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.
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.
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…]
Linsanity at full-force was short-lived. Most observers of this team would tell you Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic were both better anyway. Terrence Williams didn’t work out largely due to his own fault. To followers of the Houston Rockets, Rudy Gay still stands as ‘the one that got away’ in the Morey era.
I live blogged this game and you can find that transcript here. I stopped writing at overtime wanting to save things for this post-game writeup. What an absolutely crazy game. We talked to McHale, Dragic, Chandler, and Lee all after the game, and I’m still not completely sure what happened. It seems clear though, from their comments, that the other players were not made aware that Dragic had six fouls. I won’t pin the loss on McHale, simply because it took a miraculous sequence to even have the team back in the game, but man…what a costly, costly blunder.