Catch n' Shoot: March 24, 2011 -- The Truth Needs the Ball, Aldridge Deserves More Love, AAU Needs to Poof!, Jimmer Needs a Guru

Catch n' Shoot: March 24, 2011 -- The Truth Needs the Ball, Aldridge Deserves More Love, AAU Needs to Poof!, Jimmer Needs a Guru
  • "That pass is, uh -- is uhhhh..." (h/t: Matt McHale):

  • The Celtics' shot selection can look very weird on a chart. It can make you wonder how in hell they win. But "open shots are better than other shots." Sandy Weil proved it.
  • That said, Rajon Rondo holds onto the ball too fucking long. The Grizzlies beat the C's 90-87 by outscoring them 52-26 in the paint on Wednesday, but Boston looked great when the ball was moving and distribution shifted from Rondo to Pierce -- who was insanely awesome with the ball last night -- to Allen to KG.

    Rondo was passing up open layups, so he could pass to teammates with dead shot clocks. He even passed up on a fastbreak layup down 86-85 with about 2:40 left to try getting another assist. This is unbelievably insane. I've been saying this for almost two years now and I'm down getting, "Well, I'll have to look for that in the future." as a response. This is how far this idiot stretches to pad his assist totals (h/t: jeeves)

    It's infuriating to watch to him hold the ball too long -- exponentially moreso than Derrick Rose -- because he's so gun-shy to score. Not to mention, Rondo didn't get Pierce the ball enough, as usual, which Doc Rivers pointed out after the game:

    "We gotta score more points. I thought in the second half, we went to that one stretch where we didn't start our offense until there was like seven seconds left on the clock. Milkin' the clock, I thought the ball just was bounced and didn't move. Whenever we do that-- [...] I think, as a whole, our team, we gotta' get back to understanding, you know, Paul is pretty good and he's gotta' get more touches in games."

    More infuriating was Nenad Krstic getting gun-shy on dunk opportunities, making one too many passes. After one of Krstic's excessive passes, the camera cut to Doc and we got this gem (h/t: Mike Prada):

    doc facepalm mem krstic.png
  • NBPA executive director "[Billy Hunter] Hunter says neither side has expressed an interest in trying to prevent superstars from flocking together, and rightly so," Henry Abbott noted from his Friday discussion with Hunter. Rightfully so, indeed. Competition is good for the league, but pissing on Curt Flood actually hinders the market of personnel and, therefore, general management competition. What's best for the league is allowing the inner marketplace to act voluntarily in an economically viable overall model.
  • If the Thunder are still around when (if?) the C's get knocked out of the playoffs, this needs to be CC'd to all Bostonians in our contacts lists at least once (h/t: Kelly Dwyer):

    I'll take it, too, because I'm unapologetically finding it very difficult to passionately root against the Celtics and am still sad about the Kendrick Perkins deal -- even though their losses are needed for the Bulls to lock up the top East seed. Oh, mein kampf...

  • Chris Mannix's profile on LaMarcus Aldridge touches on his self-scrutiny, bulking up, and developing a post game. And, yeah, in the middle of the rising star's breakthrough season of dominance, his mother just finished chemo last month.
  • Dwight Howard is running away with the dunk lead for the season. Unfortunately, not near the favorite to win MVP. We've seen this before with Allen Iverson -- who I love, in a weird way -- winning over Shaq ten years ago.
  • After egomaniacal college coaches, AAU is a bigger reason why NCAA basketball sucks than 19- and 20-year-olds getting drafted. Junior and senior key players in the NCAA are treated as NBA rejects because most aren't good enough to ever play in the NBA. This isn't a college problem as much as the problem of how well nurtured many players' talents with which they enter aren't being nurtured well at all.

    AAU is "killing the game," according to Charles Barkley. "AAU is the worst thing to happen to college basketball ever. I hate AAU more than anything in the world. To piggy-back on your point, these kids aren't getting good coaching."

  • As the Nuggets continue to be awesome, as one of the deepest teams in the NBA, the Knicks are in a new Isiah Thomas era. All of that said, Raymond Felton was having a career year and is now behind a slightly better point guard. Completely reasonable for him to want to be a leader elsewhere. I'd love to see Felton in Portland.
  • Brandon Roy needs to become more of a catch n' shoot player on the perimeter. His FG% on long twos has plummeted to .311 from .440 last season with his knee destruction, Kevin Pelton found, noting: "Roy doesn't have the same ability to create separation with the dribble that he once did, but he's too accurate a shooter not to improve his percentage." That said, he can still get to the rim and finish well, but even this will require more baseline cutting off the ball. I'm a huge Roy fan and love the Blazers. I hope this adjustment is made sooner rather than too late.
  • Wizards and Clippers prove that bad basketball in the NBA is still better than anything in the NCAA. The Staples Center Red Team pulled out the 127-119 double-OT win in a game that featured 43 (FORTY-THREE!) total turnovers. And, then, there's Blake Griffin:


    Tom Ziller made me LOL with: "In an ice bath somewhere, Carlos Boozer screamed 'And 1!' "

    Blake notched his first career triple-double with 33 pts, 17 rbs., and 10 asts. I've been grading mid-terms all week and after mutli-taking with the Grizzlies-Celtics game earlier, I needed a nap. I committed the crime of missing Blake play a game that went 58 minutes in which he had a trip-dub. Of course, I woke up around 1:30 a.m., almost immediately after it ended, judging from my Twitter feed. I'm kicking myself for it. But onDemand will be awesome to me this weekend.

  • Wait! Chuck Hayes had a trip-dub last night, too?!? Are they handing these things out with the uselessly torturous Red Eye now?
  • How to contest a 6-foot-5, 205 lb. guard's dunk like a Bosh:

  • I don't think Jimmer Fredette is as "risky" as Matt Moore does, but he will require the right system to flourish. That said, those systems are out there. I think Fredette will be a dangerous weapon on any team with a killer pick n' roll combo as a spot shooting option when the defensive weight shifts. Also, his quickness and handles are underrated because he doesn't accelerate at an impressive level -- and, maybe, his race. (That said, there's the equally irrational opposite said of him due to race, as well. His skills in a black man's body are usually viewed as selfish, showboaty, me-first-iness.)

    I'm not saying he can take NBA guards off the dribble like he does to the trash in the Mountain West, but I've watch him enough to confidently say that that is an NBA crossover. The question is whether his lack of height is still too much of an obstacle, despite the space his crossover can create.

    Fredette's best bet at an NBA career isn't searching out failed white guys vs. the white guys who found a niche or being so deliberate to not compare him to a white guy that ridiculous comparisons to Stephen Curry get made. (Curry is miles beyond Jimmer and this ought to be uncontroversial.) Jimmer's best bet, in my humble opinion, is bulking up, but developing a low post game like that which have extended the careers of Andre Miller and Jason Kidd. He's already a better shooter than either of them, so with more strength, getting to that post and being a more methodical inside-out point guard with deadly perimeter players and/or athletic bigs could make him an asset starting from about 2-4 years into his career -- lasting as long as he can stay healthy. Basically, Jimmer can play a great old-man-game in a 25-year-old body if he puts in the work and I don't doubt he will.

    That said, I thought Tyrus Thomas was gonna' be like Amar'e Stoudemire who'd make up for lesser length with more athleticism and much better defense.

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