Kurt Helin

Otto Porter goes behind his back, between defender’s legs for lay-up

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Otto Porter has some handles.

He had room to operate against Bauru Paschoalotto, the Brazilian professional team the Wizards took on in a preseason game. No, that’s not going to fly in an NBA game, but it’s fun to watch here.

The Wizards won 134-100 and Porter had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Washington was led by Marcin Gortat who had 19, leading seven Warriors who had double-digit points.

Kobe Bryant drops 21 in 10 shots on Maccabi Haifa (VIDEO)

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If you give Kobe Bryant space, he will make you pay.

That’s what Maccabi Haifa reminded us on Sunday night, when they took on the Lakers. Bryant had room to operate off the ball and the result was he put up 21 points on 10 shots, including hitting 4-of-6 from three. The Lakers went on to win easily 126-83.

This game was pretty much the dream of how Kobe could play this season. Of course, it’s also a dream to think he’s going to see defense like this very often this season as well.

Remembering Dave Meyers (VIDEO)

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Dave Meyers, the former UCLA star who went on to play four NBA seasons, passed away recently.

Meyers was drafted by the Lakers then before he played a game was included in the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar trade. He spent four seasons in Milwaukee, a career cut short by back injuries.  The folks at NBA.com put together this video tribute to him.

Minnesota’s Zach LaVine plays “tentative,” struggles in preseason

Zach LaVine

Among the good things going on with the up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves there is this:

The Zach LaVine at point guard experiment is over. When Ricky Rubio got injured last season LaVine was thrown into the role and the results were not pretty (the team averaged 96.7 points per 100 possessions when he was at the point, that’s Sixers level offense). With Rubio back plus Andre Miller and Tyus Jones in house, LaVine can be moved to the two-guard spot.

But the athletic second-year player is struggling there, too. From Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

Zach LaVine is 3-for-19 from the field in his first two games since Mitchell named him the starter and shooting guard of the future. He was 1-for-8 Saturday, making his last shot late in the game. LaVine played nearly 28 minutes. Kevin Martin played 12 off the bench.

“Zach right now is playing very tentative,” Mitchell said. “We knew we were going to have to be patient. He’s probably thinking too much, and that’s probably natural for young guys. We have to get him to play more and stop thinking so much.”

Minnesota is not in a win-now place, they should be giving their young players heavy run — including Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns —  and letting them learn by trial and error. It’s the preseason, but even when the games count Minnesota needs to look at the big picture, not trying to win in the short term.

I have no idea if he can be a quality starting NBA two guard, but what is the point of pulling him for Kevin Martin right now. Let him learn from his struggles.

Oh, and be sure he enters the dunk contest again.


Steve Kerr said he had rare spinal fluid leak, no timetable for return

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors

It was known Steve Kerr had back surgery during the off-season, but the announcement that the coach of the NBA champs would be taking some time off to recover during the preseason and potentially beyond did catch everyone off guard.

Sunday he attended Warriors practice (he’s done that a few times during his “absence”) and spoke to the media about what was going on — and it’s not pretty. From ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss, who was at practice.

“I had a spinal fluid leak during the first surgery,” he told the media Sunday at the Warriors’ practice facility. “It’s very rare, it does happen occasionally, but it happens when there’s an accidental nick of the dura that surrounds the spinal cord. But I lost spinal fluid, took about a month to figure out what was going on, a lot of headaches, some other symptoms.”

After the leak became apparent, Kerr had an additional surgery Sept. 4 to repair the issue.

However, he can’t put a timetable on his return.

“It’s a matter of your body sort of recalibrating,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s not like a sprained ankle, one to two weeks. There’s no telling. It’s a little bit open-ended, but everyone’s confident I’m going to be fine. That’s where I am. I’m not going to be put a timetable on when I’m going to come back.”

Luke Walton is the Warriors’ interim coach until Kerr returns.

With the same core players in the same system, the Warriors shouldn’t have an issue in the short-term without Kerr. As the season grinds on and certainly heading into the playoffs, they will need Kerr and his ability to push the right buttons with this group. But for a few weeks or so, the system is on cruise control.