Some fans want sports to live in this idealized old-school world where players share their passion for the name across the front of the jersey. (I’m not sure that was really ever the case, but that’s another debate.) As such, some Celtics fans don’t want their guys mixing with the Heat or Lakers during the summer.
But in a globalized, walls-are-down world that’s not now it works.
Which means when for a second summer Kevin Durant spent time working out with LeBron James, it bothered a few people. People apparently stuck in 1954, but people nonetheless. Kevin Durant heard those people and he really doesn’t get it, he told the Oklahoman.
“A lot of people blew (it) out of proportion,” the reigning three time scoring champion said. “It was just one day…
“I’m a competitive guy,” Durant said. “I’m sure you guys have seen that in me. I just wanted to work out. That’s what it was all about. I’ll work out with anybody. I would have worked out with Kobe Bryant. I would have worked out with Carmelo (Anthony). I just wanted to work out and get better.”
Durant and LeBron were both part of Team USA winning the gold in Beijing, so they spent a fair amount of time together this summer.
The “Durant shouldn’t work out with LeBron” argument dies here for me — do you really think this will make Durant any less competitive come the next time they meet? If you do, you don’t know Durant. Or LeBron. Or let me use this example from your life: When you line up to play basketball (or football or NBA 2K13 or…) against your brother or good friend, do you want to beat them more than some guy you don’t know? Damn straight. I go harder at guys I know because I want bragging rights.
So can we just let this go? Durant worked out for a day with the one guy on the planet who can really push his game. The one guy who can best challenge and make him better. This bothers you because… why? I don’ get it.
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.