DeMarcus Cousins, Mike Dunleavy

Mike Dunleavy responds to DeMarcus Cousins’ clown comment with off-base stereotype of clowns

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DeMarcus Cousins called Mike Dunleavy a clown after the Kings beat the Bulls on Monday, the latest – but not first – run-in between the two.

Dunleavy isn’t letting the feud end there, taking a couple retaliatory shots at Cousins.

Dunleavy, via Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com

“He called me a clown?” Dunleavy said after Tuesday night’s win over the Phoenix Suns. “I mean, I’d like to respond but clowns can’t talk. So (I can) mime or (give him) some animal balloons or something. Oh man.

“That’s the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black,” Dunleavy added. “But honestly I’ve never been called that before. I guess there’s a first time for everything. I don’t have much to say about him or that.”

“I think his reputation speaks for itself,” Dunleavy said. “He’s got a short fuse and is easily irritated so you can’t really breathe on the guy without him flipping out. That kind of stuff happens, he’s susceptible to that and probably will be for the rest of his career.”

I suppose most clowns don’t talk, but I don’t think that’s a rule, as Dunleavy suggests. The foremost authority on the subject I could find says clowns can talk:

Even disregarding Dunleavy’s mischaracterization of clowning, I’m still inclined to take Cousins’ side. He just brings way more fun for to the NBA.

For years, people have been telling Cousins to show more leadership. Now, he’s leading – exactly how he wants. Cousins is the Kings’ biggest star, and – for better or worse – he’s trying to inject his personality into the team. That’s what leading is.

Will this brash style of leadership be effective? Who knows. The Kings are lousy, but they don’t have the caliber of players to be much better.

By the time they do, maybe Cousins will have changed. He’s just 23. I don’t believe, as Dunleavy says, Cousins is destined to remain the same person forever.

But for now, I’m honestly enjoying Cousins’ take-no-prisoners style. He’s not always right – for the record, I don’t believe Dunleavy to be a clown – but the Kings center is playing by his own rules. I can appreciate that.

Three Hawks lose uncontested rebound out of bounds (video)

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How did Mike Scott, Mike Dunleavy and Malcolm Delaney fail to secure this rebound?

No wonder the Hawks lost to a Clippers team playing without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

James Harden makes impressive chase-down block. Really. (video)

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If we’re going to post all of James Harden‘s defensive lowlights, it’s only fair to acknowledge this impressive block.

Please overlook the fact that Jason Terry is 39 years old.

Steven Adams posterizes Rudy Gobert AND Derrick Favors with one thunderous dunk (video)

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Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors form an impressive defensive tandem that usually walls off the paint.

If there were any walls here, Steven Adams jumped right over them.

Video Breakdown: How Kyle Lowry dismantles NBA defenses from 3-point range

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Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry is arguably the team’s best player thanks in large part to his increase in 3-point shooting ability this season. He’s just above 43 percent from deep this year, much better than his career average of 36 percent. Lowry has increased his 3-point percentage six points over last season, and he’s a big part of why the Raptors are so good on offense, and why they’re a contender in the Eastern Conference.

So how does he do it?

Watch the full video breakdown on Lowry’s 3-point shooting above, or read the text version of the article below.

Early Offense

I looked at a lot of tape of Lowry over the last 3 years and he hasn’t changed much on his shot mechanics. There’s no big change in his sweep or sway toward the basket when he shoots, and he still brings the ball up from his left side.

Part of his leap is be how quickly he’s getting his shots off and how many of his early offense field goal attempts come in the form of 3-pointers.

Lowry has bumped up how many 3-pointers he’s taken in the early offense, recorded here as between 24 and 15 seconds on the shot clock. Year-over-year he’s taken nearly eight percent more of his field goals as three pointers in this range.

This takes form on the court in a couple of ways, both in transition on the fast break and on quick 1 or 2 dribble pull ups off the pick-and-roll.

Transition

With the ball in secondary transition here, Lowry gets a quick screen from DeMarre Carroll to open him up for a 3-point bucket against the Hornets. And that’s still with 18 seconds left on the shot clock!

Pull-up and off-the-bounce jumpers

The other way Lowry scores quickly is off the dribble, with quick pick and rolls. Toronto is great at screen assists — picks leading to an immediate field goal — and have three players in the Top 50 and two in the Top 10 in setting them.

Here, the Celtics defender cuts off Lowry’s attack to the middle of the floor. The screener sets up to Lowry’s right, but then quickly flips it to his left. One dribble, and it’s an easy 3-pointer.

Here against Portland, the Raptors run a two screen setup with one wing and one post. The Blazers make the switch and try to blitz Lowry, but he stays resilient and sinks the bucket with what little space they allow him anyway.

Working with DeMar DeRozan

The other thing that’s been talked about a lot is the gravity of DeMar DeRozan, who himself is having a career year for the Raptors. While Lowry is making a ton of unassisted 3-pointers this year, the Raptors point guard does benefit from DeMar.

Part of that is how good they are in transition together.

Here you can see DeMar bringing the ball up the court with Lowry in front of him. He sets the screen, then fades to the arc. Three Utah Jazz are trying to stop DeRozan, and Lowry is left all alone.

When he’s not the primary ball handler on the break, Lowry will immediately get out to the wing. DeRozan has a way of finding him to get up quick Js.

Of course, in good old set plays the Raptors see this gravity effect as well.

Here Toronto is running another double screen with a guard and a post, but Lowry is one of the screeners. At this point, all three Heat players are guarding against DeRozan’s midrange jumper, leaving just enough daylight for Lowry.

Toronto is also third in the NBA in “hockey” or secondary assists, which means two or more passes leading to a made field goal.

On this baseline out of bounds play, again it’s DeRozan’s gravity that frees up Lowry. As the ball is inbounded, DeRozan sucks three warriors defenders with him, including Lowry’s. Meanwhile, Kyle is running down the baseline to get a bucket off a pass on the opposite side of the floor. All the raps have to do is rotate the ball.

So that’s a little bit on why Kyle Lowry has been so good. It’s been about shot selection, decisiveness, and some practice in addition to the effectiveness of his teammates.