John Wall

John Wall and Sam Cassell battle in the post

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Dwight Howard wanted to refine his post moves, so he sought out Hakeem Olajuwon. John Wall wanted to refine his post moves, too, but he didn’t have to seek out anyone; one of the best post-up point guards of the modern era serves on Flip Saunders’ coaching staff, ready to school Wall (and Washington’s other eager minds) on a whim.

Courtesy of Kyle Weidie of Truth About It, we have video of Wall and Sam Cassell trading post-ups in practice, and the old man can still pull off a move or two. Head over to Truth About It to see the video.

It doesn’t take much in-depth observation to see the differences between the two players. Wall may have the advantage in speed, but Cassell’s moves are practiced and deliberate. He knows exactly where he’s going and exactly how to counter if his first option is taken away. On top of that, Wall begins most of his post-up sequences without really fighting for position at all, whereas Cassell does a stellar job of positioning himself before even receiving the entry pass.

Plus, when Wall pulls off a move against Cassell, he preens to cheers from observers. Which one of these is the superstar-in-the-making Great Hope, and which is the run-down retiree again?

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.