Harrison Barnes, the rookie out of North Carolina, was up and down at NBA Summer League. Against the Lakers he was aggressive, attacking the rim on his way to 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He showed a real chemistry with Klay Thompson. But then the next night Barnes would come out passive and the game ran past him, and he would go 5-of-17. He finished the league averaging 16.8 points per game but on 39.5 percent shooting.
And that was against Summer League competition. Things are about to get a lot tougher.
Barnes is on the wing for Golden State, where Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush can already play. And they are going to hit their shots. Which puts the pressure on Barnes, something Matt Steinmetz breaks down at CSNBayArea.com.
Barnes’ strengths seem to be his size, his athleticism and his ability to shoot the basketball in certain situations. He’s not the type of player who can consistently create his own shot – and it remains to be seen whether he’ll become one – but he does have the ability to elevate after one dribble and shoot over some defenders….
How much Barnes plays will probably be determined in large part by whether or not he can make shots consistently. He’s said to be a pretty good shooter, but his numbers in college weren’t that impressive: 43 percent from the field, 35 percent from 3-point range in 75 total games.
It’s simplistic and obvious to say “he has to make shots to get on the court” but that doesn’t make it any less true in this case because his defense is not going to win him minutes. That’s not his area of focus. He’s going to have to put the ball in the basket to see the court, because Rush and Jefferson will hit their shots.
Barnes is the long-term guy at the three for Golden State. But long term does not mean he starts or gets big minutes next season.
Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.
There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.
Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”
Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.
Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.
That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.
And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.
MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.
Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.
Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.
Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.