Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All Star Break!

Some site news: I'll be travelling until next Wednesday, so there probably won't be any posting around here. If you are still planning to enter the contest, please do so by then -- I'll be picking the winner next week when I get back. You can post your short story in the comments section of the contest post, or in any other accessible location (Google Docs, a separate blog) with a link in the comments section of the contest post.

This is pretty silly.

All-Star Thoughts: I am pretty intrigued by the H-O-R-S-E contest, and I kind of enjoy that it's called G-E-I-C-O. There have been some complaints about the contestants (O.J. Mayo, Kevin Durant, and Joe Johnson), since they're not established superstars, but I like the fact that they all are great shooters who are also creative scorers who happen to have unlimited range on their jumpshots. These seem like the basic skills for HORSE success, don't they? I'd add that, strategically, it seems like the key to winning this contest will be the ability to make other people's trick shots. I guess that's another way of saying "Defense wins HORSE championships!" Also, I am thrilled at the last-minute addition of J.R. Smith to the dunk competition. He's my pick to win it all, in an upset over Dwight Howard.

The Lionel Hollins Era in Memphis: Just some brief thoughts on the Grizzlies under Hollins. He's been the coach officially now for 9 games. It's a small sample, but there have been some noticeable changes. The most glaring difference in the new Grizzlies is their effort to get out in transition. They are by no means, even now, a "run and gun" type of team, but they have shown more of a committment to run off of missed shots and turnovers, and it has resulted in a few extra easy buckets per game, which is nice for this team that struggles sometimes to score in the halfcourt. Of particular value to this strategy is Mike Conley, who seems to be back in the Grizzlies good graces, starting and playing 35 plus minutes. One of his underrated skills is an ability to defensive rebound -- he's currently got the fourth-highest defensive rebound rate in the league among point guards, behind only Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, and Rajon Rondo. We've explored before how valuable a rebounding point guard is to the transition game, so, as Conley becomes more and more comfortable directing the team and pushing the ball, his defensive rebounding ability should become more and more valuable to the team. O.J. Mayo, while still not a great rebounder, has been a little more active in that department lately, as well -- running to the glass after shots whenever he's not closing out and releasing. He still doesn't always box out his own man, so he gives up some offensive rebounds at times -- I'm sure he'll fix this though.

Random Musing: I understand the disappointment with Amar'e Stoudemire's lack of improvement on the defensive end, but given how far his reputation has fallen, doesn't it seem like a good time to acquire him? Deep down, he must at least be as good as he was last year, even if his numbers are down a bit. Why not take a chance, when the price is lowest?

Anyways, have a great Friday the 13th, Valentine's Day, and All-Star weekend.

2 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. forbearance on lovitz story? few more dayz?

    ReplyDelete