Ball Don't Lie
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie10 hrs ago
If you have read anything about Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden in the last six months, then you have probably watched or at least seen a link to this 11-minute video of his worst defensive failures:
The lowlight mix has become as much a part of Harden's reputation as his elite scoring, casting him as a lackadaisical defender whose regular lapses could be holding back the Rockets from championship contention. Some videos become viral and seize the sport's attention for a few days or weeks, but this one has become shorthand for the "Weaknesses" section of a Harden scouting report.
The Rockets are understandably not especially happy with the ongoing popularity of the Harden defense video and other related clips. So much, in fact, that general manager Daryl Morey thinks continued focus on these videos is ridiculous. From Sam Amick for USA Today:
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie12 hrs ago
It's no big secret that Miami Heat icon Dwyane Wade is aging and no longer has the overwhelming athleticism that helped him build a Hall of Fame career. Wade can still be effective, but we know from the 2013-14 season that he is not on the same level as the NBA's top superstars. He needs a new standard for competition.
Heat fans will hope that Wade's latest challenger has not set his new level. Nelly, a big Heat fan, just turned 90 years old. To celebrate, she decided to challenge her favorite player to a game of one-on-one with this video (via Triangle Offense):
Well that's just adorable, especially when Nelly says "Wow!" after making a basket on a six-foot rim, which is still pretty darn impressive for a 90-year-old. Wade heard Nelly loud and clear, so he invited her to the Heat's shootaround ahead of Tuesday night's exhibition against the Houston Rockets. He posted about the meeting on Instagram:
The caption of Wade's photo:
The 10-man rotation, starring the case *for* Kobe Bryant (or, at least, that it's not all his fault)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie16 hrs ago
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: Silver Screen and Roll. After reading Henry Abbott's ESPN the Magazine piece arguing that Kobe Bryant is the reason for the Los Angeles Lakers' downfall, Drew Garrison presents the counterargument, suggesting that the reasons for the franchise's precipitous recent decline are numerous, varied and not all contained within the Mamba's jaw-jut. A worthwhile hearing for the defense.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie19 hrs ago
The Golden State Warriors cannot be criticized for lacking ambition. Mark Jackson led the franchise to the playoffs in two consecutive seasons (out of his three total), a feat that made him their most successful head coach since the first Don Nelson era. His reward was a speedy dismissal. For whatever tensions existed between Jackson and his bosses — and there were many, to the point where a disaster may have loomed — it is fairly apparent that the people in charge of the Warriors expect to challenge for titles, not to lose out on homecourt advantage in the first round and take one playoff series every couple years. Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber want one of the league's preeminent franchises.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie20 hrs ago
After Derrick Rose basically (and understandably) ducked extensively speaking with most media while sitting out the 2012-13 season with an ACL tear, the NBA changed its rules regarding the media availability required for its seriously injured players. Though Kevin Durant’s right foot fracture won’t shelve him for the entire 2014-15 season, it will put him out for most of the exhibition season and at least the first month of the regular season – and it is a serious injury.
This is why Durant spoke at a press conference on Tuesday morning, one that was technically nationally televised on NBA TV. It was his first showing in front of the cameras since leaving his team’s second exhibition game nearly two weeks ago. In a move that was probably whimsical to most but worrying to Thunder fans, this is how Durant literally rolled:
Here’s a snippet from Durant’s presser:
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie20 hrs ago
After a 120-107 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday that saw them allow a Bucks club expected to rank among the NBA's very worst teams this season to shoot 60 percent from the floor, the New York Knicks knew it was time to face the music when they spoke with reporters. Knicks guard Iman Shumpert seemed to take the "time" and "face" parts pretty seriously:
Iman Shumpert is wearing a clock hat. pic.twitter.com/szznEUv4Qd
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie21 hrs ago
Derrick Rose looked fantastic on Monday night, scoring 30 points on 12 for 18 shooting with five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in just 24 minutes of work during the Chicago Bulls' 107-98 preseason loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The point guard, who's trying to rediscover his MVP form after missing most of the last two seasons with knee injuries, did most of that damage before halftime, scoring 20 points in the first two quarters with an array of explosive moves, quicksilver cuts and dynamic dribble-drives that made his woeful 2014 FIBA World Cup seem like a distant memory and gave Bulls fans cause for celebration.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie23 hrs ago
When Vince Carter joined the Dallas Mavericks before the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, many NBA observers believed the veteran swingman to be nearing the end of the line. He was 34 years old, coming off two decent but not star-caliber stints as a member of the supporting cast on Dwight Howard's Orlando Magic and Steve Nash's Phoenix Suns, and looking like he'd clearly lost a step from his explosive superstar days with the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets. During this three years in Texas, though, Carter somewhat surprisingly transformed into one of the league's premier sixth men, a versatile role player at home on a veteran-heavy team who could author a dramatic moment or two.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The Chicago Bulls figure to be one of the most intriguing teams of the 2014-15 season, a talented squad that shouldn't be worse than a solid playoff team and could possibly contend for a championship, depending on a few factors. The biggest of those variables figures to be the health and related effectiveness of point guard Derrick Rose, currently healthy after returning from the second of two consecutive season-ending knee injuries. After playing in only 10 games last season and failing to star in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball, Rose needs to prove he can return to his former status before the Bulls will be seen as members of the NBA's elite.
That process will take some time, because Rose needs to excel for a prolonged period of time to turn back into an MVP candidate. For now, though, Rose is serving notice that he can play at an elite level when needed. In Monday night's exhibition game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Columbus, Ohio, Rose looked like his old self with 30 points in (12-of-18 FG, 4-of-5 3FG) in just 24 minutes of play.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The gruesome leg injury suffered by Paul George in a USA Basketball exhibition was arguably the biggest non-acquisition moment of the NBA offseason. The Pacers immediately lost their already iffy status as East contenders and now look headed for a lottery appearance, if not full-scale rebuilding. Plus, the league as a whole will be without one of its brightest young stars. It's a shame all around.
Given this state of things, any progress in George's recovery looks pretty positive. So it was nice to find out on Tuesday that he's back on the court and taking jumpers after Pacers practice. Check out the video from VigilantSports.com: