Court Vision: Kevin Martin and Rick Adelman, together again
• In signing with the Timberwolves, Kevin Martin will soon have played under head coach Rick Adelman for three different franchises. The pairing suits them both well. Adelman has long been an admirer of Martin’s offensive skills, while Martin makes for a terrific practitioner of Adelman’s motion-fueled offense. James Herbert of SB Nation checked in with the star-crossed player and coach as this season — their fifth together — kicks off:
“[Adelman] is just a coach that makes his young players work,” Martin said. “It wasn’t always easy for me from the start. You gotta put in the time with him and build the respect. It’ll pay off.”
An injury to Bonzi Wells gave Martin an opportunity as a sophomore, and he ran with it. By the time he reunited with Adelman as a Houston Rocket in his sixth season, Martin had established himself as one of the game’s deadliest weapons on the wing. He could consistently score 24 points on 15 shots.
“He hadn’t really figured out how to play or how he was gonna play [at first],” Adelman said. “After about two or three years, he figured out what he had to do. Always a very skilled player, but it’s like any young player, he had to get the experience and figure it out.”
• From Tom Ziller and Kirk Goldsberry come two very different conceptualizations of the league’s best shooters, complete with a Ziller-penned criticism of Goldsberry’s piece. All are worth reading in their entirety. Shooting might not be the great frontier of basketball analysis, but the thoughtful work being put in on the subject is well deserving of your time and consideration.
• Good news for knowledge-hungry hoops fans: Doris Burke will be joining ESPN’s NBA Countdown this season.
• Another peek inside an NBA training camp, this time following Portland head coach Terry Stotts.
• This NBA season introduces an entirely new fan base to the Jarrett Jack experience, as introduced by Patrick Redford of Cavs: the Blog:
The comparison to Irving brings up a number of interesting points, namely that Jack is a rough facsimile of Kyrie, only way less effective. He is a score-first guard, best exemplified by his playoffs where he would frustratingly dribble out possessions and insist on driving one-on-one despite Curry being on the floor, but he would end to finish plays off with a basket. He’s an able passer, but facilitation is not something he aims to do every possession. Jack has a floater and a fadeaway with decent range in his arsenal, and he has a fairly decent shot selection, peppered with a few head-scratchers. In this sense, he is an archetypal backup point guard: able to move the ball and score when the big guns are resting, but not quite enough of a chameleon to lead a huge part of sustained, balanced basketball team. And that’s okay.
• Over at SB Nation, Mark Deeks walks us through the rising second- and third-year players who could see their rookie options declined. Among them is Bulls reserve point guard Marquis Teague:
The Bulls generally draft extremely well, particularly late on in the draft, where their recent yield includes Mirotic, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson, three players who would feature in the rotation of any contender all picked after the 20th pick. However, they occasionally have a Mr Hyde side, and exhibit a marked tendency to pick high-upside picks who are nevertheless extremely raw (Tyrus Thomas, James Johnson).
Teague is one of the latter, and he’s off to a bad start. After a poor rookie season in which he struggled with every facet of the offensive game and looked woefully overmatched, the Bulls are already shopping him and looking at other ball handling guard options. This, plus the team’s luxury tax concerns, must make declining Teague’s third year option a real possibility.
• John Wall plays the part of Tony Parker in this “loop” set the Wizards borrowed from Gregg Popovich’s playbook.
• Former Pop assistant Brett Brown is bringing a little San Antonio flair to Philadelphia as well, where the Sixers are running some layered misdirection to create open looks this preseason.
“I’m not concerned with your elbow pads, your knee pads, all of your garb and your full body armor. What do you need all that for? Our soldiers need that in Iraq and they’re doing a hell of a job for us. Take all that off! We don’t need that. What I need you to do is show up and be ready to play. That’s it.
“I had one of my ‘bigs’ today and he had body armor from his thigh to his neck. I ask him what he was doing and he said he was protecting himself. I said ‘Who you protecting yourself [from]?’ There’s no sniper in this building! Man up! If you’re hurt, see the trainer and play the game.