Aussie Update – Volume 31

tonyabbott

By JT.

A round-up of news featuring our top Aussie ballers.  

* According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, whilst the Spurs are still determined to re-sign Aron Baynes they are exploring other options.

* Brock Motum has signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz. Details of the deal are: 1st Year – $507,336 (non-guaranteed); 2nd Year – $1,045,059 (qualifying offer).

* ABC and ABC2 will be televising live all the Boomers and Team USA games and the Quarter Finals through to the Gold Medal game of the FIBA World Cup in Spain. Here’s the schedule.

* The Boomers plan to bring Dante Exum off the bench at the World Cup.

* Ben Simmons remains at No. 1 on the Rivals.com Class of 2015 Player Rankings.

* Rasheed Malek from Warriors World: “An Increased Offensive Role for Andrew Bogut is Essential”. You’re preaching to the choir, bro.

* Watch the USA vs Australia Gold Medal game in full from the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships.

* Dante Exum in NBA 2K15.

* Another episode of ‘Inside the Huddle‘.

* Bleacher Report with a couple of good features on Thon Maker and Ben Simmons.

* Some highlights of Thon Maker at the Under Armour Elite 24 practice session.

* Melbourne United have signed the Philadelphia 76ers’ second round draft pick, Jordan McRae. Here’s McRae dunking over Dante Exum at Summer League.

* SBNation with a comprehensive preview of the FIBA World Cup.

JT is the former Editor of the now defunct NBAMate. One of Australia’s original & most successful NBA blogs. You can find him on twitter @JThoopin.

Aussie Update – Volume 30

09e717ce-4995-49d8-a5b0-2a724bdb7bb3

By JT.

A round-up of news featuring our top Aussie ballers.  

* Aron Baynes is reportedly considering a return to Europe. It’s pretty clear what’s going on here. It’s a similar situation to the Eric Bledsoe/Phoenix standoff, albeit with a lot less coin at stake. Baynes is a restricted free agent so the Spurs control his rights; no other team has made an offer to force their hand so the Spurs are holding firm on the number they like ($1.1m qualifying offer); Baynes thinks he’s worth more than that; thus, we have the stalemate. I think the European option is a tactic by Baynes’ camp to try and pressure the Spurs into increasing their offer. I can’t see him leaving San Antonio but we’ll see how it plays out.

* ESPN’s draft guru Fran Fraschilla had this to say on Thon Maker after watching him dominate the Under Armour Elite 24 practices in New York: “He’s KD on offense and KG on defense.”

* Ben Simmons was voted the ‘Most Likely No. 1 NBA Draft Pick’ by his peers after the AAU season.

* From SBNation’s Pounding The Rock: ‘Patty Mills – the efficiency expert’

* Patty Mills makes a cameo in the Adelaide Crows short film entry for the Virgin Australia Film Festival. Stick to footy, fellas.

* Thunder GM Sam Presti and Aussie Steve were in Wellington recently to participate in a youth basketball camp. You can check out the press conference here. Adams was typically hilarious throughout but something else struck me there. When asked to explain the reason why Adams is not suiting up for the Tall Blacks they both gave some pretty shifty (and in Adams’ case, non-existent (at the 13:50 mark)) answers. I think the Kiwi fans deserve better than that.

* The Boomers continued their impressive play leading up to the FIBA World Cup by crushing Finland 80-57 on Friday Night.

* The boys chilling out in Barcelona.

* Dante Exum sleeping with a giant teddy bear?

* Another episode of ‘Inside the Huddle’.

* Australia were defeated 99-92 by the United States in the FIBA U17 World Championship game, earning the silver medal. Check out the highlights.

* Isaac Humphries and Dejan Vasiljevic were named to the FIBA U17 World Championship all-tournament team. Here’s some individual highlights of Humphries.

* Ben Simmons is featured in the Home Team Hoops’ “Road To Peach Jam” Documentary.

JT is the former Editor of the now defunct NBAMate. One of Australia’s original & most successful NBA blogs. You can find him on twitter @JThoopin.

Swaggy P life lessons: Left arm for tats, right arm for buckets

Yesterday Swaggy P posted this picture on Instagram of him getting some new ink and in the process dropped some of the best basketball life advice.

Previously he had only gotten tattoos with limited visibility e.g. under the jersey, but once the expansion into arm territory began, it was not without careful consideration.

Left arm, mainly used for catching, passing, hi-fives, dribbling……..useless stuff.

Right arm, for getting buckets. Shooting, 360 layups, fadeaways, scoring points. End of story

A quick scan around the league for the best “get buckets” guys or best shooters in the league, leads to some pretty conclusive evidence. KD, Steph and Ray, all great shooters/scorers/no tat right arm guys. The list goes on.

NBA shooters

As you can clearly see in the picture above, tattoo free right arms =  all the points and sweet jumpers you could want.

Swaggy is forever a student of the game.

via: Instagram

Aussie Update – Volume 29

julia gillard and the bird

By JT.

A round-up of news featuring our top Aussie ballers.  

* Australia will play the United States in the gold medal game at the FIBA under-17 world championships in Dubai after a stunning comeback win against Spain overnight. You can catch the game live on Sunday morning at 3am Australian time at www.livebasketball.tv.

* Isaac Humphries is turning heads with his dominant play at the FIBA under-17 world championships. In a recent game against Canada, Humphries tallied a record setting 41 points, 19 rebounds and 6 blocks.  

Move over Ben Simmons/Thon Maker – this young fella wants a seat at the table.

* A DraftExpress interview with Isaac Humphries.

* In a recent NCAA coaches poll, when asked which current high school player has the brightest future in the NBA, Ben Simmons ranked No. 1 with 32% of the vote and Thon Maker came in at No. 2 with 19% of the vote. Here’s some of the comments: 

On Simmons: “I feel like physically and skillset-wise, he can play right now in the league.” 

On Maker: “If he stays injury-free, he is going to be the guy Anthony Davis worries about in the league in five to six years.”

* A Ben Simmons mixtape by PrepForce.

* Check out this sweet dish from Dante Exum in the Boomers win over the Ukraine.

* A couple of new episodes of ‘Inside The Huddle’ – here and here.

* An Inside Sport Q&A with Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley.

* Bleacher Report examines how new head coach Steve Kerr can more effectively utilise Andrew Bogut in the Warriors’ offense.

* Grizz and Tizz from Downtown chat to Brett Brown.

* The Sydney Kings have signed Josh Childress.

* The Perth Wildcats have signed DeAndre Daniels. Daniels was the Toronto Raptors second round pick (No. 37) in the 2014 NBA Draft.

* The NBA schedule has been released and Dante Exum’s Utah Jazz will host the Houston Rockets in their season opener on October 29.

JT is the former Editor of the now defunct NBAMate. One of Australia’s original & most successful NBA blogs. You can find him on twitter @JThoopin.

Jamieson Welsh – Fox Sports Radio (5th & 8th August)

kevindurant1

#BTHype’s US Correspondent Jamieson Welsh jumps on with Steve Bortstein at Fox Sports 1340 AM 93.9 FM New Mexico to talk the latest news out of the NBA.

On Tuesday, Jamieson chats about Paul George’s injury & how that’s going to effect Team USA & the Indiana Pacers this year. Furthermore, Jamieson chats about whether it’s necessary for NBA players to play in FIBA & Olympic competition & the latest about Kevin Love’s potential move to Cleveland.

On Friday, Jamieson chats about the Kevin Love to the Cavs deal becoming agreed upon between Cleveland & Minnesota, Kevin Durant pulling out of the World Cup, the San Antonio Spurs signing Becky Hammon, Greg Oden’s arrest & how the Team USA roster may look like in Spain.

 Jamieson Welsh is a #BTHype US Correspondent & will be covering games across the West Coast for believethehypeNBA.com this season. Follow him on Twitter:@theejamieson

Aussie Update – Volume 28

australia-open

By JT.

A round-up of news featuring our top Aussie ballers.

* The Boomers rallied from behind to defeat Finland 100-95 in their first World Cup warm-up game. Dante Exum suffered a mild ankle sprain and is being closely monitored before today’s game against Ukraine.

* Another coup for Basketball Australia – they’ve signed a two-year agreement with Virgin Australia to be the Official Airline of the Boomers, Opals and Basketball Australia.

* Here’s some great footage produced by BA showing the Boomers travelling to Lithuania.

* The Boomers are playing 9 games across Europe in their lead up to the World Cup. That seems a bit much to me. You’d think 4-5 would be sufficient.

* The Downtown boys chat to Matthew Dellavedova. During the chat Delly revealed that the Cavs have guaranteed his contract for next season.

* A DraftExpress interview with Thon Maker at the adidas Nations Global event in Long Beach, California. Seems like he has a good head on his shoulders.

* Thon Maker had 18 points and 8 rebounds to lead his team to the championship at adidas Nations. He was named MVP of the tournament.

* A Basketball Insiders interview and feature on Thon Maker.

* Australia’s top high school prospects impress at adidas Nations.

* Brock Motum is getting closer towards achieving his NBA dream.

* Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder on Dante Exum: “I think he’s a special kid.

* Brett Brown will hold a free coaching seminar in Warrnambool on Sunday.

* Tom caught up with Andrej Lemanis and Dante Exum at Sydney Airport before they flew out for their World Cup preparations.

* Julian de Stoop got some payback on Patty Mills and Aron Baynes.

JT is the former Editor of the now defunct NBAMate. One of Australia’s original & most successful NBA blogs. You can find him on twitter @JThoopin.

Q&A with Andrej Lemanis

andrejlemanis

Today I quickly caught up with Andrej Lemanis before he flew out to Europe with the Australian Boomers squad to begin their nine game preparation for the Basketball World Cup in Spain.

He spoke about what we can expect from the Aussies on the court, who’s been the stand-out improver over the last 12 months since the Oceania Championships & what he expects from the upcoming warm-up games.

Flying out today Andrej… How’s the preparation been for the team?

Yeah, I’m happy where we’ve landed with the group. It’s always a difficult task to get down to the final twelve. There’s always some good players who miss out but I think that’s a great reflection on the strength of Australian basketball. Looking forward now to playing some games!

I guess that’s the beauty of this year in comparison to previous years, obviously this is your first World Cup, but it seems like the cuts were more difficult to make this year.

Yeah they were & that’s, I think the worst part of my job… Telling someone that’s given their everything at a camp & is a good player, that unfortunately you didn’t make the team. Everyone that’s made the team has deserved their spot on the group. I think we’ve got a group that will play the right way & the chemistry will be good. Looking forward to seeing how we go in these preparation games.

What can we expect from this team at this World Cup in terms of style? Is it going to be a lot of transition, fast paced basketball or a lot of half-court sets… or do you not want to give it away too early?

Well hopefully we’ll get the mix right. I think that’s one of the things we haven’t got right as a nation in the past. Obviously we’re good in the open court & you want to get out & get the easy scores out of transition but it’s understanding when that opportunity has ceased & we’d need to play with a bit of poise at the offensive end. I think that’s going to be a part of our challenge & development over this next nine game period is having a great understanding of that.

Defensively, we’ve always been a very tough defensive nation. But, I suppose it’s about being smart with our disruption up the floor & how we attack from a tactical point of view.

Yeah, the back-court is seriously good defensively this year. Are we going to see a lot of presses?

Well, I think that’s my style anyway & the style of Australian basketball to ‘get up’. Whilst there will be a lot of full-court defense, I don’t necessarily call it ‘press’… For me it’s a bit more about disruption & being smart. You know, do you take it out of one guys hands, do you make an on-ball handler handle it… How can you stop the other team from just coming down running their offense at the rhythm they are used to running it? That’s what we’ll be trying to get done.

Your first major tournament was the Oceania Championships… A few of the guys like Dante Exum & Cameron Bairstow, you really saw for the first time there in a competition setting. How have you been happy with how some of these young guys have developed in the last 12 months?

Yeah for sure, Bairstow’s a fantastic example for someone who came into the Boomers program last year for the first time & that really accelerated his development. He went back to New Mexico & had an outstanding senior year there & has now ended up being drafted into the NBA which is a fantastic result for him. Just watching him throughout the season you could see that he’s certainly started to elevate his game & again that’s transferred into how he performed at the camp.

In the warm up games in Eastern Europe & then (not much of a seaside vacation in) Nice, what to you expect to see from the team in terms of preparation for the tournament & especially the first game against Slovenia?

That’s really important for us, those games. That’s something we really identified as a group last year the need to go get quality games & that’s why we’re leaving so early to go to Europe so we can get in these nine games. That’s where all your preparation is, you find out about where your weaknesses are, what works for you, understanding your rotations as a group, who plays together well… Guys start to understand say, ‘Delly get’s two fouls early, I need to come in’ & sort of get that synergy working.

Thanks Andrej, have a safe flight mate & good luck!

Thanks, appreciate it.

Australia’s warm-up games vs Ukraine (16th August), Philippines (17th August) & France (18th & 25th August) will be LIVE on ESPN. For channel & timing information click here.