SH Blog: Joakim Noah calls Thibodeau style “dictatorship”, Rubio return on the horizon

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  • Kendrick Perkins rates his team an eight out of 10, from Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld: “On a scale of one to ten, I’d say we’re about an eight,” Perkins said of this year’s Thunder. “We have a lot of new guys and a lot of young guys so we’re just trying to build our chemistry one game at a time. The thing is we lost a lot of veteran guys. We have a lot of talented guys, but they’re not as experienced. We just have to make sure we follow the process and keep getting better. We’re all growing together,” Perkins added. “We have to be a better defensive team all-around. We have to do a better job of cutting down on our turnovers. We have to do a better job of executing our offense. We have to get better at the little things like talking on defense, setting good screens, cutting even when you’re not getting the ball so that someone else gets an open shot. Those are the things that don’t show up in the box scores, but those are the things that help teams win championships. Those are the things that we’re striving to get better at.”
  • Drew Gooden has been a good teammate while being out of the rotation, but the team may still be looking to move him, according to Gery Woelfel of Journal Times: “If Drew Gooden is upset about being on the inactive list, he’s doing a whale of a job hiding it. The veteran power forward has said nary a negative word about his demotion. What’s more, he’s been constantly encouraging his teammates in practices and games. Sunday afternoon, after all his teammates and coaches had left the premises, Gooden spent nearly a half hour mentoring young big man Larry Sanders. “I’m not a selfish person and I’m not a selfish teammate,” Gooden said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help the team. Right now, I’m trying to help the team vocally in any way I can.” The Bucks don’t comment on trade speculation but the scuttlebutt around the league is the team is trying to move the 31-year-old Gooden, who is being paid $6.68 million for this season and the next two seasons as well.
  • Marcus Thompson of Contra Costa Times explains why it’s time for Harrison Barnes to be featured more for the Warriors: “Harrison Barnes needs the ball more. No, not because he got that spectacular dunk. But because he is one of the Warriors’ most complete offensive players. He only took seven shots Saturday, which is tied for fifth most, and only one more than Draymond Green. It’s time Barnes’ role in the offense increases. And not just give him the ball on the side. But the Warriors need to devise some things to take advantage of Barnes’ strengths, which are finishing and mid-range looks. Barnes is the Warriors’ best athlete. He finishes strong when he’s near the basket. He’s a solid mid-range shooter. He runs the break pretty well. Among the healthy regulars, his 47.5 field goal percentage is second only the Carl Landry. It just seems like he’s not being maximized.”
  • George Karl does not love all the youth on his roster, from The Denver Post: “Before Sunday’s game, Nuggets coach George Karl was asked hypothetically what advice he’d give to the New Orleans staff and their young team. With a chuckle, Karl said: “I don’t know if I’d be going to me right now, because my roster is driving me crazy. But (advice would be) communication, consistency, demand and teach them how to be a committed pro. And the wins will come. They have injuries to Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon. That’s two of your top three right there not playing.”
  • Kevin McHale’s daughter Sasha passed away over the weekend, and all of our thoughts are with her and her family. Here is something about her that many may not have known: “She played varsity for Totino-Grace High School for three years and made honorable mention all-state in 2008, the year her team won the Class 3A state title. ”She was an outstanding basketball player and the life of the locker room,” said Shannon Hartinger, her coach at Totino-Grace for three years. “She was a joy to be around. You could tell she loved to play basketball.” During her playing career, Sasha McHale wore the same No. 32 that her Hall of Fame dad wore while he played for the Celtics in the 1980s. Hartinger said that despite her father’s fame, Sasha never felt pressured to play basketball to live up to the family legacy. ”It was a complete non-issue,” Hartinger said Sunday. “She was like her dad, everything rolled off her back. They were a very close family.”
  • Udonis Haslem has become the all-time leader in total rebounds for the Heat, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today: “Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called him his favorite player. Former Heat center Alonzo Mourning said there was maybe one other player he wanted below the basket on his team fighting for a rebound. Heat guard Dwyane Wade called him the Mayor of South Florida. They are talking about veteran Heat forward Udonis Haslem, who became the franchise’s all-time leading rebounder last week, surpassing Mourning. After the Heat’s 110-108 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday, Haslem has 4,819 rebounds – all with Miami.”

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