<span class="vcard">Kurt Helin</span>

Charlotte Hornets v New Orleans Pelicans

Another day, another ridiculous alley-oop to Anthony Davis (VIDEO)


Anthony Davis had 24 points on 58.8 percent shooting plus had 13 rebounds in the Pelicans’ win over the Hornets Tuesday night — just another day at the office for the unibrow.

Oh, and he had another impressive dunk. He’s racking those up.

He moves so well and so fast going to the rim from the top of the key area defenses just are not ready for it. He seems like he’s out of the play, turn your back for a second and boom goes the dynamite.

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So far this season he is averaging 23.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and four blocks a game for New Orleans. I think we may be looking at the third best player in the game right now.

Kobe Bryant pretty much was the Lakers’ offense Tuesday (VIDEO)

Kobe Bryant

There are two ways to look at Kobe Bryant’s performance Tuesday night, and how you do really speaks more to how you feel about Kobe than anything else.

On one side, there’s the argument that sure he scored 39 points, but it was an inefficient 39 off 37 shots — he was 14-of-37 from the floor for 37.8 percent shooting. He was 7-of-19 in the paint, 4-of-11 from the midrange. He took 42 percent of his team’s total shots. Kobe got his numbers but the Lakers can’t win if the offense isn’t efficient, and by the way they lost to the Suns and now are 0-5 on the season.

On the other side is this argument: Who else on this roster do you want taking more shots besides Kobe? Carlos Boozer? Jordan Hill? Sure you do. I think you can make a case for a little more Jeremy Lin and Ed Davis, but that’s no real answer. There is not other options on this team that opposing defenses fear or have to adjust their game f0r, so Kobe has to work hard and be the bulk of the offense.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $250,000 Fantasy Basketball league forWednesday’s NBA games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $20,000. Starts at 7pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

I think what you’re getting out of Kobe right now is all you can reasonably expect from the man at this age coming off these surgeries — his comeback has been impressive. The problem is the Lakers offense often seems to be a two-man game with everyone else standing around — there is little cutting or off the ball movement. It’s not hard to defend, which leads to inefficient offense. Both coach Byron Scott and the players need to change that.

The Lakers defense is abysmal and not going to become good anytime soon. If they are going to get wins they are going to have to out score teams, and to do that they need to be more efficient. Somehow.


Jason Kidd challenges Nets owner Prokhorov to a game of one-on-one

Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers

Monday night at Brooklyn’s home opener, in his voice and accent right out of central casting as a 1980s movie villain, Russian born Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov took a shot at now departed team coach Jason Kidd, who made a power play and found himself in Milwaukee when it was all over.

“There is a nice proverb in English,” Prokhorov said. “Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord has split you…. I think we shouldn’t get mad, I think we should get even. And we’ll see it on the court.”

On the court? Kidd — the future Hall of Fame point guard — heard that and said that’s exactly how it should be settled. Just one-on-one. From Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel:

“I’m no longer in Brooklyn,” Kidd said. “Unfortunately they keep talking about it. I don’t. I’ll let them keep talking.

“Now if it was me and him playing 1-on-1 on the court, that would be fine.”

That reads like a challenge to me. It did to others at the press conference as well.

Kidd made a power play in Brooklyn and did so because he thought he had leverage because new and New York based Bucks owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry came hard after Kidd. They did so without even informing seated coach Larry Drew or general manager John Hammond, which was very bad form. But Prokhorov called Kidd on it and said if he wanted to go to Brooklyn then “don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord has split you.”

Then Prokhorov and team went out and got Lionel Hollins to coach.

The Bucks and Nets first meet in a couple weeks, Nov. 19.

But what we really want to see is a nice game of one-on-one between these two.

PBT’s Tuesday night NBA winners/losers: Welcome back Damian Lillard, we missed you

Cleveland Cavaliers v Portland Trail Blazers

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 reading about Game of Thrones’ Mountain

source:  Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. Welcome back Damian Lillard, we missed you. If you hadn’t heard, Lillard was off to an ugly start this season, shooting just 26.8 percent and just 31.8 percent from three (where over half his shots were coming from). The old Lillard showed up on Tuesday night with the Cavaliers in town. He had a game-high 27 points on 13 shots, he hit 5-of-10 from three (he was just 1-of-3 inside the arc), and he was attacking getting to the line 10 times. Lillard also dished out seven assists and pulled down six boards. Lillard led a Blazers team that brought it against a rather passive and unimpressive Cavaliers team (after a hot start, anyway) — Robin Lopez exploited Anderson Varejao all night. This was the kind of quality win the Blazers needed after a rough first week, and they really needed Lillard back. They got it.

source:  LeBron James. Guys have off nights, it happens. And LeBron certainly had an off night, he’s not going to shoot 1-of-6 in the paint often. What is more troubling is seeming passivity from the best player in the world — he was 0-of-4 in second half, while Dion Waiters had nine shots (hitting three), Kyrie Irving had 10 (hitting two), and even Tristan Thompson had five shots off the bench (hitting two). Coach David Blatt tried to cover LeBron and say as a team they need to do a better job of getting him shots. That’s true. And LeBron can be unselfish to a fault, plus he’s a guy trying to fill on holes on the team (the versatility of his game lets him do that). But come on, this is the best player in the league and he has to be more aggressive, demand the ball and be willing to just take over at times. The Heat didn’t really find their groove until Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh sacrificed their game to let LeBron be the focal point. The Cavaliers aren’t there yet mentally and it shows. And that’s not even getting into the defensive issues….

source:  Gerald Green. He came off the bench and sparked the Suns with 26 points on 19 shots, as Phoenix flexed its offensive muscle against the Lakers’ “defense” and picked up a nice road win. But that’s not why Gerald Green is listed here as a winner, it’s for this, the dunk of the night.

source:  Houston Rockets. And the train keeps a rollin’ all night long… the Rockets improve to 5-0 with their best win of the season, knocking off a quality Miami team 108-91. James Harden was just one rebound short of a triple double (25 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds) while Dwight Howard had 26 points (on 16 shots) an 10 rebounds. Trevor Ariza hit three keys three late to spark an 18-5 run and seal the win. Tip your hat to them, the Rockets are playing well.

source:  Byron Scott. So how’s that Game 7 intensity coming? The Lakers are 0-5 now and the man seems to use the words “better defense” 100 times a day, but the simple fact is the Lakers defense this season is 9.5 points per 100 possessions worse than last season under Mike D’Antoni (hat tip Zach Harper for that). Yes, it’s small sample size theater so far this season, but still this is ugly. His words aren’t cutting it. Here’s the thing that isn’t discussed much in LA: Scott’s Cavaliers teams were bottom five in defense and when Mike Brown (much ridiculed by Lakers fans) came in the next year Cleveland’s defense improved 1.7 points per 100 possessions, jumping them up fairly close to the league average. Scott’s teams haven’t defended for years, and looking at this roster it’s hard to see where he’s going to suddenly coax good defense out of it.

Bucks’ Brandon Knight with about the ugliest pass you’ll ever see (VIDEO)

Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers


Coaches will tell you “don’t leave the ground without a plan in your head.” Which is smart advice… except we see NBA players change their mind mid-air all the time and make spectacular plays.

There is a flip side to that, however.

See the Bucks’ Brandon Knight for an example. Late in the second quarter of the Bucks eventual win over the Pacers he went up looking to shoot, changed his mind mid-air, then just loses all mental focus and coordination, which leads to just a mess of a pass and him falling down.

Shaq is going to have fun with that one on Inside the NBA.

To balance this out, Knight did have 23 points to lead the Bucks in getting the win.