– Olynyk showing improvement during up-and-down rookie season (from Jay King, MassLive.com):
” How has Olynyk’s rookie season gone?
“It’s been up and down,” he said, reflecting right before the All-Star break, during which he will travel to New Orleans to take part in the Rising Stars Challenge. “Definitely had some highs, some lows. It’d be nice if we were doing better collectively.”
Lately, the highs have been coming more frequently….and his improvements aren’t just in his rebounding and shooting numbers. He’s starting to figure everything out a little bit. Where hesitance reigned supreme earlier in the season, he’s beginning to display more force. He’s rotating a little quicker on defense, taking shots when he’s open.”
– DeRozan proving worthy of scrutinized contract (from Eric Koreen, NationalPost.com):
” It was just 16 months ago when the basketball-observing public, including both the U.S. and local media, was mocking Bryan Colangelo for handing DeMar DeRozan a rich four-year contract extension. At the time, DeRozan was a promising athlete who had failed to tangibly improve over his first three years in the NBA. It was a bet on potential, not a
reward for production. Such gambles had failed before for Colangelo — see: Bargnani, Andrea.
As the blowback came, there was significant concern from various members of the Raptors organization that the negativity would affect DeRozan. Just give him a chance to live up to the deal, worth at least US$38-million, they said.
One person who did not share those worries: DeRozan.
In his first full year playing under the terms of the new contract, DeRozan has already shown himself worthy of the money.”
– What makes Wizards’ Offense inefficient? (from Conor Dirks, Turthaboutit.com):
” Washington’s offense, though predictably improved from last year, is still one of least impressive units in the NBA (currently ranked 21st out of 30)*. But what makes Washington’s offense (101.2 points scored per 100 possessions) so much less efficient than the NBA’s elite offenses (the top 7 units in the NBA all score over 107 points per 100 possessions)?”
And, an actual very good pre-trade deadline piece: (ok, Zach Lowe and Sam Amick have done some terrific ones, too)
– San Antonio Spurs trade deadline primer (from JGomez, Poundingtherock.com):
“All the information you need as the Spurs close in on the trade deadline.”
– TNT to Air Special on “The Big O” on Saturday:
” University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Royals basketball legend Oscar Robertson will be the subject of a one-hour TNT special during NBA All-Star weekend. “The Big O” airs this Saturday, Feb. 15, at 5 p.m. on TNT, and repeats at 11 p.m. on NBA TV Monday, Feb. 17.”