Gonna be a quick one today. I’m moving this weekend and off of work from the day job all next week so it’s a little hectic!
1. Read Nekias on OG
Nekias Duncan is one of the smartest basketball voices we have; he’s an excellent Twitter follow and a heck of a writer. His level of “give a shit” about the way he watches and writes about the game is off the charts. He reads film like a player.
So go read his piece on OG Anunoby. You won’t be disappointed.
He surveys the court, peeping Julius Randle nudge his way to the right elbow. Anunoby sets up RJ Barrett (defending his tail off this year, by the way) with a jab before flowing into a right-to-left spin. Midway through his spin, he recognizes Derrick Rose committing to help, as well as Alec Burks trying to track two Raptors on an exchange.
(This is the same sort of stuff I mentioned with Blake Murphy’s video on Scottie Barnes the other day. This all happens so fast, it’s so hard to see it in real time. You need to invest the time like Blake and Nekias do.) (Or just read/watch their stuff and be thankful they do!)
2. Svi, ducking in
Really enjoyed seeing the angle on this replay of Svi Mykhailiuk’s dunk of the BLOB play from Monday:
At the beginning of the play you can see Svi open, briefly, at the top of the arc, calling for the ball, hands shot-ready. How many guys do you know would have put their arms down and stood still once the inbounder missed his window? Too many, I’ll just say that.
Instead Mykhailiuk kept his eye on the play, and as soon as the D shifted, he darted in for the dunk.
3. PJ Tucker’s journey from Toronto to Europe
I’ve always wondered why PJ Tucker didn’t stick around after he was drafted by the Raptors; he seemed to play well in his brief appearances but then was cut right after his rookie season. Turns out, he was a self-admitted malcontent about his playing time, and none of the veterans on the team took him under their wing to set him straight.
Embarrassing a player with a clip of him sulking definitely sounds like a Sam Mitchell thing to do, and PJ would have had every right to be angry about it. So good on him for taking it to heart and trying to become a better person/player because of it.
Also, props to JJ Redick for pronouncing “Toronto” correctly!
4. Marcus Smart said the quiet part loud
Smart’s “they don’t wanna pass the ball” reference to his teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown isn’t nearly as bad when you listen to his entire answer following Boston’s embarrassing loss to Chicago the other night. It wasn’t even a complaint! More a (pretty factual) analysis of Boston’s (crappy) offense right now.
Still, I’m always happy to see the Celtics in disarray, so I’ll take it!
5. Scottie Pippen, still upset
I guess I can’t blame Scottie Pippen for feeling disrespected by The Last Dance’s hagiographic portrayal of Michael Jordan — after all, I had the same complaint! Don’t get me wrong, I loved The Last Dance, but it was so much a Jordan-focused production, rather than a Chicago Bulls-focused production, that was actually distracting.
But when I heard that Jordan had editorial control, I fully expected that was gonna be it. So I don’t know how Pippen didn’t have the same expectation.
I guess it doesn’t really matter. Whether you expect it or not, it still sucks to feel slighted that way.