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?
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.
ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin explains why he believes the Sacramento Kings have enough pieces to potentially make a run at the final playoff spot in the West.