Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 12/29/15

 Sorting Through the Drama in Phoenix  (from Zach Lowe,  ESPN):

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–  Posting, Floating and the Future of the Grizzlies  (from Jordan M. Foley, Vantage Sports):

Read it here:

–  Recapping Last Night’s Games (from SBNation):

Read it here:

–  Beyond the Box Score:  Mavericks’ Games 21-31  (from Bobby Karalla,

Read and view it here:

–  Will Noel’s Rebirth End When Okafor Returns?  (from Keith Pompey,

Read it here:

–  Ish Smith is Helping to Change the Sixers’ Identity  (from John Coon,

Read it here:

–  Secrets of Steph Curry’s Shooting  Hidden in Data (from Charles Babcock, Information Week):

Read it here:

Long-Distance Relationship:  Dell and Steph Curry  (from Ken Babb,  Washington Post):

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–  How Clint Capela Has Changed the Tone of the Rockets’ Season  (from Aaron Mah,  Hoops Habit):

Read and view it here:

–  Mirotic at the 3 is Not Good  (from The Hungarian Jordan,

Read and view it here:

Dragic Still Searching for his Own Lane in Heat Lineup  (from Rohan Nadkarni,  Sports Illustrated):

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–  Death to All-Bench Units, Revisited  (from Blake Murphy,  Raptors Republic):

Read it here:

Mavs 103, Bucks 93  (from Jonathan Tjarks,  Pattern of Basketball):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Cameron Payne  (from Anthony Slater,

–  Cole Aldrich  (from Dan Woike,  ocregister):

–  Omri Casspi  (from Tom Ziller,  SBNation):

–  Jared Dudley  (from Kyle Weidie,

–  Solomon Hill  (from Tom Lewis,

–  Ryan Kelly  (from Hannah Kulik,

–  Darion Atkins  (from Keith Schlosser,  Ridiculous Upside):

–  Terran Petteway  (from Lee Barfknecht,


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 12/15/15

–  While You Were Watching the Warriors, the Spurs Were Quietly Crushing Everyone  (from Tim Bontemps,  Washiington Post):

Read ithere:

 The Forever Changing,  Still-Winning Mavericks  (form Zach Lowe,  ESPN):

Read it here:

–  Dwyane Wade’s Advice to Hassan Whiteside  (from Ethan J. Skolnick,  Miami Herald):

Read it here:

–  Skiles Working His Defensive Magic in Orlando  (from Chris Bernucca,

Read it here:

–  Now Kawhi Leonard is Elite on Offense, Too (from Yaron Weitzman,  SBNation):

Read and view it here:

–  Blake Griffin’s MVP-Caliber Season Lost Among Clippers’ Mediocrity  (from Bryan Toporek,  BBall Breakdown):

Read it ere:

Recapping Last Night’s Games  (from Liam Boylan-Pett,  SBNation):

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–  5 Takeaways from Monday’s games  (from Kurt Helin,  NBC Sports):

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–  Pistons’ Overtime Heartbreaker : A Lesson For Andre Drummond  (from Jamie Delancey,

Read and view it here:

–  The Ground-and-Pound Offense in the Samll Ball Era  (form Matt Lurie,  RealGM):

Read and view it here:

–  Grizzlies Move Grit-and-Grind to the Bench  (from Matt Smith, Hardwood Paroxysm):

Rea it here:

The Hawks are OK – and That’s Not OK  (from Jason Patt,  SBNation):

Read it here:

 Hoiberg, Colangelo, Reggie Jackson, more  (from David Aldridge,

Read it here:

Hornets New 3-point Prowess Changing How teams Guard Them  (from Rick Bonnell,  Charlotte Observer):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

Will Barton  (from Sean Deveney,  Sporting News):

What’s Up With Danny Green’s Jumper?  (from Mika Honkasalo,  Nylon Calculus):

Chandler Parsons Says That He Finally Felt Like Himself  (from Tim McMahon,  ESPN):

–  Kevin Love Refelects on Shouder Injury  (from Dave McMenamin,  ESPN):

–  Brett Brown Wants Stauskas to Work on Defense  (from Bob Cooney,

 Olynyk Finding His Groove Shooting  (from  A.  Sherrod Blakely,

–  Luis Scola  (from Mike Ganter, Toronto Sun):

 C.J. McCollum  (from Chris Fedor,

–  Nicolas Batum is the Key to the Hornets’ Resurgence  (form Josh Planos,  Washington Post):

–  Evan Fournier’s Rise Doesn’t Surprise Scott Skiles (from Britt Robson, SBNation):

–  Clint Capela Providing Rockets With Hope  (from Dan Feldman,  NBC Sports):

–  Trey Burke (from Ben Dowsett,

–  Film Study:  Omer Asik Has Not Met Expectations  (from John Reid,


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Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Will the Clippers Make the Leap or Hit Reset?  (from Zach Lowe, Grantland):

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–   Lakers’ Byron Scott defends conditioning-heavy practices  (form Mark Medina, LA Daily News):

Read it here:


–   Lakers, Kobe set to navigate this transition together  (from David Aldridge,

Read it here:

(Note:   DA’s weekly column also focuses on the Bucks and a Jimy Butler Q & A)


–   Celtics take science tests   (from Mark Murphy, Boston Herald):

” Physiologist to track workout, diet habits”

Read it here:


–  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Goes Down  (from Danny Chau, Grantland):

” This will be the third consecutive season in which Kidd-Gilchrist misses more games than the last. In his first three seasons, he’s missed an average of 17 games a season. If you like to connect dots, you might find yourself, like I did, relating MKG’s string of unfortunate events to his stylistic forebear and fellow Charlotte basketball great. Gerald Wallace, in his six full seasons in Charlotte, averaged 14 missed games per season, with injuries from concussions to broken ribs to partially collapsed lungs. Like Kidd-Gilchrist, Wallace’s distinct kind of brilliance had already been lost in the margins as a result of playing on awful teams in Charlotte. The succession of untimely injuries only added to his obscurity. Yet even though Wallace is widely considered to be the best player to play for the Charlotte franchise, he never had the monumental on/off impact that Kidd-Gilchrist has.”

Read it here:


–  Five things to know about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s shoulder injury  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:


–   Charlotte Hornets throw themselves into modern basketball with many 3s   (from Zach Harper,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:


–   Orlando Magic displaying new offense  (from Philip Rossman-Reich,

Read it here:


–  Mirza Teletovic says “somebody’s gonna be open every time” in Phoenix Suns offense  (from Dave King,

Read and view it here:


–   Who will — or should — the Grizzlies start on the wing?  (from Chris Herrington,

Read it here:—-or-should—-the-Grizzlies-start-on-the-wing-329726271.html


–  Ball-handling coach Johnny “Dribbles” Stephene adds new dimension during Mavs camp  (from Bobby Karalla,

Read it here:


–  Using The System (And Drummond) To Understand Reggie Jackson’s Contract  (from Jonathan Tjarks,  RealGM):

Read it here:


Why 3-pointers will matter for the Heat (from Ethan J. Skolnick,  Miami Herald):

Read it here:


Celtics:  The “five quarterbacks” system  (from wjsy,

Read and view it here:


–  Huge opportunity, huge pressure for Donovan as OKC’s Billy Ball era begins  (form Ken Berger,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:


–   How a Hawks regime fell  apart  (from Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst,  ESPN):

Read it here:


 Why This May Have Been Final NBA Offseason to Rebuild Through Free Agency  (from Dan Favale, Bleacher report):

Read it here:


–  Players Who Can Veto Trades  (from Chuck Myron,

Read it here:


–   Player Rankings Are Silly  (from Seth Partnow, BBall Breakdown):

Read it here:


(NOTE:  We agree.  Player rankings are essentially a parlor game, at best triggering an opportunity to”chew the fat”.  From a serious analytic perspective, pretty much useless.  Of the multiplicity of “player rankings” that have been appearing recently, we have linked only to the ones from BBball Breakdown.  In that case, it wasn’t because of where players were “ranked” (who cares?) but because BBall Breakdown accompanied the rankings with well-informed analyses of each player’s games that are definitily worth reading.)


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  The Difference Between Chris Paul and Everyone Else  (from Mika Honkasalo, Vantage Sports):


–  Beal: Goodbye long 2s; hello stepback 3s and All-Defense?  (from J. Michael,


–  Players buzzing about Pistons’ Caldwell-Pope  (from  Vince Ellis,

More KCP (form Aaron McCann,


–  At age 35, Bulls forward Pau Gasol is still at the top of his game  (from Sam Smith,


–   After a season of doing so much, Harden seeks more  (from Fran Blinebury,


–  Bismack Biyombo and Luis Scola:  Raptors under-the-radar signings could make big impact  (from Josh Lewenburg,

–  Terrence Ross looking like a new man with Raptors  (from Mike Ganter, Toronto Sun):


–  Quincy Pondexter helping mentor teammates while working to get back on court  (from Jim Eichenhofer,


–   Zach LaVine wants to prove he’s a shooter, too  (from Marcus R. Fuller,


–   Rockets have more minutes in store for Capela  (from Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle):


–  The Journey Back for Chris Bosh (from Michael Wallace, ESPN):


Could Kyrie Irving  stay healthy by making small changes to his game? (from Scott Rafferty,  Sporting News):

–   Dragan Bender’s Rising NBA Draft Stock  (from Michael Scotto,

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   Dream Team to D-League: New FIBA schedule puts U.S. hoops in bind  (from Mark Woods,  ESPN):

” The U.S. men’s basketball team could go from Dream Team to D-League when it comes to qualifying for the 2019 Basketball World Cup.

With a new qualifying schedule that will feature two of the four windows of play occurring during the NBA season, it is possible the men’s national team could be comprised of D-Leaguers.

It is an issue that will have to be resolved by 2017 when FIBA’s revamped international schedule goes into effect, with the path to future World Cups — and via those, the Olympics — running through a series of games to be held during calendar windows, similar to the system employed by FIFA in soccer.

Two will be in late June and early September, theoretically allowing NBA players of all nationalities to represent their country in the offseason. The other two will be in November and February. And while most leagues around the world will simply shut down for a 10-day period to accommodate FIBA play, that concept has been deemed a non-starter in the NBA — with an early idea of allowing an out to go on national duty during All-Star Weekend taken off the table.

Utilizing a single squad drafted in from the D-League, rather than dipping into the NCAA or bringing back U.S. exports from overseas, is now seen as the most viable alternative solution.”

Read it here:


–  Lakers Trainer Q & A: Tim   DiFrancesco Reviews Summer Workouts  (from Mike Trudell,

Read it here:


Hornets Coach Steve Clifford:  More Offensive Balance is the Goal  (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer):

Read it here:

And from Spencer Percy, queencityhoops:


Film Room: Orlando Magic’s  Athleticism  (from Josh Cohen,

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–   Fred Hoiberg will likely want to move Pau Gasol away from the post, will it work out better than in L.A.?  (from thehungarianjordan,

Read and view it here:


–   How the Houston Rockets Got Here  (frm Austin Peters,  Hardwood Paroxysm):

”  The name of the game in building an NBA team nowadays is asset collection. Make sure you win every trade so that you can gather enough assets to make a home run in the draft or another trade in the future. Nobody has adhered to this philosophy better than the Houston Rockets General Manager, Daryl Morey.

Morey is a pioneer and king of asset collecting, with his biggest trophy on the shelf being the James Harden trade in 2012. What people probably don’t realize is the depth and extent to which these assets were collected in order to make not only the Harden trade, but the several other moves Morey has made to build this roster since. Today, the Rockets have 14 guaranteed contracts on their books for the 2015-16 season. Of those 14, only 4 (Clint Capela, Dwight Howard, Marcus Thornton, Patrick Beverley) were acquired without giving up any “assets;” they were acquired via free agency or Houston’s own draft pick. That leaves the other ten players to essentially be “bought” with whatever Daryl Morey had at his disposal.

The roots of this roster are deep and tangled.”

Read it here:


–   Surprising On/Off Court Stars from 2014-2015  (from Mika Honkasalo, Nylon Calculus):

” One of the best exercises to find and assess trends of success and failure in the NBA is to look at on/off-court numbers, available for every team on the NBA stats page. To me it’s in many ways the first “feel” test to quickly give some degree of verification or confidence about the direction I’m taking when it comes to forming my evaluation (positive or negative) of a player’s performance, situation and impact on the court.

Generally I think on/off-court numbers really are the first place where you’re likely to see something interesting if anything interesting is to be found. Although you could argue that there are typically multiple factors that should decrease confidence in a piece of analysis heavily influenced by on/off numbers– such as small playing time, skill level of opposition (a player going against bench heavy units), teammate skill– the degree to which each of these factors effects on/off numbers tends to be overestimated.”

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–   Steve Nash in talks to be a part-time consultant for Warriors  (from Mark Stein,  ESPN):

Read it here:


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–   BBALLBREAKDOWN’s Top 50 NBA Players: 45-41  (from Jesse Blanchard,  BBall Breakdown):


Dissecting LaMarcus Aldridge’s Defense (from Shane Young,

Read and view it here:


–  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Seeks a Smooth Transition to the NBA  (from Alex Raskin, Wall Street Journal):


–  Can Clint Capela make good on Hakeem Olajuwon’s praise as Rockets’ next star?  (from Scott Rafferty, Sporting News):


–   Do Bulls Need Jimmy Butler’s Offense or Defense More?  (from Adam Fromal, Bleacher Report):


–   Utah Jazz Ceilings and Floors, Part I: Guards and Wings  (from Ben Dowsett,


–   Quincy Pondexter’s career has been revived by returning to New Orleans,  where it all started  (from Rick Stone,


–  Wesley Matthews (from Bobby Karalla,


–  John Wall (from Matt Moore, CBS Sports):


–  Reggie  Jackson ready to reap benefits after growing pains that followed mid-season trade to Pistons  (from Keith Langlois,

–  Robert Sacre’s Defensive Positioning  (from Darius Soriano,


–  Roy Hibbert wants to rediscover his game, not his fame, with the Lakers  (from Mike Bresnahan, LATimes):


–  Lakers made a smart gamble on defensive talent Robert Upshaw  (from Apratim Ghosh,


–   What the Raptors need out of Jonas Valanciunas  (from Bradford Doolittle,  ESPN Insider):


–   Kelly Oubre’s potential (from Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report):


–  Justin Holiday/Chris Copeland (from KL Chouinard,


–   Suns: Can Sonny Weems Be The Next Gerald Green?  (from Gerald Bourguet,


–   Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson  (from Jim Eichenhofer,



Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Can a Fred Hoiberg-Sized Paradigm Shift Save the Chicago Bulls?  (from Kelly Scaletta,

” It’s not often that a non-number can do so much to define a team’s season, but the Chicago Bulls have one that’ll stop you in your tracks. Their net rating with a lineup of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Nikola Mirotic and Joakim Noah was — they didn’t have one. That lineup failed to play a single regular-season minute together.

And that encapsulates everything that went wrong for the Bulls last year, and to a point, the years around it as well. The injuries, the glut at the power-forward spot, the stubbornness of Tom Thibodeau, and his refusal to try new and intriguing lineups all coalesce on the simple fact that not for one second did the most obvious quintet of players evertake the court together.

The Bulls have shooters in Tony Snell, Doug McDermott and Dunleavy. They have slashers in Butler and Rose. They have bigs who can pass in Gasol and Noah. They have bigs who can shoot in Portis and Mirotic. They have bigs who can post up in Gasol and Gibson.

In short, they already have the tools you need to generate a spread offense. What they lacked last year was imagination, creativity and a general  acknowledgment that it’s 2015.”

Read it here:


–  Here are the key NBA players competing with their national teams this month  (from Satchel Price,

Read it here:


–   Checking in on Kentucky’s historic draft class — from top pick Karl-Anthony Towns to undrafted Aaron Harrison — during the summer before their first NBA seasons  (from Jonathan Abrams, Grantland):

Read it here:


–  Karl-Anthony Towns Season Preview  (from UMN_Shazzy,

Read and view it here:


–  Raptors: Rebirth of a system  (from Deighton Goode,

Read it here:


 ‘Iron man’ Bavetta known for fun-loving attitude, rapport  (from Steve Aschburner,

HOF Class of 2015: ” Official never missed an assignment in 39-year career”

Read it here:


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Kyle O’Quinn is set to bust out  (from Jonathan Schulman,


–  BLAZERS ROSTER BREAKDOWN – CLIFF ALEXANDER (from  Bryant Knox & Jared Wright,


–  Ryan Anderson is poised for a breakout season (from Oleh,


Player to Watch: Rodney Hood  (from David J Smith,


– Rookie Wrap-up: Langston Galloway  (from Jordan M. Foley,  Vantage Sports):–langston-galloway


 Rookie Wrap-up: Jusuf Nurkic  (from Jordan M. Foley,  Vantage Sports):


–   Phoenix Suns roster spot is Henry Sims’ target  (from Paul Coro,


 JJ Redick: The Forgotten Man  (from Robert Flom,


–   Ed Davis’ streamlined offense could benefit Portland Trail Blazers  (from David Mackay,


–  Clint Capela is ready to prove playoff breakout is no fluke  (from Ethan Rothstein,


–  Terrico White Hoping for Big Break  (from Alex Kennedy.  Basketball Insiders):