Drummond on bench in crunch time
You guys saw it — Andre Drummond wasn’t in the game for the final 30 seconds against the Celtics on Saturday. The Pistons converted on offense, but then couldn’t stop time to allow Andre to come back on the floor for defense. Here are a few of Andre’s somewhat conflicting comments:
"I really wish I could've been out there to try and make a difference," Drummond said. "Coach obviously knows best."
Van Gundy didn't admit to Drummond that he messed up, like he did during his postgame news conference.
He didn't have to.
"I could see it in his face," said Drummond, "he felt like he made a mistake."
Van Gundy Explains Pistons’ Championship Blueprint
Via NBA writer Michael Scotto for Basketball Insiders:
After mentioning Anthony, Westbrook, Durant, Harden and James, I asked Van Gundy if Andre Drummond is a franchise player who could be mentioned in the same breath as those players.
"I think Andre is a franchise guy, but in a different way," Van Gundy replied. "If you look at our league now, and it’s been that way for a lot of years, there are really not the go-to low-post scorers. I mean, your go-to scorers offensively now are perimeter guys and the big guys are pick-and-roll guys. I mean, you’ve got a few left with Brook Lopez and things like that. It’s a little easier to limit those guys in terms of double-teams and things like that."
"The real development that’s key for us with [Drummond], number one, is his defense," Van Gundy said. "For us to really become an elite defensive team that we want to become, he needs to continue to progress at that end of the floor."
SVG also opines on KCP and Baynes in the piece. Good read.
Josh Smith putting up gaudy numbers in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA)
Hey, you didn’t ask but I will show and tell!
Smith joined last season’s CBA champs, the Sichuan Blue Whales, a few weeks ago and has not been shy about getting shots up. In his second CBA game, he let 18(!) triples fly, connecting on 7 of them. He scored 41 for the game to go along with 19 rebounds and 5 blocks. It’s been downhill from there though, as his 4-game totals stand at 13-47 from downtown and 11-25 from the foul line.
More on Smith’s performance via ballislife.com:
To all you NBA players out there, who don’t wanna be on a NBA team where the star players…all up in the highlight videos, and the coach all in your face telling you not to shoot so many damn 3-pointers….then come to China!
By the way, for the Jimmer Fredette fan-club members out there, Jimmer is averaging 40.2 ppg through 9 games in the CBA this season. And what the hell — while I’m here I’ll tell you that former NBA second-round pick Jamaal Franklin had the CBA’s first ever 60-point triple-double just a week ago. He has since then notched another 60-point game, but without the triple-double.
Jason Maxiell is just too tall
In January this year I linked to a video of Jason Maxiell playing in a CBA game and chasing a Chinese player the length of the court after said Chinese player gave him a cheap shot to the back of the head. Good times.
So, on my recent adventures in finding out what Maxiell is up to these days, I found that during this past summer he was ruled too tall to play in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor’s Cup. Maxiell was measured at 6-foot-5 11/16 (6 feet 5.6875 inches), while the height limit for the PBA is 6’5.
And Maxiell’s Wikipedia page also says just as much:
Philippine Basketball Association
On June 2016, Maxiell was signed by Tropang TNT of the Philippine Basketball Association to be the team's import for the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup.However, on June 17, 2016, Maxiell was declared ineligible for the 2016 Governors' Cup after failing to make the height limit of 6 feet 5 inches. Maxiell was officially measured at 6'5 11/16" (6 feet 5.6875 inches).
J.J. Redick learned his craft from Piston coach Stan Van Gundy
This Los Angeles Daily News’ article was written before Clippers-Pistons game in LA earlier this month — but I didn’t catch it at the time. *hat-tip to Christopher Daniels for the link!
"I think just in terms of intangibles and characteristics I think any NBA player should have, I think he taught me those things and he reinforced those things in me — professionalism, accountability, playing sort of hard and the same way every game, not taking any nights off, all that stuff, because he lives that," Redick said. "I see how hard he works, how much he invests in his craft, and so as a player, playing for him, you really have no choice but to do the same."
The two were together in Orlando, where Van Gundy coached Redick starting in his second season. And even though Redick’s minutes actually went down that year, he began forming a relationship that would shape his NBA career.
In addition to reinforcing the idea that self accountability was a necessary trait, on the court, Van Gundy helped shape Redick into a valuable defender despite athletic limitations that keep him from being a 1-on-1 stopper.
"Pretty much any sort of team defense concept that’s pertinent to modern NBA basketball, I learned from Stan," Redick said.
"When you have a great commitment to winning like J.J. does and you play hard and you’re tough and you’re smart as hell, you’re gonna be a pretty good defender, especially as a team guy," Van Gundy said. "Smart, tough guys who want to win, it usually won’t be too hard for them to pick up the defense."
Alright, gang, back to the basics — eat your veggies and a good Monday shall come... which means a Pistons’ victory of course!