David Lee is one of the polarizing guys for barstool pundits in the NBA. Half the people think he can’t defend, has benefited from Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun (even if the pace-factored stats suggest otherwise), and simply isn’t that good. His supporters think that he possesses a unique set of skills you rarely see in the league.
The debate will continue this summer when Lee is an unrestricted free agent (again). But Lee’s agent got a mighty big highlight clip to throw at teams last night.
Take that ability augmented by D’Antoni’s offense and stir in a dash of Golden State’s horrific defense? You’ve got a recipe for history.
Lee went off for 37 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists in a loss(!) to the Warriors last night.
Let that sink in for a second.
It was the first time since the ABA Merger in 1976 to score 37, grab 20 boards, and dish 10 dimes. I don’t care who that is, that’s an impressive triple double. Think of all the amazing players we’ve seen since the merger. No one has done what Lee did last night. And it was wasted in a loss. At some point you have to get past context and pace and recognize something, though. There’s no way Lee’s performance last night didn’t help the Knicks. He just needs to wind up on a team where he can contribute to a winner.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.
This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.
Here was his January try:
As Rockets general manager Daryl Morey once noted, cherry-picking James Harden‘s worst defensive plays to create a video is unfair. Many players would look awful by that measure.
But Harden provides serious ammo for these worst-of videos.
This non-attempt to stop Lance Thomas is just brutal.
At least Houston buckled down to beat the Knicks, 116-111 in overtime. The Rockets have climbed to 26th in points allowed per possession.
So, Kobe Bryant‘s NBA career is officially going to come to an end after the 2015-16 season. That part he announced on Sunday.
What’s still up in the air is Bryant’s participation in one last Olympics. Bryant has been in consideration to make Team USA this summer at the games in Rio de Janeiro, and USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo tells ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that he hasn’t ruled that out yet:
Kobe was asked about this at his post-game press conference Sunday and said it was not a goal, but if it was offered he’d consider it.
“I’d be honored if that was there, it would be fantastic to be around that group and spend kind of the last journey with them,” Bryant said. “That being said, it’s not something that I’m obsessing over.”
‘When Bryant made it known that he wanted to play in Rio, he made it clear to Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski that he wanted to earn a spot, not be given one as a lifetime achievement award. Watching him so far this season, it’s almost impossible to imagine him making the roster on merit.
But nobody should begrudge him if he wanted to extend the farewell tour just a little bit longer.