We all knew Gregg Popovich was old school. We just didn’t know how old school
Like 1970s old school. Like Steve Martin doing King Tut on Saturday Night Live old school. Like The Who when they still had Keith Moon as their drummer old school. (Actually, that last one is not a bad school to be in.)
Popovich is no fan of the three-point line (which came into the league in 1979), he told the News-Express Spurs blog.
“I’m old-school, I wish there weren’t any threes,” Popovich said. “It would be more basketball-like to me.”
We should note — as does the Spurs blog — that this season’s Spurs revival would be going nowhere fast without the three.
Heading into the final two games of the season, the Spurs rank fourth in the NBA in 3-pointers made and first in accuracy (39.9 percent).
Two players have set career highs in 3-pointers made, Richard Jefferson (133) and George Hill (77). Manu Ginobili (154) needs three more to set a career best. Matt Bonner leads the league in 3-point accuracy (102 of 224, good for 45.5 percent), while Gary Neal has connected on 126 long balls, tops among rookies.
Popovich’s overarching theme for his team is noted — they need to get points in the paint to balance out those threes in the playoffs or the team is in trouble.
But his team knew that. This is a veteran bunch. Some of them may even remember Steve Martin doing King Tut on Saturday Night Live.
During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”
Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.
The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.
Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:
“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.
That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.
There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.
Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.
That place turned out to be the Pacers.
Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.
That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.