POST GAME MEMPHIS

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POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by 112288 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:16 pm

Melo suffers concussion after bumping hotel doorway

BOSTON -- The thing about being seven feet tall is that doorways can sometimes, well, get in the way.

Celtics rookie Fab Melo suffered a concussion last weekend after bumping his head on the doorway in his Sioux Falls hotel room while the Maine Red Claws (Melo's NBA Development League assignment) were in South Dakota for back-to-back games against the Skyforce.

Melo was seen by the Red Claws medical staff and did not play in the team’s Monday afternoon game. On Wednesday, the Celtics recalled him to be evaluated by team doctors that night.

The center donned a button down shirt and dress pants to join his Celtics teammates in the locker room prior to their game against the Memphis Grizzlies. He does not know when he will be able to sport a uniform -- there is no timetable set for his return.

"I still have a little headache," Melo said. "Sometimes I can't really focus on something for a long time, that's it."

After seeing season, and potentially career, ending injuries over his tenure, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers took a more lighthearted approach to Melo's concussion.

"I think, what did you have? Manny being Manny?" he said, referencing former Boston Red Sox Manny Ramirez. "Five years when Fab's playing terrific for us here, we're going to have some Fab being Fab moments. He just took kind of a head start. … Literally."

Melo is averaging 10.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks per game this season for the Red Claws.


NEXT GAME - FRIDAY - HOME -7:30PM - INDY PACERS - CSNE/NBA LEAGUE PASS

POST GAME RECAP

ESPNBOSTON.COM

Rapid reaction: Grizzlies 93, Celtics 83

By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

Rapid reaction after the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Boston Celtics 93-83 on Wednesday night at TD Garden:

THE NITTY GRITTY
Memphis point guard Mike Conley scored a game-high 23 points to go along with nine assists while spoiling the return of Avery Bradley. Rudy Gay added 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while old friend Tony Allen kicked in 15 points, five rebounds, and his typical brand of harassing defense for the Grizzlies. Paul Pierce scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting for the Celtics, while Rajon Rondo battled through a hip bruise to chip in 11 points and 10 assists. Kevin Garnett was simply off, going 5-of-14 from the field for 12 points, but finished a team-worst minus-15 overall.

TURNING POINT
A two-possession game in the final minute of the first half, the Celtics came unglued for about 48 seconds and it only snowballed after the intermission. Allen (off a KG turnover) and Conley (off a Pierce blocked shot) produced back-to-back layups, then Boston botched a final shot opportunity and found itself down 50-41 at the intermission. A pair of 3-pointers from Gay and Conley pushed the lead up to 15 midway through the third quarter and it went as high as 18 at the start of the fourth quarter.

C's MAKE A SPIRITED CHARGE
Boston (finally) showed it wouldn't go away without a fight. The Celtics chipped away and back-to-back 3-pointers from Jason Terry got their deficit to five (83-78) with 4:52 to play. With the lead at 7, Garnett missed two free throws with under three minutes to go, essentially sapping the comeback effort.

BRADLEY RETURNS
It took Bradley a mere 60 seconds to register his first basket of the 2012-13 season, completing a reverse layup off a feed from Rondo. It was the only one of four first-half shots he connected on and his defense was about what you'd expect for a player coming off a seven-month absence. Bradley sat for an 18-minute stretch before playing the final 70 seconds and finished with four points on 2-of-6 shooting with a steal over 19:31. He was minus-12, highlighting Boston's first-unit struggles.

BUMPS AND BRUISES
Pierce appeared to tweak his neck/shoulder midway through the first quarter, but the Celtics called timeout and he stayed in the game. Pierce carried Boston's first-half offense, scoring 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting while making all four 3-pointers he hoisted... Brandon Bass endured a bloody lip/nose after getting whacked by Allen and retreated to the locker room for a brief stint in the second quarter.

SECOND LINEUP IN FULL
Bradley's return allowed Rivers, for the first time this season, to run with an honest-to-goodness full second-unit lineup, which featured Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Jared Sullinger. The Celtics got 32 points from the bench and Sullinger might have been the biggest contributor (despite the lowest point output), spending extended time with the first unit during the comeback.

ARTHUR FOR THREE ... TWICE?!
Memphis forward Darrell Arthur entered Wednesday's game 0-for-his NBA career on 3-point field goals (13 attempts) over three-plus seasons. But he improbably splashed a pair of second-quarter triples to help the Grizzlies build their lead. He missed his third attempt at a trifecta, but still kicked in 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics dropped their fourth straight after falling victim to uninspired play over the middle frames. Boston put together a spirited fourth-quarter charge, but an 18-point deficit was simply too much to overcome. The Celtics get a day off before hosting the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at TD Garden.
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CSNE

A SHERROD BLAKLEY

Bradley, Celtics fall short against Grizzlies, lose 93-83

January 2, 2013, 10:07 pm

BOSTON — The long-awaited return of Avery Bradley was one in which the third-year guard delivered a good but not great performance -- the kind that his Celtics brethren have been providing all season.

He had four points in 19 minutes, and his play and defensive intensity were certainly welcomed by the C's and to a certain degree, felt by the Memphis Grizzlies.

But against a team as good as Memphis is this season, even a solid performance by Bradley wasn't enough as the Grizzlies defeated the C's 93-83.

It was Boston's 12th double-digit loss this season, a scary reality when you consider there's still more than half a season left to play.

On Wednesday, the Celtics were able to cut Memphis' lead which peaked at 18 points, down to as little as five points in the fourth quarter.

But having dug themselves such a deep hole early proved too much for them to fully come back from as some of the team's most reliable scorers -- like Kevin Garnett -- came up short from the free throw line while others failed to knock down pressure-packed shots with the shot clock winding down.

As the final minutes were played out, the Grizzlies came up with all the big shots and clutch defensive plays to get the victory.

And with the loss, Boston (14-17) extends its losing streak to four in a row.

And the worst part for the Celtics?

It won't get any easier with Indiana at the Garden and Atlanta on the road Friday and Saturday, respectively.

While Bradley's presence didn't do much in terms of limiting the Grizzlies shooters, the C's were able to force six turnovers in the first that led to 10 points and maybe most important, the Celtics did something they hadn't done since Christmas -- lead after a quarter of play.

A driving lay-up by Courtney Lee in the final seconds of the first quarter gave the Celtics a 26-25 lead to end the quarter which snapped a 12 quarter streak in which the C's had to play from behind.

Boston's slim lead remained on the skinny jean side of things through the early stages of the second quarter.

As they have done so many times this season, Boston went through a mini-lull offensively and the Celtics defense, even with Bradley, was unable to slow the bleeding as Memphis pulled ahead by six points (39-33) following a 3-pointer by Darrell Arthur.

Arthur's basket was part of a 21-8 run by the Memphis that catapulted them to a comfortable 50-41 halftime lead.

The third quarter was more of the same as the Grizzlies dominated play at both ends of the floor which fueled them to continue surging ahead and taking a 75-59 lead into the fourth quarter that would prove to be too much for the C's to overcome ... again.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by sinus007 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:09 am

Hi,
That was another blooper. I don't know why Celtics keep loosing winnable games. Something is going on. Last night was, IMO, very telling. The body language of the guys in green showed no fire, no desire to win. Just like that man who is sick but came to work and goes through the motions just to get to 5 pm.
The only bright spot was AB. I think he's going to pickup where he left last season after he shakes all the rust. I hope his shoulders are thing of the past.

AK

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by cowens/oldschool on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:29 am

After we came back to get it to 5 in 4th team just collapsed, no one could do anything. This team needs alot of help /adjustments.

Doc is now saying Rondo has to be more aggresive now, especially when others can't get it going, theres only so many Russell Westbrooks, Derek Rose and Chris Pauls around and hes clearly not one of them. We have a very good point guard, hes not the franchise or face of the franchise.....,hes talented, but hes had holes in his game for years.

Pierce needs to accept coming off the bench ala Ginoblli, he was spent by the 4th, all his missed were bad off target shots of a tired player. Start Jeff Green, he and Rondo could hopefully run together with AB, now that hes back.

Were some terrible calls, getting so sick of all the common bad calls, how do these refs get away with it? AB steals the ball from Conley who pushes off on AB trying to recover and AB gets the foul? Rondo drives gets bodyslamed and hit on his shooting hand bringing the ball up to finish and no call? Sully keeps getting focked....we can't even get calls at home.

This team needs a shake up, Terry and Bass can't defend, if Pierce or KG can't score, no one can step up, we can't score in the paint. I'd give more touches to Sully, develop him there, no one else can do anything, we need scoring down there. We lost and controlled Gasol and Randolph offensively.....seems lately were always playing from behind at the start of the game.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by hawksnestbeach on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:53 am

Every time we play Memphis, I wish we hadn't let TA go. I think this was Danny's weakest move (still believe Perk-for-Green may pay off if Green gets the minutes). A gifted defender like TA or AB is rare because you need the tools and an almost insane desire to be that disruptive. Good to see AB back, and gotta agree with Cowens/oldschool that PP and KG are too tired to carry the load. Please, Doc, think creatively and don't be bound by what worked in the past. The past is gone. Hawk

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by 112288 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:40 am

Scal was on the NBA channel doing commentary and thought Bradley teamed with Lee at 1 & 2 would be an unbelievable combo if you needed a lock down for 4-5 minutes.

I said this going back about 3 weeks ago about this tandem, and I think Lee is a guy who you can develop into a Tony Allan type defender. He has all the tools and he gives you an added bonus of being a better shooter then Allan.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by sam on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:24 pm

To anyone,

Although I'm not always a Forsberg fan, I think the following passage from his report is telling:

"A two-possession game in the final minute of the first half, the Celtics came unglued for about 48 seconds and it only snowballed after the intermission. Allen (off a KG turnover) and Conley (off a Pierce blocked shot) produced back-to-back layups, then Boston botched a final shot opportunity and found itself down 50-41 at the intermission."

This is perfect example of what Doc has mentioned in the past and what I've been saying in talking about possible incoming Celtics personnel. In a lot of games, there is a stretch—often not more than two minutes—which proves pivotal in determining the game's outcome—often by forcing the other team into permanent catchup mode. So, to those to maintain that "a few minutes a game for Melo couldn't make things worse than they are," that's patently ridiculous.

Even a few minutes that include two players with 32 years of experience between them can be part of a two minute stretch that turns the tide heavily in favor of the opponent. And, to those who would say something about the specific reasons for the occurrence of that particular pivotal stretch, you're missing my point. The fact is that it can happen, and it does happen, and one logical reason for it to happen can involve an inexperienced player at least as much as an experienced one.

I agree with those who feel that the Celtics need (1)an experienced center with a much better blend of offense and defense and better quickness than Collins represents and (2) an experienced, non-combo, real PG who need not be anything more than a reasonably good tactician and ball distributor.

To the extent that the Celtics may need to make personnel moves, those moves have to involve an incoming incoming player or players who can provide immediate impact—not a player who could potentially interrupt a Celtics' season turnaround by botching up a few two-minute pivotal stretches while he's learning his trade.

This team needs catalysts for rapid improvement. It cannot afford to be a developmental platform for a talented but very incomplete player to learn gradually. There's already a developmental league for that purpose.

I say this in full knowledge that Melo is currently a Boston Celtic. It's possible they'll keep him with the big team after his concussion heals, in which case (as I've said before) I'll place my trust in Danny/Doc and will root hard for Melo to succeed. But it won't change my mind as to what the proper course of action (or perhaps I should say "lack of action") should be regarding Melo at this time. And, by the way, comparisons between the situations of Melo and Steamer are bogus because Steamer had at least a couple of years in pro ball (in Europe) behind him and Melo has experienced just a handful of pro games.

I'm on board with Cowens in feeling that, if I were to pinpoint two players who are trying their best but are not fitting in with the Celtics' need to rediscover their defensive identity, it would be Bass and Terry. The sight of Conley just blowing past Terry and Speights repeatedly scoring over Bass was sickening.

I subscribe to the Red Auerbach theory that each rotation player should include among his repertoire at least one skill that consistently provides an essential element in the overall complementary skills of the team. Ostensibly, Bass's reliable mid-range shooting and Terry's ability to space the floor from long range would qualify. But both of them have been inconsistent with these "specialties;" and, even if they both did a turnaround in those areas, their defensive problems might outweigh the value of their specialties.

Whatever the Celtics may do in the way of trades, I hope their first offers would include Bass and/or Terry. I'm not at all sure other teams would bite, because their scouts watch the Celtics just as we do. But my opening salvo would be, "How'd you like to get a productive big and a sniper who's a former sixth man of the year?"

And, as long as I'm on a rant, since they'd be losing a three-point shooter (albeit an inconsistent contributor) in Terry, and yet one of their problems involves spreading the floor, I'd endeavor to replace Terry's 37.9% three-point shooting with Barbosa's 37.0% three-point shooting plus whippet-like speed with which they could also improve their transition game and hopefully stay with some of the quicker opposing guards.

Sam

P.S. I just read 112288's post about the defensive attributes of Lee. It may not be a coincidence that Heinsohn said the same thing (about a Lee/Bradley defensive pairing) on Comcast. I agree that Lee is a pretty good defender with the potential to be even better on a team that's on a defensive roll. I'm not sure how much opportunity there would be for the two to provide a formidable defensive tandem because they are both most efficient at the same position (SG) and this team definitely needs an experienced PG on the floor as much as possible if their chemistry is to improve. But I'd definitely trade Terry away rather than Lee because Terry's pretty much a one-trick pony whereas, in addition to Lee's defense, I also like his penetration, mid-range and transition games.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by 112288 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:05 pm

Sam,

Wow ...that was a mouth full....and many good points. I agree that Melo has to remain at least 1 year in the D league to learn the fundamentals of NBA ball and basketball in general. Next year he may have a look but may also go down again to hone his game.

The one thing that most people overlook is the kid is a natural athlete. He only started playing basketball at 17. Now he's what 22. 5 years of playing where most kids start at 8-10.

Whenever he has been taught something by a coach...he is able to work and accomplish the task. That tells me he has what it takes to make a big impact for the Celtics. The only reason again why he is in the D league is he has not had the number of years playing organized basketball as others have had. So leave the sleeping giant alone and let him develop.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by bobheckler on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:34 pm

We look confused.

1. This is the 4th game in a row we made our opponent's starting point guard look like an all-star. It is usually deserved in only one of those 4 teams. If Rondo can't play, rest him. If he can play, then he should start playing. Mike Conley pretty much did everything he wanted except for a period in the 4th where Rondo started playing on both ends. Conley had 23 points on 8-15 shooting and 9 assists. Rondo had 11 points on 4-11 and 10 assists. Conley only had 1 TO while Rondo had 3. Simply put, Rondo got outplayed. Again. By a 2nd rater. Again.

2. Pierce looks old and tired. Rudy Gay, a nice player, went toe-to-toe with him and held his own.

3. I do not understand why Doc keeps putting Bass and Sully on opposing centers. Collins did a decent job of forcing Gasol a foot or two further away from the basket than he wanted to do. Sully is completely overmatched, as is Bass. Doc is trying to turn Sully into the 2nd coming of Big Baby. They are not the same players. Sully had a horrible shooting night, 1-6, but fought like hell on the boards. He had fingers on a lot of offensive boards, even if he didn't corrall them. In a clear example of just how confused we are, with the clock short at the end of the 3rd quarter, Rondo inbounded to Sully at near half court, and Sully tried to go one-on-one for the buzzer beater (and wasn't close). Who called that play? I would have thought that Sully would have been the perfect defender for Zach Randolph, both earth-bound power players. I would have thought that if anybody could put a body on Randolph it would have been big-boned Jared Sullinger, but Doc disagrees.

4. JET looks like SHET. Yeah, he hit two back-to-back 3s that brought us from 13 down to 7 and gave us a breath of life, but overall his game stunk. His defense makes Ray Allen look like Tony Allen. If I wanted to watch matador defense, I'd go to Spain.

5. Collins' contributions don't show up in the boxscore like Perk's didn't, and it's not fair to judge his value solely by his, but we still need more from that position than he's giving us.

6. Only 2 Celtics had positive +/- and they were Sully and Lee. Why? Because they were the ones working their asses off all night.

7. KG had an off night. He wasn't a huge liability, I don't think he's ever that, but he was a non-factor and that's about as weak as he ever gets. He had the ball on one sequence down on the low post with no double team, turned to shoot and instead passed it out directly into the hands of Tony Allen. He was very tentative last night and that is not a word one typically hears used around KG.

8. Welcome back Avery Bradley. I'm not going to make a big deal about your return, I think it will take at least a few games before you get your game rhythm back, but it was nice to see you out there. Despite our questionable defense, he still only played 20 minutes. It takes a bit to get back into "game shape". Much has been talked about a lockdown defensive back court of Lee and Bradley. I'd like to see Bradley run with Barbosa too. What in God's name is going on with Barbosa that he can't even get his warmups off? Why isn't Doc feeling it for him? His defense can't be any worse than Rondo's is now.

9. They shot 48% for the game. They shot 10-15 after one. No defense by us.

Paul Pierce has said "we don't know who we are". He's right, we don't, but I know what we're not. We're not a good jumpshooting team. The guys who are supposed to be good jumpshooters like JET and Pierce and Bass are too unreliable. We're not a good defensive team. Opponents are scoring at a high %, in the paint, from 3, in transition. We're not a big team. Now that Darko's gone we have two 7'ers, KG and Collins. Melo is not ready, although I wish to hell he was, but he excels in D-league only against the smaller teams. We're not a good running team. We specifically went out and got players to run with Rondo this year. The problem is Rondo's not running with any consistency. We're not a smart team. We should be, we have a ton of smart players on the roster, but they are not playing smart at all. An example of this was a play last night where Rondo gets the ball and starts running. Sully and, I think, Bass were ahead of him. Both of them slowed up at the free throw line (instead of continuing to run to the rim and dragging the defense down with them) and Rondo pulled up for a 3pt attempt with at least 18 seconds on the clock. That is just bad fundamentals by the big men and poor decision making by Rondo. Over the past weeks I have seen fast breaks peter out because the guys running with Rondo, the faster players like guards as you might expect, run to the corners and wait for a 3-ball, instead of taking it down the defense's throats. Some of this is the diminishment of the NBA game due to the 3pt line, in general, and some of it is just lack of aggressiveness by us.

Yuck. Get on the phone Danny, the pieces you got aren't meshing.


bob

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by NYCelt on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:51 pm

sam wrote:Whatever the Celtics may do in the way of trades, I hope their first offers would include Bass and/or Terry. I'm not at all sure other teams would bite, because their scouts watch the Celtics just as we do. But my opening salvo would be, "How'd you like to get a productive big and a sniper who's a former sixth man of the year?"


Remind me to never buy a used car from you!

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by sam on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:48 pm

NYCelt,

There are some used cars that I might trade Bass and Terry for right now. And I'd even throw in an Ice Capades date. (Hey, it worked for Red.)

BobH,

"His defense makes Ray Allen look like Tony Allen. If I wanted to watch matador defense, I'd go to Spain."

One of your more entertaining observations.

Less than two weeks before January 15. Even Ed Lacerte could be available by then.

I do think Danny did the very best he could have last summer. He had severely limited resources with which to bargain. Even if he succeeded mainly in acquiring reasonable trading chips for their current dilemma, I'd be happy. I've read where some people feel any deal he could make now would be a minor one. But the fact is that the salary of any player who might potentially be attractive trade would be large enough so that it would have to be at least a significant trade.

Sam

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by sinus007 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:51 pm

Hi,
One of the possible explanation of the current state of the team could be this. PP has relinquish his role as a captain and overall leader of the team but heir apparent, RR, did not fully grasped it.

AK

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by Outside on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:23 pm

It's odd to me to hear discussion of Lee and Bradley as a lockdown pair of guards. What happened to Rondo being part of that equation?

I know Rondo's hurting at the moment, but there's not even a hint of "in a couple of weeks, when Bradley is back into the flow and Rondo's hip is healed..."

That's not good.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by 112288 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:25 pm

I am not sure Paul is or is willing to embrace a rebuilding plan. He's been through that before. Trick is to keep his competitive juices flowing through this period. Paul, although is keeping up his competitiveness (not wanting to be punked by lesser talent...call it pride) looks tired and at times just going through the motions.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by 112288 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:28 pm

Outside,

This was brought out by Scal on the post game commentary on the NBA channel last night. Scal feels Lee brings energy, athleticism and is a great on ball defensive.

He should know, or he knows something we don't about Rondo.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by tardust on Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:46 am

112288 wrote:Sam,

Wow ...that was a mouth full....and many good points. I agree that Melo has to remain at least 1 year in the D league to learn the fundamentals of NBA ball and basketball in general. Next year he may have a look but may also go down again to hone his game.

The one thing that most people overlook is the kid is a natural athlete. He only started playing basketball at 17. Now he's what 22. 5 years of playing where most kids start at 8-10.

Whenever he has been taught something by a coach...he is able to work and accomplish the task. That tells me he has what it takes to make a big impact for the Celtics. The only reason again why he is in the D league is he has not had the number of years playing organized basketball as others have had. So leave the sleeping giant alone and let him develop.

112288

I thought Donnie Marshall said fundamentals weren't important in the NBA.

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by sam on Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:52 am

Tardust,

I don't think that's what Marshall said. I believe he said that (and I'm paraphrasing), if you have to be concerned about a player's fundamentals in the NBA, it's a major warning signal. I can't recall whether or not he was specifically talking about Melo, but lack of fundamentals represent my greatest reservation about bringing Melo up prematurely.

Sam

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Re: POST GAME MEMPHIS

Post by Outside on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:39 pm

A common observation about fundamentals is that NBA coaches don't teach them. Most of them consider it like remedial reading for an English doctoral candidate -- if that's what you need at that point, you have no business being here.

Unfortunately, players can get to the NBA today without a sound basis in fundamentals. Players can excel in high school and college without them by leveraging superior athletic ability. Why learn a complete array of ballhandling skills and use your off-hand when you have quickness and a single go-to move that no one can stop? Why learn proper post footwork when you can outplay everyone using superior strength, reach, and leaping ability? It used to be that college was the place you were schooled in fundamentals if you didn't have them by then, but in an era of players joining the NBA straight out of high school or the current "one and done" rule, you get NBA players without a strong basis in fundamentals.

Sometimes players will develop them on their own once they get to the pros. Blake Griffin comes to mind -- he's a superior athletic talent who used pure power, the ability to leap over people, and one spin move to be pretty successful right away. Teams recognized and exposed his limitations, but another asset Griffin has is the willingness to work, and he is steadily improving his game by working on ballhandling, mid-range shooting, and defense. He's still got a ways to go to being a complete player, and he has ingrained habits that will be hard to break, but he's made good progress, and barring injury (a definite risk for someone who plays the way he does), his work ethic should get him there.

For a guy like Melo, his route to success will be individual coaching in practice, playing time in games to apply those skills, and repetition, repetition, repetition. Plus patience. If he has the proper mindset and willingness to work, he has the potential to become a good pro.

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