Posts Tagged ‘Josh McRoberts’

One Team, One Stat: Bobcats Rookies Brought Defense To The Table

From Media Day until opening night, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann will provide a key stat for each team in the league and show you, with film and analysis, why it matters. The order will be worst to first, which means that the Charlotte Bobcats — who finished with the league’s worst point differential last season — lead off.

The basics
CHA Rank
W-L 21-61 29
Pace 94.0 16
OffRtg 98.3 28
DefRtg 108.9 30
NetRtg -10.6 30

The stat

99.8 - Points per 100 possessions allowed by the Bobcats in 590 minutes with rookies Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor on the floor together.

The context

Overall, the Bobcats’ defense was terrible. They ranked last in defensive efficiency (see the table on the right), allowing 108.9 points per 100 possessions. But the mark with the two rookies on the floor was that of a top-five defense. Considering that rookies are usually defensive liabilities, it’s pretty remarkable. Both guys are long and active, with good instincts.

Here are a few examples of MKG’s and Taylor’s defensive prowess…


The contributions of Brendan Haywood shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s a proven defensive center* who was on the floor for 246 of those 590 minutes. Charlotte was a plus-10 and allowed a paltry 91.2 points per 100 possessions in those 246 minutes with their three best defenders on the floor.

*The Mavs’ defense regressed more when they went from Haywood to Chris Kaman at starting center last year than when they went from Tyson Chandler to Haywood the year before.

Of the 14 Bobcats who logged at least 300 minutes last season, Haywood had the lowest on-court defensive rating. Charlotte allowed 5.7 fewer points per 100 possessions with Haywood on the floor than they did with him on the bench.

So, with the Bobcats’ defense in mind, there are a couple of interesting questions regarding Steve Clifford‘s rotation this season…

1. How much playing time will Haywood get? Al Jefferson is the starting center and was a necessary addition to kick-start an offense that was barely better than the defense last season. But Jefferson is a defensive liability, so the Bobcats will continue to struggle on that end if he takes most of Haywood’s minutes. Jefferson and Haywood could only play together against other big lineups, and if Haywood is the backup center, does that mean that Cody Zeller is a power forward and/or that Charlotte has given up on Bismack Biyombo?

2. Will Kidd-Gilchrist and Taylor play together much? A lot of their minutes together came in games that either Gerald Henderson or Ben Gordon missed. If everybody’s healthy, Gordon will back up Henderson and Taylor will likely back up MKG. Taylor might make a decent small-ball four, but that takes away playing time from Zeller, Josh McRoberts (who was pretty good for the Bobcats at the end of last season) and Anthony Tolliver (a solid glue guy).

The Bobcats were the worst team in the league last season and still have one of the weakest rosters, but they strangely might have too much depth at certain positions. If injuries don’t make certain decisions for him, it will be fun to see how Clifford distributes minutes.

Either way, there’s promise in the Bobcats’ returning, second-year small forwards. Kidd-Gilchrist has all the tools except for a jump shot, while Taylor showed some improved offensive skills at Summer League and EuroBasket. If Clifford can find playing time for both of them, the Bobcats’ defense might not be so terrible.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Landscape Unchanged As Deadline Passes

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The 2013 trade deadline will be remembered more for the lack of movement than for any deal that was made. We had a handful of transactions in the final hours before the deadline, but the best player dealt this week was a guy who has started a grand total of 52 games over seven seasons.

That would be J.J. Redick, who is heading to Milwaukee in a six-player trade. The Bucks are also getting Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith from Orlando. The Magic will receive Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris in return.

Redick is a role player, but one who should help the Bucks, who have struggled on both ends of the floor as they’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, dropping below .500 for the first time since early December. Now in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, they’re just three games in the loss column ahead of ninth-place Philadelphia.

The Bucks were reportedly the leaders in the race for Josh Smith, who is surprisingly staying in Atlanta … for the next few months or so. The Hawks apparently did not have a deal they liked, and will have to hope for a sign-and-trade deal in July if they want something in return for Smith. Our own Sekou Smith says that the Hawks will have “no chance” to re-sign Smith.

Atlanta did make a minor move, sending Anthony Morrow to Dallas for Dahntay Jones.

As much as the lack of a Josh Smith move was a surprise, so was the fact that the Utah Jazz stood pat. With Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter waiting in the wings, the Jazz have both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap on expiring deals. We don’t know if the Jazz had an opportunity to upgrade their backcourt this week, but maybe, like the Hawks, they’d prefer to let one (or both) of those guys walk in the summer.

The Boston Celtics made a minor deal, but held on to both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for the stretch run. They’ll be adding Jordan Crawford to their backcourt, sending Jason Collins and the contract of Leandro Barbosa to Washington in exchange for the volume scorer who has been out of the Wizards’ rotation for the last couple of weeks.

Other moves:

  • The Heat sent Dexter Pittman and a second-round pick to Memphis.
  • The Bobcats traded Hakim Warrick to the Magic for Josh McRoberts.
  • In order to get under the luxury tax line, the Warriors are sending Jeremy Tyler to Atlanta and Charles Jenkins to Philadelphia.
  • The Raptors traded Hamed Haddadi and a second-round pick to the Suns for Sebastian Telfair.
  • The Thunder sent Eric Maynor to Portland.
  • The Knicks sent Ronnie Brewer to OKC for a pick.

In addition to Smith, Richard Hamilton (Bulls), Andrea Bargnani (Raptors), Kris Humphries (Nets), Ben Gordon (Bobcats), DeJuan Blair (Spurs) and Evan Turner (Sixers) aren’t going anywhere. The Denver Nuggets didn’t get a shooter, the Brooklyn Nets didn’t get any of their targets (Smith, Millsap, etc.), and the Los Angeles Clippers will try to get past the Spurs and Thunder with what they have.

The new collective bargaining agreement certainly had a role in the inactivity. The new, steeper luxury takes goes into effect next season, so contracts that don’t expire this season are a heavy burden to bear. Two years from now, the repeater tax goes into effect, so there’s plenty of incentive for teams to get under the tax line this year as well.

And now that the deadline has passed, we can get on with the remainder of the season, knowing that the landscape hasn’t changed one bit.

Discipline Delayed For World Peace





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The one thing the sports world didn’t need was another day to watch, analyze and then suffer through the collective paralysis of analysis of the film of Lakers forward Metta World Peace‘s wicked elbow to the side of Thunder forward James Harden‘s head from Sunday afternoon.

But it doesn’t really matter how many times you watch it, how many different interpretations there are of it and how many different ways World Peace tries to explain away the lick he passed as both “unfortunate” and “unintentional.”

The video evidence, and World Peace’s extensive history of incidents as Ron Artest, will make it extremely tough for the league’s judge and jury to show leniency for a player who has straddled the line between having and losing control many times before. Even though it did not come by late Monday night, there is little doubt that a suspension of some sort is on the way in next 24 hours.

And at this stage, it’s really only a matter of how severe a penalty it will be for World Peace and the Lakers, whose regular season finale is Thursday night in Sacramento. While the reaction from folks on both sides of this issue was as immediate (thanks to Twitter and other social networking sites) as it was passionate, discipline for World Peace will have to wait until the league doles it out.

Using the Lakers’ last such incident as a guideline, it would seem that World Peace is in line for at least something along the lines of the five-game suspension Lakers center Andrew Bynum received for his mid-air knockdown of Mavericks guard J.J. Barea in the Western Conference semifinals last year.

But, as one prominent agent explained it, that does not mean the league is limited to game penalties in dealing with World Peace. The league is perfectly within its right to fine him an unspecified dollar amount on top of the games he would be forced to sit out, without pay. For a player who has already missed 111 games due to 13 previous suspensions and lost millions in related fines and penalties, this latest incident is a sobering reminder of a place he probably did not intend on revisiting after a relatively incident-free past couple of years.

“I would think at least five games and anywhere from 5 to 10 games,” the agent said. “I thought it was definitely an egregious act and a totally over the top move. It wasn’t a basketball play. There wasn’t a basketball involved at all. Bynum got five for knocking Barea out of the air. This was just as bad, in my opinion, if not worse. It wasn’t a basketball play. And it wasn’t a mistake. Harden never even looked at Artest, didn’t have his hands up and never knew that elbow was coming. This wasn’t Harden’s fault.”

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Hang Time Podcast (Episode 66)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – A healthy debate is good for the emotional and mental health of know-it-alls the likes of which you’ll find here at the hideout.

That theory extends to friends of the Hang Time Podcast as well, and is what makes Episode 66 so much fun. We’re debating all things — is Chauncey Billups still deserving of his Mr. Big Shot nickname, what’s the best way to do business in today’s NBA, Blake Griffin or Kevin Love, and who is more deserving a spot in the Slam Dunk contest, Josh McRoberts or Jeremy Evans?

You name the debate and we’re having it with special guests:

Grantland‘s Jonah Keri made his HTP debut, complete with, as he put it, some “Chauncey-bashing, Celtics fandom & roster-building talk”. We even talked a little baseball with Keri, the author of “The Extra 2%,” and proud Montreal native who now resides in (or at least remarkably close to) the same Denver neighborhood Billups grew up in.

Former Utah Jazz forward Matt Harpring, who tormented Georgia fans like Lang for years while starring at Georgia Tech, helped us see the light on Griffin-Love debate, and talks about what makes the Jazz so special right now — and why Evans needs to be in a dunk contest near you soon. An analyst on Jazz television broadcasts who also can be spotted on NBA TV‘s airwaves from time to time, Harpring provides an intriguing breakdown of one of the league’s surprise teams.

For all that and our reflections what’s going on in the NBA at the quarter pole …

LISTEN HERE: 


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

At This Age, Kobe Can’t Do It By Himself

When he was a lot younger and had a lot fewer knee surgeries, Kobe Bryant thought he could go one-on-three and win that battle. Crazy thing was, most times, he did.

He also adopted that mentality because of the help, or lack of it, around him. Basically, Kobe didn’t trust his teammates much in the post-Shaq, pre-Pau Gasol period. Even now, he’ll take a shot at Smush Parker, just to revisit bad memories.

Surely you saw Kobe in the Lakers opener, on the last possession, when he lapsed into 2004 mode and waved everybody off. Perhaps it was a reflex reaction to Derrick Rose putting the Bulls up with a running hook that eventually became the game-winner. Whatever, Kobe had the ball and everyone else was getting out of the way, for better or worse. And so he dribbled to his right, attracting a swarm of Bulls, ignored Derek Fisher standing all alone at the 3-point line, and then elevated.

His elevation only reached the fourth floor. Three Bulls — Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng — challenged him and Kobe’s shot never really had a chance before it was swatted by Deng. Welcome to the a new era, then, that might begin to look familiar fairly soon if the Lakers don’t get Dwight Howard, pronto.

In the possession before, Kobe was trapped with the ball, tried to pass it, and had it stolen. So it’s not like Kobe isn’t looking for someone, anyone. But even then, he didn’t think about giving up the ball until he was forced to do so by the Bulls. It’s yet another hint that Kobe, after a short preseason, needs to be sold on this Laker team. He’ll get Andrew Bynum back in a few days, with Bynum still serving out a suspension for clubbing J.J. Barea last spring, but is that enough?

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Lamar Odom’s Replacement Is…

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU – Less than three days after sending Lamar Odom to Dallas, the Lakers found his replacement. And it’s Hang Time favorite, Josh McRoberts (a.k.a. “McBob”), according to Yahoo’s Marc Spears.

McBob comes cheap ($4.5 million cheaper than Kwame Brown) and should fit well with in the Lakers’ frontline rotation, sliding ahead of Derrick Caracter on the depth chart and backing up Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

He didn’t put hip big numbers, but McBob had somewhat of a breakout season for the Pacers last year, and he’s an efficient scorer. Among the 299 players who logged at least 750 minutes last season, he ranked 17th in true shooting percentage. He finished well around the basket, shooting 68 percent from the restricted area, but was only 50-for-133 from outside the paint.

As an added bonus, McBob has a history with the celebutante set, having (at least) once gone on a date with Lauren Conrad. That’s not quite the same as being married to a Kardashian, but it gives the Indiana kid a little Hollywood caché as he arrives in L.A.

Welcome To Recruiting Season

– For the latest updates check out: NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – This is always our favorite part.

Now that you can actually back up the rumors with real, live contact with free agents, we’re going to get a chance to see exactly who is serious about taking home some prizes in this compressed NBA free agency period.

Contact between team officials and players can be made this morning, meaning we no longer have to subsist on a daily diet of unnamed sources and innuendo. With courting season tipping off, we’ll get a chance to see what teams are ready to back up the hype generated in the past week.

If you like Caron Butler or Jamal Crawford, invite them to tour your practice facility and chauffeur them around town like the blue-chip free agent many teams think they are.

If Nene or Tyson Chandler is the big man you must have, the one that will solidify your team’s frontline, now is the time to show them just how much they are needed. Someone has to give these guys a reason to sign here rather than there.

And with the finishing touches on the nuts and bolts of a new collective bargaining agreement still in the works, free agency is going to come down to the same thing it almost always does (aside from cold hard cash, of course) — which team can work it best during recruiting season.

The recruiting season does extend beyond middle, high school and college ball.

Good recruiters are just as valuable at the NBA level, because they know what buttons to push to turn the head of players being pursued from nearly every direction.

The universal opinion that this free agent crop is lacking in franchise talent, a theory that is hard to argue when comparing the 2011 crop to that star-studded 2010 bunch. But that’s what makes the right recruiting pitch even more important — there were only a handful of teams with legitimate shots to land the likes of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire.

What franchise worth its private jet doesn’t think it can lure David West or Kris Humphries with the right recruiting pitch?

On to the madness …

***

ROCKETS CHASING A NEW BIG MAN

With the Yao Ming era officially over, might Nene be the man the Rockets tab to replace him in the middle? Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rockets’ interest will shift to a face-to-face meeting with the Brazilian big man today, one of many in-person recruiting pitches Nene is sure receive before making a decision on his future:

The Rockets’ pursuit of free-agent center Nene will move to a meeting Monday in Denver between the coveted center and Rockets coach Kevin McHale and general manager Daryl Morey, a person with knowledge of the meeting said on Sunday.

Nene is considered the top free agent available and has indicated a desire to leave the Denver Nuggets after failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension before the lockout. The Rockets had tried to work a deal with the Nuggets to acquire Nene prior to last season’s trade deadline.

Morey has also been in talks with the representative of free-agent center Tyson Chandler.

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The Race For No. 8: Eastern Conference

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Hoosier hysteria this year could involve more than just the Butler Bulldogs’ March Madness run, provided they keep it going.

College basketball’s reigning Cinderella might have to make some room on the postseason stage in hoops-crazed Indiana for their NBA brothers from across town.

The Indiana Pacers are plotting for the playoffs.

They’re holding on tight (think the Iron Sheik and the Camel Clutch from the old WWF days)  to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase, hoping to  crash the party for the first time since 2006. Prior to their current drought, the Pacers had a wicked stretch that saw them make the playoffs 14 times in 15 seasons, an era that saw them rise to become one of the league’s model franchises.

Now they’re just trying to survive themselves to make it back to the postseason. They’ve won two straight games, but trailed by double digits in the first half of both games.

Pacers boss Larry Bird roasted the players during a post-All-Star break slide that saw them lose nine of 12 games. Bird’s words must have resonated in the locker room. The Pacers are 5-2 since then and if they don’t stumble … Butler just might have a little company on the big stage this year.

Because if the playoffs started today the Pacers would be in the fold.

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Get Up Mr. Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – I know the invites for the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest have already been handed out (and yes, we’re still smarting from our guy Josh “McBob” McRoberts being snubbed), but …

… we’re just saying, if you need another man to get off the ground, Mr. Smith looks like he’d be a fine choice!

Let McBob Dunk!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We’re not sure what else needs to be done.

But when a man with skills asks to be a part of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, why can’t we get it done?

You know we’ve talked plenty about our main man McBob, you probably know him as Pacers forward Josh McRoberts, wanting in on the festivities. But when the invites came out, he was curiously absent.

The contestants that were chosen are all worthy candidates. So we’re not asking for Blake Griffin, JaVale McGee, Serge Ibaka or Brandon Jennings to be shoved aside for our guy. We only ask that McBob be allowed to crash the festivities during All-Star Weekend and make it a party of five.

Someone needs to make this right. The movement starts right here, right now and on this site.

Let McBob dunk!