Oh yeah! Basketball is being played now! In some form! Sweet! I’m expressing excitement with exclamation points! Let’s do some links to start the night off:
-I wasn’t able to make it out to Cavs media day this year, because the silly anti-blog front office wouldn’t fly me out from Los Angeles. But other people were, and they got videos that we can see for free on the interweb. Check out the Plain Dealer’s collection of videos, please. LeBron and Shaq are excited about playing together. Everyone really, really wants to win a championship. Delonte doesn’t want to talk about his arrest, LeBron doesn’t want to talk about his contract. Fortunately, Boobie is healthy and ready to prove last season’s disappointing campaign was an anomaly. All this and more, on video.
-Now, I’m generally the first person to call shenanigans on the type of training camp articles that serve the sole purpose of making every player look like he’s going to be a superbeast next season- “Larry Hughes is finally healthy this year!”; “Athletic swingman X is nailing jumpers!”; “3rd-year big says he’s adjusted to the NBA and has been working on a hook shot!” etc., etc. And I love that I don’t need one of those about LeBron’s jump shooting this year. But yes, I would feel a lot better if I saw this type of article about LeBron this offseason.
Although, to return to my calling of shenanigans earlier, the focus of the article is on The Dream coaching Hasheem Thabeet, and if Thabeet scores 15 ppg this year, I will be absolutely shocked. These type of things will help an elite player, but they won’t work miracles on rookies who lack touch and fluidity.
-Apparently the mystery guard was former Laker Coby Karl, the scrappy, sweet-shooting, cancer-surviving, son of a beloved coach. Honestly, I’d like to meet the writer/blogger who’s willing to go on-record against this one.
-Two more pre-season stories I call absolute shenanigans on: Mike D’Antoni calling Danilo “The best shooter he’s ever seen”– okay, let’s assume he’s only talking about the guys he coached. There are tons of NBA shooters who almost literally do not miss in practice. Show up early to a game that Steve Novak, Mike Miller, or a bunch of other guys are playing in one time and see what I mean. Hell, Wally Z doesn’t miss in warmups, and we saw how that went. The top level of NBA shooters are just too good to meaningfully separate in a practice situation. And in-game, Steve Nash had some of the best seasons ever shooting from outside. Hitting 50% of your threes, with most of them coming off the dribble, and being the best midrange shooter in the league, doesn’t happen every year, or every decade, and Nash did that for a few years. Insane. Stop trying to fake-justify your pick, Mike.
-And I’m way late on this, but I absolutely award this the “pre-season article designed to destroy an entire fanbase’s soul just when they thought they wouldn’t get sucked back in again” award, or the “Hughesy”
-To end on a positive note, tweet of the day, via TrueHoop, goes to Cavs: The Blog favorite Ben Q. Rock on Cavs: The Blog favorite Adonal Foyle:
“”Just walked up to Adonal Foyle. He was talking about socialized medicine.”
Alright, campers, see you later. Basketball! Catch the fever!