Points in the Paint

» December 3, 2009 5:20 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com:  “There is no such thing as a huge test in December and January for a team aiming for June, but this is at least the arrival of the biggest scheduled moment of the regular season for the Cavaliers, a stretch in which they play 16 of 23 on the road beginning Sunday. That makes it a big six weeks for the Eastern Conference standings as well. Cleveland, now 6-3 away from Quicken Loans Arena, has a three-game trip, a four-game trip that includes Dallas, Phoenix and Christmas against the Lakers, and a five-game trip that includes Denver, Portland and Utah in a quick return to the West Coast. The Cavs of mid-January will either be weary or in very good shape heading into the second half with a home-heavy schedule.”
  • Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus breaks down the implications of Iverson in Philly:  “Because the offense doesn’t require a pure point guard, Iverson won’t be asked to initiate the offense in a traditional manner. However, he will have to function off the ball more than he has in the past. His quickness will need to be deployed in curling off screens and accepting inside-out passes from Philly’s big men. Often this season, Iguodala has had to take over the offense by shunning the base offense and going off the dribble. There is a danger that Philly’s offense will degenerate into a series of one-on-one isolations alternating between A.I the first and A.I. the second. It’ll be up to Eddie Jordan to make this all work.”
  • Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail on Hedo Turkoglu, and Toronto’s increasingly dire outlook:  “Turkoglu’s been close to terrible as far as I’ve seen. And while he’s probably worthy of criticism I can’t imagine him being not being called out because he’s too sensitive; that would imply he’s paying attention. I wasn’t at the game last night, but his quick and cheery smiles with former teammate Mike Bibby during the halftime warm-up kind of tell a tale. It’s not like fraternization is a mortal sin in the NBA; it’s just, can’t you look like you’re upset when you’re down 20 at half? Did you notice? It takes balls to take and miss big shots down the stretch. It takes balls to call in tired your first two weeks on a new job, as Turkoglu did in training camp. You pull that stuff and don’t deliver and there are going to be problems.”
  • Hollinger says the honeymoon with Raptors coach Jay Triano is over:  “OK, we need to stop mincing words and call this what it is: Jay Triano is in over his head, and if the Raptors don’t do something about it, it will cost them their best player this summer. The 146 points Wednesday night by Atlanta was the latest ridiculous example of Toronto’s defensive ineptitude, and while the roster composed by Bryan Colangelo is far from ideal in this respect, this should not be the worst defensive team in history. Right now it is. Getting defensive effort from players is one of the basic measuring sticks for an NBA coach, and Triano has failed miserably in this respect.”
  • Ken Belson of The New York Times:  “In the book, Donaghy describes how he worked with a bookie for years and got tangled up with increasingly dubious characters. In November 2006, Donaghy said, a friend introduced him to another gambler who ultimately paid him $2,000 for each game he accurately predicted. The gambler, James Battista, said Donaghy’s family might get hurt if he did not cooperate. ‘At that very moment, I understood with perfect clarity that there was no way this thing could end well,’ Donaghy wrote. Battista has denied the accusation. Donaghy said he received thousands of dollars in cash at diners and airports, including the time he received $6,000 at the Philadelphia airport. ‘I started stuffing wads of cash into my socks and underwear and quietly passed by the T.S.A. agents with a grin on my face and a sigh of relief,’ he wrote.”

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