Greivis Vasquez has a chance to get significant minutes as a rookie backing up Mike Conley as the Memphis point guard this season, if he can get a few things worked out.
One of those things was worked out Tuesday — he had surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle. The team announced that the surgery went well and he is expected to be ready to go when training camp opens.
Now it’s just a matter of getting his head on right.
Vasquez has an opportunity. Mike Conley is the starting point guard but that is largely by default, the Grizzlies don’t love him but if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with. They tried to experiment with O.J. Mayo at the point in Summer League, but that was a failure.
Greivis, the ACC player of the year last year out of Maryland, showed he has good shooting range and played better defense than expected at Summer League in Vegas. That was the good news. The bad news is he struggled with some basic decision making and running of the offense. He had multiple 8-second back court violations called on him. He had trouble adjusting to the NBA game.
He’ll get plenty of opportunities come the fall. The Grizzlies want him to succeed, they want him to be part of a stronger bench. We’ll see. But his ankle will be better.
The Bulls suffered a rough loss in Boston last night.
It didn’t get better afterward.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge – who played for Boston in the 80s – pleaded ignorance to any nefarious plumbing:
I think the idea that teams plot to shut off the visitor’s hot water is often overstated. Arenas have complex infrastructure, and things can go wrong on their own. Sometimes, the home team loses hot water, but that never gets remembered.
But reasonable excuses don’t make a cold shower in the moment any more tolerable.
Robin Lopez had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
This miss was all on him.
Dwyane Wade (26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) was the Bulls’ best player in their Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
But the 35-year-old guard clearly didn’t go all out on every possession.
Players can justify not closing out by claiming they were prioritizing rebounding position. Wade clearly has no such excuse.
The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.
One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.
We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.
Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.
If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.
For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.