Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 7/29/18

Kenny McFadden: The Man Who Shaped Steven Adams & New Zealand Basketball (from Erik Horne, newsok.com):
Phil Handy: Former Cavs’ Assistant Who Is Now With The Raptors (from Colton Jones, Amico Hoops):
A Statistical Deep Dive Into Joe Ingles’ Performance (from Andrew Bailey,  SLC Dunk):
Q & A: Drew Hanlen (from Alex Kennedy, Hoops Hype):
Mikal Bridges: Bigger Upside Than You Think (from Evan Sidery, Bright Side Of The Sun):
How Mitch Creek Could Help The Nets (from Nicholas LeTourneau, Nets Daily):
Mirotic Is Ready To Breakout For Pels (from Preston Ellis, The Bird Writes):
How To Build The Pacers Into NBA Champ (from J. Michael, Indy Star):
– Trae Young: SL Synopsis (from Graham Chapple, Peachtree Hoops,):
What Can The Hawks Expect From Jeremy Lin? (from Sam Meredith, Peachtree Hoops):
What To Expect From Hawks’ New HC Lloyd Pierce (from Zackery Rogers, Soaring Down South):
Draft Stock Watch: Breakout International Prospects (from Mike Schmitz, ESPN):
As Sterling Brown Fights For An NBA Job, He’s Embraced His Role In A Bigger Struggle (from Gary Washburn, Boston Globe):
Smart & Horford: Best Defensive Duo In The Assn?  (from Joshua Bateman, Hardwood Houdini):
Will DeRozan’s Old School Game Be A Problem?  (from Kelly Scaletta, Bleacher Report):
The Really Real Conversation Between CJ & KD (from BBall Breakdown):
Watch and listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgN2jeXt7jo
Pull-Up Jumpers Held The Heat Back Last Season (from Leonard Kreicas, Hot Hot Hoops):
Jerian Grant: Struggling To Find PG Versatility (from Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily):
Nerlens Noel: Recruited And Rejuvenated (from Ben Nadeau, Basketball Insiders):
Wolves’ SL Review: Okogie & Bates-Diop (from Tim Faklis, A Wolf Among Wolves):
Pistons’ Two-Way Prospect Keenan Evans (from Dakota Schmidt, Ridiculous Upside):
TBT: The Best Basketball Event Of The Summer (from Dan Wolken, USA Today):

Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 4/20/18 PART ONE

Mirotic: Keeping It Simple, Making Pels Difficult To Figure Out (from William Guillory, NOLA.com):
Anthony Davis: Portable Rim Protector (from Mike Prada, SBNation):
Pels’ Blueprint To Stop Lillard Is Working (from Scott Rafferty, Sporting News):
Lillard Assesses Effect Of Pels’ Defensive Tactics On His Performance (from George Mills, Expressco.uk):
How The Pels Have Controlled The Series (from Danny Chau, The Ringer):
Pels Showing What They’d Look Like Without DMC (from Bryan Kalbrosky, Hoops Hype):
Jaylen Brown, Celtics’ Surging Star (from Jackie MacMullan, ESPN):
How The Celtics Have Played Jabari Parker Onto The Bench (from Greg Cassoli, USA Today):
Shaun Livingston: “We Played For Each Other”  (from The Athletic):
Warriors: Quiet, Consistent, Focused, Stable (from Chris L., Mercury News):
Embiid Is Back! (from Ramona Shelburne, ESPN):
Whiteside’s Struggles (from Barry Jackson, Miami Herald):
5 Things Cavs Must Improve (from Greg Swartz, Bleacher Report):
Capela: Launching Into The Stratosphere (from Michael Baumann, The Ringer):
The Wolves Have A Long Way To Go (from Tyler Metcalf, Hashtag Basketball):
Jazz: What Went Right/Wrong In Game Two (from Jared Woodcox, The J Notes):
There’s More To Brewer On Mitchell Than The Matchup (from Erik Horne, newsok.com):
Joe And Renae Ingles Didn’t Want A Long-Distance Marriage (from Tony Jones, Salt Lake Tribune):
Terry Rozier & Delon Wright: Ready To Step Out Of The Shadows (from Jonathan Tjarks, The Ringer):
Q & A: David Blatt (from Irad Tsafrir, Haaretz):

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 11/1/15

– NEW HOPE FOR THE RAPTORS  (FROM PAUL FLANNERY, SBNATION):

READ IT HERE:  HTTP://WWW.SBNATION.COM/NBA/2015/11/1/9653620/RAPTORS-DEMARRE-CARROLL-KYLE-LOWRY-SUNDAY-SHOOTAROUND

– Sixers waiting for Okafor … literally   (from Bob Ford, Philly.com):

Read it here: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20151101_Sixers_waiting_for_Okafor_____literally.html

– Bulls working to ‘clean up and fix’ turnover issues (from Mark Strotman, csnchicago.com):

Read it here: http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/bulls-working-clean-and-fix-turnover-issues

– Added Depth Paying Off Early For Clippers  (from Jesse Blancarte, Basketball Insiders): http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-saturday-added-depth-paying-off-early-for-clippers/

Skiles Knows How to Curb Slow Starts  (from Brian Schmitz, Orlando Sentinel):

Read it here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orlando-magic/os-orlando-magic-news-1101-20151031-story.html

–  Pistons once again the NBA’s best story, this time with league-best record  (from David Mayo, mlive.com):

Read it here:  http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2015/10/pistons_once_again_the_nbas_be.html

What More Can the Grizzlies Core Give (from Chris Herrington, commercialappeal.com):

Read it here:  http://www.commercialappeal.com/columnists/chris-herrington/Pick-and-Pop-Preview-What-more-can-the-Grizzlies-core-give-337537511.html

Recap of yesterday’s games (from Jesus Gomez, sbnation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/11/1/9652204/2015-nba-scores-stephen-curry-53-points-warriors-pelicans/in/9416295

–  Is This Steph Curry’s League (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/golden-state-warriors/post/_/id/780/is-this-stephen-currys-league

QOTD (from Steph Curry):   “Every year you get smarter, get more experience, you see things better,

“It’s about staying within yourself, making smart plays, trusting your teammates to make smart plays and just being confident and aggressive. The best players in this league learn a little bit every year how to get better, more efficient.”

– New coaching staff means new rotations, roles for Orlando Magic  (from David Iwanowski,  orlandomagicdaily):

Read it here:  http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2015/11/01/new-coaching-staff-means-new-rotations-roles-orlando-magic/

–  Mirotic is Changing the Bulls’ defense  (from Mark Karantzoulis,  chicagonow.com):

Read it here:  http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-bulls-confidential/2015/11/nikola-mirotic-is-changing-the-bulls-defense/

–  To cut down on turnovers, Randy Wittman wants Wizards to shoot more (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wizards-insider/wp/2015/10/30/to-cut-down-on-turnovers-randy-wittman-wants-wizards-to-shoot-more/

The Spurs 8 Keys to Ball Movement  (from Kyle Ohman,  basketballhq.com):

Read it here:  http://basketballhq.com/the-spurs-8-keys-to-ball-movement

Josh Smith on playing center  (from Josh Woike, ocregister.com:

” Smith’s had to essentially learn a new skill, in addition to learning a new system and new teammates, in his first year with the Clippers.

He’s primarily playing center, going from a big forward to undersized at his new position.

“It’s definitely challenging, and it’s definitely new to me,” Smith said. “I have no problem with it. I’ve just got to get more familiar with it. Those guys are pretty big, so being able to have to guard DeMarcus Cousins and the other 7-footers is definitely a challenge, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to take.”

“(I’ve) just got to try to rely on my quickness, agitate them a little bit, kind of not let them feel my body because when a big guy has you pinned and they can feel your body, that’s when they’re at their advantage.””

–  5 Takeaways from the 2015 NBA D-League Draft (from Brian Kotloff, dleague.nba.com):

Read it here: http://dleague.nba.com/news/2015-nba-dleague-draft-five-takeaways/

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Tristan Thompson (from Marla Ridenour,  ohio.com): http://www.ohio.com/sports/cavs/cavaliers-tristan-thompson-playing-his-way-back-into-shape-after-contract-dispute-1.637043

– Cousins adds dimension to game with outside shot (from Scott-Howard Cooper, NBA.com): http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/scott_howard_cooper/10/31/demarcus-cousins-outside-shooter/index.html

– Heat’s Wade still grinding in post-LeBron life (from Steve Aschburner, NBA.com):  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/steve_aschburner/10/31/heat-dwyane-wade-keeps-pushing-along-in-post-lebron-james-life/index.html

– Kobe Bryant on pulling back, not taking over: ‘It has to be done’  (from Baxter Holmes, ESPN):  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14015006/kobe-bryant-losangeles-lakers-says-done-trying-take-games

Raptors Look to Ross for Bench Boost (from Brian Schmitz, Toronto Sun):  http://www.torontosun.com/2015/10/31/raptors-look-to-ross-for-bench-boost

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 10/29/15

– 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/

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Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 10/28/15

–  Cavaliers lose to Bulls but gain some cohesiveness  (from Jeff Zilgitt,  USAToday):

Read it here:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/cavaliers/2015/10/28/cavaliers/74724128/

 

–  Cavs show they have plenty of work to do  (from Dave McMenamin,  ESPN):

“We’re not yet where we’re going to be, and I said that coming in,” Cavs coach David Blatt said after the game. “Not to be someone that knows what’s going to happen ahead of time, but that’s natural. You haven’t played and haven’t practiced with your full unit, you’re going to struggle a little bit timing-wise, you’re going to be a little bit off with some of your shots.”

“Every team has its own unique arc,” James Jones said. “You have contenders, you have upstarts, you have teams on the rise, teams that are holding on, teams that are falling. So, depending on where you are, you approach different points of the season with a different level of urgency. And so for us, winning is important, but building continuity and getting stronger and better at every facet of the game is most important.”

Read it here:   http://espn.go.com/blog/cleveland-cavaliers/post/_/id/1247/cavs-show-they-have-plenty-of-work-to-do

 

–  Kevin Love steps up late and David Blatt sticks to plan in Cleveland Cavaliers opener: Fedor’s five observations  (from Dave Fedor, cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2015/10/kevin_love_steps_up_late_and_d.html

 

–  Bulls rotation of bigs pays dividends in opener  (from Vincent Goodwill,  csnchicago.com):

Read it here:  http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/bulls-rotation-bigs-pays-dividends-opener

 

What was learned from Fred Hoiberg on opening night?  (from Chris Terzic,  blogabull.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.blogabull.com/2015/10/28/9624108/chicago-bulls-cavaliers-cleveland-recap

 

Pistons: The Stan Van Gundy Blueprint On Night 1  (form Jonathan Tjarks,  RealGM):

Read it here:  http://basketball.realgm.com/article/239686/The-Stan-Van-Gundy-Blueprint-On-Night-1

 

–  Hawks get reality check after getting pounded by Pistons  (from Sekou Smith,  NBA.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/sekou_smith/10/28/hawks-pounded-on-boards-by-pistons/

 

–  Stephen Curry rips off 40 points on opening night and 3 other things we learned  (from Liam Boylan-Pett,  SBNation):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/10/28/9624374/2015-nba-scores-stephen-curry-golden-state-warriors-opener-stats-reigning-mvp

 

–  NBA Opening Night Takeaways  (from Zach harper,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25355958/nba-opening-night-takeaways-bulls-gut-out-win-vs-cavs-pistons-look-legit

 

–   Switching up: How NBA will try to adjust to Stephen Curry, Warriors (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss,  ESPN):

Read and view it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/golden-state-warriors/post/_/id/745/switching-up-how-nba-will-try-to-adjust-to-stephen-curry-warriors

 

–   Brad Stevens sets steady beat for Celtics  (from Mark Murphy,  Boston Herald.com):

Read it here:  http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2015/10/brad_stevens_sets_steady_beat_for_celtics

 

–  Brad Stevens is the Celtics’ biggest reason for hope  (from Paul Flannery,  SBNation):

Read it here:   http://www.sbnation.com/2015/10/28/9620856/brad-stevens-boston-celtics-profile-nba

 

–   Updating the “treadmill of mediocrity” narrative around the Celtics  (from  Jeff Clark,  celticsblog.com):

Read it here:  http://www.celticsblog.com/2015/10/27/9616368/updating-the-treadmill-of-mediocrity-narrative-around-the-celtics

 

–  Basketball IQ may help Celtics court success  (from Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald):

“With willing passers and people generally concerned more with a collective success than their own, this club could be poised for a darn interesting season.

Then again, is the repeated reference to basketball IQ by the C’s just another way of saying they lack star power? Ainge, for one, doesn’t divorce the terms.

“Hey, the superstars are usually the guys with the highest basketball IQs around,” he said. “I don’t think anyone’s questioning LeBron James’ basketball IQ just because he’s the best player in the world. They’re not questioning Steph Curry. Those guys have really high basketball IQs.

“It’s hard to be great without a good basketball IQ. Larry had a huge basketball IQ. Off the charts. That’s what I’m saying. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell — they’re not only the best players, but they’re also the smartest players.”

What the Celtics seem to have are players who understand their roles and coaches who’ve put them in position to use their skills. But even given good coaching, it has to take a certain hoop intellect for a player to see beyond his own situation.

“I think that’s more maturity than it is IQ,” said Ainge. “I guess it’s some sort of emotional IQ. These kids hear a lot about their fantasy numbers, and sometimes they’ll have agents telling them that if they score X amount of points you’ll get more money. They have to get past that.

“I usually feel that players come into the league to, first, sort of earn the respect of their peers and their self-respect that they belong in the NBA. Then they want to be paid and be All-Stars, in some order. And then they want to win. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to win initially. Of course everybody wants to win. But winning isn’t always the priority.

Read it here:  http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2015/10/bulpett_basketball_iq_may_help_celtics_court_success

 

–  Clippers: Why ‘Championship Or Bust’ Mentality Is Wrong  (from Cameon tewart,  hoopshabit.com):

Read it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2015/10/27/los-angeles-clippers-championship-bust-mentality-wrong/

 

–  Veteran Grizzlies say with age comes an edge  (form Ronald Tillery, commercialappeal.com):

Read it here:  http://www.commercialappeal.com/sports/grizzlies/veteran-grizzlies-say-with-age-comes-an-edge-2317a3b8-7494-13e2-e053-0100007f1e38-337743551.html

 

–  Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, in Year 8, getting to know his latest challenge  (form Ethan J. Skolnick, Miami Herald):

“That’s the joy of being in this profession, is trying to figure out how the sum of the total can be better than some of the individuals,” Spoelstra said. “And bringing guys together. Having them feel a sense of community where they are part of something bigger than themselves, where they want to help their teammate be better. Where they find joy in that, where they don’t want to let their teammates down. That’s always the challenge with every team, but how you get there is sometimes different.”

Orlando Magic Preview  (from John Denton,  magic.com):
” The season ahead could also serve as a referendum on the young core of players that the Magic have spent three years stockpiling through the draft and trades. Projected starters Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton and Oladipo and top reserves Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja are all 25 years old or younger, but they are in key weight-bearing roles because of their vast potential.
Whether or not that young core thrives – or is potentially broken up if it struggles again – will likely come down to these questions. Can Vucevic – a threat to score 20 points and/or grab 20 rebounds nightly – become a better defender and get to the free throw line more? Can Oladipo play with the consistency that has allowed him to show flashes of greatness and become a more efficient force? Can Harris add to his do-everything skill set and make others around him better? Can Payton improve his shot and adapt to a Skiles’ system that prefers more passing and cutting and less dribbling? Can Gordon stay healthy and become the lockdown wing defender the Magic so desperately need? And can Hezonja, 20, ever be as beyond-his-years instinctual and confident on the defensive end of the floor as he is with the ball in his hands offensively?”
–  Can the Mavs get healthy? Can they win rebounding battles? The main story lines of 2015-16  (form Eddie Sefko,  dallasnews.com):
–  Raptors coach Dwane Casey craves consistency, consistent rotation  (from Doug Smith,  thestar.com):

Russell Westbrook, the Creator  (from Kirk Goldsberry, Grantland);

” The numbers show that Russell Westbrook became one of the NBA’s most efficient assist men last season. Now that Kevin Durant is back healthy, the Thunder could be better than ever”

Read and view it here:   http://grantland.com/features/russell-the-creator-westbrook-nba-oklahoma-city-thunder-western-conference-kevin-durant-serge-ibaka-kevin-love/

Thunder’s New Offense (from Coach Nick, BBall Breakdown):

 

–  Alvin Gentry is out to remake Pelicans’ defense, starting with Anthony Davis  (from Sean Deveney,  Sporting News):

Read it here:  http://www.sportingnews.com/nba-news/4659490-alvin-gentry-new-orleans-pelicans-anthony-davis-defense-blocked-shots

 

 Jason Kidd seeks balance between offense, defense  (from Charles F. gardner,  jsonline.com):

Read it here:  http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/jason-kidd-seeks-balance-between-offense-defense-b99603562z1-337784771.html

 

Wizards:  The revamped offense’s effect on the starting lineup  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wizards-insider/wp/2015/10/27/wizards-season-preview-the-revamped-offenses-effect-on-the-starting-lineup/

 

Wizards:  The revamped offense’s effect on the bench  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post);

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wizards-insider/wp/2015/10/27/wizards-season-preview-the-revamped-offenses-effect-on-the-bench/

 

–  Which early-entry players made NBA opening day rosters?  (from Jeff Eisenberg,  Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaab-the-dagger/which-early-entry-players-made-nba-opening-day-rosters-161654267.html

 

–  Notable Free Agents Remain After Final Cuts   (from Cody Taylor,  Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:   http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-pm-notable-free-agents-remain-after-final-cuts/

 

–  Multitude of experiences led Dell Demps on path to NBA general manager  (from Jim Eichenhofer,  pelicans.com):  http://www.nba.com/pelicans/news/earn-everything-multitude-experiences-led-dell-demps-path-nba-general-manager

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

–  Tiago Splitter’s Passing Is a Perfect Fit on the Hawks  (from Mika Honkasalo,  Vantage Sports):  http://www.vantagesports.com/story/Vi-h5R8AAJ4AC2gz/tiago-splitters-passing-is-a-perfect-fit-on-the-hawks

 

–  Derrick Rose, Like Chicago Bulls’ Offense, Is a Work-in-Progress  (from Sean Highkin, Bleacher Report):   http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2583493-derrick-rose-like-chicago-bulls-offense-is-a-work-in-progress

 

–  Chris Bosh Has A New Role And A Fresh Perspective  (from Adam Caparell, Complex Sports):   http://www.complex.com/sports/2015/10/the-new-chris-bosh

 

–  Chris Bosh is miffed. Three years after he famously migrated to the perimeter during the Heat’s 2012 championship run, formerly paint-dwelling big men are draining 3-pointers in his face (from Tom Haberstroh,  ESPN):

 http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13988310/thinking-big-chris-bosh

 

–  Nic Batum’s wish for the Charlotte Hornets: Play ‘the beautiful game’  (from Rick Bonnell,  Charlotte Observer):  http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nba/charlotte-hornets/article41541693.html

 

–   Monta Ellis, Paul George duo has potential for Pacers  (from Candace Buckner,  indystar.com):  http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/2015/10/27/ini-1027-pacers-georgeellis-duo/74677046/

 

–  Mo Williams surprise bright spot in Cavaliers’ opening loss to Bulls  (from Tyler Davis,  Sporting News):   http://www.sportingnews.com/nba-news/4659465-mo-williams-cavaliers-vs-bulls-season-opener-cleveland-lebron-james

 

–   Celtics’ Marcus Smart welcomes challenge of NBA’s best  (from Mark Murphy, Boston Herald):  http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2015/10/celtics_marcus_smart_welcomes_challenge_of_nbas_best

 

–  Wayne Ellington still healing and growing after his father’s murder  (from Roderick Boone,  Newsday):  http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/nets/nets-wayne-ellington-still-healing-and-growing-after-his-father-s-murder-1.11017982

 

–  This is not the same Ian Mahinmi   (from Gregg Doyel,  indystar.com):  http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/columnists/gregg-doyel/2015/10/27/doyel-not-same-ian-mahinmi/74613516/

 

–  Anthony Davis struggles in opener; can he bounce back tonight in Portland?  (from John Reid,  NOLA.com):  http://www.nola.com/pelicans/index.ssf/2015/10/anthony_davis_unable_to_shine.html

 

–  With hip surgery looming,  Martell Webster relying on unique alternative  (from J Michael,  csnmidatlantic):  http://www.csnmidatlantic.com/basketball-washington-wizards/talk/hip-surgery-looming-webster-relying-unique-alternative

 

–  Anderson Varejao  Will Make a Big Impact for Cleveland Cavs in 2015-16  (from Greg Swartz, Bleacher Report):  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2583020-the-surprising-name-who-will-make-a-big-impact-for-cleveland-cavs-in-2015-16

 

–  Can Jordan Clarkson’s legs carry Lakers forward?   (form Mark Whicker,  dailynews.com):  http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20151027/whicker-can-jordan-clarksons-legs-carry-lakers-forward