Jamal Crawford only started practicing shooting this year

19 Oct

Over the course of his long NBA career, journeyman combo guard Jamal Crawford has become known as a dependable veteran scorer. In truth, there's little else he does particularly well. And while Crawford's career shooting percentages — 40.8 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc — leave much to be desired, it's also clear that a team should only pick him up if it wants him to shoot. That's what Crawford does, and he's managed to make a pretty good living out of it.

It is easy to assume that, because of the progression of his career, Crawford would have identified that and done everything possible to make sure he improved and continued his skills as a shooter. However, that appears to have not been the case at all. In fact, Crawford says he never practiced his shooting before this year. From Helene Elliott for the Los Angeles Times (via TBJ and TrueHoop):

After 12 NBA seasons and with a firm reputation as a pure shooter, Clippers guard Jamal Crawford tried something during the off-season he had never done before. He practiced shooting.

It's astonishing to think that Crawford, who is the NBA's career leader with 34 four-point plays and ranks 21st all-time with 1,387 three-pointers, didn't routinely spend his summers in stuffy gyms trying to perfect his shot. [...]

"This summer was actually the first summer I worked on my game. I usually just play off of raw talent," he said Thursday after the Clippers' practice. "But I just wanted to work on something and be in great shape coming into camp. I came here right after Labor Day, which is the earliest I've ever gone to any team in the summer, and all the guys were here, committed to getting better.

"Now it's part of my lifestyle, working out and being here, shooting and getting shots up. It gives you more confidence that if you miss one or two, you know you've been working on it every single day and your teammates have confidence because they see it as well."

This news is mind-boggling for many reasons, but the first is pretty obvious: how can a player go through so many seasons of organized basketball without being drilled on shooting at all? That Crawford makes his living by putting the ball in the basket only raises the level of confusion. Frankly, it's a little difficult to believe him.

The other bit of intrigue — and the one that's much easier to analyze — is that Crawford, a veteran, has never taken part in the near-obsessive offseason workouts that we typically associate with sustained NBA success. If this is true, then he really did get by on little more than his talent. That's impressive, in its way — winning a Sixth Man of the Year trophy is difficult — but it also conjures questions of "what might have been?" if Crawford had put forth that extra effort.

For the record, Crawford has spent most of his career in a middle ground between looking like a star-quality scorer and being inefficient enough to submarine a team's hopes of greater relevance. With this news, that doesn't come as such a surprise.

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Jon Bon Jovi attends Wizards/Raptors game, makes sizable impression

18 Oct

Celebrities attend NBA games often — that in itself is not a notable story. What does capture our attention, though, is when one of them has major effect on the scene at a game, or in some cases even gets involved in the action (Daniel Baldwin and Jimmy Buffett are my favorite examples). Sometimes, that happens when a celeb's appearance is so random that no one can stop talking about it. It's not exciting when Denzel Washington attends a Lakers game, but if he showed up at a Rockets game we'd pay attention.

So, when Jon Bon Jovi showed up at Wednesday night's exhibition between the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre, people noticed. Michael Lee of The Washington Post reports from the scene:

Legendary rock musician Jon Bon Jovi sat courtside during the Wizards' 104-101 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Center. The arena speakers pumped his classic staple, "You Give Love a Bad Name," while his image flashed across the HD scoreboard. And as it all unfolded, John Wall applauded from his seat along the bench.

Wall was simply being polite, because after the game, Wall was asked about Bon Jovi and he replied, "Who's that?"

Jan Vesely, the Czech forward getting dressed nearby, was stunned as he looked at Wall. "No. You don't know him?" Vesely said.

Emeka Okafor, seated in an adjacent locker room stall, shook his head and laughed. Wall smiled and said, "I'm a 90s baby. I never heard of him."

Wall might be unfamiliar with Bon Jovi's music, but some of the rocker's tunes were probably appropriate on a night when the Wizards built an early lead before failing to go down in a blaze of glory — while at the same time giving late-game execution a bad name. Since the final result is irrelevant, the Wizards were able to come away with plenty with which to be encouraged.

First, let's congratulate Mr. Lee for his amazing use of Bon Jovi song puns. He shows suitable respect for the music legend and really communicates what JBJ's presence meant to everyone in the crowd. The attendance was listed at 11,750 faces — and he rocked them all.

Around the Internet, one of the more common takeaways from this report has been that Wall had never heard of Bon Jovi, but that's not terribly surprising. For a 22-year-old, Bon Jovi is only a notable band if that person watched a lot of VH1 as a kid. For everyone else, Bon Jovi is best known as one of the stars of "New Years Eve," which is to say that he's not known much at all.

The funniest bits here, really, are 1) that Jan Vesely, a 22-year-old native of Czech Republic, conforms to the stereotype that Eastern Europeans love music that was popular 20 years ago and 2) Raptors Amir Johnson and Jose Calderon took a photo with Bon Jovi (available at the top of this post) that apparently got sent to every Instagram filter at once. Clearly, these are players who just want to live while they're alive.

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Days of NBA Lives: Wherein Pau Gasol and Spencer Hawes both read books

17 Oct

At this point, most of the NBA is on Twitter. It's a wild world of training updates, questions as to which movies they should go see, and explanations of their Call of Duty prowess. Every so often, though, you also get a picture into the more interesting aspects of NBA life. This feature is your window into that world.

MarShon Brooks: This couch is crazy

Manu Ginobili: 1st HEB commercial of the season. The Coyote ready to cook. I'll keep u guys posted. http://lockerz.com/s/253898317

Pau Gasol: Congrats to Hilary Mantel for winning her second #Booker !! Have you read any of her books!? "Wolf Hall" "Bring Up The Bodies"!#nextread

Spencer Hawes: #nowreading http://instagr.am/p/Q49xMwmAsE/

Metta World Peace: Put on Bob Marley "Red Wine" Girls love that … Wow.... "Red Wine" is not "Bob Marley"? UB40??? Who are they? Please school me

You can also follow Eric Freeman on Twitter at @freemaneric.

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Kobe Bryant tells A-Rod to stay confident, makes little sense

17 Oct

While NBA fans focus on the upcoming beginning to the season, baseball fans are right in the thick of the end of their year. With only four teams remaining, one of the biggest stories has been the poor play and benching of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, one of the best hitters in the history of the sport, as well as one of the most widely reviled. In truth, the vast majority of Yankees have been awful, but A-Rod's struggles have gotten the lion's share of media attention.

This qualifies as an NBA story because Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers legend and fellow lightning rod for criticism, counts A-Rod as a friend. He has even called him to lend support and give a useful pep talk. From Ramona Shelburne for ESPNLosAngeles.com:

"We spoke a couple of days ago," Bryant said of Rodriguez, whom he befriended on the set of a commercial a few years ago. "You can only control what you can control. You go out there and do the best job you can. If they take you out of the lineup, it's really on you to be a good teammate and support the other guys, which he's good about doing."

But that's not exactly what Bryant said when he called Rodriguez, who was benched for Game 3 on Tuesday night because he's hit .143 in the ALCS and .130 in the playoffs with no RBIs. No, that conversation went more like this:

"I just say to him, 'You're Alex Rodriguez. You're A-Rod. You're one of the best to ever do it,'" Bryant said. "I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, 'Hell with it' and just do your thing.

"Hopefully the next game they'll kind of give him a chance, maybe put him back at third and let him respond to the pressure, which I think he'll do." [...]

"We're different," Bryant said. "But you're talking about, 'He's one of the best to ever play.' I think really the difference is, sometimes he forgets he's the best. ... Where, I don't."

This talk sounds nice and thoughtful, but, as is always the case with Bryant, there are layers of intrigue well beyond the surface meaning. For instance, though Kobe praises A-Rod for remaining a team player on the bench, he also says there are times when a player has to say "hell with it" and do his own thing. It's a similar contradiction to the one Bryant mentioned in a recent Facebook post on leadership, in which he defines leadership as doing the right thing even when it's unpopular and subsequently claims he'd rather be known as a winner than a good teammate. What exactly does it mean to lead a group and also upset many of the people in that group?

Then, on top of that, Kobe put down his friend (even if with no malice) by saying he, a five-time champion, never forgets that he is the best. Or, in other words, that he has the mental strength to succeed no matter the struggles, whereas other great players don't. And although that might be true, it's also not the kind of thing most people say to prop up friends in need.

The context for this discussion, of course, is an entirely different sport than basketball, one where lots of individual successes more closely correlate to team success than in basketball. Bryant might have a point that A-Rod focusing on himself isn't necessarily the worst thing for the Yankees. (He should be in the lineup anyway, but that's a separate issue.) On the other hand, Kobe also doesn't seem to understand baseball at all, because last week he said that the Yankees' chemistry would eventually be hurt by Raul Ibanez's game-tying and walkoff homers against the Baltimore Orioles. You know, because he pinch-hit for A-Rod. That makes sense, right?

Kobe Bryant is one of the best NBA players ever. He is also one of the most complicated public figures in the world. I cannot imagine the NBA without him for both reasons.

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Brook Lopez attends NY Comic Con, meets heroes, leaves teammate behind

16 Oct

Twin big men Brook and Robin Lopez are well known as a little goofy, particularly for the overtly serious and tough mindset of the NBA. In this world, it's a little weird for a 7-footer to admit a love of "Sex and the City," or to willfully sport a Sideshow Bob haircut. On the other hand, that also makes them not terribly dissimilar from many NBA fans, especially those of us who toil in the blogosphere.

From a particular point of view, then, the Lopez twins are pretty endearing. And that's ultimately the takeaway from the subject of this post. This last Sunday, Scott Cacciola of The Wall Street Journal tagged along with Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez as he attended Comic Con at New York City's Javits Center. It's worth reading in full, but here's a sampling:

He's something of a celebrity in this world—but hardly the biggest. As Lopez wandered through the exhibits, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, co-publishers of DC Comics, spotted him and waved him over to join them in their private, roped-off suite. Lopez got to know the two industry giants at a convention in Phoenix, back when his twin brother and fellow comic-book aficionado, Robin, was playing for the Suns. After hugging Lee, Lopez whipped out his cellphone.

"I have to show you this," he said as he scrolled through several photos. "To organize all my comics, I've been making custom cabinets." [...]

At least one of his teammates on the newly minted Brooklyn team was jealous. Carleton Scott, a forward, said he was upset that Lopez didn't invite him to come along. Like Lopez, Scott is a huge comic-book fan. "We have a lot of closet nerds on this team," Scott said. [...]

About a dozen Comic Con devotees who were waiting on a line craned their necks to gawk at this sudden intruder. "Who is he?" asked Catwoman, aka Brittany Holzherr, a 22-year-old NYU graduate. According to an unscientific survey, roughly 5% of Comic Con's attendees recognized Lopez. ("Oh, s---! That's Brook Lopez!") The other 95% remarked on his height. Those who did know who he was had the unsettling habit of reaching out to grab at one of his elbows.

What comes across most is that Lopez has true passion for comics. Cacciola mentions that Lopez also has plans to create his own work — something he mentioned to me when I interviewed him roughly five years ago, as well — and he also genuinely geeks out over getting to meet some of his favorite artists.

[Fantasy Basketball '12: Play the official game of NBA.com]

At the same time, Lopez remains the goofy guy we know him to be. It's also very Lopez-ish not to consider that a teammate might want to join him — because it's absent-minded, not because he did so with malice. Altogether, he comes across as a likable guy.

On the other hand, I'm not sure that means the other attendees should have tried to touch his elbows. That's just weird.

Tags: goofy, , mindset, , , ,
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ESPN and Marvel made a comic to explain how LeBron James will get seven rings

15 Oct

In the summer of 2010, the Miami Heat introduced LeBron James and Chris Bosh (alongside Dwyane Wade) in an arrogant welcome party that instantly became the go-to reference for any fan looking to explain an intense dislike for the team. The worst part, according to those detractors, was that LeBron suggested they'd win up to seven championships before they'd even suited up for a real game. It was all pretty off-putting, even if the hate went overboard at the time.

Now that LeBron actually has a championship, it's easier to joke about that moment, even if he's still a ways off from the promised seven titles. And jokes we now have, in the form of a Marvel/ESPN the Magazine team-up that brings us into the future to see how LBJ will go about rewriting the NBA record books. In the image above, you'll see one example. Yes, it involves Eddy Curry, a near-death Mike Miller, and a post-death, zombified version of Shane Battier capable of playing 48 minutes per game with absolutely no drop in single-minded, brain-focused effort.

[Fantasy Basketball '12: Play the official game of NBA.com]

There's much, much more. After the jump, check out another image, plus a hint at some of the other scenarios in this comic.

It seems unlikely that LeBron will join up with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, and other aging stars when they're collecting Social Security checks, but who knows where the NBA will be more than a decade from now. I mean, this comic also predicts that Dan Gilbert will still own the Cleveland Cavaliers at that time, and he'll tell anyone who listens that his small-market business needs as much help as possible. Maybe we're heading for NBA boom times!

While the vast majority of this comic is pretty funny, I have to take issue with one situation Marvel and ESPN used. I greatly enjoy the idea that LeBron will start a trend of players mechanizing their bodies to stay healthy and relevant well beyond their physical primes, but that idea was already depicted in stunning detail by Tom Scharpling of The Classical in June. (Note: I am a founder and staffer for The Classical.) I hope Marvel cleared this idea with Tom, because he has an entire army of followers ready to attack all foes. Just ask Chuck Woolery.

Tags: Bosh, , , image, , ,
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Steve Kerr grew a goatee, wrote bad words on his shoes while dealing with confidence issues

15 Oct

It's no secret that top-tier professional athletes must be confident to succeed. In a league where every player is very talented, slight edges make a big difference. It's a cliche to say that the team that wants it more wins, but it's usually true that the more focused, more confident team will win in the NBA.

Last week, Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated wrote a piece on Golden State Warriors center Andris Biedrins's major confidence issues. The story was enough to inspire David Aldridge of NBA.com to delve deeper into the mental aspects of playing in the NBA (via Marcel Mutoni). Former NBA sharpshooter and TNT analyst Steve Kerr had much to say, including his own methods of psyching himself up:

"I definitely had moments every season when I felt like I couldn't make anything," Kerr said. "I probably wouldn't say anything to most of the guys, but I might to my best buddies on the team. Late in my career [in San Antonio] I was working with Chip Engelland [now a Spurs assistant coach], but he wasn't on staff at the time, and that was good for me. I could bare my soul to him and not worry about any repercussions. I think everybody is afraid to tell the coach, because then the coach isn't going to play him." [...]

"I remember growing a goatee one time," Kerr said. "It sounds crazy, but I grew a goatee. I wrote the letters F.I. on my shoes, for [bleep] it. I went out there and said I'm going to shoot every time. I probably wasn't as confident as other guys. A guy like Jordan, I don't think he ever had a problem with something like that. Most mortals, you've got to train your mind just like you train your body."

Kerr makes good points here, and it's notable that he struggled with confidence even during his later seasons, when he was firmly established as one of the best shooters in NBA history, the sort of player that others have confidence in just because he's proven himself so many times.

The especially notable part of this story, of course, is exactly what Kerr did to regain his confidence. While Kerr mentions a goatee, photographic evidence of that facial hair is not readily available. On top of that, our own Kelly Dwyer — as encyclopedic a source on the last 15 years of NBA basketball as anyone — does not remember anything of the sort. Of course, given Kerr's blond hair, it's possible that the goatee was flesh-colored, gross, and therefore short-lived.

As for writing "F.I." on his shoes, Kerr probably made the correct move in not writing the full words. Something tells me that would have made it harder for TV networks to hire him after his retirement.

[Fantasy Basketball '12: Play the official game of NBA.com]

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Carlos Boozer is working with his kids’ trainer

12 Oct

Professional athletes typically do whatever necessary to keep themselves in great shape, and they're willing to pay top dollar to do it. In many cases, that means spending time in hyperbaric chambers, or eating very healthy diets, or taking multi-hour naps. At bare minimum, they hire excellent trainers to design intense workouts and keep them at an elite level of fitness. (OK, in truth, the bare minimum is taking naps.)

These players usually don't like to take a chance with their bodies, or to hire trainers who don't have sterling reputations working with their peers. Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer has taken that chance. And he's doing so with an unlikely partner: his kids' trainer. From Scott Powers for ESPNChicago.com (via Blog a Bull):

During the summer, Boozer sought out a new basketball trainer to help him develop him into a more all-around player and touch up on his fundamentals. While the Miami-based trainer, Devel King, was an unlikely choice for Boozer as King had no previous experience with NBA players, Boozer believes this season will turn out differently because of his work with King.

"I felt like the trainer I had before, things I was doing before wasn't getting me to be where I wanted to be at," Boozer said. "I wanted to switch it up a little bit. Ran into coach King. He was actually training my kids at the time. I loved what he was doing with them, a lot of fundamental work, which is great, a lot of footwork, jabbing, different things I thought that I need for my game.

"Sometimes when you play so long in the NBA, sometimes you forget some of the basic stuff, and he was able to re-teach me some of the basic stuff that helps my game a lot. It's simple, but it's super effective. ... I was in the gym a lot, in the lab a lot working on everything, man. Defense, offense, ball handing, shooting, rebounding, going to be a complete player."

King said he nearly crashed his truck when he received the call from Boozer to work him out. But as much as King was shocked, he never treated Boozer differently than any of his other clients, who range from kindergartners to college players. King was critical of Boozer when he needed to be.

You may remember Boozer's kids as the awesome little guys who rooted against their father during a Bulls/Heat game last January. Truth be told, if King could get them to listen, then he can probably do good work with Boozer, as well.

Plus, although it might seem weird for a highly paid professional athlete to train with someone who'd previously worked with children, it's not as if King spends all day having his athletes jump around on trampolines and play Around the World while he checks his Facebook account. King is a serious trainer, and I'm sure he understands the value of the opportunity that Boozer has given him. They'll do real work.

Still, for the sake of jokes, I'm probably going to pretend that King and Boozer spend all day practicing free-throws on eight-foot baskets. Maybe, if he's lucky, Boozer will get to buy a soda from the vending machine when they're all done.

Tags: , , minimum, , , shape,
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The Nuggets think small-market teams are better, misunderstand the advantage of big-market teams

12 Oct

Over the past few years, particularly when the lockout brought franchise finances to the forefront, there have been many debates over the size of the NBA's divide between small-market and big-market teams. It was the central cause of the lockout — even if owners ended up turning that ordeal into an attempt to extract profits from players — and it's as yet unclear if anything's really changed. Every time a superstar engineers a move to a major market, it certainly seems like it hasn't.

Nevertheless, many small-market teams rank among the best teams in the NBA — one need only look at the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs for proof. There are enough success stories, in fact, that some think small-market teams are better than their big-market counterparts. Just ask the Denver Nuggets. From Mark Kiszla for The Denver Post (via SLAM):

On a mission from the basketball gods, the Nuggets are bent on busting the myth that the NBA title can only be won in a big city of bright lights and single-name stars. "When was the last time New York won a championship?" said Denver point guard Ty Lawson, barely able to conceal a smirk. [...]

"We have an organization that has a nucleus we think is going to challenge the top echelon of teams," Karl said. "I would bet on a small market coming out the West. I'm sorry. I'll bet that. I know the Lakers are good and all that. But you have San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Denver, Memphis." Throughout the league, Karl added, "There are as many, or more, good small-market teams than there are big-market teams." [...]

"In football, any given team can win in any given year. In basketball, fans connect well with the dynasties. But you can always have those Detroit Pistons or San Antonio Spurs as an exception. Those hot spots like Miami? That's always part of a cycle. Miami is a hot spot now, but one day it will be Toronto or someplace else," said Andre Iguodala, who joined the Nuggets in trade from Philadelphia.

I don't fully understand the argument that Miami is a hot spot and not a budding dynasty, or even a budding major-market (given Florida's lack of income tax and Miami's reputation as a fun city), but these are secondary issues. It's also fine that consider themselves a championship contender even though they likely aren't — teams thrive on confidence, it's a new season, and Kiszla seems to have asked fairly leading questions about their ability to win it all despite not playing in New York or Los Angeles.

What I'm most interested in here is Karl's point that there are more good small-market teams than those in bigger cities. This is largely true. The Lakers and Heat are title contenders, with the Clippers, Celtics, Knicks, and Nets (now a big-market team, whether we want to admit it or not) standing as good teams who should figure in the middle seeds of their conferences' playoff brackets. The small markets fill just about every other playoff spot, from contenders like the Thunder to eighth-spot challengers like the Utah Jazz. That's a lot of good teams from outside of the obvious big-name cities, and in terms of raw numbers there are more of them.

But that comparison disregards the fact that every big market team figures to make the playoffs. If there are more good small-market teams, it's only because there are many more of them in the NBA. By percentages, big-market teams are much, much more likely to be successful. For the most part, that's because they have a much higher margin of error — while a team like the Knicks can woo enough stars to stay relevant even in the face of terrible management, a squad like the Indiana Pacers must do a lot correctly (and get very lucky in the draft) to finish third in the East.

College football writer Matt Hinton, one-time editor of Yahoo!'s Dr. Saturday blog, is fond of noting that, while All-American teams are largely made up of players with sub-elite recruiting profiles, blue-chip recruits are still much, much safer bets to become stars and therefore a useful indicator of which programs will succeed long-term. The same general point holds true for NBA market size. It's not enough to note which teams do best — serious analysis of the NBA financial landscape must also consider if that team has a structural advantage that caused its success. Proper management will always win out — again, it's not as if the Knicks punch a ticket to the Finals every year just because they're in New York — but it's a whole lot easier to contend if a team has an easier time getting stars.

That imbalance might not be the worst thing for the health of the NBA, but it's still an imbalance. Successful small-market teams are outliers, and we should acknowledge as much if we want to be serious about the future of the league.

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Miami Heat shooters complain they are too open

11 Oct

NBA athletes are so fast that basic basketball ideas like a good or open shot mean something very different to them than to anyone at any other level. What that means, in practice, is that a player might feel lucky to have a very small window to line up his shot before the defender closes out. Eventually, that timing becomes second nature to a shooter, an aspect of their rhythm and preparation like any other.

Any change to that routine becomes problematic. When shooters come to the Miami Heat, they must face the difficulty of changing things up. Except, instead of getting less time, or having to shoot from different spots, they must deal with something that intuitively should help them: getting more time to shoot. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel explains (via PBT):

"Got to get used to it," the veteran forward said as the Miami Heat continued training camp, "because that's the hardest shot in basketball. I may have to hold it for a couple of seconds, so I can get somebody closing out to me." [...]

"When you're playing a game, you're so used to playing instinctively," Heat forward Shane Battier said, as he snapped his fingers to mimic the typical split-second timing of NBA decisions. "When you get a wide-, wide-open three, you're naked. You have time to think and rationalize, and that's counterintuitive to how we normally play. We normally play instinctively -- time to think and time to react only. But when you have time to think in basketball, calculation often leads to miscalculation." [...]

For his part, Ray Allen, the NBA's all-time leader in 3-point conversions, has long gotten over such concerns.

"A shot is a shot, really, for me," the Heat's prime offseason acquisition said. "It's not really just the wide-open shot. It's just really how the ball's delivered to you." Allen, in fact, said the toughest part of being left open might be the waiting game. "I think if you're waiting on the 3-point line, that's probably the toughest shot," he said. "You're waiting, you're waiting, you're waiting, and then you have to kind of reposition your feet. That to me is probably the toughest shot, because there's not really a rhythm shot.

"When you catch in a rhythm, you're learning forward. So if you don't get it, you got to make sure you kind of get your momentum going back into that shot."

Other players had thoughts on why it's tougher, too, including Josh "Jorts" Harrelson remarking that he has a tendency to overthink his options when he has more time to shoot. Every bit of reasoning, though, goes back to the idea that more time disrupts a shooter's typical rhythm. Even the legendary Allen, who first says it doesn't matter, ends up arguing that having too much time to shoot can complicate things.

[Also: LeBron James might be adding the skyhook to his offensive repertoire]

Of course, while this might be an issue now, it's ultimately a really good problem to have. If the new Heatles currently have a hard time with getting more time to shoot, chances are they'll eventually adjust their expectations and get more used to it. In the long run, getting more time to shoot is obviously a good thing, and one of the perks of playing with stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all on the floor at the same time.

While it's important not to exaggerate the amount of time the Heat get to shoot — it's not as if Ray Allen will be waiting on the perimeter for two seconds before someone closes out — this is yet another area where the Heat have an advantage on other teams. Two seasons ago, one of their biggest issues was figuring out how to play LeBron and Wade together in the best possible configuration. In the end, even their problems aren't really problems.

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

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