Sir Lancelot is emphatic. If nothing else.
A lot of players have gone to the Web with attempts at viral videos to get you to vote for them for the All-Star Game (Ty Lawson in Denver was the latest) but most are about as funny as Carrot Top.
Lance Stephenson hit it out of the park — “he can hold the ball like MJ!” That is classic.
Will Stephenson make the team? Well, fans get to vote for the starters… and vote for Stephenson if you want but he’s not going to be a starter — with six days left of voting he was more than 500,000 votes behind Kyrie Irving for the second starter’s spot. He’s not covering that ground, sorry Sir Lancelot. Irving and Dwyane Wade will get the fan votes and start in the East.
But Stephenson may very well be a reserve (selected by the coaches). Three more guards will be named to the team from the East and a few likely locks (Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo) will not get picked due to injury. (Yes, Rondo will be back on the court but having only played a couple of weeks he will not get selected by the coaches this season.) Of the remaining guys Stephenson stands a good chance to make it (as does John Wall; then maybe DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Ray Allen or Arron Afflalo gets the last spot).
Stephenson likely would make four guys representing the Pacers in New Orleans. Paul George will be voted in as a starter in the East, Roy Hibbert is a likely lock as a reserve, and Frank Vogel will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars.
The Oklahoma City frontcourt is crowded. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams will start, and they will have Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, and now Joffrey Lauvergne behind them.
Which likely means Mitch McGary‘s done as a member of the Thunder, according to Royce Young of ESPN.
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.
If you can knock down a 19-foot shot, then a 15-footer should be easier. Right?
Apparently that — and just basic muscle memory — is the latest attempt to improve Dwight Howard‘s free throw shooting. And, he seems to be knocking down those shots.
It’s not hard to see the logic in this approach.
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.
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.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.
After five years in Washington, French forward Kevin Seraphin signed a one-year deal in New York last offseason. He played 48 games for the Knicks, averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11 minutes per game and wasn’t a big part of their rotation. Now, as a free agent, he’s looking for a new NBA home, and Yann Ohnona of L’Equipe reports that he’s worked out for the Indiana Pacers and has interest from the Spanish club FC Barcelona.
The translation of that tweet reads:
Kévin Seraphin, always courted by Barcelona, is in the United States for a trial with the Pacers of Indiana
With Barcelona in pursuit, Seraphin appears to have a solid fallback option if he can’t land a spot on an NBA team. He can be useful as a fourth or fifth big, it’s just a matter of a team having room.