Basketball Wiretap

Blake Griffin Spent Offseason Working On Three-Pointer

Sep 29, 2016 9:01 PM

Blake Griffin is hoping to add a three-point shot to his game this season.

Griffin has taken only 87 3-point shots in his last 182 games, hitting 32.2 percent of them. 

Griffin said he shot more 3’s than he’s ever shot before during the offseason, nearly mirroring his work from the long mid-range. 

If Griffin is able to shoot a respectable three-point shot, he would help the Clippers solve their spacing issues.

“I want to be someone who shoots from there confidently, for sure,” Griffin said. “A lot of us power forwards, our strength is inside or our versatility. You look at the best power forwards, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus (Aldridge), Draymond (Green) ... they can all shoot but they can all put the ball on the floor and they can all score inside. I don’t necessarily think falling in love with the 3-point shot is a good idea, but shooting it confidently from there is great.”

Green made 100 three-pointers last season, which helped the Warriors go small.

“The further out I can stretch, the more I can help open up the floor,” Griffin said.

Dan Woike/Orange County Register

Tags: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Rockets To Make James Harden Their Full-Time Point Guard

Sep 26, 2016 2:38 PM

Mike D'Antoni will make James Harden the Houston Rockets' full-time point guard.

"With James you make a joke he's a 'points guard' because he's going to score some points," D'Antoni said.

Under the new up-tempo offense, D'Antoni has decided to put the ball in Harden's hands more than last season, like a traditional point guard.

Harden set career highs in usage rate (32.5 percent) and points-per-game average (29) last season.

"He's more or less responsible giving rhythm to the team, that's what a point guard does," D'Antoni said. "He's going to be on the ball and he's going to be distributing the ball and it will take some adjusting. He's got a lot more responsibilities as a point guard. A playcaller, a good basketball mind, he's already telling guys we can do this we can do that."

Harden said he expects shooting guards to continue to guard him.

"Just a lot of trust. My teammates trust in me to make the right decision whether its scoring or whether its making a play," Harden said. "We have a lot of guys who are more than capable to create and knock down shots and that's what is going to open our floor. A lot more guys are going to get open shots left and right."

When asked if he is a point guard now, Harden joked, "No, I'm a basketball player."

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Karl-Anthony Towns: Wolves Got To Make The Playoffs

Sep 8, 2016 2:36 PM

Karl-Anthony Towns' personal goals for the 16-17 season are based on how the Minnesota Timberwolves perform.

"Personal goals are based on team," said Towns. "We’ve got to make the playoffs. We’ve got to do something special, and it’s up to us to continue to work and to make that happen."

Towns was also asked how he sees his game evolving.

"I think it’s going to be much much better," said Towns. "I’ve had a whole season to learn under KG [Kevin Garnett]. I just feel that I can be a much better player. Having a whole year to learn and have the whole year to see for myself what it takes, I feel I’m going to be a much better leader from a player standpoint. I will take what I’ve learned in one season and build upon it. It’s going to be awesome."

Towns will be playing for Tom Thibodeau this season and was asked how that has gone so far.

"He’s taught me a lot so far," said Towns. "He’s really smart, he’s a great guy. I look at him not even as my coach, but as a good friend of mine, and that’s how it has to be. If we want to be able to go to another spot to something greater, we have to always be on the same page and have a good rapport. That’s what we do have."

Jared Zwerling/NBPA.com

Tags: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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