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when a rebound drops within

  • 08 May
    导出博客文章Its time for our weekly look around the NBA.10 things I like and dont like1. The
    genius of Marc GasolThis freaking guy. During another improbable Grizz comeback
    against Portland last week, Gasol caught the ball at least 5 feet behind the
    3-point arc while trailing a possession and realized no one was guarding him. He
    looked around, shrugged -- literally, the dude shrugged in the middle of a game
    -- and just jacked a 30-footer. Cash money.Memphis is 7-2 since Mike Conley
    busted his back. That is insane. The Grizzlies?larded up on sad sacks like
    Philly, Orlando, and the Lakers, and we all kind of assumed the bottom would
    fall out against better competition. Then they rallied against Portland, and
    spanked the yappy Warriors. (Seriously: Golden State mean-mugged its way through
    a road win against an injury-riddled Utah team subsisting on Joe Ingles
    3-pointers. Maybe just take the W and chill?)This is the best story of the first
    25 games, and it would not be happening without Gasol. During Conleys absence,
    Memphis has blitzed teams by almost 15 points per 100 possessions with Gasol on
    the floor -- and wilted into a D-League outfit when he sits, per NBA.com. His
    calculating, careful game holds up well in crunch time, and the Grizzlies, for
    what feels like the seventh straight season, are squeezing out wins in almost
    every close game.It has been fascinating to watch a natural sharer get a little
    bit selfish because his ravaged team needs it. Gasol is shouldering the heaviest
    scoring burden of his career, setting up shop on the left block and waiting to
    see if opponents double him. If they dont, hell bulldoze into the lane for a
    short hook. Sit on that move, and hell turn over his right shoulder, fade away
    along the baseline, and draw rain with perhaps the most telegenic post move in
    the league (at least while Dirk Nowitzkis one-footed special is on ice).Gasol is
    venturing a little out of his comfort zone as a shoot-first alpha dog, and hes
    thriving. He remains a brilliant passer; hes on pace for one of the highest
    assist rates ever from a big man. Gasol should be in the conversation for a No.
    4 or No. 5 spot on MVP ballots.Players know. Talk to rivals about Gasol, and
    theyll tell you hes even better than you realize.2. Patrick Beverley, secondary
    playmakerThe scorching Rockets are 13-2 since Beverley returned from injury, and
    their in-your-jersey irritant is playing perhaps the best all-around ball of his
    career. Beverley is averaging 5.6 dimes per 36 minutes, his best mark in years,
    and that number vaults all the way up to 8.7 -- top-flight point guard territory
    - when hes on the floor without James Harden, per NBA.com.The Beverley-Eric
    Gordon backcourt has stabilized bench units that flailed without Harden during
    the first three weeks of the season. The turnaround is severe enough to give you
    whiplash. Since Beverleys return, Houston has outscored opponents by 14 points
    per 100 possessions with Harden on the bench -- a huge margin. (Please do not be
    dumb and turn that number, or this snippet, into some indictment of Harden. He
    is probably the front-runner for MVP.)Beverley is running a keen pick-and-roll,
    and hes not reverting to stand-still wallflower mode when he shares the floor
    with Harden. A lot of Mike DAntonis favorite trigger sequences feature Beverley
    in an active role, and when Harden swings him the ball, Beverley zips right into
    a drive-and-kick that keeps the machine chugging:Hes also shooting 40 percent
    from deep, and annoying the hell out of opposing point guards.3. Fake
    streaksImagine my surprise during Sundays Warriors-Wolves game -- one day after
    Memphis grit-and-grinded all over Golden State -- to hear via the (awesome)
    Minnesota broadcast crew that the Warriors hadnt lost two straight games since
    April of 2015.Hmm. I swear I remember the Warriors suffering some sort of
    meme-inspiring losing streak last season. Maybe in June? Against the same team
    over and over, due to some scheduling quirk?Placing a statistical divide between
    the playoffs and regular-season makes sense in some instances -- especially with
    team-level stats. The postseason is a different game, with better competition,
    so there is some apples-to-oranges in comparing team stats -- like offensive
    efficiency -- across the two.But for streaks and simple counting stats, do we
    really need to build a wall? The Warriors suffered two losing streaks in the
    playoffs. To erase them in discussing a potential regular-season streak seems
    labored. Does LeBron have 27,382 career points -- his regular-season total? Or
    is it 32,954 -- his total points, including playoffs?It should be the latter.
    Yes, this gives LeBron an advantage in career counting stats over scoring studs
    who didnt venture as deep in the playoffs as often. But isnt that the point of
    keeping track? Lets reward the guys who did the most under the brightest
    lights.4. The aimlessness of Denver ... maybe over?The Nuggets looked like a
    team that could win 38 or 39 games -- stacked with enough depth to weather
    Emmanuel Mudiays growing pains. They are 10-16, and appeared before Thursdays
    rotation shakeup to be on the verge of chaos.Mudiays growing pains have been
    painful. The Jusuf Nurkic-Nikola Jokic partnership predictably sputtered, but
    the resolution should not have been bringing Jokic off the bench and struggling
    to find him 25 minutes. That amounted to overthinking it. Jokic might be your
    best player; play him a lot!Mike Malone mercifully pivoted Thursday night,
    starting Jokic in a smallish look with Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari on
    the front line -- a trio that has been wildly successful in 100-plus minutes so
    far this season. Maybe this will spark a turnaround. The franchise needs it,
    now.Gallinari is having a down season one year after Denver passed up chance
    after chance to flip him for a healthy return. Kenneth Faried, trade bait for
    years now, was out of the rotation before reassuming his (suboptimal) role
    Thursday as an undersized center. Darrell Arthur started for a while. Hes good,
    but not that good. Sometimes Juancho Hernangomez plays. Sometimes he
    doesnt.There is just a haze about the Nuggets. Its unclear what they are trying
    to be stylistically, or how they might arrive there. In fairness, its hard to be
    much of anything relying on a 20-year-old point guard shooting 35 percent with
    an alarming turnover rate. Lets hope the lineup change -- or the trade deadline
    -- brings some clarity.5. Benches stifling themselves when a teammate gets
    posterizedThese are the best moments -- when our mask of learned politeness
    falls away to reveal our base and cruel nature. Did you see the Brooklyn bench
    when Larry Nance Jr. ended Brook Lopez right in front of them on Wednesday
    night? The sitting Nets knew it was not appropriate to celebrate the violence
    Nance had just laid upon their broken teammate. For a brief, glorious
    half-second, they just couldnt help it.They all gasped. Some leaned back in
    their chairs, either in astonishment or perhaps out of some primal instinct to
    run away from the carnage. Others perched forward and bent their knees, as if
    they were about to rise in acknowledgement. And then, bam: They remembered. They
    had to be civilized. They resumed their normal seated positions and stifled
    grins. A few even briefly held on to each other, to keep balanced. Im pretty
    sure Trevor Booker grabbed Randy Foye, so that Foye would not stand
    up.Seriously: Whenever someone gets dunked on hard, watch the reaction of the
    victims bench. It is often the best part.6. McBuckets, going leftyDoug McDermott
    clearly spent time working on his left hand, and getting comfortable shooting
    with it has unlocked a new level of craftiness in tight spaces along the
    baseline:Hes not afraid to launch lefty floaters off the dribble if the defense
    overplays his right hand.With McDermott back from a concussion, Chicago can
    surround Dwyane Wade on hybrid bench units with one cinder-block screener --
    Cristiano Felicio -- and three shooters in McDermott, Nikola Mirotic, and Isaiah
    Canaan. (The last two might be more aptly described as theoretical shooters, but
    just go with it.)Chicago has also closed some games without a traditional point
    guard, and all three of McDermott, Wade, and Jimmy Butler on the floor alongside
    two big men. Thats worth exploring more, even when all Chicagos point guards are
    available.7. Dwane Casey, throwing caution to the windToronto is setting records
    on offense, and Casey has been a little more adventurous this season rolling out
    lineups geared toward that end. He started Patrick Patterson at power forward
    over Pascal Siakam in the second half of Torontos win Wednesday over the Sixers,
    daring Philly to have Joel Embiid (slotted alongside Jahlil Okafor) chase
    Patterson around the perimeter. He didnt seem to care if Embiid pancaked
    Patterson on the other end.Hes downsized a bit more in the last week-plus to
    find time for Norman Powell, who deserves more minutes than Toronto has for him.
    Hes even gone super-small, with Patterson at center, a bit more readily after
    getting gun-shy going that route against Cleveland. (Well see if this persists
    when Lucas Nogueira gets back.)The group of Kyle Lowry-DeMar DeRozan-DeMarre
    Carroll-Patterson-Jonas Valanciunas has already logged 84 minutes after Casey
    used it just 16 minutes total last season, per NBA.com. Injuries to Carroll and
    Valanciunas short-circuited that lineup last season, but Casey seemed reluctant
    to bust it out even when all five guys were available.Hes letting it ride this
    season, and it is destroying people. The Raptors have outscored opponents by
    almost 30 points per 100 possessions in those minutes, and theyre killing it on
    both ends of the floor. Watch out.8. C.J. Miles, handsyDuring the Aborted Pacers
    Small-Ball Experiment of 2015, Miles spent a lot of time jostling with power
    forwards so that Paul George could smother elite wing scorers. Some bigs
    overwhelmed Miles on the block; there is only so much a guy can do when hes
    giving up 50 pounds.But Miles is a fighter with quick hands, and he developed a
    knack for stabbing underneath a big fellas arm to poke the ball away between
    dribbles:The Pacers have been going small more often over the last two weeks in
    trying to find a rotation that works longer than one half. Their defense has
    also looked a lot cleaner with Monta Ellis injured. Nate McMillan faces some
    interesting decisions in getting the Pacers back on course.(PS: What Anthony
    Davis did to the Pacers in the 4th quarter last night was obscene. It was
    cruel.)(PPS: Quinn Buckner, the Pacers analyst, was absolutely right that Davis
    was traveling almost every time he caught the ball and hopped/skipped/jumped
    into a drive. This is getting embarrassing for the NBA, and I hope the most
    outspoken coaches keep throttling the league about it.)9. The grunt work of Cody
    ZellerMeet Cody Zeller: perfectly acceptable starting center and fifth option on
    a good team. On some nights, you barely notice him; Zeller doesnt get to do much
    with the ball, and Charlottes notion of turning him into a jump-shooter died
    when Zeller shifted from power forward to rim-rolling center last season.But the
    guy has his fingerprints all over most Charlotte baskets. Hes a nasty
    screen-setter, and he loves that part of the job. Hes fast covering short
    distances, which means he can set one screen for Kemba Walker, scurry back
    around, and set one or two more in the span of just a few seconds.He runs the
    floor like a madman, torture for opposing plodders who just want to take one
    damn possession off to catch their breath. Hes hyperactive, and he never stops.
    Its not fun to play against him.Hes also learned the kinds of shots hell get in
    Charlottes offense, and worked to master them -- including an in-between
    floater, a tricky shot for big men:Zeller is never going to be a star, or close
    to it. Hes a so-so rebounder for his position, and he doesnt deter anyone from
    attacking the rim. But he works his butt off, and hes almost always in the right
    position on both ends. He is the kind of worker bee who just helps you win
    games.10. Kawhi Leonard, emerging from the pileMaybe my favorite part of every
    Spurs game: when a rebound drops within equidistant reach of everyone in a crowd
    that includes Leonard, or when hes part of a scrum of dudes piling up on the
    floor in pursuit of a loose ball. There is absolutely no suspense about what
    will happen next, and the predictability is glorious.Leonard is going to get the
    ball. It will look effortless. Everyone else will be jumping with all their
    might, wriggling around on the ground, grimacing and yelling. Leonard just
    sticks a giant mitt into the fray, gets the ball, and leaves the scene. Its like
    when Heathcliff the cat got into a brawl, everything turned into a screaming
    cloud of dust, and Heathcliff would just walk out of the cloud unscathed as
    everyone continued fighting.
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    LORETTO, Pa. -- Zack Drayer completed two touchdown passes and St. Francis (Pa)
    ran away from Bryant 38-3 on Saturday.Drayer finished 19 of 31 for 197 yards.
    His 24-yard touchdown pass to Kamron Lewis in the third quarter extended the St.
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