David Thorpe says James Harden should study… Josh Smith?”: “When you get a new car, have you noticed how you suddenly see a lot of other people driving the same model? That’s because you’re subconsciously looking for it. So how can Josh Smith help Harden? Easy. Harden is deeply skilled and smart, but he’s not a guy who makes athletic plays, partly because he rarely sees them coming. Conversely, Smith views almost every play as an opportunity to show off his wondrous hops. For example: If a shot bounces off the offensive glass, Harden will jump to get it, land, then jump back up to lay it in. Smith, on the other hand, will take that exact same rebound and dunk it explosively. Sure, Smith can jump higher and is longer, but Harden is certainly capable of getting more dunks (or blocked shots, explosive finishes, etc.) than he does now. Even if he jumped better, he would first have to see those opportunities. Watching Smith play is the best way to see the athletic opportunities available in games.”
Scott Brooks on Westbrook’s mini-slump: “He’s had a couple of games that aren’t Russell-like,” Brooks said. “We had grown accustomed to where he almost averaged a triple double. That’s very rare to have a streak like that. He’s come down a little bit. Now it’s time to pick it up and get it going again. I have the utmost confidence that will happen.”
Paul Forrester writing about Latavious Williams: “But perhaps his greatest improvement doesn’t appear in box scores. No longer playing among a high school crowd where a player’s physical gifts alone can dominate, Williams has taken up a routine fit for a kid looking to get better. Regularly arriving an hour before practice and leaving an hour after, Williams runs through a battery of shooting drills, stop-and-pops and ball handling, an effort that has earned Williams more court time (23.3 minutes since Jan. 1) as the season progresses.”
LeBron says he could win the scoring title every year if he wanted. I bet KD could too… if he wanted.
That Xavier-Kansas State game was a goodun, huh? I love games that make you yell, “OHHH!!!” even when you’re not rooting for either squad.
Sam Amico reports that the reason Phil Jackson stayed in San Antonio until today was because he hates OKC. Well Phil, we don’t like you or the stupid book you tried to give us either.
Magic Number Watch: Houston lost last night, so it’s down to five for the Rockets. Six for the Grizz.