Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Warriors wearing down Grizzlies’ Conley  (from Carl Steward, bayareanewsgroup):

Read it here:



–  How The Bogut-On-Tony-Allen Strategy Was Implemented  (from

Read it here:




Steve Kerr on his coaching staff: How he put it together, how the braintrust of the Warriors works  (from Tim Kawakami,

Read it here:




–  From Jimmy Butler’s view, no excuses on defending LeBron  (from Steve Aschburner,

Read it here:



Cavs 106, Bulls 101 (from Jason Lloyd,

Read and view it here:

And from Jordan M. Foley, Vantage Sports:–cavs-game-5-5-12-2015




– Why the Wizards suddenly love 3-pointers  (from Ben Standig, CSNWashington):

Read it here;




–  Otto Porter’s Postseason Breakout  (from Bryan Toporek,

Read and view it here:




Marcus Smart: Elite Defender  (from Kevin O’Connor,  Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:




– End of an NBA game: dullest 2 minutes in sports  (from Philip Hersh,  Chicago Tribune):

Read it here:




Human Movement Science and the NBA Draft (from Matt Kamalsky, Draft

Read and view it here:–4961




Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


Harrison Barnes:


Zach Randolph:


CJ McCollum:


Arron Afflalo:


Quincy Pondexter:


Norris Cole:


Marcus Smart/Jordan Clarkson:


Dante Exum:


Nikola Vucevic/Channing Frye/DeWayne Dedmon/Kyle O’Quinn:


Maurice Harkless:


Evan Fournier:


Jerami Grant:


–  Furkan Aldemir:


Noah Vonleh:


Michael Beasley:


Renardo Sidney:



Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   The Last Ride of the Spurs Dynasty: Appreciating San Antonio’s Final Hurrah   (from Zach Lowe,

” The Spurs should be the biggest story of the postseason as long as they’re kicking. There are other meaty issues: the Warriors’ quest to cap their historically dominant regular season; LeBron James, redeeming Cleveland and dunking Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving into the playoff baptismal pool; Derrick Rose’s desperate search for his MVP zip; the trumped-up battle over Chris Paul’s “legacy”; the Hawks, once the NBA’s most vanilla organization, soldiering through tabloid headlines and the possibility that police brutality ended Thabo Sefolosha’s season; and the Wizards’ and Raptors’ dual quest to play a passable professional basketball game.

But nothing tops what could be the last stand of the Spurs as we know them. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are 381 and 37, respectively, and both could retire — even though each is clearly capable of playing at a high level beyond this season. Six other rotation players are free agents, including Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, perhaps the best two-way starting wing combination in the league. The Spurs are down 1-0, with Game 2 on the road against the strongest first-round opponent they’ve faced in the Tim Duncan era.

The Spurs could easily win this series,2 repeat as champions, and re-sign their aging stars to one- or two-year contracts. This could all be much ado about nothing. The franchise hasn’t faced this level of top-to-bottom uncertainty since Duncan dined with the Magic in 2000, and it’s hard to quash the feeling of preemptive nostalgia as you watch Duncan drain bank shots and nail every rotation while Ginobili dances steps he literally invented. Appreciate it all, because this really could be the last springtime run for one of the greatest core groups in the history of team sports.”

Read and view  it here:

(NOTE:  This story also includes Zach’s takes on a number of the other playoff series)




– Let’s Look at the Clippers’ Perfect Offensive Scheme  (from Sagar Panchal,

Read and view it here:




 Draymond Green:  Brow’s shadow steps into spotlight  (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss, ESPN):

” After the Golden State Warriors finally closed out the scrapping New Orleans Pelicans 97-87 in Game 2, Klay Thompson got the national TV interview. Draymond Green, whose defense was astounding on Monday night, talked for the local feed. It happened that way because that’s how we’ve always done things. If you scored the most points and your team won, you’re getting the biggest spotlight. It’s the formula because scoring a basket is obvious and preventing one is less obvious.

Though Thompson certainly deserves acclaim for a great shooting game, this particular space will mostly be reserved for crediting Green, fulcrum of a Golden State defense that held New Orleans to 37.8 percent shooting. Green’s overall defense on Monday night was brilliant, but most especially against Anthony Davis. Their battles echo those of the shorter Tony Allen throwing everything atKevin Durant — the undersized grinder going up against young Goliath.

In theory, this should have been too large a task for Green, who’s the size of a wing player. “It’s tough, man,” he said after the game. “Most guys I give up length to who I guard, most them aren’t as quick as me though.”

Read  it here:




–  Draymond Green, Warriors’ bench fuel Game 2 win against pesky Pelicans (from Phil Taylor,  Sports Illustrated):

”  The Warrior reserves were missing in action in Game 1, but they re-emerged on Monday night at the best possible time for Golden State. The Warriors trailed 28-17 after the first quarter and were badly in need of a boost. Leandro Barbosa came off the bench to score eight points on an assortment of drives and jumpers, Marreese Speightsdrilled a couple of mid-range shots and Andre Iguodala made a corner three after some crisp ball movement.

Boost provided.

“Nobody will write it, nobody will talk about it, but the bench won us the game,” Green said. “When they left the game we were still down seven, but they changed the complete pace and tempo of the game. We were getting punched and getting punched and getting punched, and then the second unit came out and threw a punch.”’

Read it here:



–  This is why you pay Draymond Green his money (from Tom Ziller, SBNation):

” In the context of the Warriors, Draymond Green is a virtuoso. There is absolutely no reason for Golden State to abandon the relationship.”

Read it here:




–  The Other Guy: Klay Thompson on His Sensational Season  (from Kirk Goldsberry,

Read and view it here:




–  Nets look to get Brook Lopez going  (from Mike Mazzeo,  ESPN):

Read it here:




–  How the Atlanta Hawks (and Lionel Hollins) Limited Brook Lopez in Game 1  (from Paul Mitchell,

Read and view it here:




–  Film Study: The Nets ability to stop the Hawks 3-point assault  (from  Reed Wallach,

Read and view it here:




–  How Can the Celtics Slow Down Kyrie Irving?  (from Jordan Greer,

Read and view it here:




–  Kyrie Was Hot but Celtics’  TO% and Cavs’  OReb Pursuit Rate Are More Telling  (from Kevin O’Connor,  Vantage Sports):

” “The turnovers kill you. The offensive rebounds kill you,” (Celtics’ Coach Brad) Stevens said. “The superhuman shots do not.”

Read and view it here:




–  Video Review: How the Rockets ran the ball down the Mavericks’ throat  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:




–  Digging deeper into James Harden’s Game 1  (from Jake Garcia,

Read and view it here:


Rockets-Mavs:  WHAT TO WATCH FOR: GAME 2 (from Bobby Karalla,

Read and view it here:



–  How the Mavericks can fix the problem of Dirk Nowitzki’s defense  (from Josh Bowe,

Read and view it here:




–  Dwight Howard plans to stop using ‘weight-room muscles’ against Mavericks in Game 2  (from Eddie Sefko,

Read it here:




Butler’s Efficient Scoring Helped by Bulls’ Assist Rate as Bucks Fail to Keep Pace  (from Bob macKinnon, Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:–bulls-4-20-15-game-2-the-butler-did-it-on-his-way-to-a-playoff-career-high-31-points-by-nailing-1.35-points-per-shot.




– Bucks offense stagnates with lack of passing in Game 2 loss  (from Mark Strotman,

Read it here:




George Karl on the playoffs (from Bill Herenda,

Read it here:




–  Player development a Scott Brooks strength  (from Berry Tramel,

” (A) criticism I’ve heard about Brooks is measureable. And quite absurd. The idea that Brooks doesn’t develop players.

What can anyone possibly be talking about? Player development has been a Thunder mantra since the franchise hit town, and it’s not just talk. The Thunder develops players wonderfully, and coaching has to be a major part of that. Let’s go down the list:”

Read it here:




–   With Enes Kanter, the Thunder plugged one hole but opened another  (from Berry Tramel,

” Kanter could score. but his defense was atrocious”

Read it here: http://new




–  A year of familiarity figures to get Pistons closer to top-10 D standing SVG craves  (from Keith Langlois,

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



Paul Millsap:


James Johnson:


James Harden:


Jimmy Butler:


Mike Conley:


Terrence Ross:


Robin Lopez:


Clint Capela:


Jordan Adams:


Elfrid Payton;


Isaiah Canaan:


Nik Stauskas:


Tyler Johnson:


Furkan Aldemir:


Ish Smith:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis


The Warriors’ Dominance (from Paul Flannery, SBNation):

” (M)any seem reluctant to acknowledge their dominance. Their resistance often drips with old-school nostalgia. A common complaint is that jump-shooting teams don’t win championships, which completely ignores what the Spurs did last season. Wait until the postseason when the games will slow down and opponents will get more physical — that’s another popular theory. Except that no one has been able to do that yet and all we have to go on is the here and now.

You can’t compete with ghosts, as Bill Russell famously said, meaning that you can only be judged by the standards of your era. From that standpoint, the Warriors have mastered the modern version of the game with a wonderful mix of shooting and individual creativity combined with an airtight defense augmented by versatile lineups. For their part, the Warriors have gone about their business unconcerned with outside distractions.

“We talk constantly about big picture stuff, getting better,” Steve Kerr said earlier this month when the Warriors came through Boston. “We don’t talk about record. We don’t talk about playing seeding. We just talk about where we need to improve. You can’t cheat any of this stuff. You can talk about it but you have to grow organically. One of the great things about our team is that our group has been together for a couple of years, even though our staff is new. This group has been together and they know each other well.”

I asked Kerr if he had more to learn about his team in the remaining weeks.

“I learn every single day from our team,” he said. “We sort through lineups and combinations. There’s a lot of things. It’s not like all of a sudden you say, ‘Alright. We got it.’ You never have it. Everything is constantly changing.”

Read it here:



–  For Warriors and Festus Ezeli, patience is paying off at the right time (from Steve Berman,

” Remember when the Warriors were supposedly interested in JaVale McGee as possible insurance for Andrew Bogut? Chris Broussard had a source and everything! McGee’s contract demands might have made that a non-starter, but in reality the Warriors have had one of the better backup centers in the league for about a month now.

“I’m getting my athleticism back. With injuries you never know how that stuff goes, but I’m happy to be back with the team again and playing,” Festus Ezeli said after the Warriors obliterated the Hawks on Wednesday, thanks in part to 10 savage minutes off the bench in the second half from the third-year center. “I’m happy to be feeling good again.”

Read it here:


(BI Note:  We loved Warriors TV play-by-play announcer Bob Fitzgerald’s take on the supposed rumor in which he divided big men into two categories:  “There are folks like  Javale who make an occasional good play and then there are basketball players.”)




Nuggets Interim Coach Melvin Hunt shaped by 16 seasons of experience in the NBA (from Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post):

” (He is)  generating wins, support in quest to take over Nuggets full time”

Read it here:




–  The Evolution Of DeMarcus Cousins (from Gerald Bourguet,

” But as the best season of his five-year career winds down, it’s worth taking a look at what makes DeMarcus Cousins such an underrated star and misunderstood leader. Cuz still has a lot to improve on, but if you think he’s an overrated head case who’s not capable of leading a franchise, you haven’t been paying attention.”

Read it here:




–  Dwyane Wade trudges on without LeBron James, injured Bosh  (from Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated):

” Miami expected to be better than this. The Bosh injury hit the hardest. The acquisition of Dragic—who, not for nothing, delivered a textbook lesson on how to force your way out of town last month, when his agent, Bill Duffy, informed Phoenix that Dragic would not re-sign two days before the trade deadline and Dragic napalming the situation 24 hours later—created an enviable starting lineup of Dragic, Wade, Deng, Bosh and Whiteside. Privately, the Heat believed that if all five could stay healthy the team could challenge in a top-heavy conference. That hope vaporized quickly after Bosh was diagnosed with his season-ending ailment.

The news likely hit Wade, 33, the hardest as he inches slowly, sometimes painfully, toward the end. It won’t come anytime soon, of course. Wade is averaging 21.6 points—his highest in three years—on a respectable 48.1% shooting. This month, he’s averaging a season-best 25 points, some of which have come from a season-high 6.9 free throw attempts per game, evidence that, when needed, the old Flash can still make an appearance. In typical fashion, Wade credits his teammates for passing, screening and setting him up; but there is no question that, with Miami in the thick of a playoff race, Wade has ratcheted his game up.”

Read it here:




One more thing Durant and  Westbrook’s injuries have taken from the Thunder  (from Berry Tramel,

” Three years ago, the Thunder went to the NBA Finals, mended its wounds from a five-game licking by the Heat and knew exactly where it stood in the world basketball order. Great, just not quite great enough.

Since then, the meter is broken. The mirror doesn’t reflect. The Thunder has no true measure of its position to win an NBA championship. Russell Westbrook’s knee injury two years ago and Kevin Durant’s foot injury this season have robbed the Thunder not only of championship hopes in the playoffs of 2013 and 2015, but the gauge to know how near or far is a championship parade on the Bricktown Canal.

The meniscus and the metatarsal are the curses that keep on cursing.”

Read it here:




– Much to consider if Pistons must replace Greg Monroe (from Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press):

”  It’s a no-brainer, right?

The Detroit Pistons have won five games out of six. Point guard Reggie Jackson is flourishing and center Andre Drummond is dunking and rebounding.

All of this while starting power forward Greg Monroe is nursing a right knee strain.

Anthony Tolliver has assumed the starting power forward spot and his outside shooting has helped create space for Jackson and Drummond – franchise cornerstones.

So when Monroe likely walks this summer as a free agent, will Pistons czar Stan Van Gundy look to continue to play this way – a brand of small ball he helped popularize when he was the coach of the Orlando Magic from 2007-12?

Not so fast.

I asked Van Gundy about his preferences Friday morning – a few hours before the Pistons beat the Magic, 111-97.

He said to truly be a great team you have to be able to defend the physical, bruising opponents (Memphis, Indiana) – as well as the teams that spread the floor and rain triples.

“I think ideally what you’d like to have is both,” Van Gundy said. “Then you have the opportunity to play big and small.”

– Hinkie got it right when he got Noel  (from Keith Pompey,

”  (N)ow that he’s playing, it’s clear that he has a very good chance to be the headliner of his draft class.Of the five picked ahead of him, Oladipo is the only key player with his franchise. Len and Zeller are basically role players. Porter and Bennett, who was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in August, have been disappointments.

Luckily for the Sixers, Hinkie got it right.

Read it here:



– Sixers Observations (from Dei Lynam,

Read it here:



–  Sixers look to future : Summer League could be debut of Noel, Embiid as twin towers (from Scott Howard-Cooper,

Read it here:




Kendrick Perkins: Are they talking about the same team I’m playing on? (from Ken berger, CBS Sports):

“I turn on ESPN and I see, ‘No Love for K-Love,’ or something like that, and it’s kind of silly to me,” Perkins said. “I haven’t seen anything to the point that it’s drama.”

Read it here:




Inside Jeremy Lin (from Pablo S. Torre,  ESPN):

Read it here:



Pop on Becky Hammon (from Gery Woelfel,

“San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said he’s been highly impressed with Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, who is the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history.
“She is really a knowledgeable coach,’’ Popovich said. “She’s kind of like a female Jason Kidd, so to speak. Most of Jason’s experiences, coaching wise, have come from all the guys he played for and all the people he played with and all the experience he gained over the years. That’s really valuable.
“And Becky is the same way. She was a point guard. Very successful. Ran the show and understands what wins and what loses. It’s the same game. It’s basketball, so her knowledge and feel for the game, like Jason’s, is really impressive.
“At the same time, she’s got a good way of communicating. She instills confidence in other players; they respect her quickly. I think her presence and intelligence have been most impressive.’’
Could Pop envision Hammon eventually becoming a head coach?
“I don’t think about expectations or where anybody is going to go,’’ Popovich said. “I never thought I’d be doing what I’m doing. I’m still wondering what I’m doing here. I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know why I am here. I don’t know why I should continue to be here and here I am.
“So I’m not going to try and figure out what’s going to happen to somebody else in their life. I mean all of us have taken different turns. We’re going this way and then all of a sudden we’re going that way. It’ll be the same for her.
“Who knows? Maybe she’ll become a doctor. I don’t know.’’
Or maybe a newspaper reporter?
“God forbid.’’




Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


Brandon Knight:


Kentavious Caldwell-Pope/Reggie Jackson:   and


Enes Kanter:


Thomas Robinson:


Michael Kidd- Gilchrist:


Khris Middleton:


Tyreke Evans:


Corey Brewer:


Trevor Ariza:


Furkan Aldemir:


James Harden:


Alex Len:


Timofey Mozgov:


Trey Burke:

























Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Mo Williams Just Couldn’t Miss (from Mark Monteith,

” In their NBA history, going back to the 1976-77 season, only seven opposing players have scored 50 or more against the Pacers.

“Super John” Williamson did  it late in the 1977-78 season. He called it, too. He had been traded by the Pacers to New Jersey earlier that season, so when he came back to Market Square Arena on April 4 to renew acquaintances with his former teammates, he predicted a 50-point game – and delivered it, on the nose.

In subsequent years, George Gervin scored 55 for San Antonio in 1980, Larry Bird scored 53 for Boston in ’83, Bernard King scored 52 for New York in ’84 and Michael Jordan scored 53 for Chicago in ’87. That game, in Chicago Stadium, is part of Pacers folklore because John Long, who was to guard Jordan that night, refused to shake Jordan’s hand before the opening tip-off – the type of slight that Jordan feasted on for motivation. Chris Webber did it, too, scoring 51 for Sacramento in 2001, in a game the Pacers won in overtime.

And now Williams has done it. His personal onslaught might have been the most dramatic of all the 50-point games dumped on the Pacers because (1) Williams is a good-but-not-great player with a career scoring average of 16.1, a 32-year-old guard playing for his seventh NBA team, and (2) he didn’t stray far from the team concept, finishing with a game-high seven assists and (3) he did it as a long-range sniper.

Of his 19 field goals, only one was a layup. Six were 3-pointers, two from 29 feet and two from 27 feet, and the rest were from 14 to 21 feet. Hardly anything came easily, and several of them came with a hand in his face, some while falling backward and for all we know a few with his eyes closed.”

Read it here:


– Sixers get lesson in teamwork in blowout loss to Hawks (from John Finger,

“The Sixers received another harsh lesson on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center and it was as obvious as the lines on the basketball court.

If the Sixers were ever wondering if teamwork and unselfish play can work in the NBA, look no further than the clinic the Atlanta Hawks put on in a 105-87 victory”

Read it here:


– Could surging Hawks be the new NBA model? (from John Finger,

”  (T)he Hawks’ no-star roster has earned the nickname of “Spurs East.” That’s fine with Budenholzer, but a little perplexing, too.

“If what we’re doing is what San Antonio does, there are a lot of teams that want to do that,” Budenholzer said before the Hawks beat the Sixers, 105-87, Tuesday night. “Junior high teams want to [play like] that, too.

“If it’s good solid fundamental basketball, that’s what we want to be doing.”

Read it here:

–  The Unassuming, Unknown Superstar Status of Al Horford (from Zach Lowe,

” Horford probably won’t represent the Hawks in the All-Star Game, but there is something like universal recognition within the team that he is their best and most important player. And now, after some worry, Horford is slowly regaining his wind and his legs after avoiding all basketball activities for almost a year. The Hawks’ defense has risen with him. Atlanta has had the league’s stingiest defense since December 1, and Horford has tightened up his rim protection during that stretch, according to SportVU data provided to Grantland.

When he’s healthy, Horford is a legitimate NBA superstar — a chameleon who is good at everything, great at some things, and always flying beneath the radar. He doesn’t pile up insane numbers, hog the ball, or appear in national TV commercials. He is concerned only with winning, even if the path there involves sacrificing shots to focus on passing, setting good picks, and battling 7-footers under the basket.”

Read it here:


–  Carlisle demanding more from Mavericks on boards (from Eddie Sefko, Dallas Morning News):

Read it here:


Jimmy Butler Video Interview (with Will Perdue,

Watch the videos here:


– Thibodeau cites lack of practice together for Bulls’ poor defensive cohesion ( from KC Johnson, Chicago Tribune):
Read it here

 – John Wall talks about his new, unstoppable go-to move ( from Ryan Garcia,

” The first sighting may have been when he made Luis Scola of the Indiana Pacers weak in the knees back in November. Another was spotted in Friday’s ESPN showdown with the Chicago Bulls that even faked out commentator Mike Breen, who thought John Wall lost the ball but luckily got it right back. The most recent sighting was Tuesday’s clash against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, when Wall was dribbling baseline as Marcin Gortat rolled to the hoop on the left and two defenders readied themselves to clamp down on Wall.

Then he seemed to make a pass that somehow came right back to him, forcing his defender — and in this case, defenders — to react to his ball fake, giving him just enough space to pull up for another floater, a shot he had hit numerous times on the night.”

Read and view it here:

and here:

– John Wall on his yo-yo dribble (from Dan Steinberg, Washington Post):

Read and view it here:



–  Nikola Vucevic Helping Expedite Orlando Magic’s Rebuild (from Alec Nathan, Bleacher Report):

Read and view it here:

–  Many Positives and Few Negatives in Orlando Magic’s Victory over Bulls (from Brett David Roberts,

Read it here:

Jonas Valanciuanas making leaps despite inconsistent minutes (from Dave Zarum,

Read it here:

–  Jason Kidd fits with Bucks in ways he couldn’t on Nets (from Jeff Zilgitt, USA Today):

” Jason Kidd was the wrong coach for the Brooklyn Nets.

Now, Kidd is the right coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Sometimes, a player isn’t the right fit for a team, and the same can apply to coaches. It’s obvious Kidd, 41, is better and more comfortable coaching a young team than he was coaching a veteran team.

Kidd’s one-season tenure with the Nets didn’t work out, but almost halfway into his first season with the Bucks — and second as an NBA coach — he has been exactly what the Bucks needed. The Nets didn’t: a teacher.

“It’s about teaching, helping them understand through what I went through, what I saw and how to make the game easy for teammates with the pass. Playing hard, playing defense, playing start to finish,” Kidd said. “Guys are doing that, and it’s fun to watch, fun to be around and fun to teach.”

Read it here:


–  Robbie Hummel’s versatility keeps him in NBA (from Nathan Baird,

” Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robbie Hummel needs every finger on one hand to count the positions he’s played this season.

The former Purdue star cracks a little smile when he gets to “point guard.” One locker over, teammate Gorgui Deng chuckles.

Hummel first subbed in at center last Friday at Milwaukee. By the end of the game he was running the point for the first time since his Valparaiso High School days.

Ricky Rubio needn’t worry. The 6-foot-9, 219-pound Hummel won’t challenge for the starting point guard job. But he contributed six points and an assist without committing a turnover in 14-plus minutes that night.

That versatility has boosted Hummel’s value in the face of injuries to Rubio, Mo Williams and Shabazz Muhammad, among others. In his second NBA season, Hummel has carved a niche as a player willing — and more importantly, able — to do a little bit of everything.”

Read it here:


Brandon Jennings Takes Leadership Role  (from Vincent Goodwill, Detroit News):

”  When Josh Smith was released on Dec. 22, most believed Jennings was next on the chopping block, that he wasn’t Van Gundy’s type of player. And whether he is or isn’t, only Van Gundy’s actions will determine, but Jennings is clearly the most dynamic point guard Van Gundy has coached — and assuredly, Van Gundy’s biggest surprise through this surprising streak.

“Sometimes you’re going, ‘Umm,’ with some of his shots, but I’m not trying to put a leash on him,” said Van Gundy, who contorted his face when describing some of Jennings’ shots.

“Because he’s playing great and you gotta let those guys go. He’s playing as well as I’ve seen him play since he came into the league.”

Read it here:


More on Jennings here:  and  here:


–  The Curious Case of Josh Smith (from Howard Beck, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:


–  Phoenix Suns “trips” lineup, sporting all three point guards, is highly effective (from Dave King,

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes:


Furkan Aldemir/Jordan McRae:

Jonas Jerebko

Jerami Grant:

–  Jusuf Nurkic

Deron Williams:

Trey Burke/Elijah Millsap:

Kevin Seraphin:

Quincy Pondexter:

Tyrus Thomas:

Quincy Acy:

Noah Vonleh:

Today’s Best NBA Stories

Breaking Down How the Indiana Pacers Are Keeping Their Defensive Swagger (from Ian Levy, Bleacher Report):

” The Indiana Pacers are not the bruising championship contender they were last season. Still, a 6-9 start has them in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, a huge surprise when many projected them to bottom out completely.

Fighting through a myriad of injuries, the Pacers have maintained one of the best defenses in the league. Their respectable start has come, primarily, from clamping down on opponents’ scoring. Currently, they rank 10th in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing just 105.6 points per 100 possessions.

Although just one of their starters from last season, Roy Hibbert, has played so far this season, he happens to be the most important part of their defense.

The entire structure of the Pacers’ system is built around Hibbert‘s ability to protect the basket. On pick-and-rolls and most dribble-drive actions, he sags back into the paint. This strategy walls off the basket and cedes the space for penetrators to pull up for an inefficient long two-pointer. ”

Read it here:

The Tyler Hansbrough Story:  (from Dave Zarum,

” His brash playing style and the success that it’s bred have made Hansbrough a polarizing figure, a walking archetype of the player you love when he’s on your team and hate when he’s not. But take the guy off a basketball court and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more, well, normal pro athlete. Turns out Tyler Hansbrough isn’t who you might have thought.”

Read it here:


Paul Pierce, Andre Miller were teammates long before Wizards (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

Read it here:

Tight-knit Toronto Raptors squad care little about outside talk (from Lori Ewing, The Canada Press):

” This season’s Toronto Raptors are a tight-knit bunch. And on a day ESPN pegged the Raptors’ chances at winning the NBA title at a whopping 41 per cent, they scoffed. Anything said outside of their gym, they said, is all just noise.

“We don’t care about nothing ESPN is saying, honestly,” DeRozan said. “Nobody cares what anybody says. We care about everybody that’s got this Raptors jersey on. Everything else don’t matter to us, man.”

“We’ve got our confidence,” Vasquez added. “We don’t need anybody to talk about us, whether it’s good or bad.”

Read it here:

Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors preview (from Jonathan Tjarks,

Read it here:

Nicolas Batum Q & A (from Dave Decckard and amlmart1,

Read it here:

Justin Zormelo: Stats geek to the NBA stars, including Kevin Durant (from Kathy Orton, Washington Post):

” Justin Zormelo stands on a Georgetown University basketball court, a cellphone pressed to his ear. No answer. Where is Glen Rice Jr. ? The Washington Wizards player was supposed to be here hours ago.

Zormelo, dressed in the same baggy white Hoya shorts he wore when he was a team manager and a black T-shirt with his company’s logo on the chest, looks like someone who just wandered over from the pickup game on the next court. But unlike those Saturday morning jocks, the 30-year-old Fairfax County native has dozens of NBA clients listed in his cellphone, including Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, Wizards guard John Wall and Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo. Not to mention the guy who helped Zormelo start it all: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

Zormelo is one of the hottest trainers these days because of his creative use of stats. Not the usual stats, such as points, rebounds and assists, but an advanced analytics approach that has allowed a basketball fanatic who didn’t play past high school and never coached to help Durant become the NBA’s most valuable player.”

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Pistons’ Drummond needs to be more instinctive (from Terry Foster, Detroit News):

” Legendary Pistons coach Chuck Daly often sent a short but powerful message to budding superstar Dennis Rodman during the Bad Boys’ reign of terror.

“Don’t think,” he’d bark to Rodman. “Don’t think. Just play.”

In time Rodman became one of the most instinctive players in the NBA. He ran the floor, was strong, could defend any position and scored off of offensive rebounds and broken plays. He won defensive player of the year honors and was one of the game’s best rebounders.

Andre Drummond, the current Pistons prodigy, is similar.

Don’t think Andre. Just play the game.”

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Goran Dragic accepts cut in playing time, new backcourt dynamic (from Paul Coro,

” When Goran Dragic watched the final 13 minutes of Monday’s loss at Toronto, he was not upset with a reworked Suns rotation that is set up to play the hot hands.

He was mad at himself for a third quarter that turned from three scoring drives to three turnovers. Once Eric Bledsoe (14 fourth-quarter points) and Isaiah Thomas (12 fourth-quarter points) caught fire to bring the Suns from a 17-point hole to a one-point lead, there was nothing for Dragic to do but watch after his 21 minutes.

Dragic played fewer minutes in a game once last season, but it was due to a sprained ankle that ended his night in the third quarter at Oklahoma City.

“I had a bad game,” said Dragic, whose steady road trip ended with a six-point, four-assist, four-turnover game. “You cannot feel bad if you’re not playing good. I can feel bad for myself. But if the team is doing well, you need to be there. You need to support them. I’ll try to avoid this for the next game.””

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CBA 101: Rookie Scale Contract Extensions (from Daniel Hackett,

” Daniel Hackett continues his CBA 101 series with a look at the various rules that apply to rookie scale contract extensions in the NBA.”

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More Player Updates:

Omri Casspi

Jordan Hill

Wesley Johnson

Shawn Livingston

Josh McRoberts

Jerome Jordan

Brady Heslip:

Furkan Aldemir

Victor Claver

Marreese Speights

Marcus Smart/Avery Bradley

Brandan Wright

Shabazz Napier/James Ennis

Jeff Taylor

A. J. Price

Spencer Dinwiddie   and

Mitch McGary