What follows will be the strangest sentence I will type this week, no doubt:
There is a bill working its way through the legislature in the Philippines to make JaVale McGee a naturalized citizen so he can play for their national basketball team in time for the 2013 Asia Championships (which feed into the World Championships in 2014).
It’s still as strange as the day we first wrote about it, but the legislation is new, something we learned about from SB Nation. For clarification, we need to add this — the Philippines did not qualify for the Olympics or the pre-Olympic last-chance qualifying tournament this summer. They will not be playing in London this summer.
But that doesn’t make the fans in the Philippines any less basketball mad — they love the sport over there. They haven’t produced a lot of great talent (yet) but there is passion for the sport. Which was evident during some exhibition games there during the lockout.
Games that JaVale McGee looked awesome in. Of course he did, there is no structure, it’s just freelancing and athleticism. That’s what McGee does well, it’s the whole structure, know your defensive rotations stuff that he struggles with. It is those things that helped keep him off Team USA for the World Championships in Turkey in 2010 — McGee was in camp but lost out for a spot to Tyson Chandler.
McGee has tweeted he would love to represent the Philippines.
So, now they are working brining him on to their national team. Through national edict. He sure would make that team a lot more interesting to watch.
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.
John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.
Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.
So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.
Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.
Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.
Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.
I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.