Matt Barnes got inked but we still have a long list of veteran players out there waiting to sign a deal — Kenyon Martin, Mickael Pietrus, Louis Amundson, Leandro Barbosa, Anthony Tolliver, Darko Milicic.
Josh Howard can be added to that list, also. Once a 19.9 points per game scorer for the Mavericks, last season for the Jazz he averaged 8.7 points a game and he hasn’t shot over 40 percent in two years. Still, he’s the kind of guy who ends up with a roster spot.
Where? Good question.
On Monday he will be in San Antonio to visit with the Spurs, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.
However, a tweet from Jazz beat writer Brian Smith says he still could re-sign in Utah.
Before that he worked out in Charlotte.
Honestly, who knows. He should be looking for fit, not money now.
Like all the veterans on the list up there, he thinks he deserves more than the veteran minimum but is finding the market cold and harsh. Teams are scared of the new luxury tax (which doesn’t kick in for a year) and while they have to spend on their stars they are saving money on role players, shrinking the NBA’s middle class.
For Howard, that means trying to find a good fit where he can get back to his old self and minutes. Everything else flows out of that.
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 had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
This miss was all on him.
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.
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.