The Charlotte Bobcats announced today that they have released point guard Javaris Crittenton, who was not only fighting for a spot on the Bobcats roster, but perhaps also fighting for his NBA life. As Gilbert Arenas’ opposite in last season’s gun scandal, Crittenton was hoping to clear his name with an NBA gig this season, but now it seems that Critt will be forced to seek employment elsewhere.
Crittenton has never been a can’t-miss talent, and as such, his NBA future could be forever impacted by the events of last December. If he were oozing with potential, Crittenton’s days of making the headlines would be but a blemish on his overall résumé, but considering how few his opportunities to prove himself have been, he doesn’t yet have the body of work that could discount that kind of bad press.
I wouldn’t expect that a lot of NBA decision-makers necessarily fault Crittenton for what happened, or think of him as some kind of villain. That said, his past brings headaches. Headaches that minimum-salary talents don’t often come with, and don’t have to, given the sheer number of roughly equivalent players out there. This isn’t necessarily a death sentence for Crittenton’s NBA career, but it’s a significant blow. It’s likely he’ll float around in the NBA’s atmosphere for awhile (Summer League, training camp, etc.), but this was a solid shot to make a team weak at his position and yet Crittenton couldn’t get it done. It might be due to his recovery from ankle surgery, play in camp, or his past, but regardless of the justification, Crittenton won’t be an NBA regular this season.
The Bulls suffered a rough loss in Boston last night.
It didn’t get better afterward.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge – who played for Boston in the 80s – pleaded ignorance to any nefarious plumbing:
I think the idea that teams plot to shut off the visitor’s hot water is often overstated. Arenas have complex infrastructure, and things can go wrong on their own. Sometimes, the home team loses hot water, but that never gets remembered.
But reasonable excuses don’t make a cold shower in the moment any more tolerable.
Robin Lopez had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
This miss was all on him.
Dwyane Wade (26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) was the Bulls’ best player in their Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
But the 35-year-old guard clearly didn’t go all out on every possession.
Players can justify not closing out by claiming they were prioritizing rebounding position. Wade clearly has no such excuse.
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.