For the next few games at least, the Dallas Mavericks are going to have to figure out how to get by without Chris Kaman — which shouldn’t be too bad, they have been 5.2 points better per 48 minutes when he sits this season than when he plays.
Kaman suffered a concussion and is out indefinitely, reports the Star Telegram.
“I just got undercut in practice and landed on my head. It was a weird play. (Jae) Crowder drove down the middle, Elton (Brand) tried to take a charge and Elton slid to his left and took my leg out.
“I tried to block it and I was three feet in the air on my side and didn’t know where to go. Obviously it all happened real fast.”
He is suffering headaches and told the Star Telegram he basically has all the classic symptoms of a concussion. Under the league’s concussion policy, he will have to pass a battery or exams after increasing physical workouts, then be cleared by a league neurologist, before he can return to play. There is no timeline.
Kaman is averaging 12.4 points per game and grabbing 6.2 rebounds with an above average PER of 16.5. But the fact of the matter (as you can see at 82games.com) is that both the Mavericks offense and defense improve when Kaman comes off the floor this season — the offense gets 2.6 points per 100 possessions better, the defense 4.6 points. That’s 7.4 points per 100 possessions, for those of you scoring at home.
After a slow start, the Rockets got assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik to come out of retirement.
The usual way employers attract someone to a job.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Fertitta was alarmed enough to personally recruit defensive guru Jeff Bzdelik, who retired just before training camp, to return, offering what sources say was a significant raise that pushed his salary to a range that ranks among the NBA’s highest-paid assistant coaches.
Good for Bzdelik using his leverage. He looked like a defensive whiz last season, and Houston slipped without him. Of course, personnel matters, too. There’s no guarantee these Rockets – minus Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute – reach last year’s defensive level.
Bzdelik has been back around the team, but isn’t working full-time yet. It’ll take a while to assess his impact on Houston.
And good for Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta paying up. Fertitta is still trying to determine the right amount for him to spend, but the team is better off if he’s willing to pay what’s necessary to attract the most desirable coaches.
Want to hear an entertaining guy address an entertaining topic? Here you go.
Trae Young and Luka Doncic will be forever linked by their draft-night trade.
The Hawks took Doncic No. 3 then traded down with the Mavericks for No. 5 pick Young and a future first-round pick.
Young, via Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated:
“The thing with Luka,” Young says, “he’s a great player. I don’t understand why it can’t work out for both situations. I hear [Atlanta made a mistake] all the time. Luka’s a great dude, and I think he’s going to be a really good player. But at the same time, I’m going to be a better player. Just because of my ability to stretch the floor, get others involved, I think I’ll be better.”
Of course, Young was never going to say Doncic would be better than him. But Young didn’t have to address this so directly at all. By going out of his way to make such a bold statement, Young puts more pressure on himself.
So far, both Doncic and Young have impressed. I’ll still stick with Doncic, though. Enough to justify Dallas surrendering that extra first-round pick? That’s a far tougher call and the one the Hawks will be judged by.
Young doesn’t want that leniency, though. He’s aiming to be better than Doncic straight up and unafraid to say so publicly.
Philadelphia’s Markelle Fultz is in his own head with his free throw stroke now. (And, likely much more than that, but we’ll stick with the free throws for now.)
Earlier this week Fultz double-clutched a free throw attempt and his stroke was a mess.
Each game that stroke seems to change and the latest one is… different. Very different.
As Vecenie notes, this is actually an improvement in terms of the release, but that doesn’t make it good. Fultz was 1-of-2 in his one trip to the stripe (as of this writing).
Still, I have never seen someone pass the ball back-and-forth between their hands as they go into their shooting motion like that. Very, very odd.