Add Kendrick Perkins to the list of players not backing down from Miami


Thumbnail image for Perkins_game.jpgThe Miami Heat are going to be a regular season force — with little time to prepare for them (and there is little time in the regular season for teams) it will be hard to find and execute the little things that could slow LeBron, Wade and Bosh.

But what about in the playoffs? In a seven game series where you are focused on just one team.

Boston’s Kendrick Perkins told KILT in Houston that he thinks Boston could fare well against Miami in the postseason.

“It’s not hard. I think we proved that this year. It’s not important where you finish in the regular season in my opinion. If you got a team that has just one goal, the goal is getting into the playoffs. Last year we finished the year at 17 and 17. That wasn’t even above .500. That was right at .500 record.  A lot of people were counting us out but we knew what we were waiting on. We were just waiting to get to the playoffs. When you get to the playoffs, it’s a totally different game. It’s not more fast paced, it’s all slowed up, it’s more of a half court set, and it’s more physical. It looks good on paper with Miami and stuff like that, but at the same time each team is going to come at you. You gotta be prepared. It would be nothing more than amazing for us to meet up with Miami and beat them. I think any team would love to upset them. They’ve got a lot of pressure on their end. Forget the other teams have to play against them, they’ve got a lot of pressure on their end to win, to actually produce. It won’t just be as if you’re gonna get three All Star players and then you win a championship. You gotta have the right coach, everybody has to sacrifice, you gotta be willing to move the ball, it’s gotta be about team, and you gotta be able to play defense. We’ll see when it’s time to match-up so we can just go from there.”

Perkins is right — talent like Miami now has gets you regular season wins, but it takes another level to get a title. The Heat may be able to reach that level (Wade has), but they are going to have to prove it. Boston already has shown they get it.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

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, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

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.

Kobe shotchart 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.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“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.