Jan 30, 2012 11:59 AM EST
Some believe the Kings should move Tyreke Evans off the ball offensively, going so far as playing him at the small forward position.
"He can't play the three," Keith Smart said after Sunday's practice. "That guy was born with a basketball in his hand - got to keep that thing in his hand. I've tried that one time and that doesn't work so I'm not going to go back to that one because he's not a small forward."
Evans would also struggle to defend some of the bigger small forwards and he isn't a particularly adept spot-up shooter.
Jan 30, 2012 11:54 AM EST
Dwane Casey started a smaller lineup in Sunday's 94-73 win against the Nets.
DeMar DeRozan was moved up to small forward, while Jerryd Bayless and Jose Calderon were in the backcourt.
DeRozan and Bayless combined to score 44 points and the Nets were unable to take advantage of Toronto's lack of size defensively.
The Raptors are currently without Andrea Bargnani.
Jan 30, 2012 10:34 AM EST
Some have speculated that the Pacers should send Lance Stephenson to the D-League in order to receive extended minutes.
Indiana has never sent a player to the D-League and remains something they do not want to do. The franchise prefers to keep their players within their system and coaching staff.
Jan 30, 2012 10:05 AM EST
LeBron James successfully guarded Derrick Rose during the final minutes of Miami's 97-93 win over the Bulls on Sunday.
Rose helped lead Chicago back into the game with a 13-2 run during the middle of the fourth quarter. But James then clamped down on Rose, limiting his ability to drive the lane.
Rose scored 34 points on 28 shots in the game.
“[Rose] is an unbelievable talent,” James said. “He’s a great player, and a great person. I always take the challenge, and it’s good to be out there playing against him knowing he’s one of the best in the league.’’
Rose settled for two three-pointers and went three minutes without attempting a shot.
“That’s the luxury that we have,” said Chris Bosh of the James-Rose matchup. “Those floaters were tearing us up. And [James] was able just to kind of keep [Rose] out of the paint.’’
James defended Rose for large stretches of last season's Eastern Conference Finals.
Jan 29, 2012 7:14 PM EST
The corner three, which measures 22 feet from the center of the rim, is a more efficient shot than a three from the wings or the top of the key (23 feet, nine inches).
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has preached the corner three-pointer for the floor space it creates for players to drive to the basket and for the increased reward (1.18 Pts/Attempt) it produces on the scoreboard.
Over the last five seasons, the league as a whole has attempted 27.6 percent of its threes from the corner. The Spurs, meanwhile, have attempted 39.3 percent of their threes from the corner, easily the highest rate over that time.
Richard Jefferson is leading the league in both makes (29) and attempts (55) from the corners this year.
Jan 29, 2012 5:46 PM EST
The Knicks have taken Iman Shumpert out of his role as starting point guard in favor of Toney Douglas.
“Toney’s been playing the point guard better than Shump,’’ D’Antoni said before the game. “I think that today his best position will be the 2 or 3. He did a good job guarding LeBron James [Friday]. He’s learning the league. We’re learning where to play him. The 1 spot is not a natural one. It’s too much.’’
Mike D'Antoni believes some of Shumpert's strong play to start his rookie season has faded.
“Some of the brilliance of his athleticism has worn off a bit,’’ D’Antoni said. “For a rookie it’s a rude awakening to come in and play in so many games. His athleticism has come down a little bit because he has been banged up so it looks like physically he has struggled a bit.’’
Jan 29, 2012 1:19 PM EST
Bismack Biyombo is spending his rookie year with the Bobcats learning defensive concepts while he improves his fundamental skills.
"One on one, he can defend anybody in this league because he's got such great timing," said assistant coach Rob Werdann, who has taken on Biyombo as his project. "But understanding help defense -- what to do and when to move on the weakside -- that's a whole different story."
Biyombo’s per-game averages are modest: 13 minutes, 3.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.
"Biz had to learn the plays first,” said head coach Paul Silas. “The defensive concepts. Where am I supposed to be? That kind of thing. But I think in a couple of years he's going to be a really good player for this team. He's one of the hardest workers I've seen."
Jan 28, 2012 7:43 PM EST
Paul Silas said he’s not sure if Kemba Walker’s natural position is point guard or shooting guard.
“I don’t know, to tell you the truth,” Silas said.
Walker started five games at the two spot for the Bobcats before recently sliding to point guard to fill in for the injured D.J. Augustin.
“He played really well at the two,” Silas said. “(Before) we started him, we were not scoring very well, defending very well—nothing. And the (five) games that he started at that position, our numbers just really changed—and changed for the better. We didn’t win a whole lot of games, but our numbers changed. So we’ll see what happens with (Walker starting at point).”
Silas wants Walker to distribute more efficiently.
“He’s got to pass the basketball, he’s got to go to the hoop and look for other people,” Silas said. “So I think this is a great opportunity for him to see what he can do at point guard.”
Jan 27, 2012 10:27 AM EST
Tiago Splitter has been much more aggressive looking for his shot in the post in recent games and credits a more confident approach to improved foul shooting. After making only 54.3 percent of his free throws in his rookie season, he is making them at a 72.7 percent clip this season. He made 6 of 7 foul shots against the Hawks.
“When you know that you will make free throws, you can play more aggressive,” he said. “(You can) go to the rim and you’re not thinking, ‘What if I get fouled and miss free throws?’
“That’s a big thing and of course it’s helped my confidence. At the end of the day when you start playing good, you have confidence and attack the rim. If you are going to get fouled you are going to make it.
“It’s like a snowball.”
Jan 27, 2012 10:20 AM EST
Defending the middle has been a problem through the first quarter of the season for the Kings, who have the league's highest average of points allowed in the paint per game.
Keith Smart wants his team to adopt a "We're going to live with the jump shot" mindset on defense.
"Our focus has to be on controlling the paint," Smart said. "If teams are going to beat us with 92 points from three-point range, we'll go home and say they beat us from the outside."
"It starts with everybody going and working as hard as they can man-to-man and trying to not let them get to the middle of the floor or the paint," said guard Jimmer Fredette. "We also have to help when there is a breakdown. It's a combination of both."
On help defense, Fredette said, "We're a step late, and we have to be a step early. We've got to anticipate it. We know what we're supposed to do. We just have to be there."
The restructuring of Evan Turnerís shot began with repositioning his guide hand.
John Wall is shooting worse than he did last season from every distance.
The Sixers have turned to yoga as a way to stay limber and avoid injury during the condensed season.
Tim Duncan is averaging a career-low in minutes played.
Eddy Curry has played limited minutes during his first week with the Heat.
Rudy Gay has returned from his injury and has fit himself in with the way the Grizzlies reinvented themselves.
Carmelo Anthony openly questioned his shot selection after a loss to the Nuggets last week.
Baron Davis is expected to make his Knicks debut this Saturday against the Rockets.
The Warriors rank 14th in pace of play.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is leading the league in blocks per game.
Pau Gasol wants to get back to operating offensively close to the basket.
Lamar Odom has started the season slowly, as he adjusts to playing with the Mavericks and moving to the small forward position.
The Lakers lost to the Pacers 98-96 on Sunday, which was the 11th consecutive game where they failed to score at least 100 points.
Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole had specialized cheat sheets awaiting them for practices and shoot-arounds, similar to what quarterbacks wear.
The Heat committed 22 turnovers in a 91-82 loss to the Bucks on Sunday.
Amid trade rumors, O.J. Mayo has been rediscovered by Lionel Hollins and the Grizzlies.
Marcin Gortat leads the league in shooting percentage.
Kyrie Irving has often struggled on the defensive end.
The Thunder are the fourth worst defensive rebounding team in the NBA this season.
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Rockets second-round pick Chandler Parsons has started eight of the Rocketsí first fourteen games.
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