NBA Draft profile: Washington’s Terrence Ross

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Not a lot of people watched Terrence Ross last season. Because not a lot of people watched the Pac-12 last season. That’s not East Coast bias, I’m on the West Coast and I found Pac-12 ball almost unwatchable.

But there is talent there.

Meet Terrence Ross, the swingman from the University of Washington who is a borderline lottery pick heading into June. DraftExpress has him at No. 16 (I love their scouting reports), and I watched him a couple of times this season.

He is the kind of pick who walks right in and helps a team because he has a fantastic catch-and-shoot jumper (high and fast release) with range. When he sets his feet he’s sharp. He’s also athletic enough to get out on the break and attack the rim or pull up. He’s not got NBA handles yet but he’s the guy filling a lane in transition — you can picture him spotting up at the arc. Or the guy off the bench knocking down kick-out jumpers in the half court.

Plus, he can defend pretty well, something that if he proves he can really do in workouts will help his stock.

He’s got good size to play on the wing, listed at 6’7” (ask again after the combine). He’s athletic. He averaged 16.4 points per game and shot 37 percent from three. He did that with a low usage rate (19.8), which means he wasn’t shooting a lot he was just efficient when he did. On paper there’s a lot to like. The thing is, because Washington and the Pac-12 were unimpressive, teams are not totally sold yet. They want to see more.

Workouts are going to matter for Ross — what happens when he plays against the other bigger name two-guards in this draft? How does he fare against Austin Rivers or Jeremy Lamb? That will matter as scouts and GMs want to see what happens when gets challenged. But this is a guy who made a big leap from freshman to sophomore, so there is more growth in his game.

If in those workouts Ross can knock down shots like he showed much of the time at Washington, he could be a steal. Everyone needs guys who can shoot. Guys that can shoot just feel like better picks at that point than the high risk/high reward guys that rarely give you the reward you hope.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek: “We can use some more defensive players”

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For all the flipping between the triangle and a more modern offense, despite ball stopping by Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks offense is 17th in the NBA for the season. Not good, but the middle of the pack, right around Oklahoma City, Miami, and Memphis — all playoff teams (or potential ones in Miami’s case).

The reason the Knicks season ends in seven games is their defense — 25th in the NBA. Put the triangle in (and get players who fit the system) or don’t, but that’s not the end of the court where the Knicks need to improve. And while system matters on defense, the fact of the matter the Knicks roster is loaded with poor and/or indifferent individual defenders.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek emphasized all this speaking to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

“I think if you look at our defense this year, we can use some more defensive players,” Hornacek said. “[Management] will look at that. [General manager] Steve [Mills] and [president] Phil [Jackson] and those guys will look at whatever can help us out. We know we need some help there.”

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Now comes the time for action.

The Knicks are going to have a Top 10 draft pick (currently sixth) plus max-player money in free agency. Also, they are looking to move Anthony this summer (he has a no-trade clause so he will have to agree to it). All of which is to say they have a chance to reshape this roster into one that will have more of a defensive focus. Or any defensive focus for that matter.

It will be interesting to see if the Knicks target more defensive minded free agents this summer, ones who might fit the triangle offense such as Thabo Sefolosha, or to a lesser extent Tony Allen. It’s going to be a fascinating summer in New York.

Master P says Pelicans should hire him as assistant coach: ‘I’m serious’

AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Did you know Master P had two NBA contracts?

Percy Miller was with the Hornets before the 1999 season and the Raptors before the 1999-00 season. But he was cut in the preseason both times.

These were mostly publicity stunts. Still, the rapper could actually play a bit. NBA quality? He long insisted yes, though his music career provided a convenient and lucrative excuse for sidetracking his basketball ambitions.

Yet, now, the New Orleans native says he wants back in the NBA with the Pelicans — in a different role.

Master P, via TMZ:

I think they need me to be an assistant coach.

I’m serious about coaching.

I don’t think he’s actually serious.

But if he is, would it be a good idea? Probably not. The Pelicans have real issues integrating Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, and they need devoted coaches, not passing entertainers, to solve this.

Would it be fun? Heck yeah.

Pistons’ D-League team wins on buzzer-beater unlike any you’ve ever seen (video)

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Sending an inbound pass through the rim is, of course, a turnover.

But sending an inbound pass off the rim to a teammate who converts the shot? Sure, that counts.

Ray McCallum and Ramon Harris gave the Pistons-affiliated Grand Rapids Drive a win over the Pacers-affiliated Fort Wayne Mad Ants on a play the D-League amusingly dubbed a “put-back.”

Duke’s Harry Giles, once a potential No. 1 pick, declares for NBA draft

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About a year ago, Harry Giles looked like he could be the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

But multiple knee injuries have added up and contributed to a lackluster freshman year at Duke, especially considering Giles started the season late due to his latest knee surgery.

Where does this leave him with the NBA?

We’ll find out.

Duke release:

Duke freshman forward Harry Giles has announced that he will enter his name in the 2017 NBA Draft.

At his best, Giles is an athletic power forward who plays with skill and energy. But we didn’t see much, if any, of that player during 11.5 minutes per game in just 26 contests at Duke.

Medical testing will define everything for Giles. He’s projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, but that’s a wide range with so much uncertainty about his knees.

Helping Giles: Joel Embiid‘s success after entering the NBA with major red flags about his health. Even though Embiid is again injured, he was so good while on the court for the 76ers. That’s a favorable recent comparison for Giles.