It’s cliché at this point to state that the NBA has become a shooter’s league. Guys who can knock in shots reliably from behind the arc are at a premium and sought after more than ever. Just look at what the Cavaliers have done in the playoffs so far. However, even as the amount of skilled shooters (and more generically, scorers) increases, some players – looking at you Steph – continue to set themselves apart from the pack. There are a lot of good scorers, good shooters, but what separates good from great is the versatility of their shot making ability. To be able to put the ball through the net in any condition.
Playoffs? You talking about playoffs?
While the rest of the basketball world marvels at Anthony Davis’s unprecedentedly monster season, some anonymous commenters decided to spit hot takes with a tired, unsubstantiated trope: “Let’s see him do it when it counts. He’s never been to the playoffs.” And I thought to myself, “That’s nonsense. When’s the last time someone’s said that and been fully vindicated?”
Those were the halcyon days. Back when the shooting guard spot was manned by legends of the game like Kobe, Manu, Wade, and Ray Allen. Back when Ginobili had a full head of hair (no, I’m serious). And then there was T-Mac.
Update: This article was originally written during the beginning of the NBA season for the Houston Chron. Since then, James Harden has played like a world-beating MVP and the Rockets are still on a roll.
Houston, we have a defense.
Not many people saw this start coming. The Rockets are 7-1, and while people may be quick to dismiss it as the result of a relatively easy schedule thus far, isn’t part of being a great team wiping the floor with lesser opponents? If this keeps up, I’ll be happy to eat crow after decrying Daryl Morey’s offseason.
Last week belonged to that one word. Scandals left and right rocked the two most popular sports in America.
For everyone who thought the Ray Rice furor had ended, JUST KIDDING! The league might have gone full Richard Nixon to sweep issues under the rug. For those who thought racist issues in the NBA were over after Donald Sterling, NOPE! The Atlanta Hawks will see that and raise you one by stereotyping and talking about African heritage as though it were some delinquent character trait. And this is without even mentioning that Adrian Peterson, NFL MVP and one of its most marketable superstars, was involved in a child abuse case brought about this weekend.
Summer of 1992 in Barcelona, a collection of US basketball players touched down and set off an international firestorm. The Dream Team, perhaps the greatest collection of basketball talent ever assembled, rolled over their opponents as though they were playing against middle school students. But their victory wasn’t the important part so much as what followed.
“Hey Chandler, want to play with me next season?”
There seems to be a lot of revisionist history going on in the wake of Chandler Parsons’ departure north to Dallas. Many are saying that Parsons is actually overrated and that Trevor Ariza will be a better fit anyway. This is all summarized neatly by one article on BleacherReport that I felt compelled to respond to. “One could argue that Ariza is actually an upgrade at small forward.” The author is right, there are numbers that favor Ariza. But statistics without context do not do much good, so I decided to examine the evidence a little closer. What can I say? Chandler Parsons is one of my favorite players. Have to make an attempt to defend him.