– If San Antonio Spurs Can’t Save Michael Beasley’s NBA Career, Then No One Can (from Stephen Babb, Bleacher Report):
“Stranger things have happened. That’s what we’re told, anyway.
Every now and then you come across something that makes you wonder if that’s in fact the case.
Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports, “Free-agent forward Michael Beasley is working out for the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs at the franchise’s practice facility this week, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”
That’s right. The franchise known for pursuing highly professional talent whose DNA is ready-made for head coach Gregg Popovich’s no-nonsense culture has apparently turned its attention to a guy with one of the league’s more checkered pasts.
The Spurs have proven very adept at discovering diamonds in the rough, but that rarely involves an outright reclamation project.”
-The Ultimate Showdown: Pop vs. Michael Beasley?! (from Andy Kamenetzky, medium.com):
” Something will have to give, and whatever it is, it will be spectacular.…what would be more impressive: If Pop fixed Beasley, or Beas ruined the Spurs?”
– Why would the Spurs work out Michael Beasley? (from Michael Erler, poundingtherock):
” The Spurs have seemed to throw out red herrings this time of year — signing people like Sam Young and Cory Maggette last season and Eddy Curry a year before that — which gives the media something to chase and bother coach Gregg Popovich about instead of asking him about things he’d rather not divulge.
This time last season, there was some hand-wringing about whether the Spurs would pick Young or Maggette to be Kawhi Leonard’s backup at the three, when the likely answer all along was “neither.” In fact, Maggette was so done as a player that he promptly retired after the Spurs cut him. Curry, meanwhile, performed quite well during camp and preseason but was nevertheless cut and signed a week later with the Mavericks. He lasted two games in Dallas before they dumped him, and hasn’t played in the league since.
Though the Spurs have a reputation for salvaging reclamation projects, to say that you should be skeptical that they have any serious aspirations with Beasley is to do a disservice to the word “skeptical.” Pop has an oft-stated mantra of “you are who you are,” and I doubt very sincerely if his ego is such that he thinks he can redeem Beasley where countless quality coaches and organizations could not. If Spoelstra, James, Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley couldn’t fix him, it’s probable he’s simply not fixable.”
– Popovich’s plan: Spurs move past perfection (from Buck Harvey, Expreenews.com):
” If you took a right out of Gregg Popovich’s office in the practice facility last season, and you walked past the offices of the assistant coaches, you couldn’t miss it.
Straight ahead, prominently displayed on a wall, was a framed picture of the Game 6 scoreboard.
Popovich couldn’t walk in that direction without seeing the image. Neither could any player who left his office. Popovich wanted his guys to be as bothered as he was, but he also wanted to remind them of the circumstance that night in Miami.
The picture didn’t display the final score. It didn’t freeze time at 28.2 seconds. It showed a moment late in the third quarter — when the Spurs led by 13 points.
This was what Popovich wanted the Spurs to remember. They didn’t lose in 2013 because of a missed free throw, or because of a Ray Allen 3-pointer. They lost because of a series of fixable missteps.
Last month they took down the picture. And now, after wowing the world and themselves, what will Popovich want to frame this time around?”
– The Indiana Pacers, the Mad Ants, and the Development Problem (from C. Cooper, indycornrows.com):
” Now affiliated with 13 NBA teams, will the Mad Ants really be an optimal place for the development and growth of members of the Pacers’ roster as well as other NBA players?”
– How The NBA D-League Continues To Rise Up As The Land Of Opportunity (from Chris Reichert, ridiculousupside.com):
– Victor Oladipo playing shooting guard (from Dan Feldman, NBC Sports):
” Short on point guards, the Magic turned No. 2 pick Victor Oladipo into one last season.
Which was fine for the purpose it served.
Oladipo was not a very good point guard, which helped Orlando tank. He also gained more experience with the ball in his hands, which should help him down the road. And he tried playing a position that great impacts the game than his natural shooting guard, which gave the woebegone Magic an opportunity to get more bang for their buck.”
– Taj Gibson improving his numbers while usage increases (from Mark Strotman, csnchicago.com):
” Where Gibson really showed his true worth in 2013-14, and where the Bulls will need him to continue performing, was his efficiency. Specifically, two areas: Midrange Jumper and Defensive Efficiency.”
Read and view it here: http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/bulls-taj-gibson-improving-his-numbers-while-usage-increases
– The Art of Long-Distance Shooting with James Jones (from Joe Gabriele, cavs.com):
Read the Q & A with ” cerebral swingman from South Florida about the Art of Long-Distance Shooting … ” here:
– Otto Porter’s aggression can’t have an on/off switch (from Nick Bilka, bulletsforever.com):
– In Milwaukee and abroad, Joe Prunty is always coaching (from KL Chouinard, bucksetball.com):
– 2014 Hornets Player Profile: Marvin Williams (from queencityhoops.com):
” Marvin Williams is a terrific example of someone who has never lived up to the hype of being the 2nd pick in the 2005 draft, but has still carved out a successful NBA career. Despite the criticism from the media world for not reaching his potential, Marvin became a consummate professional and emerged as a terrific teammate. The likes of Derrick Williams and Evan Turner should look to learn from Marvin, he has shown that despite having shortcomings you can still succeed.”
– 2014-15 Player Previews: Gary Neal (from Bryan Mears, atthehive.com):
” When evaluating role players in the NBA, one good place to start is to ask whether the role player actually knows their role. It seems obvious, but often role players don’t do what their team needs from them. So, to preview Gary Neal, we first need to establish what his role will be with this coming version of the Hornets.”
Read and view it here: http://www.atthehive.com/2014/9/19/6256561/2014-hornets-player-preview-gary-neal
– 2014-15 Preview: Tony Wroten (from Max Rapapport, sixers.com):
Read and view it here: http://www.nba.com/sixers/news/140919-wroten-preview
– Realistic Expectations for Bojan Bogdanovic’s Rookie Season with Brooklyn Nets (from Thomas Duffy, Bleacher Report):
But instead of blindly throwing money around or pulling the trigger on a painfully short-sighted deal—much like the one that brought Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn—the Nets were rewarded for their patience.
Three years ago, Brooklyn made a draft-night deal that will pay off immensely in 2014-15. The Nets sent a 2013 second-rounder and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Bojan Bogdanovic, who had been acquired by the T’Wolves from the Miami Heat in exchange for Norris Cole.
The 25-year-old Croatian forward has spent the past three years playing overseas but signed a three-year, $10 million deal with the Nets on July 22—five days after Pierce became a Wizard.
Playing for his native Croatia, Bogdanovic lit up the FIBA World Cup this summer”
– Complementary Pieces Can Help Nikola Vucevic ( from Austin Gay, prestointhepaint.com):
– Setting expectations for Boston Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart (from Kevin O’Connor, celticsblog.com):
– Will Bynum still putting out 100 percent (from Keith Langlois, pistons.com):
” He worked out like crazy over the summer in Chicago, and when he drove back to his Oakland County home a few weeks ago, he did so after a late-night workout, got in at 5 a.m., went shopping to stock the cupboards for his family’s arrival and went straight to The Palace for a 9 a.m. workout. Left the building at 3 and went to run a few errands, got home and did another aerobic workout.
“I’m locked in. I’m constantly working out, then spending time with my family. I’m doing something, whether it’s at home or whether it’s coming back out to the gym at nighttime.”
With nearly all of the team in town and taking part in daily workouts, Bynum has noticed he’s gasping for air less than his teammates.
“I was working out three or four times a day in Chicago, so this is like nothing to me,” he said. “I’ve been breezing through this stuff.”
He’s thrilled with the hiring of Stan Van Gundy, delighted by the fact he’ll be playing for a coach who doubles as the president of basketball operations.”
– After a summer well spent, Jerebko confident Pistons on the right track (from Keith Langlois, pistons.com):
– Why Iman Shumpert Is Finally Set to Thrive with New York Knicks (from Jim Cavan, Bleacher Report):
Such as it is with the New York Knicks, a team that’s spent the better part of the last decade orchestrating, and then immediately recovering from, so many a wayward rebuild. That’s made Shumpert—a promising two-way prospect with upside for days—something of a volatile commodity.
But after years of being bandied about in virtually every Knicks-related trade talk and chat-room rumor, Shumpert is finally poised to thrive as a long-term piece in Phil Jackson’s puzzle.”
– What a Breakout Season for New York Knicks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. Will Look Like (from Michael Pina, Bleacher Report):
” Hardaway Jr. exceeded expectations and shined while everything around him was dark, and by the end of his first taste of NBA life, he was named to the 2013-14 All-Rookie First Team. He averaged 10.2 points per game, shot 36.3 percent from deep and boasted the second-best turnover percentage in the entire league among players who play significant minutes (a microscopic 5.9 percent).
There will be growth in his sophomore season because that’s what good, young NBA players do; here’s what it may look like.”
– A Visual Guide to Kawhi Leonard’s Two-Way Game (from Steven Lebron, traiangleoffense.com):
” How does Kawhi do it on both ends of the floor? We take a closer look”
– How the Back to the Basket Big Man Died (from James Kerti, hoopsthink.com):