Can Larry Brown help get Tyrus Thomas' head screwed on?

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Thumbnail image for Ty_Thomas.jpgAsk any of the player development people, the coaches, the people around Tyrus Thomas and it was never about the physical stuff. In a league filled with athletes he is one of the elite ones.

It was about wanting it, being aggressive. Playing through the contact. It was a focus issue. His teammates in Charlotte were frank in saying as much to the Observer.

“I think he’s still a little immature,” small forward Gerald Wallace said. “But at the same time, when he focuses on playing the game the right way, and not worrying about the referees or worrying about getting fouled or getting hit, he’s amazing.”

Added shooting guard Stephen Jackson, “All he has to do is keep his mind in the game, and you’ll see a lot of good this season.”

Bobcats coach Larry Brown could be the one guy who could make that happen. Brown is still a teacher at heart, and a guy who has seen everything. Twice. He has forged a real bond with Brown, saying this is the best relationship he has ever had with a coach.

Brown is not soft, but he listens and cares. He talked to Thomas about things other than basketball, about family and issues that really matter.

“When you’ve got a guy who cares about you as a person, it makes it easier to take” the critiques, Thomas described. “So when he curses me out, or he’s fussing at me or just riding me the whole practice, I know it’s for a reason.

“And maybe sometimes it’s not for a reason, but that’s just how L.B. is. After (the harangue) he’ll come give you a hug and tell you exactly how to get better.”

There is a Chinese proverb that when the student is ready, the teacher will come. Maybe Brown is the guy that can get Thomas to really bring his incredible talent nightly. Maybe that is more because of Thomas maturing than Brown.

Bottom line is if he does, the Bobcats become a much better team.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.