Blake Griffin dunks on a lot of teams. Of course, it’s easy to say a lot of teams don’t have Dwight Howard protecting the rim and the Lakers shouldn’t allow this. The problem for the Lakers is their perimeter defense is so poor Howard is often trying to stop the guard driving in for a layup and the rotations to help him are often slow if they come at all. Whatever the reasons, we saw plenty of Griffin dunking on the Lakers Sunday.
The dunk above was a transition play for the Clippers where Griffin has the time in the air to change his mind and go from layup to dunk.
Below, that is a pick-and-roll with Chris Paul that illustrates the Lakers defensive woes. Paul comes off the pick and Pau Gasol does a good job switching and taking away his driving lane, forcing a midrange pull up over Gasol’s long arms that rims out. But that means Kobe Bryant is on Griffin and outside trying to draw a foul out high he doesn’t slow him at all. Howard does his job and has a body on his man While Steve Blake is in a no man’s land, not on his guy at the arc or taking away Griffin’s path. The result is a monster put back.
Craig Sager to get third bone marrow transplant thanks to anonymous donor
McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.
McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.
Dwight Howard is shooting 19-footers to improve his free throw stroke
The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.
The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.
But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.
Report: Veteran big man Jason Thompson agrees to deal in China
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Source: NBA veteran Jason Thompson, split last season with Warriors and Raptors, finalized a deal in China with Shandong.