1. This is my favorite YouTube highlight video of all time. One of my big NBA theories is that what makes an NBA player great is not the ability to convert difficult shots, but to create easy ones. Most YouTube highlight videos, by their nature, are a compilation of difficult long jumpers or a quick cut to a thunderous dunk or impossibly acrobatic layup. McHale’s video actually shows how he used his footwork, counter-moves, and freakishly long arms to create easy shots, and it’s a thing of beauty.
2. Kevin McHale has a career True Shooting percentage of 60.5%, and twice averaged more than 20 points a game on better than 60% shooting from the field. Al Jefferson, who is considered one of the best young post players in the NBA and had McHale as his coach, has a career true shooting percentage of 53.4% and hasn’t shot over 50% from the field since the 06-07 season. How did Big Al not learn a few more of McHale’s moves?
3. Watch how good McHale is at stepping through or shooting over double teams — McHale didn’t pass all that often, but he had good reasons not to.
4. Watch how good McHale is at sealing off and getting deep position by using angles and his long arms, even though he wasn’t very thick.
5. Having followed LeBron James’ career closely for some time now, it’s almost painful to watch this video and then see James completely perplexed when he’s working one-on-one down on the block.
6. I miss Yao Ming already.
Owners of teams with great rosters are eager for season to begin
If it were up to Heat owner Micky Arison, his team would be preparing for its final three preseason games right now and he’d be spending the majority of his time running his cruise lines and not at labor meetings in New York.
Even as the talks suffered their latest breakdown Thursday, two league sources said that Arison has been the most active owner in trying to push through a deal even as his peers balk at the players’ demands.
In his frustration Thursday night NBA Players Association head Billy Hunter said he felt there was a divide between big market and small market owners. He said that some big-market owners were ready end the lockout.
According to Windhorst, there have been some reports that Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Knicks owner Jim Dolan have been “aggressively pushing” for reform, but almost everyone seems to agree that Arison is not pleased about having a super-team sitting around and not playing basketball with three stars missing a year of their prime and a year of their contracts with the Heat.
Arison’s frustration with the lack of a deal is understandable, but it’s unlikely that the rest of the league’s owners are going to back off of their demands out of sympathy for the Heat.
Lockout talks have stopped, things looking extremely grim
Just when things were starting to look up — federal mediators! Marathon bargaining sessions! Small concessions from both sides! — it’s starting to look very, very grim for NBA fans once again. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, talks between the owners and the players have stopped, and the lockout has suffered what Wojnarowski calls a “huge setback”:
Talks on a 50-50 BRI split broke down, and labor talks have ended, source tells Y! No new meetings scheduled. Huge setback in this lockout.
We’ll keep you posted on any new updates as they come in, but things are not looking good at all right now.
Deron Williams is blogging from Turkey and playing some 2-guard
New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams is over in Turkey, playing pro basketball for Beskitas, and he’s blogging about the whole experience on his website. Here’s a quick excerpt:
This is my first year playing international ball, so I’m still just trying to figure everything out with regard to my role. Obviously I’ve played in the Olympics with the same style of play, but that was still different because all of my teammates were American. They’ve actually been playing me at the two guard a lot here. Whatever I can do to help the team, I’m willing. I don’t have any personal goals or stats I’m looking for over here; I just want to stay in shape, play basketball and have fun.
Williams is a big point guard, and he is a very good shooter, so him spending some time playing the two-guard position could be an interesting development — we’ll see if Williams comes back from his European sojurn with any new wrinkles to his game at the NBA level. For more on Williams’ thoughts on how his coach only occasionally yells in Turkish during practices, how Deron didn’t realize the importance of team colors when he came to Turkey, and Turkish life in general, click through and read the full blog post.
Chicago Tribune: 82-game season “could be salvaged”
Things are looking grim. The first two weeks of the season have been cancelled, and cancellation of games through Christmas Day may be coming soon. However, one league source gave the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson a sliver of hope for NBA fans:
Another league source said that, despite Stern’s cancellation, there still is a possibility an 82-game schedule can be salvaged in a lengthened season that would stretch into July. That is, if progress continues to the point a deal is made this week.
It’s actually a bit remarkable that so few people have been talking about this — if the season starts later, have it end a bit later and keep all the games. The chances of an 82-game season are slim, and hopes for more than 60 games this year may be slim, but it appears there is a small glimmer of hope for fans hoping to see a full 2011-12 season. That is, if a deal gets done this week.