Points in the Paint

» November 18, 2009 5:54 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • Howard Beck:  “Allen Iverson will become a free agent Thursday evening and he might become a Knick soon after that. With the team in a free fall, and no other help on the horizon, Knicks officials are seriously considering Iverson as a quick fix. The matter was still being deliberated on Wednesday, but one team official said the chances were at least 50-50 that they would pursue Iverson. Another person with close ties to the team put it in stronger terms. ‘It’s a given,’ said the person, who was not authorized by the team to discuss private deliberations. ‘They’re going to make the biggest play for him.’ The decision rests with the team president, Donnie Walsh, and ultimately with James Dolan, the Madison Square Garden chairman. There are strong indications that Coach Mike D’Antoni is already sold on the idea.”
  • Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald:  “As of Thursday, nine of the league’s 30 teams didn’t carry the NBA maximum of 15 players. Four – Philadelphia, Orlando, Atlanta and the Lakers (of all teams) – had only 13. That will change, presumably, when Los Angeles and Orlando make additions for the stretch run. Atlanta has solid playoff hopes, but with its ownership situation still in disarray, continues to be famously cheap. The risk, though, is health. New Jersey, even with 15 players, could only dress eight players during a Nov. 7 game against the Celtics due to injuries and the flu. ‘We almost ran into that situation ourselves last year, and we had 15 on our team,’ Rivers said. Technically, there are now a total of 12 roster spots open across the league, including one each with the Knicks, Bulls, Bobcats, Nuggets, and Jazz, and two each with the Sixers, Magic, Hawks and Lakers.”
  • The Carmichael Dave Show talked with Ron Artest about throwing Trevor Ariza’s shoe, via SRI:  “Well what happened was…obviously I didn’t know his shoe would come off that’s the first thing conservative reporters.  I didn’t know his shoe was gonna come off.  I don’t speak to his feet so I don’t know what his feet are thinking, I don’t know what his toes are thinking, I don’t know what he’s thinking.  Then his shoe comes off and I’m like okay a shoe is not supposed to be on the basketball court without somebody standing inside of it.  So I said alright, I’m just gonna buy me some time.  I really didn’t know whose shoe it was, but I said it has to be one of the player’s shoe.  As soon as I toss it off the court, not throw into the stands which some people said, it’ll buy me some time.  What happens is I come back down, Trevor is trying to put his shoe on and I politely hit a three in his face.”
  • From J.A. Adande’s recap of the Lakers’ 106-93 win over the Detroit Pistons:  “Before the game, Jackson expressed his desire for Bryant to let the rest of his team get involved; you know, perhaps get Ron Artest accustomed to the full offense. It’s been Bryant on one side, Andrew Bynum on the other side, and that’s about it. I can just imagine how that convo went … Phil: Kobe, how about we spread it around a little bit? Kobe: Ummm, yeah. I’m going to have to get back to you on that. And even a possible return of Pau Gasol from a hamstring injury Thursday night won’t deter Bryant from occupying the post. ‘Noooooo, not at all,’ Bryant said. ‘When you talk to Pau, ask him who won our one-on-one post game. I’ll give you a hint: It wasn’t him.’”
  • John Schuhmann breaks down the Jazz:  “Utah’s offense hasn’t been very efficient, but the defense is really struggling. The biggest dropoff has been the Jazz’s ability to force turnovers. Last season, they ranked third by forcing 16.7 turnovers per 100 possessions. This season, they rank 23rd, forcing just 14.3. Coach Jerry Sloan is concerned with his team’s transition defense. They rank 27th there, allowing 17.8 fast break points per 100 possessions. Sloan believes that the Jazz’s defensive issues can be traced back to their offense. ‘Our shot selection has not been good enough to help us keep balance on the floor enough to be able to defend the other end of the floor,’ he said. Utah’s offense is at its best when both the ball and their players are moving. Assists should be high and scoring should be somewhat balanced.”
  • John Hollinger takes a look at some early season trends (Insider required):  “OK, this one requires a bit of doublethink, but it’s probably the most notable trend from the season’s opening weeks. Basically, teams have gotten the hang of defending the triple. The frequency with which 3s are taken has increased steadily since the shot’s inception, but presumably that will stop at some point. At the very least, we would expect the rate of increase to start slowing dramatically as it approaches some asymptote (apologies for the mathspeak) where teams will have maxed about all they can out of the 3-point weapon. We seem to be approaching that point. Although 3-point frequency is up a bit from the first month of last season, it’s not a major difference. More importantly, 3-point accuracy is trending the opposite way. After an early flourish of 3-pointers, the league percentage is down to 35 percent, short of the 35.6first-month rate of last season (although it still has a couple of weeks to go back up). Instead, teams are shooting much better from inside the arc.”

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