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Nikola Vucevic Posterizes Pau Gasol with Vicious Dunk

Not only did Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic help my daily lineup cash last night to the tune of 33 points, 11 rebounds, and nearly 58 fantasy points, but he also made mince meat out of Pau Gasol on this dunk that you might be able to watch 5,786,904 times and still let out a little chuckle.

RIP, Pau.

R-I-P.

Cavs Coach David Blatt Says Kevin Love “Isn’t a Max Player”

After being torched by the Sacramento Kings 96-71, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt had an interesting exchange with a reporter.

Sunday night’s loss to the Kings marked the Cavalier’s fifth straight.

Yippee!

Stephen Curry Pulls Off Beautiful Dribble Drive and Score

Oh, Steph Curry — why you gotta be so filthy?

This lovely slow-motion clip gives us just enough to see the reverse between-the-legs dribble draw in Russell Westbrook like a fish to a shiny lure, before Steph puts the cherry on top with an ever so pretty finger roll, surely too gorgeous to draw any contention from a hypnotized Steven Adams.

For hoops fans, this is an orange purpleish sunset cast upon the cool blue lake — simply breathtaking.

The Curious Case of Casual Rasual [Butler]

Rasual Butler Edited

Here’s a piece from numberFire about Wizards small forward Rasual Butler and how his scoring efficiency is a big part of Washington’s success this season.

* * *

Following a trip to the conference semifinals last year, there were plenty of people on board believing the Wizards were a strong threat in the East this season. John Wallanother year older, the addition of Paul Pierce, bringing back Marcin Gortat, cushioning the front court — all strong moves pushing this Washington team in the right direction within an otherwise unguarded conference.

But whether irregular hoops fan or die hard Wizards supporter, those same people couldn’t have predicted the impressive/influential/[insert positive adjective here] production from 35-year-old journeyman Rasual Butler – the last guy added to Randy Wittman’s roster in late October. No one saw it coming, and even Butler’s own calmness on the court would insinuate he didn’t either.

Despite John Wall’s name being a common piece of discussion these days, Butler’s 6.4 nERD is second on the team behind only Gortat (7.1), and the 13-year vet who was out of basketball just two years ago is leading the team in multiple categories, including offensive rating (126), three-point field goal percentage (.534), and win shares per 48 minutes (.194) while averaging just over 21 minutes in 20 games.

The floor general doesn’t go unnoticed, though. As he’s done in the past, Wall has been a master at finding his shooters, and he’s a key factor in the equation that results in Butler seeing more than four feet between he and his defender this season, with an average shot distance of nearly 17.5 feet.

And Butler isn’t just standing out amongst his teammates. Stack him up against other guys (at all positions) this season and you may be surprised. Of players with at least 400 minutes this season, Butler ranks top-10 in offensive rating and true shooting percentage (.682), while posting an 18.9 PER that puts him right in line with guys like Monta Ellis and Kevin Love.

Player Ortg (Rank) 3P% (Rank) TS% (Rank) WS/48 (Rank) OBPM (Rank)
Rasual Butler, 2014-15 126 (7) .534 (6) .682 (6) .194 (12) 3.2 (17)

When the Wizards lost Trevor Ariza to free agency last summer, there was concern regarding who would fill the void on both ends of the floor – an efficient long-range scorer, as well as an effective defender. The Wizards got some of both by signing veteran Paul Pierce, and then received a heaping bonus on offense by making the last-minute decision to add Butler to the squad. He comes in, plays smart, knocks down shots, and stays cool. It’s almost a case of blink and you might miss him.

It’s still early in the curious case of casual Rasuala, but having a savvy and efficient scorer like him coming off the bench is a solid element as to why the Wizards currently sit at second place in the Eastern Conference.

  1. I’m still not entirely sure why I prefer this title or reference when it comes to Butler’s play this season. It’s mostly to do with how no one saw this coming, combined with the fact that he does big things on the court and rarely ever gets emotional — making everything appear, just, casual.  (back)

Iggy Iguodala > Iggy Azalea?

Andre Iguodala was slapped with a technical foul last night after reenacting what he thought the referees (blatantly) missed.

Little did he know he was creating a social media storm a surrounding who’s the better dancer: Iggy Iguodala, or pop star Iggy Azalea?

  1. Totally just made this part up. To my knowledge, there’s no social media storm.  (back)

Love Marcin Gortat Because He Loves Chick-fil-A

I want to get chicken, too, of course. I mean, just because I play, I can’t get chicken? Whoever is listening, I want 12 nuggets, double Chick-fil-A sauce, and the sandwich No. 4 with pepper jack cheese. … I think it’s totally fine. I hope there’s gonna be other companies that’s gonna give out different things in the third quarter, the second and the first, so then we’re gonna have even more crowd, and the crowd’s gonna be even louder. I love that. I’m with them. I’m on the wagon. I wanna get free chicken.

How can you not love Marcin Gortat?

It’s also reassuring to know that one of the most beloved athletes in town recognizes quality condiments. Chick-fil-A sauce is boss.

For the entire story behind this quote, as well as the Wizards’ fourth-quarter Chick-fil-A promotion at Verizon Center, check out this awesome article by Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post.

h/t @HoopDistrictDC for the Vine of Gortat demanding Chick-fil-A from the sidelines.

 

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