DeMar DeRozan wants to know where he’d get picked in 2009 re-draft

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Imagining how previous NBA drafts would play out in hindsight is always fun, an instant debate starter for basketball fans. I’m sure we’ve all wasted a countless hours analyzing questions like:

  • Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh No. 3 behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in 2004?
  • Do half the top-eight picks in 2013 remain in the top eight in a re-draft?
  • Where would DeMar DeRozan, originally selected No. 9, go if the 2009 picks were re-chosen?

That last question interests even DeRozan, who’s apparently a basketball fan just like the rest of us.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I think Chuck [Hayes] brought it up. We were saying that if we did my draft class over, where would guys [be picked] now,” DeRozan said on Sunday evening. “Chuck brought it up. It was kind of funny and made me think about everybody in my draft class and what they’re doing now. There are not too many that are … playing and getting a lot of minutes.”

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Stephen Curry (No. 7 in the actual draft), Blake Griffin (No. 1) and James Harden (No. 3) would definitely remain ahead of DeRozan, and Ty Lawson (No. 18) would pass him. That puts DeRozan in the 5-9 tier with Taj Gibson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio.

It would come down to team need and fit.

At minimum, DeRozan wouldn’t fall – which is a credit to how much he’s progressed this season. An All-Star, he’ll be a strong candidate for Most Improved Player.

But the draft – despite Hasheem Thabeet (No. 2) and Jonny Flynn (No. 6) being high-profile busts – wasn’t quite as weak as DeRozan implies. Just getting minutes doesn’t mean he’d necessarily move up.

Several players in the draft have put together a single strong season, and DeRozan joined that group this year. Whichever player(s) in his tier consistently produce impressive seasons will jump above the rest.

When DeRozan is re-drafting his class next year, if he’s having as strong a season as this one, he can safely put himself higher. Until then, where he belongs in the 5-9 range is up to debate.

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.