Putting players in a position to do what they do well and succeed is one of the biggest jobs as a coach. Look at the best — Gregg Popovich, Phil Jackson — and you find systems designed to get guys to do what they do well and not play to their weaknesses.
Conversely, there is whatever the Brooklyn Nets are doing under Jason Kidd.
Kevin Garnett is having a career-worst season — 6.5 points a game, a true shooting percentage of 39.8 percent, a PER of 10.7, all career lows.
He’s frustrated and told Newsday the Nets system, such as it is, has thrown off his shooting rhythm.
“The most frustrating thing about me is I could see if I wasn’t hitting shots and I wasn’t in here working or taking —- days off,” Garnett said Wednesday before the Nets flew to Oklahoma City to meet the Thunder tonight. “I put time into my craft for it to come out, but then that’s rhythm on offense. And I don’t have that right now.”
“Honestly, I have no rhythm,” Garnett said. “I’m trying to establish some confidence and figure this whole where I fit into the offense thing. Right now I’m just not even a priority.”
Part of this is KG is losing his footrace with Father Time — he is a step slow this season, which particularly shows on the defensive end.
Most players thrive better in a structure and the Nets offense seems not to have a consistent one. Injuries and guys like Deron Williams and Brook Lopez being in and out of the lineup (in Lopez’s case now out for the year) has not helped. Still, it’s hard to find an overall structure. It’s hard to see a system that just works.
And it shows in KG’s game — he wasn’t due for this kind of step back. He’s still a better player than he has shown.
This upcoming season will be a huge test for Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins.
After a couple years of steady improvement, it appeared that Wiggins started to level off in his third season. Yes, he increased his 3-point shooting percentage but dips in his free-throw rate and VORP were a tad disappointing considering his usage even as he contributed more points per-game. Many in Minnesota expected him to be a superstar, and now it’s possible he ends up simply as a perennial rotation guy.
Still, the new season for the Timberwolves should be pretty interesting as they have added new pieces to the roster, including former Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler.
The video above includes 10 of Wiggins’s best plays from the 2016-17 NBA season. Hopefully Wiggins will be able to build on this type of play as the roster around him and gets better and expectations rise.
Doc Rivers no longer has the hammer on trades and player moves in Los Angeles, that has been wisely handed over to Lawrence Frank, the team’s new president of basketball operations. He has Jerry West as a consultant — who will have the owner’s ear — working with him.
Frank now has a new right-hand guy, one of the better respected, up-and-coming front office people in the league, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The LA Clippers have offered Oklahoma City Thunder executive Michael Winger its general manager’s job, league sources told ESPN. A deal could be finalized soon, league sources said…
Winger, 37, has spent the past seven years with Oklahoma City, working closely with Executive Vice President and GM Sam Presti.
ESPN’s Thunder reporter Royce Young chipped in with this.
This is a good hire by the Clippers, bringing a smart young executive from a well-respected organization into the fold to help energize their front office.
This past summer the Clippers lost Chris Paul (traded to Houston, because he was leaving as a free agent otherwise), locked up Blake Griffin long-term, and now have to decide on a future direction. DeAndre Jordan has a player option next summer, do the Clippers want to max him out or move another direction? The Clippers need to inject some younger, more athletic players into their roster and move out of the win-now, trade youth for vets mode Rivers had them in. The Clippers have done a poor job developing young talent and using that to supplement their stars (something teams like the Warriors and Spurs have done well over the years).
Winger should help change that dynamic.
I’m not sure it’s possible to argue that LeBron James is not the most important player in the NBA, even in 2016-17.
Yes, others have won the MVP award in years past, but each and every postseason you understand just how important LeBron is to every roster he is on. NBA players even voted him as the player they would most secretly want on their team.
That’s why it’s pretty easy to galvanize that opinion when you watch a 20-minute highlight video of LeBron’s best plays from each game of the past season.
Summer is upon us and even preseason seems like a long way off. Thankfully, we will be able to get to see plays like this here in what feels like the near future.
I think we’ve all been in the situation that C.J. McCollum found himself in recently.
Whether you are a hardcore NBA fan, a blogger, a professional writer, or a basketball player, when folks interested in the league find out about your passion, they often try to connect with you about it. Which is great! Especially as sometimes you get cats like the one who was driving the Portland Trail Blazers star guard in the video below.
Now, I have to warn you about some NSFW language, but what the guy had to say was pretty great. Hilarious, even.
The topics ranged from superstars being on the same team, to hating the Golden State Warriors, to the future success of the Blazers themselves.
Again, some extremely NSFW language ahead but also some serious laughs to be had.
I’m dying. This guy is the best.