New Orleans Pelicans Guard Eric Gordon Suffers Separated Shoulder

Eric Gordon’s season finds a way to get worse with a separated shoulder.
New Orleans Pelicans starting shooting guard Eric Gordon left Saturday’s game vs. the Utah Jazz with a separated shoulder and did not return. Gordon scored 8 points on 4 for 7 shooting before suffering the injury in the second quarter.
It has already been a rough start to the season for the guard who had averaged just 9.5 points on 38% shooting in 32 minutes per game. The injury is yet to be fully evaluated but the type of injury means he’s expected to miss a matter of weeks rather than days. The Pelicans still defeated the Jazz 106-94 behind a career high 43 points from Anthony Davis.
The post New Orleans Pelicans Guard Eric Gordon Suffers Separated Shoulder appeared first on Basketball Bicker by Joey.

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Florida guard Graham to transfer after semester (Yahoo Sports)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida guard Dillon Graham will transfer after the fall semester.

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Bulls guard Rose out vs Pacers with leg injury (Yahoo Sports)

TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 13: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a free throw against the Toronto Raptors during the game on November 13, 2014 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose will miss the game against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night because of a hamstring injury.


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Isaiah Briscoe to Kentucky: What 5-Star Guard Brings to the Wildcats

One of the biggest names in the 2015 class took his name out of the recruiting rat race with guard Isaiah Briscoe‘s announcement Thursday that he will play next season at Kentucky.

“Everything about Kentucky made me want to attend the school,” Briscoe said during ESPNU‘s Recruiting Nation college basketball announcement show.

Rated by 247Sports as the No. 1 point guard in the country, Briscoe chose the Wildcats over Connecticut and St. John’s. Combined with the commitment Thursday of forward Skal Labissiere, Kentucky’s 2015 class is expected to shoot high up the national rankings. 

Here’s a look at what the 5-star prospect will bring to his future college team:

Position: Point guard

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 200 lbs

Rank/rating: No. 9 overall in 2015 class, 5 stars, via 247 Sports

 

What Makes Him Special

Unlike a lot of point guards coming out of high school, Briscoe seems ready to handle the rigors of the tougher college game because of a level of strength and stamina that has enabled him to succeed anywhere and everywhere he plays. Jerry Meyer of 247Sports told Steve Jones of the Louisville Courier-Journal that Briscoe plays “a grown man’s style of basketball” that is very physical and not based solely on speed and finesse.

Recruiting website Future150.com’s profile of Briscoe indicates he “has a great body and uses it to be explosive and make plays,” which will make him a crowd favorite.

He led Roselle Catholic in New Jersey to a state title last season, then starred for Playaz Basketball Club when the travel team won the championship at the high-profile Peach Jam Tournament over summer. Briscoe also won gold with Team USA at the U-18 FIBA Americas Championship, but then a fractured foot kept him from participating in the Under Armour Elite 24 game in August.

Known as “Boogie,” Briscoe has proven he is a winner and should continue to do so at the next level.

 

Where He Needs Work

Though he’s played primarily at the point, Briscoe has spent time at shooting guard on the AAU circuit. That’s enabled him to spend more time being just a pure shooter, but that’s also an area where he still needs to improve, according to Rivals.com:

“At times his shot selection is poor which hurts his percentages some, but he is a skilled scorer who can shoot from deep or attack off the dribble,” Rivals wrote on his recruiting profile.”

The shot-selection issue feeds into another noted weakness of Briscoe‘s, that being decision-making:

“When he figures out how to avoid unnecessary one-on-five drives or contested treys, he’ll become as efficient as he is productive with the ball in his hands,” wrote Bleacher Report’s Thad Novak.

 

2015-2016 Prediction

As an accomplished floor leader, Briscoe is going to be expected to contribute right away. He likely made his decision based on what kind of an impact he could have, and despite the fact Kentucky is constantly overloaded with talent, there’s little doubt he’ll be in the mix for the starting point guard position.

The Harrison twins and freshman Tyler Ulis are currently at Kentucky, but a few of those are likely to have gone pro by the time Briscoe arrives. However, he doesn’t plan on signing his national letter of intent until April, saying “I just want to see how everything plays out. Who stays, who goes.”

 

Long-Term Outlook

Based on super early projections, Briscoe doesn’t figure to be NBA-ready after one season. Though he has good size, it’s not the kind needed to be a point guard at the professional level so soon, which is probably why NBADraft.net does not have him listed on its 2016 mock draft.

Nine of that mock draft’s top 20 picks are current high school seniors, but none are point guards.

Briscoe said on ESPNU that his decision to go to Kentucky was based on coach John Calipari‘s propensity for developing professional talent, particularly at point guard.

“Right now, Coach Calipari has a machine going on to get point guards to the NBA,” Briscoe said.

It’s more likely he’ll play at least two years at Kentucky, more if his development is slowed by adapting to the tougher game. In the end, though, look for Briscoe to go down in program history as one of the best at his position.

 

Recruiting ranking information courtesy of 247Sports.

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

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UConn guard Rodney Purvis suspended for opener (Yahoo Sports)

Connecticut’s Rodney Purvis watches play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Hartford, Conn. Connecticut won 68-59. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn guard Rodney Purvis has been suspended for the Huskies’ season opener on Friday against Bryant University because of a violation of an NCAA rule governing participation in summer leagues.


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Beck/Bucher Debate: Who Is the NBA’s Most Complete Point Guard?

The NBA has an influx of top-tier point guards who demonstrate varying skills and talents.

While the position may have shifted from a pass-first mindset to a get-to-the-hoop mindset, a few floor leaders still have the ability to win while exhibiting the quintessential traits of a point guard.

Who is the most complete 1 in the NBA? 

Find out as Adam Lefkoe goes in-depth with Howard Beck and Ric Bucher, who give their answers in the video above.

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Jameer Nelson Is Latest Dallas Mavericks Point Guard to Click

When the Dallas Mavericks secured the services of Jameer Nelson, 32, this past summer, the intention was to add another serviceable point guard to succeed a long list floor generals that have come before him.

For over a decade, the Mavs have modeled their roster around a franchise superstar in Dirk Nowitzki. The German has naturally lived through a slew of different point guards, and it’s been an historically strong position for the team.

In 1998, Don Nelson, then Mavericks head coach and general manager, saw a gem in a certain Canadian residing in Phoenix. He swung a deal for Steve Nash, and then proceeded to put his acquisition on a road to becoming a ball-distributing deity several years down the road.

Unfortunately, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was reluctant to paying Nash the big bucks, and let the 30-year-old slip away to the Phoenix Suns. A couple of MVP awards later, that didn’t look like such a good decision.

Jason Terry, a combo-guard with tweener skills, stepped directly into Nash’s shoes. He wasn’t really a natural point guard but put together an exceptionally efficient 2004-05 season, shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc.

Devin Harris was a solid backup, but Dallas really hit home by moving him in a package for Jason Kidd. The future Hall of Famer gave the team four-and-a-half decent seasons and played a major role in bringing a championship to Dallas.

Then Cuban hoped that Darren Collison and a heap of other guards would fill the void, before scratching the plan and picking up the duo of Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis in 2013-14.

Ellis and Calderon complemented each other well last year. They shared the ball-handling duties and took turns running pick-and-pops with Nowitzki. Even though the roster looked relatively shallow, head coach Rick Carlisle really managed to squeeze the most out of his guys.

Calderon had to be sacrificed in order to bring back Tyson Chandler to Dallas. His direct replacement turned out to be Nelson, about whom many had reservations.

 

Filling Calderon’s Role

Many saw a potential offensive juggernaut rampaging the NBA when the Mavs landed Chandler Parsons. However, there was some understandable skepticism on whether Dallas could contend for a championship with Nelson as the starting point guard in place of Calderon.

Calderon played a crucial role in the Mavericks achieving a top-three-ranked offense last season. His assist numbers took a little bit of a hit, but it was simply a case of him playing more off the ball.

He has always been a golden example of a floor general who takes care of the ball and gets his team into set plays. Calderon led the league in assists per turnover ratio in 2011-12, and he always sniffs around the top of that category.

Basically, Calderon is the guy you want to have on your side if you have to execute a play at a crucial time. He formed a deadly pick-and-pop threat with Nowitzki and always hit corner shooters with pocket passes.

The Spaniard also took a career-high 5.2 three-pointers per game, knocking them down at a 44.9 percent rate. His terrific ability to spot-up and find open space on the floor was incredibly important for the Mavs

Nowitzki draws double-teams in the post, which creates scenarios such as this (Calderon and his defender are highlighted in the picture):

Calderon proceeded to calmly knock down a three after faking a pass on that particular play. However, he wasn’t the only beneficiary of this partnership.

Whenever the Mavericks managed to find Nowitzki in the post with an entry pass, they usually cleared out the strong side. Calderon would then lurk around the perimeter, leaving his defender in a precarious pickle—either abandon a terrific knock-down shooter or let Dirk work one-on-one. 

Nelson now has a couple of games under his belt as a Maverick, and he has done an acceptable job replacing Calderon’s load in his own way.

 

What Nelson Brings to the Mavs

Nelson appears to be a tough-minded individual who has been through a lot in the NBA. Carlisle also seems to have that impression, as he praised his starting point guard’s leadership tendencies that seem to come naturally to him.

“He’s just got a grit and toughness about him that we really need on this team this year,” said Mavs head coach, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

It’s a little unfair to evaluate how Nelson fills the gap of Calderon, simply because his role is somewhat different. This year’s Mavericks run waves of penetration off high pick-and-rolls to break down defenses, which caters to Nelson’s strengths. He is significantly faster than Calderon off the dribble, while being a trustworthy floor-spacer as well.

Dallas still runs a lot of post-ups for Nowitzki, and Nelson’s role in those plays is different than that of Calderon last year. This was on display in Mavs‘ 105-96 loss to the Miami Heat on November 9th:

The Mavericks start the game out with a standard Nowitzki post isolation. After Nelson completes the entry pass, he cuts to the weak-side corner, while Parsons is the one curling around the perimeter.

Calderon would usually be the one starting out in the corner and cutting to the top of the key. Carlisle has opted to have Parsons doing this instead of Nelson, perhaps to transition into a dynamic pick-and-roll if the defense manages to halt the initial action.

A quick glance at Nelson’s field-goal percentage is a little unnerving. He has failed to crack 40 percent over the last two seasons and is currently connecting on 38.5 percent of his shots this year.

Nelson is more accurate from beyond the arc, dropping his three-point shots at a 40 percent clip after seven games. Five of his 7.4 shots per game are from long range, which is a little more reassuring.

Considering the quality of looks Nelson is getting, his three-point percentage is great so far. Calderon was assisted on 84.8 percent of his long-range makes last year, while Nelson is creating his own shots and has only been assisted on 42.9 percent of his threes.

Nelson is a lot more aggressive shooting the ball when defenders go under screens. Even though he is less selective than the Spaniard, Nelson generally takes acceptable shots.

Standing at 6’0″, Nelson struggles finishing at the rim. However, he is still very explosive and can create looks for others driving to the basket. Here he creates a good shot for Parsons:

If Nelson’s man gets stuck on a screen and the floor is well-spaced, he can do some damage.

Ball movement is a major element of Dallas’ powerhouse offense, and Nelson is a very good passer. He is used to running an offense and reads defenses well. Take a look at this beautiful three-man action:

Chandler sets a great screen for Parsons, who baits Bosh toward him. With no clear passing lane to the rolling big man, Parsons swings to Nelson, who in turn delivers the ball to Chandler.

Nelson might not be as efficient as Calderon, but he has made a seamless transition into his offensive role and clicks with his teammates well.

On the other side of the ball, the sight isn’t as pretty. Calderon was notorious for his bad defense, but Nelson isn’t much of an upgrade in that regard. 

With bigger point guards being in fashion in today’s NBA, undersized players like Nelson can often be exploited. 

Due to his skimpy frame, Nelson often struggles fighting over screens. Here is an example:

Chandler prefers to sag off and protect the basket over coming out high to contain the ball-handler. Nelson gets swallowed by the pick, and the Utah Jazz get an open three.

Other than his physical disadvantages, Nelson doesn’t have great defensive instincts. He tends to over-help and roam too much. In this play, he inexplicably leaves his man open in the corner, even though his teammates all have their direct matchups in check:

Some of his mishaps might be schematic, as the Mavericks prioritize taking away easy looks at the basket. However, he has to do a better job identifying the threat, instead of blindly helping as he does here:

Nelson completely abandons his man on the wing to prevent the drive, even though the Mavs have three players in the paint to contest a shot at the rim. No one is in position to close out on the shooter, and Dallas gives up an open three.

The Mavericks have had quite a lot of changes in the backcourt over the last couple of years, but Nelson is adamant that he is here to stay.

“There won’t be another one after that for awhile,” Nelson said of the recent point guard turnover, according to Eddie Sefko of Dallas News. “The plan is for there not to be another one for several years with me, Devin [Harris] and Raymond [Felton]. It’s good to be alongside those guys.”

Just like many Dallas point guards of the past, Nelson comes in a mixed package of both excellent qualities and visible flaws. He was signed at a significantly cheaper price tag (under $3 million per year) than his predecessor in Calderon. In a deep backcourt, Nelson should provide a decent return on investment.

 

All stats are courtesy of Basketball-Reference or NBA.com, unless otherwise noted.

You can follow me on Twitter: @VytisLasaitis

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UConn guard says degree will mean more than title (Yahoo Sports)

Connecticut's Ryan Boatright (11) dribbles past Southern Connecticut's Luke Houston (14) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball exhibition game in Storrs, Conn., on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. Boatright scored a game-high 19 points in his team's 70-62 victory. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Ryan Boatright doesn’t see basketball as a game.


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James insists no feud with Cavs point guard (Yahoo Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 5: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts to a pair of Utah Jazz free throws in the last minute of their game at EnergySolutions Arena on November 5, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Utah Jazz won 102-100. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

DENVER (AP) — LeBron James sat at one end of the court, listening to music. On the other end, about as far away from James as possible, Kyrie Irving leaned back in his seat.


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Buy or Sell: Is Shabazz Napier the Answer at Point Guard for the Miami Heat?

As Miami attempts to figure out a rotation with its new unit, players like Shabazz Napier and Shawne Williams will play pivotal roles and extended minutes. The Miami Heat drafted Napier to fill a need at point guard and added Williams for another big body who can stretch the floor. 

Should the Miami Heat play Napier in crunch time? What is the role Williams plays in Miami’s game plan? Once healthy, will Danny Granger be inserted into the lineup over James Ennis?

Find out as Ethan Skolnick dishes on the Miami Heat in “Buy or Sell” with Stephen Nelson in the video above.  

 

 

 

 

 

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