Points in the Paint

» November 25, 2009 5:58 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • Tim Povtak of FanHouse:  “Miami’s Dwyane Wade just raised the intrigue — and opened a world of possibilities — over his pending free agency when he was asked Wednesday afternoon who he really would like to play with in the NBA. Wade will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, allowing him to play anywhere he wants. ‘If I could pick one player in the league today to play with – and most people think I’d say LeBron James – I would pick Dwight (Howard),’ Wade told FanHouse Wednesday after practice at Amway Arena. ‘I’d love for that to happen at some point. Dwight is already close right here in Orlando. People who say it couldn’t happen (us playing on the same team), they don’t know. I’ve learned in this league that anything is possible.’”
  • From Jonathan Abrams’ excellent article on Kobe Bryant:  “And after a New York Times Magazine article last February depicted the Houston Rockets’ Shane Battier’s use of analytical data to guard Bryant, he went to Grover’s assistant, Mike Procopio, and requested the same type of report on the Rockets’ tendencies. Probably to Battier’s chagrin, Bryant also visited the former Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon over the summer for a tutorial on low-post play. They worked for five hours before Bryant left with another aspect to his game. Sure enough, when the Lakers’ star power forward, Pau Gasol, missed the first 11 games of this season with an injury, 34 percent of Bryant’s offense originated in the post. That number was up from 14 percent a season ago and 8 percent in 2005-6, according to Synergy Sports Technology. With a smile, Bryant conceded that those post moves were always at his disposal. ‘It’s one thing to look at players do this, do that, look at Hakeem’s post moves, spin moves, this, that and the other and then it’s another thing to really understand them, get the details of them and the little nuances of them and that’s what he shared with me,’ Bryant said of Olajuwon.”
  • Ziller:  “This is going to blow your fricking mind: the Knicks defense is better than the Knicks offense.”
  • Jeff Bower on what he’s done differently since taking the reins as coach of the Hornets:  “Well the biggest thing from an offensive standpoint, we have tried to play at a faster pace and we have tried to give more emphasis on the ball movement and cutting and screening. That has helped create some more shots in the flow of the game. It has helped some of our key personnel get open a little bit easier into scoring position. From a defensive standpoint, what we have emphasized is more accountability in guarding the basketball and staying out of rotations whenever possible. We have really just tried to simplify things offensively and defensively and relying on a fundamental approach to basketball so that we can go play a little bit freer without thinking and a little bit harder with higher energy level to make it all effective.”
  • Frank Dell’Apa of The Boston Globe:  “Doc Rivers is concerned with the Celtics’ tendency to pace themselves. ‘We just have to be a team of habit and I think at times we have a switch we can just turn on and off,’ Rivers said. ‘And I think we’re finding out we don’t have that switch. It’s just where we’re at right now. Everybody else will say it’s age, it’s this, it’s that – and then we win 15 games in a row, well, maybe it’s not. So, I don’t overreact to any of that stuff. I’ve seen where we can go and we’ve done it at certain moments, so I know we have it. I just don’t think we have it full-time right now and we’ve got to get to a point where we do. Execution is the whole thing, and that’s both ends. It’s monotonous, it really is, but it’s part of the process. You can’t get bored with the process and at times I think we do. We know where we’re trying to get to and you’ve got to go through the process.’”

  • Hollinger on the Atlanta Hawks, in today’s PER Diem:  “Their most talented player is finally capitalizing on his potential. Break it down and a big chunk of this year’s improvement comes from the fact that after five seasons of slow but steady improvement, Josh Smith has burst into stardom. The across-the-board increases in his output jump off the page. Smith has always been held back by his shot selection, particularly long jumpers early in the clock. He nailed 51.4 percent of his 2-point shots last season, but held himself back with 87 hoists from 3, of which he made only 26. This year? He’s taken only one 3-point attempt — a heave at the end of the first half against Houston — and voila, his shooting percentage has rocketed northward. Smith is at 54.0 percent from the floor and as a result, he has matched last season’s scoring average on fewer shot attempts.”
  • The Biz of Basketball:  “So far this season, the Knicks TV numbers have been as their record, bad. The team is 2-9 and ratings on MSG are down from 1.23 (or 91,000 local TV households) to .88 (less than 65,000) over the same time period as last year. The lowest rating for a Knicks broadcast this season was a .53 against the Milwaukee Bucks. The highest, a 1.42 against the Charlotte Bobcats on Oct. 30, barely eclipsed last season’s average. Not even LeBron James could make people watch the Knicks, drawing just a 1.30 in the Nov. 6 Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavilers matchup. Their current average TV rating is a .88.”

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