Canis Hoopus Roundtable Part I
Patrick and I, along with some other Wolves writers that you are familiar with, participated in a little Roundtable/Q & A over at Canis Hoopus. Go check it out.
How Much Is A Steal Really Worth? (More than you might think)
An interesting take from FiveThiryEight’s Benjamin Morris. For a while, I’ve been inclined to think that steals are underrated because of the popularity of Hollinger’s PER statistic.
I get the substantive criticisms of both steals (or, more specifically, of over-relying on steals as a meaningful metric), but I still want players who’ll get steals. This includes players who’re active on defense, players who move their hands and feet well, and players who know how to play angles. It isn’t just the reckless gamblers.
Of course, it isn’t that simple – the players who move their hands and feet well and know how to play angles are sometimes more likely to gamble recklessly due to overconfidence in their own defensive prowess. But if that’s true, it doesn’t mean they’re bad defenders.
State of the Wolves
Mark Remme and the folks at timberwolves.com are running a monthly series called “State Of The Wolves.” They were kind enough to invite us to contribute this month. Go check it out.
The Epic Tales of Gus Johnson
At TrueHoop, Curtis Harris shares an epic tale about Gus Johnson trying to cram on Wilt Chamberlain, only to get his self a dislocated shoulder. Click on the link to check it out.
Hey, speaking of cool stories about Gus Johnson…
From Earl The Pearl’s biography:
Gus was hip, too. He had a gold star in one of his front teeth, wore great clothes, had style, sported a Fu Manchu goatee–I think he was the first player in the league to wear one–so all of the black cats on the team gravitated to him. Although he walked with a slight limp, he even made his walk look cool. Gus had a 48-inch vertical jump and could leap so high he could pick a quarter off the top of the backboard. He was a street cat, known to knock guys out and shit. But he was lovable, too. Still, you didn’t mess with him. Gus was very charismatic. He just drew people to him, and I like that. He had a funny way of talking. When we went out to restaurants he had this thing about trying to speak all proper, like he would say in his real deep voice, “Give me one of them excellent steaks and cover it with some of that War Chester Shire sauce.”
Gus Johnson: We salute you. Per the Harris piece, Johnson died way too young to a brain tumor in 1987.
Bayno Being Bayno
“Bayno credits these courts, this city, for supplying the lessons leading to his successful playing and coaching career. He does the clinic each year except for rare occasions when his schedule makes it impossible. He has known many of these players for years and helped most of them one way or another, whether with phone calls to college coaches or regular guidance from afar.
“I came here to be a better basketball player,” Bayno says later, “and I left a better person.”
The kids leave with another level of basketball knowledge – about 31⁄2 hours each day – and layers of advice about creating opportunities by doing the right thing on and off the court. They leave with Bayno’s email address and the promise that he will be monitoring their progress.”
CASPIAN KANG: Reddit & Internet Integrity
Jay Caspian Kang’s “Should Reddit Be Blamed for the Spreading of a Smear?” is a must-read for anyone who cares about the news, but is especially on-point for bloggers and blog readers. Highly rec’d.
Vegas Isn’t the Only Summer League
Don’t sleep on the Drew League.
Apart from having a really cool name, it also has a very cool vibe: lots of cred among the pros, more street ball than you can shake a stick at, and a really nice website (replete with the cool blog linked in the title).
So if “Vegas, Baby, Vegas” (Vince Vaughn voice) isn’t your speed or just isn’t enough summer hoops for you, go check out the Drew League. You’ll at least get your Summer League mixtape fix, if you’re in withdrawal after watching NBA Draft prospect footage.
Wolves play Phoenix in Vegas Monday at 6:30 PM Eastern.