There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there, but perhaps the most interesting note from Schuhmann’s diary is that Kevin Durant was the power forward in every lineup that he was a part of during Tuesday’s scrimmages.
Durant, of course, has almost exclusively been a three over the course of his NBA career, so the possibility of him playing the four during the FIBA games is a fascinating one.
Durant’s lack of bulk and strength, as well as the Thunder’s desire to keep Durant from getting beat up or into foul trouble, have prevented him from playing much power forward at the NBA level.
Fortunately for Durant, FIBA play means a wider key and more finesse-based forwards, both of which will make Durant’s “transition” to the power forward spot much easier; LeBron James was able to play the four very effectively for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics, despite his lack of experience at the position in NBA play.
Durant getting some experience at power forward in FIBA play could have some interesting implications for the Thunder once the NBA season starts. Jeff Green is more of a tweener forward than a true 4, and putting Durant on the blocks and Green on the perimeter from time to time could keep teams from loading up on the Thunder’s often stagnant offense. Durant obviously has the height, length, and touch to be a great post scorer (he’s also much stronger than he looks), but only 49 of Durant’s 828 made field goals last season came in post-up situations.
Regardless of how much Durant learning to play the 4 will impact his game, one thing is certain: If Team USA rolls out small-ball lineups like Rose/Billups/Iguodala/Durant/Odom and Rose/Curry/Billups/Durant/Love during the actual FIBA tournament, they are going to be a lot of fun to watch.
The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.
The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.
With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.
And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.
It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.
At this point, there is zero chance Russell Westbrook‘s posts are a coincidence.
First. he posted a video of himself singing along to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Now I Do What I Want.”
Then came the shoe ad that was another little jab at now Warriors Kevin Durant.
Now comes Westbrook’s return to karaoke posts, this time singing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
Apparently, Westbrook and Durant are having one rough teenage breakup.
One of the great stories of last season was the return of Paul George to All-Star level form (then to watch him be crucial to the USA winning gold this summer).
It was a great story because vintage Paul George was so great. Watch this throwback video of him blowing by LeBron James and dunking over Chris Andersen from a few years back — this is vicious.
By the way, if you’re not following NBA history on Twitter and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong.