– Marvin Williams (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer): http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nba/charlotte-hornets/nba-blog/article73673492.html
– Reviewing Wednesday night’s action (from Satchel Price, sbnation): http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/10/29/9632816/nba-scores-2015-thunder-spurs-nuggets-rockets-bulls-nets
– Nothing was more compelling on opening night than Kevin Durant vs. Kawhi Leonard (from Jenni Carlson, newsok.com): http://newsok.com/nothing-was-more-compelling-on-opening- night-than-kevin-durant-vs.-kawhi-leonard/article/5456740/?page=2
– Cavaliers show improved depth and beat the Grizzlies at their own game (from Chris Fedor, cleveland.com): http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2015/10/cleveland_cavaliers_show_impro.html
– Raptors adapt well in opener (from Eric Koreen, National Post): http://news.nationalpost.com/sports/nba/toronto-raptors-adapt-well-in-opener-storm-back-to-subdue-indiana-pacers
– Heat shows off depth in season opener (from Ethan J. Skolnick,Miami Herald): http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/ethan-j-skolnick/article41768553.html
– Spoelstra key to strong start for revamped Heat (from Israel Gutierrez, ESPN): http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13998460/erik-spoelstra-role-most-critical-early-revamped-miami-heat
– Hornets a work-in-progress (from Rick Bonnell. Charlotte Observer): http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nba/charlotte-hornets/article41770617.html
– Grizzlies: Defining the problem with grit and grind (from Peter Edmiston, commercialappeal.com): http://www.commercialappeal.com/sports/grizzlies/Defining-the-problem-with-grit-and-grind-337983372.html
– Knicks’ first game makes Phil Jackson look good (from Frank Isola, NYDailyNews): http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/isola-phil-jackson-article-1.2415755
– Clippers 111, Kings 104 (from Justin Russo, clipsnation.com): http://www.clipsnation.com/2015/10/28/9633110/game-1-recap-los-angeles-clippers-sacramento-kings-october-28-2015
– 5 reasons to be optimistic about Pistons (from Jamie Samuelsen, freep.com): http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nba/pistons/2015/10/29/detroit-pistons-jamie-samuelsen-blog/74787588/
– Notes on Tuesday’s Pistons vs Hawks game (from Jonathan Tjarks, The Pattern of Basketball): http://patternofbasketball.blogspot.com/2015/10/pistons-vs-hawks.html
-Pistons leaving no game unwatched in hopes of uncovering the NBA’s secrets (from Michael Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated): http://www.si.com/nba/2015/10/29/detroit-pistons-stan-van-gundy-reggie-jackson-andre-drummond-film-tape
– Tale of two debuts: Towns looks ready, while Russell seems to drift aimlessly (from Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated): http://www.si.com/nba/2015/10/29/karl-anthony-towns-dangelo-russell-lakers-wolves-kevin-garnett-kobe-bryant-rookies
– Towns had solid debut (from Broderick Turner, LATimes): http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-ln-karl-anthony-towns-timberwolves-debut-20151028-story.html
– Pacers a ‘work in progress’ in season-opening loss (from Candace Buckner, indystar.com): http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/2015/10/29/pacers-drop-season-opener-raptors-106-99/74726586/
– First game for Nuggets’ rookie Emmanuel Mudiay and coach Michael Malone a success (form Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post): http://www.dailycamera.com/nuggets-nba/ci_29038955/nuggets-dominate-road-win-at-houston-open-season
– Brad Stevens vows to think outside the box, shows some of that against Philadelphia 76ers (from Jay King, masslive.com): http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2015/10/jared_sullinger_boston_celtics_10.html
– Bulls’ Coach Fred Hoiberg Q & A (from Zach Lowe, Grantland): http://grantland.com/the-triangle/five-minutes-with-bulls-coach-fred-hoiberg/
– The Next 3-And-D Players (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown): http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/10/28/robert-covington-next-3-d-players/
– Dead money looks bad, but more NBA teams are smartly using it to stretch salary cap (from Brian Windhorst, ESPN): http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13956906/dead-money-paying-opposing-players-looks-bad-lets-nba-teams-stretch-salary-cap
Kings Assistant Coach Nancy Lieberman: “One of the Guys” (from Nancy Lieberman, The Players Tribune): http://www.theplayerstribune.com/nancy-lieberman-kings-women-in-coaching/
Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:
– Sixers’ Jahlil Okafor Era begins (from Marcus Hays, philly.com): http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20151029_Sixers__Jahlil_Okafor_Era_begins.html
– Okafor’s Debut gives Sixers’ Process Clearer Focus: (from Sean Deveney, Sporting News): http://www.sportingnews.com/nba-news/4659603-sixers-76ers-tank-rebuild-sam-hinkie-jahlil-okafor-philadelphia-nba-draft-lottery-nerlens-noel
– While his body recovers, Derrick Rose’s mind stays intact (form Vincent Goodwill, csnchicago): http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/bulls-while-his-body-recovers-derrick-roses-mind-stays-intact
– Blake Griffin showed the complete package against the Kings (from sbnation.com): http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/10/29/9634596/blake-griffin-highlights-stats-clippers-kings
– Isaiah Thomas played like a superstar in the Boston Celtics 112-95 opening night victory (from Kevin O’Connor, celticsblog.com): http://www.celticsblog.com/2015/10/29/9633966/isaiah-thomas-plays-like-a-superstar-in-boston-celtics-112-95-opening-night-win-nba-victory
– Trail Blazers’ guard CJ McCollum and his career night: ‘A long time coming’ (from Jason Quick, csnnw.com): http://www.csnnw.com/blazers/cj-mccollum-and-his-career-night-emerge-dark-place-long-time-coming
– John Wall in the Wizards’ new up-tempo system (from Jesus Gomez, sbnation.com): http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/10/29/9636536/john-wall-highlights-wizards-magic-statstics
– Jared Sullinger seizes his chance (from Gary Washburn, Boston Globe): http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/10/28/jared-sullinger-seized-his-opportunity/CshYzIPvf9xlQASTFLHRYN/story.html
– Rookie Jerian Grant soaking in advice from Knicks vets like Jose Calderon (from Ian Begley, ESPN): http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13998366/nba-newyork-knicks-point-guards-jose-calderon-jerian-grant-develop-mentor-relationship
– Gordon Hayward Q & A (from Scoop Jackson, ESPN): http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13994995/qa-utah-jazz-shooting-guard-gordon-hayward
– Lance Stephenson May be the Clippers X-Factor (from Sam Amick, USAToday): http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/clippers/2015/10/29/lance-stephenson-los-angeles-starter-sacramento-kings/74789162/
– Tony Parker Embracing New Role (from Michael C. Wright, ESPN): http://espn.go.com/blog/san-antonio-spurs/post/_/id/15/tony-parker-embracing-new-role-with-spurs
– Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: Breaking Down his Performance (from Ryan B. Winner, nothinbutnets.com): http://nothinbutnets.com/2015/10/29/rondae-hollis-jefferson-breaking-down-his-performance/
NOTE: Please bear with us while we experience some formatting and distribution glitches. They will be resolved soon. And we will always feature links to the the best NBA daily content.
– Ten years in, Colangelo’s Team USA vision realized (frm Nick Friedell, ESPN):
– Will The Younger, Faster Blazers Play A More Uptempo Offense Next Season? (from evansclinchy, blazersedge.com):
” The Blazers turned their roster upside down this summer. It stands to reason that their style of play should change accordingly.”
– Blazers are bottoming out without tanking (from Jesus Gomez, sbnation.com):
– Blazers look to bounce back from tough off season (from Scott Howard-Cooper, nba.com):
– Bobby Marks On The Complexities Of The Salary Cap, Roster Building (from Coach Nick, Bball Breakdown):
” Coach Nick sat down with Bobby Marks, who started with the New Jersey Nets in the mid 90s and moved up to assistant General Manager by the time they moved to Brooklyn. We go over many of the complicated terms that are tossed around but never full understood like the stretch provision, traded player exception, and the tax apron. For a better understanding of how NBA contracts work, this is a must listen.”
– Traded 2016 First-Round Pick Exchange Scenarios (from Chuck Myron, hoopsrumors.com):
” The moves that teams make in the offseason don’t merely affect the season to come. Indeed, every transaction has a ripple effect of some kind, and as rosters get either better or worse this time of year, it has significant ramifications on next year’s draft. Nearly 20 different scenarios exist in which a first-round pick may change hands. As usual, some are more likely than others, but the relative likelihood in many cases has changed since July 1st.
We’ll break down every scenario here…”
For those with access to ESPN Insider:
– Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love highlight players looking to bounce back (form Amin Elhassan)
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
– Kevin Durant Reveals Unknown Bone Break in Foot, but Says He’s Healthy Now (from Kevin Ding, Bleacher Report): http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2547417-kevin-durant-reveals-unknown-bone-break-in-foot-but-says-hes-healthy-now
– Jeff Teague’s Development Helps Hawks Take Flight (from Shane Young, Bball Breakdown): http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/08/13/jeff-teagues-development-helps-hawks-take-flight/
– Harrison Barnes/ Festus Ezeli: The Future of the Golden State Warriors (from Conrad Chow, goldenstateofmind.com): http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2015/8/14/9097099/golden-state-warriors-future-harrison-barnes-festus-ezeli
– Ezeli focused on slowing game down (from Monte Poole, csnbayarea.com): http://www.csnbayarea.com/warriors/ezeli-making-strides-its-about-slowing-game-down
– In Defense of Andre Roberson (from Shawn Woods, thunderousintentions.com): http://thunderousintentions.com/2015/08/14/case-andre-roberson/
– The ways Luol Deng can make an impact this season (from Brandon DiPerno, hothothoops.com): http://www.hothothoops.com/2015/8/14/9130477/how-can-luol-deng-make-an-impact-this-season-miami-heat
– Jimmy Butler interview (from Sam Smith, bulls.com): http://www.nba.com/bulls/samsmith/jimmy-butler-continues-find-inspiration-success
– The Anatomy of Tristan Thompson’s Offensive Rebounds (form Jordan M. Foley, Vantage Sports): http://www.vantagesports.com/story/VXs1HycAACcA6r0I/the-anatomy-of-tristan-thompsons-offensive-rebounds
– What David Lee brings to the Celtics (from Jeff Nooney, celticsblog.com): http://www.celticsblog.com/2015/8/13/9139779/what-david-lee-brings-to-the-celtics-this-season
– Willie Reed Gets His Shot With Nets (from Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders): http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-pm-willie-reed-gets-his-shot-with-nets/
NOTE: Today’s BI posting was delayed due to this being a travel day as we returned from TeamUSA minicamp in Las Vegas. Our regular schedule resumes tomorrow
– Aggressive style on defense keeps Bucks competitive (from Charles F Gardner, JSOnline.com):
” Veteran Kenyon Martin was signed to a pair of 10-day contracts and now has been signed for the rest of the season. The 37-year-old offers a defensive perspective he can share with the youngsters on the Bucks roster.
“It’s paying attention to film, good schemes,” Martin said. “Guys want to go out and get better at it.
“They’re taking pride in going out and playing defense, which not a lot of guys do in this league anymore. It’s multiple efforts. Most teams in this league give effort on the initial action and then they die down.
“Communication is a big part of it, talking to one another, making sure we’re helping each other. It has to be a mind-set. It’s a lost art.””
– Robin Lopez is a Master of Basketball Geometry (from Willy Raedy, BlazersEdge.com):
” Robin Lopez gets a lot of well deserved credit for his defensive presence and his rebounding but rarely is he considered a key piece of the Blazers’ offense. That perspective understates his importance as Lopez is constantly using his big body to move people around and improve the spacing for his teammates (and I didn’t even talk about his monster screens). This isn’t just being active or playing physical as it requires precise movements and an uncommon understanding of the game. It may not show up in the box score, but Lopez is just as crafty as he is big.”
– How Hassan Whiteside’s emergence has affected Chris Bosh: Part 2 (from Azam Masood, hothothoops.com):
” Chris Bosh is still adjusting to being the second biggest man on the floor for Miami. A deeper look at his numbers.”
– Hassan in Wonderland: The Heat Center on His Breakout Season (from Kirk Goldsberry, grantland.com):
” You’re not supposed to come out of nowhere in the NBA. Player development is supposed to be a painfully gradual process. The league is full of apparatuses designed to ensure it locates, nurtures, and pays all of the world’s most worthy basketball players. There are 30 little intelligence agencies competing against each other to help make sure that guys like Whiteside, who can put up the numbers he puts up, don’t fall through the cracks.
There’s a temptation to believe that Whiteside represents a failure in scouting. I mean, how could every other team miss on this guy? That’s an alluring fable, but it’s not really what happened. This most unlikely of breakouts has less to do with a lack of NBA intel and more to do with a late bloomer’s personal awakening, coinciding with being in the right place at the right time.”
– Hassan Whiteside, the Prototypical Rim Protector (from Kelly Scaletta, Vantage Sports))
” As a fan of defense, one of the things that I was excited about with Vantage Stats is the exhaustive look at a number of defensive variables. The less sexy end has always been a much more difficult thing to measure than traditional stats allow for.
The standard box score numbers don’t say much and can be misleading. They can even disguise bad defense as good defense. Newer metrics like Opponents’ Player Efficiency Rating, Defensive Real Plus-Minus, Defensive Rating, etc., have helped but are still incomplete.
Even often-hyped play-type and location tracking are inaccurate, incomplete, out of context, and leave a lot to be desired. We might know that a certain player yields a certain number of points per play against the ball-handler on a broadly defined pick-and-roll, but we don’t know if he got beat off the dribble and had a great defensive big backing him up or if he stayed in front of the dribbler.
The intricate details at Vantage allow us to go deeper, which is necessary to understand players’ real skills. Just looking at “rankings” can be deceptive because players have different roles (as indicated by Krishna Narsu’s brilliant piece). Not only do players have different roles, but teams also play with different systems.
The bottom line is that there is no “one number” to define a defensive player. Each one has to be evaluated in the context of his role, his team’s style, and so on.
For that reason, I am beginning a series on “Defensive Player Profiles,” looking at various defenders to see if they earned their reputations, be they good or bad. For the first several, I’ll be looking at prototypical examples of the different types of defenders and explaining how Vantage’s new numbers reveal their value.
To start, I wanted to look at the newest sensation in the NBA. Hassan Whiteside is quickly emerging as one of the league’s elite rim protectors. His value comes from his incredible length. His 7’7” wingspan is one of the longest in the Draft Express database. So is his 9’5” standing reach.
Having such measurables hardly assures someone will be a great defender. Look no further than JaVale McGee (7’6”, 9’6.5”) for evidence of that. There are skills that need to accompany those measureables. And that’s where Whiteside stands out.”
– Comparing the 2014 Bobcats and the 2015 Hornets (from Greg Pietras, Queen City Hoops):
” This season didn’t start out well for the brand-new Charlotte Hornets. With higher expectations and a retooled roster, not many thought this team would limp out to a 4-15 start.
But since the new year, the lights have come on — and at 21-27, Charlotte has the exact same record after 48 games as last year’s playoff squad. They’ve also logged enough minutes at this point to draw some conclusions about how the two compare. There are plenty of similarities in playstyle, but also some worrying trends that might cap this year’s ceiling.
The loss of Josh McRoberts, who played a big part in facilitating the offense last year, has been hard to overcome — but it’s also a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. Without the three-point accuracy of Anthony Tolliver (41 percent), Chris Douglas-Roberts (38.6 percent) and McRoberts (36.1 percent), there’s a lot of passing around the perimeter with no one to shoot the ball. That leads to more isolation plays, and fewer open looks.”
– Nets are the Most Prolific Floater Shooters (from Devin Kharpertian, thebrooklyngame.com):
(Speaking of “floaters”, see below):
Pacers Use “Nash Action” for Game-Winner (from Curt Cavin, IndyStar.com):
“It was a play for (Hill) to make a basket attack,” Vogel said. “We call that ‘Nash action.’ (Nash) would dribble along the baseline and see what options he has with shooters and cutters.
“Sometimes they leave you.”
Vogel said it’s common for the Pacers to use Hill like that, but seldom is it the play to win a game.
“I was pretty surprised,” Hill said of Brian Roberts and Cody Zeller leaving him. “My first thought was turn the corner, look and see if I had C.J. Watson (to pass to) because he had it going, but the defense stayed home with him.
“Then I was looking for C.J. Miles, who was coming off a (wide) screen; there was nobody (open). So when I peeked over my shoulder to see where D. West was, I saw both of the guys running to (him).”
“I knew when I saw that I could get to my go-to shot, which is the floater,” he said.
– For perfectionist Korver, shooting is a daylong process (from Shaun Powell, nba.com):
” Korver is shooting 3s this season better than the vast majority of players are shooting 2s. No, seriously: Korver’s at 53 percent beyond the arc; only a dozen NBA players are currently hitting that or better inside the arc. When the ball finds Korver, and he’s open, the anticipation inside Philips Arena rises like the voice of the choir at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Fans, the Hawks bench, they all release the same sound — wooooo! — because he has become near-automatic.
“When he’s wide open and he misses,” said teammate Al Horford, “we’re like, what?”
There are three reasons why 2014-15 is so special, so different than Korver’s previous 11 seasons. One: The Hawks, if you haven’t heard, are feeling like August in Atlanta, scorching teams everywhere and surprisingly leading the East very comfortably. Two: Korver, averaging 13 points a game, is doing this a month from turning 34, an age when the muscle memory of most players becomes senile. Three: Korver is on pace to string together a very unique 50-50-90 — that’s 50 percent from inside and outside the arc, and 90 from the free throw line in a single season — which would put him in the exclusive company of exactly … well, nobody.”
– Wizards show that less is more in their skid-breaking win over the Brooklyn Nets (from Michael D Sykes II, bulletsforeer.com):
” Though the Wizards have been one of the best passing teams in the league this season, ranking fourth in the league in percentage of field goals assisted, all the extra passes aren’t leading to extra points.
The Wizards’ offense traditionally results in shots that do not make for efficient basketball in today’s NBA. They traditionally hunt for jump shots in the half-court, most of which are of the two point variety, and shoot them poorly. About 54 percent of the Wizards’ offense result in jump shots. They score .907 points per possession on those–not a strong enough number for that to represent more than half of your offense in the half-court.
So it’s easy to see why the Wizards have struggled over the last couple of weeks. Scoring has always been hard for them to come by, and when they have the defensive breakdowns they did in those games as well, it’s really hard to recover and win games.
But against the Nets on Saturday night, the Wizards played differently. Instead of playing a slowed-up version of basketball where they focused on their ball movement in half-court situations leading to just long two point jump shots and late-clock post work, they pushed the ball ahead in transition in order to get easy looks before the defense settled.”
Why are There So Few NYC PGs in the NBA Today? (from Bonsu Thompson, slamonline.com):
” The Big Apple has always been a womb, incubator, playground and university for basketball’s elite floor generals. It’s where the Point God was birthed. From Bob Cousy to Lenny Wilkins to Nate Archibald to Rod Strickland to Stephon Marbury, every NBA decade saw the five boroughs
represented at the 1. While the streak continues, the new millennium has seen its volume fade. This season, nobody’s Top-5 NBA Point Guard list boasts a New Yorker. In fact, there’s only one NYC point starting in the entire League…and he just served the Knicks 28 points and 5 assists in three quarters. “Wow,” begins Bronx native Kemba Walker after his Charlotte Hornets backhanded NY their 35th loss. “I didn’t even realize I was the only one starting. Damn.”
Additional Player Notes:
– Mitch McGary: http://espn.go.com/blog/okc-thunder/post/_/id/280/rookie-mcgary-gives-okc-much-needed-spark and http://www.foxsports.com/southwest/story/mcgary-contributes-to-thunder-blowout-win-over-clippers-020815 and http://newsok.com/mitch-mcgary-contributes-big-as-thunder-rolls-clippers/article/5391845
– Cleanthony Early/Travis Wear: http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2015/2/8/8001657/cleanthony-early-and-travis-wear-need-minutes-here-or-in-westchester