Denver Nuggets v Charlotte Bobcats

Bobcat’s Thomas says he’s working on his mental game

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There’s really never been any question about Tyrus Thomas’ physical skills — he’s 6’9” and can leap out of the gym, he can rebound and finish at the rim. But even those close to him have been frustrated with his decision making, which we will kindly call inconsistent. Focus and Thomas are rarely used in the same sentence.

The physical side of his game — rehab on the knee he had surgery on in January, getting his explosiveness back — was the big order of the summer.

But he is doing more than that, he told the Charlotte Observer (in answer to a reader’s questions).

I’ve been really working on my mental approach to the game. I’ve done that by watching film, studying myself, and being more analytical, rather than spontaneous, in my everyday life. I must say though, the highlight of my summer has been my wedding!

Good answer on the wedding. I have no doubt it was the highlight of your summer, but trust me when I say you want to keep telling your wife that. Whatever you do, during the 8-hour flight to your honeymoon do not say to your new wife “can we talk about something other than the wedding?” Just trust us on that one.

Thomas also said he is working on a go-to move with his back to the basket. His wife may not love that but Bobcats fans would.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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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.