Kurt Helin

Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens hints he will explore taller, more traditional lineups

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Last season down the stretch, Boston went small more and more often, using Jae Crowder as a four. Small ball works (see the NBA champs) and the league is trending that way.

But Brad Stevens may have his Celtics working against the grain this season. Or at least he’s going to explore it.

With the additions of Amir Johnson and David Lee to go with Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynyk, Stevens has options. He told Jay King of MassLive.com that he’s going to experiment a little.

This is the smart move to make — you have to adjust your system to the players, not go Mike D’Antoni and try to jam square pegs into round holes. (He eventually adjusted some with the Lakers, but not until it was too late.)

Plus, going against the grain can often be successful.

Small ball works — if you have the right players to execute it. Golden State went small but thanks to Draymond Green their defense didn’t suffer. Miami’s defense was quite good with Bosh as a center when they were winning. But those two teams have elite talent, and teams that do it and don’t have the talent can be exposed.

Meanwhile, guys like Lee, Jared Sullinger, Zeller, Olynyk, and crew could feast on small lineups. Stevens is smart enough to figure out what works best.

Report: Free agent Glen Davis to have ankle surgery, out 2-3 months

Glen Davis
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The Clippers were reportedly thinking about bringing back free agent “Big Baby” Glen Davis just to have a little more depth along the front line — DeAndre Jordan will start and Cole Aldrich backs him up, but one more big never hurts. Then the Clippers signed Chuck Hayes (to a non-guaranteed deal, but he has a real shot at the roster). They went another direction.

As for Davis, he’s not going to be playing for anyone as he is about to undergo surgery, something first reported by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Even at the longer end of that recovery time, he gets back and is able to play sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. By then some team will be looking for a little depth along the front line and will bring him in for a look. Maybe.

I expect Davis will appear on an NBA roster this season because players get hurt and GMs turn to guys they know to fill in. But Davis’ days as a key bench player on an NBA roster are behind him. He’s a “break the glass in case of emergency” NBA big man at this point. But that likely gets him a couple more paydays.

Shaq tells Suzy Shuster he, Kobe Bryant could have tied Jordan’s six titles

Kobe Shaquille O'Neal Lakers
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Kobe Bryant went on the Shaquille O’Neal podcast this week and both men admitted regret letting their egos get in the way and acting immaturely at the time, breaking up a dynasty with the Lakers that had already won three titles.

But how many could they have won if they had checked their egos at the door?

Shaq thinks six, he told Suzy Shuster, who was the guest host on The Rich Eisen Show.

“I think we could have probably tied Mike, or surpassed Mike. I guess six. Everybody talks about Bill Russell’s 11; no player will ever come along that will win 11 championships unless they reduce the league to 10 teams. So you shouldn’t even bring Bill up. So now Mike, when you talk about the pinnacles of championships you always gotta go with Mike. So Mike has six. I think we could have either tied that or got that.

“But if “if” was a fifth we’d all be drunk, Susan.”

It’s just speculation, but could a non-bickering Lakers squad have beaten the Pistons in 2004? The Spurs in 2005? Reached the Finals and defeated Dwyane Wade’s Heat (without Shaq) in 2006? We can go on and on here, but six sounds reasonable.

Then again, I’m playing around with an “if” fifth of Jefferson’s Presidential bourbon here.

Dwight Howard tried to take loaded gun through airport security, will not face charges

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five
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I’m not sure exactly how someone leaves a loaded Glock in their carry-on bag they send through an airport security screener, but that’s exactly what Dwight Howard said he did, according to police in Houston.

And while he got pulled aside for a while for it, he is not going to face any charges.

The incident happened at George Bush International Airport in Houston and TMZ was first with the story (which has since been confirmed by the Houston police department and the Rockets).

TMZ Sports has learned the NBA superstar was stopped at George Bush Airport in Houston on August 28th … when Dwight put his carry-on bag through the scanner, and a TSA agent noticed a LOADED GLOCK inside!!!

Law enforcement sources tell us … a further inspection revealed the gun — a Glock 26 9mm — was LOADED with one round in the chamber. We’re told Dwight said he simply forgot the gun was in the bag.

The Rockets released a statement saying they are aware of the incident and are gathering more information.

Because this is Texas — a state with rather permissive gun laws — Howard was allowed to give the gun to an associate who took it back to his house, then Howard boarded the plane, according to police. While the district attorney was called, no charges were pressed. This is not uncommon; few charges are filed in incidents where guns are found in security screenings in Houston, according to police.

Howard was fortunate not to do this in California or New York, where the laws are more restrictive. He has not yet commented on the incident.

Mavs’ Chandler Parsons just taking to court after knee surgery, says he’ll be ready opening night

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks
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Back in April, Chandler Parsons had knee surgery that may or may not have been microfracture (but probably was). He’s spent his summer rehabbing that injury — and recruiting, but we won’t talk about that — trying to get back on the court. He was at the an unofficial workout Wednesday in Dallas but did not participate.

He’s just now getting back on the court at all.

But he told Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com he expects to be on the court opening night.

He’s been shooting jumpers for a couple of weeks but is just starting to do some dribbling and other drills.

We can safely bet the rent money that the Mavericks are going to error on the side of caution here, they are not going to rush Parsons back. They don’t need him in November, they need him in April (and beyond, if they plan to advance past the first round).

If this was microfracture surgery the expected return date for an average recovery would be right around the start of the season. It could happen. But why rush it? While there is a legitimate concern about defense and depth — who is backing him up at the three, Justin Anderson? — it’s something Rick Carlisle can work around for a while.

That said, Parsons says he’ll be back. And it’s his knee.