81 games into season, Carlesimo says Blatche not in shape

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Andre Blatche is having the best season of his career — sure, he’s scored more than his 10.1 points a game but he has been an efficient center off the bench for the Nets behind Brook Lopez. Look at it this way, his PER jumped from a “maybe he should be in the D-League” 10.7 last season to a “maybe he should be an All-Star” 22.3.

Part of the reason is Blatche made a commitment last summer to getting in better shape.

But apparently not enough of one, if you ask Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo. The Nets rested pretty much every key player in their rotation Monday night and Blatche got a lot of extra minutes — 37 of them. And this is what Carlesimo told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News afterwards.

“Dray was the only one I felt bad about (playing a lot of minutes). And frankly, he needs conditioning,” Carlesimo said “So I thought it was okay. He needs some conditioning and he obviously wants to play against (the Wizards) because he played there. … We thought Dray was going good and the conditioning is good for him.”

In the playoffs, Blatche will go back to playing about 12 minutes a game. Maybe less.

But now he’s got something to keep working on this season.

Dwyane Wade says Bulls’ showers had no hot water in Boston

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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 pushes short floater over backboard (video)

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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 plays the laziest defense you’ll ever see (video)

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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.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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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.