Posts tagged with Ben Mclemore
Kirk Hinrich’s been called many things during his 11-year NBA career.
Point guard. Shooting guard. Rookie. Veteran. Bull. Hawk. Wizard. Bull, again. Defender. Marksman. Glue Guy. Floor General. Troublemaker.
Oh, don’t give us that look, Kirk.
Hinrich may not be a brawler, but lest we forget, the Chicago Bulls’ goggles-wearing guard can be an irritant. And that mean streak tends to come out against the Miami Heat.
Take it away, 2007 Pat Riley:
"Just like the Chicago Bulls whine about Dwyane (Wade) always getting too many free throws, a great defender like Kirk Hinrich gets away with everything," he said. "And that's why he's a great defender. He's that way all the time. He's into you. He never stops. He's relentless.
"You develop a reputation as a technique defender, a physical defender. He has earned the right to probably get away with a lot of things.
Whatever the reason, Captain Kirk happens to find himself in quite a few “dust-ups,” like Thursday’s tiff with Miami’s Norris Cole.
The refs gave Kirk a technical for the exchange, and Kirk gave the world a GIFable reaction.
We give you a walk down memory lane:
King Arthur’s Court
Denver’s Darrell Arthur has been living in the mid-range area (10 to 24 feet) this season.
Sure, Arthur’s had a reputation for the mid-range shot since his days at Kansas. And since he’s been in the league, with Memphis, the majority of his shots have come from that distance.
So what makes this season different, other than trading his Grizzlies gear for a Nuggets jersey? It’s not his minutes played (17.7 per game; 18.2 career average) and it’s not his number of shot attempts (5.7 per game; 6.3 career average).
The big difference is that, in the 18 games of 2013-14, Arthur’s taken more than three-fourths of his total shots from mid-range. That’s a HUGE leap.
Take a look: (mid-range shot attempts/total shots attempted)
13-14: 76% (78/103)
12-13: 54% (194/359)
10-11: 50% (313/624)
09-10: 36% (52/146)
08-09: 42% (184/436)
None of those numbers would mean much if he weren’t making the shots. But he is.
Let's bring in a new set of stats. This time, field goal percentage for mid-range shots (makes/attempts in parentheses).
13-14: 51% (40/78)
12-13: 45.4% (88/194)
10-11: 41.2% (129/313)
09-10: 38.5% (20/52)
08-09: 38.0% (70/184)
Put those numbers together, and Arthur’s scored 73.4 percent of his points from mid-range, way up from 48.6% last season, 35.4% before that, and 28.0% before that (He had 33.2 percent of his points from mid-range his rookie year).
Now that we’ve established Arthur’s mid-range mastery, the only questions are:
- Can he keep it up?
- Should he?
DenverStiffs.com asked the second question, and if you’re at all interested in the nitty-gritty mid-range vs. three-pointer debate, check out their thread.
(Big thanks to NBA.com/stats and Chrome’s address bar/calculator for the numbers)
Not rushing back
On Wednesday, Utah’s Brandon Rush scored his first NBA basket in 399 days.
It was his only shot of the game and brings his total to four points in three games this season. Nevertheless, an important milestone for Rush as he works his way back from his second ACL tear in five years.
Rush recently spoke to the Deseret News about where he’s at, mentally and physically:
“What I want to get done first,” Rush said, “is being able to wake up and not think about the game situation, not being nervous and stuff like that.”
“The first time I did it when I was in college, it took me 5 1/2 months to get back. I wasn’t out of the game that long,” Rush explained. “This time, I had that route where I couldn’t have surgery for two months. It took a toll on the muscles in my quad.
“This has just been complicated,” he added. “I have been out a whole complete year. That takes anybody’s confidence away.”
Starting to look bad
Tyshawn Taylor tallied a career-high 16 points and 12 assists off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 29. In the week since, Taylor started all three games (filling in for Deron Williams and his injured ankle) but averaged just 7.3 points, 31 percent shooting, 1.3 assists and 2.3 turnovers in 27 minutes a game.
It hasn’t been pretty.
In Taylor’s defense, it’s not an enviable spot to be in — big media market, big payroll, big expectations but a lowly 5-14 record. Add to the mix a second-year player with limited in-game experience, and …
As Tyshawn Taylor barks out defensive instructions, Nate Robinson goes backdoor on him for an alley-oop layup. God this season.— devin kharpertian (@uuords) December 4, 2013
At least he’s trying.
Nets have given up. It's 55-34 in 2nd quarter Tyshawn Taylor is the only player talking in the huddle. Everyone else looking at cheerleaders— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) November 30, 2013
Speaking of point guards ...
The Los Angeles Lakers have turned to Xavier Henry for help at point guard, according to practice reports from this week. With Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar injured and Steve Blake starting, Henry will be pressed into service as the backup point guard (or backup-backup-backup?). Henry briefly played the position Sunday during his 27-point explosion against Portland.
On Ben McLemore, via the Sacramento Bee:
“When you have talent like he has, and a work ethic like he does, you are going to succeed,” said Kings adviser and Hall of Famer Chris Mullin. “I love the way he runs the floor. He’s fluid. He’s got beautiful form (on his jumper). He’s got to become more consistent, but if we start finding him out on the break more, he’ll get layups and free throws, and not have to rely on the 3-point shot. The quality of the shots will get better.”
Nick Collison, on trying to win more jump balls, via DailyThunder.com:
“It’s not a huge deal,” Collison said, “but you know what it is, it’s good to be at a place as a team where you’re worried about that stuff.”
Don’t forget to keep tabs on all your favorite ‘Hawks in the NBA with KUsports.com’s daily stat recaps.
Six teams passed on rookie Ben McLemore in the 2013 NBA Draft, but the 20-year-old rookie from Kansas is proving he can play at the next level just 16 games into his first season.
On Tuesday, the NBA named McLemore its Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November.
As pointed out in the NBA's official release, the No. 7 pick in the 2013 draft led the West in scoring at 9.1 points, and among rookies, McLemore tied for the league lead with 21 three-pointers.
Here are some of the games that nabbed McLemore the honor:
-- Nov. 2 @ Golden State: Contributed 19 points (8-of-17) and four rebounds in a 98-87 loss to the Warriors.
-- Nov. 5 vs. Atlanta: Tallied 15 points, six rebounds and two steals in a 105-100 loss against the Hawks.
-- Nov. 19 vs. Phoenix: Recorded 19 points and five rebounds in a 107-104 win over the Suns.
McLeomore commented on the award before the Kings nearly knocked off Oklahoma City, in a 97-95 loss Tuesday night. Check out the blurb over at CowbellKingdom.com.
On the court, McLemore showed off his speed and nightly high-flying act against the Thunder.
Check out all the youtube highlights from his 14-point, three-assist outing after becoming rookie of the month.
Even bigger in McLemore's development is his defense. The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones wrote about the rookie tackling a defensive assignment few would jump at: checking the Thunder's Russell Westbrook.
The Thunder superstar only made seven of his 19 field-goal attempts, thanks in part to McLemore's D.
What happened to Pierce?
No one is questioning the legitimacy of the injury, but there is a little mystery surrounding how exactly former Boston Celtics great and current Brooklyn Nets, umm ... former Celtics great Paul Pierce broke a bone in his right hand, an injury expected to sideline the 6-foot-7 forward for two to four weeks.
If there is any good news in this for Pierce and the struggling Brooklyn Nets (5-13) it's that the Eastern Conference is atrocious.
So even if Brooklyn continues to lose while Pierce is out – or even after he's back – it shouldn't be too difficult to get hot and make up ground. No one is catching Indiana (16-2) or Miami (14-4) in the top two slots, but the final six playoff positions – currently occupied by Washington (9-9), Boston (8-12), Atlanta (9-10), Detroit (8-10), Chicago (7-9) and Charlotte (8-11) are there for the taking.
Testing Hinrich's legs
It took 48 minutes and three overtime sessions to determine a winner between Chicago and New Orleans. By the time Ryan Anderson's 37 points helped the Pelicans win, 131-128, four players had logged 50-plus minutes, including Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich (53). (Fellow 'Hawk in the NBA Jeff Withey, a backup center for New Orleans, played just over four minutes.)
Hinrich scored 13 points, dished 11 assists and grabbed six boards in the loss, but the 32-year-old is no stranger to such marathons. In fact, Hinrich last went 50-plus minutes in the 2013 playoffs.
This week's game nearly matched Hinrich's career high (54 minutes in 2004) for minutes played in a regular-season game. Including the playoff game this past spring, Hinrich has endured three 50-minute games this calendar year. Ice those knees, man.
Don't forget to keep tabs on all your favorite 'Hawks in the NBA with KUsports.com's daily stat recaps.
As long as Kobe Bryant is out for the Los Angeles Lakers and they're missing other key pieces, Xavier Henry will have the stage to prove he belongs in the NBA.
Some nights he looks like a great piece for a team hoping to contend in the West, and other nights his production is that of a scrub.
But Sunday night against Portland, the on-again, off-again Henry showed out. In 29 minutes off the bench, the 6-foot-6 swingman hit nine of his 12 shots, including two of four from three-point range, for 27 points, a career high.
Serving momentarily as the backup point guard for the 9-9 Lakers, Henry finished with one assist in a role that's clearly new to him. The Lakers Nation youtube channel provides us Henry's thoughts on his career night and playing point guard for L.A. while Jordan Farmar is out
Henry even converted a four-point play versus Portland. But, as ESPN Los Angeles reporter Dave McMenamin points out, it was just another example of the ups and downs of Henry's season:
Xavier Henry's 4-pt play gives him 26 pts on the night. He has 3 games with 20-plus this season and 6 games with 3 pts or less. Go figure— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 2, 2013
The AP's Greg Beacham was in the locker room for postgame interviews, too, and tweeted this comment from Henry after the Blazers win.
Xavier Henry: "We have guys down right now, but the guys we do have can still give any team a run for the money."— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) December 2, 2013
Mining for minutes, production
Darrell Arthur (remember him? He's in the NBA, ya know.) scored 14 points (a season-best) off the bench in Denver's 112-98 road win at Toronto, helping the Nuggets improve to 10-6 in the loaded Western Conference.
#Nuggets F Darrell Arthur: "We have a tag team mentality which is first team wear them down and second team wear them out"— Denver Nuggets (@denvernuggets) December 1, 2013
And now for the portion of the blog in which we marvel at a Ben McLemore slam.
The Kings rookie/walking highlight reel has to compete in the dunk contest at All-Star weekend, right? Well, the rookie guard talked about that very subject, as presented in the comments thread here at Sactown Royalty.
McLemore on the Dunk Contest: “I think I have a shot. I’m trying to see if I can have the opportunity to make it, you know, that would be great. I just got to keep showing things to get entered into it.”
On what he is trying to do to get into it: “Get a couple of posters here and there, that’s about it. Everybody in the NBA knows I’m athletic, but I don’t know, we’ll see.”
On what type of dunks he may do: “I have some crazy dunks, as you can see my signature dunk is the reverse, you know, behind the back.”
Don’t forget to keep tabs on all your favorite ‘Hawks in the NBA with KUsports.com's daily stat recaps.
Uncertainty is the unofficial theme of tonight’s NBA draft. There are only hours to go until the broadcast (6 p.m. CT, ESPN) and unlike years past, there’s no consensus on the top picks. Even the top teams easily could change, if trade rumors are true. In short: we have all the ingredients for a fun night.
Here’s what those in the know are saying about KU’s draft prospects:
6/27, 3:09 p.m. — Sacramento trying to trade up for McLemore
The Kings (seventh pick) may be targeting Ben McLemore and could trade up to grab him, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. According to USA Today's Sam Amick, talks have been with Phoenix at No. 5. The Sacramento front office has been a bit of a mess in recent years (see: Robinson, Thomas, trade) but with new owners and a new GM, there's some hope for the future if McLemore lands there.
6/27, 12:35 p.m. — McLemore still in play at No. 1
Several media folks are reporting that the Cavs have yet to decide on their pick at No. 1. FOX Sports Ohio's Sam Amico, who predicts McLemore to Cleveland, confirmed the Cavs were still meeting at 11:30 a.m. And Cleveland-based ESPN radio host Kenny Roda tweeted:
And I'm a little excited for the 1st time about this draft, because I'm hearing Cavs haven't ruled out Ben McLemore at this point.
But what about those previous reports about McLemore slipping? A bit of perspective from SBNation's Tom Ziller, who has McLemore heading to Orlando at No. 2:
The whole push by teams further down the top ten to convince everyone that McLemore sucks has been pretty sexy, but it's also pretty obvious to people like (Magic GM) Rob Hennigan who are in the trenches.
6/26 — Timberwolves moving up for McLemore?
ESPN reports the Minnesota Timberwolves may be looking to move from No. 9 to the top 5 in order to draft McLemore or Victor Oladipo of Indiana. That could be great news for McLemore, as earlier this week, Grantland.com pegged the Wolves as McLemore’s best fit. ESPN’s Chad Ford also argued:
Of all the teams in the draft, McLemore's best fit is Minnesota. Fits a huge need, doesn't have to be the alpha dog and has a terrific point guard to help put him in scoring positions. It's in both of their best interests to find each other.
Unfortunately for McLemore, it looks like Oladipo is Minnesota’s top choice.
6/26 — Cavs’ roster still has room for a two-guard
Some have speculated the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t considering McLemore at No. 1 after selecting shooting guard Dion Waiters at No. 4 in last year’s draft. That may not be the case, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, who could see McLemore in Cleveland if “The Cavs either believe that Dion Waiters' game is better suited to a sixth-man role or are trying to trade him (I've heard both).” If the Cavs draft McLemore and keep Waiters, expect this scenario to play out.
6/26 — McLemore’s representation not a big deal
Earlier reports indicated missteps by agent Rodney Blackstock might scare teams away from McLemore, but DraftExpress.com’s Jonathan Givony tweeted this Wednesday:
NBA teams telling me the concerns around Ben McLemore's agent are overblown. Exec: "He's maybe guilty of being naïve, but really who cares?"
6/26 — From ‘Hawks to Hawks?
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Jeff Withey worked out Wednesday for the Atlanta Hawks, who are picking 17th and 18th overall. Draft experts generally are predicting the 20s (late first round) to 30s (early second round) as Withey’s range. Other teams Withey’s worked out for include: Boston (16), Chicago (20), Utah (21), Brooklyn (22), Indiana (23), New York (24), L.A. Clippers (25), Minnesota (26), Denver (27), Phoenix (30), and Philadelphia (35).
6/25 — Draft’s best all-around big man, right now?
ESPN’s Ryan Feldman compared 10 of the draft’s top centers and power forwards by college stats, and Jeff Withey emerged as the only prospect in the top 6 of all six categories. DraftExpress.com's Kyle Nelson is also a fan of Withey's all-around game:
Jeff Withey rounds out the top-five in PER, doing a little bit of everything in his breakout senior season. Withey has just as many weaknesses as strengths, but all in all projects favorably as a role player at the next level.
Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson
Prediction: Undrafted (Draft Express and ESPN)
6/24 — Numbers unkind to KU prospects
It looks like the numbers aren’t fans of the other draft-eligible Jayhawks, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson (sorry, no Kevin Young). ESPN analyst and former NBA consultant Kevin Pelton ranked the 2013 draft class by projected pro success, and unsurprisingly, Releford and Johnson ended up at the bottom of the list. Using WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) projections, which factor in college stats, player win percentage and age, Pelton ranked Johnson 87th and Releford 89th out of ESPN’s top 100 prospects. Pelton admits the metric isn't perfect, but it’s had some predictive success in the past.
By comparison, top-5 prospect Ben McLemore ranks just 36th out of 100, with a WARP of 1.1 (2.0 usually means NBA starter; McLemore’s hurt by turnovers, low steal rate and not enough free-throws drawn). Jeff Withey is 39th, with a 1.0 WARP.
Pelton went on a Utah Jazz podcast this week and had this to say about WARP and Withey:
The WARP projection is the most important (predictor of success) because that’s the combination of the win percentage, which is how effective we can expect them to be next season, more or less, in the NBA, and their age. It’s kind of the long-term piece of this. But, also, it can be important to get an immediate contributor. So one guy that doesn’t come out well in terms of WARP projection but I still tend to like is Jeff Withey, because he’ll be a valuable player next year for you. If you’re picking in the 20s or the 30s, I think if you’re a playoff team looking for a contributor, that’s a very valuable piece.
6/22 — Releford could go second round; Johnson undrafted
KUsports.com’s Gary Bedore spoke last weekend with an NBA front-office official and asked about Releford and Johnson:
Travis Releford played well at workouts and may now be a second-round pick. "I hear he’s late 40s," the NBA official said. "The Lakers (18th pick second round) would like to have a big guard like him. I’d say it’s 50-50 whether he gets drafted." ... Elijah Johnson will not be drafted, the NBA official said. "He’s not on the radar. There’s some concern about his knee. If he asked me, I’d tell him to go to Spain and Italy and call it a day, make all that money over there tax-free.”
Teams Releford has worked out for include: Denver (29th overall), Sacramento (36), L.A. Lakers (48) and several others at a Brooklyn combine.
Teams Johnson has worked out for include: L.A. Clippers (25), Houston (34), Detroit (37, 56), Washington (38, 54), Portland (39, 40, 45), Dallas (44) and Utah (46).
6/26 — Houston seeking Robinson trade
Yes, T-Rob, selected fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings last year, may be a name you hear during this year’s draft. The Houston Rockets are looking to shed some salary to pursue free agent center Dwight Howard, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford and Marc Stein. Cleveland and Chicago are mentioned as possible destinations, though the report says the Bulls would likely flip Robinson to another team immediately. The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen reported that the San Antonio Spurs, led by KU-connected R.C. Buford, also have interest. Any way you slice it, T-Rob looks to be heading to his third (or fourth!) team before the start of his second NBA season.
6/27, 12:14 p.m. — Nets, Celtics talk Pierce, Garnett deal
Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting Brooklyn's interest in a trade for Boston's Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Woj cautions "no deal is imminent" as KG would have to waive his no-trade clause to head to the Nets. It may prove to be more than a rumor, but for now it's just further proof that Pierce's days as a Celtic are numbered.
6/25 — Boston may trade Pierce for pick or players
With coach Doc Rivers now in L.A. and Boston looking at a rebuilding period, there’s speculation that career Celtic Paul Pierce may be moved during the draft, possibly for picks. Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy reported that the Celtics, who only have a first-round pick, have scheduled last-minute workouts with second-round prospects. Cleveland, Milwaukee and Atlanta have been mentioned as possible trade partners. Even if Pierce isn't traded, there’s still a chance Boston will buy out his contract by June 30.
The reports are only going to pick up throughout the day today, so share ‘em if you see 'em. And remember: KUsports.com’s Matt Tait will be live from the Barclays Center later tonight.
Hold on tight.