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Thursday’s Layup Drill

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Real life is keeping me away from the computer, but the internet doesn't stop! A few topics worthy of discussion:

  • All this Tim Donaghy stuff. I don't really know what to think anymore. For the most part, I have a hard time believing there's been some kind of league-wide conspiracy -- Mark Heisler of the LA Times agrees (via Nate Jones) -- but the evidence does seem to be mounting.
  • Then again, bad calls have existed for a long time.
  • It's important for a head coach to be flexible -- games are won and lost on in-game adjustments -- but Michael Curry is taking this literally. From Coach's Network:

    A few years ago he would visit Michigan State and play pick up ball with some of the MSU players in the off-season. A few things I noticed about the professional player before, during and after the games with the young, eager Spartans.

    1-He would stretch before the games. I don’t mean your typical touch your toes type stuff. I mean this guy really stretched! All parts of his body - he was focused on stretching! You’re probably saying what does stretching have to do with anything? I will tell you - when you stretch, it shows you care about your body and most of all your preparation. I see players who just walk into the gym and want to start playing. Stretching is preparation, a vital trait for the coaching business

    There's some other good tidbits in that -- read the whole thing. (hat-tip: Henry Abbott)

  • Dan Reed, president of the D-League, reflects on Curry's contributions from his time as VP of the NBDL. (hat-tip: Matt Moore)

Last but certainly not least, Keith Langlois has another monster Q&A with Joe Dumars at Pistons.com. If I had more time I'd devote an entire post to this, so do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. Selected highlights:

Langlois: Veteran coaches, and I think we can cite a few recent examples, are usually leery about playing young guys. But even going back to Rick Carlisle, a first-time coach, he only went to Tayshaun Prince when it was kind of a desperate situation and it paid off. Do you expect Michael to be more or less leery about playing young guys?

Dumars: Coaching is a lot about personality. It’s your personality as a coach. Just as to sit in the seat that I sit in is a lot of my personality. Either you have the propensity to take risks and do the unconventional, or you don’t and you’re going to go the conservative standard way that everybody else does things. I like to think I came in and never worried aobut how everybody else was doing things. I was going to do things the way I saw it. You can expect the same thing from Michael.

Langlois: What do you think the odds are that Amir is a permanent part of the rotation next year?

Dumars: I think there’s a good chance you’re going to see him as part of that. We’ve always been high on him. We didn’t just become high on him. He’s a guy we have a lot of confidence in as a young player, just as we have confidence in Afflalo and Stuckey, we have the same kind of confidence in Amir Johnson.

Langlois: Is the plan for Cheikh Samb more of the same – some D-League time and back here as well?

Dumars: I think you’ll see a lot of the same stuff with Cheikh Samb next year – some D-League, some here, kind of back and forth. We want him to get some game-time experience and where he’s going to get that the most from is the D-League. But we also want him competing here at this level against these guys, too, because that’s going to help him get better. So just to keep him here year-round, only practicing, doesn’t make the most of him. And just to send him to the D-League and not having to go up against our guys is probably not best for him, so we’re going to give him a mixture of both, for sure.

Langlois: The Nazr Mohammed trade put the mid-level exception in play for you. You can use it without exceeding the tax threshold. What are you looking at with that – do you think you’ll use it on one player or split it over more than one? Any ideas?

Dumars: That’s once you find out what your roster is like. But the fact we have the ability to use the entire mid-level is a great chip for us going into this free agency. If we had gone into this summer without the ability to use the full mid-level, like we want to, that just limits what you can do. I like the fact we’re in position – doesn’t mean we’ll use it – but the fact we can is a huge chip for me when I’m sitting here putting a team together.

Dumars also said that Rodney Stuckey, Arron Afflalo, Amir and Samb are all playing in the Vegas Summer League.

There are a half dozen more questions I'd like to post, too. Dumars is always an interesting guy, but I think Langlois consistently does a good job asking the right questions. Kudos to both.