Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  December 8, 2008

California News - November 18, 2008
It was great to see the Lakers get back to a good defensive game, albeit aided by the fact that the Bucks offense is a pretty sad thing to watch. Redd is a fantastic shooter, but when he ran into the Lakers trap he acted almost like a rookie, with bad passes and dribbling himself into a corner.

Also, when was the last time no starter from one team scored in double digits in an NBA game? The Lakers did that to the Bucks last night.

The team is 17-2. Damn.

• By the way, if you are complaining that the Lakers turned a 27 point lead into a 13 point win because the last 8 minutes of the game the guys at the end of the bench played, my advice to you is to stop betting on basketball. Because seriously, how else could you care that a desperate team decided to press and cut the lead but never threaten the game? So what if the end of the Bucks bench was able to slightly outscore the last guys on the Lakers bench?

• Aside that, what are we going to seriously complain about, the games aren’t entertaining enough?

• Apparently Kevin McHale is getting the Isiah Thomas treatment — you built this crap roster, so you coach it.

• From Ryan O. in the comments, talking about Vladimir Radmanovic:

He’s looked like a different player on the defensive end this year, and Phil has really turned him into 1st quarter specialist. I realize that sounds silly, but I think Vlad is our deadliest player on offense in the 1st quarter.

• I think the problem with talking about the Lakers and 70 wins is it presumes a healthy season. That said, the Lakers’ Pythagorean win rate right now has them heading for 69. By the way, the Cavs are on that same pace, Boston is headed to 65 by that measure.

• By the way, what is clear is those three teams are the elite of the NBA right now.

• Manny Pacquiao looked like a great fighter in his prime. De La Hoya looked like a fighter 10 years past his prime. I just hope Oscar hangs it up now and doesn’t go Holyfield on us.

• I take back anything I said about Iverson maybe fitting in with Detroit.

• Remember when Kurt Rambis was considered the favorite to get the Sacramento head coaching job, only to have some casino owners decide to roll the dice on UNLV’s Reggie Theus? Now, if the rumors about Theus getting canned are true……

Kurt

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58 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. Hey Kurt,

    Speaking of Reggie Thues’s possible firing plus the recent firing of Randy Wittman in Minny, when is Dunleavy gonna get canned? I can’t be the only person to think he is the most overrated coach in basketball. With the players the Clips have, there is now way they should be this bad, clearly its the coach!

  2. Did anyone happen to catch or hear about the Lakers Chalk Talk on Sunday morning?

  3. 1) Reggie Theus was cool on Hangtime, much better coach than Butkus

    2) Rambis deserves another shot, and for that matter, B. Shaw deserves a shot too

    3) After the top 3 teams, I think the only team that can grow into that category (without any trades) is Houston

  4. Kurt,

    Bill Simmons had a great thought about Dumars, Iverson and the Pistons (speaking about Dumars):

    “then killed this season’s team by getting out of the Billups contract by dumping his salary for Iverson’s expiring contract, only nobody in Detroit caught on because, “Hey, we got Allen Iverson!!!!!” ”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/081114

    Mike,

    Sterling let Elgin Baylor run that team for a long time. He obviously doesn’t have a quick trigger.

  5. 1. I think, as wondahbap said, you are missing Donald Sterling’s business model. Remember the recent Forbes rankings that had the Lakers as the second most valuable team in the NBA. It also had Sterling turning about a $2 mil a year profit with the Clips right now. That is what he cares about, not winning.

    Plus, Sterling bought the Clips for $13 mil back in the day, today it is worth $295 mil. For the record, I could retire on that and maintain my standard of living.

  6. Sterling has already tried to build a team to compete and everything has backfired after 3 years. Now it is time to go back to simply making money.

  7. Kevin McHale is the worst GM in basketball. I cant understand why he is still at the helm of the T-Wolves.

    KWAME: Sorry pal, but I have to disagree with you regarding Rambis. Although I think he is capable, I think that Larry Brown was right when he said that a coache’s effecitveness wears off after 2-3 years with the same team because players begin to tune you out (Jerry Sloan being the sole exception in the NBA). Although Rambis is not the head coach, I think his role as assistant coach dooms him as far as succeeding PJ. In my opinion, if and when PJ leaves, the team will bring in a new coach with an entirely new philosophy. Personally, I would love to see Kareem or B. Scott behind the bench. Rambis had his chance and did not capitalize, so his future may forever be limited to an assistant coach here. Honestly, I only see him as head coach of another organization.

    Then again, 80% of the time I am always wrong (my homage to Anchorman).

  8. Oh… and Papovich is also an exception. But then again, both have coached primarily low-ego players in small markets where the media – and the players – are not as demanding as here in LA.

  9. *Pacquiao crushed the Golden Boy. At the end of that fight, I was calling Oscar “Harvey Dent”.

    *I wonder how long McHale lasts. It can’t be for long with what he’s built. On a side note, what happened to Mike Miller? He seems completely incapable of positively affecting a game these days…I know he’s been a little banged up, but still. I remember when that Love-Miller for OJ Mayo deal went down that Minny got the better of that deal because of Miller’s inclusion…but if he’s going to play like this and Mayo continues to prove that he’s a pretty damn good player I’m going to rethink my original thoughts on that.

    *How valuable is Chauncey Billups? Denver is now playing fantastic and Detroit is no longer a top tier team. I know that there are more factors than just Mr. Big Shot, but he’s looking more and more like the best player in the deal and the most valuable player from that Piston’s team during their run.

  10. Manny-I didn’t say Rambis should be the Lakers coach, I said he deserves a shot at being an NBA head coach. Look at Chicago, I’d much rather have Rambis running that team than Del Negro. I thought he or Shaw should’ve gotten the Chicago gig.

    As far as future Laker coaches, I’d like to see B Scott

  11. Living in Sac, I don’t know think that Sac will fire Theus: 1) Martin and Garcia have been injured the majority of this year; 2) Theus doesn’t have much say in the players the Kings retain either. That is more or less up to Petrie (the GM), and 3) The real talent in Sacramento has been traded away (Artest and Bibby).

    If anyone should get fired, maybe it should be Petrie? The Kings attendance has dropped dramatically too.

  12. As for the next Lakers coach, it depends on when Phil steps down (in my mind). If he shocks us all and walks away after this year, I’d want to see Rambis or Shaw to keep the continuity of offense and style. If we are talking four years from now when the championship window is closing, then let’s talk about a coach with a different style of play.

  13. according to simmons (as much as i hate name-dropping that guy), the hornets are THIS close from quitting on byron scott. Given that he’s also been chased out of town by the nets, do we really want him as our head coach of the future? Seems like he doesn’t have a good track record of getting along with franchise point guards

  14. What exactly did Theus fail to do that he was supposed to? Did the Maloofs really think the Kings would be good this year? With Artest gone and injuries to several players?

    Why now? What is a lame duck interim coach going to accomplish this season? Since they have to pay Theus anyways, why not just let him see the squad through. Maybe he gets them playing well enough to be hard to beat by the end of the year. Anything else is delusional.

  15. Also, I won’t be satisfied until Sun Yue leads the league in +/- per 48.

  16. Random question – Why does Henry Abbott have that job? He just googles news (at best) and complies them onto a single page.

  17. I don’t see the point in firing Theus. If the players like him then why fire him. Its not like the kings expected to be contenders and besides that he has not had his best player available due to injuries.

    Dunleavy on the other hand….

    Is anyone else having problems with the page loading on firefox? its just really slow for me. I have not tried it on IE or any other browser.

  18. Kurt,
    I don’t even want to think of days without Phil leading this team. I know that despite his tremendous accomplishments that he is still an easy coach to critique (seemingly not coaching, substitution patterns, use of timeouts, etc), but he is one of the best ever and after the experience we had as a team after he left the first time, I’m not in any way anxious to see what we do when he retires this next time.

  19. Craig W.,

    Even when the Clippers were decent fpr a couple of years, I don’t think Sterling wanted to “win” as opposed to capitalizing on the Lakers down years to generate a chance to earn more. It was a great opportunity to generate more fans, an in turn, more money.

  20. Two words: Sun Yue

    17-2, baby. Can’t wait for the Suns game. Feels like we are scrimmaging the junior varsity right now.

    You are so right on holding the Bucks scorers under double digits. Wow.

  21. My Dad and brother were at the Chalk Talk on Sunday morning, they said it was very similar to the previous year’s event. It was basically a warm-up and shoot around for the players, with some walk-throughs for defensive schemes. Stu Lantz and Brian Shaw mediated, emceeing and taking questions from fans.

    I myself was at the game vs the Bucks, fortunately, as I got to see Sun Yue’s first NBA basket live! Here’s video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWqUXGdsaHk

    Sadly, I also had to see his 2 TOs and 4 fouls while looking a little lost… garbage time, I guess… it’s not like he cost us tacos, hehehe.

  22. I’m just glad that two (Celtics, Cavs) of the three best teams are in the other conference for a change.

  23. Lakergirl, I’ll stick up for Henry. I’ll tell you that a lot of that is not googled, he really is a reporter in that role. He talks to a lot, A LOT, of people. But writing a blog about the entire NBA, you don’t go deep too often on any one team.

  24. Henry works really hard. His blog is quite informative and helpful to NBA fans. If has one flaw it is only that he is a Blazer fan, thus, he has a deep-rooted dislike of the Lakers.

  25. Selfishly speaking, I don’t want to lose Rambis, the first titled “defensive coach” this team has had under Phil.

    Interesting article I thought I’d share: http://probasketballnews.com/friedman_120808.html

    It definitely has some holes, but raises some good points too. I think it gives voice to some of the problems we had last year. Pau and LO got the unfair label of “soft” or “chokers”, but if you really think about it, isn’t it natural for players to play worse against elite defensive teams? It should be expected; that’s why those defenses are elite. The only time you see players retain their normal level of play against a defensive team as great as the Celts (or even the Spurs) is when they are potential Hall of Famers. We have 1 Hall-of-Famer on the court. And I think that is the main difference between us and the Celts. We have a deeper team, which as is rightly pointed out, helps withstand the grind of a regular season. However the Celts have 3 HOF (1 of them bordering on insanity, did anyone see KG get down on all fours and bark like a dog?), which serves them better in the playoffs, when 2-3 quality players is more important than 1 HOF and a bunch of talented players.

    Scottie comes to mind. I just started reading “Blood on the Horns,” and I didn’t realize just how badly Michael and the Bulls struggled when Scottie was injured. And this was against the league’s average defenses, nothing close to Boston.

    Pau/LO are talented enough to be great against average defenses, and I love both of them, but realistically, they are at best borderline All-Stars (that’s pushing it). Only a true HOF like Scottie could punish the greatest defenses, which allowed Michael to build his legacy. I got sick of hearing all the “Michael would never let his team lose in the Finals” quotes after last summer; Michael would have never gotten to the Finals without another HOF.

  26. I don’t think I’m nitpicking when the Bucks pulled their starters midway through the 3rd and our team just couldn’t or wouldn’t capitalize (I guess there isn’t much motivation after a 20 pt lead and there probably is some gentleman’s agreement about racking up points when the other team practically threw in the towel).

    I guess there will be nights when the ball just won’t go in, or just slips out and when communication is just so off that TOs become more common than FGs.

    As for the coaching carousel, Sloan is the only guy that I really don’t get, other than perhaps his strong relationship with the team owner. PJ and Greg, they’ve accumulated rings; players can’t disrespect that.

  27. Kwame,

    He may be a Portland fan, but his blog is pretty neutral. I’ll give him that. Unless he says he is, you wouldn’t know he’s a Blazer fan. He also does a great job of answering emails, and I’m guessing he gets tons.

  28. I just saw a stat that Rasheed Wallace is 1-9 in the last two games from beyond the arc. Why was he not doing that when we played Detroit? Also, the Pacers taking Boston to OT, we almost won our game against them. Isn’t this just great, me thinking about our whole two loses now. The third one will kill me when it comes, hopefully next year…

    Never stop seeking what is unattainable.

    70+ Wins

  29. I must say that Henry is one of, if not, the best out there IMO. He stays on top of so many different topics on so many teams while also speaking on the league as a whole that it’s really amazing that he sleeps. I would also say that his insight can be beyond stellar (more often than not) and that he’s so well connected that he gets access to information that other’s wouldn’t and then he puts his personal stamp on it.

    Also, Snoopy, while I agree with the premise that having more hall of famers is better, and that the current Celtics (or other great teams for that matter) have benefitted from the presence of those players there is something to be said for how you attain hall of fame status. For example, if you look at Gasol he may not be considered a HOF player today. But, what if he wins 2 or more titles with us before his career is over and he is a major contributor on those teams? If that were to happen and you combine that with his success in international ball and his career numbers, we may look at his career in a different light. I happen to think that before they won the title last season, that only KG would be seen as a sure fire HOF’er. Sure Ray Allen was very accomplished and Pierce was too…but in my eyes, those guys were borderline at best. They had never won anything of note and had never reached a Finals (and while the article talks about all-star appearances in regards to players in reference to their *talent*, I think Pau would have made more AS teams if his teams had been better and if players playing PF who were also AS caliber were not on very strong teams-the Elton Brand syndrome). And if the Celtics had not won, only KG’s true brilliance as a multi-faceted phenom would have him in the Hall. When we define HOF’ers it’s more about their ability to win that separates them. Now, I think that article points out some very valid points in terms of measuring great players and how those players impact a game or series. But there are still many games for our team to play and more seasons for these players to make their impact on the league in terms of Banners and Reputations. At the end of the our run, we could be saying that we had 3 HOF’ers on our teams as well….Kobe, Pau and Bynum. That may seem far fetched in present day, but there is still plenty of time for that to become a reality.

  30. I can’t wait until the Lakers beat down KG, he was cool with, but he needs to pick on players his own size and not point guard rookies….Celtics are going to get rocked this year in the finals.
    http://hoopsoup.com/2008/12/08/garnett-taunts-bayless-by-getting-on-all-fours-like-a-dog/

  31. Yeah, I saw that clip of KG getting down on all fours. What a douchebag. I’m *so* tired of his act, especially when he is the very definition of not-clutch. Does any “superstar” disappear more on the offensive end when the game is tight? I can’t wait for Bynum to throw one down on him. We’ll see if he gets on all fours then.

  32. On the other side, I think it’s a litttle too early to pencil in three HOF spots for the current Celtics team. Imagine if they don’t make it back to the finals (not impossible- that James fellow in Ohio is pretty good). Is one good play-off run (really one very good series, since they didn’t look that great until the finals) really enough to punch your ticket?

  33. Turiaf was named a co-captain for the Ws. Nice to see a good guy like Ronny get a promotion.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/warriors/detail?&entry_id=33338

  34. @ chibi

    That is awesome. Obviously he’s making a good impression in the locker room (and the sidelines, I presume), but how’s he looked in general on the new team? Is he getting the minutes he wanted? Is that helping him to develop and refine his game?

    I do kind of miss that guy.

  35. http://kneejerknba.blogspot.com/2008/12/power-of-plusminus.html

    Scroll down to Lakers to see the brief overview down of 82games.com +/- stats on the Lakers. Pretty interesting that the five “best” is the same five on the floor when closing the game.

  36. I would have never guessed Lamar leads the team and the NBA at +/- at 20.1..I don’t know if that’s enlightening or makes me think less of that stat

  37. What Truehoop provides is a lot harder than a lot of people probably realized. Without even considering the hassle of being, essentially, a full time writer, just to provide his daily cup and weekend links, think of how many sites he has to visit. Go down every blog on the side of this site, then go to the local press of most teams, while also sorting through all the emails (and he does go through and respond to them himself) and whatever they link to.

    That is a large amount of daily work. Then he talks to the insiders and preps his own posts, etc. Henry Abott deserves everything he has.

    Kurt deserves a lot of credit to. Writing a weekly blog for 4 friends and your grandma is much harder than you’d think, but the content that is put on here, and the number of readers he deals with while holding down a day job is true dedication I hope he gets rewarded for.

    And finally, Kelly Dwyer should replace the AP synopsis in every paper accross the US. I have trouble watching every Lakers game + the occasional other match. What he does is incredible.

    Blogging’s hard. Respekt.

  38. Thanks for Henrys job description, maybe i judged him based on his firstcup column.

    KG is loosing it big time, i am worried about him and why hasnt the league T’d him up?

    I was glad to see a quote about our players watching the celtics and hoping they loose. Well i hope they give them a loss on christmas day!

  39. 30 – Good points, thanks. Along the same lines, Ray Allen disappeared in quite a few games, especially in the Cleveland series, so if he’s counted as a “potential” HOF, then Pau might belong there as well. I’m more skeptical of Bynum. Even if he heads to the HOF, it doesn’t seem like he’ll reach a HOF level during Kobe’s prime, whereas the Celts big 3 (though a bit old) have roughly the same experiences. But I agree, nothing changes perceptions like winning. If Bynum averages a double double and plays solid D on route a championship, he would certainly be considered ‘on the path’ to the HOF at the very least. It’s far too early to say.
    I was using HOF as a loose term, since there is so much gray area as to what makes up a HOF career (think Dantley). But I definitely get what you’re saying.

  40. kg is getting out of hand. i use to have respect for the guy due to his passion and character, but after last year’s playoff and all the taunting shenanigans only 20 games into the season, I’m starting to think that he’s just freaking nuts and wrong. i remember during the lakers finals playoff last year (i think in game 6) when it was already determined that the celtics had won and the lakers had given up, kg after a particularly harsh and aggressive play on either sasha (or was it farmar) preceded to get in his face and talk trash and this was near the end when the outcome was already concluded. then he preceded to diss lakers players who attempted to congratulate him on winning the championship. i mean seriously…does leading a losing team (bottom feeder) for years and then being traded to another team with 2 other (all stars who also lead their own bottom feeding team for years) and going on to win one championship really give you the right to be an asshole? i can only imagine what the media and league would do if it was kobe who did what kg is doing now. how come kg doesn’t get called for those in-game taunts? isn’t there a rule on that?

  41. Well, since the can of worms had been opened: It is difficult to say there are only 3 contenders for the title. Yes to Cavs, Celtics and Lakers. But I wonder what the Nuggets record would look like had they started the season with Chauncey. I just might peg them as the other team in the West with a real shot at the whole enchilada. And of course, the healthiest team out of that group probably wins. I don’t see any of the big guns having a match up problem a la Dallas-GS from a couple of years ago.

  42. 41, totally agreed…I’m guessing the asses from Boston are just rubbing off on him, I particularly enjoy how he only gets into it with people below the height of 6’3..Jerryd Bayless? Calderon? Really? Can’t wait to see him facing Bynum and “Mr. Softie”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJTDChgf5Dw

  43. KG’s held to a different standard by the referees. Are the refs responsible for giving him all that leeway, or is this a directive from Stern? That’s the issue, for me.

    In any case, giving KG so much leeway provokes both players and fans. This is going to lead to an ugly incident and another black eye, if the league doesn’t correct itself and police its players in a fair and consistent fashion.

    @phineas: i don’t follow the warriors too closely, but it would seem that Turiaf has played well but can’t play for too long because of foul trouble.

  44. To anyone who doesn’t think Pau is a HoF player, you have to remember that unlike the NFL or MLB the basketball HoF is more than just the NBA. Pau is a HoFer based on what he’s done at the international and Spanish league level in addition to his NBA performance. Gold medals in FIBA u-18, u-19, and world championship (MVP of world championship). Bronze and 2 silvers in the European championships. Silver in the Olympics. Spanish league championship (Finals MVP). Mister Europa Player of the Year. You take that plus his being NBA rookie of the year and the first Spanish NBA all-star, barring some sort of scandal, he will be a HoF member.

  45. I’m fine with a little taunting, but getting down on all 4’s and barking at an opposing player is going to far. How old is KG?

    I watched some of the Mem V Hou game last night (I watched it until I fell asleep). OJ Mayo is apretty good offensively. He has a really good stroke from outside, a decent mid range J, has a deceptively quick first step and is very athletic. He needs to work on his D but you can say that about almost all rookies. If he works hard (I have no idea what is work habits are) he could be a very good player.

    Marc Gasol also looked pretty good. He works hard on both ends of the floor and he has a decent 18 footer. It will be fun to Gasol Vs Gasol when the Lakers play Memphis.

  46. I’ve hated the Boston incarnation of KG ever since he started popping his jersey and pounding his chest like a jackass after a one point regular season win over the basketball juggernaut known as the timberwolves. I’ve never seen so much showboating over such an irrelevant win in my life.

    At one point does the fawning media characterization of him as “intense” stop masking what he really is – a fade-away shooting big man who disappears in the clutch but attempts to make up for his lack of bite by barking at defenseless rookies?

  47. I’ve been saying KG is a classeless champion. Nothing wrong with a little talk, but he goes overboard.

    Isn’t it amusing how he can jaw at rookie nobodies who didn’t see an alley-oop coming, or Jose Calderon, or Jerryd Bayless, but I don’t hear a peep when pau or LO took it to him when Perk missed game 5, or when LBJ is taking him to school.

    I will credit him for inpiring his teammates, but with the failures he been through in his career, to act the way he does now just makes him the basketball version of the nerd in “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

  48. KG’s antics have, of late, bothered me as well.

    However, just to play devil’s advocate, I wonder how perturbed we’d all be if he HADN’T become a member of our hated rivals and defeated us in last year’s Finals.

    All that “intensity” was something to be admired when KG was perceived as a lovable loser, but I can’t help thinking our taking umbrage at this late stage smacks of sour grapes.

    Then again, he is coming across like a total dick lately …

  49. I’ll defend KG. While I think he’s a bully and needs to be put back in his place by someone that he tries to intimidate, I think his leadership is inavaluable to the Celtics. I know for a fact that if we had acquired him when he was available and was doing this type of stuff for us (while also helping lead *us* to a title) that it wouldn’t seem so overboard.

    For years we admired Shaq and his physicality while every single fan base of our opponents thought that he got away with entirely too much and that he got special treatment from the refs. For over a decade most of us have defended Kobe as a player and a teammate when half the fans of the league think we’re delusional.

    So, while I can see why KG’s on court persona would upset people, I think the best way to end that stuff is to beat his team or intimidate him right back (or preferrably both).

  50. Intensity is one thing – but barking at rookie in an early season game that is basically over? Getting down on all fours against him? What is that all about? It just smacks of bullying and extreme arrogance to me, as well as an overall lack of class.

    People knock Kobe for his arrogance, but he would *never* denigrate another player like that. He’s content with knocking down a big shot when it counts and wagging his finger at the crowd. We don’t know what KG’s reaction would be to knocking down a big shot because, well, the next time he hits one will be the first.

  51. 49. Joel – You’re right, Laker fans really aren’t in the best position to be taken seriously when calling KG classless, but I think FB&G commenters are self-aware enough as a group to avoid the knee-jerk sour grapes reaction. I know I cringe every time Kobe busts out the fake pistols after drilling a jumper (too reminiscent of Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore)–I’d be mortified if my favorite player was down on all fours barking at an opposing player after a relatively mundane play.

  52. Darius – Like yourself, I’m torn with what I see in Garnett. On the one hand, I see a tough competitor but on the other I see a bully who seems to act up only when he knows the game is out of the other side’s reach.

    I personally cannot understand why the league has not issued him a warning or at least come out and at least stated that they are monitoring the situation.
    hard-pressed then to police his antics.

    While we are on the same subject, has anyone else also noticed how the Celtics bench routinely disrupts players who are trying to shoot jumpers/3’s right in front of them? This was common place in the finals and, as now, the league did nothing.

    I tell ya, the league’s lack of action is going to lead to one of these high profile players getting decked or hurt in retaliation.

  53. On Garnett: I don’t get what everybody suddenly sees in him that’s so bad. He’s always been like this. I guess when you do it for a perennial loser it makes everybody empathize but when you do it as a champion it’s classless. Why does the crawling on all fours thing get everybody mad? It confuses me more than anything else and makes me see KG more as mentally deranged than a jerk. Apparently he was asked about it once and said he doesn’t even remember doing it. One thing I do know is that I definitely don’t want the refs T’ing him up for this. Every time he does it, the guy he’s guarding scores. Turns out playing defense on your knees isn’t terribly effective.

    On the HOF: Pierce and Allen were well on their way to getting in before the championship in Boston and if Pau retired today, he’d be in too. Pierce and Allen both have career numbers that put them on pace for the Hall and were making the All-Star game pretty much every year. Seems like a silly thing to measure Hall of Fame likeliness by, but 8 All Star games pretty much makes you a lock and they had both been in a conference Finals previously. Plus Allen might go down as the best three point shooter ever. The precedent for scorers like them would be someone Wilkins or English. Nique never even got out of the second round, actually. Somebody already mentioned Pau’s international credentials that will get him in (just like Manu). Another guy that people don’t realize is likely Hall of Fame bound is McGrady. He’s made 7 All NBA teams and led the league in scoring multiple times. Even without a first round victory, every player that’s reached those benchmarks has been inducted and it doesn’t hurt that when people look back, McGrady’s playoff numbers are actually some of the best of all time.

  54. 53. Tried to look that up, and only found this so far:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RxFRMfn8Vw

    I have to admit though that I haven’t noticed this one yet. I’ll have to check out this pattern in some other games they play in the future.

  55. A couple of interesting links on Kobe:

    Kobe and clutch: http://www.respectkobe.com/?p=54#comment-5875

    An older series of articles on Kobe’s shooting patterns over a year. Noted before, but still worth a look if you haven’t seen it before (lots of statistics).
    http://www.littlewhitestatistics.com/?cat=7

  56. The Sacramento preview post is up

  57. Don’t count out the Iverson deal yet. They are finally fielding the best lineup which they should have done from day one, moving A.I. to the 2 spot, starting Stuckey and playing a small ball lineup with Sheed at the 5.