Jan 21, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT
Each weekend we bring you 25 random observations from the NBA week that was.
1. The Lakers use the pick and roll a lot but what winds up happening is it just resets the offense on the weak side. It doesn’t result in shots or quick passes. It’s like spending 10 hours cooking a hamburger. Just cook the thing.
2. Apparently the European baskets Rubio was shooting on were much smaller.
3. Kyrie Irving‘s game is incredibly balanced in ways you rarely see for rookie point guards. The numbers really are a reflection of how well he’s playing.
4. Oh, hey, John Wall‘s alive. Good to know.
6. The worst thing for Boston and L.A. right now is that teams simply aren’t afraid of them anymore.
7. The Sixers can have a terrible start and still annihilate you with their depth. You have to limit their first and second units and if you can’t do that, they’re going to be at your throat.
9. Turns out the key in a compacted, lockout-shortened season isn’t just depth or talent or youth, but coaching.
10. Of course, coaching doesn’t always help. Sorry, Doc Rivers.
11. Well, the Lakers were barely winning over lottery squads and not winning versus playoff teams with Kobe chucking, and are getting blown out with him playing restrained and efficiently. So… yeah, I got nothin’ for you, L.A..
12. Mike D’Antoni needs to title his eventual book: “Why Didn’t Anyone Ask Me First?.” Between Steve Kerr trading for Shaq and the Melo trade he’s had his whole program undone in two spots by unnecessary and premature tinkering.
13. Kawhi Leonard works harder than you, and probably harder than anyone you’ve ever met.
14. I told Memphis radio a week ago that the Grizzlies need Rudy Gay to score 25 points a game in order to win with Zach Randolph out. I was wrong. Turns out he only needs 22. 21.8 during the win streak, actually. His ability to create perimeter scoring is unique to Memphis.
15. The Nuggets keep adding new skills, like “winning tough games where they don’t play well.” Tough to find teams with better resumes.
16. Don’t look at the Thunder’s defense. It’ll spoil all the wondrous positive feelings everyone has about them.
17. Toronto misses Andrea Bargnani. So. So badly.
18. The Bulls would win the Western Conference. They could win the East. They would win the West.
19. It’s weird for a team that supposedly had trouble with cohesive offense. The Thunder have a ridiculous amount of playmakers right now. And Russell Westbrook re-signing with the Thunder shows a tremendous amount of maturity. How he handles it going forward will also be important, but anyone who underrates the weapons the Thunder have offensively is a fool.
20. Player I feel the worst for this season, non-injury award: Greg Monroe. He’s been versatile, well-coached, efficient, working in the flow of the offense, and he’s stuck on a team trying to go two directions at once.
21. Some team is going to wander into a dark first-round alley against Philadelphia and there will have be officers called to the scene.
22. The Suns are very much a wounded animal. They can get overrun easily, claw up their opponent, anything right now.
23. Tony Parker‘s teardrop is still a weapon that should be outlawed in most states.
24. LeBron James is nothing if not great for the headlines. He gives both sides what they want. Fails in huge moments, takes over in big games, plays terribly to start then plays amazing. Dominates a game then fades away. Really, he gives everyone what they’re looking for.
25. And in conclusion, I suppose, for better or worse, Iman Shumpert.
- Durant says 2014 USA team better than 2010 version that won gold 4
- Kevin Durant knows you’re talking about his free agency but isn’t giving many clues. He liked what LeBron did. 16
- Byron Scott makes ridiculous optimism sound reasonable 40
- Derrick Rose told Carmelo Anthony that if he came to Chicago “the game would be easy” 40
- LeBron James strips on stage, throws clothes into crowd (video) 23
- Is DeMarcus Cousins the big man Team USA can lean on? 19
- Lakers make it official — finally — and hire Byron Scott as head coach 13
- Derrick Rose: “I’ve become a smarter player, but I’m mad it took me seven years to learn it.” 29