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Steve Blake Foul Shooting; Darius Miles Signing Is Official

Steve Blake

Dwight wrote that last night's game was "bad luck" and that...

"Steve Blake has never gone 1 for 5 at the foul line in his life. Not even in first grade, I bet. And he won’t ever do it again. If he goes 2 for 5 in the final 20 seconds, the Blazers walk off winners. That’s what a long-shot loss this one was."

Because I'm ridiculous, I decided to confirm that on DatabaseBasketball.com... turns out that 1 for 5 was indeed the worst free throw shooting night of his entire NBA career, which spans 350 regular season games and 9 playoff games.

Here are Blake's worst free throw shooting games (most misses) during each season of his NBA career (with at least 5 attempts).

  • 2003-2004 -- 3 for 6 against Utah on 3/23
  • 2004-2005 -- 3 for 5 against Boston on 3/13
  • 2005-2006 -- 2 for 5 against Dallas on 3/7
  • 2006-2007 -- 7 for 11 against Portland on 2/2
  • 2007-2008 -- 7 for 7 against Lakers on 2/26 (it was the only game he had 5+ attempts all season)
  • 2008-2009 -- 1 for 5 against Clippers on 12/12

Other Blake free throw notes: He has never attempted a free throw shot in the playoffs.  He was also a 77.1 percent free throw shooter in college, never averaging more than 2.68 attempts per game in a season.

So last night was historically bad.  We should take solace knowing that it will be another 350 games (probably) until Blake does that again.

Darius Miles

As mentioned in the sidebar by Over Analysis, according to Ronald Tillery, the go-to source for Grizz information, the Memphis Grizzlies have signed Darius Miles.  Here's quotes from two news stories....

Free agent forward Darius Miles arrived in Memphis early Saturday morning and signed a nonguaranteed contract with the Grizzlies following a physical examination.

 Miles, 27, hasn't played organized basketball since being cut by the Boston Celtics after training camp. He recently worked out for the Los Angeles Clippers and recalls Charlotte and Chicago showing interest.

But Memphis was the only team ready to sign Miles immediately.

The Griz view Miles as a low-risk proposition at both forward positions, banking on the 6-9 forward overcoming a serious knee injury and jump-starting his once promising career.

In the Grizzlies, Miles said he sees opportunity knocking.

"I'm hungry. Anybody in the position I'm in, and has been through what I've been through the past two years, if he's not hungry he shouldn't waste anybody's time," Miles said. "I'm hungry. I ain't quitting. I feel like I can still do this. I wouldn't even waste the Grizzlies' time if I felt like my career was over."

Miles won't be eligible to play for the Griz until Jan. 4. He must serve a 10-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy by testing positive for a banned weight-loss stimulant.

He can attend practices but cannot be in the arena two hours before the tip-off of games. The Griz visited with Miles in Chicago where he's worked out since leaving Boston.

The Grizzlies' gamble will last until Jan. 7 when they must decide whether to guarantee Miles for the rest of the season. He can appear in two games before then.

Don't skip over that last paragraph! 

What's most interesting about this news is the importance of the 10 game suspension and its timing.  Because Darius must sit out 10 games, he can't start playing until January 4, just 3 days before the Grizzlies will have to decide whether to guarantee his contract through the end of the season. 

That means his ability to play in 10 games requires that contract extension.  In other words, today's signing does not change the Blazers cap situation, at least not yet.  If January 7 comes and he doesn't get his deal, the Blazers' cap situation will remain as is.  If he does sign the guarantee, the team's worst Darius fears could be confirmed if he plays in 10 games.

The timing here couldn't be more interesting in light of the months of trade rumors between the two teams and because Memphis has been active in recent years before the trade deadline.  If you want to speculate that this signing is another chip in trade negotations between the two teams, I won't stop you.

In any case, hang tight until January 7 -- that's the new D Day for Darius. 

For Darius this must be both a blessing and a curse.  Against huge odds, he got himself a deal.  But it's not guaranteed so that means another month of limbo. 

UPDATE (5:11PM): Asked for comment about the signing this afternoon, Kevin Pritchard replied, as you might have guessed, "You know I can't comment on any other teams players."

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)