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Scott Brooks told Brandon Jennings to shoot more, possibly first coach ever to do so


Brandon Jennings is a career 38.9 percent shooter (37.7 percent this season). While he can hit the three (34.8 percent for his career), he is more known as a guy who tries to create shots for himself but often ends up making questionable decisions and taking low-percentage looks. He can pass, he can play with pace, but the Knicks need those things, and they waived Jennings after the trade deadline because he was shooting 38 percent for them and it just wasn’t working.

Washington picked him up to provide some point guard depth — and coach Scott Brooks’ has already told Jennings to shoot more. Making Brooks possibly the first coach ever to say that to Jennings. Here’s what Jennings told Chase Hughes of CSNMidatlantic.com.

“Coach told me today during a timeout, ‘when are you going to start shooting the ball?’ I said ‘I would if my hands weren’t so slippery.’ Every time I catch it, I feel like I don’t want to airball it. He was like ‘alright, well next game shoot the ball.’…

“I think this is the first coach to ever tell me to shoot more. Honestly. When I first came into the league, shooting wasn’t really that popular where guys didn’t really like point guards to shoot that much. Now it’s like ‘shoot the ball.’ I’ve gotta get back to that,” he said.

Early in his career Jennings was seen as an inefficient gunner, and coaches tried to get him to rein it in. This season Jennings has taken 46.6 percent of his shots from three, and hit 33 percent of them, but he needs to be straight on or in the corners. Jenning has his spots on the floor, but there is a lot of red in his shot chart.

This fits Brooks’ style — he made a bet with Bradley Beal to try to get him to take 20 threes in a game. Brooks wants an open, free-flowing offense where his players are confident to make plays and take shots. It has worked for the Wizards this season, maybe it works for Jennings.

But mostly if he can give John Wall some rest and just keep things flowing with the often (and rightfully) maligned Wizards bench unit, that alone will be a huge boost. Particularly come the postseason.

Anthony Davis likes latest Pelicans bobblehead because it actually looks like him

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Quite often, bobbleheads of athletes do not exactly belong to the realism movement in art. While not quite cubist, there are times the likenesses feel more impressionistic and requires a little squinting to see the player in there. Which leads to guys hearing about it in the locker room.

It’s bobblehead night Wednesday night in New Orleans, and that means Anthony Davis is up.

However, AD likes this one – the first time he has ever liked a bobblehead, he told Jim Eichenhofe of the Pelican’s official website.

That is a pretty good likeness.

Next season, if the Pelicans want to do a realistic representation of DeMarcus Cousins, do they need to have the bobblehead looking incredulously at a referee?

Report: Jim, Johnny Buss want to cash out of Lakers ownership, but that creates other problems


The assumption behind the Machiavellian move by Jim Buss and his older brother Johnny to wrest control of the Lakers from Jeannie Buss was a power play. Just days before Jeanie, the controlling owner of the Lakers, had relieved Jim of his power as head of basketball operations (along with Mitch Kupchak) putting Magic Johnson in charge. The logical leap was Jim wanted his power back.

But now, he may just want cash.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN has a fantastic bit of reporting up breaking down the Shakespearian Buss family drama, and sister Janie Buss said her two brothers want to cash out.

“This is something huge and it’s not going to go away. They’re trying to bust the trust so they can sell their [interests],” younger sister Janie Buss says. “And if they sell, that’ll leave the rest of us in a minority.”

Janie says she thinks that Johnny and Jim each have different motivations but that their endgame is the same: to cash out.

“Growing up, Johnny was the kid who brought the ball to the park and when things didn’t go his way, he took the ball and ran,” Janie says. “I don’t want to call him a poor sport, because a poor sport would be someone who lost a game and kicked the referee. No, Johnny took the ball away so nobody could play.

“Jimmy will bring the ball, but he’ll be like, ‘Everyone gets to play, but you have to put a dollar in to play. He tries to figure out things mathematically, how to get the best advantage.”

First, an explanation of the minority comment. Currently, each of the six Buss children own 11 percent of the team through four trusts (AEG owns 25 percent, there are other minority owners, but the Buss block is the majority). Cash out two of them and the Buss family share would drop to 44 percent.

The trust is written in such a way that the other Buss children have to take steps to make and keep Jeanie as the controlling owner.

Just buying out the brothers by the Buss children is not that simple — the Lakers are worth an estimated $3 billion, according to Forbes. That means each older brother’s share is in the $330 million range, and for the Buss family the Lakers are the family business — it makes them a lot of money, but not that much money. There would be groups interested, but the Buss family doesn’t want to give up control.

Only one thing is for sure: The Game of Thrones power struggle in Los Angeles is far from over. The palace intrigue and maneuvering is going to be a summer hit and maybe beyond.

Jason Kidd makes his pitch for Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon to be Rookie of the Year

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The Sixers Joel Embiid was running away with NBA Rookie of the Year. He still may, but Philadelphia has shut him down for the season due to swelling in his knee, meaning he has played in just 31 games. If he wins the award — and talking to voters, most I know are still leaning his way — he will demolish records for the fewest games played by an award winner.

If not Embiid, then who?

Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon‘s name comes up a lot. He’s averaging 10 points and 4.1 assists per game off the bench for the Bucks, and while he’s had the ups and downs expected of a rookie, he has been a solid part of the rotation. Is that enough to be Rookie of the Year? One can make the statistical case that Brogdon leads all rookies in win shares (2.9) and has the highest three-point shooting percentage of any rookie (42.7 percent). He’s had a triple-double this season.

Jason Kidd made his pitch as to why it should be to the Journal Sentinel.

“I think he should be rookie of the year, for what he has done being drafted in the second round,” Kidd said. “That’s probably being a little biased.

“I think it’s a great story. He’s a student of the game. He works extremely hard, not just on the court but off the court, studying film and asking questions. It makes it fun to come to work when you have the opportunity to coach someone like that.”

Brogdon, the Sixers Dario Saric, and Denver’s Jamal Murray can all try to make a case over the last 20 games of the season why they deserve the honor more than Embiid. But frankly, the onus is on them — despite playing in less than half the team’s games and having a minutes restriction, Embiid had a dramatic and emphatic impact on the games when he did play. A 23-40 Sixers team was 3.2 points per 100 possessions better than their opponents when he played (and -9.7 when he didn’t). Embiid looked like a franchise player, nobody else in this class does yet.

For the record, the Bucks are +4.2 per 100 when Brogdon is on the court and -3 when he sits.

It’s going to be an interesting debate.


Cavaliers make it official, Andrew Bogut out for rest of season and playoffs


Andrew Bogut had played a whopping :58 seconds for the Cleveland Cavaliers after being signed as a free agent (he had been traded to Philadephia as part of the Nerlens Noel deal, then waived) when it happened.

Bogut closed out on Miami’s Okaro White at the arc, so White put the ball on the floor and tried to drive past the big man, but White’s knee hit Bogut clean in the shin. Bogut went to the ground grabbing his leg, clearly in a lot of pain and had to be helped to the locker room. The diagnoses came back before the game was over, Bogut had a broken tibia.

Wednesday the Cavaliers announced what was expected, Bogut is done for the regular season and playoffs. From the press release:

Andrew Bogut underwent additional imaging and evaluation at the Cleveland Clinic yesterday related to his fractured left tibia. His tibia has been set and he is undergoing a non-surgical treatment and recovery plan commencing immediately with an extended period of immobilization and healing stimulation. He will not be available to play the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, but is expected to successfully complete his recovery process in advance of training camp for the 2017-18 NBA season.

While not devastating, this is a blow to the Cavaliers heading into the playoffs. Cleveland was counting on him to fill a role for them off the bench providing depth and size, essentially playing Timofey Mozgov role but with better passing and decision making. Now they remain a bit thin on the front line.