East teams like Chicago, Boston and Orlando have the league's best ranked defenses. But they also, it turns out, have had some of the weakest opponents. When you adjust for schedule, some teams like Milwaukee, Memphis, New Orleans and Oklahoma City appear to deserve more attention.
Franchise tags are a problem. Here's why I'm against them: Because there's too much dumb luck in this league already. Donald Sterling could hardly have treated Clipper fans worse through the years, but the league just lavishes him with one below market young prospect after another. Now he does not have to make one single good decision, and he gets Blake Griffin? And with a franchise tag, he might have him there for what, seven or eight years? Fans ought to seek a league where there's pressure on both players and front offices to perform, 'cause if you have a bad front office, it's going to be tough to be a fan for long no matter what.
Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak explains how LeBron James could learn some scoring tricks from Carmelo Anthony, especially about using your team to get easier looks. Then he makes a fascinating point: "James has the freedom, and indeed the responsibility, to shore up these relative weaknesses and expand his off-ball game to make things easier for himself and his talented teammates. It’s happening, but this growth will take time. Indeed, LeBron’s skills are probably more advanced at this point than his comfort level using them. And with the game on the line, he understandably has a tendency to revert to what comes naturally. That is, in order for off-ball maneuvering to allow James to catch in his comfort zones, he has to be comfortable in those areas in the first place. What’s scary is that according to Synergy’s research, James is already a more effective scorer than Anthony in isolation and in the post, and has been progressively showing more confidence and comfort on the low block. His footwork is rudimentary, but the results are devastating."
A new statistic shows the Thunder get the most out of the free throw line.
Some Houston fans are hoping their team will tank. Kevin Martin, meanwhile, says he's glad those fans aren't on the active roster, 'cause he's part of a group of 15 guys working hard to make the playoffs. It has been written many times before, but the draft system would seem to be a little messed up, when a team is busting its tail against long odds, and that leaves some of the smartest fans a little miffed. The NBA should reward what the Rockets have been doing lately.
American University's men's team makes a pretty good trick shot video. Some NBA team needs to get in on this.
Sam Presti manuevers Kendrick Perkins into a contract extension, which is almost certainly brilliant ... but comes with the risk of less wiggle room under whatever new cap may be coming.
The back of this guy's head looks a lot like the back of Pau Gasol's head, which may or may not be a good way for him to launch a new career.
Is it possible Chase Budinger could defend about as well as Shane Battier did?