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05-14-2004, 11:31 AM
Turkoglu has downsized game

By Terry Brown
NBA Insider
Thursday, May 13
Updated: May 13
12:45 PM ET

What are they putting in the water in Miami? Is Jack Nicholson calling the shots in L.A.? And why are Kerry Kittles and Kenyon Martin kissing?

Here eight questions from the NBA playoffs that you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

Is Hedo Turkoglu allergic to layups?
The San Antonio Spurs may list him as a shooting guard or small forward and he may have finished the season with the eighth-best 3-point shooting percentage in the league, but that doesn't change the fact that Hedo Turkoglu is still 6-foot-10. He is three inches taller than back-up center Malik Rose. He's only two inches shorter than starting center Rasho Nesterovic. But all he's doing these days is lofting up 3-point bombs.

Hedo Turkoglu
San Antonio Spurs

80 9.2 4.5 1.9 .406 .708

Last year, in his final season with the Kings, Hedo took 78 3-point shots of his 391 total field goal attempts. That's 20 percent of his offensive game. This year as a Spur, he increased that to 37.3 percent (241 3-point attempts of 645 total shots). In the playoffs, he's increased that even further to 50 percent. And so far in this series against the Lakers, he's at 54.2 percent. Of the 35 shots he's taken in four games, 19 of them have been from long range. And to make matters worse, in the last game, he took 14 shots and eight of them were from 3-point land. That's 57.1 percent.

What did they use to spike Caron Butler's protein drink?
Caron Butler averaged 4.8 rebounds per game this year. He's averaged five rebounds per game over his career. But now that the playoffs are in full swing, the 6-foot-7 small forward is leading the undersized Miami Heat in the category (tied with Brian Grant) at 8.7 per contest.

And it isn't as if Lamar Odom and Grant are slacking in that regard, either. Those two, playing positions above their heights and weights, are still grabbing 16.9 combined. But the boost that Butler is giving the Heat has resulted in a rebounding margin of plus 2.4 over their opponents. During the regular season, they were at plus 0.3.

Are Devean George and Kareem Rush on the Hollywood blacklist?
It's no secret that Los Angeles Lakers forward Devean George still needs pictured instructions to tie his shoes and that sub Kareem Rush still jumps any time Tim Duncan says boo. But it's also true that these two, combined, are shooting 45.1 percent from 3-point during the playoffs, going 14-for-31 against the Rockets and Spurs. The surprise is that while the rest of the Laker squad is shooting 28.7 percent from long range (23 of 80), George and Rush are getting only 3.4 total attempts per contest.

When did Jamaal Tinsley sign his deal with the Devil?

Indiana Pacers point guard Jamaal Tinsley shot 38 percent from the field as a rookie. He shot 39 percent the very next year. This season, he shot 41 percent to bring his career average to 39.3 percent. But so far in eight playoff games, the 6-foot-3 guard has made 51 percent of his shots, including an amazing 48.2 percent of his 3-pointers and has yet to miss a free throw. And it gets better. Against the Heat, he is shooting 62 percent from the field and 60 percent from long range.

Who nominated 198-pound Richard Hamilton to carry the Pistons?
Everyone knows the Pistons have trouble scoring at times. But that's why they gave Chauncey Billups, a career 40 percent shooter, the green light. That's why they picked up Rasheed Wallace. That's why they told Ben Wallace to shoot the ball. Right? Well, how come the Pistons, who took 77 shots per game during the regular season, are now taking only 75.7 during the playoffs? How come Richard Hamilton, who has taken 14.4 shots per game over his career including 14.9 this season, is taking 15.5 during these playoffs despite the reduced number of attempts by the team?

Even more curious is the type of shots he is taking. Long known as a mid-range specialist, Hamilton need only 18 3-pointers in 78 games this year to reach 1,375 points. So far in the playoffs, he's made six 3-pointers in only nine games. And after shooting 4.4 free throws per game over his career, he is now taking 6.7 per game during these same playoffs. He is taking the big shots. He is getting to the rim. Don't get me wrong, Hamilton is converting. But what are the rest of the Pistons doing?

Who died and made Chris Webber king?
During the regular season, the Sacramento Kings scored 102.8 points per game (second highest in the league to the Dallas Mavericks) on 46.2 percent shooting from the field (second best in the league to the Minnesota Timberwolves). Layups were frequent, jump shots were clear and everybody was happy to share. In fact, the Kings led the league in assist per game at a whopping 26.2 per contest led by the pivot combination of Vlade Divac and Brad Miller who combined for 9.6 assists per game.

Of course, they were in the pivot because Chris Webber was injured and only able to play 23 of their 82 games. But now that Webber is back, the roles of Miller and Divac have been reduced. They are now playing a combined 49 minutes per playoff game instead of the 65 they got during the regular season. And as a direct result, the two are totaling only 4.9 assists per game. The team is totaling 22.7 assists per game. And, no surprise, the team is now scoring 98.2 points per game on 43 percent shooting.

Are Kerry Kittles and Kenyon Martin long-lost cousins?

You know about Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin and, recently, Richard Jefferson. But now that the Nets have evened up their series with the Pistons, it's about time we noticed Kerry Kittles. Not for his shooting or his passing or the fact that the Nets passed up on Kobe Bryant to draft him. But because he is arguably playing better or as good of defense as the renowned Martin.

In fact, his 1.7 steals and one block per game are helping the Nets hold opponents to a playoff-low 38.7 percent shooting from the field and 27.9 percent shooting from long range. Remember, during the regular season, the Spurs held opponents to a league low of 40.9 percent from the field and the Pistons held opponents to a league low 30.2 percent from long range. The Nets were fifth and 18th, respectively, in those categories. But in these here playoffs, they are doing better than the Pistons and the Spurs, and Kittles is establishing new playoff marks in those categories.

Where did Trenton Hassell learn how to shoot?
He's never made more than nine baskets in a game in his professional career. He's never even tried more than 14 in a game. So we can understand why they'd refer to Trenton Hassell as a defensive specialist after all that time with the Chicago Bulls shooting 40 percent from the field and scoring 6.3 points per game over two seasons.

But in nine playoff games with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Hassell is shooting 54 percent from the field and scoring 13.5 points per game against the Kings. That's almost three times as many points he scored during the regular season when he started 74 of 81 games and tallied only five points per contest. Heck, his season high for 2004 was 15 points against the Phoenix Suns back on Jan. 25.

05-14-2004, 11:59 AM
If I were to ever meet Terry Brown... it would take all of my strenghth to not punch him. He's a :clown: :dunce: :moron: .

Hicks, I would have used a "clown" smiley here if we had one. Hint. Hint.

Oh, and the answer is simple: Chuck Person's coaching.

Really, I need a :bozo: smiley.