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No one can duplicate what Eric Bledsoe does, but that shouldn’t stop James Harden from trying.
From Project Spurs…
As the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder wait patiently to face each other on Sunday, there’s probably one Thunder player taking notes of the Spurs’ sweep of the Los Angeles Clippers. That player is most likely James Harden, and the footage he’s watching is probably that of Eric Bledsoe.
Using Bledsoe as a guide to find a way to attack the Spurs, Harden will be preparing himself well. Bledsoe had a 17-point game-one (8/10 FG) and a 23-point game-four (10/16 FG) against the Spurs. Bledsoe was quick, strong, and explosive at either getting to the rim or hitting the mid-range jumper with consistency. Harden is like Bledsoe on an even higher level. He’s quick, strong, taller, can drive and shoot, and Harden is a lefty which makes him a mirror version of Manu Ginobili in a way.
Bledsoe really exploited the Spurs’ lack of perimeter defense in their second unit, because Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Tony Parker were all busy defending Chris Paul, Randy Foye, and Caron Butler. Bledsoe really took advantage of Ginobili and especially Gary Neal. He was too quick for Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to put Stephen Jackson on him, and the only time Bledsoe was limited was when either Green or Leonard were put to defend him on certain possessions.
Take one last look at this plain, non-UK blue looking website, because it’s the last time you’ll ever see it. NBACats is getting a makeover!!
Because of the makeover, the posts will be light today, but be sure to check back with us later this afternoon, when the new site should be up and running.
Go NBA Cats!!
They’re gonna need a bigger poster…
From the Washington Post…
Jan Vesely poked his head out from the Wizards locker room a few times, waiting for the right time to make a move. When John Wall finally finished speaking to reporters last month, Vesely emerged with a Wall bobblehead doll and asked for an autograph.
Wall looked at Vesely as if he were silly, but finally relented after Vesely explained that the autographed doll would be for someone else. The hilarious exchange – which included some begging from Vesely and more confusion from Wall – could, as a fellow scribe mentioned, set the stage for an eventual buddy comedy film. (“John & Jan,” perhaps?)
But it also revealed the chemistry that had begun to form between the Wizards’ past two lottery picks, as the 6-foot-11 Vesely developed more confidence in his game and Wall made him a prime target for lob dunks.
“It was fun to play the last couple of weeks,” Vesely said. “We got more confident on the court. We played hard. We played team basketball so it was very fun.”
Vesely didn’t have the best rookie season, as he had to adjust to a new league, a new country and new language. He struggled to get time on the floor, and didn’t take full advantage of his chances until the final month, when Trevor Booker was out with an injury and he started all 15 games, averaging 8.5 points on 55.1 percent shooting and seven rebounds. The performance gave the Wizards some reassurance in selecting him sixth overall and allowed him to return home to the Czech Republic encouraged about next season.
“It was a hard season for me, a hard first year,” said Vesely, whose problems started when he injured his hip during training camp and missed the first seven games of the season. “I missed a couple of games for injury so it was tough for me and I had a hard time to get on the court. It was very tough for me, and I think I did well and proved that I can play here.”
The Wizards didn’t have any representatives on the NBA all-rookie team, with the 30 NBA coaches neglecting to put Vesely, Chris Singleton or Shelvin Mack on any of their ballots. The trio also failed to receive any votes from 120 writers and broadcasters for rookie of the year.
With the Wizards set to add another lottery pick this June, the team will need its prospects to develop, and the 22-year-old Vesely is still a project. After playing professionally in Europe for four seasons, Vesely arrived in Washington with a decent feel for the game and the underrated skill known as boundless energy.
Vesely hardly ever gave up on plays, always reaching out for rebounds and loose balls to give his team extra possessions. He also was a willing passer, but that didn’t stop Coach Randy Wittman from demanding him to be more assertive offensively. His primary – okay, only – offensive weapon was the dunk. He took 218 shots and 160 came within the restricted area, where he converted 68 percent of his attempts. He was 9 of 58 (15.5 percent) from everywhere else.
“Work on outside shot. This is the first goal, what I want to do this summer,” Vesely said.
Whichever former Wildcats ends up playing in Washington, they’ll need Vesely to be better in order for the Wizards to take the next step. Let’s hope he and Wall can improve their jump shots this summer and start next season the way they ended this season.
It’s almost become expected that Rondo have double-digit assists every game, but tonight he wasn’t even close. Rondo finished with just 9 points (4-14 FG), 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. It was the fewest assists Rondo has had since March 9th against Portland when he had just 5 assists in 28 minutes.
With Rondo not having a great game, the Celtics just couldn’t overcome Jodie Meeks 2 turnovers and 13 minutes and lost, 82-75.
Ok, maybe Meeks didn’t have a great game, but there was just something about his presence at the game that I believe led the 76ers to the victory. From my vantage point in Kentucky, he was the reason they won.
With the loss, the series will be heading back to Boston for a pivotal Game 7. No matter what happens, a UK player will be advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals, so that’s nice. While it’s nice to watch Jodie play 7 minutes a game and take an occasional shot, Rondo is the man for the Boston Celtics and I think most Kentucky fans would prefer to see Rondo advance.
No offense Jodie, but I would appreciate it if you could help the Celtics advance. It’s for a greater cause.
In addition to being the most bad ass Canadian to ever play at Kentucky (sorry Sheray Thomas) Jamaal Magloire also writes a blog and launches bands.
Last week the Toronto Revellers Mas camp, headed by Toronto Raptors captain Jamaal Magloire, revealed their costumes for the annual Caribana party in Toronto. Their theme? Bollywood.
“We have a strong team this year, and I’m excited to reveal the costumes that our masqueraders will be wearing during the parade in August,” Magloire said on his website. “We have assembled a group of great designers, creative minds, DJs, models, volunteers, and administrators to help us create the best costumes and the best carnival experience possible.”
The Reveller’s Band is Magliore’s way of contributing to Canada’s multicultural landscape. A non profit group with about 2000 members, Magloire’s organization won back to back competitions in 2007 and 2008, capturing “Band of the Year” titles. The Revellers joined Caribana in 2005.
“I love carnival. The sounds, the colours, the camaraderie, the festivities…it is a great way to celebrate my Caribbean heritage and a great way to include the younger generation—through through the junior carnival—so they don’t lose this important part of our legacy. Toronto’s carnival is a staple of the city, and I’m honoured to be able to play a role in its progress each year.”
What doesn’t Jamaal Magloire do?
Here is a video of the Carnival band launch.
If the ping-pong balls all bounce the way they’re supposed to, New Orleans will be making the fourth pick. I think they’re crazy to believe that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will still be available, but that doesn’t keep them from dreaming about the possibilities.
From Sports Nola…
Behind the scenes, the Hornets are infatuated with Kentucky small forward Michael-Kidd Gilchrist. They love his ability to explode in the open floor, his leadership and his defensive prowess.
I know New Orleans just hosted the Final Four where Kentucky won the National Championship, and they have a great city according to my little brother, but I would hate for any UK player to end up there, especially Gilchrist.
It’s a long drive from Lexington, it’s best player went to Indiana, and at any moment the entire city could be a destroyed by a violent hurricane. They’ve never won a conference championship, let alone an NBA title. In 23 seasons they’ve compiled a 913–941 record. That’s pathetic. Even worse, they’re never on TV. Never. And if you think a player like Gilchrist would change that fact, tell me the last time you saw a Wizards or Kings game on TV?
Good teams play on television. The best situation for Gilchrist is to end up on a team that already has young, talented pieces in place (like the Wizards, Kings and Pistons) that he can help build into a team that’s winning games right away. No offense to Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman, but the Hornets roster is completely devoid of talent.
Ever heard of Gustavo Ayón? How about Darryl Watkins?
The Wizards might not be busting at the seems with talent, but they do have guys like John Wall, Jordan Crawford, and Shelvin Mack, all of whom have ties to the University of Kentucky. The Kings have Demarcus Cousins, Chuck Hayes and Tyreke Evans. The Pistons have Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight.
The best case for Gilchrist is to play for one of those teams.
I’m glad you’re infatuated New Orleans, but stay away from my Gilchrist.
Sports Illustrated recently polled 137 NBA players to determine which player they would select first if they were picking a team from scratch. For some reason the players voted Lebron James number one, even though he didn’t go to Kentucky. Oddly enough, Daniel Orton wasn’t named by any of the players.
University of Kentucky fans (that’s you) might like to know that Rajon Rondo — that incredibly talented point guard who loves to wear zebra blazers — is No. 12, higher than Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook just to name a few.
He might not have showed it during his time at Kentucky, but Rondo has the potential to go down as one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA.