Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 11/21/15

Breaking Down the Clippers 100 Seconds of Doom Against the Warriors  (from  Kevin Arnovitz,  ESPN):

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–  Explain One Play:  Busted Elevator = Draymond Green Beats the Clippers  (from Apricot,

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–  Draymond Green’s Importance  (from Jesus Gomez, SBNation):

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–  Wizards’ Small Ball: Further Adjustments needed  (from Ian Levy,  Sporting News):

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The End of the Shooting Guard  (from Chris Herring, Wall Street Journal):

” In the NBA, the Traditional Spot-Up Shooter Is Going Extinct; Ray Allen: Last of a Kind?”

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–  Celtics Building an Identity  (from Jay King,

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–  Does Utah Need Big Man Help?  (from my_lo,

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–  Building the Magic’s Culture Part 3  (from Philip Rossman-Reich,

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–  Recapping Friday’s Games  (from SBNation):

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–  A Tiny Gadget Could Make or Break The Wizards Season  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

Mario Chalmers’ Impact on the Grizzlies  (from Peter Edmiston,

It’s Now a Mental Game for Dwyane Wade  (from Ethan J. Skolnick,  Miami herald):

–  Hassan Whiteside Emerges as Shot-Blocking King  (from Jason Lieser, Palm Beach Post):

–  Heat’s Tyler Johnson Is Earning His Dream  (from Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel):

Nicolas Batum Breathing Life into Hornets’ Offense  (from Kenny Ducey,  Sports Illustrated):

Danny Green  Q & A  (from Michael C. Wright,  ESPN):

Kemba Walker  Q & A (from Zach Lowe,  ESPN):

–  Kobe Bryant  Q & A   (from Joey Ramirez,

David Lee:  Making a case for More Minutes  (from Scott Souza, Providence Journal):

Willie Cauley-Stein  (form Jason Jones,  Sacramento Bee):

–  The Redemption of Jeremy Lin  (form Howard Megdal,  VICE Sports):

–  Anderson Varejao:  Getting Used to New Role  (from Chris Fedor,

Jared Dudley (from J. Michael,  csnmidatlantic):

Markieff Morris’ Woeful Offense  (from deadpoolio,

–  Michael Carter-Williams  (from Andrew Snyder,  behindthebuckspass):

–  Jeff Ayres  Q & A   Part One  (from Nicholas Tozier,

–  Raptors Committed to Long-Term Growth of  Caboclo, Nogueira  (from Josh Lewenberg,


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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

–  Clippers and the Quest for Versatility  (from Justin Russo,

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–  With DeAndre Jordan back, Clippers must now learn to thrive without him  (from J.A. Adande,  ESPN):

” Here’s a quick guide to make sure you’re up to speed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Out: rehashing the saga of how the Clippers retained DeAndre Jordan this summer.

In: talking about how the Clippers will fare without him this season.

Sure, the Clippers are counting on an even better version of Jordan than the one who was plus-11.8 per 100 possessions while on the court last season. But they’re also excited to see the options their improved depth and more versatile roster can provide when Jordan comes out of the game. In other words, they went to great lengths to keep their center while acknowledging the diminished importance of centers in today’s NBA.

“I do like the fact that we can stay big when we want to and we can stay small when we want to,” Doc Rivers said. “Staying small when we wanted to, we haven’t had that luxury since I’ve been here, and now we do.””

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–  Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel: Can Brett Brown make it work? (form John Finger,

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–   Isaiah Thomas studied Steve Nash this summer (from Tom Westerholm,

” While he’s probably the best scorer on the team, a big part of his effectiveness lies in his role off the bench — Thomas dominates opposing second units, who can’t answer for his quickness and ability to score off the dribble in a variety of ways.

Thomas said he worked on expanding that variety this offseason.

“I worked on extending my range,” he said on Friday. “Trying to be able to shoot from wherever on the basketball court. Also, I watched Steve Nash film, trying to figure out different ways to finish not just around the rim, but extending to the 3-point line.”

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–   For Better or Worse, These Knicks Belong to Phil Jackson  (from Scott Cacciola, New York Times):

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–  Celtics expect Lee, Johnson to provide necessary leadership  (from Ian Thomsen,

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Cavs:  all key players are returning  (form Terry Pluto,

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–  Nets’ Frontcourt Rotation (from Anthony Puccio,

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–   SVG Part V: Until Jennings’ return, Jackson and a mixed cast will bear brunt of carrying Pistons offense  (from Keith Langlois,

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–   The Timberwolves’ season of uncertainty  (from Britt Robson,

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–   Training Camp Protocol  (from Charley Rosen,

”  (L)et’s take a look at the itineraries and goals that normally are in play from now until the preseason games begin.

” Once the season kicks off, practice sessions will be few and far between, so the next 7-10 days are extremely valuable. So critical that each practice session is planned to the minute with schedules often printed and distributed to the players beforehand.

While the specifics vary from team to team, every ball club hopes to reach several common goals during this period.”

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–  The four injury risks today’s young players face  (from Baxter Holmes, ESPN):

” Many (health professionals in and out of the Association) say the injuries are indicative of four key issues players face in today’s NBA: poorer sleep, in part because of technology; weaker bones, in part because of low calcium and high sugar intake; an uptick in wear and tear, thanks largely to players specializing in basketball at a young age; and weaker muscles, as a result of shucking traditional weight training for more en-vogue methods.”

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–  Jrue Holiday’s camp is determined to overcome his bad history with lower leg stress injuries  (from Oleh,

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–  “Playing Up” and Rebounding: Adjustments faced by a player moving from small forward to power forward (from Seth Partnow,  Nylon Calculus):

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Nets’  Off-Season Report  (from netincome, nets

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–   Lauren Holtkamp preps for her second season as NBA ref  (from Christian Red, NYDailyNews):

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–   NBA Player Stats: Top 6 Players – Passing  (from Tamberlyn Richardson,

Read it here:

(Note: This is Part 3 of a 9-part series)


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


BBall Breakdown Player rankings:  DeMarcus Cousins, No. 9  (from Bryan Toporek):


–  Festus Ezeli Has Battled His Way into Golden State’s Future  (from Zach Buckley,  Bleacher Report):


–  Jared Sullinger  (from A Sherrod Blakely,


David Lee brings unselfish attitude to the Celtics  (from A. Sherrod Blakely,


–  Anderson Varejao Bounces Back from Last Year’s Injury  (from Joe Gabriele,


–  Pistons’ Granger (knee) to miss start of training camp  (from Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press):


QOTD (from Steve Kerr on the Warriors adding Steve Nash as a player development consultant):  ” “I think Steve is the most innovative athlete I’ve ever seen, when it comes to pursuing greatness – whether it’s conditioning, basketball drills, whatever,” Kerr said. “He’s got an amazing feel for the game and an amazing mind. Steve was the most efficient player I’ve ever been around, and my hope is that he can make our guys more efficient.””

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   NBA refs trained to keep their cool as they make the call  (from Brian Mahoney,  Associated Press):

Read it here:–nba.html


–   Mitch Kupchak: Ten Things to Know  (from Mike Trudell,

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–  Untangling The Gridlock Of Cleveland’s Frontcourt  (from Jonathan Tjarks,  RealGM):

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–   SVG Part II: Straight shooting from Dave Hopla and the boost Arn Tellem brings the Pistons  (from Keith Langlois,

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–  SVG Part III: On another year of roster churning and the need for better Pistons D this season  (from Keith Langlois,

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–   Hornacek wants Phoenix Suns players to focus on defense over offense this season  (from Dave King,

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–  Scott Skiles Q & A (form John Denton,

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–  Brett Brown, Sixers looking for fewer ‘gypsies’ in 2015-16  (from John Finger,

“One of the lasting moments from last year’s 18-win season was when Brett Brown sounded off about the Sixers’ high-volume roster turnover.

First, the third-year Sixers head coach was disappointed that player Brandon Davies had been traded last December, saying the move made it tough to build a team and culture. Then later, Brown expressed reluctance to coach a team of “gypsies.”

“To coach gypsies, to have to coach a revolving door, that’s not what I’m looking for,” Brown said.

But as the Sixers enter the third year of the epic rebuilding process, Brown expects a lot less roster turnover.”

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–   NBA Player Stats: Top 7 Players – Touches & Possessions (from Tamberlyn Richardson,  spacecityscoop):

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(Note: This is Part Two of a Nine part series)


Bully Ball (from Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus):

” (S)ome players are quite effective at bullyball. One of the theoretical pluses of the Spurs acquiring LaMarcus Aldridge is his supposed ability to negate smallball by being an effective scorer when presented with a smaller defender. At least in 2014/15, this theory appears to hold up. I’ll get to the methodology in a moment, but Aldridge shot just under 72% from the floor from around the post area when the closest defender was undersized. Combine that efficiency with his minuscule turnover rateand the mobility and length to allow him to catch the ball in a variety of positions on the floor, and yes, it’s probably fair to say Aldridge is a weapon who can pick on the mouse in the house. So, which other players struggle or excel when confronted with a smaller defender? Which players in fact require  the mismatch to be effective?”

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


BBall Breakdown Player Ranks:  #10 Marc Gasol (from Will Gottlieb):


Pacers look forward to having Paul George at full strength, in new position  (from Mike Mazzeo,  ESPN):


Paul George not thrilled about move to power forward  (from Candace Buckner,


–  DeAndre Jordan is returning to Southern California to continue his career with the Los Angeles Clippers  (from Justin Russo,


–  Joe Harris Gears Up for His Sophomore Campaign in Cleveland  (from Joe Gabriele,


–   Embiid surgery involved five doctors  (from Keith Pompey,  Philadelphia Inquirer):


–  Offseason has Pelicans’ Ryan Anderson leaner and more prepared  (from Scott Kushner,


–  Is *this* the year Brook Lopez becomes a three-point shooter?  (from Devin Kharpertian,


–  A Life of Change Leads to Consistency in Basketball for Terry Rozier  (from Jessica Camerato,  Basketball Insiders):


–  Happy and Healthy: Chris Bosh values life after near-death experience  (from Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated):


Michael Carter-Williams/ Shaun Livingston (from Scott rafferty, Sporting News):


QOTD:  “(O)ne of Gregg Popovich’s secrets in plain sight has been the way he builds a bench and employs them and trusts them so much during the regular season that he can rest his starters so much and still win so many games. He doesn’t have better reserves than other teams, and he loses guys regularly. But his players abide by their system of play and he relies on them and trusts them. It’s a big part of coaching (and running any successful business), making your employees feel a part of the organization and success and trusting them and taking an interest in their fate.”

Today’s Best NBA Reporting

–  Blake Griffin On Offseason Training, LA’s Moves, More (from Alex Kennedy,  Basketball Insiders):

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–   CBA Corner – Renegotiate and Extend Scenarios   (from Nate Duncan,  Nylon Calculus):

” Last week, we introduced the concept of renegotiating and extending as a way to circumvent the usual limitations on extensions and use the league’s burgeoning cap space to retain teams’ stars before they hit free agency.  By this method, current salary cap space is used to give players a raise on already existing contracts, then do an extension based on the increased salary.  Not every player may renegotiate, but they may occur on existing contracts of four or more years after the third anniversary of the signing of that contract or extension.  However, those parameters apply to nearly every non-rookie contract star in the league as he nears free agency.  The bigger caveat, of course, is that the team must have the cap room to increase a player’s salary.  And any extension may not be longer than four years, including the remaining seasons on the player’s existing contract.

For which teams and players might it make sense to renegotiate and extend?  Here’s a look at some of the more logical candidates, starting with one of the league’s nascent stars.”

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–  NBA’s Largest Pay Raises Show It Pays To Be Patient  (from Chris Bernucca, heridan Hoops):

“It pays to be patient.

That is the financial lesson of the NBA’s offseason, which saw the biggest pay raises go to players who turned down contract extensions and gambled on themselves.

Among the top 11 pay increases this summer, five went to players who felt like they were being lowballed by their teams — and proved it when they cashed in with bigger deals as restricted free agents this summer.”

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–  Behind the Scenes in L.A., the Wide-Ranging Summer World for NBA Players  (from Jared Zwerling, Bleacher Report):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–   BBALLBREAKDOWN’S Top 50 NBA Players: 40-36  (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):


–  The ageless Pau Gasol paints his latest masterpiece  (from Tim Cato,  SBNation):


–  Washout no longer? Czech Republic’s Jan Vesely intrigues scouts once again  (from Mark Woods, ESPN):


–  What we learned from Tomas Satoransky’s play at EuroBasket 2015 (from Umair Khan,


–   Can Anderson Varejao Become A Positive Again?  (from Luke Sicari,


–  Will Andrea Bargnani Regain Respect With Nets?  (from Daniel O’Brien, today’


James Young  (from wjsy,


NOTE:   An earlier version of Basketball Intelligence was inadvertently posted this morning.  This more complete version replaces it.  Sorry for the inconvenience.