Chris Andersen

Chris Andersen ignored investigators who ultimately cleared him of child pornography charges – to focus on NBA playoffs

21 Comments

I’ve heard players brag about the sacrifices they made to win an NBA championship, including putting family aside to focus on the team goal. While that sounds noble the way it’s often presented, take a step back and think about it.

Neglecting your family to complete a business project?

We glorify NBA titles to such a degree, that actually makes sense to a lot of people.

I’m not sure that level of hyper-focus on basketball is necessary, but it might be when so many other players are making those choices. Many players would prefer not to even risk distractions – under any circumstances.

Take Chris Andersen, who signed with the Heat during their championship run last season.

He’d been accused of child pornography a couple years ago, and though he knew the truth would – or at least should – clear him, not everyone had access to that information at the time. The Nuggets even amnestied him. Andersen began the season without an NBA contract.

Meanwhile, Shawn Cronce and Gord Olson were investigating the case – an investigation that continued through the 2013 playoffs.

Flinder Boyd of Newsweek:

Then, as the playoffs started, Andersen got the call he feared would never come.

It was Cronce, offering to explain for the first time some of what she and Olson had learned and asking for his cooperation. This was the moment Andersen had been praying for over eight agonizing months. But he also knew that any public revelations, even one that exonerated him, would distract his team on their quest for a title, so he did something almost unthinkable: He ignored Cronce.

His play in the playoffs was remarkable. At one point he played six straight games without missing a shot and set an NBA playoff record for field goal percentage. In late June, when the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7, they had their title. Andersen, a pariah a few short months before, stood at half-court with LeBron James as confetti rained down on him. He was a champion.

While his teammates went out to celebrate that night, Andersen immediately returned home with his fiancée. He sat down in his living room in a subdued state, according to Bryant, silently sipping a cup of sweet tea.

That is a remarkable amount of sacrifice in the name of winning a championship. I can’t say whether or not Andersen’s choice was correct for him, but I can’t imagine being falsely accused of possessing child pornography and then putting work ahead of getting my name cleared.

For Andersen, it all worked out. The Heat won the title in the summer, and Andersen was cleared in the fall.

But I just can’t over how incredible his choice was.

Three Hawks lose uncontested rebound out of bounds (video)

Leave a comment

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)

Leave a comment

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)

1 Comment

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

Leave a comment

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.