Basketball Wiretap

Kris Humphries Adapting To Become Stretch-4

Oct 8, 2015 3:51 PM

Kris Humphries is adjusting to a new part of his career as a stretch-4.

Humphries has been a midrange jumper specialist to a three-point shooter.

“I got to be in better shape, to take what I showed I do last year and then add the three-ball to it,” said Humphries, who was in the starting lineup Tuesday. “You’re further out, so as far as offensive rebounding, that’s a run in and a run out. And then you’re running back and then you got to set your feet and have your breath together and shoot it. It’s different. I’m still getting used to it.”

Humphries went 2-for-26 from three-point range over his first 11 NBA seasons.

“I haven’t really worked on shooting threes, like really worked on it, ever,” Humphries, 30, said. “Other than maybe college and stuff but that’s a close three. Now I’ve got to adapt to what we’re trying to do and get in better shape.”

Jorge Castillo/Washington Post

Tags: Kris Humphries, Washington Wizards, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Bradley Beal Determined To Reduce Long Two-Point Shots

Oct 6, 2015 12:12 PM

Bradley Beal is determined to reduce the number of long two-point shots he attempts.

“The biggest thing, man, like I’ve been preaching all summer, is just not shooting those long twos,” Beal said Monday, later adding another objective is to be named first-team all-defense. “It’s going to be kind of hard not shooting an open shot that you have and Witt’s screaming in our ear ‘Shoot the ball,’ but at the same time that’s something I want to eliminate as much as possible and it’s going to be in my mind. Hopefully I won’t be shooting and be like, ‘Dang, I shot a long two,’ and that’s constantly on my mind.”

Beal decided to cut back his long two-pointers after evaluating film and statistics last season. Beal worked this offseason on finishing around the basket and creating his own shot beyond the three-point line, including a step-back.

“It’s just a matter of me knocking them down with confidence,” Beal said.


Jorge Castillo/Washington Post

Tags: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Clippers Plan On Using Lance Stephenson As Primary Wing Defender

Oct 6, 2015 11:47 AM

The Los Angeles Clippers plan on using Lance Stephenson to defend bigger wings like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.

“Lance is absolutely our no. 1 option against all those guys,” said Doc Rivers.

The Clippers also plan on having Stephenson defend bigger point guards to give Chris Paul a rest on that side of the floor.

The concern with Stephenson is whether he'll hurt the Clippers' spacing on offense.

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Tags: Lance Stephenson, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Rambis: Kristaps Porzingis Has Elements Of Nowitzki, Pau Gasol

Oct 5, 2015 4:32 PM

Kurt Rambis said Kristaps Porzingis has elements of Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol in his game, but he needs time to develop.

"He might be a combination of both of them because he can do so many things," said Rambis, who ran the Knicks on Monday with Derek Fisher away from the team for personal reasons. "You guys haven't seen it yet and probably all of it won't come out for three, four, five years either. He's got to grow up, mature, develop, get stronger, get used to the NBA game.

"He already understands basketball. He already knows what to do. He's an unselfish ball player. He makes really good decisions. It wasn't like he's a blank slate coming in here. He knows how to play. He's going to be fun to work with."

Rambis said the coaching staff still hasn't decided whether to start Porzingis or bring him off the bench.

Al Iannazzone/Newsday

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Donovan Preferring Adams, Roberson In Starting Lineup Over Kanter, Waiters

Oct 5, 2015 12:35 PM

Billy Donovan is preferring Andre Roberson and Steven Adams in the Oklahoma City Thunder starting lineup, joining Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka.

The Thunder matched a four-year, $70 million offer sheet in the offseason signed by Enes Kanter.

Dion Waiters also figures to play significant minutes on the wing.

Anthony Slater/Oklahoman

Tags: Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Josh Harris: Drafting Joel Embiid Was 'Reasoned, Smart Risk'

Oct 2, 2015 12:37 PM

The Philadelphia 76ers don't regret drafting Joel Embiid in 2014 as he continues to be plagued by foot issues.

“An elite big man is very hard to come by in this league,” managing owner Josh Harris said. “I think when we drafted Joel , I think it was a reasoned risk, a smart risk.”

Embiid had another surgery in August and will miss the entire 15-16 season.

“His progress looked very promising up until very late when we thought he was going to play in summer league and then all of a sudden we had a setback," Harris said. "I was disappointed, It took me like a week to pick myself up off the floor.

“But what we done since then … [is have] a very high quality process to get him the best medical care for the surgery and since the surgery making sure that he and we are doing everything possible to position him to be an elite NBA player.”

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Inqurier

Tags: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kidd: Giannis Has The Total Package

Oct 1, 2015 9:01 PM

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been working on his perimeter shot and he hopes the Milwaukee Bucks allow him to shoot it more often this season.

"Giannis has the total package," Jason Kidd said. "He doesn't have to be a guy who just shoots perimeter jump shots. He can get to the basket, get to the free throw line and make plays for his teammates.

"It's just a matter of him understanding what can take place because of all the skill sets he has."

Kidd said the time Antetokounmpo spent with his national team was productive.

"Minutes on the floor; the more he plays basketball the better he's going to get," Kidd said. "He shot the ball extremely well on the perimeter, no matter if it was a three or a two.

"And he rebounded the ball. He'll let us know that he had 17 rebounds (vs. Spain)."

Charles F. Gardner/Journal Sentinel

Tags: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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76ers' Owner Wishes Rebuild Was Faster But Happy With Progress

Oct 1, 2015 4:15 PM

Josh Harris remains optimistic that the Philadelphia 76ers are on their way to becoming title contenders as they begin Year 3 of their rebuild with Sam Hinkie in charge.

“I think we are making progress,” Harris said Thursday during his preseason state-of-the-franchise press conference.  “I’m an impatient person at heart. I would rather get to the end point as fast as possible.

“But at the same time, the goal is still the same goal to be an elite extremely competitive team that goes deep in the playoffs.”

The 76ers aren't expected to contend for a playoff spot this season.

“But at the same time there aren’t shortcuts to it,” Harris said. “So you have to react to the realities on the crowd. I certainty wish it was going faster. But at the same time, I’m happy with the progress."

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Inquirer

Tags: Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Lakers Considering Playing Kobe Bryant At Small Forward

Oct 1, 2015 2:18 PM

Byron Scott is considering playing Kobe Bryant at small forward in order to get him on the court at the same time as D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson.

During a five-on-five scrimmage, those three backcourt players were joined by Julius Randle and Roy Hibbert.

“I think the more those guys can play together, the better,” Scott said. “I’m going to try that out this first week, see how it goes and then I’ll start mixing and matching a little bit more. It looked good.”

Putting Bryant on the floor with Russell and Clarkson makes his job easier.

“I don’t have to handle the ball really at all,” Bryant said. “Gives me more time to catch and shoot.”

Bill Oram/Orange County Register

Tags: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Ty Lawson Believes He Could Be Difference-Maker Against Curry, Warriors

Sep 30, 2015 6:58 PM

Ty Lawson believes he could make a big difference for the Houston Rockets if they play the Golden State Warriors again in the playoffs.

“Steph Curry needed someone to go back at him,” Lawson told Yahoo Sports. “I thought Steph was just chillin’ on defense – and then going crazy on offense. He looked like he was just putting shots up and not working so much on the defensive end. He would just come down and hit three or four 3s. He can shoot when he’s got his legs under him.”

The Rockets primarily had Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni at point guard as Curry's defensive assignment.


“I’m not saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to stop Steph,' but just make him work harder at the other end. I saw that in the Cavs series too.

“He wasn’t really working at the other end.”

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Ty Lawson, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Cavaliers To Increase Kevin Love's Usage
Using Kevin Love more would also allow LeBron James to rest more than he has in the past.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Damian Lillard Spent Offseason Working On Handle Inspired By Curry
Damian Lillard was asked on media day how he's worked on expanding his individual game in the offseason.

David MacKay/Blazers Edge

D'Angelo Russell: Kobe Told Me He Likes To Shoot
D'Angelo Russell has been assigned the locker next to Kobe Bryant in his first season with the Lakers.

Mark Medina/Los Angeles Daily News

Kerr: Harrison Barnes' Versatility Is What NBA Is All About Now
Harrison Barnes is just 23 and can play multiple positions but he doesn't appear capable of being a primary scorer.

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Kristaps Porzingis Studying Usain Bolt To Improve Running Technique
Kristaps Porzingis was the Knicks' first round pick at No. 4 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Tim Bontemps/New York Post

Paul George Remains Concerned About Playing Heavy Minutes At Power Forward
The Pacers want to play small with Paul George receiving significant minutes at power forward, but he's skeptical.

Sam Amick/USA Today

LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs Both Expect To Adjust Style
LaMarcus Aldridge isn't a perfect fit for the Spurs' existing offense predicated on quick ball movement, but they figure to make adjustments on both sides.

Zach Lowe/Grantland

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