I know Kyrie Irving is a very good basketball player because everyone I talk to tells me he is and it’s a virtual certainty that he’ll be the NBA’s rookie of the year.
And he should be glad he doesn’t play the Raptors too, too often because, for some reason, they make him look very pedestrian.
And with that …
It ain’t pretty but …
Not sure there are too many players in the NBA – especially big men – who drive the ball quite so awkwardly as Andrea Bargnani.
He kind of galumphs along, couple of dribbles and it looks like he’s either going to crash into whichever two defenders are there until he goes careening off to one side to finish one of those finger-rollish, off-balance layups or quasi-jump shots of his.
But if it works, as it did a couple of times last night, it really makes him a much more effective offensive force.
Bargnani looked far more comfortable both driving the ball and shooting it last night than he did in either of the weekend games and the one thing that’s going to warm the cockles of Casey’s mind is his aggressive showing on high screen-roll defence. He got out and disrupted the ball-handler as well as he had in the first 20 or so games of the season and that remains the biggest surprise improvement to his play this year.
Was odd to watch a game from a couch, hadn’t done that in a very long time it seems, and it provided one very ghastly sight.
Ed Davis free throws.
Now, I know they’re not pretty at all from watching him live but the low baseline shot from behind him showed just how gruesome they can be.
Ed had one of his best games in quite a while, overall, but the little corkscrew, start-at-his-right-hip-finish-at-his-left-shoulder foul shooting form is quite alarming.
I know they’ve been working on it with him but it might be a case that they need so much surgery on the form that it’s best to just suck it up this season – he’s shooting 65 per cent from the line – and really break him down and start over in the summer.
He doesn’t miss
No, you did not see Amir Johnson miss a shot last night.
He was 4-for-4 from the floor – and a game-high nine rebounds – and he might be the hottest shooter in the game right now.
Over his last five games, Johnson is 22-for-31 from the field – the abacus tells me that’s somewhere around 71 per cent – and he’s almost perfected a little jump-hook floater from about seven feet.
The thing is, he’s often thrived when he’s been on the floor with Bargnani, the spacing is just better suited for Johnson and now that the other big fella is back, good things may be ahead.
Well, Saturday’s coming and you know what that means?
Some of the best music is Irish music and even though this is a Texan (remember this Steve Earle song from Treme right before his character was killed off?) it’s got that Irish lilt.
Let me get this straight:
The Orlando Magic have beaten Chicago and Miami in the last week, they have the third best record in the East and the fifth best in the NBA and Dwight Howard is bleating about management needing to “roll their dice” this summer because he wants to stay past Thursday’s deadline?
You know, I used to like Dwight Howard an awful lot, he played the game with a smile on his face, was very good and it looked like he was on his way to being one of the very best in the game.
Now, he seems to be something of a petulant little spoiled brat who wants his own way right now; he’s with an organization that’s bent over backwards to accommodate him, they surrounded him with all kinds of good players – good enough to get to an NBA Finals – and paid him as much as they could. He has a fawning fan base to adore him and perhaps the nicest arena in the NBA to play his home games in.
And he wants them to “roll their dice” in the summer.
The Magic ought to find one of those “rental” trade scenarios being kicked around – Houston, maybe? – and ship him out and roll their dice with the rest of ‘em.
And sometime next year, when Howard’s taken a huge financial hit and he’s playing Brooklyn for a team that will always – always – be second fiddle to the Knicks in that market, maybe he’ll realize what “rolling the dice” can mean.
I don’t know how many of you closely read the various comments that are posted here daily – I would hope most of you do – but I look at them and am continually amazed.
The willingness of people to share personal stories and the often well-thought-out replies to things written here truly show what kind of cool community that’s developing.
Yesterday’s replies to the pro-casino rant are a perfect case in point. You made excellent points, created interesting debate and made this a discussion as much as anything. And if one of them led one of you to re-think a position, or learn something new, then that’s all the better.
When we began this little endeavour almost five years ago, no one knew how people would take to it.
We’re at more than 50,000 comments posted, the vast majority well spoken opinions, and when we get the good ones, it makes the few that make me crazy seem far less important.
Not sure what the issue is about NBA trade deadline going up against first day of March Madness for one season and one season only.
It's not like either is getting short-shrift in the coverage department, there still seems to be lots of stories on both out there.
Is it perfect? No. But things will be back to normal next year; the only reason it's about two weeks later than normal is that this is an abomination of an NBA season thanks to the lockout
Ready to mock?
I’m told the Smith/Kelly March Madness Bracketopalooza will be posted around here sometime around noon and here’s a sneak preview:
Forget the chalk.
Speaking of comments, have an early airplane ride this morning to Jersey, will get to them when I can.
And if I can get to some mail to begin the long weekend process with an afternoon puttering in a hotel room, that’d be nice.
Do it here, as you well know, it’ll keep me occupied until the IGBT starts just after 7 p.m.
So, Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson for Monta Ellis, Epke Udoh and Kwame Brown?
Trade Deadline Week got off to a big start, didn’t it?
Well, we know it’s impossible to tell the winner of any trade in the first 24 hours – and it’s even more impossible to figure out this one since Bogut isn’t likely to play the rest of this year, and Jackson’s just a rental.
But I like what both teams did.
The Warriors got – if he’s healthy – one of the most under-rated big men in the game and sent a clear signal that Stephen Curry is the man of their future.
The Bucks now have insurance for when Brandon Jennings bolts – which will be at the very first chance – but watching Jennings and Ellis share the ball and shots might be enough to cause coach Scott Skiles to have an episode of some sort.
If you pointed a gun at my head and asked who “won” the trade, I’d say it’s the Bucks. But ask me at this time next year when it’s an awful lot more clear.