Author: Kurt Helin

Dirk Nowitzki

Quote of the Day: Dirk Nowitzki’s “white guy version” Dream Shake


“I came up with a shot where I just have to basically lean back, don’t be athletic at all and just hoist it up. I came up with my own ‘Dream Shake’ I guess — the white version.”

—Dallas Maverick forward Dirk Nowitzki, via CBS Dallas Fort Worth.

Tuesday night Nowitzki passed Hakeem Olajuwon to move into ninth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list — Nowitzki is now the highest scoring international player ever in the NBA.

Of course after the game Nowitzki was asked about the man he passed and Hakeem’s legendary move, the Dream Shake. Which Nowitzki admitted he cannot do, saying he was not athletic enough. But then Nowitzki compared it to his legendary one-legged fadeaway shot that is another of the game’s iconic moves.

It’s just how he compared it that was funny.

Popovich says he’s got to get Kawhi Leonard more touches to groom him for future

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers

LOS ANGELES — “We ran more plays for him tonight than I ever have in his career.”

That’s what Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Kawhi Leonard on Monday night, after his young star made defensive plays — three steals — that helped spark a come-from-behind win over the Clippers. The fact is Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were cold while Kawhi Leonard had Jamal Crawford on him, not exactly a stellar defender, so Leonard got the touches and finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

The next night against the Warriors Leonard had two key fourth quarter threes on his way to 19 points in another big Spurs road win.

Leonard got off to a slow start this season after suffering an eye infection that kept him away from the team for about three weeks. Now he’s back and while the eye isn’t 100 percent it’s healthy, and with his conditioning returning and the rust shaking off Leonard is looking like his old self.

Which means he’s going to get more and more touches — he’s the foundation for this Spurs team once Duncan and Manu Ginobili step away (something that could well happen next summer).

“We’ve got to start giving him the ball, he’s the future,” Popovich said. “I don’t think Timmy and Manu are going to play any more than six or seven more years.”

That got a laugh. But Leonard said he appreciated that Popovich is calling his number more now.

“It’s better to walk it than to hear him just talk about it…” Leonard said after the win in Los Angeles. “Just going to need that to keep moving forward, to be a better player, rather than when that time comes it just hits me in the face and I don’t know what to do or manage it. But if we keep moving forward it would be great.”

Of course, to make him the future means to re-sign him this summer when Leonard is a restricted free agent. Both sides want to get that done, expect it to happen. And in a very Spurs way, with little fanfare.

Leonard is averaging 11.3 shot attempts a game, up 1.5 from the year before, but expect that number to grow (and his shooting percentages to return to normal now that his vision is clearing up with the infection gone).

The last couple games Leonard has looked a lot like that Finals MVP player from last June. Just one who is a little more at the heart of the Spurs offense (although Parker is the catalyst). It’s a trend we’re going to see all season, because Popovich is grooming Leonard to be the future of the Spurs.

Stephen Curry’s streak of consecutive games with a three pointer ends at 76

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors

He got his chances, seven of them. Three were pretty much straight on, there were three more from the extended wing, and one from the left corner.

But Stephen Curry, the best shooter in the game today couldn’t find the range — he was 0-of-7 from three. That was the first time in 76 games Curry had not drilled a three, the Warriors announced.

That was the fifth longest longest streak in NBA history.

Remember the record belongs to Kyle Korver, at 126, he passed Dana Barros at 89 last season.

PBT’s Tuesday night NBA Winners/Losers: The Spurs are playing like the Spurs again

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker

Every night the NBA can be a cold hard reality — there are winners, there are losers. It’s the nature of the game. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to bring you the best and worst of the NBA each week night. Here’s what you missed while playing with a salmon cannon

source:  San Antonio Spurs. After Monday night’s win over the Clippers, Gregg Popovich called the game the best one his team had played all season. That lasted about 24 hours. The Spurs were even better on Tuesday night, playing the second night of a back-to-back on the road and not resting Tim Duncan, Tony Parker or anyone else. They took on the team that had been playing the best basketball in the league the first week or so of the season and behind 28 points and 7 assists from Tony Parker — who is the best point guard in the game again? — showed them why the standard is. And they did all this without their starting center or a couple other rotation players who are out injured. The Spurs are not yet playing like team we saw in Miami last June (a standard Popovich said he just hopes they can get back to) but they are not coming back to the pack. The Spurs are the bar to clear. Want to win a title? You have to be better than San Antonio.

source:  Dirk Nowitzki. The future Hall of Famer became the highest scoring player in NBA history born outside the USA on Tuesday, passing Hakeem Olajuwon, fittingly with a midrange jumper. Nowitzki is a 7-footer who has knocked down 1,487 career three pointers, he has an iconic fade away that is probably the most unstoppable shot the game has seen since the skyhook, and he can score in the block or fem the midrange. There have been few scorers of his quality to grace the NBA. Ever. And in a few years we’re going to miss him.

source:  Gary Neal. Charlotte had blown a 23-point lead against Portland and now had 3.5 seconds to score and send the game to overtime. They got the play they wanted — Gary Neal at the top of the key isolated with Damian Lillard on him. Neal blew right past Lillard, got in the lane and had a clean look at the game-tying shot — except he let it go a fraction of a second too late. Blazers win.

source:  Toronto Raptors. The Drakes don’t want to make things easy on themselves, DeMar DeRozan called the team “drama queens” last week for all the close games (insert your own Drake joke here). The Raptors did it again Tuesday. They fell behind Orlando early — note to teams playing the Magic: Don’t leave Channing Frye open at the arc — and after three quarters they were down 11 points. Then they started the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run. The Raptors went on to pick up a 104-101 win to improve to 7-1 on the young season. Patrick Patterson had 9 points and was +15 in the fourth, while for the game Kyle Lowry had 19 points and 7 assists.

Hornets’ Gary Neal gets off game-tying shot tenth of a second too late (VIDEO)

Charlotte Hornets v Portland Trail Blazers


The Hornets had blown a 23-point lead in this game — they led by 10 entering the fourth quarter — and now with 3.5 seconds left they needed a bucket to tie the game and send it to overtime (or get a three for the win). They got the ball out to Gary Neal at the top of the key, isolated with Damian Lillard on him, and Neal blew past Lillard for a clean layup to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Except he didn’t get the shot off in time. The Blazers win.


It blew a game for Charlotte where Al Jefferson had 22 points while Lance Stephenson had 14 points, 14 assists and was frustrated with his touches late. LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 and 14 for the Blazers.