NBA Short-Attention-Span Power Rankings: Mountain RangeDoug Pessinger/Getty Images
A survey of the players and teams making moves in last night’s NBA action.
1. The 3-Point Shooting of the Denver Nuggets
Sometime during the second quarter of last night’s Clippers-Nuggets game, I did a Twitter search for “zone is for cowards.” This term, coined (I believe) by Bomani Jones, is something I actually agree with. It’s not because I don’t think zone defense is effective’ I just think it looks bad, aesthetically. Like they did against the Thunder on Sunday, head coach
Chris Paul Vinny Del Negro and the Clippers went to a match-up zone defense to frustrate the high-flying, interior-decorating Denver offense. And it seemed to work for a bit; the Nuggets, for once, were the team that looked like they weren’t getting enough oxygen. Then came the third quarter, and Denver found its range, hitting 6-of-7 from deep, outscoring L.A. by 10 in the quarter. We’ve all gotten used to seeing this from Denver:
But if the Nuggets can adjust to a variety of defenses by stretching the floor, if Wilson Chandler can stay hot, and if Ty Lawson can continue to play at an All-Star caliber, then this Denver team has Conference Finals potential.
2. The Unstable Supernova That Is J.R. Smith
There was a lot of good J.R. Smith poetry on Twitter last night (this was my favorite). I don’t have a ton to add about his psychedelic, 36-points-on-14-of-29-shooting. Letting J.R. Smith drive your offense is a lot like letting Francis Ford Coppola direct your Vietnam War movie. The results are going to be amazing, but Martin Sheen is definitely going to have a heart attack in the process.
3. Kobe, Camp Counselor
“We just try to teach them how to play the right way. It’s funny — I’ll put them in the triangle offense. And I have these 8-year-olds running the triangle offense. It’s hilarious.” Yup. Just a classic camp experience.
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