Brook Lopez has a lot of reasons to be frustrated. I can think of 61 off the top of my head. Make that 62 when he thinks about his brother getting glorious feeds from Steve Nash.
The Nets have 14 games to win three, or they go down as the worst team in NBA history. Doesn’t sound like much, but on their season-long pace New Jersey would likely win one, maybe two. Not enough.
Lopez — the one Net having a good season, with a PER of 20.3, well above the league average — wants those wins. He is frustrated. And it is starting to boil over, according to Al Iannazzone at northjersey.com.
Lopez’s frustration has been obvious in games and in the locker room lately and it was apparent at practice today.
Lopez stormed off the court and was followed by assistant coach Roy Rogers, several players and a Nets’ security person. Lopez never returned.
“Teams have been a little bit more aware (of Lopez in the offense),” (Devin) Harris said. “He’s been more of the focal point of the offense. His catches aren’t as deep as they were earlier in the year. It’s probably both on myself and him – it’s kind of a partnership that way. We need to make more of a conscious effort that when he has deep position we need to give him the ball regardless of if he has an open shot or not. He’s our focal point in the paint. We need to first and foremost try to get him going and try and get the rest of the guys going.”
Brook shouldn’t be the only one frustrated — the entire team should have been storm-out-of-the-gym frustrated back in January. And done something about it then.
But you’ve got to be mature about it now. Outside of Kobe Bryant and maybe a couple other guys, people do not play better angry. They play out of control, take bad shots and commit bad fouls. You’ve got to get it under control, or you’re not going to get those three wins.
Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.
Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks
Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.
So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.
“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….
“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.
“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.
Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.
Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.
“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.
“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”
I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.
But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.
Drake introduces Raptors’ starters, and it’s a lot of fun (video)