Tag Archives: Reggie Miller

Enjoying Knicks-Pacers for what it is

New York Knicks vs. New Jersey Nets, Game 4

The 1994 Knicks were the first NBA basketball team that I can remember caring about. Born in ’82 I was 11 years old during those Playoffs. Minnesota’s team was in its fifth season and won 20 games; this after winning 19 the year before that and 15 the year before that. Kevin Garnett was still in high school, the Wolves were still irrelevant and my increasing interest in basketball — developing mostly at Williams Arena and local high school games that my dad took me to — needed a professional team to latch onto. For reasons I cannot recall, that team became the Knicks.

Derek Harper, the hand-checking, old-school, floor-general point guard, was my favorite player on the team. Again, I’m not sure why that was. His game was effective but — looking back on it, now — boring. His mustache might be considered hipster today but basically just made him look old then. He was old. Having Harper as a favorite player in ’94 would be like singling out Kirk Hinrich or Andre Miller in 2013. But for whatever reason, 11-year old me was a Derek Harper fan.

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Cut & Shooters

The B.S. Report podcast, when NBA-focused, is probably my favorite going right now.  Joe House, a Wizards fan and funny dude, makes a good sidekick for Simmons when talking all the latest in pro hoops.  But in their recent discussion about Ray Allen, Simmons said something that I took issue with:

Simmons: I think the thing people miss with Ray and the reason him and Rondo struggle to play together and struggle to get along.. Ray’s a… you know… everybody.. has to chip in to help Ray succeed.  He’s runnin’ off double and triple screens.  The point guard’s gotta pound the ball, twenty-five feet from the basket, for five, six seconds waiting for Ray to come around all these different things.  And I think Rondo is starting to get frustrated.  That, you know, they’re devoting so much time to helping Ray succeed, almost at the expense of his game.  And when [Avery] Bradley was in there and Rondo could just do whatever he wanted, Bradley’s doing backcuts, all that stuff.  That was such a better fit for Rondo’s game.  I think that was part of the problem.

House: But that was just something that came to light last season.  It’s not like that’s been going on for a long time.  And it happened to coincide with, you know, Ray’s physical aging curve.  He’s right at, kind of, the end of his career.

Even though Joe House did a solid job of quickly explaining Simmons’ comment away, it still bugged me when I listened to it.  For two reasons: Continue reading

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Love the Champ

Kevin Love joined elite company on Saturday Night by winning the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout.  Past winners include Larry Bird (3) Peja Stojakovich (2) Glen Rice, Mark Price, Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki, and Paul Pierce (and other lesser-known snipers).  Announcing the event for TNT were Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Shaq, and Charles Barkley.  Chuck continues to pump K-Love’s tire with the “best power forward in the NBA” flattery, but mentioned more than once that he doesn’t want Kevin to fall in love with the three-point shot.  He thinks he needs to do his work from 15 feet and in.  Reggie seemed to disagree; perhaps a natural reaction from a player whose teams won many a playoff series behind his long-range gunning.

I fall squarely in Reggie’s camp on this one.  Love’s perimeter shooting is a huge strength that helps the team by spacing the floor, capitalizing on Rubio passes, and–perhaps most importantly–taking Love away from the basket, where Nikola Pekovic is proving to be the more-effective option.  Love is currently shooting 4.0 threes per 36 minutes, a career-high for him.  For some perspective, here are past three-point champs and their career average for number of 3′s attempted per 36:

James Jones – 5.9

Paul Pierce – 4.3

Daequan Cook – 7.3

Jason Kapono – 4.2

Dirk Nowitzki – 3.1

Quentin Richardson – 5.7

Voshon Lenard – 5.7

Peja Stojakovich – 5.9

Ray Allen – 5.8

Jeff Hornacek – 2.2 (weird how low this is–he won the event TWICE, and barely shot 3′s in games.)

Steve Kerr – 3.6 (perhaps he and Horny just weren’t given the ball much, playing with multiple HOF’ers)

Tim Legler – 4.1

Glen Rice – 4.0

Mark Price – 4.1

Craig Hodges – 3.4

Dale Ellis – 4.4

Larry Bird – 1.8

Okay, now that I’ve made that list, a few additional thoughts:

* 4.0 is higher than I anticipated among the former champs.  These are career averages though, and some of these guys had higher 3PA/36 during their prime years.  Love is probably now in his prime.

* Some of these players were role players next to superstars–guys like Kerr, Hodges, and Legler were not given the ball very much, so low shooting frequency makes sense.  For Love, this isn’t an issue.

* I don’t think Love–to this point–gets hounded around the perimeter like star shooters such as Allen and Peja.  I think he could afford to shoot an extra 3 or two each game without forcing it.

Anyway, great representation of the Wolves tonight between Love’s title and one pretty amazing dunk by Williams, with help from Rubio.  The team is certainly on the national radar now, and All-Star Weekend bears that out.

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