Outlet Mall

Thanks again to Gordon for a post that goes from Cleveland to Milwaukee and ends up in the future in Atlanta.

Someone other than the authors of this blog has taken notice of Kevin Love’s ridiculous outlet passes. Check out this video on the Cavs’ website to see the best outlet passer in the NBA at work. (Is it just me, or do the Cavs manage to work a whole lot of LeBron James into a video that is supposed to be about Love?)

Love has a unique skill which appears to create a couple fast break opportunities every night. That would help out any offense. Now if the Cavs could only come up with a better color scheme – they might just get my vote for worst uniforms in the NBA.

Love’s teammate Kyrie Irving’s first signature sneaker just released on December 6.  The notable thing about this is that they are available (for now) exclusively from NikeiD. As far as I know, this is a first.  Nike signature sneakers usually release in a couple of colorways, including a team colorway, before hitting NikeiD.  Apparently Nike thinks that no one wants to buy sneakers in the Cavs colors.  That being said, the first signature colorway, “Dream,” which is set to release on December 23, looks nice, but is not a strictly Cavs team colorway:

In old highlights news, “The Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo has been putting on a show lately. In a game against the Heat on December 5, his full range of abilities was on display as he dunked all over Chris Bosh and grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the floor for a layup.

Just look how much ground he covered in those last two steps before the layup. Ridiculous!  And I’m pretty sure his arm was growing as he dunked on Bosh. Maybe Antetokounmpo is really Inspector Gadget. I’m looking forward to seeing him and the Bucks take on the Hawks in Atlanta on December 26.

I respectfully disagree and kind of enjoy the Cavs’ kits, but even though de gustibus non est disputandum, I think everyone can agree that the current uniforms are a vast improvement over those from the second half of the 1990′s.

Leftovers

In keeping with the recent policy of providing highlights past their sell-by date, and as a token of my appreciation to contributing editor Gordon Jones, Kevin Love threw a ridiculous outlet pass to LeBron James on the Monday before last. Click here to watch it on NBA.com.

Watch closely: that’s a chest pass that travels about 80 feet in the air. Give that a try next time you’re waiting a turn at your pick-up game.

Interestingly, however, that outlet did not make NBA.com’s top ten plays for November 17:

I’m sure Shabazz Napier is pleased; perhaps his impressive outlet to Heat teammate James Ennis, which clocked in at number six, kept Love and LeBron out of the top ten. (In fairness, LeBron was not shut out entirely – see #8).

As if being unfollowed weren’t punishment enough.

Highlights: A Dish Best Served Cold

For no good reason, I give you highlights more than a fortnight old: the NBA.com top ten plays from November 9, 2014. Behold:

Long-time readers (I know you’re out there) will be pleased to note the appearances of It Goes to XI favorites like the Manimal, Kenneth Faried (checking in at #7 after chasing down Wesley Matthews of the Blazers) and preferred eBay customer Mason Plumlee (earning the #2 spot for working the pick and roll with Deron Williams and introducing Aaron Gordon to the league).

For what it’s worth, Sixers rookie KJ McDaniels deserved better than #6 for that vicious rejection of Greivis Vasquez. McDaniels, a Clemson product, is an impressive shot blocker, ranking 33rd in the league per NBA.com with 1.2 blocks per game (while playing only 22.7 minutes per game). Not bad for a guy listed at 6’6″.

Leading the league in blocks per game this season is Anthony Davis at 3.5 per contest. This represents a marked improvement over last season, when Davis led the league at a mere 2.8 per. Should he continue his present pace for the entire season, however, Davis would not even crack the top 25 list for NBA shot-blocking seasons (on a per-game basis). In order to do that, Davis would have to beat the 3.72 blocks per game posted by Alonzo Mourning in the 1999-2000 season.

A look at that top 25 list is surprising in that four of the top 15 seasons belong to Mark Eaton of the Utah Jazz. In 1984-85, Eaton notched the best single-season average in NBA history, rejecting an unprecedented 5.56 shots per game; no one else has ever averaged more than five over a single season. (In fairness to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, blocks were not an official statistic until the 1973-74 season).

Eaton: the prototype?