It defies all logic, but there has become a “the Grizzlies should trade Rudy Gay” movement.
The theory goes that since they won their first playoff game ever, their first playoff series ever and pushed the Oklahoma City Thunder to seven games while he was out injured that they are better off without him. I’m not sure supporters of this actually watched the games — you don’t think the Grizzlies needed more offense from the wing? Really? — but it’s out there, with published reports Gay was on the block for the right deal.
Grizzlies’ owner Michael Heisley is shooting that down now, in no uncertain terms, calling Geoff Calkins at the Commercial Appeal and asking him to kill tis rumor now.
“Would you please make it clear that we’re not trading Rudy Gay?”
You’re not? But I keep hearing all these NBA types say that you might well trade him.
“I know,” said Heisley. “And, quite frankly, it (ticks) me off. I think it’s cruel to the guy. He died during this period. That’s how much he wanted to play. And to now have to hear that we’re trading him? There’s nothing more untrue than that…
“Let me tell you something,” said Heisley. “No disrespect to Oklahoma City, but if we had had Rudy Gay, we would have won the bleepity-bleep series going away. I really believe that.”
Last series the Thunder essentially layed off Tony Allen and they begged Sam Young to shoot from the outside. All the talk is how the Grizzlies need shooters (and they do). Gay hit 39.6 percent from three last season and 39 percent on shots from 16-23 feet. He knocks down those outside shots. He can create his own shots on the perimeter, something Memphis needed in the playoffs. He scored 19.8 points per game this season for a reason.
We’ve disagreed about Heisley on plenty of things, but he is spot on here.
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.