Author: Kurt Helin

Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlie

Tony Allen with the Rondo-like ball fake, bucket against Clippers (VIDEO)


Tony Allen would like for you to think of him as more than a defensive stopper who can knock down some threes.

The Grizzlies’ wing man showed a playground ball fake as he drove the lane and scored around Big Baby Glen Davis of the Clippers during Memphis’ easy win Sunday evening. Allen finished with 12 points on the night and got to rest the fourth quarter as the Grizzlies bench coasted in with the win.

That would be the 12-2 Memphis Grizzlies, by the way.

Lionel Hollins wants Bojan Bogdanovic to toughen up, attack the rim

Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets

Bojan Bogdanovic, the Croatian rookie averaging 9.9 points a game for the Nets (third best among rookies), relies on his jumper — more than half his shots this season are three pointers compared to only 23 percent at the rim. He’s a stretch four.

One who is not hitting his shots. He is 0-for-13 in his last two games, 0-for-6 from three.

Slumps happen (and Bogdanovic was prone to them in his European play). His coach in Brooklyn is old-school and Lionel Hollins has an old-school and correct approach to fixing this — attack the rim and draw some fouls. Here is what Hollins said about his rookie, via

“He’s in a slump,” Hollins told reporters. “He isn’t making shots, and he doesn’t get to the free throw line, he doesn’t get to the basket, so he’s counting on long shots. And when you miss them, you go 0-fer…

“All I know is you gotta get to the free throw line, you gotta be tougher and you can’t just stand out there and count on making shots all the time,” Hollins said. “Because sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. The guys who still score are the ones that drive and attack the basket and get to the free throw line.”

He’s not wrong, but that’s not Bogdanovic’s game. He’s going to shoot his way out of this slump from distance.

Bogdanovic is part of a general Nets slump. The team has dropped six of their last seven, the only win coming against what’s left of the Oklahoma City roster.

Kevin Durant with serious rejection of young camper’s shot (VINE)

Kevin Durant

That’s cold.

I’m not sure when this video from a youth camp was taking by Ball is Life, very possibly it is from the summer (and before Durant’s injury) but this is the first time we had seen it and…

That’s funny. Cold, but funny.

Hat tip to Ray over at That NBA Lottery Pick.

Jimmy Butler on Bulls: “Hell yeah, it’s a championship team”

Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers

Jimmy Butler wants to make sure Derrick Rose — and Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson and… — are healthy for the playoffs, not games close to Thanksgiving.

Why? Because he believes the Bulls are title contenders. Fervently believes. This is another nugget from a fantastic Butler profile by Sam Amick of the USA Today.

When asked last week if this is a championship team, even with the recent rash of injuries, Butler told USA TODAY Sports, “Hell yeah, it’s a championship team. We’re going to win that (expletive).”

First, I want a player on any team anywhere close to contending to think that. Good on Butler.

Second, he’s right.

The Bulls are 8-5 right now and the three seed in the East. The Raptors and Wizards will be good, Cleveland likely will figure out their offense (but there are questions about their defense), there is not going to be that easy a route out of the East.

But a healthy Bulls team has a legit shot to make the Finals (whether they can beat the best out of the West is another discussion). What the Bulls understand is that right now is about process and building the scaffolding to really construct a team that can go that deep. Yes, they need healthy bodies and time on the court to do that, but it doesn’t have to happen today. It’s about not making injuries worse or taking unnecessary risks.

Plus, the Bulls have their identity, they know who they are. That high powered team on Lake Erie has a ways to go to figure theirs out.

Andrew Wiggins drops career high 29 on Sacramento (VIDEO)

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota lost this game. Sacramento is much better team, one with a beast inside with DeMarcus Cousins, plus role players who can step up such as Ben McLemore and Darren Collison.

Still, it was great to see Andrew Wiggins have arguably his best game as a pro Sunday night.

Wiggins had 29 points on 22 shots. He did most of his damage using his athleticism to the rim (5-of-5) and he knocked down a couple of threes, however he struggled from the midrange (2-of-13 from beyond three feet out to the arc). There’s work that needs to be done on his shot.

But you can see the potential.