Morning shootaround — Oct. 13


VIDEO: Highlights from games played Oct. 11

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Bosh provides insight on Aldridge’s role | Matthews gets through first full practice | Anthony wants to be held accountable | LeBron, Cavs not sweating winless preseason

No. 1: Bosh chimes in on Aldridge’s new role — Come next offseason, when a go-to guy (and free agent) on an NBA team thinks about taking on a supporting role somewhere else, his first call should be to Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh. Few in NBA lore understand or have experienced that path like Bosh did when he transitioned from superstar with the Toronto Raptors to complimentary piece with the Miami Heat teams of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. As the San Antonio Spurs try to fit new addition LaMarcus Aldridge into their star-studded mix this season, Bosh chimed in on the challenges of Aldridge’s transition before last night’s Heat-Spurs game in Miami. Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News has more:

Of course, their situations aren’t completely identical. Bosh was clearly going to be third in that pecking order, while Aldridge, who signed the largest free agent deal in Spurs history after spending his first nine seasons in Portland, should remain the offensive focal point in San Antonio with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan both past their prime.

But though he won’t have to transform his game as substantively as Bosh, who became primarily a floor-spacing shooter with the Heat after doing pretty much whatever he wanted in Toronto, Aldridge will almost certainly have to sacrifice shots on a Spurs team brimming with depth.

And that, Bosh told the media in advance of tonight’s preseason game in Miami, could be easier said than done.

“The transition is the hardest part. He was getting a high volume amount of touches. Frankly, it’s a lot easier to be a team guy then. But now you have to play within the offense and then people are telling you to be aggressive and you don’t know how to do that. It’s going to be a continuous thing. And usually when you figure it out, the season’s over.

“At least that’s how it was for me. I’m sure in that organization, they’re going to try to fast-track him along. But when you’re playing with all that talent, with all those expectations, you got people chirping at you what you should be doing and you know what you need to be doing within the organization, it’s tough.

“I’m sure it’s going to be frustrating at times for him, because he’s used to getting the ball down on that left block. And he might get it on the right block. Or he might not get as many post touches or as many pick-and-pop looks. So, if it’s limited, he’s looking to move it, instead of shooting as usual.

“But they’re saying, ‘You’ve got to be aggressive.’ So it’s a fine balance, and you have to learn it.”


VIDEO: The Heat rally to top the Spurs in preseason action

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No. 2: Matthews endures first full practice with Mavs — New Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Wesley Matthews built quite a fan base in his old haunt, Portland, with his defensive acumen, toughness, 3-point shooting and dependability. Known as “Iron Man” during his Trail Blazers days, Matthews stellar 2014-15 campaign was abruptly halted by a season-ending Achilles injury in early March. Matthews, though, has been on the mend since then and yesterday took part in his first practice with the Mavs, writes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The former Portland Trail Blazers star went through full-contact practice for the first time since tearing his left Achilles tendon March 5 in a game against the Dallas Mavericks. It was a joyous occasion for the talented shooting guard, who signed a four-year, $70 million free-agent contract with the Mavs in July.

“Obviously, I’m limited a little bit,” Matthews said. “This is the first time I’ve played actual basketball in over six months. Obviously, I’m not me yet. But that will come; that will come quickly.”

“I was optimistic [on being ready for opening day] after I tore it,” Matthews said. “This doesn’t change anything for me. I’ll never tell myself I can’t do something. I’m pushing it.”

Coach Rick Carlisle was encouraged by what he saw from Matthews, who is expected to be a big-time contributor at both ends of the floor.

“He was a go today for contact and did extremely well, which was a great sign,” Carlisle said. “When he’s involved in the live parts of practice, you see how he’s going to fit into the team.

“He played well, looked very good defensively, hit open shots. [He’s] going to be a leader on our team. He brings toughness and grit. He’s going to help us in many ways.”

There still are obvious concerns on what was an otherwise bright day for Matthews.

“The thing I was most concerned with is the defense — what makes me good on both ends of the court,” Matthews said. “I know the offense is going to come, the shot is going to come, the timing and rhythm and all that.

“I’m not worried about that. That’s easy. It’s the instincts that I have on the defensive end to make plays and reads. I felt it there.”

Matthews will not make the trip to Tulsaon Tuesday night when the Mavs (0-2) face the Oklahoma City Thunder (2-0). And he likely won’t play in Friday’s home game against the Atlanta Hawks.

“This is the first day of contact stuff of the year [for Matthews],” Carlisle said. “It’s exciting because he’s out there and he looks good, but let’s keep our eye on the ball. It’s one day.”


VIDEO: Wesley Matthews talks after his first full practice with the Mavs

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No. 3: Anthony wants to be held accountable for mistakes — Where the New York Knicks go in 2015-16, both on the court and beyond, is anyone’s guess. Our David Aldridge attempted to make sense of New York’s remodeled roster in yesterday’s Morning Tip, but personnel aside, how the Knicks fare will fall largely on the shoulders of star Carmelo Anthony. For his part, Anthony sounds willing to bear that brunt as well as lead by example in the film room, writes Ian Bagley of ESPNNewYork.com:

Carmelo Anthony issued a “challenge” to the New York Knicks coaching staff recently: He wants them to hold him accountable for his mistakes.

“Call it out in the film session so everybody can see that and hear that. By them doing that, it kind of forces me to be at the top level of my game on both ends of the court,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ 94-88 preseason victory over the Sixers on Monday. “I think it brings the best out of me and if you bring the best out of me, I think it will bring the best out of everyone on the team.”

Anthony said past coaches have held him accountable in different ways. He mentioned Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and George Karl, who coached Anthony in Denver, by name. But he said things are different with the Knicks this season because it’s not just Derek Fisher calling out players’ mistakes.

“It’s more of a collective unit,” Anthony said. “… We’re just sitting down with [members of the coaching staff and video department] and sitting down with players on the team kind of going through different scenarios, different situations and just kind of wanting to be held accountable out there.”

“I feel good on both ends of the court. Mentally, I’m in a good space, physically I feel like I’m almost there,” Anthony said after scoring 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting Monday. “Still got a little bit more work to do, but as of right now I’m headed in the right direction.”

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No. 4: LeBron, Cavs not sweating winless preseason — Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has been around the NBA long enough to know that the preseason is good for building team chemistry and working out the kinks, but trying to rack up wins during that time usually provides few gains. Cleveland fell to 0-3 after last night’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on the campus of Ohio State, yet James and Co. are just making the most of this time and, most of all, trying to stay healthy. Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com has more:

“No,” LeBron James said when asked if the early losses bothered him. “It’s not frustrating. You get frustrated in September or October, you won’t make it. I’m good. I’m good.”

What’s bad is the Cavs’ injury situation. Kyrie Irving (left knee), Kevin Love (left shoulder) and Iman Shumpert (right wrist) haven’t played a game all preseason. J.R. Smith has missed the past two games with a sore left hamstring and Mo Williams was given the Grizzlies game off to rest. Not to mention James and Timofey Mozgov both taking one of the three games off so far. And of course, the complete absence of Tristan Thompson while he holds out while trying to negotiate a new contract doesn’t help things.

The circumstances have created a barely recognizable Cavaliers team that’s taking the court for games.

“So to say that this is who we are? This is not who we are,” James said. “We have so many guys out. We have our top two point guards out. We have our top two shooting guards out right now. As well as our power forward and also a guy that’s not with us right now, so our top two power forwards. But the guys that’s here, I commend them for doing the job and our coaching staff is just putting us on the floor to be successful.”

Cavs coach David Blatt was disappointed by the result against Memphis, saying “I think of the three games, this was not one of the better ones,” but had been upbeat earlier in the day when asked about his team so far.

“Honestly we’re missing some pieces but the guys that have been practicing and playing have, first of all, guys came in good condition and have been working very hard and they’re doing a good job getting on top of the stuff that we’re putting in,” Blatt said. “We do have some continuity from last year, which is great. That’s made putting in the old stuff easy and the new stuff a lot easier just because of the basic understanding between the players. It’s been real good. It’s been real good so far in training camp.”

There’s nothing the Cavs can do at this point but wait until their team mends itself. In the meantime, getting down trodden serves no purpose.

“You just get better every day,” James said. “There’s no room for frustration right now. There will be some frustrating moments during the season, which is OK. Which will come. But not right now. It’s too early.”

“You know what’s happening? We come to work every day. We know what we’re doing. Guys got a good feel for each other. The staff has a good feel for players. The opposite is true. We go through practices that are not too long but very intense and very focused, and players know. They know when the work is good. They feel it as well as the coaches do,” Blatt said. “And that’s probably the reason you’re getting that sentiment [of confidence] from the outside and certainly I can tell you from our perspective, that is the feeling. I’m not trying to make anything up. That’s just the way it’s been going so far.”


VIDEO: LeBron James talks after Cavs’ preseason loss to Grizzlies

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: One man’s ranking of all of Dirk Nowitzki‘s teammates since 2011Lance Stephenson says he wasn’t treated like a star with the Charlotte Hornets … Might the Dallas Mavericks be interested in former Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders?Richard Jefferson may end up being a key rotation player for the Cavaliers this season … The 31 things Reggie Miller is most looking forward to in 2015-16Carmelo Anthony says he hated playing against current teammates Robin Lopez and Sasha Vujacic when they were foes

ICYMI of the Night: Bruno Caboclo uses his length (and go-go Gadget arms) to snag this pass and put down the dunk … 


VIDEO: Bruno Caboclo finishes off the break with a jam

 

One Comment

  1. harriethehawk says:

    Hold Carrmello accountable? Let’s start w/ his choice to be a Knickerbonker.