Money is a motivator.
Antoine Walker needs money, he owes Vegas casinos $1 million after a settlement and has debts piled high as he tries to climb out of the hole from a terrible gambling addiction, one that left him nearly broke.
So Walker is looking to get paid to play. He has been working out this summer hard and may be in the best shape he’s been in since he walked on an NBA court. The 12-year veteran, former three-time All Star, is trying to make a comeback at age 34 after being out of the game for two years.
This week will be staying with Nazr Mohammed and working out at the Charlotte Bobcats facility, hoping to land a camp invite from the team, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
The Bobcats are a team that does not have a fully settled roster. They have an owner in Michael Jordan who knows Walker, who might let him get his foot in the door. You can see the logic, sort of.
But as Stein notes, the Bobcats are also deep in the athletic, wing forward role that Walker plays (Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas). Coach Larry Brown is not one to just screw around and invite people in. Walker may not expect to make the team, but a chance to come to camp may open up other NBA doors or a chance in Europe.
But first Walker has a lot of skepticism to overcome, he’s got to prove himself. He got a chance and then was let go from the Puerto Rican league last season when he shot poorly and was out of shape. That in a nice league but one a few notches down from the NBA.
But Walker is making his pitch. It would be interesting to see how he does.
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.
John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.
Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.
So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.
Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.
Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.
Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.
I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.