Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 4/12/16


 Olshey Shows GM Chops In Rebuilding Blazers On The Fly  (from Steve Aschburner,

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–  Flip Saunders’ Script: His Vision Remains Alive  (from Zach Harper, CBS Sports):

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Draft Rights On The Line In The Season’s Final Days  (from Danny Leroux, Sporting News):

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–  Recapping Monday’s Games  (from SBNation):

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–  Zach Lowe’s Awards Ballot  (from ESPN):

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–  Jazz Are In Playoff Mode – Just Not In Playoffs  (from Brad Rock, Deseret News):

Read it here:—-just-not-in-playoffs.html

–  Spurs Offense Is Struggling  (from Michael Erler,  Poundng The Rock):

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–  Dwane Casey Q & A  (from Evan Rosser,

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Behind The Curtain Of The Pelicans’ Training Operations  (from Justin Verrier, ESPN):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



DeMarre Carroll  (from Mike Ganter, Toronto Sun):

–  Blake Griffin  (from Ben Bolch, LA Times):

–  Jeremy Lin  (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer):

–  Andre Drummond  (from Mike Brudenell,

Steph Curry  (from Sam Smith, Japan Times):

–  Tristan Thompson  (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):    and from Craig Battle,

–  Tristan Thompson/Paul Millsap  (from David Zavac, Fear The Sword):

Marreese Speights  (from Vic Tafur,

 Seth Curry  (from Jason Jones,  Sacramento Bee):

–  Archie Goodwin  (from Paul Coro,  azcentral):

–  Cole Aldrich  (from Dan Woike,  OCRegister):

Al-Farouq Aminu  (from Dan Marang, Blazer’s Edge):  Should Al-Farouq Aminu be Considered an All-League Defender?

–  Wayne Ellington  (from The Players Tribune):

–  Stanley Johnson (from Keith Langlois,

Nick Minnerath  (from Keith Schlosser, Ridiculous Upside):


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   Joerger hasn’t given up on tweaking Griz offense  (form Ronald Tillery,

” Joerger, unyielding in his desire to play a motion offense, couldn’t be clearer about how this group of Griz will look after his third training camp.

“We want to spin (the ball) around and see if defense will make a mistake,” Joerger said. “When we play slow, we really struggle to score. And I don’t mean going up and down the court 100 miles per hour. I’m talking about moving the ball, screening hard and cutting hard. If we move the ball and put a lot of pressure on the rim, we’re hoping that our free throws will go up and our points in the paint will go up. And when we do those things, it helps set our defense.”

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–   NBA Training Camp Questions – Central Division  (from Bryan Toporek,  BBall Breakdown):

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–  On Al-Farouq Aminu, and the rest of the Trail Blazers’ small forward rotation  (from Evans Clinchy,

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–   Suns expect better 3-point shooting  (from Craig Grialou,

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– Kings, Cousins: Dealing with Officiating  (from James Ham,

“Cousins has disagreed with the officiating in the last two practices and these aren’t even NBA refs. It’s a trend that the talented big man has continued throughout his career in the league and it typically leads to an increase in personal and technical foul calls.

“I think DeMarcus has to make a commitment just to not allow frustrations to cause a disruption in the game,” Karl told a small gathering of media members. “I don’t like negative emotion in a game. I think it’s a sign of frustration, it’s a sign of we’re losing. If there is any emotion in a game, it should be positive.”

There are plenty of issues that need to be worked out in the next month before games count for real, but this is an issue that is larger just Cousins.

“We gave away too many possessions that cheapen the game because of our emotional outbursts,” Karl added. “You can’t do that. You can’t ruin the game because you get emotionally frustrated.”

What is the answer? Karl has very few options outside of using the bench as a tool. At some point the Cousins and his teammates are going to have to stop giving away valuable points to their opponents.”

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–   Utah’s Big/Small Conundrum  (form Ben Dowsett,  Basketball Insiders):

” (U)nlike a few of his peers around the NBA who seem reluctant to embrace the league’s spacing revolution, head coach Quin Snyder knows the value of adaptability.

“We’re going to play different ways, as appropriate,” Snyder told Basketball Insiders. “We have to be able to do both. We have to stick with who we are and put our best players on the floor, and I think we also need to be prepared to play with a smaller lineup in the course of the game and in specific games as well.”

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–   Heat not talking title yet, but better pace and versatility make them scary  (from Zach Harper,  CBS Sports):

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–  A look back at the beginning of Gregg Popovich’s career – in Division III  (from Jordan Ritter Conn,  Grantland):

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–  Don’t Believe the NBA/SportVU’s Contested Shot Metric (from Vantage Sports):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


BBall Breakdown’s Player Rankings:  Anthony Davis, #3  (from Jesse Blanchard):


–  Celtics want Isaiah Thomas to adjust on the fly this season  (from Adam Himmelsbach, Boston Globe):


–  Off-season workouts. C. J. Miles utilized the Pacers’ trainers to not only improve physically, but to improve his overall skill (from Grant Apseth,


–  Anthony Tolliver to bomb away in contract year for 3-point-happy Pistons  (from  David Mayo,


–  Luis Scola more than just a mentor for Raptors  (from Mike Ganter,  Toronto Sun):


–   DeMar DeRozan (from Eric Koreen,  National Post):


–  Tayshaun Prince (from William Bohl,


–   Anderson Varejao stepping lively in return from Achilles injury  (from Dave McMenamin,  ESPN):


–   Jarrett Jack eyes late return to starting role  (from Mike Mazzeo,  ESPN):


–   Giannis Antetokounmpo looking to expand his perimeter game  (from Charles F. Gardner (


–  Melvin Ejim is taking a chance as he pursues NBA dream with Magic  (from Josh Robbins,


Russell Westbrook’s assists (from Shawn Woods,


–   A new role should be beneficial for Matthew Dellavedova  (from Jack Zink,

Moving without ball is next step for Jeff Teague  (from Chris Vivlamore,

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

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

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

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–  Why the Hawks are Contenders  (from Buddy Grizzard,

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

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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):

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

In Curry-Harden showdown, Andrew Bogut powers Warriors’ Game 2 win  (from Phil Taylor, Sports Illustrated):

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How the Improvement of Harrison Barnes Mirrors Golden State’s Ascent  (from Kirk Goldsberry,

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–  Jerry West helped revive Harrison Barnes  (from Sam Amick,  USA Today):

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–  The pain of James Harden  (from Calvin Watkins,  ESPN):

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Stats from GSW-HOU Game Two (from

” Examining James Harden’s success using ball screens, Stephen Curry’s 3-point shooting, Trevor Ariza’s defense on Klay Thompson and more.”

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–  Steph Curry is getting too many open looks against Rockets  (from Neil Greenberg, Washington Post):

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–   HOW TO SLOW DOWN A SUPERSTAR  (from Michael Pina,  Sports On Earth):

The Western Conference finals are a basketball blessing. The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors have the regular season’s two most valuable players, and we get to watch them go at in a high-stakes turf war.

The first thing each team’s coaching staff probably wondered heading into the series was: “How are we going to stop James Harden/Stephen Curry?” Like a small child asking where their goldfish went after it was last seen floating belly up in a bowl, there are no happy answers to this question.

LeBron James aside — because he’s not human — Harden and Curry are the two most complete offensive weapons in basketball right now. Forget about how unstoppable they are as shooters, scorers and passers; both players almost always make the right play and consistently elevate the ceiling of everyone around them.

As hopeless as it seems, the Warriors and Rockets must slow these stars down by executing a well thought-out game plan. Here’s a look at how each defense faired in Game 1, and whether we might see changes heading deeper into the series.

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–  Steph Curry’s Next Stage (from Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated):

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–  Hawks have tough job ahead if Game 1 was series’ road map  (from Sekou Smith,

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–  Why Kyle Korver has gone ice cold in the playoffs  (from Jesus Gomez, SBNation):

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–  LeBron: I played too much iso ball  (from Dave McMenamin,  ESPN):

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–  Cavaliers turn up defensive intensity in the playoffs  (from  Matthew Florjancic,

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Unorthodox yet effective, J.R. Smith the latest difference maker for Cavs  (from Jeff Zilgitt,  Usa Today):

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The Hawks Must Get Back To The Basics  (from Aaron Mah,

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– Ten Little Things from Conference Finals Game 1s  (from Mika Honkasalo, Vantage Sports):

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” Sam Smith responds to the latest round of emails from his readers”

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 76ers: The State Of “The Plan” At The Two-year Mark  (from Max Rappaport,

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Are the Toronto Raptors making a change for change’s sake? Thoughts on decision to fire assistant coaches (from Eric Koreen,

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– Misleading Assist Rates this Season  (from Aaron Fischman, Vantage Sports):

” Assist rate is one of many flawed traditional NBA statistics. Its main weaknesses incude failing to adjust for pace and not counting passes to missed open shots or passes that lead to shooting fouls. Hockey assists are also ignored. Conversely, Assist+ per 100 Chances and True Facilitation have the benefit of accounting for pace and are not dependent on a player’s teammates’ ability to make shots. Two particular point guards’ passing values in the 2014-2015 stand out as being inflated by assist rate, whereas two others’ values seem to be underrated.”

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:



Andre Iguodala:


Chandler Parsons/Al-Farouq Aminu:


Chris Kaman:


Meyers Leonard:


Avery Bradley:


Austin Rivers:


Kyle Lowry


Cody Zeller:


Bryce Cotton:


Dion Waiters:  and

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

A new Blake Griffin carried the Clippers to a Game 6 victory  (from Tim Cato,

” A few years ago, it would be hard to imagine Blake Griffin dominating a game without dunking even once. The former first overall pick made a name for himself almost immediately with jams that seemed to suspend physics. They were frequent. They were everywhere. You can hear Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler echoing “oh me oh my” in your ear just thinking about them.

In Thursday’s Game 6 victory, Griffin didn’t dunk once. And yet, his contributions were paramount to the Clippers forcing a decisive Game 7 against the Spurs. This wasn’t how many expected Griffin to star.

Unlike years past, pure athleticism hasn’t been enough to dominate. Because the Clippers’ bench is so bad, Griffin’s playing more than 41 minutes a night. He’s constantly tired and clearly looked it on Thursday, which isn’t an ideal mix for someone who relies on physicality.

But Griffin isn’t the unskilled rookie of years past.”

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–  The Josh Smith Revival  (from Gerald Bourguet,

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  Secrets of Hawks’ dynamic offense  (from Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN):

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–  Atlanta Wins Game 5 By Finding Brooklyn’s Weakest Defensive Piece  (from Matthew Way,  bballbreakdown):

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–  Hawks Get Back to Fundamentals, Screening and Defensive Rebounding in Wire-to-Wire Game 5 Win  (from Juan Toribio, Vantage Sports):

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Cavs’  GM  hints that Iman Shumpert signals shift toward defense  (from Joe Vardon,

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–   Can Grizzlies look to Jeff Green as a defensive stopper vs. Golden State  (from Michael Cohen,

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–  David Blatt talks about how season turned around  (from Terry Pluto,

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–  Blazers missed a lot of good looks  (from Kurt Helin,  NBC Sports):

”  ( In the opening round loss to Memphis), Portland shot just 34.1 percent on shots where there was no defender within four feet (an open look by NBA standards). They knocked down 42 percent of those in the regular season. It mattered.”





OKC Hires Billy Donovan:

Royce Young, provides the story links here:





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–  Mike Dunleavy Jr. dirty fouls preceded Giannis Antetokounmpo ejection  (from deantae Prince,  Sports Illustrated):

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Andrew Bogut’s Latest Column (from

” In his latest column for NBA Australia, Andrew Bogut reflects on a first-round triumph over New Orleans, planning for the second round, what he gets up to away from the hardwood, and the Defensive Player of the Year award.”

” The DPOY is what it is. The voting system is always up for discussion, some people say it’s flawed, others say it’s right.

There are always going to be people that agree or disagree with how things pan out.

Kawhi is definitely a deserving recipient of the award, the only question mark with him was that he missed a few games, so maybe that made it a little up in the air.

” The reality of the voting process is that beat writers and journalists from every team vote, they might watch our games and then pick up the stat sheet and see that Player X had four blocks, 15 rebounds and three steals, he’s a great defender.

Unfortunately, that’s what some writers vote on.

They don’t breakdown a game and see if you’re buying into your team defence, if you’re there on rotations, if you’re doing the right things to help your teammates, boxing out your man.

 Those things just don’t show up on the stat sheet, so it’s unfortunately all about stats which is the way it’s voted on.

My team and coaches know what I do defensively. The same with Draymond Green.

I’m not a huge highlight guy, I won’t block 15 shots a game, but I know that nine times out of 10, I’ll make the right play defensively. ”

Read it here:—on-to-the-next-one/nu7xmyvxtkdu1b6f0oyctb8j6




Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



Jeff Green:


Chandler Parsons:


Dirk Nowitzki:


Tyson Chandler:


Al-Farouq Aminu:


Meyers Leonard/ CJ McCollum:


Tyler Johnson:


Brandon Knight:


Jared Sullinger:


Kemba Walker:


Luis Scola:


–  Phoenix Suns: 2014-15 Player Grades: