– Daryl Morey: Basketball’s Nerd King (from Michael Lewis, Slate.com):
– Larry Bird Q & A (from Baxter Holmes, ESPN):
– Why D’Antoni Is A Great Fit For Rockets (from Sam Amick, USA Today):
– 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):
– Eric Gordon: Finally Hitting His Stride (from Cameron Stewart, Hoops Habit):
– 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):
– How KD Has Become His Most Efficient Self (from Marc Stein, ESPN):
– Patrick McCaw: Precocious Rookie (from Janie McCauley, AP):
– Tom Thibodeau: A Season Watching From A Distance (from Scott Cacciola, NY Times):
– Giannis: Just Pointing To Pure Talent Sells Him Short (from Brian Windhorst, ESPN):
– Al Attles: There Was Nothing You Could Do To Stop Wilt (from Marc J. Spears, The Undefeated):
– Brook Lopez, Marksman (from Nick Agar-Johnson, Hashtag Basketball):
– Kent Bazemore’s Story Of Perseverance (from Lang Greene, Basketball Insiders):
– Steve Kerr’s Slow Recovery (from Tim Kawakami, Mercury News):
– The Hawks’ Early-Season Reality Check (from Sekou Smith, NBA.com):
Read it here:
– Jamal Crawford’s Sixth Man Transformation (from Michael Scotto, Basketball Insiders):
– Tuesday Recap (from Tim Cato, SBNation):
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):
– Oladipo Is Beginning To Make The Jump In OKC (from Chris Barnewall, fansided.com):
– Can The Clippers Derail GSW-CLE III? (from Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated):
– Phil Jackson On ‘Melo, The Triangle And More (from Ian Begley, ESPN):
– GSW-LAC Preview (from Law Murray, clipperblog.com):
– Josh McRoberts Makes It Easier For Everyone (from Anthony Chiang, Palm Beach Post):
– 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):
– As D-League Matures, Santa Cruz Warriors Toil In The Shadow Of GSW (from Ben Cohen, Wall Street Journal):
– Manny Harris: Off To Unbelievable Star With Texas Legends (from Dakota Schmidt, Ridiculous Upside):
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/
– Making Sense of the Madness in Game 2 of the NBA Finals (from Zach Lowe, Grantland.com):
– 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):
– Cavaliers’ Defensive Transformation a Key to Success (from Christopher Terzic, today’sfastbreak.com):
– 5-Man Units Telling 2015 NBA Finals Story Entering Game 3 (from Adam Fromal, Bleacher Report):
– Jerry West is right: Criticism of LeBron James is embarrassing (from Troy Machir, Sporting News):
(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):
– A game ball’s road to the NBA Finals (from Baxter Holmes, ESPN):
– 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/
Stories not related to the Finals:
– Pacers’ Offensive Evolution Will Start with Paul George (from Alec Nathan, Bleacher report):
– 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.”
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:
– Serge Ibaka: http://www.nba.com/thunder/feature/checkin_ibaka_150608
– 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.”
– 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):
– Hassan Whiteside’s Contract Implications Explained (from Dan Feldman, NBC Sports):
– Why James Johnson Is Starting To Shine In Toronto (from Stephen Brotherston, Pro Bball Report):
– 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.”
– In a league of flying elbows, the use of mouth guards has soared (from Andrew Keh, theglobeandmail.com):
– 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%”
– John Wall’s unvarnished climb (from Mike Wise, ESPN):
– 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.””
– Leo Rautins: Valanciunas needs to earn 4th-quarter run (from Eric Smith, sportsnet.ca):
– 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.
– 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.”
– 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”
Additional Player Notes: