Points in the Paint

» November 2, 2009 4:57 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • NBA.com:  The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Tuesday, Oct. 27, through Sunday, Nov. 1.
  • Sam Smith is my favorite source so far for LeBron James free agency articles, mainly because he’s clearly delusional. The Cavs are going to trade James to the Lakers? Yeah, okay. Smith explains:  “Look, I believe James has no idea yet what he wants to do next summer. But I also believe the Lakers’ scenario makes the most sense for him if he wants a chance to be considered among the greatest winners of all-time. I believe that’s what he’s about now, and he accomplishes that only with the Lakers.”
  • Magic Johnson on the new rules that limit handchecking, as quoted by J.A. Adande:  “You know how many points Larry Bird would average without people putting their hands on him?” Johnson said. “What Michael [Jordan] could do without what the Pistons used to do with Michael back then? Larry Bird, he was unstoppable with all of that. Just think of what he would be with some of the rule changes they‘ve got now. We would still be talking about the records he held.”
  • Kevin Pelton on Boston’s defense:  “Obviously, the highlight was the Celtics holding Charlotte to 59 points (and a 66.8 Offensive Rating) last Wednesday, but through four games Boston has yet to allow an opponent to score at a rate of more than 101 points per 100 possessions. Given that the opposition has included two of the league’s brightest individual stars in LeBron James and Chris Paul, that’s an impressive feat. Starting fast is nothing new for the Celtics. They’re still just halfway to their 8-0 start in 2007-08, and over the last three years combined Boston has gone 33-4 (.892) in October and November (a 73-win pace over a full season). Naturally, the fact that the team has been able to start the campaign healthy has been a factor. However, the credit might really belong to a coaching staff that has the Celtics completely prepared early in the season.”
  • Reuters:  “The average price for a ticket to a National Basketball Association game fell for the first time in eight years as the weak economy continued to affect U.S. sports leagues. The average price fell 2.8 percent to $48.90, the biggest drop ever for the league and the first decline since the 2001-2002 season, according to Team Marketing Report, or TMR. It was the second-biggest decline behind the National Hockey League’s 7.5 percent drop for the 2005-2006 season following a season-long lockout. In 2001-2002, the NBA cut ticket prices by 2.3 percent. That was before TMR started separating tickets into general and premium categories. This year’s decrease is only for general tickets, which do not include amenities. None of the other three major North American sports leagues showed a decline in 2009 ticket prices.”
  • Via ESPN’s Daily Dime:  “Currently, there are 433 players in the NBA and 225 are 6-8 or taller (58.9 percent). The tallest player is Houston’s Yao Ming at 7-6. There are two players listed at 7-3: Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Cavs) and Hasheem Thabeet (Grizzlies).The average NBA player is currently 6-7 (actually 6-feet, 7.3 inches). The shortest player in the NBA is Nate Robinson (Knicks) at 5-9.”
  • Blaze of Love:  “For years, players have been known to get paid and then slide down into some lower level of performance.  I’d hate to assume that a guy who seems to genuinely love this game and play it with passion would travel down that road, but nothing should surprise any of us.  In fact, after last night’s battle in Oklahoma City, I’d almost start to question it all. It was late in the 1st quarter when a limping Aldridge came out of the game after banging knees with an OKC player.  His knee was wrapped, given the ‘OK’ to test it, and we never saw him again.  Just 24 hours prior, we saw the exact same incident happen with Steve Blake.  The difference?  Blake returned in the 4th quarter to finish what he and his teammates started. For a guy who seems to get visibly angry when the words ‘lack of toughness’ are tossed into a sentence with his name, he continues to fail to prove anything different.  And to make it all worse, he plays alongside one of the toughest guys in the league in Brandon Roy.  Through 3 years now, we’ve seen Roy play through it all and never once has his lack of toughness been a talking point, yet with Aldridge, it seems to be a weekly occurrence.”
  • From David Aldridge’s piece on Jameer Nelson:  “For the past two years, he has had weekly sessions with a psychologist — a fact that he volunteers, matter of factly, when asked who he talks to now that his dad, his best friend, is gone. ‘I went to my general manager and just told him that I needed to talk with somebody, because I was having a tough time with it at the time,’ Nelson said. ‘He referred (the psychologist) to me, and still to this day, I talk to him once a week, and he helps me get my week straightened out and keep my life on track.’ Nelson thought he needed someone from the outside to help him. He understood that friends and family — and, for that matter, teammates — meant well, but he didn’t want someone to commiserate with him. ‘You go to them, they hurt with you,’ he says. ‘You go to somebody that’s a professional with helping people out, they help you. In the beginning, we don’t know each other, so he’s going to tell you the truth, and not just sit there and weep with you — ‘Ah, I feel your pain,’ all that stuff. You also need your family, but at the same time you need that outlet of somebody being there for you that will tell you the truth.’”
  • Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia News:  “Tim Donaghy will be released from federal prison Wednesday, according to consultants the ex-NBA referee has hired to ease his post-prison transition. Donaghy, a Havertown native who lost his job and was sentenced to 15 months for providing inside information to gamblers, hopes to find a job in sales or marketing, according to a press release issued last night by Executive Prison Consultants.”

6 Responses to “Points in the Paint”

  1. Tsunami Says:

    good PitP today, Hoff

  2. Erick Says:

    Sad news about Walton retiring. Whenever I see a center dunk, I instinctively think, “Throw it down big man, throw it down!”

  3. Tsunami Says:

    Dude was the master of in-game hyperbole.

    I still remember this one play where Derek Anderson tried to make a one on one move and dribbled it off his leg and lost the ball and Walton said, “and Derek Anderson just had the worst offensive possession of his entire career”

  4. Erick Says:

    Hahahahaha! The worst offensive possession of his entire career!

    There was a Finals game back when the Nets were good and Tood Maccullough made a nice move to score on Shaq. Walton proclaims, “Todd Maccullough, the real T-Mac.”

    During that same Finals, some center made a hook shot, I don’t remember who—It was probably Shaq, but with Walton it could’ve been Jason Collins—and Walton goes, “The grace, the footwork, the skill level, the shades of the all-time legends. Jabbarrrrrrrrrr! Jabbarrrrrrrr!

    I was 14 years old and I’d just hear him and think, this guy is so ridiculous and I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing. And the hyperbole was what made him so entertaining.

    Plus he was teamed up with Snapper Jones who had the perfect personality to respond to him. Maybe I’m just being overly sentimental, but they made broadcasting basketball an art form.

    The only guy who’s reached that level since Bill and Snapper is Jeff Van Gundy, who’s brilliantly astute when calling a game, yet will still make fun of Matt Carroll for wearing a doofy-looking headband like he did last Friday. Carroll missed a garbage time jumper and JFG confidently states that the reason for the miss was karma. If Carroll didn’t look so ridiculous the shot would’ve went in.

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