Sport LeBron James and Rajon Rondo are a match made in basketball IQ heaven
NBA Buy or Sell: Are starts by Blazers, Spurs, Lakers, Luka Doncic for real?
In their One-On-One, Yardbarker NBA writers Sean Keane and Pat Heery also dish on breakout players (Pascal Siakam?) and the first panic trade.Heery: When the season began, I had Wednesday, Nov. 27 circled as one of the best days of basketball this season. Not only will 28 of 30 teams play, but the schedule-makers decided that Thanksgiving Eve would be when the Nets' Kyrie Irving plays in Boston and Lakers' Anthony Davis plays in New Orleans. I was prepared for anything -- NSFW chants from the crowd in Boston, The Brow voodoo dolls, etc.
Most practice-day press conferences during theare forgotten as soon as the next game ends. But in 2018, with his about to get swept, delivered about team-building, basketball intelligence, and his idea of a quintessential teammate that I still think about sometimes.
One line that seems simple enough on the surface has, to me, always stood out: “Listen, we’re all NBA players,”said. “Everybody knows how to put the ball in the hoop. But who can think throughout the course of the game?”
Why Mavericks' Luka Doncic is so good, so quickly
If you’re trying to figure why Luka Doncic has quickly become a star, Yardbarker's Brett Koremenos writes, here’s a key number: 3,441. That's the minutes he played professionally before he even stepped on an NBA floor. When he was just 16, Doncic began his career with Real Madrid, a team in Spain that competes in two of the best competitions outside the NBA -- the ACB, Spain’s top domestic league, and Euroleague, the intercontinental competition that pits Europe’s best clubs against each other.
—who, coming off a bounce-back campaign alongside on the , had never been LeBron’s teammate—was mentioned twice during this answer. A brain like ’s, one that instantaneously evaluates basketball action while responding then influencing it, was, in the abstract, exactly what James wanted.
A few months later they were both on the. Structural fit be damned. But just like most predicted, it was a disaster. The Lakers looked like a bottom feeder when both shared the court. Their offense went from fourth-worst to about league average with LeBron by himself. The 3-time MVP’s individual numbers were unaffected, but spacing issues and defensive indifference seemingly prevented both to co-exist on the same team at the same time.
LeBron James explains his ridiculous travel that was not called
LeBron said he didn’t even realize he had traveled until a coach showed him the replay at halftime. You can imagine what he must have thought when he watched the video.
Fast forward to this season—in particular this week—and things are very different.is onboard, the Lakers are a steamroller, and and LeBron have, so far, looked pretty damn good together. about it after L.A. went into Salt Lake City on the second night of a back-to-back and hammered the by 25 points.
“He’s shown why we brought him back and why he wanted to come back and why I wanted him back. He’s just one of the most cerebral players I’ve ever played against in the past...I know what he’s capable of, I know what his brain is thinking. I’m able to…it’s not so many guys that you can actually play the game without saying anything to them, and me and Do kinda have that chemistry because we kinda be on the same page, so it’s a beautiful thing.”
Rondo finished with 14 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds in the win, but more importantly, this is what that chemistry looks like:
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This decade featured eye-popping moments to remember in the NBA Finals.The past decade included eye-popping moments, shocking play calls and history-making games.
James and Rondo don’t spend nearly as much time together this season as they did last year, which makes sense. On this roster, Rondo essentially functions as LeBron’s backup. But in a dozen games since Rondo’s season debut in mid-November, the two have discovered different ways to help each other out, especially against opposing second units at the start of every second and fourth quarter.
The most straightforward has been in the pick-and-roll, a tidy way to mitigate any spacing issues. By putting the ball Rondo’s hands, defenses are forced to answer a question that has no answer: How do we stop LeBron as a roll man?
In its simplest form, the play lets Rondo get to his bread-and-butter: shoulder-to-shoulder drives at LeBron’s man that force help and lead to beneficial kick outs. Defenses still don’t want Rondo getting downhill, and he knows it.
Defenses can’t trap Rondo because it allows LeBron to surgically operate with a 4-on-3 advantage, so sometimes they switch, which also plays right into L.A.’s hands. Even with help, putting a smaller defender on LeBron remains a death sentence. Here’s an example from earlier this week against the. James gets on him, waits for to show help, swings baseline, and finds on the lob.
Heat suspend Waiters 2 weeks for ‘continued insubordination,’ breaking team rules
Dion Waiters has yet to play a single game this season with the Heat. Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press reports this is a two-week suspension for Waiters, while Shams Charania reported it specifically as a six-game ban.
Here the Nuggets avoid a switch, hedging instead with Mason Plumlee. But the ball still ends up in LeBron’s hands heading towards the rim with his own defender behind him.
Their timing isn’t perfect just yet but the Lakers are still +52 in 147 minutes with LeBron and Rondo on the floor, andhas tried to give those two as many alternate weapons, in space, as he can. Either or is plugged in as an indispensable lob threat, while two of , , , or spots up along the perimeter. The pieces make sense, as does letting Rondo trigger the action instead of LeBron.
But there are a few caveats worth mentioning. To start, even though the Lakers’ offense performs at a top-10 level with Rondo and LeBron, they’re still +2.5 points per 100 possessions more efficient when it’s just LeBron running the show. The sample size on all of this is still pretty small, and when Davis, LeBron, and Rondo are all together.
Defenses still leave Rondo alone when he doesn’t have the ball, and he won’t shoot 50 percent from beyond the arc all season long, nor will Rondo-LeBron lineups continue to drill 40 percent of their tries from downtown. More evidence is needed before we can picture Rondo and LeBron closing crunch time of a playoff series, side by side.
But for almost all of the LeBron/Rondo successas opposed to transition is a reason to be bullish. Their collective brain power is a weapon that can be observed in real time. So far it’s been close to everything James envisioned as he sat up at that podium two Junes ago, humbled and pleading for a teammate like Rondo to fall in his lap.
Wiseman leaves Memphis, begins preparing for NBA draft .
James Wiseman formally withdrew from the University of Memphis, the freshman star confirmed on his Instagram on Thursday. Wiseman will immediately begin preparing for the NBA draft, he posted. The Tigers' 7-foot-1 preseason All-American is viewed as a potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, according to several projections. The former East High star and Nashville native played in three games for the Memphis Tigers before being ruled ineligible by the NCAA. On Nov. 5, the NCAA informed the university that Wiseman had been deemed ineligible "based on alleged recruiting violations.
2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire
The NBA Development League, the NBA's official minor league, is now on YouTube, showing over 350 live games on the NBA D-League YouTube Channel and ...