Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 5/10/17 PLAYOFF EDITION

SAS 110, HOU 107 (from 16 Wins):
Spurs Closed First Half With Another SLOB Special From Pop (from Jeff Siegel, The Step Back):
The Small Tweak That Helped Kawhi Leonard Become An Elite Shooter (from Scott Rafferty, The SepBack):
Leonard And Harden: Studying The NBA’s Silent Stars (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):
The D’Antonis: All Their Hoops And Dreams (from Tim Keown, ESPN):
Draymond: Better Than Ever On Defense (from Chris Herring, FiveThirtyEight):
Video Breakdown: Steph & KD Dominate The Jazz On Consecutive BLOBs (from Dane Carbaugh, NBC Sports):
The Dubs’ Deadly Combo Of Hustle And Flow (from Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated):
Terry Rozier Should Be Running The Celtics’ Second Unit (from Joshua Bateman, Hardwood Houdini):
Al Horford And The Rise Of The Stretch Five (from Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer):
A Look Back At The Jazz’ Season (from Taylor Griffin, 16 Wins):
Ujiri: Raptors “Need A Culture Re-Set” (from Mike Ganter, Toronto Sun):

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

– Reviewing Wednesday night’s action (from Satchel Price, sbnation):

– Nothing was more compelling on opening night than Kevin Durant vs. Kawhi Leonard (from Jenni Carlson, 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,

– Raptors adapt well in opener (from Eric Koreen, National Post):

– Heat shows off depth in season opener (from Ethan J. Skolnick,Miami Herald):

– Spoelstra key to strong start for revamped Heat (from Israel Gutierrez, ESPN):

– Hornets a work-in-progress (from Rick Bonnell. Charlotte Observer):

– Grizzlies: Defining the problem with grit and grind (from Peter Edmiston,

– Knicks’ first game makes Phil Jackson look good (from Frank Isola, NYDailyNews):

– Clippers 111, Kings 104 (from Justin Russo,

– 5 reasons to be optimistic about Pistons (from Jamie Samuelsen,

– Notes on Tuesday’s Pistons vs Hawks game (from Jonathan Tjarks, The Pattern of Basketball):

-Pistons leaving no game unwatched in hopes of uncovering the NBA’s secrets (from Michael Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated):

– Tale of two debuts: Towns looks ready, while Russell seems to drift aimlessly (from Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated):

– Towns had solid debut (from Broderick Turner, LATimes):

– Pacers a ‘work in progress’ in season-opening loss (from Candace Buckner,

– First game for Nuggets’ rookie Emmanuel Mudiay and coach Michael Malone a success (form Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post):

– Brad Stevens vows to think outside the box, shows some of that against Philadelphia 76ers (from Jay King,

– Bulls’ Coach Fred Hoiberg Q & A (from Zach Lowe, Grantland):

– The Next 3-And-D Players (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):

– Dead money looks bad, but more NBA teams are smartly using it to stretch salary cap (from Brian Windhorst, ESPN):

Kings Assistant Coach Nancy Lieberman: “One of the Guys” (from Nancy Lieberman, The Players Tribune):


Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:

– Sixers’ Jahlil Okafor Era begins (from Marcus Hays,

– Okafor’s Debut gives Sixers’ Process Clearer Focus: (from Sean Deveney, Sporting News):

– While his body recovers, Derrick Rose’s mind stays intact (form Vincent Goodwill, csnchicago):

– Blake Griffin showed the complete package against the Kings (from

– Isaiah Thomas played like a superstar in the Boston Celtics 112-95 opening night victory (from Kevin O’Connor,

– Trail Blazers’ guard CJ McCollum and his career night: ‘A long time coming’ (from Jason Quick,

– John Wall in the Wizards’ new up-tempo system (from Jesus Gomez,

– Jared Sullinger seizes his chance (from Gary Washburn, Boston Globe):

– Rookie Jerian Grant soaking in advice from Knicks vets like Jose Calderon (from Ian Begley, ESPN):

– Gordon Hayward Q & A (from Scoop Jackson, ESPN):

– Lance Stephenson May be the Clippers X-Factor (from Sam Amick, USAToday):

– Tony Parker Embracing New Role (from Michael C. Wright, ESPN):

– Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: Breaking Down his Performance (from Ryan B. Winner,

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.

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

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

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–  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:


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

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–  Bulls rotation of bigs pays dividends in opener  (from Vincent Goodwill,

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What was learned from Fred Hoiberg on opening night?  (from Chris Terzic,

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

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–  Hawks get reality check after getting pounded by Pistons  (from Sekou Smith,

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

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

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

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–   Brad Stevens sets steady beat for Celtics  (from Mark Murphy,  Boston

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

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–   Updating the “treadmill of mediocrity” narrative around the Celtics  (from  Jeff Clark,

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–  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:


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

Read it here:


–  Veteran Grizzlies say with age comes an edge  (form Ronald Tillery,

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–  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,
” 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,
–  Raptors coach Dwane Casey craves consistency, consistent rotation  (from Doug Smith,

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:

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:


 Jason Kidd seeks balance between offense, defense  (from Charles F. gardner,

Read it here:


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

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

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

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

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–  Multitude of experiences led Dell Demps on path to NBA general manager  (from Jim Eichenhofer,


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Tiago Splitter’s Passing Is a Perfect Fit on the Hawks  (from Mika Honkasalo,  Vantage Sports):


–  Derrick Rose, Like Chicago Bulls’ Offense, Is a Work-in-Progress  (from Sean Highkin, Bleacher Report):


–  Chris Bosh Has A New Role And A Fresh Perspective  (from Adam Caparell, Complex Sports):


–  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):


–  Nic Batum’s wish for the Charlotte Hornets: Play ‘the beautiful game’  (from Rick Bonnell,  Charlotte Observer):


–   Monta Ellis, Paul George duo has potential for Pacers  (from Candace Buckner,


–  Mo Williams surprise bright spot in Cavaliers’ opening loss to Bulls  (from Tyler Davis,  Sporting News):


–   Celtics’ Marcus Smart welcomes challenge of NBA’s best  (from Mark Murphy, Boston Herald):


–  Wayne Ellington still healing and growing after his father’s murder  (from Roderick Boone,  Newsday):


–  This is not the same Ian Mahinmi   (from Gregg Doyel,


–  Anthony Davis struggles in opener; can he bounce back tonight in Portland?  (from John Reid,


–  With hip surgery looming,  Martell Webster relying on unique alternative  (from J Michael,  csnmidatlantic):


–  Anderson Varejao  Will Make a Big Impact for Cleveland Cavs in 2015-16  (from Greg Swartz, Bleacher Report):


–  Can Jordan Clarkson’s legs carry Lakers forward?   (form Mark Whicker,

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

–  It’s Good to Be Jimmy Butler  (from Bryan Smith,

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

Read it here:


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

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

Watch it here:


–  Suns eager for Bledsoe-Knight chemistry  (from Zach Buchanan,

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–  More passes to come from Thunder bigs?  (from Erik Horne,

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–  Mike Conley’s year, JaMychal Green’s emergence, Jarnell Stokes’ future and more  (from Chris Herringotn,

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

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

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

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–   The delicate balance of ball movement for the Suns  (from Bryan Gibberman,

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

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

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

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–  The Myth of DeMar DeRozan’s Athleticism  (from harshdave,

Read and view it here:

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

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

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


– from Vern Gambetta (1996):

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

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

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

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


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

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–  Warriors hope to repeat; Lamar Odom; Pau Gasol Q & A  (from David Aldridge,

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


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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Cory Joseph has been pleasant surprise for Raptors  (from Ryan Wolstat,  Postmedia Network):


–  Spurs:  With chance for bench to impress, Kyle Anderson, Boban Marjanovic deliver (from Michael C. Wright,  ESPN):


–   Eric Moreland’s hustle, energy keep him in Kings’ mix  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):


–  International import Salah Mejri could play a big role for the Mavs  (from Eddie Sefko,


–  Blake Griffin trained with sprinter Carmelita Jeter to improve his speed  (from Melissa Rohlin, LA Times):


–   Re-energized Rudy Gobert raring to go for big Jazz season  (from Jody Gennesy,


–  Celtics: Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko (from Jay King,


– Extra practice has Rozier feeling confident (from Jimmy Toscano,




–  Mavericks: John Jenkins Continues to Impress  (from Jay Knodell,


Jared Sullinger Shows off His Passing Skills  (from Marc D’Amico,


–  Oladipo Spending Countless Hours in Gym Improving Shot  (from John Denton,


–  Rockets’ Joshua Smith doing utmost to fill big-man shoes  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):


–  Martell Webster seeks second opinion for injured right hip  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):


–  Raymond Felton ran the show in Cleveland  (from Bobby Karalla,

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   Coaching  journey prepared Pelicans’ Gentry for new role  (from  Ian Thomsen,

Read it here:


–  Can the Spurs’ defense  still be elite with LaMarcus Aldridge? (from Jesus Gomez,

Read and view it here:


–  Why the Hawks are Contenders  (from Buddy Grizzard,

Read it here:


–   Mavs will collectively have to replace Al-Farouq Aminu’s high energy  (from Earl K Sneed,

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Golden State Warriors: Who is Jarell Eddie? (from Greg Chin,


–   Copeland moving forward after stabbing incident  (from Steve Aschburner,


–  Tyrus Thomas Getting Close to Full Strength  (from Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders):


–  Phoenix Suns: What To Expect From Mirza Teletovic  (from Troy Tauscher, valley of the suns):


– Raptors’ $64M deal with Jonas Valanciunas good for both sides  (from Ryan Wolstat,


–  Raptors Can’t Afford To Wait On Jonas Valanciunas Anymore  (from Jesse Blanchard,  BBall Breakdown):


–   Alan Williams to play in China  (from Paul Coro,–chinese-basketball-team/32119111/


–  Al Horford Q & A (from Jeremy Woo,  Sports Illustrated):


–  What Will Jeremy Lin Bring to Charlotte? (from Bryan Toporek, BBall Breakdown):