Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Two

Tuesday And-1 Links: When should the Knicks isolate ‘Melo?


Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points the way the guys at the Russian River Brewery love their beer

• We complain about the amount of isolation the Knicks run with Carmelo Anthony, and with reason because their offensive flow can crumble if they do it too much and the Knicks become easier to defend. But some ‘Melo in isolation is a good thing — he’s good at it and because he can score in a variety of ways he forces double teams and adjustments from the defense. Over at Posting and Toasting there is a good, detailed look at where and when the Knicks should isolate Melo.

• Popeye Jones has been hired as a Pacers’ assistant coach.

•  The first rule of Tim Grgurich’s skills camp is don’t talk about Tim Grgurich’s skills camp. Grgurich  is a very well-respected assistant coach and he hosts a very secretive skills camp every summer in Las Vegas that a number of players attend. Otto Porter had to back out this year.
• The Lakers Jordan Hill is working on being more of a stretch four to fit in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

• Announcers vastly overestimate the idea of momentum in a sports contest.

• Bucks GM John Hammond thinks Carlos Delfino is the starting three for Milwaukee.

• Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard was playing video blackjack, hit on 20 and won. It’s better to be lucky than good… Pritchard can tell you all about that.

• Over at Grantland, Zach Lowe had some fun looking at the etymology of all the team names in the NBA. Man there just are a lot of bad fits. But count me in the group that wouldn’t have Jazz that high.

• Hawks big man Al Horford will not suit up for the Dominican Republic national team this summer at the FIBA Americas tournament.

• Doug Overton is the new coach of the Nets’ D-League affiliate, the Springfield Armor.

• Finally, watch high schooler Josh Ruggles hit 135 threes in five minutes.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry
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The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.