Top 50: Jameer Nelson, no. 48
Tzvi Twersky of SLAM ONLINE ranks the best players in the NBA. At #48, All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson dons the list. A must-read article (seriously).
When Meer was young and still in high school, local cats used to whisper about the prodigy. Based on the trickle of talk that fell my way, I was picturing this 6-2 pg created by God strictly to dribble the rock and crack unworthy defenders. So when I saw him on local TV during his senior year at Chester, I was surprised as hell—dude was 5-11 and chubby. That couldn’t be the Meer I was hearing all the talk about. Hell no! A little less than two hours and four quarters later, I was a believer: Jameer may have had a body like Beanie Sigel (OK, it wasn’t that bad) but he had the heart of Hercules. [...]
All most people remember now is the shot that Derek Fisher hit over him in the Finals. I remember everything leading up to that: From the undersized kid playing on for Chester to the little PG dominating at SJU, from hosting all of his teammates for a week of bonding before every season to losing his father in a sad accident on the Delaware River, from seeing little action early in Orlando to making the All-Star game, from being shut down for the year to showing grit and guile by making it back for the Finals, I remember every step along the journey. One that continues this year with Nelson as a top NBA player on a Title contender.
UPDATE (from Ben) One-on-One with Otis
Scott Anez of WDBO updates his Magic blog with a conversation he had with Magic GM Otis Smith. The whole thing is worth a read, but this excerpt is the one that stood out to me the most:
S... With Hedo [Turkoglu] in Toronto now and with [Brandon] Bass here in Orlando, do you think that your team transforms from more of a three-point shooting team to more of a conventional club?
O... I think we'll be similar. I think when you look at our roster now, you see quite a bit of versatility. We can play multiple ways. I don't think that changes anything. I think if ya wanna play big, we can play big. If ya wanna play small, we can play small. I think we have probably one of the most versatile rosters out there as far as playing multiple styles. The three-point ball has been good to us because we make teams pay for doubling Dwight [Howard] and it also keeps the floor spread and allows him to work, so, I am not sure that's gonna change a ton.
Also, it appears the Warriors will be re-signing C.J. Watson, who has been the subject of sign-and-trade rumors this summer with the Orlando Magic.
Watson announced to his Twitter followers that he'll be staying with the team. Watson had said two weeks ago that he'd rather play for the Magic than the Warriors.
Watson will likely agree to a three-year, $4.5 million contract that has been in front of him for much of the summer.
Team Continuity, Part I
Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference previews what looks to be an interesting series - specifically, Continuity Scores (continuity being the % of team minutes being filled by players who were on the roster the season before) and their relevance to retrodicting a team's future performance in an upcoming year.
Covering the Basics of Rebounding
Coach Bruchu of the X's & O's of Basketball examines the fundamentals of rebounding. Here's an excerpt:
Rebounding is all about attitude, determination, and aggressiveness. Some players have bodies that are better fitted to being successful rebounders (tall, long arms, high jumpers), but unless they have the right mindset, I've seen great athletes be average or below average rebounders because of their attitude. A great habit to constantly reinforce during practices is to keep the ball from hitting the floor at all during any rebounding situation.Dwight Howard, anyone?
Watson Takes Qualifying Offer From Golden State
UPDATE 2: It's official.
C.J. Watson has decided to pass on Golden State's three-year, $5.6 million extension and will sign for the qualifying offer worth just over $1 million, multiple sources confirmed to RealGM's Alex Kennedy.