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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

D'Antoni Seeks 10-Man Rotation, May Change From Game To Game

With Baron Davis being incorporated into the team and Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson returning to the Knicks from injuries, Mike D’Antoni acknowledged the dilemma he now faces in finding minutes for each player.

“It’s not humanly possible to play 12 guys in a normal rotation. Ten probably. Eleven maybe,” he said. “That’s how we have to do it. We’ll see how injuries go, who’s playing well. The idea is you got to be ready because (the player) who doesn’t play today might play tomorrow. It might be a 10-man rotation for back-to-backs, but it might not be the same 10. You might have another guy come in. Instead of the 10th guy . . . the 11th guy comes in. Something like that.”

Via Kevin Armstrong/New York Daily News

Fredette Experiencing 'Gigantic Adjustment'

Jimmer Fredette has been slow to adapt to the NBA game during his rookie season.

"He's making a gigantic adjustment," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "People have to understand that's what he's making. He went from a guy who had the ball in his hands and could shoot the ball as many times as he wanted, to now, where he has to blend in with everyone else. He's going through what a lot of rookies have gone through."

Fredette is shooting 37.5% from the field.

"I think everyone can't put pressure on him to perform at the level he just came out of college performing. It's going to be an adjustment in the NBA, and he's going to get better," Smart said.

Via Deseret News

Collins Wants Holiday To Become Offensive Catalyst

During their recent losing streak, the Sixers have struggled offensively.

Doug Collins is looking for Jrue Holiday to be the catalyst.

"I want Jrue to always look to be a scorer, especially with that starting group," Collins said. "When we start the games, especially with Spencer [Hawes] hurt and E.B. [Elton Brand] hurt, we need guys out on the floor to score, so I wanted him to do that. Last year when he made that turn and we really started winning, I thought he came off screens and he was looking to score. I want him to be aggressive. I don't want there to be any indecision where when he's getting in there [the lane] thinking he's got to pass and do those kind of things. I want him looking at that rim and getting us off to good starts."

Via Bob Cooney/Philadelphia Daily News

Rivers Agrees Boston's Defense Needs More Discipline

Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo recently said the Celtics had to become more disciplined defending.

“I think they’re right,’’ Doc Rivers said. “It’s something we’ve talked about all year but it’s difficult when you don’t have practice times, you don’t have the right guys on the practice floor.

“They have to trust each other more, this year more than ever, defensively and offensively. You can’t, defensively, go double or go switch on a play where we haven’t worked on it. Usually, with a lot of practice, you can get away with it because someone will cover up for you. Execution is very important and probably more so this year than any year I’ve ever coached.’’

Via Boston Globe

Hibbert Works With Nutritionist To Add Strength, Improve Stamina

Determined to add strength and transform his physique, Roy Hibbert hired nutritionist Mike Roussell, who works with him on calorie intake and nutrient levels. Roussell creates personalized meal plans, which are fed into a software program to monitor what type of proteins, fats and carbohydrates Hibbert needs in his diet that day, based on whether he has a game.

"Roy is very time-consuming," said Roussell, who has a Ph.D. from Penn State. "He's the only athlete I go into this great of detail for. He's easily the most dedicated and committed.

"I'm constantly making adjustments to Roy's plan at least every two weeks. Increasing or decreasing his calories, changing levels of nutrients. I add or take away different supplements depending on the feedback we get based on his body weight, how he's feeling, how he's sleeping, how he's been performing and recovering."

The nutrition regimen combined with weight lifting sessions after every home game and on practice days when time permits have been a tremendous asset to Hibbert, who is averaging a career-high 30.2 minutes a game and will appear in his first All-Star game on Sunday.

"This is a lot more complex than what a lot of the guys on the team have," Hibbert said. "They just have a chef who makes whatever."

Via Indianapolis Star

Frank Sees All-Star Time As Being Ripe For Upsets

Lawrence Frank, through his 12 seasons of NBA experience, has a theory that strange things happen just before and right after the All-Star break.

“Usually the week prior to the break and the week after the break, weird things happen,” Frank said recently in Boston. “If you study the history of the league and you look at the scores, you see supposed upsets, because people start to loosen their focus. It’s important for us – because we are on the other end, we are the ones stealing the wins, so to speak – to maintain our focus.”

There are upsets every night in the NBA, but they were almost a common occurrence just as Frank predicted in the week leading up to All-Star weekend. 

Let’s categorize an “upset” as a team beating another team that is four or more games ahead of them in the standings for the sake of this study. 

From last Friday, Feb. 17, to Thursday night, the official end of the first half of the season, there were nine upsets in 58 games. That plays out to 15.5% of games played.

If what Frank says is true, then we should see fewer upsets Feb. 1 to Feb. 16, right?

Over that 16-day stretch there were 130 games played and 22 were upsets, which works out to a 16.9% rate. Those numbers don’t support Frank’s theory, but this an atypical season due it being condensed and shortened. Perhaps the 2010-11 campaign is a better sample, with the post-All-Star week mentioned by Frank available for study as well.

In the seven days prior to last year’s All-Star break, there were upsets in 15 of 52 games (28.8%). In the seven days after the 2011 break there was an upset in 10 of 56 games played (17.8%). Those figures are higher than we saw this season, but they have to be taken in context. Was there more parity in the NBA a year ago?

Not really. There were four teams that won seventy percent (or more) of their games and there are three so far this year. In 2010-11, four teams won less than thirty percent of their games. This season there are six through the first half. 

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Brown Admits His Relationship With Lakers' Front Office Remains Distant

When Mike Brown was with the Cavaliers, he had a close working relationship with front office personnel Danny Ferry, Chris Grant and Lance Blanks.

With the Lakers, Brown has more distance from Jerry Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak.

"The relationship there was really, really tight," Brown said Wednesday. "We never did anything without getting the approval of the other guy. Here, it's a little different. Mitch is the GM, and Jimmy is one of the owners with his dad and whoever else, so they make the personnel decisions. At times they may get my opinion; at times they may not."

Asked about Jim Buss, Brown said: "My relationship with him is fine. ... We don't really have interaction like that when it comes to making trades and all that other stuff. That's usually he and Mitch who are talking, and really I just coach the team. I think he's a good guy. I enjoy working for him. "

Via Kevin Ding/Orange County Register

Irving Coming Through In Clutch Situations

Kyrie Irving has averaged 36.4 points per 48 minutes of clutch time, defined as the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when neither team is ahead by more than five points.

Irving is quickly developing a reputation as a clutch player.

“He’s not a household name as a closer, but we have a young man in [Irving] who can close games out,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “He’s proven that.”

Irving’s clutch time production ranks 15th in the league, ahead of notable closers Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Paul Pierce.

Via Akron Beacon Journal

Eddy Curry Not In Rotation But Still Making Progress

Eddy Curry has received limited minutes during his tenure with the Heat.

"We're looking at big picture," Erik Spoelstra said. "He's come a long way, he really has. And the fact that he's not necessarily in the rotation right now does not necessarily mean anything. It doesn’t mean that he doesn't still have an opportunity. It doesn't mean that he hasn't made a lot of progress, because he has.

"It means we offered an opportunity for him here and he's developing. He's getting in terrific condition and the toughest part is trying to get him up to speed to our system when we don't have our normal set of practices."

Via Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Carlisle Backs Odom's Consistency Over Past 15 Games

Rick Carlisle is pleased with Lamar Odom’s play over the last 15 games.

"His field-goal percentage is down, but if you go back and look at it the last 15 games since he’s really gotten into shape, my bet would be that it’s significantly higher than that," Carlisle said. "I’m basing what I’m saying on the last 15 games because, look, his summer was rough, he wasn’t in shape when he got here, all that’s been documented. What I can talk to you about is what I’ve seen and I saw the first 15 games and I’ve seen the last 16 or whatever it’s been, and there’s been marked improvement.

Odom is shooting 36.1 percent from floor, 27.5 percent from 3-point range and 57.7 percent from the free throw line.

"I would love for Lamar to be the kind of high-impact player that he is supposedly advertised as being. But the truth is, he has been a consistent player," Carlisle said after Odom went 2-of-8 for four points in the Mavs' 89-73 win against the Celtics. "His stats have been very consistent and based on his per-36 minutes-a-game stats, his last 15 games are right pretty much on par with his career. And so I think we’re really looking for spectacular things from him on a night-in, night-out basis; that’s not who he is.

"But, if we’re looking for a guy that’s going to dazzle on a night-in, night-out basis with gaudy stats and a bunch of fancy stuff, that’s not who he is as a player and that’s not who he’s been as a player."

Via ESPN

Mark Jackson Sticking With Win-Now Approach

Mark Jackson has no intention to coach for the future.

Isaiah Thomas Records Career Highs In Points, Assists, Rebounds

Isaiah Thomas had 23 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in Sacramento's 93-92 loss at Cleveland on Sunday.

Familiarity, Depth, Improved PG Play Cited For Improved Heat

Miami recorded an impressive 90-78 win over the Magic on Sunday, in which Stan Van Gundy endorsed the improvement of his rivals to the south.

Durant's Development Has Included Clutch Offense

Kevin Durant has scored 53.4 points per 48 minutes of clutch time, which is second to only Louis Williams of the Sixers.

Casey: Raptors Have Lost Defensive Edge

Dwane Casey said the Raptors have let go of their defensive principles.

Celtics Dealing With Inability To Stop Dribble Penetration

The Celtics have been plagued by an inability to contain opposing ball-handlers.

Petrie Pleased With Sacramento's Progress Under Smart

Geoff Petrie is happy with how the Kings have progressed under coach Keith Smart.

Wade Back In Pre-Injury Form

In Dwyane Wade’s past five games he has scored at least 25 points.

Frank Allowing Pistons To Improvise Offensively After Defensive Stops

Lawrence Frank has given the Pistons a green light to read-and-react after defensive stops.

Cousins Leads League In Offensive Fouls Drawn

DeMarcus Cousins has drawn a league-leading 23 charges this season.

D'Antoni Appreciates Lin's Ability To Control Tempo

Mike D'Antoni praised Jeremy Lin's ability to control the flow of the game.

Wade, Spoelstra Agree LeBron Is NBA's Best Player

LeBron James is shooting a career-high 55.2 percent from the floor.

Knicks To Start Jeremy Lin

Mike D'Antoni will start Jeremy Lin at point guard following his 25-point performance on Saturday against the Nets.

Popovich Pleased With Leonard’s Defense On Durant

Kawhi Leonard held Kevin Durant to 22 points on 19 shots in the second meeting between the two players.

Van Gundy Likens Irving To Rose, Durant

Kyrie Irving’s low-key approach is drawing the attention of national media.

Tony Allen Setting Defensive Tone For Grizzlies

The Grizzlies lead the league in opponent turnover percentage.

Griffin, Clippers Lead League In Dunks

The Clippers excel at finding high percentage shots.

Isaiah Thomas Receiving More Playing Time Due To Confidence, Leadership

Isaiah Thomas has received more playing time for the Kings at the point guard position because of his confidence, leadership and performance on the court.

Leonsis Made Coaching Change In Part To Implement New System

The Wizards have been more aggressive on the glass and pressuring the ball.

Scott Wants Cavs To Pick Up Pace, Set Offense Earlier In Shot Clock

The Cavaliers have been prone to shot clock violations thus far this season.
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