John Wall is a great fit for Mike Krzyzewski’s Team USA style — lightning fast with the ball, fantastic in transition and a guy who can overwhelm opponents with his athleticism.
Wall has become a late edition to the Team USA roster that will open training camp in Las Vegas next Monday in preparation for the FIBA World Cup of basketball coming in late August in Spain, reports Marc Stein at ESPN. Wall was not on the list released a couple of weeks ago by USA Basketball.
Wall averaged 19.3 points and 8.8 assists a game and made a leap forward with his game, hitting 35.1 percent from three and working better with Bradley Beal to form a formidable backcourt that led the Wizards to the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Team USA is Marianas Trench deep at the guard spot. Some very good players are not going to Spain.
At the point the USA has Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose and Wall. If you’re thinking “we can just move Curry to the two guard slot” know that James Harden, Klay Thompson and Bradley Beal are in that slot (and Kyle Korver, but we’ll count him as a three).
Wall could make this team, but Krzyzewski has no easy call to make in the backcourt, pretty much any combination of that group would be devastating.
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 had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
This miss was all on him.
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.
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.