Kurt Helin

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game Two

NBA impersonator takes on pass-first Rajon Rondo

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Brandon Armstrong has become a viral superstar in NBA circles because his imitations of NBA players are just damn funny.

But few made me laugh as hard as this one of point guards who do not pass, such as new Sacramento Kings’ point guard Rajon Rondo (it’s not an official Rondo imitation, although it feels like it should be).

This isn’t totally fair, Rondo has been working on his shot this offseason, we have video proof of that, too.

A video posted by Rajon Rondo (@rajonrondo) on

Anthony Davis hasn’t made crazy purchases, except…

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp
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For a wealthy β€” and thanks to his new contract extension, starting next season VERY wealthy β€” young man, Anthony Davis has lived a relatively frugal life. He’s not extravagant and flashy, not a lot of jewelry or ostentatious suits. No wild spending for him.

Well, except TNT’s Ernie Johnson called him on one thing at the NBA 2K16 launch event in New York Monday.

Yes, it’s true. Apparently Davis is channeling his inner Ross from the early episodes of “Friends” β€” he’s got a monkey.

Karl-Anthony Towns already calls Garnett “my mentor”

2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
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Having a good veteran mentor can speed up the learning curve of an NBA rookie considerably. Look at it this way: how would the first few years of John Wall‘s career been different if he fell into the situation Rajon Rondo did (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen) instead of having Gilbert Arenas and Andray Blatche as team leaders?

No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns has fallen into about the best situation possible in Minnesota β€” he’s got Garnett guiding him. Towns is already trying to take advantage of that and is already saying KG is his mentor, speaking to Steve Aschburner of NBA.com.

β€œHe’s my mentor,” said Towns, who spent time with Garnett in Los Angeles last month. β€œEverything he knows, and countless years he’s been playing this game at a high level, [I am] just trying to garner information from him every day. Learn how to be a better leader, how to be a champion, just to be a true professional.”

Towns always seems to say the right thing, like saying he wants KG to teach him how to be a champion. Towns has got that part of being an NBA franchise player down.

The on-the-court part shows promise, but also needs a lot of work. At Summer League in Las Vegas he showed a great basketball IQ, good passing skills (and recognition of double teams), he showed he could score a variety of ways, and he moved well off the ball. And all that said, he looked like a rookie. Β He picked up fouls at an alarming rate. He’s got to develop more post moves and a few counters. He’s got to get used to the physicality and athleticism of NBA defenders.

But there is a lot of potential to tap in Towns β€” it will go faster if he listens to his mentor.

 

Highlights of Pau Gasol’s EuroBasket MVP effort

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It was a vintage Pau Gasol performance. Nothing too flashy, just taking what the defense gives you, then using solid fundamentals to make them pay. Every time.

Pau Gasol was named the EuroBasket MVP after leading Spain to the continent’s championship. He averaged 25.6 points a game on 57.6 percent shooting, plus pulled down 8.8 rebounds and dished out 2.9 assists per game. He saved his best game for the toughest one, putting up 40 points against France to lead Spain to a dramatic overtime win in the semi-finals.

What Gasol gave Spain was a trip to the Rio Olympics next season, where Gasol says he will play.

The good news for Gasol is with Fred Hoiberg in charge, he likely will get some rest in the preseason and training camp that his previous coach would not have granted.

Report: Pistons’ Jennings not close to being cleared

Orlando Magic v Detroit Pistons
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Brandon Jennings and Reggie Jackson are going to make an interesting one-two punch at the point guard spot in Detroit β€” and Stan Van Gundy still plans to play the together at points.

But we’re not going to see that for a while because Jennings is still trying to recover from his torn Achilles suffered last January. That’s not new news, but it was confirmed by David Aldridge of NBA.com in his must-read Monday column.

Jennings is “not close” to being cleared, according to a source. He is currently shooting and running on a treadmill at 60 percent of his body weight, but the Pistons need to be able to see him run, cut and shoot off of one leg before he’s cleared to even begin non-contact drills on court.

Previous reports suggested it will be December before Jennings returns.

When he does return he will come off the bench, but once fully healthy he’s going to get plenty of run β€” in part because he can play, and in part because the Pistons will want to showcase him for a potential trade. Detroit committed to Jackson as the point guard with his massive new contract this summer, he’s not the guy SVG wants to move. Rather, it will be Jackson in the last year of his contract who will be shopped as a rental.

But we’re a long way from that, too, because any team is going to want to see him play a little before getting serious about trade talks.