June 13, 2016, 10:31 am
Hello friends, welcome to another wholesome edition of Last Week This Morning, a food review quiz show unlike any other! Whoops, wrong serialized thing on the Internet. This is a weekly NBA doodad, but if you happen to know what deep dark Internet show I referenced above, drop me a note on Twitter and I’ll mail you a $10 Chipotle gift card. I am a man of the people.
The Junk Whisperer
Side note, I’m not completely sure what the heading of this section is supposed to mean. I don’t actually know what ‘the (insert anything here) whisperer’ phrase tells you about that person, but right here, right now, today, in this column, it means Draymond Green likes to hit people in the junk with whatever appendage is closest to the targeted junk.
I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I am a very naïve NBA fan, and a hopeless optimist. To this day, I’m not comfortable saying that Draymond Green has purposefully junkshotted anyone. I’m not in his head, and it’s so far from anything I would ever consider doing that I cannot rationalize someone as successful as Draymond Green doing it, either. It’s below a player of his caliber, it’s below anyone, really, so that is sort of where I stand on that whole thing in the ‘real’ world.
In the fake NBA world, the one where crazy nonsense happens on a regular basis, I am ALL IN on junk hating Draymond. A lot of people hate Draymond Green, and I always use ‘hate’ loosely. Very few people actually hate Draymond Green; most people ‘hate’ him to benefit their engagement in all things NBA. We need heroes and villains. If everyone were a ‘good’ guy, none of this would be nearly as fun. A little professional wrestling never hurt anyone.
Draymond Green is a wonderful villain, a welcomed villain, a necessary villain. So while I’ll admit that I don’t think Draymond Green is a bad guy here, in this very serious basketball column, on Twitter you will find me promoting his villainous behavior, retweeting his nutshots with the eyes emoji, and so on and so forth, because it’s fun, and that is what it’s all about anyway, right? I wouldn’t watch if it wasn’t fun.
Underhanded Free Throws
I was listing to Bill Simmons’ podcast with Malcom Gladwell earlier this week, and they discussed one of Simmons’ favorite topics, the underhanded free throw, and more specifically, why DeAndre Jordan and other poor free throw shooters don’t try it.
I cannot, for the life of me, understand how this is a real discussion two very intelligent people can have. Am I totally missing the logic here? It’s taken DeAndre Jordan 8 years in the NBA shooting free throws using his regular form to get his free throw shooting UP to 43%. It’s actually improving! On what planet would attempting a new method he has spent zero time working on result is a better free throw percentage?
For a guy like Simmons, with highly respected NBA analytic buddies like Daryl Morey and everyone else involved with the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, the probability of this actually working for DeAndre Jordan, or anyone who has spent over 20 years doing something the correct way, seems incredibly slim, if not completely impossible.
Don’t get me wrong, watching DeAndre Jordan shoot underhanded free throws would make for an excellent Vine, but no, no way. It wouldn’t work.
To say I was happy about the news that DeMarcus Cousins had earned a spot on the United States’ Olympic roster would be an understatement. With that being said, ‘earned’ may not have been the most accurate word there considering the shocking number of NBA stars and Team USA mainstays who straight up declined their invitation.
A lot the USA’s top talent is staying home. James Harden and Russell Westbrook, to name a couple. Some players have referenced the need for rest and recovery, which I can respect, and others have expressed some fear about their safety in Rio, also legitimate. I think it takes an incredible amount of restraint to say ‘no, I need to stay home’ because playing Olympic basketball sounds like the greatest thing imaginable, but again – that is the naïve NBA fan in me.
At any rate, I think Team USA is going to be a lot more interesting in Rio than they have been in quite some time, mostly because of the unknown. In all likelihood, USA will be the favorites, but the team is going have a different look. We’re going to see different matchups. If they in gold, we’re going to see new medalists. I’m looking forward to it, and you should too.
April 25, 2019, 2:06 amLou Williams - G - Los Angeles Clippers
Lou Williams went off for 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in a 129-121 win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.
Williams went 1-of-2 from deep and 8-of-9 from the stripe. He also contributed four rebounds and 10 assists to the stat sheet. When the Clippers were down 118-117 with under two minutes left, Williams hit a 4-point play to go up three points. After that play, he made two more buckets to widen the gap to 125-118. Williams iced the game for the Clippers and he is one of the cogs that keeps the team successful when he is on his game.
April 25, 2019, 2:00 amPatrick Beverley - G - Los Angeles Clippers
Patrick Beverley put up 17 points with 14 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.
He shot 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-11 from 3-point territory. His attitude and energy provide the young Clippers much-needed confidence. His defense and toughness have helped the Clippers push this series to six games and possibly further, which is something many people would have counted out before the playoffs started.
April 25, 2019, 1:53 amDanilo Gallinari - F - Los Angeles Clippers
Danilo Gallinari put up 26 points on 9-of-22 shooting in a team-high 42 minutes as the Clippers beat the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday to avoid elimination.
He did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc as he went 3-of-11, but he did shoot 5-of-6 from the stripe. He also contributed seven rebounds, two assists and one steal to the box score. Gallinari has not been efficient during this series, and it is quite disappointing to see him taking a dip from his high level of production in the regular season. Gallinari will need to bring another performance like this one if the Clippers hope to force a Game 7.
April 25, 2019, 1:44 amMontrezl Harrell - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers
Montrezl Harrell played well in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday as he had 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting in 27 minutes of action.
He added five rebounds, two assists and one block while shooting a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. Harrell provided energy and paint dominance for the Clippers throughout this game, which lifted them to a win to force a Game 6. Harrell's only block came late in the fourth quarter on a Kevon Looney dunk attempt, which shifted momentum in the Clippers' favor.
April 25, 2019, 1:38 amJaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers
JaMychal Green started in Game 5 and scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three triples in 27 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors on Wednesday.
Green was guarding Kevin Durant for much of his court time during Game 4, and Game 5 was no different. Durant is unguardable, so the 45 points that he scored is not Green's fault. He has been playing well in the starting lineup and there is no reason to believe that his role will change for Game 6.
April 25, 2019, 1:29 amStephen Curry - G - Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry scored 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in Game 5 as the Warriors lost to the Clippers on Wednesday.
The Warriors are still up by one game in the series, but it would have been nice to end it on their home court. Curry added three rebounds, four assists, and one block to the box score while shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Curry has had a phenomenal series thus far, which is seemingly inevitable with the Warriors' stars. The rest of the roster will need to step up in order to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.
April 25, 2019, 1:20 amKlay Thompson - G - Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson followed up his 32-point performance in Game 4 with a 22-point outing in Game 5 on 9-of-20 shooting in a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.
He made four triples while adding three rebounds and two assists to the box score. Thompson is having a solid series with averages of 18.3 points and 2.5 triples per game in the first four games, The Warriors will have another chance to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.
April 25, 2019, 1:14 amKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant put up 45 points on 14-of-26 shooting with six rebounds and six assists in a Game 5 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.
The Warriors had a chance to end the series tonight but could not capitalize as they got absolutely torched by Lou Williams down the stretch. Durant added two steals, one block and five 3-pointers to the box score. He was their main scoring option down the stretch and really kept them in the game, but Williams got the best of him and pulled out the win.
April 24, 2019, 11:13 pmChris Paul - G - Houston Rockets
Chris Paul got it done in Wednesday night's win over the Jazz, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three turnovers.
Paul finished this series scoring 17.4 points on 46 percent shooting, both above his regular season averages. He has a habit of increasing his production in the post season and should continue to be a linchpin for the Houston offense as long as he stays healthy.
April 24, 2019, 11:02 pmClint Capela - C - Houston Rockets
Clint Capela looked healthy in Wednesday's 100-93 win over the Jazz, scoring 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.
Coach Mike D'Antoni indicated that Capela was feeling a lot better and it certainly looked it tonight. The lob-catching big man is essential to Houston's playoff success and could be in for a huge role in a potential showdown with the Warriors.