Doc Rivers wants Ray Allen back in the green this summer. But after the Celtics shopped the soon-to-be 35 year old this year, there are going to be questions about where he’ll wind up. Saturday, the New York Daily News filed their answer to that question to a certain degree. Reports on the paper’s website Saturday indicated that Allen is “not exactly thrilled” with how Rajon Rondo has taken over the Celtics’ offense and is considering joining Dwyane Wade and/or Chris Bosh in Miami as a free agent.
We can slice this sucker up a few different ways, but let’s take it piece by piece.
It’s extremely unlikely Allen is unhappy with Rajon Rondo’s development. Of all the Celtics, it’s been Allen that’s been most supportive of sharing the ball and of Rondo’s development. Allen has arguably benefited the most from a drive and kick point guard succeeding at a high level, which has taken the pressure off of Allen’s fading dribble-drive penetration game. Allen’s an elite shooter and Rondo has given Allen the opportunity to be the best he can be at that game. Allen has also never expressed the kind of alpha dog mentality hinted at in the Daily News article.
But how about the prospect of joining Bosh and Wade? That’s got to be exciting, right? Except that it essentially makes Allen a bench player, and while he’s not an alpha dog, he’s not exactly submissive, either. Allen knows he can still contribute as a starter as long as his legs get high enough for that jumpshot to release. You could argue that the Heat could move Wade to point, but if you’ve consistently watched the Heat you know that’s a bad plan. The offense runs funky like Windows Vista, and Wade gets worn down having to fend off the point guard pressure at half court and has a hard time getting it back to execute the play.
Finally, Allen, along with Kevin Garnett, has really embraced Boston. He’s made his home in the area, has committed to the community, and has made it clear that he loves the city. Abandoning that, even for sweet retiring spot Miami just doesn’t seem to be in Allen’s make up.
Stranger things have happened though, and if Wade convinces Bosh to join him, every player in the league will be clamoring to join that club. We’ll keep you posted.
Kevin Garnett: Thon Maker “is going to be the MVP of the league one day. Mark it down.”
Not to get to inside baseball on NBA journalism, but one fundamental truth is player trainers pump up their guys. There usually is some truth in what they say, but it is in their interest to spin the player the best way possible. On and off the record it happens. It’s like asking a political campaign manager about his candidate, you will only get the positive.
Kevin Garnett worked out and helped the Bucks’ Thon Maker this summer.
In just his second season, Thon Maker has been in and out of the starting lineup for the Bucks at center, and he’s struggled this season with a true shooting percentage of 48 getting him 4.5 points a game, and PER of 9.3. (Bucks fans are understandably disappointed, but this is a second-year player, some patience is required).
“Thon Maker reminds me a lot of myself. He loves the game. He’s a young, exuberant athlete who has a lot of tools—he has touch; he has agility; he has really, good feet. He has a really good shot from three-point all the way up to 19 to 21 feet. He has very good bones, as we say.
Thon is going to be the MVP of the league one day. Mark it down. He has the bones. He has the appetite to be able to chase something like that.”
Garnett may have the wrong young-stud Buck with an MVP in his future.
Maker has gotten KG comparisons for years, he’s a very mobile and athletic but thin big who can shoot from the wing… but the physical similarities are not enough. Maker is no KG. Not yet. Maker showed promise against the Raptors last playoffs but has not taken a step forward off that progress this season, looking far more prone to fouling than defending. The effort is there, but the maturity of game has a long way to go to catch up.
Garnett is right that Maker has the tools, and he is just in his second NBA season so patience is required, but there were concerns around the league before the draft if he had the makeup to put it all together and become a quality NBA player. That question is still out there, let’s get past it before we heap on accolades.
LeBron James all good with Reggie Jackson’s free throw gamesmanship, “I’ve done it before”
Let’s set the stage: Sunday night, the fast-rising Pistons led the fast-rising Timberwolves by three with 6.2 seconds left when Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer. Butler drained the first two free throws. Before the third, Reggie Jacksoninterrupted to talk toStanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit held on to win 100-97. Here’s the play in question.
“I’ve done it before. I won a playoff series before doing that actually. So, I’m all for it.”
That series was in 2007, overtime of game 6 of a first-round playoff series against Washington, and the victim was the Hibachi, Gilbert Arenas. The Cavaliers were down 1, Arenas had two free throws, missed the first, then LeBron stepped in. Arenas missed the second, and the Cavs went on to get the win.
Is interrupting free throws about to become an NBA thing? If it works, players will do it.
Warriors pose for photos with Jahlil Okafor’s dad’s ‘FREE JAH’ shirt
Jahlil Okafor‘s father has not been shy about speaking out on his son’s behalf. NBA players are advocating for the 76ers to grant Okafor, who’s out of the rotation and on an expiring contract, his desired trade or buyout.
Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry appear to really enjoy Chukwudi Okafor’s shirt. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily calling on Philadelphia to do anything. But they hadn’t to know how it’d be perceived.
It’s easy to predict free agents will avoid the 76ers as a result of the Okafor situation, but few anticipate getting stuck similarly. Players overwhelmingly value money, winning, role and location. If Golden State’s stars are applying any external pressure, it shouldn’t really move Philadelphia more than anything that has already been said and done.
A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)
I think the NBA needs to have a discussion with the Lakers' scorers. These are not assists. Lonzo had a good game regardless and I think he'll be a good player but they shouldn't be padding his stats. pic.twitter.com/hFwG84GWUT
The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”
I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.
But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.
Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice
In the interest of fairness, I went through the database to see if any Simmons assists were scored similarly to those Ball ones. I clearly have a different view of assists than team scorers. pic.twitter.com/bUDwEjFEB6