Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 3/19/16

–  Dubs vs. Spurs Preview  (from Dan Devine,  Yahoo Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/warriors-spurs–5-things-to-watch-in-saturday-night-s-main-event-204917000.html

Dubs, Spurs:  Masters Of Passing, Open 3s  (from Luke Knox,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14970947/how-golden-state-warriors-san-antonio-spurs-use-unselfish-passing-create-open-3s

–  How A Kawhi Leonard Post-up Warps An Entire Defense  (from Eli Horowitz,  poundingtherock.com):

–  Video Breakdown:  Steph And Klay Seal Game With 3s  (from EricApricot,  goldenstateofmind.com):
Q & A:  Dirk On Steph  (from Tim McMahon,  ESPN):

 

 

–  The Book On Devin Booker  (from Zach Lowe,  ESPN):

–  Stan Van Gundy:  It’s Defend Or Go Home Time For Drummond, Pistons  (from David Mayo,  mlive.com):

Read it here:  http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2016/03/stan_van_gundy_defend-or-go-ho.html

–  Brett Brown And Billy Donovan Face Different Challenges  (from Bob Cooney, philly.com):

–  Recapping Friday’s Games  (from SBNation):
Lillard’s Response To Flagrant Foul:  “I’m From Oakland”  (from Casey Holdahl,  forwardcenter.net):

–  Who Belongs In The Suns’ Backcourt Of The Future? (from Gerald Bourguet, hoopshabit.com):

Read it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2016/03/19/phoenix-suns-who-belongs-in-their-backcourt-for-the-future/

What The Suns Face With Their Second Rebuild  (from Brett Koremenos,  RealGM):

Read and view it here:  http://basketball.realgm.com/analysis/241255/What-Ryan-McDonough-And-The-Suns-Face-With-Their-Second-Rebuild

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Ricky Rubio  (from Jesse Blancarte,  Basketball Insiders):  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-saturday-what-to-make-of-ricky-rubio/

–  Solomon Hill  (from Mark Monteith,  pacers.com):  http://www.nba.com/pacers/hill-climbs-back-rotation
Josh Richardson  (from Ira Winderman,  Sun-Sentinel):   http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-heat/sfl-ira-nba-column-s032016-column.html
 Gorgui Dieng  (from Brett Robson,  minnpost.com):  https://www.minnpost.com/sports/2016/03/gorgui-dieng-rodney-dangerfield-nba
–  Kristaps Porzingis  (from Chris Herring,  Wall Street Journal):  http://www.wsj.com/articles/is-kristaps-porzingis-finally-running-out-of-gas-1458261934
–  Bismack Biyombo/Jonas Valanciunas  (from Ryan Wolstat,  Toronto Sun):  http://www.torontosun.com/2016/03/18/breaking-down-great-raptors-centre-debate-valanciunas-vs-biyombo

–  Kevin Durant  (interviewed by Stephanie Ruhle, Bloomberg News):  http://m.newsok.com/article/5485649

–  Sean Kilpatrick  (from Cory Wright,  nets.com):  http://www.nba.com/nets/news/2016/03/19/kilpatrick-nba-dream

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 12/27/15

–  Apppreciating Draymond Green  (from Tim Bontemps,  Washington Post):

Read and watch it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2015/12/16/mvp-of-the-golden-state-warriors-draymond-green/

–  Hornets’ Defense Anchored by Contesting Spot-up Jump Shots  (from Austin Peters, At The Hive):

Read and view it here:  http://www.atthehive.com/2015/12/27/10668692/charlotte-hornets-stat-of-the-week-spot-up-defense

–  Boris Diaw’s Shooting Efficiency  (from Paul Garcia,  Project Spurs):

Read it here:  http://projectspurs.com/2015-articles/diaws-efficient-shots-through-32-games.html

–  Knicks Need a Spark from Backcourt  (from Jared Dubin,  Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2599826-knicks-desperately-need-a-spark-from-their-backcourt

–  Recapping Saturday’s Games  (from SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/12/26/10668346/nba-schedule-results-bulls-mavericks-magic-heat

–  Raptors’ Bench Puts on Clinic in Win Over Bucks  (from Doug Smith,  Tornto Star):

Read it here:  http://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2015/12/26/raptors-bench-puts-on-clinic-in-victory-over-bucks.html

–  Blazers 105, Cavs 76  (form Jason Lloyd,  Ohio.com):

Read it here:  http://www.ohio.com/blogs/cleveland-cavaliers/cleveland-cavaliers-1.275356/blazers-105-cavs-76-jason-lloyd-s-18-thoughts-on-hangovers-and-keister-kickings-1.650207

–  Coach Bickerstaff Calls Out Rockets’ Players for Misplaced Priorities  (from clutchfans.net):

Read it here:  http://rockets.clutchfans.net/9415/jb-bickerstaff-calls-out-houston-rockets/

–  How Kevin Durant Bulked Up to Become Complete Player  (from Anthony Slater,  The Oklahoman):

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/how-kevin-durant-bulked-up-his-frame-and-became-one-of-the-nbas-most-complete-players/article/5469011

–  Eric Bledsoe Reaching New Heights  (form Jesse Blancarte,  Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-saturday-eric-bledsoe-reaching-new-heights/

–  Bledsoe Suffers Knee Injury  (from James Herbert,  CBS Sports):   http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25427318

Wolves Focusing on Player Development  (from Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune):

Read it here:   http://www.startribune.com/former-timberwolf-budinger-returns-to-target-center-as-a-pacer/363570631/

–  Magic Not Surprised by Early Success  (from John Denton,  magic.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/magic/news/fournier-magic-not-surprised-teams-early-success

–   NBA Scouts Step it Up During the Holidays  (from Jerry Zgoda,  Star Tribune):

Read it here:  http://www.startribune.com/nba-scouts-step-it-up-during-holidays/363562281/

 Suns Hit Rock Bottom  (from Paul Coro,  azcentral.com):

Read it here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/suns/2015/12/27/suns-lose-lowly-76ers-home/77925930/

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Kelly Oubre/ Jarrell Eddie  (from J. Michael, csnmidatlantic): http://www.csnmidatlantic.com/basketball-washington-wizards/talk/rookies-reward-wittman-trusting-them-crunch-time

 JJ Barea  (from Dwain Price,  star-telegram):   http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/nba/dallas-mavericks/article51742440.html

–  Ish Smith/Nerlens Noel  (from Keith Pompey,  philly.com):  http://mobile.philly.com/beta?wss=/philly/sports/sixers&id=363527301     and  from Braxton Carr,  The Sports Quotient:    http://thesportsquotient.com/nba/2015/12/27/ish-smith-philadelphias-unsung-hero

–  Kelly Olynyk  (from Gary Washburn,  Boston Globe):  http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/12/26/kelly-olynyk-play-leaps-into-higher-level/87yIpd5QsZxo5dy5PNLNhI/story.html

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 10/20/15

–  It’s Good to Be Jimmy Butler  (from Bryan Smith,  chicagomag.com):

” When I ask why he hates talking about the past so much, Butler shifts uncomfortably on the sectional in the grand San Diego house. “It’s because I don’t ever want that to define me,” he says. “I hated it whenever it came up because that’s all anybody ever wanted to talk about. Like, that hasn’t gotten me to where I am today. I’m a great basketball player because of my work. I’m a good basketball player because of the people I have around me. And if I continue to be stuck in the past, then I won’t get any better. I won’t change, I’ll get stuck as that kid. That’s not who I am. I’m so far ahead of that. I don’t hold grudges. I still talk to my family. My mom. My father. We love each other. That’s never going to change.”

Read it here:  http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/November-2015/Jimmy-Butler/

 

–  Fred Hoiberg plans to slightly cut Jimmy Butler’s minutes  (from Vincent Goodwill,  csnchicago):

Read it here:  http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/fred-hoiberg-plans-slightly-cut-jimmy-butlers-minutes

 

–  Video: Pistons Guard Spencer Dinwiddie On Playing In The NBA  (from Coach Nick,  BBall Breakdown):

Watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxKGOCWMZ3I&feature=youtu.be

 

–  Suns eager for Bledsoe-Knight chemistry  (from Zach Buchanan,  azcentral.com):

Read it here:   http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/suns/2015/10/19/phoenix-suns-eager-bledsoe-knight-chemistry/74244636/

 

–  More passes to come from Thunder bigs?  (from Erik Horne, newsok.com):

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/okc-thunder-more-passes-to-come-from-thunder-bigs/article/5454592/?page=2

 

–  Mike Conley’s year, JaMychal Green’s emergence, Jarnell Stokes’ future and more  (from Chris Herringotn, commercialappeal.com):

Read it here:   http://www.commercialappeal.com/sports/grizzlies/pick-and-pop/Chris-Herringtons-Pick-and-Pop-Mike-Conleys-year-JaMychal-Greens-emergence-Jarnell-Stokes-future-and-more-333983731.html

 

–  Knicks Hoping Personnel Upgrades Alleviate Last Year’s Defensive Disaster  (from Jared Dubin, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2580002-ny-knicks-hoping-personnel-upgrades-alleviate-last-years-defensive-disaster

 

–  How Amir Johnson Will Improve Celtics’ Frontcourt Defense (from Jordan M. Foley, Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:   http://www.vantagesports.com/story/ViUVVx4AAB8AJ37s/amir-johnson-and-david-lee-revamp-celtics-defensive-frontcourt

 

–  The Lakers, floor balance, and transition defense  (from Adam Mares,  Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:  http://nyloncalculus.com/2015/10/20/the-lakers-floor-balance-and-transition-defense/

 

–   The delicate balance of ball movement for the Suns  (from Bryan Gibberman,  arizonasports.com):

“If you have three or four passes before you even really get into your play — you look at some of those teams, some of them, yea, the passes are meaningful, but then there’s other teams that when you look at the list of teams that make a lot of passes, you’re like, OK, they drove four or five passes before you even get into the action,” Hornacek said.

“If you want to count those, sure, go ahead, we prefer not to use 20 seconds of the clock. We want to get the game up and down and we’ll get into the action without the five passes.”

“We want that as the guards, Eric (Bledsoe) and Brandon (Knight), to create and these other guys they’ll get kick outs, they’ll catch balls on the run,” said Hornacek. “When your guys start breaking people down and pulling people in, then they throw it to you, that’s your opportunity to catch it on the run and make their play that way. Not catch the ball, isolate, let the defense set, try to go one-on-one.”

Read it here:  http://arizonasports.com/story/412022/the-delicate-balance-of-ball-movement-for-the-suns/

 

–  The Myth of DeMar DeRozan’s Athleticism  (from harshdave, raptorshq.com)

Read and view it here:  http://www.raptorshq.com/2015/10/19/9504539/the-myth-of-demar-derozans-athleticism-toronto-raptors

(Note: This story has an interesting take on what constitutes “athleticism”.  Some related worthwhile takes:

-from Brian McCormick’s hard2guard newsletter, 9/07:

“Steve Nash is often described as unathletic because he does not dunk. However, he is incredibly athletic. His hand-eye coordination is as good as it gets in the NBA; his reaction time is unbelievable; his lateral movement is excellent; his ability to switch from a broad or soft-centered focus to a narrow, fine-centered focus is the best in the NBA; his body awareness is exceptional; his dexterity with both hands is tops in the NBA; his first step quickness is far above average for the NBA; his core strength is unparalleled in the NBA and likely the only reason he is able to continue playing with his chronic back problems. In all these categories, he is in the top 1% of NBA players, but because he does not “look” athletic (sculpted muscles) or do obviously athletic things (dunk), the popular media characterizes him as unathletic.”

 

– from Vern Gambetta (1996):

” (Athleticsim is) “the ability to execute athletic movements (run, jump, throw) at optimum speed with precision, style and grace while demonstrating technical competency in the context of your sport.”

“The foundations for athleticism are basic coordinative activities..(which are)
-Balance (Maintenance of the center of gravity over tha base of support, which is both static & dynamic)
-kinesthetic differentiation (ability to feel tension in movement to achieve the desired movement)
– Spatial orientation (The control of the body in space)
– Reaction to signals (The ability to respond quickly to auditory, visual and kinesthetic cues)
-Sense of rhythm (The ability to match rhythm to time)
-Synchronization of movements in time (unrelated limb movements done in a synchronized manner)
– Movement adequacy (Ability to choose movements appropriate to the task)

The coordinative never work in isolation, they are all closely related.”

– from David Friedman’s 20 second timeout interviews with Mike D’Antoni, Dan Majerle and Steve Kerr (2007):

http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2007/12/is-steve-nash-best-athlete-in-nba.html

 

 James Harden’s next step; Replacing DeMarre Carroll; LaMarcus Aldridge Q&A  (form Chris Mannix,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:    http://www.si.com/nba/2015/10/20/open-floor-james-harden-rockets-lamarcus-aldridge-spurs-season-preview

 

–  Warriors hope to repeat; Lamar Odom; Pau Gasol Q & A  (from David Aldridge, NBA.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/david_aldridge/10/19/morning-tip-golden-state-warriors-defending-crown-lamar-odom-health-pau-gasol-qa/index.html

 

–  Being Jim Buss  (from Sam Amick,  USA Today):

”  LAKERS EXECUTIVE OPENS UP ON YEARS OF CRITICISM AS TEAM TRIES TO REBUILD”

Read it here:   http://www.usatoday.com/longform/sports/nba/lakers/2015/10/19/jim-buss-lakers-jerry-west-kobe-bryant-magic-johnson-jeanie-buss/73989030/

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

–  Cory Joseph has been pleasant surprise for Raptors  (from Ryan Wolstat,  Postmedia Network):  http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Basketball/NBA/2015/10/19/22563980.html?cid=rsssportsbasketball

 

–  Spurs:  With chance for bench to impress, Kyle Anderson, Boban Marjanovic deliver (from Michael C. Wright,  ESPN):  http://espn.go.com/blog/nba/post/_/id/9798/with-chance-for-bench-to-impress-anderson-marjanovic-deliver

 

–   Eric Moreland’s hustle, energy keep him in Kings’ mix  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):  http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nba/sacramento-kings/kings-blog/article40382475.html

 

–  International import Salah Mejri could play a big role for the Mavs  (from Eddie Sefko,  sportsdaydfw.com):  http://beta.sportsdaydfw.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericksheadlines/2015/10/19/sefko-international-import-play-big-role-mavs-adjusts-nba-game

 

–  Blake Griffin trained with sprinter Carmelita Jeter to improve his speed  (from Melissa Rohlin, LA Times):  http://www.latimes.com/sports/clippers/clippersnow/la-sp-cn-blake-griffin-trained-with-carmelita-jeter-20151019-story.html

 

–   Re-energized Rudy Gobert raring to go for big Jazz season  (from Jody Gennesy,  deseretnews.com):   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865639419/Re-energized-Rudy-Gobert-raring-to-go-for-big-Jazz-season.html?pg=all

 

–  Celtics: Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko (from Jay King, masslive.com):  http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2015/10/terry_rozier_boston_celtics.html

 

– Extra practice has Rozier feeling confident (from Jimmy Toscano,  csnne.com):  http://www.csnne.com/boston-celtics/extra-practice-has-rozier-feeling-confident

 

–  TERRY ROZIER AND THE CELTICS’ DEPTH  PROBLEM  (from Ben Rohrbach,  weei.com):  http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/ben-rohrbach/2015/10/20/terry-rozier-and-celtics-depth-perception-p

 

–  Mavericks: John Jenkins Continues to Impress  (from Jay Knodell,  thesmokingcuban.com):  http://thesmokingcuban.com/2015/10/20/dallas-mavericks-john-jenkins-continues-to-impress/

 

Jared Sullinger Shows off His Passing Skills  (from Marc D’Amico,  celtics.com):  http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/post-101915-sully-the-pg-big-man-shows-off-passing-skills

 

–  Oladipo Spending Countless Hours in Gym Improving Shot  (from John Denton,  magic.com):  http://www.nba.com/magic/news/oladipo-spending-countless-hours-improving-shot

 

–  Rockets’ Joshua Smith doing utmost to fill big-man shoes  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):  http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/article/Rockets-Smith-doing-utmost-to-fill-big-man-shoes-6576686.php?t=954ad651d9438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium

 

–  Martell Webster seeks second opinion for injured right hip  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wizards-insider/wp/2015/10/19/martell-webster-seeks-second-opinion-for-injured-right-hip/

 

–  Raymond Felton ran the show in Cleveland  (from Bobby Karalla,  mavs.com):  http://www.mavs.com/raymond-felton-ran-the-show-in-cleveland/

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   Memphis Grizzlies: How To Work Around The Age Issue  (from Tom Firme,  hoopshabit.com):

Read it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2015/09/19/memphis-grizzlies-work-around-age-issue/

 

–  Former ref Delaney focused on improving the craft  (from Sportal.com):

Read it here:  http://www.sportal.com.au/nba/former-ref-delaney-focused-on-improving-the-craft/1i9llvx9cyipy163x9txz1blvj

 

–  The Thunder  Legacies Of Kendrick Perkins, Scott Brooks, And Derek Fisher  (from  Alex Roig, vavel.com):

Read it here:  http://www.vavel.com/en-us/nba/542406-the-three-that-will-never-be-the-legacies-of-kendrick-perkins-scott-brooks-and-derek-fisher.html

 

–   So the Rockets are Hard-Capped… Now What?  (from David Weiner,  clutchfans.net):

Read it here:  http://rockets.clutchfans.net/9249/houston-rockets-hard-cap/

 

–   Phoenix’s history with dual playmakers lends insight into Suns’ future with Bledsoe, Knight  (from deadpoolio, brightsideofthesun.com):

Read it here:  http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2015/9/19/9351191/Phoenix-Suns-history-of-the-dual-playmaker-system

 

Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

–   BBALLBREAKDOWN’s Top 50 NBA Players: 35-31   (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):  http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/09/15/players-35-31-nba-top50/

 

–   Pistons: What Will Be Stanley Johnson’s Best Position?  (from DeMarcus Garrett,  pistonpowered.com): http://pistonpowered.com/2015/09/20/detroit-pistons-will-stanley-johnsons-best-position/

 

–   Hollis Thompson: The Anonymous Assassin  (from Sean Kennedy,  today’sfastbreak.com):  https://www.todaysfastbreak.com/nba-east/atlantic/philadelphia-76ers/hollis-thompson-the-anonymous-assassin/

 

–  Sam Thompson’s case for making the Charlotte Hornets 2015-2016 roster  (from Austin Peters, atthehive.com):  http://www.atthehive.com/2015/9/19/9298767/sam-thompson-charlotte-hornets-2015-2016-roster

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   Hassan Whiteside Will Be Test Case in NBA’s New Age of Rotations  (from  Grant Hughes,  Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2558743-hassan-whiteside-will-be-test-case-in-nbas-new-age-of-rotations

 

–  Film Room: Elfrid Payton on Defense  (from Josh Cohen, magic.com):

” What makes Magic point guard a valuable defender?”

Read and view it here:  http://www.nba.com/magic/film-room-elfrid-payton-defense

 

–  Can Kevin Love Carry a Bigger Load?  (from Austin Peters, Hardwood Paroxysm):

” Kevin Love’s role in Cleveland last season was the topic of much discussion throughout the season. Some felt he needed to learn to accept the smaller role, much the same as Chris Bosh did when he joined LeBron James in Miami. Others felt that David Blatt did a poor job of utilizing all of Love’s skills and making sure that he got a more featured role in their offense.

The truth, however, probably lies somewhere in the middle. The best coaches in the league take each player’s strengths and craft a system around those skills. At some point, though, a player has to buy into their role and really focus on what they do well instead of trying to do everything. Yes, Blatt probably could’ve done a better job putting Love into places to be successful last season, but Kevin also could a better job of approaching his given role with a little more enthusiasm.

Whether or not his play deserves a bigger role, he is going to get one starting next season. It wasreported that the Cavaliers’ star point guard Kyrie Irving, still recovering from the knee injury he suffered in Game One of the Finals, could be out until January. That is the worst case scenario and it’s likely he could be back sooner, but Love is going to be the main piece that fills in the hole left from Irving’s absence.”

Read and view it here:  http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2015/09/02/kevin-love-kyrie-irving-role-cleveland-cavaliers/

 

–  Darren Erman emphasizing defensive drills for Pelicans  (from Jim Eichenhofer, pelicans.com):

”  “Being on the same page is probably the No. 1 thing defensively. If you eliminate confusion and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, it’s really simple. If everyone is on the same page, you’ll be a top-14 defensive team at least, and obviously you can get much higher. As a general rule in the NBA, if you overcomplicate things and players are thinking instead of reacting, it’s hard. But if you can keep it simple, you know exactly where you’re going to be every single time. You want to eliminate confusion and them thinking about ‘Should I be here or there?’ Just really try to keep it simple and play to their strengths.”

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/pelicans/news/darren-erman-emphasizing-defensive-drills-anthony-davis-pelicans

 

–  George Karl’s use of Carmelo Anthony in Denver is a good blueprint for Cousins, Kings  (from Zach Harper,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25285349/george-karls-use-of-carmelo-anthony-good-blueprint-for-cousins-kings

 

–   Q&A With Bakersfield Jam Head Coach Chris Jent  (from Scott Chasen, Valleyofthesuns.com):

Read it here:  http://valleyofthesuns.com/2015/09/02/q-and-a-bakersfield-jam-chris-jent/

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

–  Marcelo Huertas brings vital experience, playmaking to Lakers  (form Tom West,  fansided.com):   http://fansided.com/2015/09/01/marcelo-huertas-experience-lakers/

 

 

–  What To Expect From Eric Bledsoe  (from Troy Tauscher,  valleyofthesuns.com):   http://valleyofthesuns.com/2015/09/02/phoenix-suns-expect-eric-bledsoe-2015-16/