Tyreke Evans became Rookie of the Year because he can slash to the hoop off the dribble with anyone in the league.
He struggled his second two seasons in the league both due to injuries and the fact he has no steady jump shot — he took 4.7 shots a game from beyond 16 feet last season and hit just 25.5 percent of them. The book on Evans was out — go under the pick, stay back on him, cut off his drive and make him shoot the ball because he can’t.
This season, Evans swears that is going to change. Here is what he told Cowbell Kingdom.
The 23-year-old guard/forward says he’s worked all summer long building trust in his jumper. He’s focused on certain shot mechanics, like the position of the ball before release and jumping straight up and down as opposed to fading away.
“I can feel it (the improvement),” said Evans of his growing confidence in his jumper. “Even when I miss one, I know I can shoot it again and I can make the second one.”
We’ll see. If Evans jumper starts to fall, the Kings become a whole lot better. They have DeMarcus Cousins inside and rookie Thomas Robinson to go next to him. If Evans can be the outside to their inside, Sacramento takes a step forward.
If not… well, this is a make or break season for Evans. If he remains an enigma he will not fall out of the league, but his status as “guy who can be a key part of a team” is gone and he will just float through the league for a while as a backup. This is the big contract year for Evans, this is his defining season.
The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.
The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.
Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.
That was Washington’s last basket.
Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.
And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.
Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.
The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.
At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.
As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.
After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.
Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.
They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.
Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.
The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.
76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.
The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.