Gilbert Arenas says he talks to Jeremy Lin once a week.
He talks to Dwight Howard more than that (just passing that along), but Arenas told Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated he’s been giving tips and played in a game this summer with Lin.
This is part of a fantastic Q&A Amick did with Arenas that covers his comeback attempt (he won’t rule out the D-League), his time in Washington and the gun incident, plus much more. But of course Lin came up, as he always seems to do these days.
“[Lin] was a Warriors fan during the Agent Zero days. Then this summer, when I went to play in the All-Warriors game, he was on the opposing side and he got a couple shots off, but I hit like five threes — almost from half-court — straight on him, and that’s what he was laughing about. When we talked today, I was like, ‘Man, that shot you hit on [Pau] Gasol, where you just looked him down, and then hit it — that’s the shot right there.” He said, ‘Wait a minute, you did that shot to me five times.’ I’m just so happy that he’s getting an opportunity to play. I just tell him the more success you have, the more you work. Just keep working.
“He’s a great kid. He wants to get better.”
For Knicks fans wondering what kind of advice Arenas is giving Lin, it’s the kind of tips veterans pass on to young players in the league.
“When you watch tape, never watch your guy — the guy you’re sticking with. The guy that’s sticking you is basically nonexistent. You look at the defenders behind him. How good are they? How good they are lets you know the kind of night you’re going to have. Now, if you’ve got somebody like [Anderson] Varejao, who’s going to block shots and take charges and all that, you need to know you just can’t drive the lane. You might have to pull up, stay on the side and use the jumper. Or if you have a guy who likes to leave his feet a lot, you’ll have a great night at the free-throw line. Look at those guys. Don’t look at your guy, because in the NBA you can beat your guy any time you want because you can’t touch nobody in the NBA anymore.”
Seriousluy, go read the entire Q&A, you get an insight into Arena’s mind. Which is an interesting place to be.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.