Saturday, January 29, 2011


When Caron Butler went down with a knee injury it looked like any chance Dallas had of winning a championship this season went down with him.

But they went out and signed Peja Stojakovic this week.

Stojakovic is a better fit for Dallas than Butler and should keep Dallas right on track to contend for a title.

Having Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovic on the same team is almost like cheating it is so unfair. And to think that a team with all that Dallas has isn't the favorite to win it all is mind blowing.

These are truly the glory days of the NBA.

Have you ever seen someone lose an entire game by himself?

Monta Ellis came about as close as you can come in a team sport last night against Charlotte.

With Golden State leading 98-90 with 1:30 to play Ellis failed to box out Gerald Henderson on three straight possessions.

Henderson's offensive rebounds resulted in a Gerald Wallace three-pointer, a Kwame Brown layup and a missed put-back by Henderson himself.

On the next possession, Ellis was called for a foul on a Stephen Jackson three-point attempt, costing his team three more points.

To top it off, Ellis missed a free throw with 15.9 seconds remaining which allowed Jackson to send the game into overtime when he banked in a three with .6 seconds left.

After the game, Golden State was wondering how they lost.

It's simple: They failed to execute the fundamentals.


Tim Duncan knows a thing or two about the fundamentals.

He'll be attempting to win his fifth championship this season, and you can put me squarely in the camp which says he's not going to be able to pull it off.

This isn't a knock on Duncan.

Tim Duncan is all of that and two bags of chips, but San Antonio is playing with fire by going into the playoffs with only one shot-blocker on the roster.

Duncan is blocking shots at a rate he hasn't achieved in years, 2 in 29.4 minutes. No other Spur averages more than .5.

Suppose Duncan gets two quick fouls in a Game 7 against Los Angeles or is in foul trouble the entire game.

It would completely destroy any hope San Antonio has of winning a title.

San Antonio should most definitely be in the market for another big man like Samuel Dalembert to help Tim Duncan make a run through the playoffs.

On the positive side for San Antonio, it is an odd-numbered year.


Never count on a NBA coach to help you with your prediction.

Seeing how these guys operate, it's easy to understand how Phil Jackson has run circles around them for the past 20 years.

Most coaches in the NBA can't even identify the best players on their own team and put together a solid rotation, so how they think they are going to compete with a basketball genius is beyond me.

Some extremely talented rookies have barely gotten off the bench this year and have had their growth and development blockaded by coaches who for one reason or another refuse to play them.

Others cracked rotations weeks or months later than they should have.

Those who have played and gotten decent minutes are starting to show what they are made of, at least in some cases.

Evan Turner, DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, Paul George and Trevor Booker are all starting to show they belong.

Look out for the Rookie Challenge during All-Star Weekend. It may be the only chance you get to see some of these guys play.


Jonny Flynn had his best game in his return from off-season hip surgery against the Clippers on January 19.

He had more assists and steals (and turnovers, but who's counting?) than he'd had all season and for the first time started to look like the player Minnesota drafted in 2009.

And what thanks did he get?

For the next two days he had to read how terrible he is. Michael Rand kicked off the bash-fest on Thursday, and Anthony Maggio and Patrick Donnelly put it into high gear on Friday.

Flynn played the first month of his comeback at about 80-85 percent and was not sharp from having missed all of training camp and the start of the season.

It's hard enough to compete in the NBA when you are 100 percent and on top of your game, so it's not very productive or useful to evaluate someone as he recovers from an injury.

Just ask Dirk Nowitzki.

He didn't have surgery or miss training camp or the start of the season, but look at how difficult it has been for him to regain his form after missing about three weeks with a knee injury.

And he's not the only one.

Kevin Garnett, David Lee and others have missed time this season and didn't exactly pick up where they left off when they returned.

Getting into the paint off the dribble is a major part of Flynn's game and is what will help turn Minnesota around when he finally gets healthy.

According to Hoopdata, Jonny Flynn attempted a shot at the rim every 7.8 minutes he played last season. Through the first 17 games of his comeback this season he averaged a shot at the rim every 41 minutes he played.

And 31.4 percent of Flynn's shot attempts came at the rim last season compared to 8 percent this season.

On the court, you can see that he's just not all the way back yet even though has gotten much better in recent games.

You'll know that Jonny Flynn is fully recovered when you see him driving into the paint to find open teammates and do things like this.

Note: Hoopdata keeps tracking all games, but the numbers used to calculate Flynn's shots at the rim this season are through his first 17 games only. The game against Los Angeles was his 18th.

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