Gooden also mixed up his shot selection a bit. From BrewHoop.com:
Gooden has been feasting on that 18-foot pick-and-pop jumper that teams seem content to let him shoot since Bogut went down, but on this night he did most of his damage from the interior and on the line. That said, he still shot a healthy 3-5 from mid-range and beyond.
Xavier had an impressive drive early in the second, initiating contact and drawing an and-one, which he bricked. He repeated the feat late in the fourth, but didn’t get the call. He was one of only a few Hornets who was really active all game long, and I came away feeling a bit better about his future. I still think the jumper is worse than advertised, but his passing and ball handling are a bit better.
Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta Hawks) hit 7 of 9 shots, including 3 of 5 three-pointers, for 17 points in just 22 minutes on Wednesday night. Hinrich also pulled down two rebounds, passed out four assists and stole the ball once in addition to his sweet shooting. The Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers, 97-87 (full stats here).
Josh Selby (Memphis Grizzlies) did not play (coach’s decision) on Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Grizzlies won, 85-80 (game stats here).
Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) was a surprise scratch from Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic. Chalmers sprained his left hand on Tuesday when his hand got caught in a Cleveland player’s jersey. It was the first game he’d missed all season, and the Heat could have used him. Miami lost to Orlando, 102-89 (game stats here). Chalmers shouldn’t be out long.
Brady Morningstar (NBA D-League - Tulsa 66ers) had eight points, three assists, a rebound, a steal and a block in 23 minutes on Wednesday. Morningstar was perfect from beyond the arc and sank both of his three-point attempts, but the 66ers lost, 110-98 (full stats here).
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) will participate in the 2012 NBA “Rising Stars Challenge” (formerly known as the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge) at All-Star Weekend on Feb. 24. Markieff was one of nine rookies selected for the game, which will be a little different than in years past. Traditionally, a team of rookies battled head-to-head with a team of second-year players. This year, "NBA on TNT" personalities Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will “draft” two teams from the combined pool of rookies and sophomores. That selection show will be on NBATV at 6 p.m. on Feb. 16.
Markieff’s brother Marcus tweeted his support on Wednesday:
Shout out to my brother @Keefmorris on being selected to the rookie vs soph game!!! I'm front row!!!
And the guys over at “The Basketball Jones” NBA blog/podcast gave their ... um ... insight, into where and how Markieff might be chosen:
17 . Barkley — Markieff Morris: Charles calls him “Markeith” but everyone knows who he’s talking about and kind of expected it, really.
The NBA All-Star Game reserves will be announced tonight. Look for Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) to get a nod for the Eastern Conference squad.
Grantland.com released its weekly NBA rookie rankings, and Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) fell from seventh to ninth. Sebastian Pruiti wrote:
Morris has dropped in the rankings because of his poor defense. He's in the bottom 10 percent of all NBA players in points per possession allowed in three separate defensive categories. One problem is that Morris fouls too much. He commits fouls on 11.2 percent of his total defensive possessions. He's at his worst when hedging on ball screens and defending the post, where he fouls 20.3 and 19 percent of the time, respectively. These numbers indicate that Morris is still adjusting to the speed of the NBA. He gets caught out of position too often, and once that happens the only way he can stop opponents from scoring is to foul. As Morris continues to adjust, he should find himself in better position more often and committing fewer fouls.
Turns out, it’s his comfort level:
… nowhere has Chalmers’ comfort seemingly increased more than in taking the corner three, a shot he’s making at a 54.1 percent clip, the 11th highest mark in the league (with 10 attempts), which is a 14.1 percent improvement from last season.
“Growing up, and even in college, I hated shooting in the corner,” Chalmers said. “When I first got to the NBA, a lot of my shots came from the corner. I just had to get in the gym and work on it. Me and [Video Coordinator] Dan Craig did a lot of work, and it paid off.”
The reason he hated the corner was because it was strange territory. Chalmers had spent most of his youth as a primary point guard, which meant he was usually working with the ball in his hands. When he passed, he would wait where his teammates had the most available passing lanes in case they didn’t to get the ball back to a shot creator.
“I was always working the top of the key and the wings, I didn’t really venture into the corner too much,” Chalmers said.
And his balance:
It was a common sight in the second half of last season to see Erik Spoelstra, along with assistant coaches, running Chalmers through shooting drills after practice finished. But they weren’t necessarily spot-up drills. Chalmers would catch the ball on the move, take a dribble to one side or the other, and then shoot. But as he took the dribble, Spoelstra would push Chalmers with both hands.
At the time, it seemed Spoelstra was helping Chalmers improve his ability to shoot after absorbing contact – a similar drill he ran Dwyane Wade through earlier in Wade’s career. While that certainly was part of it, the goal wasn’t entirely to make Chalmers an off-the-dribble shooter. It was also to simply work on his balance, to help his ankle and knee stop on a dime and get a shot up with consistent mechanics.
7 p.m., TNT, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the Los Angeles Lakers
8 p.m., Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Denver Nuggets
8 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the Houston Rockets
9:30 p.m., TNT, Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Sacramento Kings
6 p.m., Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the Toronto Raptors
6 p.m., Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Washington Wizards
6 p.m., Kirk Hinrich and the Atlanta Hawks vs. the Orlando Magic
6:30 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m., Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the Indiana Pacers
7 p.m., Xavier Henry and the New Orleans Hornets vs. the Portland Trailblazers
9:30 p.m., ESPN, Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Utah Jazz