Video: Jordan and Kobe going shot for shot

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This video was obviously put together by a Kobe Bryant fan (it comes via Bleacher Report). After a shmaltzy introduction it matches Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant shot for shot. And it’s interesting.

It confirms what we already knew — that Kobe clearly patterned his game after Jordan. They like the same spots on the floor, have some of shots in their repertoire, and are both deadly scorers. Both savor the big moments.

And if you want to make the case that Kobe is a better pure scorer than Jordan, you can. It’s a valid argument to make, although Jordan’s career shooting percentages were higher.

But when you look at the advanced stats you see Jordan had the better all-around game — he got more rebounds, dished a higher percentage of assists and did so while using a higher percentage of the offense. That was always the most amazing statistics about Jordan — he kept up that crazy efficiency while using a third of his team’s possessions. You knew he would get the ball but he still made you pay.

Kobe is still one of the all-time NBA greats. He is as close to Jordan as anyone has gotten sense, and we are lucky to get to see him play. He deserves his status as icon of the game. But he is not Jordan.

Dwyane Wade says Bulls’ showers had no hot water in Boston

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The Bulls suffered a rough loss in Boston last night.

It didn’t get better afterward.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge – who played for Boston in the 80s – pleaded ignorance to any nefarious plumbing:

I think the idea that teams plot to shut off the visitor’s hot water is often overstated. Arenas have complex infrastructure, and things can go wrong on their own. Sometimes, the home team loses hot water, but that never gets remembered.

But reasonable excuses don’t make a cold shower in the moment any more tolerable.

Robin Lopez pushes short floater over backboard (video)

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Robin Lopez had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.

This miss was all on him.

Dwyane Wade plays the laziest defense you’ll ever see (video)

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Dwyane Wade (26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) was the Bulls’ best player in their Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.

But the 35-year-old guard clearly didn’t go all out on every possession.

Players can justify not closing out by claiming they were prioritizing rebounding position. Wade clearly has no such excuse.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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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.