Jeff Van Gundy, Daryl Morey Call Out T-Mac for Not Working Hard Enough

Tracy McGrady has been in the league since 1997 when he was drafted 9th overall by the Toronto Raptors. He forced his way out of Toronto after three years and went to Orlando where he led the league in scoring twice. Though T-Mac’s scoring ability and talent is undeniable, there have always been two knocks against him: he could never get out of the playoffs, and more recently, he’s been unable to stay healthy.

McGrady’s disappointing career path makes one wonder what could have been for the man who once averaged 32.1 points per game (!!!) in a season. Apparently his former coach Jeff Van Gundy and Houston’s GM, Daryl Morey still feel the same way.

Both men were in attendance for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and the subject was Malcolm Gladwell’s book that surmises it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve greatness in a given field. According to Zach Lowe of SI who was there for the conference, both men used T-Mac as an example of underachieving.

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LeBron James and Dwyane Wade Have Struggled in the Clutch, Stats Confirm

The Miami Heat have two of the best closers in the game today in Dwyane Wade and LeBron James yet they struggle to maintain late leads and close out games.  This is counterintuitive considering how great both LeBron and Dwyane have been throughout their careers in the “clutch.” Their struggles have played out in front of millions and they need to correct this if they ever want to win the NBA Championship.

The 4th quarter collapse to the Orlando Magic Thursday night summed up Miami’s struggles this season. The Heat was up as much as 24 points in the 3rd quarter but they allowed a 22-7 run to the Magic. From that point, you could see the train wreck developing in slow-motion. Miami carried a 9-point lead into the 4th but you could see the twist at the end developing. This game was building up to be a culmination of Miami’s season long struggles. You knew that at one point, LeBron was going to get a chance to take a game winning or saving shot and that he was going to come up short.

And it played out exactly like that.

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GTBA Trick Shot Video: Something Other Than Football

In keeping with the recent flood of trick shot videos we’ve given you here at LBS, I give you this video courtesy of a couple of players from General Tso’s Basketball Association:

GTBA is a rec. league in Indianapolis made up of teams such as Panda X, the Ninja Stars, the Kamikazees and, my personal favorite, Hadouken. Some of the shots look fairly pedestrian as far as trick shots go — more standard H.O.R.S.E than real trick shot — but the last two are pretty impressive. At least it’s not another football video.

Thanks to gtbasketball for the video.

Did Chris Bosh Cry After Miami Heat Blew 24-Point Lead to Orlando?

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh was called the Rupaul of the NBA by notorious teaser Shaquille O’Neal long before he became the third wheel in Miami’s big two plus one. When he was with Toronto, Bosh was under-the-radar and not too well known, but now he’s in the public eye with Miami and we’re getting a glimpse of who he really is. Let’s just say it’s not a pretty picture.

Bosh’s numerous questionable moves this season include:

His latest perceived atrocity includes getting emotional and somewhat teary-eyed during Miami’s post-game press conference after blowing a 24-point lead to the Magic Thursday night. Here’s a video courtesy of Jose3030 via Jocks and Stiletto Jill:

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Fennville High’s Wes Leonard Collapses and Dies After Making Game-Winning Shot

There was an absolute tragedy on Thursday night in Fenneville, Michigan when high school basketball player Wes Leonard collapsed and died after making the winning shot in his team’s game. Leonard had just made the layup that gave Fennville the lead in overtime and sealed their perfect 20-0 season. Fans rushed the floor and Leonard collapsed shortly after making the winning shot. He was taken to the hospital where the 16-year-old was pronounced dead.

Opposing coach Mike Miller of Bridgeman High said Leonard was “by far the best player on that basketball team – outstanding athlete.” In addition to scoring over 1,000 points in his career for Fennville, Leonard played quarterback on the football team, having thrown for seven touchdown passes in a game in October.

We’ve seen tragic stories before of athletes passing away during games, but this has to rank as one of the most sad and bizarre. Wes happens to be the second Fennville athlete to die recently as wrestler Nathaniel Hernandez died in January last year after suffering a seizure at home following his participation in a high school wrestling match.

It’s truly a sad story and LBS’ thoughts and prayers are with Leonard’s family and the Fennville community. Here’s some video from Thursday night’s game courtesy of WOODTV. You can see that Leonard was a player:

Danny Ainge Should Be Thanked for Making Kendrick Perkins Trade

When Danny Ainge dealt Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder the basketball world felt pure shock. As a fan of the Boston Celtics, I felt pure rage. Even Lakers fans were left in disbelief over what had transpired at the trade deadline. Why would Danny pull off a last second deal that may disturb the balance of the universe and cause the New England commonwealth to cave in upon itself? I decided to give it a few games as see what other moves Danny had planned before I crowned him the new Joe Dumars of the NBA.

A week has passed and the dust has settled. A few games and the new-look Boston Celtics look good. In fact, they look better. We shouldn’t just forgive Danny Ainge for moving Perkins, we should thank him.

Part of the reason Perkins was moved was because he had turned down a 4-year, $22-million offer from the Celtics. Perkins believed his value to be $10-million per year and the Celtics front office disagreed. The other key in the trade was Marquis Daniels going down with a neck injury. This left Boston with no backup small forward to help relieve Paul Pierce of his duties. Afraid that Boston and Pierce would burn out before the Finals and Perkins would leave shortly thereafter as a free agent, Ainge pulled the trigger. The move had two purposes: Try and salvage as much of this season as possible as well as help cushion the teams decline in the post-Big 3 era.

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Channing Frye Abused By Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and the Boston Celtics

The last time the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns met, the boys from the West had their way with the Green Machine.  The only noteworthy moment of Kevin Garnett’s night was when he gave Channing Frye a jimmy tap that sent the Suns into an uproar.  Other than that, the Suns looked like a much better team.  Wednesday night at the Garden was a completely different story.

The Celtics came out with the type of chip on their shoulder that’s usually reserved for Game 7 of the playoffs.  Much like the time he called Charlie Villanueva a cancer patient, K.G. felt he had done nothing wrong when the two teams last met.  He was determined to silence Phoenix by balling up, and that’s exactly what Boston’s vocal leader did.

Garnett completely abused Frye from the opening tip, scoring 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting and grabbing 11 boards.  Had the Celtics not jumped out to such a significant lead, the damage would have been worse.  Toward the end of the game, Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry was seen jawing at Garnett from the bench.  K.G. would later tell reporters that Gentry was asking him for tickets to the first round of the playoffs.

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