Basketball Wiretap

Popovich Expects 'Same Boring Game' From Duncan

Jul 31, 2015 7:26 PM

Gregg Popovich expects Tim Duncan to have the "same boring game" next season.

“He’s going to come to the game, he’s going to score ‘x’ number of points and ‘x’ number of rebounds," said Popovich. "He’s going to lead, he’s going to tell me what to do during the game and then we’re going to go home. It’s going to be the same routine as usual.”

Duncan is entering his 19th NBA season.

Jeff Garcia/Project Spurs

Tags: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kevin Garnett Will Start For Wolves At Power Forward

Jul 30, 2015 12:42 PM

Kevin Garnett will start at power forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves to begin the 15-16 season.

"He’s gonna start," said Flip Saunders. "That’s who he is. KG is a starter. He’s the best power forward on our team, actually. No one rebounds better. He’s the best help defender. No one communicates better. He knows the offense, and he can pass it."

The Wolves also have Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng in their frontcourt rotation.

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Tags: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Suns Still Believe In Two Point Guard System

Jul 29, 2015 4:58 PM

The Phoenix Suns still believe they can run a two point guard system.

Phoenix entered last season with Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, but traded away Dragic and Thomas in February. The Suns have Bledsoe and Brandon Knight on long-term contracts.

"The system is good so long as there’s buy-in from the players," Ryan McDonough said. "We value guys who can push the ball in transition, score in transition, and if that’s not there, can get into early offense and run a pick-and-roll. I think the more guys you have on the floor who can do that, the better.

"I think the issue last year was we had three pretty high-level players who all wanted the ball in their hands," McDonough said. "But again, 48 games into the year we were 28-20 despite losing a few games at the buzzer. So it’s not like [playing two point guards] didn’t work or was a disaster, as some people believe. It didn’t work as well as we would have hoped and the players didn’t accept it as well as we would’ve hoped and we had to deal with the repercussions of that."

Rob Mahoney/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Lakers Expect Kobe Bryant To Play Some Minutes At Power Forward

Jul 27, 2015 8:53 PM

Kobe Bryant could play some minutes at power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell and Lou Williams will receive a significant portion of the backcourt minutes, leaving Bryant at small forward and even power forward.

"If we don't get another guard, then Kobe's in that mix," Scott said. "I'm kind of going through those scenarios. But not necessarily as far as who's starting and who doesn't ... I think (Bryant) will play more three than two. If we can get him at the elbows and at the mid-post, the more effective he'll be. I don't think he needs to be using up the whole 94-foot floor. If we can cut that down some, I think that saves his legs as much as possible. But if we can get him where he operates best, which to me is elbows on each area, top of the key, at the pinch post, at the mid-post, then I think he can be real effective for us."

David Aldridge/

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

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LaMarcus Aldridge, Knicks Mutually Canceled Meeting After Center Discussion

Jul 23, 2015 12:24 PM

The New York Knicks wanted LaMarcus Aldridge to play "strictly" at center, which was the reason why the scheduled meeting between the two parties was canceled.

“They didn’t want to meet with me,” Aldridge said. “Some people said it was me. But it was both parties agreeing that we shouldn’t meet.”


League sources say Phil Jackson decided it was best for the Knicks to cancel the meeting with Aldridge because the team prioritized the center position in free agency and Aldridge made it clear that he didn’t want to play center exclusively. 

The Knicks had already missed out on Greg Monroe, so they decided to focus on pursuing DeAndre Jordan and Robin Lopez. Lopez was signed to a four-year, $54 million deal by the Knicks.

Aldridge eventually agreed to sign with the San Antonio Spurs.

Ian Begley/ESPN

Tags: LaMarcus Aldridge, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Bob Myers Reveals How He Likes To Identify Players Who Want To Win, Hate To Lose

Jul 21, 2015 8:03 PM

Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors talked about part of his player evaluation process to Zach Lowe of Grantland.

Myers focuses on the last six minutes of close games and watches for specific sorts of non-shooting plays.

“I’m looking for guys who make winning defensive plays,” said Myers. “Do they take charges? Do they win 50-50 balls? We want to find players that don’t just want to win, but really hate to lose. Like, if we’re playing Monopoly, and I land on Park Place before you, do you just say, ‘Life goes on, I’m getting a beer’? Or do you get really pissed?”

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Michael Malone Wants Nuggets To Defend, Run, Use The Altitude

Jul 17, 2015 1:04 PM

The Denver Nuggets have struggled to have effective frontcourt combinations on defense in recent seasons.

Michael Malone hopes to change that aspect of the club.

"When I got the job, I mentioned the team in 2008-09 that made the conference finals," said Malone. "That was a team that was eighth in defensive efficiency. They defended and ran. That’s a model I’d like to use: defend, run, and use the altitude."

Malone acknowledges the Nuggets need to put size and shotblocking beside Kenneth Faried.

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Tags: Denver Nuggets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell To Work Out With Steve Nash

Jul 16, 2015 1:36 PM

Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell are expected to have future workouts with Steve Nash.

Nash retired last season from the Los Angeles Lakers but he's expected to remain around the organization.

Nash is spending his post-playing career in the Los Angeles area.

Bill Oram/Orange County Register

Tags: Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Pelicans Want Anthony Davis To Make 300 Corner 3's Per Day

Jul 8, 2015 10:13 AM

The New Orleans Pelicans want Anthony Davis to work steadily on his three-point shooting this offseason.

"That's got to become a consistent shot for him," Gentry said, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I don't think he's going to have any problem doing it. If you go back and look at his high school days, he was a very good 3-point shooter, but all of a sudden, he decided to grow 6 or 8 inches. He still has that range, but I don't think it has been incorporated in the offense in college or the pros that he's been in."

Davis attempted only 12 three-pointers this past season.

"We want him to shoot that shot," Gentry said. "So I think you'll probably see him make more 3s than he's made his entire career."

The Pelicans plan on running their offense through Davis as much as possible.

Gentry wants Davis to make 150 three-pointers from each corner everyday.


John Reid/Times Picayune

Tags: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kidd Gives Freedom On Offense, If You Do Everything Exactly Right On Defense

Jul 6, 2015 12:39 PM

Jason Kidd has successfully turned the Milwaukee Bucks into one of the NBA's best defensive teams along with assistant coach Sean Sweeney.

Jared Dudley spoke of how Kidd implemented his system.

"What J-Kidd kind of instilled when I first came in was a system where we were going to play the right way," said Dudley, who played in Milwaukee last season before being dealt to the Wizards last week. "Offensively, you were going to have freedom. But you were going to have to do everything exactly right on defense to have that freedom."

David Aldridge/

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

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