Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 10/20/15

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–  It’s Good to Be Jimmy Butler  (from Bryan Smith,  chicagomag.com):

” When I ask why he hates talking about the past so much, Butler shifts uncomfortably on the sectional in the grand San Diego house. “It’s because I don’t ever want that to define me,” he says. “I hated it whenever it came up because that’s all anybody ever wanted to talk about. Like, that hasn’t gotten me to where I am today. I’m a great basketball player because of my work. I’m a good basketball player because of the people I have around me. And if I continue to be stuck in the past, then I won’t get any better. I won’t change, I’ll get stuck as that kid. That’s not who I am. I’m so far ahead of that. I don’t hold grudges. I still talk to my family. My mom. My father. We love each other. That’s never going to change.”

Read it here:  http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/November-2015/Jimmy-Butler/

 

–  Fred Hoiberg plans to slightly cut Jimmy Butler’s minutes  (from Vincent Goodwill,  csnchicago):

Read it here:  http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/fred-hoiberg-plans-slightly-cut-jimmy-butlers-minutes

 

–  Video: Pistons Guard Spencer Dinwiddie On Playing In The NBA  (from Coach Nick,  BBall Breakdown):

Watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxKGOCWMZ3I&feature=youtu.be

 

–  Suns eager for Bledsoe-Knight chemistry  (from Zach Buchanan,  azcentral.com):

Read it here:   http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/suns/2015/10/19/phoenix-suns-eager-bledsoe-knight-chemistry/74244636/

 

–  More passes to come from Thunder bigs?  (from Erik Horne, newsok.com):

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/okc-thunder-more-passes-to-come-from-thunder-bigs/article/5454592/?page=2

 

–  Mike Conley’s year, JaMychal Green’s emergence, Jarnell Stokes’ future and more  (from Chris Herringotn, commercialappeal.com):

Read it here:   http://www.commercialappeal.com/sports/grizzlies/pick-and-pop/Chris-Herringtons-Pick-and-Pop-Mike-Conleys-year-JaMychal-Greens-emergence-Jarnell-Stokes-future-and-more-333983731.html

 

–  Knicks Hoping Personnel Upgrades Alleviate Last Year’s Defensive Disaster  (from Jared Dubin, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2580002-ny-knicks-hoping-personnel-upgrades-alleviate-last-years-defensive-disaster

 

–  How Amir Johnson Will Improve Celtics’ Frontcourt Defense (from Jordan M. Foley, Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:   http://www.vantagesports.com/story/ViUVVx4AAB8AJ37s/amir-johnson-and-david-lee-revamp-celtics-defensive-frontcourt

 

–  The Lakers, floor balance, and transition defense  (from Adam Mares,  Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:  http://nyloncalculus.com/2015/10/20/the-lakers-floor-balance-and-transition-defense/

 

–   The delicate balance of ball movement for the Suns  (from Bryan Gibberman,  arizonasports.com):

“If you have three or four passes before you even really get into your play — you look at some of those teams, some of them, yea, the passes are meaningful, but then there’s other teams that when you look at the list of teams that make a lot of passes, you’re like, OK, they drove four or five passes before you even get into the action,” Hornacek said.

“If you want to count those, sure, go ahead, we prefer not to use 20 seconds of the clock. We want to get the game up and down and we’ll get into the action without the five passes.”

“We want that as the guards, Eric (Bledsoe) and Brandon (Knight), to create and these other guys they’ll get kick outs, they’ll catch balls on the run,” said Hornacek. “When your guys start breaking people down and pulling people in, then they throw it to you, that’s your opportunity to catch it on the run and make their play that way. Not catch the ball, isolate, let the defense set, try to go one-on-one.”

Read it here:  http://arizonasports.com/story/412022/the-delicate-balance-of-ball-movement-for-the-suns/

 

–  The Myth of DeMar DeRozan’s Athleticism  (from harshdave, raptorshq.com)

Read and view it here:  http://www.raptorshq.com/2015/10/19/9504539/the-myth-of-demar-derozans-athleticism-toronto-raptors

(Note: This story has an interesting take on what constitutes “athleticism”.  Some related worthwhile takes:

-from Brian McCormick’s hard2guard newsletter, 9/07:

“Steve Nash is often described as unathletic because he does not dunk. However, he is incredibly athletic. His hand-eye coordination is as good as it gets in the NBA; his reaction time is unbelievable; his lateral movement is excellent; his ability to switch from a broad or soft-centered focus to a narrow, fine-centered focus is the best in the NBA; his body awareness is exceptional; his dexterity with both hands is tops in the NBA; his first step quickness is far above average for the NBA; his core strength is unparalleled in the NBA and likely the only reason he is able to continue playing with his chronic back problems. In all these categories, he is in the top 1% of NBA players, but because he does not “look” athletic (sculpted muscles) or do obviously athletic things (dunk), the popular media characterizes him as unathletic.”

 

– from Vern Gambetta (1996):

” (Athleticsim is) “the ability to execute athletic movements (run, jump, throw) at optimum speed with precision, style and grace while demonstrating technical competency in the context of your sport.”

“The foundations for athleticism are basic coordinative activities..(which are)
-Balance (Maintenance of the center of gravity over tha base of support, which is both static & dynamic)
-kinesthetic differentiation (ability to feel tension in movement to achieve the desired movement)
– Spatial orientation (The control of the body in space)
– Reaction to signals (The ability to respond quickly to auditory, visual and kinesthetic cues)
-Sense of rhythm (The ability to match rhythm to time)
-Synchronization of movements in time (unrelated limb movements done in a synchronized manner)
– Movement adequacy (Ability to choose movements appropriate to the task)

The coordinative never work in isolation, they are all closely related.”

– from David Friedman’s 20 second timeout interviews with Mike D’Antoni, Dan Majerle and Steve Kerr (2007):

http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2007/12/is-steve-nash-best-athlete-in-nba.html

 

 James Harden’s next step; Replacing DeMarre Carroll; LaMarcus Aldridge Q&A  (form Chris Mannix,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:    http://www.si.com/nba/2015/10/20/open-floor-james-harden-rockets-lamarcus-aldridge-spurs-season-preview

 

–  Warriors hope to repeat; Lamar Odom; Pau Gasol Q & A  (from David Aldridge, NBA.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/david_aldridge/10/19/morning-tip-golden-state-warriors-defending-crown-lamar-odom-health-pau-gasol-qa/index.html

 

–  Being Jim Buss  (from Sam Amick,  USA Today):

”  LAKERS EXECUTIVE OPENS UP ON YEARS OF CRITICISM AS TEAM TRIES TO REBUILD”

Read it here:   http://www.usatoday.com/longform/sports/nba/lakers/2015/10/19/jim-buss-lakers-jerry-west-kobe-bryant-magic-johnson-jeanie-buss/73989030/

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

–  Cory Joseph has been pleasant surprise for Raptors  (from Ryan Wolstat,  Postmedia Network):  http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Basketball/NBA/2015/10/19/22563980.html?cid=rsssportsbasketball

 

–  Spurs:  With chance for bench to impress, Kyle Anderson, Boban Marjanovic deliver (from Michael C. Wright,  ESPN):  http://espn.go.com/blog/nba/post/_/id/9798/with-chance-for-bench-to-impress-anderson-marjanovic-deliver

 

–   Eric Moreland’s hustle, energy keep him in Kings’ mix  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):  http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nba/sacramento-kings/kings-blog/article40382475.html

 

–  International import Salah Mejri could play a big role for the Mavs  (from Eddie Sefko,  sportsdaydfw.com):  http://beta.sportsdaydfw.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericksheadlines/2015/10/19/sefko-international-import-play-big-role-mavs-adjusts-nba-game

 

–  Blake Griffin trained with sprinter Carmelita Jeter to improve his speed  (from Melissa Rohlin, LA Times):  http://www.latimes.com/sports/clippers/clippersnow/la-sp-cn-blake-griffin-trained-with-carmelita-jeter-20151019-story.html

 

–   Re-energized Rudy Gobert raring to go for big Jazz season  (from Jody Gennesy,  deseretnews.com):   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865639419/Re-energized-Rudy-Gobert-raring-to-go-for-big-Jazz-season.html?pg=all

 

–  Celtics: Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko (from Jay King, masslive.com):  http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2015/10/terry_rozier_boston_celtics.html

 

– Extra practice has Rozier feeling confident (from Jimmy Toscano,  csnne.com):  http://www.csnne.com/boston-celtics/extra-practice-has-rozier-feeling-confident

 

–  TERRY ROZIER AND THE CELTICS’ DEPTH  PROBLEM  (from Ben Rohrbach,  weei.com):  http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/ben-rohrbach/2015/10/20/terry-rozier-and-celtics-depth-perception-p

 

–  Mavericks: John Jenkins Continues to Impress  (from Jay Knodell,  thesmokingcuban.com):  http://thesmokingcuban.com/2015/10/20/dallas-mavericks-john-jenkins-continues-to-impress/

 

Jared Sullinger Shows off His Passing Skills  (from Marc D’Amico,  celtics.com):  http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/post-101915-sully-the-pg-big-man-shows-off-passing-skills

 

–  Oladipo Spending Countless Hours in Gym Improving Shot  (from John Denton,  magic.com):  http://www.nba.com/magic/news/oladipo-spending-countless-hours-improving-shot

 

–  Rockets’ Joshua Smith doing utmost to fill big-man shoes  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):  http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/article/Rockets-Smith-doing-utmost-to-fill-big-man-shoes-6576686.php?t=954ad651d9438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium

 

–  Martell Webster seeks second opinion for injured right hip  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wizards-insider/wp/2015/10/19/martell-webster-seeks-second-opinion-for-injured-right-hip/

 

–  Raymond Felton ran the show in Cleveland  (from Bobby Karalla,  mavs.com):  http://www.mavs.com/raymond-felton-ran-the-show-in-cleveland/

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