Watching replays of old now Hall of Famer Karl Malone and John Stockton games on NBA TV the last few days is a reminder of something that can get lost in the hype of superteams, in the winning and the losing:
Basketball can be a beautiful game. Artistry. Style. Flair.
If you’ve watched much NBA you’ve seen Goldstein at games, dressed rather flamboyantly in cowboy hats and leather suits. He’s a fashion fan. He travels the world — literally — going to top fashion shows, admiring the best architecture and going to basketball games.
And he gets it. Basketball is style, it’s artistry. A different form, but when done right it is there. Ray Allen using a pick to free himself for a jumper. Pau Gasol in the high post. Steve Nash coming off the high pick. Kevin Durant in space. This is a special kind of artistry, these are things of beauty. And we need to appreciate them as such.
Watch Spurs’ Dejounte Murray throw off-the-backboard alley-oop to himself in pickup game
Murray is going to be brought along slowly in a backcourt where Tony Parker and Patty Mills will be splitting time at the point. Murray is more of a combo guard and is going to have to shoot a lot better than he did in college (28.8 percent from three) to get some run. But this is a situation where the Spurs can groom him, bring him along slowly, and see if they have another draft steal.
He’s certainly got the athleticism.
Corey Brewer: “James (Harden) is going to play defense this year”
Well, at least it wasn’t two seasons ago — his near MVP season he was in good enough shape that he could put in a respectable effort on that end and still handle his massive offensive load. There were still some mental lapses, but his focus was better and his improvement lifted the team defense. Last season, he regressed back to youtube “highlight” defense Harden — his conditioning was not where it needed to be, he didn’t expend as much effort on that end, and it showed.
“I think this year he’s going to play better defense, We’re going to let the past be in the past. It’s the future of the Rockets, man. James is going to play defense this year.”
We’re all Missourians on this one: Show me.
Remember that the Rockets will be out and running — Mike D’Antoni is the coach now, and Daryl Morey is going to get the up tempo ball he wants (which Kevin McHale had them doing, but Harden didn’t like him so…). D’Antoni’s teams in Phoenix played better defense than their reputation — points per possession they were middle of the pack — but that has never been his focus.
Will Harden be able to run like he needs to on offense and still defend at a reasonable level?
If he can, it’s a big step toward the Rockets being a dangerous team in the West because if he does it others will follow. Otherwise, every Rockets game will be a shootout, which is entertaining but not going to get a team deep into the playoffs.
Watch Drake hit a half court shot while doing a situp
A few teams could use another point guard. If Chalmers shows his health, he belongs in someone’s rotation. But that might require taking a low-paying deal and working his way up from the third point guard spot – or even just onto the regular-season roster.