On Camby, Martin, Lakers

  • Would the Blazers have taken Terrence Williams instead of Jonny Flynn in the Camby trade?  If not, then no Camby, and possibly no playoffs.  Something to consider for those who mocked Daryl Morey for cutting Jeremy Lin and balked at the notion that there might have been later use for Flynn’s contract.  Though I guess it is much more fun to jump to sensationalistic conclusions.
  • Kyle Lowry looked about as good as a guy whose been out a month can look, yesterday, in his return.  This is a huge sigh of relief for this team; they would not have stood a chance in the postseason without Lowry.






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ESPNLosAngeles: Lakers vs. Rockets

I got together with Andy Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles to discuss tonight’s huge matchup.  That conversation can be found in full at the Land o’Lakers blog:

Even if Lee starts on Bryant, rest assured Parsons will see time in that matchup. Kobe might torch him. Kobe might go cold. It doesn’t matter. As the Rockets have learned over the years, you can live with Kobe taking jump shots. If he’s on, there’s nothing anyone can do. That last game was lost by the Lakers not because the Rockets beat them but because they beat themselves. Andrew Bynum got tossed and Mike Brown inexplicably went away from Ramon Sessions when he was completely picking the Houston defense apart.

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Almost 13 years ago, Marcus Camby was thrust into the starting lineup on an eighth seeded New York Knicks team that made it all the way to the NBA Finals. In the playoffs that year, he led his team in rebounds, blocks, PER, defensive rating, offensive rating, and win shares. As a 24-year-old, straw thin big man whose offensive game looked a lot like Tyson Chandler’s does now, he was arguably the most crucial player taking part in the most improbable of impossible title runs we’ve ever seen.

On March 30th, Sam Dalembert went down with the flu, forcing a wrinkled version of  Camby into the starting lineup for a feisty Rockets squad. Since? At the risk of total hyperbole, he’s been a revelation. Here are the basic statistical averages in his last three games: 34 minutes, 52% shooting, 9.7 points, 12 rebounds (3.3 of them offensive), 2.3 steals, and 3.3 blocks. The other night in a comeback win against Chicago, Camby expanded his role from above average rim protector to someone who’s of actual use on offense, spacing the floor and forcing the Bulls’ tight defense to spread a bit further than they would’ve liked.

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This post is the latest in a series entitled ‘Goran Dragic vs. Kyle Lowry.’  All previous and future installments can be found via the ‘Dragic vs. Lowry’ tag below.’

This year, in 16 games started, Goran Dragic has averaged 17.6 points and 8.7 assists in 36.6 minutes.  He has shot 53% from the field and 44% from downtown. In the 38 games this year in which he came off the bench, Dragic shot 42% overall from the field and 26% on 3’s.

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On the NBA: A Eulogy for STAT

Dan Savage has left me with many messages that will be forever emblazoned somewhere in my mind, most unrepeatable on a family blog like the one you’re reading, but if there were ever one that seemed more important than others, that most important tidbit would be that once can only truly know what one loves or even likes after one’s tried a lot of different kinds. All true adherents to the game have had those spells, those months or even years where a sabbatical seemed necessary to any semblance of a normal life. Whether deviating because of college, girls, jobs, an actual life— whatever the reason, we’ve all had to stop watching the game with same fervor as we once did, if only to see what it’d be like. For me, college represented a (quite literal) chance to shed my walls of unopened Star Wars figures, elementary school honor roll certificates and, yes, SLAM UP Kobe Bryant posters; I couldn’t properly lose myself in it if I were to live the way I did as a pudgy tween, meaning a clean, bloodless severance from basketball. For a while, I held out, getting my sports fix from leaving on Astros games as I finished homework and gobbled down endless thin crust Domino’s Pizza slices, eventually caving to watch a little ball while still keeping at a Kevin-Durant-arm’s-length. Then it happened: that moment in basketball when things that didn’t quite seem impossible occurred; no, something I had never even thought of happened. But it was just a block. [read more…]






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