Ball as an actual shooting threat is a compound benefit, because if defenses respect his shot it allows him to stay on the floor in fourth quarters – and thus allows Holiday to play his more natural off-guard spot. The common thread with both Ingram and Ball is Pelicans shooting coach Fred Vinson, and this isn’t his first rodeo in transforming shooters. Vinson’s work with two players we eventually had in Memphis – Quincy Pondexter and Tyreke Evans – helped transform both from perimeter non-entities to plus 3-point threats. Obviously the players’ work plays a huge role in this – Quincy in particular was an absolute gym rat, and Ball has by all indications put a lot of sweat equity into his shot. But in a league where shot fixes historically have been more easily said than done, Vinson continues to add to a pretty impressive catalog. One can’t help wonder if Williamson will be his next transformation.
May 17, 2021 | 4:43 am EDT Update
With a first-round rematch between their teams set, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic said there are no hard feelings remaining from the heated rivalry that he developed with LA Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. during last season’s playoff series. According to Doncic, Morris apologized to him during a game earlier this season about stepping on the back of Doncic’s left ankle in Game 5, a controversial play that the Mavs considered dirty with their star playing on a sprained ankle.
“He’s a hell of a player, hell of a defender,” said Doncic, who averaged 31 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game in last season’s series during his first NBA postseason. “Trash talk is always there, and if it’s not, you’re not really competing. It’s going to be great.”
When The Athletic recently asked Martins whether the team intends to extend Weltman’s contract, Martins said it is team policy not to comment publicly on contract discussions. But Martins also indicated that he and the DeVos family have been pleased with the performance of Weltman and GM John Hammond.
May 17, 2021 | 1:19 am EDT Update
Michael Scotto: LeBron James on Stephen Curry: “Everybody counted him out this year. Everybody said now that Klay (Thompson) is hurt, can Steph lead a team on his own? What’s he going to be able to do? Can he carry a team into the postseason? Can he keep a team afloat? He’s done that and more.”