Points in the Paint

» October 16, 2009 5:42 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • Gilbert Arenas is talking again — sort of:  “It’s rather confusing, but Arenas says his sudden unwillingness to speak stems from his words always being discected and used against him, something that started back when he did his blog. ‘The blog was entertainment. I never actually gave you guys good quotes. You just took it off my blog and went from there.’ He continued after asking for an explanation, or if the scrutiny was painful to him: ‘Nah, I just call you guys lazy, that’s all. Instead of doing research and finding out the truth, you just write what you hear. That’s the difference. I work out six hours a day on my craft. You guys hear something and write it instead of finding out the truth. Laziness. It’s been the last two years.’ I asked him if he thought there was a happy medium between the public/entertainer Arenas, and the ‘focused’ Arenas we have now. His reply: ‘The happy medium is you guys stop asking me questions, so I don’t have to get fined. But you guys are not, so this is what you’re going to get all year.’ Arenas is aware that most found his blog entertaining, but doesn’t mind that his fans won’t be able to hear from him directly any more. ‘Not one bit, I don’t think about talking again,’ Arenas said. ‘The fans, I just think they just want to see me play again. I think they can live without me rambling on about stupid stuff in my life.’”
  • John DeShazier of The Times-Picayune:  “OK, OK. We won’t panic. But is it all right to be mildly annoyed with the way the New Orleans Hornets have played this preseason? A trifle agitated? Increasingly concerned? I mean, New Orleans pretty much has had its compression shorts handed to it in four of its five tuneups, all losses. And if anyone can say he has seen improvement, well, that’s a person the bartender should cut off. ‘Because it’s a preseason game, I don’t think you can read too much into it,’ Coach Byron Scott told Times-Picayune Hornets beat writer John Reid on Thursday night, after Miami smoked the Hornets 97-81 in Kansas City. ‘But our focus is not there. We made some adjustments (Thursday) morning, and guys didn’t pick it up.’ The only thing New Orleans seems to be picking up is the habit of falling behind by 20-plus points early. And not defending particularly vigorously. And not making many shots. Bad habits, all, and if the theory is that they’ll wash away once the games begin to count, that’s ludicrous. The Hornets barely have been competitive – not lay-down-and-lose-to-Denver-by-58-points-at-home bad, but not miles away from that, either. And if we’ve learned anything about the team the last few years, it’s that New Orleans isn’t so great it simply can flip a switch and become elite overnight.”
  • Michael Redd on his struggles with the Bucks, as quoted in Steve Aschburner’s NBA.com preview:  “I’m not complaining here. I love our team. Obviously it’s tough to continue playing with new guys every year. But good things happen to good people, man. Continue to work hard and I’ll win either here or somewhere else.”
  • Speaking of which, USA Today caught up with Isiah Thomas:  “Thomas has been under fire since his playing days. His Pistons teams were celebrated as the Bad Boys of the NBA for their unrelenting physical play, which Thomas says was eventually wrongly cast by critics as ‘criminal behavior.’ He was skewered for not shaking hands with Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan after a game in 1991, which Thomas says stunned him. He says a few years earlier, almost every Boston Celtics starter had walked off the court without extending a hand to him after a Pistons win. ‘That’s how the torch was passed to the Pistons,’ he says. There’s also the supposed freeze-out of Jordan at the 1985 NBA All-Star Game, in which Thomas supposedly led an effort to keep Jordan, then a rookie and an All-Star teammate, from getting shots. There was no freeze-out, Thomas says, adding that Jordan’s agent, David Falk, started the rumor. ‘I should take that back,’ he says. ‘(Falk) sure as hell fanned it.’ Falk scoffs at that. ‘The Chicago media promoted it because it was painfully obvious,’ he says. Thomas says he drew ire from players’ agents while president of the NBA Players’ Association because he led the drive to limit agent commissions to 4% on player contracts. ‘I’ve saved Jordan more money by that one rule than Falk has ever saved him,’ he says.” (Via HoopsHype)
  • In placing Kevin Durant 8th on their top 50 list, SLAM’s editor-in-chief says:  “This 6-9, 230-pounder has the height, shooting touch, skills and mentality to be a 30+-ppg scorer this season. Talk to me about ‘defense winning championships’ till your blue in the face; only a handful of guys on the planet can dream of scoring 30+ per game in the NBA. The rest of his game needs work, but at 6-9 with long arms and great instincts, I see no reason his rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game won’t all improve this season (KD averaged 6.5, 2.8, 1.3 and 0.7, respectively, in these categories last year). I’m also not feeling the ‘he’s a horrendous defender’ angle, as though he’s been in the League 10 years and we know how what his prime will be like in any part of the game. Kid just turned 21. Think he can’t work his way into being, at worst, an average defender?”
  • Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star:  “Even without an anchor tenant, the Sprint Center has pulled in large audiences since opening two years ago. The arena has emerged as one of the nation’s premier concert venues, and on Thursday, Pollstar magazine’s third-quarter report for 2009 ranked the Sprint Center No. 3 in the United States and No. 9 worldwide based on ticket sales to live entertainment performances this year.”
  • Jonathan Feigen is talking about Chuck Hayes, the Chris Bosh stopper:  “Rick Adelman mentioned the obvious names and praised their play. You can easily fill in the blanks. The key, he said, was someone else. Take a guess. Don’t skip down a paragraph. If you saw the game, the highlights, the box score, the game story or the notes, take a guess. Nope. It’s Chuck Hayes. ‘The biggest guy was Chuck,’ Adelman said. ‘I put Chuck in the game in the third quarter to guard Bosh and he’s our best defender, not only guarding Bosh, but suddenly the pick-and-rolls were not going so easily for them. He’s such a tough guy for us, when we don’t have him in the game, our defense isn’t half as good.’ Bosh had 13 points in 16 minutes when Hayes came in the game. In the nine minutes they shared the floor, Bosh did not score.”
  • Stan Van Gundy on the replacement officials:  “There’s no problem with them. These are guys the NBA in large part has identified. They’re good, young officials on the way up and one day they’ll be ready. It would be like us having to play with an entire d-league roster. A lot of those guys will be ready to play in three years. if you put one of those guys on an NBA crew they’d probably be all right, but they’re all out there together. It’s like me taking a d-league team and going all right, let’s go play the Hornets. It’s not going to look too good. There’s no fault of those guys. As much as we get on our own officials, as coaches, those are the best 60 guys in the world. You’re comparing the replacement guys to them. Well, those are the best 60 guys. I don’t care what profession. When you’re getting compared to the best 60 guys.”
  • Charley Rosen analyzes the triangle offense, complete with text diagrams:  “The Triangle is based on the undeniable premise that no matter which player has the ball, it’s impossible for opponents to play deny-defense on the other four offensive players without permitting various backdoor cuts, lob passes and easy scores. In fact, if the wings are indeed denied, the Triangle’s automatic procedure is to have the center move up to the foul line and receive the ball there — which opens up help-free cutting lanes for the wings and gives the center easy targets. Along this line, notice that whoever carries the ball across the time line, there will always be a player lagging in such a way that he cannot be denied. So there’s always some pass or other available. Once a pass is made and completed, the other four players move in prescribed patterns. This pattern will vary according to where that initial pass lands. The same routine is followed when a second pass is made and so on, the idea always being to take what the defense gives.”

2 Responses to “Points in the Paint”

  1. Tsunami Says:

    Not surprised by LeBron’s comment. He seems very buddy buddy with Kanye West, so I’m not surprised he had something bad to say about Bush. I mean, who DOESN’T anymore?

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