Data suggests that taking a late-game timeout might not help an offense as much as one might think. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
• There's a lot to consider when it comes to late-game basketball strategy, but data from across the league over the past five seasons suggests that an endgame timeout is not an especially helpful option. Skew the variables of timing and the general conclusion is the same: Teams, even in exclusively half-court settings, are better off when working organically against a defense that doesn't have the benefit of a timeout to ready itself.
Beckley Mason laid out the factors involved over at TrueHoop, but Shane Battier offered his own take on the late-game scenario:
Miami Heat forward Shane Battier cites lessons learned from Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, telling Heat Index’s Tom Haberstroh: “I was born and raised in the Coach K school of ‘in closing situations, not taking a timeout,’” Battier says. "Defenses aren’t as prepared after a late bucket to tie or take the lead because emotionally teams aren’t as prepared to get that stop. If you call timeout you allow a team to set their defense, focus in. Everyone knows exactly what everyone runs anyway.”
• This conversation between Steve Nash and Grantland's Bill Simmons is well worth your time for many, many reasons.
• Kelly Dwyer put it best over at Ball Don't Lie: "There’s part of you that’s going to miss Carlos Boozer when he’s gone. Admit it, Chicago." Go, and delight in Boozer being Boozer.
• The sneaker world approaches self-parody.
• A developing story that did not seem very plausible even a few months ago: The Bobcats might really have to work to keep Josh McRoberts, should he decline his $2.8 million option for next season.
• The Timberwolves are deep into the world of Flappy Bird, the mobile game sensation made even more popular by its current unavailability:
[Chase] Budinger will be difficult to top; he has a deep yet nuanced understanding of the game and what it takes to win. "All you do is tap the screen," he says. "The bird flaps and you gotta go through tunnels. The way to do best at that game is you need to be somewhere alone and quiet. I think on the plane is a good time to play. Or on the bus, even though you’re moving a little bit."
"Right now," says [Ronny] Turiaf, "Chase is claiming that when you play without the sound, it helps you get better."
• What happens at an NBA shootaround?
• It's still odd knowing that we live in a world where the chatty, brazen Rasheed Wallace is an NBA assistant coach, but it wasn't a total surprise to some who know him well. From James Herbert of SB Nation:
"He's loud, first and foremost," [Chauncey] Billups says. "He just speaks with a lot of substance. A lot of things that he says, he might say it in a different way than a coach might say it, than a regular coach that's been coaching for years, you know what I'm saying? He's got a lot to share, though."
Billups might not have seen this coming, but in a 2008 ESPN The Magazine profile, Joe Dumars, Flip Saunders, Bill Guthridge and Stan Van Gundy spoke of Wallace as a potential head coach. They referenced his savvy, his communication, his recognition of where everyone should be on the court at all times.
• Among the dangers of NBA bigs spacing the floor out to the three-point line: The possibility that their games might then become anchored on the perimeter at the expense of their all-around games. Consider the case of Orlando's Andrew Nicholson.