I’m honestly very, very happy for Kevin Martin and Aaron Brooks. We always knew those two kids would get together in a guard rotation, and I couldn’t be more excited for them and theirs during this incredible time. There’s nothing quite like it, and though the dark clouds that inevitably come for everyone will put a damper on things, no one can take this honeymoon away from them.
Isn’t love just grand?
Kevin Martin seems to think so, and he’s beyond smitten with his new team and his new backcourt mate, per Dan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:
On a night he and Brooks scored 28 points apiece, Martin went a bit over the top.
“I knew he was good,” Martin said. “I never got a chance to see him play this much, but he is amazing. He is a scoring point guard. Most shooting guards don’t really like that but I love it, just the way he gets everything and by the end of his career he is going to be the greatest six foot and under scorer that this game has ever seen.”
Despite the incredibly popular criticisms to the contrary, scoring point guards (like Aaron Brooks) can find a lot of success on the right team and in the right system. I wouldn’t say that pairing Brooks with Martin, a natural scorer who has never really demonstrated much playmaking ability, is necessarily a natural fit. But both are atypical athletes who have found success in unique ways. They can work it out, they can work it out.
Besides, Houston is just glad to have finally found the scoring threat that Trevor Ariza never was, and Martin is thrilled to be in a winning situation. There’s nothing wrong with being a bit lovey-dovey right now, and though the Rockets aren’t exactly competing for the title this year, everything’s still coming up roses.
Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)
So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.
Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.