Beckley Mason of ESPN.com looks at signature moves: “This move became a major topic of conversation in the playoffs, when Harden used it to earn free throw after free throw. Typically, players are taught to conceal the ball on drives to the basket in order to protect against the defense’s prying hands. But Harden holds the ball way out, often past his defender as he makes his move, exposing the ball but also plenty of arm. More often than not, the defender swipes down and hits his arm, and Harden, expecting the contact, is exceedingly adept at finishing with a score.”
Kevin McHale talking about schemes: “Again, ideally if you asked me how I’d like to play I’d say that I’d like to have a big guy to throw the ball to and pound the hell out of the other team. If you don’t have those guys then it’s very hard to do that. I don’t foresee those guys being on our team right now, so we’re probably going to have to create offense from the outside-in even though I’d prefer my offense from the inside-out. I’d rather be a team that’s a great rebounding, great pound-it-inside, throw it out for jump shots after you’ve explored pounding it inside type of team. But those teams in the NBA are few and far between these days. So we’re just going to have to do whatever fits our team the best. If our best playmaker is our two-man then we’ll run a ton of stuff that will allow him to make plays. If our best playmaker is our four-man, then we’ll run a ton of stuff for him to make plays. The object is not to run your offense, the object is to run an offense that fits your team. I’m not playing, so it doesn’t matter what I like; it matters what these guys can and can’t do.”
Four Thunderers participated in Basketball Without Borders: “Not only are Sefolosha and his Thunder teammates showing the campers the basics of basketball and helping them along in their development, they’re also connecting on a personal level and teaching important life skills to the young men who will one day be leaders themselves. For a 22-year old like Ibaka, only a few years removed from his days of growing up in the Congo, it is a special moment to be able to give back and help influence young players who may have had a similar upbringing.”
Annnnnnd that’s basically it. I would say the Tuesday after Labor Day might be the ultimate slow point of the NBA season. But just think: Less than a month until training camp starts. Preseason games coming soon. And on the heels of that, the real thing starts. Hang in there.