Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  GRIZZLIES OFFENSE: Missing in Action (from Rogelio Lorenzo, 3sob.com):

Read it here:   http://www.3sob.com/2015/grizzlies-offense-missing-in-action/21104/

 

 

–  A defense unlike any other: Calathes, Allen and Koufos reign supreme off the bench  (from Kevin Yeung,  grizllybearblues.com):

” Few teams can truly boast about their second-unit defense, but the Grizzlies’ bench enjoys the luxury of employing three elite defenders.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2015/3/2/8129995/nick-calathes-tony-allen-kosta-koufos-bench-defense

 

 

 

–  Five observations from the Thunder’s 108-101 win over the Lakers  (from Anthony Slater,  newsok.com)   – includes reviews of Kanter, Lamb, Augustin

Read and view it here:   http://newsok.com/five-observations-from-the-thunders-108-101-win-over-the-lakers/article/5397749

 

 

 

 Breaking Down the Pelicans 5-game Winning Streak  (from Oleh. thebirdwrites.com):

”  Earlier in the season, many were ridiculing the Pelicans roster as being some sort of incomplete heaping pile of garbage. That it started and ended with Anthony Davis and everything in between was flawed in one way or another.

Well, to burst some bubbles, the Pelicans are 8-6 in games Davis has had to leave due to injury or ones he never even entered. The most impressive part is currently underway, during the Pelicans season high 5-game winning streak.

While the above tweet is factually correct, it doesn’t give the active squad enough justice — Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson have been just as irrelevant to the streak as Davis. That’s arguably 3 of the Pelicans best 4 players not contributing!

Thus, let’s have a look under the hood of this improbable run.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.thebirdwrites.com/2015/3/2/8131705/the-pelicans-proving-theyre-more-than-just-one-player

–  Done with three-guard idea, Suns turn attention to future  (from David Aldridge, NBA.com):

Also: NBA looks into blood clots and a Q&A with Russell Westbrook

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/david_aldridge/03/02/morning-tip-phoenix-suns-guards-blood-clots-in-nba-qa-russell-westbrook/index.html

–  DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul Are Saving the Clippers’ Season (from Andrew Sharp, grantland.com):

Read it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/deandre-jordan-and-chris-paul-are-saving-the-clippers-season/

More DJ (from Steve Aschburner, NBA.com) here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/steve_aschburner/03/01/deandre-jordan-defense-mvp/index.html

–  A visual guide to Kevin Garnett’s defense  (from Key Dae,  canishoopis.com)

”  When the Wolves first traded Thaddeus Young for Kevin Garnett, there were plenty of critics who didn’t like the deal because they believed Minnesota had sent away a player who was useful for a player who wasn’t.

They were…and are….wrong.

We looked at how Kevin Garnett is still a top rebounder and defender earlier. He’s still averaging 12 rebounds/36 minutes, and still ranks in the top 20 (if you remove the minutes played qualification) in a number of defensive categories, including defensive rating, defensive box +/-, and defensive RPM.

But that’s all statistical. So if you don’t care for the numbers, believe your eyes instead.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.canishoopus.com/2015/3/2/8131631/a-visual-guide-to-kevin-garnetts-defense

–  How NBA Defenses Got Turned Inside Out  (from Martin Johnson,  Wall Strfeet Journal):

” Stopping the three-point shot has become the paramount defensive objective in the NBA. Offenses are launching them in unprecedented volume, which is forcing defenses to focus on preventing them, and changing how defenses are built.”

Read it here:   http://on.wsj.com/1GF6zMA

–  Warriors beat Celtics after trailing by 26  (from Rusty Simmons,  SFGate.com):

” To trim the Celtics’ lead to a single digit, the Warriors generally showcased a small-ball lineup with Green (6-foot-7) playing center, defending 7-foot Tyler Zeller and switching to contest shots by 5-9 Isaiah Thomas. The Warriors limited Boston to 30.9 percent shooting in the final three quarters.

Green “deserves some accolades for what he does,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “He guards everybody on the floor. He switches on Isaiah Thomas and guards Tyler Zeller. I mean, how many guys in the league can do that?”

Read it here:  http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-beat-Celtics-after-trailing-by-26-6109222.php

 

 

 

The emotional plight of the fringe player  (from Michael Erler, poundingtherock.com):

” The curse of being ridiculously good at your job and still not good enough.”

Read it here:  http://www.poundingtherock.com/2015/3/2/8131483/jeff-ayres-and-the-emotional-plight-of-the-fringe-player

And for those with access to ESPN Insider:

–  Advanced stats better explain team performance, more accurately value players  (from Kevin Pelton):

Read it here:  http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/12406905

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

Alexey Shved:  http://nypost.com/2015/03/01/the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-knicks-newest-triangle-hope/

 

Joel Embiid:  http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/03/02/4160543_mike-sielski-can-embiid-live-up.html

 

Isaiah Thomas:  http://www.celticsblog.com/2015/3/2/8128955/isaiah-thomas-isolation-celtics-synergy-sports

 

Miles Plumlee:  http://behindthebuckpass.com/2015/03/02/world-miles-plumlee/

 

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

 

Unsung Hero Taj Gibson Is Quietly Responsible for Much of Bulls’ Success  (from Sean Highkin, Bleacher Report):

” “Taj, he probably doesn’t get enough credit for what he does for our team,” Thibodeau said. “He’s our best low-post defender; whatever you ask him to do he does. He’s not out there pounding his chest. Just go out there and get the job done. He’s one of those guys, you know everyone talks about having a warrior mentality. Well Taj does. He’s got a lot of toughness.””

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2373201-unsung-hero-taj-gibson-is-quietly-responsible-for-much-of-bulls-success

 

 

–  Did anything really change? (From Paul Flannery, SBNation):

” Almost 10 percent of the NBA was traded on Thursday in 11 deals ranging from a shocking point guard shuffle involving five different franchises to the sublime return of Kevin Garnett to Minnesota. Some deals were obvious and some were stunners that nearly broke Twitter.

The unexpected chaos that enveloped the final hectic minutes of the deadline left the league’s preeminent news breaker to simply type “good lord” at one point. (Bless ya, Woj.) More than half the teams in the league were involved in some kind of deal on deadline day and a half-dozen more made moves leading up to the grand finale.

But after all the posturing, maneuvering and deal breaking was over, we’re left with a simple question: Did anything really change?”

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/2015/2/22/8084587/nba-trade-deadline-2015-reaction-analysis-sunday-shootaround

 

 

Karl hopes to bring stability to Kings  (from James Ham, cowbellkingdom.com):

Read it here:  http://cowbellkingdom.com/sunday-musings-karl-hopes-to-bring-stability-to-sacramento/

 

 

–  Change is Brad Stevens’ biggest challenge  (from Chris Forsberg, ESPN):

” In the days before the All-Star break, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked if his team’s recent success could be traced in part to roster continuity. Stevens chuckled at the suggestion, but later admitted that three weeks without a roster move might truly have represented a lengthy period of time for a team that’s seen its player swap uniforms more frequently than famed halftime act, Quick Change.

The Celtics have employed a staggering 40 players since the formal start of the 2014-15 season. You could fill three NBA teams (or maybe two NBA teams and a D-League squad) with players that have been on the roster.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and his staff have executed 11 trades involving 25 players since early July, all with the ultimate goal of accelerating Boston’s return to contender status. Stevens expected change when he signed a six-year deal to become Boston’s coach in July 2013. But, well, even he probably didn’t anticipate this much change.

The 38-year-old coach hasn’t masked the frustrations of the rebuilding process, particularly his team’s struggles with consistency in the 134 games since he’s taken the helm (Boston is 45-89 in that span). And while Stevens fully understands what the team is building towards, it doesn’t make the constant state of flux any easier to endure in the moment.”

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4717915/change-is-stevens-biggest-challenge

 

 

After three deep playoff runs, Spurs paying a price  (from Jeff McDonald, expressnews.com):

Read it here:  http://www.expressnews.com/sports/spurs/article/After-three-deep-playoff-runs-Spurs-paying-a-6094070.php?t=03551dd69a927fc3fb&cmpid=twitter-premium#/0

 

 

Pistons’ Post-Trades Outlook (from David Mayo, mlive.com):

Read it here:  http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2015/02/svg_detroit_pistons_not_giving.html

 

 

Poor 3-point shooting is hurting the slumping Wizards  (from Jesus Gomez, SBNation):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/2/21/8082175/wizards-three-point-shooting-trevor-ariza-paul-pierce

 

 

Demystification — Defining Basketball Analytics Down (from Seth Partnow, nyloncalculus.com):

” That there is perceived to be a wall between the two camps, or between numbers-intensive analysis and game film-based scouting, then, is largely a failure on the side of analytics. Contrary to the beliefs of some voices hollering in the wilderness, the professionals were doing things pretty ok before the quants came along. There were certainly areas for improvement, but they weren’t just throwing darts. Most of the players believed to be great under the new school were recognized as such by the old school and vice versa. Traditional scouting has done a reasonably good job, on aggregate, of slotting players into the right order in the draft.5 The new methods must be demonstrated to be an improvement. The onus is on the new methods to explain themselves.

In the legal arena this is known as the burden of persuasion. Persuasion. Yet the language used is often more exclusionary than inviting. “Metrics,” “studies,” and “models” are fancy sounding words that serve to simultaneously make the achievements seem more impressive but also less welcoming. The use of this terminology is understandable: describing something as a “metric” rather than just a “stat” is meant to imply a certain progressiveness of thought, a signifier that I’ve moved beyond “Yay, points!” as a good means of judging talent. To some degree, it’s perhaps a more accurate use of the language. But we probably go too far too often and end up sounding more than a little douchey to the not-already-converted

It’s also important to be clear on what analytics is not. It’s refinement, not reinvention.

Further, while some of the insights coming forth are truly PhD-level7, most of it isn’t that hard. At least, not that hard from a technical or mathematical perspective. It’s much more about the logic. “What question am I trying to answer?” is often the most important question, followed closely by, “Do the tools I’ve chosen answer that as well as possible, given what’s available?”

Read it here:  http://nyloncalculus.com/2015/02/22/demystification-of-diy-defining-basketball-analytics-down/

 

QOTD (from Steve Kerr on the Hack-a-tactic): ” the NBA is the only league… that allows this…In college basketball, the international game, do that and it’s two shots (for the opposition) and the ball… the idea that we can just run over and grab someone, do it 10 straight times and think that’s good for our business…that’s insane. People are paying a lot of money to watch this game. It’s boring. Nobody wants to watch that.”

 

Additional Player Updates:

 

–  Austin Rivers:   http://www.nba.com/clippers/rivers-150221

 

Isaiah Canaanhttp://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20150222_Brown_anoints_Canaan_starting_point_guard.html   and   http://www.nba.com/sixers/news/150222-canaan-story   and   http://www.libertyballers.com/2015/2/22/8085079/isaiah-canaan-scouting-report-sixers-houston

 

Miles  Plumlee:  http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/basketball-is-family-business-for-new-buck-miles-plumlee-b99448605z1-293318011.html

 

Isaiah Thomashttp://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/02/22/newest-celtic-isaiah-thomas-nba-little-big-man/WeTYTrNNudkHcw5We6YlSP/story.html

 

J.R. Smith:   http://www.northjersey.com/sports/basketball/ex-knicks-key-cavs-climb-1.1275968   and   http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-sunday-j-r-smith-silencing-critics/

 

Nick Calatheshttp://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2015/2/22/8084717/memphis-grizzlies-nick-calathes-yeoman-bench-point-guard

 

Tayshaun Princehttp://www.freep.com/story/sports/nba/pistons/2015/02/21/stan-van-gundy-tayshaun-prince-detroit-pistons/23800681/

 

Caron Butlerhttp://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2015/02/caron_butler_a_leader_on_and_o.html

 

–  Omri Casspi:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2372766-omri-casspi-finally-finding-his-niche-in-return-to-sacramento-kings

 

James Younghttp://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/02/21/this-celtics-rookie-james-young-time/s7UYVhV4yRQksfBtKUAFRO/story.html

 

Evan Fournierhttp://orlandomagicdaily.com/2015/02/22/finding-right-role-evan-fournier/

 

Glen Rice, Jr.http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2015/2/21/8082209/examining-glen-rice-jr-s-success-since-returning-to-the-nba-d-league

 

Chris Bosh, Jared Sullinger and Shabazz Muhammad are all out for the season

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Hawks show they can win in different ways (from Ray Glier, USAToday):

‘” When Golden State tried to fit a lineup on the floor to solve the Hawks offense of threes, Atlanta set screens, rolled to the basket, popped out, and greeted all the switches the Warriors made on defense with a big smile. Because suddenly there was Paul Millsap, 6-foot-8 and a bulky 246 pounds, looking down on a guard and barreling to the basket. There was 6-10 Al Horford running at the rim with a slower big man trying to keep up.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr had to go to a smaller lineup when his 7-footer Andrew Bogut came face-to-face with 6-foot-1 guard Dennis Schroder late in the third quarter. Instinctively, the Hawks shifted the floor away from Schroder to give him room to bamboozle Bogut and the little guy faked a drive, stopped, and popped in a floating 11-footer. When Bogut left the game and the lane was free, the path was made easier for Millsap to abuse and Horford to rim run.

It is a basketball savvy and maturity to behold, and a pretty good reason why coach Mike Budenholzer should be, so far, the NBA Coach of the Year. When the Hawks get a mismatch, they recognize it instantly, and lock in on it. They do not take panicked looks at the shot clock and they sure don’t pass up the chance to exploit the mismatch. The Hawks’ egos, never, ever, get in the way (‘hey, it’s my turn to shoot’).”

Read it here:   http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2015/02/07/warriors-hawks-jeff-teague-paul-millsap-al-horford-stephen-curry-klay-thompson/23034633/

 

–   Hawks, Warriors Stage Classic In New Age of NBA (from KL Chounard, Hawks.com):

” The emergence of the three-point shot helped reshape NBA offenses to the style now played by Golden State and Atlanta, but Kyle Korver noted that the biggest incentive for fixing ball-stopping offenses may have actually involved fixing the defenses.

“The trend a couple of years ago was Coach Thibs’ defense: loading up the one side of the floor, stopping the iso,” Korver said, referring to Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau and his tendency to put extra defenders on the same side of the court as the ball.

“A lot of teams have caught onto that. A lot of teams do that now.”

As a result, teams have figured out that the proper counterattack, the best means for getting high-percentage shots, is through ball movement.

This contest had ball movement in spades. After the two teams scored a combined 240 points on each other’s top-5 ranked defenses, Korver compared the Hawks and Warriors.

“We’re different teams, and we have different personnel but I think a lot of the philosophy is probably similar. Both teams play with the pass, both teams play with space, both teams have a lot of shooting, both teams play great defense. I think that gets lost.”

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/hawks/hawks-warriors-stage-classic-new-age-nba

 

–  Hawks vs. Warriors  (from Mike Prada, SBNation):

” Switching doesn’t work against the Hawks either.

As the Hawks kept racking up victories, a school of thought developed on how to stop them. Rather then try to fight through every screen in a fruitless attempt to keep up with Korver off the ball or contain Teague in the pick and roll, some argued it made more sense to switch assignments and bait the Hawks into going at mismatches. At least this strategy prevents the Hawks from kicking their legendary flow into high gear.

With their surplus of 6’7 wings, the Warriors seemed to offer the best test case for this theory. And as usual, the Warriors constantly took advantage of their interchangeability, trading assignments on the weakside and even letting Curry guard Paul Millsap in the post at times.

It … didn’t work.”

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/2/6/7994531/hawks-vs-warriors-score-final-recap-nba

 

– Hawks’ depth and former AAU teammates prove to be deciding factors vs. Warriors (from Jacob Eisenberg, sheridanhoops.com):

Read it here:  http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2015/02/07/eisenberg-hawks-depth-deciding-factor-vs-warriors/

 

(BI Note:  Game One of the Best-of-Nine NBA Finals series was outstanding.  Next up: Game Two in Oakland on March 18.  We will be there.)

 

–  An NBA Friday night to remember (from Michael Lee, Washington Post):

” The last Friday before the NBA all-star break gave us a few things to consider for the remainder of the season: Time is running out before the rest of the league has to start being very afraid of Anthony Davis. The Russell Westbrook Appreciation Society should have a slew of new members after this week. Continue dismissing the passing-every-test Atlanta Hawks at your own peril. Cleveland has figured out a lot in recent weeks but winning in Indiana and getting that Kevin Love to work all the time aren’t among them. And finally, Minnesota isn’t finishing with the league’s worst record if Ricky Rubio’s around.”

Read it here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2015/02/07/an-nba-friday-night-to-remember/

 

 

–  For Patrick Ewing, deep-rooted dedication drives him towards head coaching goal  (from Michael Lee, Washington Post):

” Thirty years after graduating from Georgetown and going first overall to the New York Knicks with aspirations of winning titles at the rate of Bill Russell, Ewing is associate head coach of the Charlotte Hornets and harbors grander aspirations. Ewing is still hoping some owner or general manager will finally decide to take a chance on an all-time great who has been paying his dues on the sideline with a sharp suit and a clipboard for more than a decade.

Ewing’s pursuit of an NBA head coaching job has yielded only two interviews in 13 years, but he remains committed to chasing it — just like his long and ultimately fruitless quest for a championship ring. “I’d like the opportunity to succeed or fail like everybody else. I can’t sit around and boo-hoo, ‘They won’t give me an opportunity,’ ” Ewing said. “I just keep working and keep grinding, and whenever my name is called or somebody decides to give me that call, I just want to make sure I’m ready.””

Read it here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/for-patrick-ewing-deep-rooted-dedication-drives-him-towards-head-coaching-goal/2015/02/05/95cb2e9a-acac-11e4-9c91-e9d2f9fde644_story.html

 

 

–  Jared Sullinger’s safe playmaking  (from Jay King, Masslive.com):

” Sullinger’s safe playmaking has become a precious pillar for the Boston Celtics offense. His low turnover totals are even more impressive because the Celtics use him so often to handle the ball. He initiates dribble hand-offs, finds backdoor cutters and executes an occasional spin move to the hoop. He cuts to the middle, stops to receive a pass and whips the ball to the opposite corner. He works in the post, draws double-teams, and finds open teammates.

Sullinger has found open teammates a lot lately. Over the last three games, he has established a career high in assists twice, racking up 17 assists compared to just two turnovers. His inside-outside game has helped small lineups prosper. The brilliant playmaking stretch has only highlighted what might currently count as Sullinger’s greatest offensive strength: the ability to facilitate offense while keeping possession for his team.

Before we continue, know these assists are not all simple. Sullinger’s creativity, vision and feel allow him to try passes a lot of big men wouldn’t consider.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2015/02/jared_sullinger_play-making_bo.html

 

 

–  All-Star starting nod just the beginning for Raptors’ Lowry (from Ian Thomsen, NBA.com):

” Guard took path he wanted to become both All-Star, team leader”

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/ian_thomsen/02/07/all-star-2015-kyle-lowry-toronto-raptors-forges-own-path-to-all-star-starting-nod/

 

 

–  A VISUAL GUIDE TO JIMMY BUTLER’S ASCENT  (from Martin Kessler, triangleoffense.com):

Read and view it here:  http://triangleoffense.com/features/the-gifted-a-visual-guide-to-jimmy-butlers-ascent/

 

 

– Zach Randolph Is Having Himself a Season  (from Mike Honkasalo, Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VM_ZnSUAACHVp_fK/zach-randolph-is-having-himself-a-season

 

 

–  James Harden’s clutch defense seals win for the Rockets (from Matt Moore CBS Sports):

”  Giannis Antetokounmpo had a huge night Friday. Twenty-seven points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and a block in a loss to the Rockets. But with a chance off a long rebound to make a big play in transition, a Houston Rocket stepped up and made a defensive play to essentially seal the game for the Rockets.

Yes, it was James Harden.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25061669/video-james-hardens-clutch-defense-seals-win-for-the-rockets

 

 

–  Five NBA D-League Assistants Who Could Find Success As Head Coaches  (from Keith Schlosser, ridiculousupside.com):

Read it here:  http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2015/2/3/7972687/five-nba-d-league-assistants-who-could-find-success-as-head-coaches

 

 

–  D-League: Can Jack Cooley Or Jerrelle Benimon Contribute I n the NBA? (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):

Read and view it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/02/06/d-league-can-jack-cooley-or-jerrelle-benimon-contribute-in-the-nba/

 

 

Stat of the Night:  Last night’s game was the second  of a back-to back for the Cavs .  Prior to last night, Kevin Love was shooting 37.3% in 2nd game of  back-to-backs (12 games), 41.7% on one day of rest (27 games), and 55.6% on two days of rest (7 games).  Last night’s Love went 2-for-8.

 

 

 QOTN (from Coach Satch Sullinger, responding to son Jared’s rationalizations regarding showing up late  for two games in a row):
 “In his mind, he’s going, ‘Other people might have done this. Other people might have done that.’ And he tried that with me. My point was, ‘I don’t have a nickel or a dime with anyone else. You’re a Sullinger and you’re my son. I want to talk about you. I want to talk about your growth and your development and that maturity doesn’t take place until you start dealing in reality.’
“My message to him was you can come up with all the rationale and all the reasons you want, but the bottom line and reality is you were late. Once you start dealing with that reality, then maturity can start taking its place. But until you accept it, then you’re just fighting the process of manhood.
“I said to him, ‘Fight the process if you want to. You can rationalize it any way you want in your head. But this is your final process of manhood when you start accepting responsibility of doing things the way a man’s supposed to do things.’ I told him I’m not mad at him; I’m not disappointed in him. This is just the last process of him consummating this thing called manhood. And as his father, I’m supposed to help him do it.”

 

Additional Player Updates:

 

Eric Gordon:  http://theadvocate.com/sports/pelicans/11536289-148/now-healthy-pelicans-eric-gordon

 

Marcus Morris:  http://valleyofthesuns.com/2015/02/07/marcus-morris-career-night-important/

 

Jared Sullinger:  http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics_nba/boston_celtics/2015/02/jared_sullingers_father_offers_tough_love

 

Tim Frazier:  http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/02/07/point-guard-tim-frazier-has-come-long-way/hbSY7HOHRJxIu7SbHsWLKO/story.html   and   http://www.csnphilly.com/basketball-philadelphia-76ers/sixers-tim-frazier-goes-td-garden-stands-nba-debut-boston-celtics

 

J.R. Smith:  http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/index.ssf/2015/02/terrys_talkin_about_how_jr_smi.html

 

Patrick Patterson:  http://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2015/02/06/raptors-patrick-patterson-plays-role-to-max-griffin.

 

Wayne Ellington:  http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20150208_Basketball_helps_Ellington_deal_with_killing_of_father.html

 

Khris Middleton:  http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VNGFPSUAAO3zq08G/khris-middleton-just-pulled-off-a-month-long-kyle-korver-impersonation

 

Ricky Rubio:  http://www.canishoopus.com/2015/2/6/7994889/rubio-rallies-wolves-very-late-to-down-grizzlies-90-89

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Video of Klay’s 37 point quarter shot-by-shot: (from CSNBayArea.com)

View it here:  http://www.csnbayarea.com/warriors/shot-shot-relive-klay-thompsons-historic-37-point-third-quarter

(BI Note:  27 of his points came in the final 5:32 of the quarter)

 

–  Klay Thompson’s absurd third quarter shots, graded (from Mike Prada. SBNation):

Read and view it here:   http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/1/24/7881503/klay-thompson-golden-state-warriors-third-quarter-kings-record

 

– Breakdown of the Kings’ breakdown vs. Klay Thompson (from Rui Thomas, cowbellkingdom.com):

Read it here:  http://cowbellkingdom.com/breakdown-of-the-kings-breakdown-vs-klay-thompson/

 

 

–  Pistons’ Monroe actually good defender, says Van Gundy (from Vincent Goodwill, Detroit News):

”  The general consensus surrounding Pistons forward Greg Monroe is that his defensive struggles prevent him from being an elite big man in today’s game, as his perceived lack of athleticism turns him into a liability.

But don’t tell that to coach Stan Van Gundy.

“I think Greg’s actually pretty good defensively,” Van Gundy said. “I’ve thought that all year.

“He’s a very good low post defender, in my opinion. And he’s a smart defender. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.”

In a way, Van Gundy believes Monroe’s lack of athleticism makes him a more sound player because he knows he doesn’t have the natural ability to cover up for mistakes and play above the rim. Of course, Andre Drummond is the athlete who can erase everybody’s mistakes when he’s on, but Monroe is usually in the right place at the right time.”

Read it here:  http://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/nba/pistons/2015/01/23/pistons-monroe-actually-good-defender-says-van-gundy/22253271/

 

–  Korver a perfect match for Hawks’ system (from Chris Vivlamore, ajc.com):

” The sharp-shooting guard is having a career year – at 33 years old and in his 12th NBA season – as a starter in a Hawks system predicated on pace, space and ball movement. They are a perfect match – player and system.”

Read it here:  http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/basketball/korver-a-perfect-match-for-hawks-system/njwSd/

 

–  Can the Blazers Survive LaMarcus Aldridge’s Absence? (from Zach Lowe, Grantland.com):

Read it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/lamarcus-aldridge-injury-portland-trail-blazers/

 

–  Explaining the Phoenix Suns rule on being benched for getting T’d up (from Dave King, brightsideofthesun.com):

” For the third time this season, coach Jeff Hornacek benched a Phoenix Suns player for the rest of the game for getting a technical foul for arguing with the referee over a call (or missed call). This time, it was mild-mannered fan favorite Goran Dragic who got himself benched for bumping a referee while yelling at him after a no-call on a fast break.

Goran Dragic sat out the rest of the game.

The Suns are 1-2 in those games, each of them coming down to the final possession in regulation.

Why would a coach make bad matters even worse by benching one of his best players for sticking up for himself to the referee? It’s bad enough that you lose a point on the technical foul, but to lose the game as a result is madness.

Right?

Wrong, actually.

Prior to this new rule being in place, the Phoenix Suns led the league with 32 technical fouls called against them in just 41 games.

Read it here:  http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2015/1/23/7880989/explaining-the-phoenix-suns-rule-on-being-benched-for-getting-td-up

Kyle Lowry Q & A (from Scoop Jackson, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/chicago/nba/story/_/id/12217868/interview-kyle-lowry-toronto-raptors

Flip Saunders Q & A (from Britt Robson, Minnpost.com):

Read it here:  http://www.minnpost.com/sports/2015/01/qa-flip-saunders-t-wolves-season-so-far

–  A week in the life of Toronto Raptors’ Chuck Hayes (from Eric Koreen, National Post):

” Since joining the league, Hayes has earned a reputation for his post defence, despite his comparatively short stature, standing at 6-foot-6. His low centre of gravity and quick feet allow him to hold his position. He has been frustrating bigger opponents for years.”

Read it here:  http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/23/a-week-in-the-life-of-toronto-raptors-chuck-hayes/

Cavaliers anonymously concede roster composition was an issue (from Chris Haynes, cleveland.com)

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2015/01/cleveland_cavaliers_anonymousl.html

–  Cavs Report: Roster, Not Coach, Was the Problem  (from Jared Mueller, kingjames gospel.com):

Read it here:  http://kingjamesgospel.com/2015/01/24/cavs-report-roster-not-coach-problem/

–  What Timo Mozgov means to Cleveland Cavaliers and David Blatt (from Terry Pluto, cleveland.com)

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/index.ssf/2015/01/terrys_talkin_about_why_mozgov.html

 The Rudy Gobert Report   (from Darryn Albert, thesportsquotient.com):

” New Jazz head coach Quin Snyder is finding better ways to utilize Gobert than his predecessor (and now NorCal punchline) Tyrone Corbin ever did and credit Gobert’s accelerated development as well.  The other Rudy G has nearly doubled his averages across the board this season relative to his rookie year, with averages of 6.6 points per game, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks on 62.5% shooting from the field.  And the most spine-chilling part about those numbers is that he’s doing that in less than 22 minutes per game on average.  Look at Gobert’s line per-36 minutes and those numbers jump to 11.1 points per game, 11.9 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks.  And in 7 starts so far this season, the block totals rise even further, ballooning to 4.3 blocks per game (4.8 when starting at the center position).”

Read and view it here:  http://thesportsquotient.com/nba/2015/1/23/long-arms-of-the-law-the-rudy-gobert-report

And for those with access to ESPN Insider:

Brandon  Jennings maturing for Pistons (from Amin Elhassan):

” The dynamic PG is shedding his ball-hog mentality to help Detroit’s makeover”

Read it here:  http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/12220864

Additional Player Updates:

 

Langston Galloway/Lance Thomas:  http://theknicksblog.com/knicks/hamilton-galloway-and-thomas-save-the-day-for-knicks-as-decision-day-looms/

Lamar Patterson:  http://www.nba.com/hawks/features/lamar-patterson-keeping-tabs-hawks-europe

Dante Cunnigham:  http://www.foxsports.com/north/story/ex-minnesota-timberwolves-pf-dante-cunningham-picking-up-pieces-after-tumultuous-2014-012315

Jae Crowder:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2340712-jae-crowder-doing-it-all-for-the-boston-celtics

Kawhi Leonard:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/01/23/kawhi-leonard-spurs-gregg-popovich-tim-duncan

Nic Batum:  http://www.blazersedge.com/2015/1/23/7876555/portland-trail-blazers-nicolas-batum-shooting-percentage

Kris Humphries:  http://www.truthaboutit.net/2015/01/kris-humphries-midrange-god-wizards-nba-jumper.html

Lou Amundson:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/23/sports/basketball/knicks-become-lou-amundsons-10th-nba-team.html

Summer League,Amnesty,D-League,Team USA, Free Agency, Blatt, Shotcharts

– Andrew Wiggins can blend in with transformed Cleveland Cavaliers, but can he stand out? (from Eric Koreen, National Post):

Read it here: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/07/15/andrew-wiggins-can-blend-in-with-cleveland-cavaliers-but-can-he-stand-out/

– How to make Andrew Wiggins a star (from Doug Eberhardt, SBNation.com):

” Before we get our imaginary workout going, it helps to establish that Wiggins has other-worldly explosive athleticism, a high skill level and an apparent love of the game. In other words, this isn’t exactly a blank slate. He’s perhaps a perfect student. However, there are a few aspects of Wiggins’ game that will need immediate and continuous improvement for him to become an All-Star.”

Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/7/16/5903927/andrew-wiggins-nba-summer-league-cleveland-cavaliers

– How LeBron James transforms the Cavaliers offense (from Drew Fairservice, thescore.com):

” Now we know the “where”, but what about the “how” – how will the Cavaliers make use of the unique skills the King brings to the court?

For mavens of the chalkboard, the irresistible lure of James lies his ability to literally do it all. He can play at least four positions on the court, can score from anywhere and is adept in the open court and in post-up situations alike. He can defend big and small, on the ball or off.”

Read it here: http://www.thescore.com/nba/news/538026

– Derrick Williams, after three NBA seasons, returns to Summer League (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

” No one waits on Derrick Williams anymore. The former No. 2 pick is just 23, a veteran of three NBA seasons. Within that time, though, the prospect of Williams’ stardom has been discouraged if not wholly dispatched. Williams sputtered through fits of inconsistency in Minnesota before being dealt last season to Sacramento, where he only sputtered further. The 6-foot-8 forward has had his redeeming moments, but he’s been underwhelming for such a high draft pick. His is not a tale of tragedy but one of reality: Of all those highly touted draft picks bursting with potential, some will inevitably return less than expected. If anything else were the case with Williams, he likely wouldn’t be here.”

Read it here: http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/14/derrick-williams-sacramento-kings-nba-summer-league

Blazers’ would-be depth all in Vegas (from Jeff Caplan, NBA.com):

” Two seasons ago the Portland Trail Blazers’ bench was remarkably young and perilously inadequate. Last season, the addition of veteran Mo Williams plus incredibly good health among the starting five limited opportunity for the Blazers’ babies.

As Summer League heats up, that banging sound you hear is opportunity knocking. Which young Blazers finally walk through that door will be an intriguing story line to monitor. The choices are all right here in Vegas. In fact, if the Blazers don’t boast the most players from their big-league team on their Summer League squad then they’re right there near the top.

Six of Portland’s 15 roster players are on its Summer League squad: Guards Will Barton, Allen Crabbe and C.J. McCollum, as well as frontline teammates Joel Freeland, Meyers Leonard and Thomas Robinson. All six players have either one or two years of league service, and all six are seeking to make a first-time impact in the Blazers’ rotation.”

Read it here: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/07/15/blazers-would-be-depth-all-in-vegas/

– Seven observations on the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA from Las Vegas Summer League (from Chris Fedor, cleveland.com):

” Cleveland has received a lot of attention this week. Fans have packed Cox Pavilion, hoping to get a glimpse of former UNLV star Anthony Bennett as well as June’s No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggins. There has also been plenty of buzz about the direction of the team now that LeBron James has returned.

If the Cavs win the summer league title, they will have played seven games. Here are seven observations as the team eyes the crown, which will be awarded next Monday.”

Read it here: http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2014/07/seven_observations_on_the_clev.html

If he grows, Giannis Antetokounmpo could be the NBA’s first 7-foot point guard (from KL Chouinard, bucksketball.com):

Jason Kidd was a tall point guard. Last season, the most successful coaching decision Kidd made involved an even taller point guard. Now Kidd is in Milwaukee tinkering with the player who may become the tallest point guard of all: Giannis Antetokounmpo.”

Read and view it here: http://www.bucksketball.com/2014/07/the-milwaukee-bucks-giannis-antetokounmpo-deserves-a-chance-to-be-the-worlds-tallest-point-guard

– Dante Exum is trying to put it all together (from Tyler Lashbrook, SBNation.com):

Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/7/16/5903897/dante-exum-utah-jazz-nba-summer-league

– Who are the remaining amnesty eligible players? (from RealGM.com):

See the list here: http://basketball.realgm.com/nba/info/amnesty_eligible

– The Future of Basketball’s Future (from Howard Megdal, sportsonearth.com):

” The D-League, where Hairston instead was able to play basketball, get paid for it, and parlay his talent into getting drafted, is now up to 18 teams. 17 of them are either owned by an NBA team, or have an affiliation agreement with them. Those numbers are up from 14 overall, and just one affiliated team back in 2007-08.

The league has the muscle of the NBA behind it, financially and technologically. And not only can players can be culled from the league for the NBA proper, developed using specific systems the teams themselves run, but personnel of all kinds come through the D-League.”

Read it here:http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/84665736/nba-developmental-league-d-league-basketball-farm-system#!bf86Gq

– How do you cut an NBA All-Star? Jim Boeheim talks about his role on USA Basketball’s Selection Committee (from Mike Waters, syracuse.com):

Read it here: http://www.syracuse.com/orangebasketball/index.ssf/2014/07/how_do_you_cut_an_nba_all-star_jim_boeheim_talks_about_his_role_on_usa_basketbal.html

– Lance Stephenson and the Hornets gamble on one another (from Dan Devine, Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/lance-stephenson-and-the-hornets-gamble-on-one-another–leaving-the-pacers-reeling-in-the-chaotic-east-162341370.html

– Q&A: Cavs Coach David Blatt on LeBron, Princeton, and ‘The Natural’ (from Zach Lowe, grantland.com):

Read it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/qa-cavs-coach-david-blatt-on-lebron-princeton-and-the-natural/

– A Better Shot Chart (from Austin Clemens, nyloncalculus.com):

” Shotcharts are not new; the official NBA website has had them for ages. Shotcharts aren’t a cutting edge analytical tool; you won’t have much luck predicting the next NBA champion with them. But if you’re like a lot of NBA fans I know, there’s something captivating about the latest Kirk Goldsberry creation. And while they may not be the cutting edge of analytics, when you see that your team has acquired a player in free agency you probably find yourself asking something like “will this guy be able to hit corner 3s?” Shot charts provide insight into how a player scores and how players might fit together as an offensive unit. That’s why we’re excited to debut our new shot chart visualizations. At the official page, you can view shot charts for any players for any season since 1996-1997. But this isn’t just another shot chart, like all the ones you’ve seen before. This is also a better shot chart. Let me tell you why.”

Read and view it here: http://nyloncalculus.com/2014/07/16/better-shot-chart/

– Free agency brings competitive balance to the Eastern Conference (from Paul Flannery, SBNation.com):

Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/7/16/5903525/nba-free-agency-eastern-conference-lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers

– A Visual Guide to Damian Lillard’s Multi-Faceted Offensive Attack (from Steven Lebron, triangleoffense.com):

” In just his second season in the NBA, Damian Lillard has quickly developed a reputation as a cold-blooded assassin in the closing stretches of games, unafraid to take and make the big shots, as Houston Rockets fans will surely agree. However, his offensive game is not simply based on his ability to shoot from long range. Here’s a look at Lillard’s multi-faceted offensive attack”

Read and view it here: http://triangleoffense.com/posts/the-gifted-a-visual-guide-to-damian-lillards-multi-faceted-offensive-attack/