We all know Blake Griffin needs a more consistent jump shot.
Spare me the “all he can do is dunk” line because first, it’s not true, and second, the dunk is the single most efficent shot in basketball and if a guy can get five or more dunks a game he should take every one of them. I’d rather have any NBA player dunking rather than shooting a 15-footer. Well, not J.J. Barea, but every other NBA player.
But to space the floor, make him a more dangerous player and for the good of the Clippers offense he needs a more consistent outside shot. Last season he averated 3.9 shots per game from 16 feet out to the arc and shot 37 percent on those (via Hoopdata.com). That has to improve. And he knows it.
He was on the Champs podcast — something found by Beckley Mason at TrueHoop — and was very open and honest about working on his jumper before Team USA training camp.
I hired a shooting coach. I work with him every single day.
Yea (his old shooting form was) kind of a fadeaway or a push-arm shot. Or bring it behind my head — slightly. Like if you watched me shoot you wouldn’t be like, “That’s a terrible shot.” It was decent, I guess. But now I’ve just kind of streamlined it. But I’ve still got a lot of work to do.
You struggle with it because when you relearn all this stuff I guess you shoot terrible. You shoot worse than you ever have. Then you turn a corner when it all kind of clicks together. It’s not really relearning to shoot, completely, but I turned the corner and felt a lot better about it. Then I got hurt… lost it all!
Griffin needed minor knee surgery after an injury during Team USA training camp (he had to miss the Olympics and was replaced on the roster by Anthony Davis).
But really this is just more time to work on the jump shot. And his comedy. But mostly his jump shot.
Remember when Turkey revoked Enes Kanter‘s passport?
That looms over the Thunder’s Dec. 7 game against the Nets in Mexico City.
Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:
Without a valid passport, he is unable to travel to another country other than Canada, which allows entry from U.S. residents who have a Green Card. There is no such agreement with Mexico.
Kanter could receive a re-entry permit, a special document issued to citizens of other countries whose passports have been canceled for reasons the U.S. government deems unsuitable. The permit would allow Kanter to leave the U.S. for another country, such as Mexico, and still return. And the plan is for Kanter to acquire one before OKC’s game in Mexico City. Still, he is yet to receive a re-entry permit, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There is, however, still ample time for that process to complete.
Kanter is a high-profile millionaire working for a billion-dollar company that has a vested interest in getting him to Mexico. He likely works this out.
LeBron James denied wanting to fight Kyrie Irving, but wanting to meet with his for-now Cavaliers co-star? That might be another story. Likewise, Irving – in light of his trade request – might not be eager to meet with LeBron.
Tony Rizzo of ESPN Cleveland, as transcribed by Jackson Flickinger of King James Gospel:
“From very reliable sources. Plural. Kyrie and LeBron were in the same room over the weekend in Florida…Apparently these guys were in the same room and here’s the deal. I don’t know if there’s a thawing out process. All I do know is LeBron didn’t punch Kyrie the way Stephen A thought he would. I can report that. As for what they talked about or discussed…it was very cool. They didn’t get into any heated discussions.”
Did LeBron and Irving actually meet? Both were spotted in Miami, but maybe someone is just connecting dots that don’t belong connected.
Whether or not LeBron and Irving met, they might need to soon. Cleveland will have a tough time getting its desired return for Irving before the season, and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert discussed the possibility of Irving returning. LeBron isn’t getting traded.
No matter the disconnect between the two, LeBron and Irving might have to figure out how to work together a while longer. It’d be nice if that process has already begun.
About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.
Have the two sides progressed since?
Nick Friedell of ESPN:
Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.
Expected by whom?
People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?
Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?
For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.
A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.
LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers
Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.