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Kemba Walker Produces Like Jonny Flynn Did; Should NBA Teams Be Wary? – SB Nation (blog)

Kemba Walker made a magnificent shot to seal a UConn Big East Tournament game win on Thursday, drawing oohs from not just college ball fans, but from observers who hope Walker will do the same next season for their favorite NBA team. Walker is considered a fairly sure bet as a lottery pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, figuring to fall anywhere between about No. 4 and No. 12.


Oddly enough, that was Jonny Flynn’s range back in 2009 after the small point guard led Syracuse through the Big East and to the Big Dance on a parade of exclamatory finishes. Flynn ended up going No. 6 to the Timberwolves, just behind the bigger Tyreke Evans (the eventual Rookie of the Year) and the more wispy Ricky Rubio (still in Spain). Flynn has been, for a number of reasons, pretty close to an unmitigated failure in Minnesota. Coaching and injury have helped, but the Wolves would like a re-do on that pick, no question.

That’s where things with Walker get a bit tricky, because in their core metrics, Kemba and Jonny are really, really alike. But there’s one stat where they differ enough to give Walker fans in NBA circles some comfort.

Flynn’s final season with the Orange was his sophomore year; he was 19 years old. Walker is 20. So Walker should be a bit more advanced than Flynn was in 2008-09. As it turns out, Walker produces at a higher level than did Flynn, at least in terms of raw production. Walker is averaging 23 points per game; Flynn finished his sophomore year around 17. Both soaked up a ton of their team’s offense;’s stats show a usage rate of 25 percent for Flynn and 30 percent for Walker. So again, Kemba is doing more.

But Flynn shot more efficiently — a .567 True Shooting percentage vs. Walker’s middling .537 rate — and distributed more assists (6.7 per game vs. 4.3). Flynn was more of a natural point guard, which, when you’re barely 6-foot (in shoes), matters. Walker’s 6-1, and 6-1 two-guards don’t have a wonderful history of success in the NBA. You at least need a strong passing streak; Evans has arguably failed as an NBA point guard, and his assist rate in college was 30 percent. Walker’s is 26.7. If Tyreke is a two-guard, there’s no reason to believe Walker will be a point.

So there’s that — Walker is far less a point guard than Flynn was, but scores more, but does so less efficiently. If there’s a saving grace in Walker’s NBA fate beyond vast personal improvement or some heretofore unseen UConn effect that is preventing Kemba from being as point-guardly as he could be, it’s that Walker rarely turns over the ball despite his massive usage rate.

Walker averages two turnovers a game for a turnover rate of 10.4. Flynn’s turnover rate was nearly double that … and that’s been a big problem at the NBA level. Evans has arguably suffered from the same issue; he can pass just fine, but when he does, it too often results in a turnover, which leads to Evans passing less frequently to avoid such. Walker doesn’t turn the ball over. That reality could — could — allow him to be enough of a passing factor to make up for his size issues, which will serve to harm his ability to finish in the lane, get clean looks against NBA defenders and defend longer guards.

Whether Kemba becomes the next Flynn in the NBA or not, he’s a thrilling player to watch right now, so enjoy him. This Walker may not be around much longer.

This post was edited for clarity.

Continue reading here: Kemba Walker Produces Like Jonny Flynn Did; Should NBA Teams Be Wary? – SB Nation (blog)

PFT: USC players banned from Griffen’s SB party

Ben Roethlisberger

The discussion Bills WR Andre Reed’s Hall of Fame candidacy included a discussion of the overall backlog of receivers on the ballot.

Someone involved in the Dolphins coaching search reportedly found Mike Tomlin “too hip hop” in 2007.

Patriots players have a higher opinion of the field at Gilette Stadium than they did in past seasons.

Curtis Martin said that he’d feel okay about waiting to go into the Hall of Fame until 2012 if he gets to go in alongside Bill Parcells, his coach with the Jets and Patriots.

The length of practices became an issue for the Ravens toward the end of the season.

Brian Billick talks about the Bengals’ decision to hire Jay Gruden as their offensive coordinator.

WR Carlton Mitchell could still be part of the offensive plans for the Browns.

Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes QB Ben Roethlisberger will pay back his teammates for standing behind him on Sunday night.

Finding similarities between the Texans and the Super Bowl participants.

A look back at the first playoff step toward a Super Bowl title for the Colts.

The Jaguars are the last team to earn a victory over the Steelers in the postseason.

Some speculation about the Titans taking a look at Packers backup QB Matt Flynn during the offseason.

TE Shannon Sharpe hopes that more former Broncos join him in the Hall of Fame.

Former Chiefs and Saints T Willie Roaf’s Hall of Fame candidacy was discussed for 11 minutes on Saturday.

Former Raiders WR Tim Brown’s chances of getting into the Hall of Fame don’t figure to get better next year.

Chargers tight ends coach Jason Michael is part of a Kentucky coaching tree.

Deion Sanders made the Hall of Fame, but the Cowboys may owe more to classmate Ed Sabol.

Giants LB Michael Boley had right shoulder surgery at the end of the season.

Former Redskins LB Chris Hanburger was asked about his clothesline tackling after getting voted into the Hall of Fame, and said that opponents who didn’t like it could “duck their head.”

There are plenty of questions raised by the promotion of Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator.

Don’t look for another offseason spending spree for the Bears.

Former Cowboys executive Gil Brandt compared Lions coach Jim Schwartz to Tom Landry in terms of his ability to “understand the complete spectrum” of the NFL.

Packers S Charlie Peprah’s family took quite a journey from Ghana to watching him in the Super Bowl.

Vikings LB E.J. Henderson earned his third-place finish in voting for Comeback Player of the Year.

Owner Arthur Blank offered congratulations to Deion Sanders on becoming the first player drafted by the Falcons to make it to Canton.

Wonder no more about how members of the Panthers see the Super Bowl playing out.

Saints fans were looking back on the last day of their favorite team’s reign as Super Bowl champions.

Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy plans to lose 15 pounds this offseason.

Could Marc Bulger be part of the quarterback picture for the Cardinals?

Said Todd Lyght of former Rams teammate Marshall Faulk, “He is the best player that I ever played against, and he’s the best player I ever played with.”

A look at the financial climate facing the 49ers and other California teams as they try for new stadiums.

Given the quality of the Hall of Fame class, it’s tough to argue that Seahawks DT Cortez Kennedy was snubbed on Saturday.

Continue reading here: PFT: USC players banned from Griffen’s SB party

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Uma Thurman & Arpad Busson Settle Custody Dispute

The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival - 'The Immigrant' Premiere

Kill Bill actress Uma Thurman and ex-fiancé Arpad Busson settled a custody dispute in a New York courthouse.

According to Page Six, the mom-of-three, 45, smiled and blew kisses to reporters after exiting the courthouse Thursday.

The actress and the London-based French financier, 52, were battling over shared custody of their 3-year-old daughter, Luna. Busson sued Thurman in 2014 in order to spend more time with their only child.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper praised the former couple for putting their differences aside for the sake of their daughter.

“Everybody compromised a bit … I think it was all done to make one person happy and that one person is Luna,” said Cooper.

While no further details have been reported, Busson also seemed happy with the arrangement as he gave reporters a thumbs-up on his way out.

Thurman also has two children – daughter Maya, 17, and son Levon, 13 – with ex-husband Ethan Hawke.

And Busson has two sons with ex-girlfriend, supermodel Elle Macpherson: Flynn, 17, and Cy, 12.

Source: Uma Thurman & Arpad Busson Settle Custody Dispute

Fall Reading List: 15 Books To Read Before Heading To the Movies

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This fall there is no shortage of book adaptations making their way to the big screen. Just like we saw over the summer, studios are turning to literary bestsellers in order to capture the same success on the big screen. In fact, at least 15 stories of all genres are getting the big budget treatment. While it remains to be seen just how well each film will fair at the box office, we know the source material is a hit.

In the gallery above is a collection of books we’re dying to read before we head to the theaters. Among them are two hit novels by former Entertainment Weekly writer Gillian Flynn, who has everyone buzzing. The most anticipated film of the fall surely has to be Gone Girl, which will see Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike playing an unhappy couple in the David Fincher-directed thriller. Her other novel, Dark Places, about a woman who survives a massacre in a rural Kansas town, stars Charlize Theron, Christina Hendricks, and former Skins actor Nicholas Hoult.

Because it’s getting closer to awards season, it should come as no surprise that several real life stories are being turned into Oscar bait films. First is Wild, which features the return of Reese Witherspoon as a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail following her divorce and death of her mother. Another film to get Oscar buzz is the Angelina Jolie-directed biopic, Unbroken, about a former Olympic champion who was imprisoned in a Japanese war camp for two years. Read both of these novels this winter in order to appreciate the epic nature of their struggles.

While those films are heavy on the drama, not everything is so serious. Two beloved kids books, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and Here Be Monsters!, are also getting the big budget treatment. The former was released as The Boxtrolls in September and wowed audiences with its stop-animation.

No matter your taste, you’ll be sure to find a book to enjoy by the fire as the temperature gets cooler. And if you storm through this list, go back and check out our Summer Reading Guide.

Source: Fall Reading List: 15 Books To Read Before Heading To the Movies