Teaching Terrico White

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twhite_rookiephoto.jpgWe have yet to see Terrico White unleashed.

He is this insane athlete — did you see his dunks during the informal little contest that broke out at the rookie photo shoot, where he was going 360 between the legs? — who is raw. Who didn’t impress that much during Summer League. Who could be so good but has to figure it all out.

Which is what his trainer Adam Wilson told the official Pistons Web site he is working on with him — some physical stuff, sure, but mostly mental. Teaching him to be aggressive.

“That’s the main thing with Terrico,” Wilson said. “When he’s aggressive, he’s dynamic. He’s something else when he’s aggressive. He has tremendous ability to score the basketball. His mid-range game is really nice. He can get to a spot quick, two dribbles, and his elevation is great with a 42-inch vertical. But the thing about Terrico is he’s really, really, really never been pushed before. Now he’s in the NBA and he’ll really get pushed. I think you’re going to see great things out of him.”

White was not aggressive during Summer League. Not bad, and there were flashes, but overall he seemed to be thinking more than just reacting.

“I worked with him through the draft process and saw something different every day. Did you see all he could do in Las Vegas? Not even close. He’s a quiet kid, no expression. He’s the type of kid that will drop 50 points on you and won’t say a word. A humble Southern kid but a great talent. It’s all about keeping him aggressive and that’s what I focus on – just keeping him aggressive, keep him on edge.”

The question with Terrico White in Detroit has never been about skills or athleticism, it has been about fit. With that, even Wilson is not sure right now.

“I don’t know how he’s going to fit in here being that they have a few point guards,” he said. “With his size and his shooting ability, he can play the two. But when you see him in college, when he had the ball in his hands he was really, really effective, and he’s really aggressive when he has the ball in his hands. When he’s off the ball, he’s kind of passive at times. His freshman year (at Mississippi), when the point guard went down they moved him to the point and he’s Freshman of the Year in the SEC. He’s a tremendous athlete, a tremendous player, and his ceiling is really high – 20 years old.

It may take a couple years to develop, but when he starts to get near that ceiling it could be very good for the Pistons.

Mario Chalmers trips James Harden, Harden shoves him back (VIDEO)

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Memphis came back on an 18-2 run late to in the fourth quarter to knock off the Houston Rockets, a very impressive road win that reminds us Memphis is not a team to be written off.

This is the play everyone will be talking about — James Harden squared up looking for a fight.

Mario Chalmers got knocked down by a Harden screen, and while on the ground tries to trip up Harden, and Harden turns around and shoves him. Harden squared up, but as happens in the NBA everyone stepped in, and nothing actually happened.

Neither man was ejected. The referees called it an offensive foul on Harden for the pick, then there were double technicals. Fines may follow from the league.

Metta World Peace joins Lakers’ G League team as ass’t coach

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Metta World Peace has joined the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA G League affiliate as a player development coach.

The veteran NBA forward was added to the South Bay Lakers’ staff Monday.

World Peace played 16 NBA seasons for six franchises, including six years with the Lakers from 2009-10 and 2015-17. He was a standout defensive player who won a championship alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in 2010.

While he hasn’t publicly retired, the forward formerly known as Ron Artest will assist South Bay Lakers head coach Coby Karl and his staff.

World Peace earned the longest suspension in NBA history for his role in the Indiana Pacers’ infamous brawl in the stands at Detroit in November 2004, but he matured into a valued veteran leader for the Lakers.

LaVar Ball calls out Wizards, Marcin Gortat doesn’t think that was smart

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“I told him after the game, due to all the riffraff his dad brings he’s going to get a lot of people coming at him. He’s got to be ready for that, and I let him know after the game… (I had to) welcome his little young a** to the NBA.”

That was the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley after he tormented Lonzo Ball on opening night, and he speaks for a number of other players I have heard from who said father LaVar wrote checks that Lonzo is going to have to cash, and guys were going to go at him. Not every night, but enough.

Since that rough opener the rookie has had a decent couple of games — averaging 18.5 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds a night, not efficient but playing better — going against Eric Bledsoe (a capable defender who had checked out mentally in Phoenix) and Jrue Holiday and the Pelicans. Wednesday night John Wall and the Wizards come to town, and that’s another level of competition.

My least favorite thing about this Lakers season is the way the L.A. media sticks a microphone in front of LaVar Ball after every game. I don’t care about LaVar, in the same way I don’t care about the Kardashians.

But what he said has become a thing. After the Lakers loss to the Pelicans LaVar said, “[The Wizards] better beware cause Lonzo ain’t losing again. Not in the same week!”

Wizards’ center Marcin Gortat thought that was funny.

First off, Lonzo is going to lose twice in a week a lot this season — the Lakers are not a good team.

Second, Wall is a top-five NBA point guard by any standard, an All-NBA player who is far more than just quick (although he is that, too). He can shoot, he’s an aggressive defender, and he knows how to set up teammates. He’s going to be more than a handful for Ball. To put it kindly.

Whatever happens Wednesday night (most likely Wall smokes Lonzo) we know one thing for sure: LaVar will say something outlandish. And it will become a thing. The game is secondary for that marketing effort.

Lakers to break out powder blue Minneapolis throwback uniforms this season

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The Lakers have gone a few different directions with alternate uniforms in recent years, such as the black version, but when you have a classic brand you shouldn’t mess with it. Same with the Celtics, Bulls, Sixers, and other classic uniforms — if you’re going to go alternate then go older.

The Lakers are doing just that — going back to Minneapolis.

They are breaking out the George Mikan era jerseys, starting on Wednesday vs. Wizards and in four other games later in the season.

I like it.

Now if the Lakers could get George Mikan in the paint it would help.