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.

Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)

Gordon Hayward (20), del Jazz de Utah, intenta un enceste ante Thon Maker (7) y Michael Beasley (9), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, en el duelo del viernes 24 de febrero de 2017, en Milwaukee. (AP Foto/Benny Sieu)
AP Foto/Benny Sieu
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Are we obligated to call Gordon Hayward “deceptively athletic”?

The Bucks have something special in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they think they have something special in Thon Maker.

But Hayward jammed all over those two in the Jazz’s 109-95 win last night.

First, he got Antetokounmpo:

Then, he got Maker:

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.