David Lee’s key to any defensive improvement, as he’s often struggled in a defensively important position. Bigs tend to matter more on D, as the art is about occupying space. Lee has especially poor agility when hedging back towards the paint from the perimeter, so the sink strategy was meant to mitigate that flaw. Kirk Goldsberry’s Lee-skewering Sloan paper on interior defense, titled “The Dwight Effect,” came at the right time for Kirk and the wrong time for D-Lee. The Warriors were imploding defensively and Lee was getting plenty of blame. After the victory, I asked Lee for his thoughts on the paper: “At this point I could care less. I’ve worked hard to improve my defense. I think I’m a much better defensive player today than I was a year ago and definitely to start my career. There’s a lot of different numbers to support a lot of different things. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say me putting up 20 and 10 doesn’t matter because ‘numbers don’t matter,’ but at the same time, ‘charts at MIT matter.’ You can’t have it both ways.”
January 17, 2022 | 11:30 am EST Update
Anthony Chiang: After today’s morning shootaround, Max Strus says Bam Adebayo has been working as part of the scout team while he has been out. “I’m glad we don’t have to deal with that anymore,” Strus jokes.
Nick DePaula: Langston Galloway is launching his debut LG 1 shoe from his own @EthicsTheBrand today. “My work ethic has gotten me to this point in my career. But the ethics started since I was a kid to becoming a grown-up, living out my life and living out my dreams.” — @Langston Galloway
On Sunday night, Karl-Anthony Towns sat at the postgame podium — the collar on his black jacket riding high on his shoulders with a colorful diamond necklace glittering — and dissected how he views the new Minneapolis ordinance that will soon require fans at Target Center to provide either proof of COVID-19 vaccine or a negative test taken within 72 hours of game time. “The city of Minneapolis is doing what they feel is right for the people,” Towns said. “The legislation of the government here is supposed to do what’s right for the people and they feel that people having the vaccine will make everyone healthier and give everyone a better chance to get through this pandemic with less casualties and problems.”
The 26-year-old said after Sunday’s game that while he applauds the decision by Minneapolis to enforce a vaccine ordinance, he still views the pandemic through a lens of personal accountability. “With everything I have been through and everything my friends and people I love have been through, I am always going to be an advocate for the vaccine,” he said. “It saved many lives in my family. And the lives I did lose, we all wish we could have got them the vaccine.”
January 17, 2022 | 10:48 am EST Update
James Edwards III: The Pistons have assigned Jerami Grant to the Motor City Cruise as he begins on-court work following thumb surgery on Dec. 16, sources tell @TheAthletic. No timetable for a return yet.