Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• Miami’s big three as depicted in gigantic foam statues (picture to the right). The word you are looking for is creepy.
• The corner three is one of the most efficient shots on the floor — teams that make a lot win a lot, teams that defend it well win a lot, also. Here are the guys who take most of their threes from the corner.
• Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen with an odd response to an unflattering column in a Portland paper.
• As societal attitudes shift, do you view athletes who use marijuana differently.
• They are talking tanking at Grantland, and really you can’t rail against how the Warriors and a few other teams treating this season enough.
• Greg Stiemsma is a restricted free agent this summer but wants to return to Boston. The feeling is mutual.
• Gerald Green wants to stay with the Nets, and will even give them a discount.
• The Wizards are shutting down Andre Blatche for the season. Will anybody notice?
• Bulls rookie Jimmy Butler gives a twitter tour of his apartment. With a small stuffed dog.
• A Q&A with the Kings rookie Isaiah Thomas.
• Bucks coach Scott Skiles has put his home up for sale in Milwaukee, according to a note at Sheridanhoops.com. Read into that what you will, but can you really see Skiles coaching a Monta Ellis/Brandon Jennings backcourt?
• What do you think it is like to be an NBA beat writer? One of the best — Kevin Ding, who covers the Lakers for the Orange County Register — answers some questions.
• The lawsuit NBA writer Chris Sheridan filed against Peter Vecsey of the New York Post has been settled.
Craig Sager couldn’t be in Rio covering the Olympics for NBC, his cancer wouldn’t allow it. That didn’t stop Team USA from reaching out to him before they left. Or from Nike designing a sweet pair of shoes for him.
Now there is good news on his battle against leukemia — he will have a third bone marrow transplant, according to his son Craig Sager II.
This is fantastic news for a man and family who have been through a lot. Hopefully, this treatment is a step forward for Sager, a man beloved by everyone around the NBA.
The Oklahoma City frontcourt is crowded. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams will start, and they will have Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, and now Joffrey Lauvergne behind them.
Which likely means Mitch McGary‘s done as a member of the Thunder, according to Royce Young of ESPN.
McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.
McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.
If you can knock down a 19-foot shot, then a 15-footer should be easier. Right?
Apparently that — and just basic muscle memory — is the latest attempt to improve Dwight Howard‘s free throw shooting. And, he seems to be knocking down those shots.
It’s not hard to see the logic in this approach.
The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.
The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.
But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.