HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Michael Jordan’s Backcourt Vision for Bobcats
By Derek Page
After years of searching, Charlotte Bobcats majority owner Michael Jordan may have finally found the young and talented backcourt to lead his franchise. Looking at the various moves the Bobcats have made over the past few seasons, guards Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker are clearly products of Jordan’s guidance.
Let’s not forget that Walker was handpicked by Jordan as the ninth overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. In fact, Jordan has praised Walker to the extent that behind closed doors, he has compared the 22-year-old’s leadership and burning desire to win to his own.
Henderson, the twelfth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, has literally been taken under Jordan’s wing. Jordan and Henderson have developed a bond over the years, and the Bobcats’ majority owner has mentored the 24-year-old guard.
Sky’s the Limit for Irving, Waiters
By Alex Kennedy
The Cleveland Cavaliers have one of the most promising backcourts in the league. That was evident last night, when Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters combined for 52 points in the team’s second win of the season. Irving and Waiters form a scary one-two punch, taking turns dominating and embarrassing opponents. Both players can score at will and they’ve done just that through four games.
On some nights it’ll be Irving who carries the scoring load, as was the case in the season opener when he dropped 29 points in the win over the Washington Wizards. On other nights it’ll be Waiters who takes over, as was the case on Monday night when he had 28 points in the win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I feel like we’re just playing off of each other, just taking what the defense gives us,” Irving said of the duo. “That definitely works well for us. We take turns. I play off of him and he plays off of me.”
Los Angeles Clippers’ Depth a Major Asset
By Eric Pincus
The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the deepest teams in the league.
In addition to top-flight talent in players like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers are stacked with an intriguing mixture of veterans and young athletes. While there won’t be enough minutes to go around when the team is fully healthy, the group’s positive chemistry should offset any individual gripes.
“I’ve talked to everybody about their role and accepting their role and what I expect from them,” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. “I don’t think there are going to be any surprises there. They understand it. Not everybody is going to like it at times because they’re competitive and they want to help their team. I’d rather guys play with a little bit of an edge.”
NBA MVP Watch: November 8th
By Richard Hardy
Welcome to HOOPSWORLD’s weekly MVP watch. With week one of the 2012-13 NBA season behind us, we’ve already seen some of those eye-opening performances that remind us why we love the NBA.
James Harden has destroyed the competition in his first three games with the Houston Rockets. Kobe Bryant gave us a 40-point game that resulted in a loss for the Los Angeles Lakers. Tony Parker hit back-to-back game winning jumpers for the undefeated San Antonio Spurs.
It’s obviously early, but here are the players who dominated in week one of the NBA season and emerged as MVP candidates.
Indiana Pacers React To Danny Granger Injury
By Lang Greene
The Indiana Pacers entered the 2012-13 campaign widely expected to be amongst the top five teams in the Eastern Conference after their strong showing last season.
Those hopes took a huge blow when the club announced small forward Danny Granger, the team’s leading scorer since the 2008 season, would miss three months recovering from a left knee injury. According to a team report, Granger received an injection on Tuesday to treat left patellar tendinosis.
Losing Granger, a former All-Star, will cause the Pacers to adjust their style of play, but veteran forward David West says finding out the length of time he’ll be out of action actually allows the team to focus in harder on winning games.
Is Minnesota’s Derrick Williams A Bust?
By Stephen Brotherston
At the 2011 NBA Draft, Derrick Williams made his case for going number one overall, but the Cleveland Cavaliers wisely selected the consensus first overall pick, Kyrie Irving, and Williams slid to the Minnesota Timberwolves at number two.
Williams had two impressive college seasons at Arizona and had the length, strength, speed and athleticism that NBA teams look for when drafting a forward. Unfortunately, Williams was stuck behind soon to be two-time All-Star Kevin Love so the minutes available at his natural power forward position during his rookie season were going to be slim. This season, however, Love broke his hand in a freak preseason accident, giving Williams his chance to start.
“[Williams] has a chance right now to start and last year he didn’t have that opportunity except for a few times,” said Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman.