- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie12 hrs ago
The NBA is currently in the midst of an unfortunate, bizarre period of high-profile broken hand injuries. As our Dan Devine noted on Monday, the New Orleans Hornets' Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers' J.J. Redick, and the Brooklyn Nets' Paul Pierce have all suffered broken hands that will keep them out for at least a few weeks each. All three teams will feel those players' absences, but it's also a shame for basketball fans everywhere.
On Tuesday night, another notable player joined that group. In the third quarter of the Charlotte Bobcats 89-82 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks, second-year wing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft, suffered a broken left hand. The official announcement:
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie13 hrs ago
For all his athletic and defensive talents, Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley has never been an especially reliable shooter. and I think we've found the problem. Entering Tuesday night's home game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Bradley had shot just 43.3 percent from the field and 27.9 percent from three-point range on the season, providing only minor assistance in solving the Celtics' offensive issues as Rajon Rondo continues his knee rehabilitation.
Luckily, I think we've now found Bradley's problem -- he just needed to find his sweet spot. Nearly halfway through the first quarter of Tuesday night's contest, Celtics forward Jared Sullinger hoisted a pull-up jumper with the shot clock running down. It missed everything and bounced towards the baseline, looking like a certain violation or out-of-bounds call in favor of the Bucks. That's when Bradley came out of nowhere, grabbed the ball while falling out of bounds, and threw up a shot over the side of the backboard to hit nothing but net.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie17 hrs ago
While arguments about the various merits of all-time NBA greats can sometimes appear impossible to resolve, it's important to remember that comparing players across sports is several degrees more difficult. Whenever people decide to discuss the greatest athlete of all-time, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali are two of the first names mentioned. Invariably, no one can come to a coherent conclusion on the question, because it proves far too challenging to weigh various factors such as the different between competing in individual and team sports, contributions to the social fabric of American life, longevity, etc. It almost makes more sense to speak of Jordan and Ali separately.
However, we have now settled on the best possible method of determining a winner: fictitious rap battle. In the latest video from "Epic Rap Battles of History," Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Comedy Central's sketch series "Key and Peele" take on the parts of Jordan and Ali, respectively, to see which athlete comes out on top.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson requires a certain amount of patience. By that, I mean not necessarily that his game can be frustrating, although that's sometimes the case during his most profligate shooting spells. On a basic level, Robinson simply likes to talk, emitting a running commentary on everything happening in front of him, the tenuously related, and anything else that happens to come into his head. There's a reason that, when Robinson teamed with Glen "Big Baby" Davis on the Boston Celtics, he referred to the partnership as "Shrek and Donkey."
To put it in less positive terms, Robinson can grate on people to the point of annoyance. In fact, after earning his second technical foul in as many games on Friday night against the New York Knicks, Robinson said that referees have made him a target. From Christopher Dempsey for The Denver Post:
Robinson smirked when talking about it.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie6 days ago
Since last playing in the NBA in 2011, NBA legend Allen Iverson has gone through a not particularly respectable period of time typified by news stories alternately unfortunate and ridiculous. However, things appear to be looking up for Iverson, in part because he finally announced his official retirement from basketball shortly before the Philadelphia 76ers' opener in October. The hope is that, with this chapter closed, Iverson can transition into a less volatile lifestyle and build on many of the fond memories fans have of his career.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie7 days ago
After a weak start to the season, the Denver Nuggets have readjusted to work their way up to 7-6 and find their way back into the middle of the West's early picture. However, there is still room for considerable improvement. Through their first 13 games, the Nuggets are shooting only 69.9 percent from the free-throw line, bad enough to rank 28th overall. Only two players (Jordan Hamilton and Nate Robinson) are shooting better than 80 percent, and several key players are well shy of 70 percent. They need to get better if they hope to maximize their offensive impact.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie7 days ago
Sometimes a prize can be a hassle. Last week, the Oklahoma City Thunder paid out two $20,000 prizes to fans for hitting halfcourt shots, continuing a stunning run of form in which participants made the basket in five of 22 games stretching back to last spring. The first of that duo, Cameron Rodriguez, nailed his shot on November 18 against the Denver Nuggets and proceeded to tackle mascot Rumble the Bison, go crazy, and chase that feeling on social media for quite some time. He was clearly very excited.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie8 days ago
Advanced statistics continue to become more prevalent in NBA front offices, with many teams moving past traditional data and towards optical tracking data that has more in common with futuristic spy technology than anything we're used to seeing in the world of professional basketball. The Toronto Raptors are one of those teams, with their front office having embraced the SportVU optical tracking system in recent seasons. As detailed by Zach Lowe of Grantland in a fascinating feature from last season, Toronto's analysts use SportVU for everything from checking proper defensive rotations to determining what constitutes a good shot. It's forward-thinking, fresh, and also a little quixotic in its pursuit of basketballular ideals.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie8 days ago
Every New York Knicks home game at Madison Square Garden serves as an opportunity to see some of the city's most famous residents out in support of one of the NBA's marquee franchises. Of that group, two stars stand out as particularly devoted fans: film directors Spike Lee and Woody Allen. For decades, both men have supported the team (and the NBA in general) with passion and commitment rivaling their own regularly expressed devotion to New York itself. While the Knicks would be a huge deal even without their presence at MSG, it's also the case that the games would feel a little different without them. At this point, they're a part of the experience.
It's somewhat shocking, then, to learn that one of them is currently embroiled in a minor beef with the franchise. Yet, according to a report from the New York Post's Page Six, Woody Allen has been banned from the MSG VIP lounge over a perceived snub (via EOB):
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie11 days ago
The return of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose from the left ACL injury that kept him out of the entire 2012-13 season has been one of the biggest NBA stories of this fall. While Rose has not looked at peak form for most of the first month of this campaign, he has appeared to be in good health with enough highlights to warrant optimism. At the very least, it's been nice to see one of the sport's most talented players back on the court.