[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 78, Washington Wizards at New York Knicks; contributors: Sean Fagan, Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend via television sets.]
[Original photo via Jason Szenes for The New York Times]
Most everyone, ever, is taught to focus on the rim when aiming for a jump shot (obviously). Most are also taught to keep focusing on the rim while the ball is in flight. But not everyone. Some watch the rim, but as soon as the ball leaves their hands, they observe the arcing sphere. Dirk Nowitzki famously looks at the ball.
It’s a question that’s intrigued me. I recall during the 2012 NBA All-Star game, Andre Iguodala, mic’d up, asked Luol Deng if he looked at the ball or the rim. Deng said rim. Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller later discussed the topic on Inside The NBA. Both said they look at the ball in flight once it leaves their fingers. Internet searches—with mostly message board discussions providing the results—confirm memory of this Miller-Kerr conversation. (Miller even went so far as to claim that answers amongst NBA players would be dispersed 50/50—rim vs. ball in flight; a very Miller-like, outlandish claim.) Other good shooters said to look at the ball in flight: Steve Nash and Kevin Love.
I personally keep my eye on the rim. Some coaches will tell you that switching focus to flight can add unnecessary motion, as you would tend to raise your chin to follow the path of the ball. My shot was never consistent enough to be affected by such nuance (or, rather, there can be dozen of other inconsistent ticks in motion for the average shooter). I just figured that it’s best to provide the highest amount of concentration possible on the ultimate destination. Plus, that’s how I was taught.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 57, Washington Wizards vs New York Knicks; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center and John Converse Townsend from where he watches television in comfort.]
Hard to blame the coach for turnovers and missed free throws, especially in the land of tiny laptops.
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 48th game of the season at home against the New York Knicks are TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) and guest Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) who writes about the Knicks for Knickerblogger, the ESPN TrueHoop blog.
Wizards Starters (12-35):
John Wall, Garrett Temple, Martell Webster, Nene, Emeka Okafor (Bradley Beal is a game-time decision)
Here we go again… Tonight’s Wizards-Raptors game is the third of four meetings between the two clubs. Washington and Toronto have split the 2011-12 series thus far, each team celebrating a decisive victory over the other — the average winning margin is 16 points. Although the Torontonians have been more successful on the road (5 wins) than the D.C. locals have been at home (3 wins) this season, the Raptors haven’t won a game at the Verizon Center since 2009. Consider heading to the game if you have a couple of hours to kill tonight: tickets can be scored for a buck! Raptorholic Sam Holako (@RapsFan) of ESPN TrueHoop/Raptors Republic joins TAI’s John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) for tonight’s 3-on-3 roundball roundtable. Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) Fact or Fiction: Rashard Lewis will score four or more points tonight, joining Jason Kidd and Paul Pierce as the only players in NBA history to have scored at least 15,000 points, grabbed 5,000 rebounds and hit 1,500 three-pointers in their careers. [UPDATE: Lewis is out versus the Raptors due to what is being called a sore right knee; Chris Singleton replaced him in the Wizards starting lineup.]
["What he did? Told them he cut his eye ... in sparring." -Wu-Tang Clan, Bells of War]
I kept telling myself, evenTweeting, when Miami was looking like unstoppable beasts for all but about seven minutes of NBA Finals game two, “Is Dallas the type of team you don’t want to let hang around?”
Of course they are. The Mavs are a unit well-versed in veteran composure, lest they would have had a seven game series with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But Miami isn’t Oklahoma, in so many senses.
Late in the game, after countless amazing dunks with little defensive resistance, Miami finally pulled away and took an 88-73 lead on a Dwayne Wade three. After nailing the shot near Dallas’ bench, Wade held his follow through and slowly walked toward his own bench, as Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had called a timeout. LeBron came over to give Wade celebratory chest jabs.
The Wizards have struggled this year, no question about it. The team has won just 13 games and is still hopelessly searching for its first road win. Their next opportunity for that elusive victory away from home comes on Sunday, February 13 versus the woeful Cleveland Cavaliers — a team nursing a 24-game losing streak.
Back on October 20, 2010, the crew at Truth About It.net gave their “crystal ball visions” of the Wizards’ regular season record for 2010-11. Here is what they looked like:
Kyle Weidie – 34 wins
Rashad Mobley – 30 wins
Adam McGinnis – 40 wins
John Townsend – 40 wins
Arish Narayen – 41 wins
Beckley Mason – 36 wins
I might choose to pass on the Buffalo wings and beer for the Super Bowl, instead opting to find a spot on my couch with an extra helping of Washington Wizards crow. This team is headed nowhere fast this season … but regular season performance in one year isn’t necessarily predictive of success and achievement in the next. Read more »
Ready for a sports cliché? Wait for it …. wait for it …. here goes …. “Games are not won or lost on a single play.”
Not exactly comforting to Wizards fans. Definitely not comforting to certain players in the Wizards’ locker room. Especially not comforting to head coach Flip Saunders.
After overcoming just 15 assists to 14 turnovers for the game and a seven point deficit with a minute left, the Wizards fell short by just one point to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. Down 94-93 with 6.7 seconds left, just after Brendan Haywood drew a huge charge call on Dirk Nowitzki, Caron Butler had the ball in his hands to win the game, either with a shot or a pass to a teammate.
After receiving the inbounds pass, Butler halted any previously set up process and dwindled clock with unproductive bounces of the ball, something you can’t exactly afford when you’re down. He drove left against Shawn Marion into the strong side help of Jason Kidd. With good defense quickly closing up the lane, Butler threw up the only shot he could muster, a weak, fading attempt that was sent back in his direction by Marion. Game over. Fans were left baffled.
No, games aren’t won or lost on one play, but when it came down to one play, why did Washington screw the pooch in between taking it out for a nice seafood dinner and never calling it again? There must have been a better way for the Wizards to court their first three-game win streak of the year. Perhaps being on the same page as to how the final play was to be executed would have helped.