So the NBA Finals began last night, and what a game it was. Kevin Durant has got to be the most unguardable player I have seen in the NBA in a long time. The sheer speed and height of his release makes it technically impossible for most NBA players to affect his shot. LeBron James is very not bad himself, but last night, the Thunder just had way more defensive energy in the second half.
Russell Westbrook? He kind of reminds me of Dwyane Wade -- of 2006, that is.
The Tweet of the Morning was a tie:
I keep asking myself, what is my stance when our players begin wearing these ridiculous "post game presser glasses" in the future?— Sean Miller (@UACoachMiller) June 13, 2012
Former Card Edgar Sosa continues his love for Cats coach John Calipari.Awkward!— WHAS11 News (@WHAS11) June 13, 2012
Your quickies follow the jump.
Talking a little Darius Miller:
Bomani Jones talks about the NBA Finals. This is one of his best, and worth your time:
He averaged 12.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks over the final nine games last season. He dominated — and at times carried Kentucky — in key stretches during the NCAA Tournament run. A day after the title game, ESPN’s draft guru, Chad Ford, wrote that Jones "did enough to remind scouts how talented he is."
Jones will be an impact player in the NBA. Probably not a franchise player, but an impact player.
Miller is probably most look forward to this workout, because landing in Washington would give him the chance to reunite with his former teammate John Wall. "That’s my boy. I still keep in touch with him to this day. Plus, my boy Shelvin Mack is on the team, too. I grew up with him," said Miller, a fellow Kentucky native, "so that would be a lot of fun."
That would be cool, having Mack, Miller and Wall on the same team. I'd have to become a Wizards fan.
Impressive numbers for Jeffrey Taylor. Sullinger should have come out last year.
"If I was the Wizards, I swear if I could pull off a deal, I would trade down. I would take John Wall, trade down, get a player or two, and use the first pick on Kendall Marshall. I swear to God I would do that, I think that highly of Kendall Marshall.
This is why John Feinstein is a writer and not an NBA GM.
It's not exactly a law of physics that a defender cannot block a layup when he's farther from the basket than the shooter is, but it's still a strong argument for the existence of the DVR. That's especially true when that defender owns a 7'4" wingspan and a jaw-dropping vertical leap. In one sweeping motion, Davis elevated from the middle of the lane -- a giraffe on a pogo stick, skinny legs and all -- and swatted the ball directly to Kentucky guard Doron Lamb. For a split second, even Lamb appeared stunned, unsure how the ball had found its way into his hands. But when Lamb turned and sprinted downcourt on the way to a layup, the genius of the moment was clear: Davis had not just blocked a shot. He had coerced his opponent into helping him deliver an outlet pass.
That has got to be one of the all-time great paragraphs I've read. "...coerced an opponent into helping him deliver an outlet pass"? Solid gold.
Read the whole thing. It is totally worth the half-cup of coffee it takes.
It’s genius, really. Cal will be able to coach Towns throughout qualifying, which is a pretty good way to build a relationship with him. Advantage: Calipari.
Is it just me, or is the word, "genius" being associated with Calipari more and more lately?
I think the author largely conflates "hate" with caution. An NBA draft pick is a major investment. If MKG could shoot like Harrison Barnes or jump like Marquis Teague, there would be more answers and fewer questions.
But MKG the Reality looks a little different that MKG the Story. He looks a little smaller, a little slower and a little less athletic than the freak people thought they saw at UK. What the NBA team that drafts him is buying is his intensity and intangibles, and those don't show up on stat sheets or in Combine workouts.
That's why you see caution. Intangibles, by their nature, are... well, intangible. You can't put them on a stat sheet. You can't measure them with a ruler. And you can blame some for wondering if they might be a mirage.
Kentucky fans know that what MKG brings is often completely absent in entire NBA drafts. But when you are talking millions of dollars, you can understand why some might question that which cannot be measured in the physical world.
Substitute "coach" for "recruiter" and you are closer to the truth.
Nobody brings the kind of energy, moxy, charisma and skill to the position of Men's Head Basketball Coach than John Calipari.
Coach Cal talks to KentuckyForward: