Gerald Wallace better? And it was at this point that we were forced to remember something we had forgotten since Larry Brown took the job in New York. Larry Brown is a very smart basketball dude.”
  • Jason Quick:  “An early point of emphasis for the Blazers has been the poor job of rebounding from anyone not named Greg Oden (10.5 rebounds) or Joel Przybilla (6.0) in the first two preseason games. Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 25.5 minutes, but has games of five rebounds and three rebounds. Small forward Martell Webster is averaging 25 minutes but has games of three and two rebounds. Guard Brandon Roy is averaging 25.5 minutes and has games of two rebounds and one rebound. ‘We are trying to change our mindset here with our forwards to rebound the ball,’ McMillan said. ‘We have always relied on our centers to get the boards – the (first preseason game) the centers had 15 – but we need to get our forward and guards in there to rebound.’ The Blazers last season were the NBA’s top offensive rebounding team, but were 27th out of 30 teams in defensive rebounding, a deficiency that McMillan has frequently brought to his team’s attention.”

2 Responses to “Points in the Paint”

  1. Tsunami Says:

    Rosen….::shakes head::

  2. xphoenix87 Says:

    Yeah, any list of coaches that ranks Mike D’Antoni as a C and Mike Brown as a C- is absolute rubbish.

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