First has anyone seen the Wade cartwheel photobomb yet? Just kidding. 3 minutes after it happened the video was cut, uploaded, and already in everyone’s YouTube history feed. What isn’t being talked about at all is the Jason Jackson comeback. After being fired from ESPN for bad behavior, something I’m always wary of considering the shenanigans they let slide there, Jackson is recognizable again thanks to the Heat’s photobombing. Everyone loves a comeback story!
So far this season Shane Battier is averaging around 5 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist in 22 minutes of action per game. Pretty meh numbers, but ohhhh there is more to Shane’s game than being the Lord of the Charge. In his 309 minutes on the court Battier hasn’t turned the ball over once. I looked all over the internet to see if that is some sort of record to start a season, but I came up empty. All I know is the next closest player this year is Steve Novak at 84 minutes on the court without a turnover. Novak also holds the record for lowest turnover rate in a season at 2.4%, which he set last season. And of course I don’t want to forget as my friend and Duke alum Adam pointed out on Twitter Shane also has rings and a lot of cash on top of superb fundamentals. Shane is coming for you Steve Novak
The Sixers are scoring 47.5 points in the paint per 100 possessions this season, good for the fourth most in the league trailing only Detroit, Houston, and San Antonio. And unlike the three teams ahead of them the Sixers are doing it without any true low post threat. On the other side of the ball the Sixers are only allowing 38.5 points per game in the paint per 100 possessions, which is the 5th fewest in the league. The four teams ahead of the Sixers are the Bulls, Pacers, Bobcats, and Magic. While Spencer Hawes has certainly been solid on the defensive end this season he is by no means on the level of Noah or Hibbert. So imagine what the interior D could be like with a healthy Nerlens Noel. The Sixers are accomplishing this by packing it in so tight that teams are dissuaded from attempting to score from the paint, which is a good thing cause once the Sixers’ opponents are in the paint the Sixers FG% allowed is more toward the middle of the pack. Some Dave Copperfield smoke and mirrors stuff right there. Overall the Sixers defensive rating is 104.5, putting them at 24th in the league. So they’ve still got a long way to go.
Set Him Free
The Bucks season has been a total cluster fuck. Larry Sanders injured himself in a bar fight. Brandon Knight has been sidelined with injury issues. So has Bond villain looking Ersan Ilyasova. Every time I watch him I think half of his concentration is on the game and the other half is on how to gain world domination. He’s just a menacing looking figure. But beyond Ilyasova’s severe bone structure there has not been a whole lot to get excited about in Milwaukee. They’ve lost their last 9 games and have the second worst point differential at -10.5. One player though who deserves more playing time and does not have 13 letters in his last name is second year power forward John Henson. Of qualified players Henson is third in the league in blocks per 48 minutes at 3.7 behind only Hibbert and the Brow. Per NBA.com Henson’s numbers per 36 minutes are 15.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.8 blocks. According to SportsVu of the 61 players who face at least 5 shots per game while protecting the rim (defined as the defender being within five feet of the basket and within five feet of the offensive player attempting the shot) Henson allows the 9th best opponents FG%, putting him ahead of players like Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, and Serge Ibaka. And unlike two of those three players mentioned Henson isn’t a total liability at the free throw line improving his FT% to an big man acceptable 62%. Finally, Henson is ranked 36th in the league by the all encompassing PER rating developed by Josh Hollinger. With Ilyasova making 8 million per year for the next four seasons and Larry Sanders just signing an extension it’s unclear where Henson fits into the long term plans, so maybe it’d be best if they just sent him over to Philly for an Evan Turner rental or something.
Now that you’ve made it to the end please enjoy this Phil Collins Michelob beer commercial from 1987. Spoiler Alert: The “In The Air Tonight” drum breakdown is involved.