Posts tagged with Kirk Hinrich
Look who is back together again.
Former Kansas standouts Jeff Withey and Tyshawn Taylor will be teammates once more — this time in the NBA, with New Orleans. So run out to the store and buy all the Pelicans gear you can. (Actually, not sure which would be more difficult: finding Pelicans attire or not being ridiculed for wearing Pelicans attire.)
And what better place to reunite than New Orleans, the site of the 2012 Final Four? After all, Taylor and Withey helped Kansas beat Ohio State in the national semifinals in the very city they will both now call home.
The trade that sent Taylor away from Brooklyn (and another former Jayhawk, Paul Pierce) became official Tuesday morning. As reported by John Reid of NOLA.com, the Nets dealt Taylor for cash and the draft rights to Edin Bavcic.
New Orleans acquired Taylor to for some much-needed backcourt flexibility, Reid wrote:
The Pelicans likely made the move to add depth in the backcourt because starting point guard Jrue Holiday is sidelined indefinitely with a fractured tibia.
Taylor's only averaging 3.9 points and 1.6 assists in 11.7 minutes a game this season, so it will be interesting to see whether Pelicans coach Monty Williams makes him a small part of the rotation or if Taylor will take on the same role he had in Brooklyn.
That remains to be seen, and the move definitely makes it seem like New Orleans might like Taylor, because the franchise had other options, as pointed out by NOLA.com's Nakia Hogan:
Instead of calling up NBA D-League leading scorer Pierre Jackson, whom the Pelicans hold the rights to, or standing pat with young guards Austin Rivers and Brian Roberts, the Pelicans looked to Taylor.
Whatever happens, it's safe to assume Taylor will spend more time on the floor than his old buddy, Withey, who is averaging 6.0 minutes a game.
Hinrich prefers Windy City
A little while back, trade winds started swirling and whispering the name of Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, with hints floating around that he could be dealt to Golden State.
If the 11th-year NBA veteran could call the shots, though, he would at least stick with the Bulls for the remainder of the season, before his contract expires.
The one-time Jayhawk, who teamed with Oklahoma City's Nick Collison to lead Kansas to back-to-back Final Fours in 2002 and 2003, told the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson he wants to keep playing as long as he can be effective, and right now he'd prefer that happen in a Bulls uniform.
"I'm happy here," Hinrich said. "I came back here because I wanted to be here. I still like our team. I get along great with the guys. We've been playing well lately so I just want to keep that going."
A trade to Golden State for Hinrich very well might be dead. The Warriors addressed their need for point guard help by acquiring Jordan Crawford from Boston. None of the talk gets to Hinrich, though.
"It's out of your control so you just keep going and trying to take care of business and focus on what we're doing here," he said. "It's not the first time my name has been in trade rumors. It's something I'm kind of used to and don't read too much into them."
In some possible bad news for Hinrich, he suffered a hamstring injury in Chicago's Monday night win over the Lakers.
Good time for a vacation
The Brooklyn Nets went on holiday to London last week for an NBA excursion against Atlanta, and amid the sight-seeing and exploring Paul Pierce scored 18 points in a 127-110 Nets victory.
Here is Pierce discussing the trip and the importance of winning this showcase game:
Seems like he enjoyed the trip, though it took some adjusting:
Brooklyn, which got off to a dreadful start this season, despite acquiring Pierce and Kevin Garnett (and Jason Terry, if you want to count him) from the Celtics in an off-season mega-deal, has won seven of its last eight games to climb into the No. 7 spot in the putrid Eastern Conference.
Even with a dud of a 1-for-4, three-point night Monday in the Nets' win against New York, Pierce is averaging 14.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the Nets' last eight games, as Brooklyn appears to finally be living up to its expectations.
Get daily stat updates for all of the 'Hawks in the NBA at KUsports.com.
It's been a rough couple of days in The Association for the Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris.
First, the typically versatile big man went scoreless in a Saturday loss at Detroit.
Then on Monday at Madison Square Garden, Markieff got tossed from the Suns' game against the New York Knicks after earning his second technical foul in the second quarter.
As reported by Andrew Gilstrap at ArizonaSports.com, the first "T" came early in the second, when Kieff objected to a traveling call.
A few minutes later, after Kieff drew a foul on JR Smith while going up for a dunk attempt, he didn't like the way Smith invaded his personal space and threw Smith's arm off of him.
In case you're counting — by the way, the NBA is, because the league suspends players once they reach 16 technical fouls in a season — Markieff is halfway there, with eight.
If he keeps it up, Markieff might catch up with league leader DeMarcis Cousins, of Sacramento. Kieff's eight "T's" currently tie him for second in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin. Cousins leads the way with 10.
Hey, not every former Jayhawk had a lousy Monday night. Well … actually no one was that great, either.
But, hey! Kirk Hinrich made SportCenter's Top 10. Now, given that Hinrich plays basketball and Top-10 plays usually involve monster throw-downs, you can probably guess Hinrich did something else to earn some extra TV time. I mean, it's not like Chicago Bulls fans are calling him Air Hinrich, or anything close to that.
The always heady point guard improvised on the fly against Washington, realizing mid-air, upon receiving a pass, that his best move was to keep the ball moving to an open shooter, Jimmy Butler. To add a little flair, Hinrich threw the pass behind his back.
Check it out:
McLemore looks to succeed in bench role
Sacramento rookie Ben McLemore recently learned playing time is far from a guarantee in the NBA. After starting 26 games for the Kings, coach Michael Malone decided to move the high-flying rookie to the bench following a slump.
Jonathan Santiago, at the Cowbell Kingdom blog, offers some insightful quotes on the situation.
“I think he’s pretty confident,” Malone said (last) week of McLemore. “But when you put maybe five to six games together where you’re not getting many looks, your shot’s not going in and then you’re playing against some of the two guards out here in the west and in the NBA as a whole, it’s a handful every night."
The Cowbell Kingdom piece also provided McLemore's take on adjusting to playing as a reserve.
“Same mentality,” McLemore said. “Just going out there, giving my all, doing whatever coach wants me to do offensively and defensively and just going out there and do some things to help my teammates and help the team win the game.”
Skip ahead to about the 0:15 mark of the below clip to see McLemore take out whatever frustrations he has with the situation on the rim.
In his last 10 games, McLemore has reached double figures just once, scoring 13 points on New Year's Eve against Houston.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports Mario Chalmers, who has missed three games with Achilles tendinitis, should be back in the Miami Heat's lineup tonight at Washington
L.A. Times Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan provided an update on Xavier Henry:
Xavier Henry had knee soreness today after yesterday's on-court workouts + will downgrade to non-weightbearing exercises for several days.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 13, 2014
- The Denver Post's Christopher Dempsey wrote that the Nuggets left for a brief road trip without Kansas product Darrell Arthur, who injured his groin on Saturday night.
Keep up with the statistical output of all the former Jayhawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com.
Currently in his second go-round as a Chicago Bull, and a former member of the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks, 10-year NBA veteran Kirk Hinrich could soon be playing in the Western Conference for the first time in his career.
According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the Bulls could move Hinrich as they continue to deal with the absence of franchise point guard Derrick Rose and, simultaneously, make cost-saving decisions with their roster.
Speculation surrounding a Hinrich trade grew once Chicago dealt Luol Deng, one of its core members. As Amick reported, the Golden State Warriors could be Hinrich’s new home:
“... it appears point guard Kirk Hinrich will be drawing the most immediate interest when it comes to the Bulls' possible next move. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Golden State Warriors are among teams that had been showing serious interest in Hinrich long before the Deng trade.”
Considering the state of affairs in Chicago (15-18) – no Rose, no Deng, no way the Bulls will be able to contend in the East – joining the Warriors (24-13) could be an ideal situation for the Kansas legend.
Hinrich, of course, wouldn’t start for Golden State. But the Warriors essentially have no backup point guard, with Toney Douglas playing just 11.7 minutes a game. If Golden State is able to acquire Hinrich, coach Mark Jackson would surely have him in the backcourt with either of the Warriors’ budding stars, Steph Curry or Klay Thompson (aka The Splash Brothers, who have combined to make 219 three-pointers so far), for long stretches.
Goggled and gritty, Hinrich (7.8 points, 4.7 assists this season) might not have the flash of his potential backcourt mates, but he could certainly facilitate and give the Warriors another ball handler.
Stay tuned, and let us know in the comments section if you would like to see Hinrich join one of the most entertaining teams in the league.
McLemore back on the bench
In our last edition of ‘Hawks in the NBA, we told you about the often cited comparison of Sacramento rookie Ben McLemore to renowned sniper Ray Allen, currently of the Miami Heat.
Well, the 17-year veteran Allen has spent most of his renowned career as a starter, until becoming a backup when he joined the Heat.
McLemore, who had started 26 games for Sacramento (11-22), returned to a bench role Tuesday for the Kings’ 123-119 home win over one of the West’s top teams, Portland (26-9).
After the victory, Jason Jones, of the Sacramento Bee, reported that Marcus Thornton will start instead of McLemore for the “foreseeable future," according to Kings coach Michael Malone:
“This is a not a demotion for Ben McLemore,” Malone said. “This is not us losing confidence or faith in him. Ben’s been struggling and I wanted to put him in a position where maybe he could have more success coming off the bench.”
Malone said with the Kings having three volume shooters in the starting lineup, he’ll need Thornton and Jason Thompson to serve as facilitators and “ball movers” with the starting five.
Kings part-owner Shaquille O’Neal has other ideas about what’s next for McLemore:
Good call, Shaq.
Pierce climbing NBA career scoring ladder
The Truth has surpassed The Answer. That is, Paul Pierce moved past Allen Iverson on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Pierce took over 19th place, pushing Iverson to 20th, with 17 points in a Brooklyn win over Cleveland on Saturday.
With 24,392 points to his name, and a 21.6 points per game career average, Pierce is in elite company, and the next three players in front of him on the list are all within 900 points. Already ahead of NBA legends such as Tim Duncan (21st, 24,249 points) and Charles Barkley (22nd, 23,357), next up on the ladder are Patrick Ewing (18th, 24,815), Jerry West (17th, 25,192) and Reggie Miller (16th, 25,279).
Former Jayhawks to rock nickname jerseys
Speaking of The Truth, Pierce will soon don a Brooklyn jersey with his nickname on the back of it, instead of his last name.
Both the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets will wear the gimmicky nickname jerseys when the teams square off Friday night at Brooklyn.
Check out a sneak peek of Pierce’s "Truth" jersey and Mario Chalmers’ “Rio” uni over at Sports Illustrated’s Point Forward blog.
However, it remains to be seen if Chalmers will be able to wear his specialty jersey on Friday. He missed Tuesday’s Heat victory over New Orleans with Achilles tendinitis.
Keep up with all of the ’Hawks in the NBA daily with KUsports.com’s stat recaps.
Through the first 31 games of his NBA career, Sacramento’s Ben McLemore has made a name for himself with highlight-reel dunks.
But coming out of Kansas, most of the attention was on McLemore’s smooth jump shot. McLemore wowed with his textbook release and clutch shots, and during his one-and-done year, he shot 42 percent (73 of 174) from beyond the arc.
As the NBA draft approached, scouts and journalists never missed an opportunity to compare McLemore to the league’s all-time leader in three-pointers, Ray Allen. McLemore embraced the narrative, too. From the Orlando Sentinel, days before the draft:
"I definitely can compare myself to Ray Allen, especially with the shooting ability," McLemore said. "I don't know about the athleticism anymore. But I definitely can say I compare myself with him a lot as far as getting myself open, coming off screens and little things like that."
So far, McLemore hasn’t come close to matching the pre-draft expectations and is shooting just 34 percent (41 of 120) from three. But the lofty comparisons to Allen persist, and Kings blog CowbellKingdom.com recently went to the future Hall of Famer for the definitive answer on McLemore:
He’s a jump shooter, first and foremost. He looks like, I haven’t seen him a lot, but every shot he takes, it seems like he duplicates the first one to the next one to the one after that. He stays consistent in how he puts the ball in the air. He has great athleticism, and he uses it on his jump shot and most players now in the NBA don’t do that.
Allen — who probably resisted the urge to simply say “He Got Game” — also told CowbellKingdom that he’s impressed by 20-year-old McLemore’s fundamentals:
We’re creatures of habit. When you play sports a certain way, it’s hard to change who you are. So, he has great athleticism, (but) you can tell whoever taught him young kept him in great form with how he shoots the ball. It really has nothing to do with age because if you’re taught the fundamentals of the game when you’re 15, you’ll shoot the ball the right way – the way you’re supposed to be (shooting). It’s just we’re so surprised (when) we see players come to the NBA, professional players that don’t have the skill-set or the fundamentals that we know we should be seeing.
Nice of you to say, Ray. But as NBATV’s Trey Kerby pointed out, McLemore still has a ways to go:
Now, to live up to these kind words, all Ben McLemore has to do is play another 16 seasons, raise his three-point accuracy five percentage points while doing so, break all kinds of records, credibly appear in a major motion picture, shave his head right when it becomes time to shave his head, always look like he’s snarling even though he’s generally happy, and win two titles while also making one of the most clutch three-pointers in league history to save a championship season. Simple stuff.
For the full quotes from Allen on McLemore, head over to CowbellKingdom.com.
Happy birthday, Hinrich
Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich turned 33 years old on Thursday. To mark the occasion, Bulls blog PippenAintEasy.com compiled some of Hinrich’s best moments in red, white and black, including this dunk during his rookie season in 2004:
The ProHoopsHistory Twitter account also looked back at Hinrich’s Bulls career on Thursday:
Kirk Hinrich is 4th in total assists in 3rd in APG in the history of the Chicago Bulls. A legend in his own time
Phoenix broadcaster Tom Chambers recently sat down with Suns forwards Markieff and Marcus Morris. In the two-part interview, the twins talk quite a bit about family and their lifelong dream of playing together:
Denver’s Darrell Arthur returned reinvigorated from a two-game injury absence, Monday against Miami:
Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce wasn’t happy with his team’s effort Tuesday against San Antonio (more on that in a minute), so he took his frustration out on the rim:
And Portland’s Thomas Robinson, who hadn’t played in five games, showed no rust on this slo-mo slam before a return in Thursday’s game:
Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce on the Nets’ struggles, via ESPN.com:
It’s embarrassing. I don’t know if I’ve probably been a part of this many blowouts in one season already. But at some point, we’ve gotta have our pride. It has to come from each individual and say we’ve had enough of this. It’s extremely embarrassing.
Miami’s Mario Chalmers, likely flashing back to the 2008 NCAA tournament after getting torched by Golden State’s Stephen Curry on Thursday:
"You can't defend that. Once a player gets hot like that, you can't stop anybody like that."
On Portland's Thomas Robinson during Thursday's game against Charlotte, via Blazers media tweets:
I believe @Trobinson0 is yelling "lunch meat" every time Aldridge touches the ball against Josh McRoberts.
T Robinson on why he said "lunch meat" when LMA gets the ball. "Whatchu do with lunch meat? Eat it. He gets the ball and he eats all day."
Phoenix’s Marcus Morris on the Suns’ bench, via AZcentral.com:
“Once somebody cracks it open, you’ve got some wild stuff coming behind,” Marcus Morris said. “ … That’s what Coach (Jeff Hornacek) preaches. The more we get up, the more our percentages go higher.”
On the improvement of Marcus and Markieff Morris, from Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek, via CBS Sports’ Matt Moore:
"They were horrible defensively," Hornacek says. "Whether that was the system, or what. But we're putting a lot of responsibility on them to help out and to rotate and these guys are following it, and I think that's what's taking them to the next level."
On Sacramento’s Ben McLemore, via the Sacramento Bee:
“One thing I love about Ben is he is a great kid, his heart’s in the right place, he wants to do well,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “He wants to watch film, learn and get better, he takes it very seriously and I know he’s going to get there and experience is the best teacher. What he went through (Sunday), even though it was a hard lesson for him and us, that’s going to help him (Tuesday) night and hopefully throughout the season.”
Remember to check KUsports.com every night for the latest line scores from the ‘Hawks in the NBA.
Nothing says December like an avalanche of “Best of” lists. And the NBA wants in on the fun.
Nevermind that the All-Star game is two months away or that just a fourth of the season is in the bag, first returns from this annual popularity contest are in.
Two Jayhawks made the 50-deep after the earliest round of fan voting:
— Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers was the No. 10 vote-getter among Eastern Conference backcourt players with 32,996 votes.
— Brooklyn Nets small forward Paul Pierce sits at 13th among East frontcourt players with 45,145 votes.
Of course, with just two backcourt slots and three frontcourt slots per conference, things don’t look good for Chalmers or Pierce. Leaders in the East received over 390,000 and 600,000 votes, respectively.
Fan voting for the 10 All-Star starters ends on Jan. 20, so if there’s any time to Rock Chalk the vote, it’s now.
Morris twins march on
Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris landed on the initial 120-player All-Star fan ballot, but didn’t collect a noteworthy number of votes in the first round of results.
Not surprising for a bench player who’s just now showing up on the radar of many NBA fans.
Besides, Co-Sixth Men of the Year sounds like a much more fitting award for Markieff and brother Marcus.
The twins, through the first 22 games of the season:
12.8 points (50.2 FG%), 6.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.9 steals in 26.0 minutes a game
10.9 points (47.0 FG%, 1.4 threes at 42.9%), 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals in 22.8 minutes a game
Among all bench players without a single start this season, here’s how the Morrii rank:
Scoring: 3rd. Markieff; 6th. Marcus
Rebounding: T1st. Markieff; 3rd. Marcus
Free-throw attempts: 5th. Markieff; 11th. Marcus
Steals: T4th. Marcus; T9th. Markieff
Increased efficiency has played a big part in the twins’ success.
Markieff has bumped his shooting up from 39.9 and 40.7 percent in his first two seasons to 50.2 percent this year. That’s the ninth-biggest improvement from 2012-13 to 2013-14 as calculated by NBA.com’s John Schuhmann.
Earlier this month, Keef explained his new offensive mindset:
"I've just got a great feel for the game right now," he said. "I'm not trying to shoot as many 3s as I have in the past. I've just been working on driving to the basket and trying to get to the line."
The stats back it up. Markieff is shooting just 0.8 threes this season compared to 1.6 last year. And in just a few more minutes a game, he’s taking 3.7 free throws, up from 1.5.
Meanwhile, Marcus’ shooting is up from 29.6 and 42.2 percent to 47.0 percent.
Defensive improvements have been just as important.
(Markieff) Morris draws 4.3 fouls per 48 minutes of play this season. That is down from 5.5 fouls per 48 minutes last season and 7.0 two seasons ago.
“He’s focusing on his defense earlier,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “In the past, to me it looked like he didn’t want to play defense. He just wanted to be out there and kind of get by. Then all of a sudden, you get yourself in bad situations and you have to foul somebody. But he’s doing his defensive work early. Consequently, he’s in better position, and you don’t have to foul.”
“He’s not long enough to think he’s going to go block all the shots. He’s got to work on his positioning and he’s done a great job of that. The quicker reactions have helped him.”
And that whole twin thing? It’s working out for the Suns.
Again, from AZCentral.com:
When Hornacek first saw his team practice, he felt like the other three players on the court were non-existent when Markieff and Marcus Morris were playing together. Hornacek joked that when they want to make sure a pass is made in a called play, they have the twins on both ends of it.
“I think Markieff is one of the best passers on our team and he’s probably one of the best big-man passers in the league,” Hornacek said. “He can really see things happen. We try to put him in positions where he can make passes.”
Sounds like a recipe for success as the season enters its second quarter.
Can Xavier Henry still dunk?
Tyshawn to Toronto?
Brooklyn Nets guard Tyshawn Taylor has been mentioned as a trade chip in a proposed deal with the Toronto Raptors, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Talks are ongoing, but considering Taylor’s lukewarm play and the return of starting point guard Deron Williams, the Nets may choose move the second-year pro.
Make sure that passport is up-to-date, Tyshawn.
Turnovers aren’t, um, an ideal basketball play. But their entertainment value can be off the charts.
Two former KU stars ended up with brilliant bloopers recently.
Seldom-used New York Knicks center Cole Aldrich showed off his dance moves in a game against Orlando.
And Chicago's Kirk Hinrich had the best/saddest reaction to a missed pass in the history of basketball:
Poor Kirk went full Charlie Brown after the turnover, so the folks at SBNation.com paired the video with the most appropriate music ever.
Good grief, indeed.
Collison makes his case
How does a player with career averages of 6.7 points and 5.8 rebounds earn the distinction of “No-Stats All-Star”?
Oklahoma City forward Nick Collison explained earlier this week on NBATV:
Remember, kids, setting screens and taking charges can be cool, too:
On telling Markieff and Marcus Morris apart, from Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough:
"That's one of the toughest parts of my job."
On watching the Morris twins before a game, from ESPN’s Danny Chau:
I watched the Morris brothers play Dueling Lefty Jumpers. Marcus won. I think.
Paul Pierce on his move from Boston to Brooklyn, via Andy Vasquez:
"I'm a guy that when it's time to move on you move on. You can ask any girlfriend I've ever had."
Darrell Arthur, on a hidden talent, via DenverStiffs.com Q&A:
I like to bowl, I learned to bowl in college. I'm really fascinated with spinning [the ball]. When I get out there I just have fun with it, I'm not that good, but I like to get out there and bowl.
On Thomas Robinson during Portland’s game against Utah on Monday, from BlazersEdge.com:
If Energy Solutions Arena was a Jazz bar tonight Thomas Robinson did the equivalent of busting down the front door and swinging a gunny sack full of bowling balls through the entire combo.
Don’t forget to keep tabs on all your favorite ‘Hawks in the NBA with KUsports.com’s daily stat recaps.
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.
Earlier this month, Brooklyn Nets second-year guard Tyshawn Taylor heard from team management the letter-and-word combo no player in the NBA wants said to him: D-League.
As in, that's where Taylor was headed.
But his stay with the Springfield Armor only lasted a few days, and by Saturday night in Los Angeles, the KU product made the most of a rare opportunity to play. Going up against the Clippers when most of the Nets' key pieces, including point guard Deron Williams, missed the game with injuries, Taylor logged 15 minutes in a 110-103 loss.
Compare that to four combined minutes in two other appearances this season. (Translation: Taylor usually falls victim to the dreaded DNP-CD.) Not on Saturday, though. Taylor hit a three-pointer, went 6-for-8 at the foul line and racked up 13 points, four assists and three steals in limited action.
There's even video evidence:
Now, this probably doesn't mean Taylor has earned a spot in the Nets' rotation. But the more he makes of these chances, the more he'll be called upon in the future.
Oops upside Dirk's head
Mario Chalmers' weekend wasn't as promising or positive as Taylor's. The Miami Heat guard took his left forearm to Dirk Nowitzki's face on Friday night, and the league kind of frowns upon that kind of thing.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel breaks it down:
In essence, the foul cost Chalmers part of Friday's fourth quarter, all of Saturday's game and now basically has him on flagrant-foul probation the balance of the season. Norris Cole started in his place Saturday.
Here's Winderman's full story on the ejection/flagrant foul: Chalmers suspended for foul on Nowitzki
In response to the ejection, Chalmers had this to tweet:
Never in my career been a dirty player. It's clear that my arm was being held and that's wat caused me to hit dirk. Enough is enough man— Mario Chalmers (@mchalmers15) November 16, 2013
And at least one media member took Chalmers' side:
Who leveled Dirk? Chalmers. Who helped Dirk up? Same guy. Don't see that often when there's intent to injure.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 16, 2013
You can judge for yourself here (quality isn't great, but at least you get the idea):
We'll see how Chalmers responds to this situation in the days, weeks and months to come.
My teammates gonna hold it down for me tonight against the bobcats. Can't wait till Tuesday night. It's startin to get personal now— Mario Chalmers (@mchalmers15) November 16, 2013
Keep in mind, Chalmers is a free agent this coming offseason, and will be looking to get paid.
Here's Winderman's take: Could Chalmers prove too costly for the Heat?
More from the Morrii
Hey, it wouldn't be a 'Hawks in the NBA blog if we didn't catch up with everybody's favorite Wonder Twins. No, not these two. Why would you even make that reference?
We're talking about Marcus and Markieff Morris, of course.
The NBA Hang Time blog provides some Morrii gems from Phoenix, including this quote from Markieff:
“We’re like the Spurs, how they’ve been together for a long time, so used to each other and playing together.”
Not sure the Morrii will be racking up NBA titles like the Spurs, but you never know, I guess. (Spoiler alert: we do know. This is what the Suns looked like the last time they made the NBA Finals. In 1993.)
Hinrich meshes with D-Rose
Enough about all these young guys. What's up with our favorite spectacle-wearing KU product?
Well, for one, Kirk Hinrich is healthy, which pleases Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, the Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton writes.
As you can read in the Tribune, the Bulls like playing Hinrich and superstar Derrick Rose together in their back court. In fact, Hinrich developed chemistry with the future NBA MVP on his first tour with Chicago.
Hinrich on playing with Rose:
"We play a little faster, we play pick and roll on one side, pick and roll on the other side, make the defense move. It's hard to get locked in to what we're doing because we're both in there. Pick and rolls on both sides of the floor are tough to defend."