Talking competitive basketball teams for a second: unless your roster has LeBron James on it, chances are you either have, or are seeking, an elite point guard. In my opinion its always been basketball’s most important position, and at the NBA level there has never been a time better than the present to support the theory. While it isn’t the be all end all of successful roster construction, having a franchise point guard is excruciatingly important if you want to compete for a title.
It’s why even with Kevin Durant, the Thunder re-signed Russell Westbrook. It’s why the Bulls are nobodies without Derrick Rose. It’s why the only player Danny Ainge would swap Rajon Rondo for was Chris Paul. It’s why the Spurs have been so consistently machine-like over the past eight years. It’s why Mark Cuban and Mikhail Prokhorov don’t like each other all that much. It’s why the Lakers were willing to guarantee a creaky 38-year-old $9.7 million when he turns 42. Read more…
In Shaky Ankles’ new feature “Analyzing The Anomalous”, I’ll be taking a look at a random player’s most recent performance—either fantastic or dreadful—and breaking down how it is they did what they did by way of advanced statistics and the always helpful Synergy Sports resource. The posts will begin with a rundown of the chosen player’s basic stat line, before bullet points are used to complete the examination. As the above picture has hinted, our first player to be placed under the microscope will be Mr. Inconsistency himself, Brandon Jennings. Enjoy! Read more…
In the grand scheme of what’s altruistically important in life, I believe it’s fair to suggest all teachers, doctors, surgeons, and members of the armed forces should be given financial compensation of equal or greater value to that of which is awarded professional athletes. Their actual impact on human life is indisputably greater, more important, and further reaching. Of course, they don’t (and never will) because the businesses they’re in don’t create the billions upon billions of dollars in gross revenue that the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL produce on an annual basis. They also have an uncountable number of members in their labor force, making each worker’s slice of pie much smaller than that of the athlete. Call it sad. Call it unfair. Call it horribly disproportionate. Call it the real world. Read more…
Whether you hail from Compton, California or the European Union’s north side, Derrick Rose doesn’t care. He will happily lead you one way and then go the other. It’s what he does, and he’s possibly the best in the world at it. Possibly nobody in the entire league possesses the same quick back and forth deception—from left to right then back again—Rose does. At such a young age, his ball handling ability is effective to the point where it isn’t inconceivable to believe that over the next 10 years he could singlehandedly bring the crossover into its next era; it’ll be a joy to observe.
This grotesque move occurred a couple days ago at the Dyckman Summer League in New York. What are the odds Scott Skiles sees it and incorporates “Brandon Jennings tells his teammates to move” into an offensive set next season? 342,649 to 1? What if he made the lay up?
Comparing these two players isn’t debatable; I take Curry 10 times out of 10 without looking back. Jennings is a nice, solid point guard who can dazzle an audience and be a solid playmaker, but will he ever be an All-Star? It looks like last year’s double nickel might’ve been a bad thing; the expectations on him just seem too high this early on. Then you look at Curry: a sharpshooting, more than reliable scorer who doesn’t rely on athleticism.
Brandon Jennings Career Stats: 15.4 points, 1.3 steals, 5.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 36 percent from deep, 37 percent from the field, 81 percent from the free-throw line.
Stephen Curry Career Stats: 17.9 points, 1.8 steals, 5.9 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 43 percent from deep, 47 percent from the field, 91 percent from the free-throw line.
I think we have a winner. Then I watch the embarrassing clip and it’s like my eyes and mind are battling it out in a Gladiator pit. Forget stats, as the great Vince Lombardi said, they’re for losers anyway. Right? I think I might be changing my mind.
Not sure how Jason Kidd flew so far here, but he did. This has to be the smallest amount of effort ever put forth in the embarrassment of a first ballot Hall of Famer. Just a terrible, terrible spill.