Just once I ‘d like to find someone who doesn’t look great working out with Hakeem Olajuwon. OK, I probably wouldn’t look great working out with Hakeem Olajuwon. But stick any NBA big man with arguably the best overall center of all time for a few hours in his gym and you’re going to walk away looking pretty sharp.
Man, does JaVale McGee’s game look good here.
The fluidity of motion that Olajuwon talked about this week when McGee visited his training facility is apparent, but more notable is the way he’s working on establishing position with his back, and, ahem, hind quarters. Masai Ujiri said on Denver radio this week that Olajuwon stressed to McGee keeping his hand high on the release on his hook shot. There’s a pattern here.
When Dwight Howard went to work with Hakeem, all he brought back was a face-up jumper. If McGee manages to legitimately implement the basics of post work, not The Shake, not the dizzying array, just the basics, it will help him tremendously on the offensive end.
But the big key for him still needs to be to absorb what he can from Olajuwon’s defensive principles. That needs to be the focus, and yet it’s not known how much of Olajuwon’s skills can translate given the modern NBA’s reliance on rotation and help defense.
But still, he looks pretty good, right?
James Harden scores 61, ties Kobe Bryant’s Madison Square Garden visitor’s record (VIDEO)
James Harden has been on a Wilt Chamberlain-level streak the past few weeks, it’s unlike anything we have seen in the modern NBA.
Wednesday night he topped himself.
James Harden scored 61 points against the Knicks. That would be:
• Harden’s career high.
• Tied with Kobe Bryant for most points scored by an opponent in Madison Square Garden (Carmelo Anthony holds the overall record at 62).
• A Rockets’ franchise record.
• His 21st consecutive 30-point game, tying Chamberlain for fourth-longest such streak in league history.
Oh, and Harden had the seal and dunk that sealed the win.
The Washington Wizards have won 7-of-10 and have climbed up to the nine seed, just a couple of games out of the playoffs in the East. Without John Wall, the Wizards are making a push to get into the postseason.
Which impacts whether they are willing to trade players at the deadline.
Wizards star guard Bradley Beal is not going anywhere, which Washington has made adamantly clear, league sources told The Athletic. Depending on how the next week to two weeks shape up, the Wizards could look more aggressively toward moving Otto Porter. The Utah Jazz have been an interested suitor for Porter, league sources said.
History suggests the Wizards will not be sellers. The pattern for owner Ted Leonsis and GM Ernie Grunfeld has always been to think short term and make the playoff push, even when it was not the smart thing to do. We should expect that again. Maybe Washington crawls into one of the final playoff slots in the East, but is that the smart play?
Don’t expect the Wizards to move Porter, even if they wanted to finding a team to take on his $26 million for 13 points a game this season would be difficult (although Utah would be a good fit), plus Porter is owed $27.3 million next season and has a player option he very likely will pick up for $28.5 million two seasons from now.
Pacers’ Victor Oladipo stretchered off court after scary knee injury (VIDEO)
Pacers’ All-NBA, All-Star guard Victor Oladipo was trying to defend a length-of-the-court pass to Pascal Siakam when Oladipo went down with a brutal knee injury were his kneecap was clearly not in the right place. Oladipo had to be taken off the court on a stretcher. The video is below, but be warned this is not pretty.
Let's really, really, really, really hope that Vic is alright. Oladipo goes down with an apparent knee injury and it didn't look good. #Pacerspic.twitter.com/CA6LacMo87
Oladipo is the Pacers’ best player and was a lock to be an All-Star reserve averaging 19.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists a game this season in Indiana. His efficiency had dropped his season as teams game planned more for him. Beyond that, you’d be hard pressed to find a kinder, more genuine person around the NBA than Oladipo.
Quickly the NBA community rallied on social media to Oladipo.
Now the franchise is on fire — literally. They had a locker room fire in the FedEx Forum, which fortunately was small and no one was injured.
A small electrical fire was discovered in the sauna located in the Grizzlies locker room area and FedExForum was evacuated. Memphis Fire was contacted immediately and the fire has been subsequently extinguished.
Further updates will be provided as soon as possible.