Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 2/14/19

ATL: The Artistry Of Trae Young’s Passes (from Chris Kirschner, The Athletic):
BKN: D’Lo Is Breaking Free (from Leo Sepkowitz, Bleacher Report):
BKN:  Jarrett Allen Embodies “Rising Star” (from Michael Scotto, The Athletic):
BOS: The Importance Of Horford Vs The Sixers (from Daniel Poarch, Celtic Blog):
DAL: Doncic & The Art Of Passing (from Jackson Frank, The Step Back):
DEN: Can Isaiah Thomas Rise Again? (from Robert Sanchez, ESPN):
DET: Ellington’s Focus Is On “Right Now” (from Rod Beard, Detroit News):
GSW: Q & A: Steph Curry (from David Dennis, Jr, The Undefeated):
GSW: How The Dubs Overcame The Jazz In The 4th Quarter (from Joe Viray, Golden State Of Mind):
GSW: Durant At PG Is Looking Better & Better (from Marcus Thompson II, The Athletic):
HOU: Shumpert Brings A Steel Will To Defense (from Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle):
HOU: How Harden’s Streak Is Different Than Wilt’s (from Neil Paine, FiveThirtyEight):

Read it here:  https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/james-harden-is-outdoing-wilt-chamberlain-where-it-matters/

IND: Kyle O’Quinn’s Road To The NBA (from Josiah Turner, Sports Illustrated):
IND: Why The Pacers Are Thriving After Oladipo Injury (from James Tillman III, Hoops Habit):
MEM: Joakim Noah Is Happiest He’s Ever Been (from Sam Smith, bulls.com):
MEM: Was Avery Bradley Misused By LAC? (from Bryan Kalbrosky, Hoops Hype):
MIN: Taj Gibson: From Starter To Reserve (from Chris Hine, Star Tribune):
MIN: Takeaways From Win Over HOU (from Andy Grimsrud, A Wolf Among Wolves):
NOP: When Kenrich Williams Became Kenny Hustle (from Andrew Lopez, NOLA.com):
*NYK: Knicks Give DSJ Room To Explore (from Nekias Duncan, The Basketball Writers):
NYK: How Dennis Smith’s Journey Readied Him For A Fresh Start (from Mike Vornukov, The Athletic):
OKC: Steven Adams Is Much More Than Just Strong (from Michael Shapiro, Sports Illustrated):
ORL: Rebounding At Center Of Magic’s Identity (from Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily):
ORL: Magic’s Patience For Isaac Is Paying Off (from Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily):
PHI: Embiid: DPOY?  (from Andrew Favakeh, Liberty Ballers):
POR: Q & A: Rodney Hood (from Alex Kennedy, Hoops Hype):
POR: Kanter Makes Blazers Deeper & Better (from Joe Freeman, Oregon Live):
SAC: Harrison Barnes Prepared For Playoff Push (from Alex Kramers, kings.com):
SAS: Aldridge’s All-Star Journey (from Jabari Young, The Athletic):
TOR: Q & A: Chris Boucher (from Gad Elmaleh, BallNRoll):
UTA: Gobert’s MVP-Like Season (from Andrew Bailey, SLC Dunk):
WAS: The Newest Wizards Are Fitting Beautifully By Playing Their Strengths (from Candace Buckner, Washington Post):
*Playoff Roles For Buyout Market Vets (from Adam Spinella, The Basketball Writers):
The Daily ATO (from Adam Spinella):
Shot-Chart Trivia: Guess That All-Star (from Kirk Goldsberry, ESPN):
Sports Reference Informs The World (from James Wagner, NY Times):
The Step-Back 3 (from Associated Press):
An Oral History Of The 1998-99 Lockout  (from Thomas Golianopolous, The Ringer):
G-League: Keep An Eye On Stockton Rookie Cameron Reynolds (from Dakota Schmidt, Ridiculous Upside):

*NYK: Knicks Give DSJ Room To Explore (from Nekias Duncan, The Basketball Writers):
*Playoff Roles For Buyout Market Vets (from Adam Spinella, The Basketball Writers):
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Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 12/25/18

NBA  Christmas Day: Visualizing The Key To All Ten Teams (from Kirk Goldsberry, ESPN):
Wilt’s 23-Block Game May Be The Greatest Christmas Day Performance In NBA History:(from Chamberlain Archive):
Read it here:  https://imgur.com/hgQjqoe
Kenny Anderson Finds Peace (from Mike Mazzeo, Closeup 360):
Evaluating How The Two-Way Contract System Is Working (from Jeff Feld, Forbes):
BKN: Musa: Still Big Part Of Nets’ Future Plans (from Net Income,  Nets Daily):
DEN: Former NBA Star Big Men Love Jokic’s Game (from Nick Kosmider, The Athletic):
DEN: Video: How Jokic Has Turned Into The Best (from Coach Nick, BBall Breakdown):
DEN: COY Candidate Malone’s Biggest Challenge Is Still Lurking (from Jeff Feld, Forbes):
GSW: DMC On His Rehab, The Dubs’ Pace & More (from Anthony Slater, The Athletic):
HOU: Austin Rivers Says He Fits Well With Rockets (from Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle):
IND: Sacrifices Elevate Pacers To League’s Best Defense (from J. M ichael, Indy Star):
LAC: Ralph Lawler Should Be In The HOF (from Tom Hoffarth, LA Times):
LAL: Rondo On Rondo: Rajon Reflects On His Past, Present & Future In The NBA (from Marc J Spears, The Undefeated):
LAL: LBJ Battling When To Defer & When To Take Over (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):
NOP: Ball Boy To Assistant Coach: Two Friends’ Rare Journey (from William Guillory, The Athletic):
NYK: A Look At Kevin Knox’ Recent Offensive Production (from Tom Piccolo, Bball Index):
PHI: Andrew Toney: A Lesson For The Sixers In Regard To Dealing With Markelle Fultz’ Injury (from Stuart London, The Sixer Sense):
PHO: Ayton Is Growing Up Right Before Our Eyes (from Evan Sidery, Bright Side Of The Sun):
POR: Video Breakdown: How The Blazers Use “Spain” Action (from Dane Delgado, NBC Sports):
UTA: Rubio Has Learned How To Find Balance In His Life (from Tony Jones, The Athletic):

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 12/7/16

–  Daryl Morey: Basketball’s Nerd King  (from Michael Lewis, Slate.com):

Read it here: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2016/12/how_daryl_morey_used_behavioral_economics_to_revolutionize_the_art_of_nba.html

Larry Bird Q & A  (from Baxter Holmes, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/18197737/larry-bird-reveals-secrets-13-year-career

–  Why D’Antoni Is A Great Fit For Rockets  (from Sam Amick, USA Today):

Read it here:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/columnist/sam-amick/2016/12/06/mike-dantoni-james-harden-daryl-morey-rockets/95058052/

–  LBJ Is Better Than Ever At Picking Defenses Apart (from Scott Rafferty, fansided.com):

Read and watch it here:  http://fansided.com/2016/12/07/lebron-james-passing-assists-cavaliers/

–  The Evolution Of LBJ  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/12/07/lebron-james-cavaliers-heat-dwyane-wade-chris-bosh-kyrie-irving

–  Eric Gordon: Finally Hitting His Stride  (from Cameron Stewart, Hoops Habit):

Read it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2016/12/07/houston-rockets-eric-gordon-stride/

–  What Is Motiejunas Doing? (from Larry Coon, cbafaq.com):

Read it here:  http://cbafaq.com/blog/?p=381

–  Durant’s Shooting Has Gone From Good To Great  (from Todd Whitehead, Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:  http://fansided.com/2016/12/07/nylon-calculus-kevin-durant-shooting-improvement/

How KD Has Become His Most Efficient Self (from Marc Stein, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/18226416/nba-how-kevin-durant-became-most-efficient-self-yet

–  Patrick McCaw: Precocious Rookie  (from Janie McCauley, AP):

Read it here;  http://bigstory.ap.org/article/9cb77039b65249d996a011ca7c782f1f/warriors-rookie-patrick-mccaw-learns-surrounded-big-stars

–  Tom Thibodeau: A Season Watching From A Distance (from Scott Cacciola, NY Times):

Read it here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/sports/tom-thibodeau-minnesota-timberwolves-chicago-bulls-basketball.html?_r=0

Giannis: Just Pointing To Pure Talent Sells Him Short  (from Brian Windhorst, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/18218114/bucks-find-star-antetokounmpo

–  Al Attles: There Was Nothing You Could Do To Stop Wilt  (from Marc J. Spears, The Undefeated):

Read it here: http://theundefeated.com/features/klay-thompson-wilt-chamberlain/

–  Brook Lopez, Marksman  (from Nick Agar-Johnson, Hashtag Basketball):

Read it here:  http://www.hashtagbasketball.com/brooklyn-nets/content/brook-lopez-marksman

–  Kent Bazemore’s Story Of Perseverance  (from Lang Greene, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-am-kent-bazemores-story-of-perseverance/

–  Steve Kerr’s Slow Recovery  (from Tim Kawakami, Mercury News):

Read it here:  http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/05/steve-kerrs-day-by-day-healing-process-hes-feeling-better-and-realizing-the-overnight-recovery-probably-isnt-going-to-happen/

–  The Hawks’ Early-Season Reality Check (from Sekou Smith, NBA.com):

Read it here:

http://www.nba.com/article/2016/12/06/atlanta-hawks-early-season-slump

Jamal Crawford’s Sixth Man Transformation  (from Michael Scotto, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/jamal-crawfords-historic-sixth-man-transformation/

Tuesday Recap  (from Tim Cato, SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/12/7/13864500/2016-nba-scores-john-wall-wizards-52-points-loss

From Kurt Helin, NBC Sports: http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/12/07/three-things-we-learned-tuesday-even-john-walls-52-cant-get-wizards-win/

–  Tuesday’s Best Players: John Wall/Kris Dunn (from Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer):

Read it here:  https://theringer.com/john-walls-52-points-can-t-mask-the-wizards-stink-83cb6c78fe32#.6j8fr8x0z

–  Oladipo Is Beginning To Make The Jump In OKC  (from Chris Barnewall, fansided.com):

Read it here:  http://fansided.com/2016/12/06/victor-oladipo-thunder-magic-westbrook/

Can The Clippers Derail GSW-CLE III?  (from Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/12/07/los-angeles-clippers-chris-paul-blake-griffin-doc-rivers-warriors-cavs

–  Phil Jackson On ‘Melo, The Triangle And More  (from Ian Begley, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/18224997/carmelo-anthony-new-york-knicks-working-ball-hog-habit-phil-jackson-says

–  GSW-LAC Preview  (from Law Murray, clipperblog.com):

Read it here:  http://clipperblog.com/2016/12/07/best-offense-warriors-meets-best-defense-clippers/

–  Josh McRoberts Makes It Easier For Everyone  (from Anthony Chiang, Palm Beach Post):

Read it here:  http://heatzone.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2016/12/07/josh-mcroberts-using-on-court-communication-skills-to-help-miami-heats-young-roster/

OKC’s Winning Streak: It’s Westbrook But It’s Not Just Westbrook  (from Brett Dawson, newsok.com):

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/article/5529908

–  Thomas Robinson: Searching For A Bigger Role (from Mark Whicker, OCRegister):

Read it here:  http://www.ocregister.com/articles/robinson-737498-nba-lakers.html

As D-League Matures, Santa Cruz Warriors Toil In The Shadow Of GSW  (from Ben Cohen, Wall Street Journal):

Read it here:  http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-golden-state-almost-warriors-1480974818

–  Manny Harris: Off To Unbelievable Star With Texas Legends  (from Dakota Schmidt, Ridiculous Upside):

Read it here:  http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2016/12/6/13857238/manny-harris-nbadl-dleague-texas-legends

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis: Part Two

This is Part Two of today’s Basketball Intelligence Blog.  You can read Part One (published this a.m.) here:  http://basketballintelligence.net/2015/06/08/todays-best-nba-reporting-analysis-part-one-2/

 

 

Finals Stories:

 

 

–  Making Sense of the Madness in Game 2 of the NBA Finals  (from Zach Lowe, Grantland.com):

Read it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/making-sense-of-the-madness-in-game-2-of-the-nba-finals/

 

 

–  Cavs Turn up the Pressure Defense and Take Advantage of Warriors’ Missed Open Shots to Win Game 2 in OT  (from Bob MacKinnon, Vantage Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.vantagesports.com/story/VXM8PyUAADg70GCS/cavs-vs.-warriors-6-7-15—game-2-its-step-up-time-for-clevelands-role-players

 

 

 

–  Cavaliers’ Defensive Transformation a Key to Success (from Christopher Terzic, today’sfastbreak.com):

Read it here:  http://www.todaysfastbreak.com/nba-east/central/cavaliers-elite-defense-transformation-key-success/

 

 

 

–  5-Man Units Telling 2015 NBA Finals Story Entering Game 3  (from Adam Fromal, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2489617-5-man-units-telling-2015-nba-finals-story-entering-game-3

 

 

 

–  Jerry West is right: Criticism of LeBron James is embarrassing  (from Troy Machir, Sporting News):

Read it here:  http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2015-06-07/nba-finals-2015-lebron-james-jerry-west-criticism-embarassing-cavaliers-warriors

(BI comment:  He is the most ridiculously unfairly criticized player since Wilt Chamberlain.)

 

 

 

–  Matthew Dellavedova an inconceivable NBA Finals star  (from Adam Kilgore, Washington Post):

Read it here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2015/06/08/matthew-dellavedova-an-inconceivable-nba-finals-star/

 

 

 

–  A game ball’s road to the NBA Finals  (from Baxter Holmes,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2015/story/_/id/13030284/nba-playoffs-game-ball-road-nba-finals

 

 

 

Morning Tip (from David Aldridge, NBA.com):

Includes Shaun Livingston Q &A and Warriors’ New Arena plans

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/david_aldridge/06/08/morning-tip-golden-state-warriors-future-with-new-arena-in-san-francisco-arn-tellems-move-to-detroit-pistons-qa-with-shaun-livingston/

 

 

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Stories not related to the Finals:

 

 

–  Pacers’ Offensive Evolution Will Start with Paul George  (from Alec Nathan, Bleacher report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2489748-indiana-pacers-offensive-evolution-will-start-with-paul-george

 

 

 

 

The TBT is Back: this time for $1 million  (from Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders):

” Imagine a single-elimination, high-stakes tournament similar to March Madness, except anyone could put together a team to compete. Teams could consist of NBA veterans, overseas stars, D-League players or even your next-door neighbor. Anyone over 18 years old can apply for free and then fans vote to determine which teams are in the field. Oh, and unlike the NCAA Tournament, players could earn money since the winning team would take home a large monetary prize to be split among its players.”

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-pm-the-basketball-tournament-is-back/

More on TBT (from Jeff Goodman, ESPN) here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13036712/more-40-former-nba-players-shoot-1-million-basketball-tournament

 

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

 

Rudy Gobert:  http://www.sltrib.com/sports/2598539-155/utah-jazz-gobert-motivated-to-be

 

Serge Ibaka:  http://www.nba.com/thunder/feature/checkin_ibaka_150608

 

Xavier Silas:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/silas-success-abroad-may-lead-to-nba-shot/

 

Dragan Bender:  http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2015/6/8/8745739/dragan-bender-nba-draft-2016-profile

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   The Rebirth of Big Men: A Breakdown of Old-School Bulk and New-Era Skill  (from Zach Lowe, grantland.com):

The positional revolution is real — to a degree. Rule changes and smart coaching have made speed, playmaking, and 3-point shooting more important across all five positions. Players toggle more often than ever between positions on both sides of the floor.

A lot of people inside and outside the league concluded that the NBA was on a path toward small ball — an era in which wing players would shift up to power forward, everyone would shoot 3s, and some apex predator team would field a fever-dream lineup of five multiskilled 6-foot-8 guys. The center position was supposedly so dead that the NBA removed it from the All-Star ballot.

Things never went nearly so far

The best teams need everything — the ability to go super-big against Memphis, and to inject more shooting and playmaking into one big-man slot when the opponent requires it. The Spurs are a model of that kind of flexibility; capturing it requires spending every dollar wisely.

Size will matter as long as basketball involves people trying to throw a ball up and into a basket propped 10 feet above the ground. A few years after it became popular to declare the center position dead, a new wave of young centers — especially from the 2013 draft class — is reclaiming the position with a blend of old-school bulk and new-era skill. Here’s a look at five such players.”

Read and view it here:   http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-rebirth-of-big-men-a-breakdown-of-old-school-bulk-and-new-era-skill/

 

–  How Teams Have Adjusted to Rudy Gobert (from Ben Dowsett, saltcityhoops.com):

” The inevitable backslide. The term takes a negative connotation, but in reality it’s only partially so – much of the reason behind it traces back to Gobert’s monstrous impact on the game and the resulting need for opponents to scout and alter their game plans for his time on the court.

None of this is the least bit unexpected or worrying. The fact that teams have begun to scout Gobert specifically and exploit his weaker points speaks to the profound impact he’s been making on the game. The numbers are also still on a limited sampling, and certain bits of variance and randomness are to be expected.

Most importantly, this is a player who has shown an extremely accelerated developmental curve already in his year and a half in the league. Don’t doubt for a second that Rudy and his coaches have noticed the smarter ways teams are attacking him and are scheming their own set of counters. He’s shown a sometimes staggering ability to pick up new pieces of his game in very short periods of time, and it’d be tough to bet against him doing much of the same going forward. The going has gotten tougher, but expect Rudy to Stifle on.”

Read and view it here:  http://saltcityhoops.com/scaling-the-stifle-tower-how-teams-have-adjusted-to-rudy-gobert/

 

 

Watch the Throne: James Harden is Coming ( from Chris Palmer, thelab.bleacherreport.com):

” His greatest asset remains his mind, an algorithm-processing basketball computer. He can sort through loads of information in the seconds a change of possession occurs.

He finds angles where none exist. He detects passing lanes that are otherwise obscured by limbs and lack of imagination. He turns mismatches into unfair opportunities.

“He’s one of the smartest basketball players I’ve ever worked with,” says Mike Krzyzewski, Harden’s Team USA head coach.

When asked what is Harden’s best athletic quality, Herb Sendek, his coach at Arizona State, responds,”His mind. He has the intuition and the willingness to make the right play.””\

Read it here:  http://thelab.bleacherreport.com/watchthethrone/

 

–  Blazers’ Vanterpool has all the right tools:  Assistant coach can relate to just about any situation (from Erik Gunderson, columbian.com):

Read it here:  http://www.columbian.com/news/2015/feb/09/blazers-vanterpool-has-all-right-tools/

 

 

Hassan Whiteside’s Contract Implications Explained   (from Dan Feldman, NBC Sports):

Read it here:  http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/02/10/how-the-heat-hurt-themselves-and-hassan-whiteside-with-his-contract/

 

 

–  Why James Johnson Is Starting To Shine In Toronto (from Stephen Brotherston, Pro Bball Report):

Read it here:  http://probballreport.com/why-james-johnson-is-starting-to-shine-in-toronto/

 

 

–  An Analytical Patrick Patterson Breaks Out With Raptors (from Stephen Brotherston, Pro Bball Report):

” The NBA game has been changing as the new analytics suggest offenses should be built around the three-point shot, the paint and the charity stripe and since Patrick Patterson came to the Raptors, his game has continued to evolve in that direction. The traditional per game statistics might suggest Patterson broke out immediately after he arrived in Toronto last season, but a more detailed look supports the suggestion that this versatile forward has taken his game to another level.”

Read it here:  http://probballreport.com/an-analytical-patrick-patterson-breaks-out-with-raptors/

 

 

–  In a league of flying elbows, the use of mouth guards has soared  (from Andrew Keh,  theglobeandmail.com):

Read it here:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/basketball/in-a-league-of-flying-elbows-the-use-of-mouth-guards-has-soared/article22890027/

 

 

–  False Wizardry In Washington: Execution Is Not Always Efficiency (from Seth Partnow, Bball breakdown):

” After a promising start to the season, the Washington Wizards had lost six straight games before Saturday’s get-right win against the lowly Nets.. Naturally, for a team with aspirations for a deep playoff run, angst has risen. Much of the ire has been focused on head coach Randy Wittman and his offensive scheme. And possibly with good reason.

From an aesthetic standpoint, the Wizards run some clean sets with good timing and ball-movement. But the end goal of too many actions, a “successful” play, is to set up a longish two-point jump shot. They do this well enough, as (per SportVU data through Thursday 5th) just under 48% of all Wizards’ mid-range shots occur with no defender within four feet of the shooter. This is good for third in the NBA behind only the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers. However, this should not be mistaken for “good offense”, if by “good” we really mean “effective.”

Through February 5th, Washington was the only team in the NBA to sport a MoreyBall% (my term for the proportion of a teams shots which come either at the rim or from three, a portmanteau in honor of the Rockets General Manager and Michael Lewis’s seminal book ‘MoneyBall’ on the adoption of advanced metrics into baseball) of less than 50%”

Read and view it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/02/09/false-wizardry-in-washington-execution-is-not-always-efficiency/

 

 

–  John Wall’s unvarnished climb  (from Mike Wise,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/12300588/wizards-guard-john-wall-long-uphill-road-raleigh

 

 

–   DeAndre Jordan’s boarding party rages on  (from Arash Markazi, ESPNLosAngeles):

” Jordan currently leads the NBA in rebounding (13.7) and field goal percentage (72.7). You have to go back to Wilt Chamberlain during the 1972-73 season to find the latest player to finish a season over 70 percent (Chamberlain shot 72.7 percent). Jordan led the NBA in both categories the past season and would become the first player since Chamberlain in 1971-72 and 1972-73 to do so in consecutive seasons if he did it again this season.

“If he keeps going as he is, him and Wilt Chamberlain will be the only two with back-to-back years like that, and nobody notices him,” Rivers said. “It’s amazing to me that no one notices DeAndre Jordan. I don’t know how you can get 22 and 27 and no one notices. He’s just going to keep doing his job. He’s so important for us, and he knows that, and we know that.””

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/clippers/post/_/id/7401/deandre-jordans-boarding-party-rages-on

 

 

Leo  Rautins: Valanciunas needs to earn 4th-quarter run (from Eric Smith, sportsnet.ca):

Read it here:  http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/nba/rautins-valanciunas-needs-to-earn-4th-quarter-run/

 

 

–   Fundamentals: Chris Paul’s formula  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Paul is a takeover player, much more willing to push his own scoring in the fourth quarter than the first. In doing so he still maintains a high level of involvement in the offense throughout – the progression of the game simply brings about a shift in his priorities.

” Only two teams in the league have scored as efficiently in fourth quarters as the Clippers. Building around players as talented as Paul and Blake Griffin has more than a little to do with that, but L.A. also paces and manages its offense in a way that plays to both game flow and good chemistry. Touches are balanced. Shots are scheduled. Then, when the game tightens and the defense intensifies, there’s little doubt of with whom control rests.

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/02/05/chris-paul-formula-fundamentals-ty-lawson-kyle-lowry

 

 

–  Anthony Davis sits atop the basketball world (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

”  A superstar who never seems to overlook the opponent in front of him. Davis does not play down to his competition. He doesn’t make a show of proving his man can’t guard him, even though none can. He treats every matchup as if it deserves his full, unwavering attention and thus delivers full, unwavering dominance. His is a view from the top of the basketball world and yet Davis measures up opponents as if they were somehow his equal.

​”I want to be a guy who works hard, who plays hard, plays for his team, doesn’t care who scores as long as we get the win,” Davis said. “If you need a big shot or defensive play, I want to be the guy they go through. I’m not quite there yet. I’ve got a lot of work to do but I’m willing to do the work.”

Read it here:   http://www.si.com/nba/2015/02/10/anthony-davis-pelicans-nba-all-star-game-view-from-above

 

 

– What’s Up with the Spurs’ Offense?  (from Mika Honkasalo,  Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VNiesCsAAL8AxDWk/whats-up-with-the-spurs-offense

 

 

And for those with access to ESPN Insider:

 

The pitfalls of midseason trades (from Amin Elhassan):

”  Disruption to team chemistry often a concern, but success is possible”

Read it here:  http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/12271921/nba-why-there-no-guarantee-midseason-trades-work?ex_cid=InsiderTwitter_elhassan_pitfallsmidseasontrades

 

 

 

Additional Player Notes:

 

Ricky Ledo:  http://www.coxhub.com/articles/ricky-ledo-learning-in-the-d-league

 

Devin Harris:  http://mavsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/02/carlisle-devin-harris-grit-sending-a-huge-message-to-mavericks.html/

 

Tyreke Evans:  http://www.nola.com/pelicans/index.ssf/2015/02/tyreke_evans_should_remain_as.html

 

Drew Gooden:  http://www.csnwashington.com/basketball-washington-wizards/talk/drew-gooden-could-be-back-play-wizards

 

Tyler Johnson;  http://www.nba.com/heat/newsrecap/tyler-johnson-making-most-opportunity

 

Iman Shumpert:  http://www.news-herald.com/sports/20150209/cleveland-cavaliers-iman-shumpert-improving-with-each-game

 

George Hill:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2015/02/10/george-hill-is-keeping-the-pacers-in-the-playoff-picture/

 

Jared Dudley:  http://journaltimes.com/sports/bucks/bucks-beat-dudley-warms-up-to-milwaukee/article_5281fec4-dbe8-5df5-bebd-61fd9c43f757.html

 

Derrick Favors:  http://www.sltrib.com/sports/2160718-155/utah-jazz-derrick-favors-wants-to