SH Blog: Bynum says Kobe stunted his growth, believes Lakers traded No. 1 center for No. 2

  • Jeremy Lin shared thoughts about his anticipated return to MSG, from Marc Berman of New York Post: “Asked to assess his season, Lin said: “Terrible. I think I’m not doing close to what I’m capable of doing and it’s a matter of figuring out how to get myself to play more like myself within the system with the change of scenery. I’ll be my harshest critic but I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m doing terrible.’’… “Definitely, I’m definitely ready to get it over with just because I think in some sense there will be some closure,’’ Lin said. “This will probably be the first return back to MSG and there will never be another first return. So we’re going to go out there and play and have some fun and enjoy it and move on.’’
  • Erik Spoelstra is not happy with the overall play of his team and cited many possible reasons for the Heat’s recent lapses, from to Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald: “For the past three weeks, Spoelstra has preached to his players about the importance of consistency and “playing to our identity.” So far, the Heat’s players haven’t responded the way Spoelstra would like. The Heat was 3-3 in the month of December before Saturday’s game against the Wizards. “We have 10 or so possessions where we’re not playing the way we’re capable of,” Spoelstra said. “Either it’s an effort issue or a concentration issue or guys not on the same page or one man checking out and breaking down mentally, and this is something that is correctable.”
  • Some of the Knicks players expect the fans to give Lin an ovation, from Steve Popper of The Record: “I think they’re going to give him a heck of an ovation,” Steve Novak said of the fans. “I would be shocked if it was anything else. Unless everybody changed their mind and hates him, I think he’s one of those guys that people are going to remember for his time here… “What Jeremy did was amazing, was great,” said Raymond Felton, who has taken over the starting point guard role for the Knicks. “I’m happy for him. He got his money. He’s in Houston, the starting point guard in Houston. … “But it’s time to move on. We’re 18-5. We’re 10-0 at home, so there’s no need to talk about that no more. … They should give him a standing ovation when he comes back here, without a doubt. He deserves nothing more, but that for sure.”
  • Jose Calderon declared the Raptors are his team after Sunday’s win over the Rockets, from Doug Smith of The Star: “I made up my mind, I want to be the guy, I’m here, this is my team,” said the eight-year vet, the longest-serving player on the roster. “I’m going to go out there and be the guy asking for nothing. I want to win with this team until somebody says something different, it doesn’t matter how long I’m on the court, it doesn’t matter how many minutes I play, I’m here to help my teammates and help this team win games.”… At some point you have to start having fun and try to play basketball and not worry about every mistake you make,” said Calderon, who helped ice the game with five clutch free throws in the final minute.”
  • Isaiah Thomas does not understand why he is constantly in and out of the lineup, according to Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee: “Asked Saturday if he’d prefer to have a clear idea of when he’ll enter games, Thomas answered, “Wouldn’t you? I would. But I mean, that’s coach’s decision, and I’m a team guy, so I just go with whatever he chooses. I mean, I’ll always know I’m going to stay ready, no matter what.” Asked if he understands the reasoning behind the platoon, Thomas said, “I don’t. I don’t. But I mean, I can’t control that. I can only control if I do get my name called to make an impact in the game.” Smart said his hope is that all three guards “can keep putting pressure on each other to get better.” He said he likes Brooks as a starter with experience and the lineup Brooks helps create.”
  • Deron Williams explained the reason behind his shooting woes, and touched up on his team’s poor chemistry on offense. Stefan Bondy of Daily News has the details: “I think it’s mostly mental with me. It’s become mental,” Williams said recently. “I’ve tried getting up extra shots, I’ve tried not shooting so I don’t think about it. I tried shooting before games, not shooting before games, so I hopefully I snap out of it.”… “We’re not going to blame the inconsistency on (injuries),” Williams said. “I don’t know what the reason is.”… “We really as a whole unit haven’t really clicked offensively all season as far as everybody being on the same page, just working for a full game,” Williams said. “We’ve had bits and pieces, have guys be hot, guys not be hot. We haven’t had everybody on the same page all year.”
  • Williams then went into detail about how he is a system player, from Kristie Ackert of Daily News: “I’ve really had injuries I’ve been dealing with the whole time,” Williams said. “I didn’t have the talent around me I did there. Their system was a great system for my style of play. I am a system player. I loved coach (Jerry) Sloan’s system there, I loved the offense there.”… “I grew up in high school, my coach wasn’t one of those guys who would just throw out the ball and let us play,” Williams said. “We were a system team. We had a staple of plays that we relied on. We were good at execution. In college (at Illinois), we ran the motion offense. A lot of cutting, a lot passing, a lot of screening, a lot of extra passes. I’m used to just movement. So I’m still trying to adjust. It’s been an adjustment for me.”

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