Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 2/19/16

(NOTE:  Again today our links are limited by the effects of the all-star break and trade deadline.  The good news is that this is probably the last disclaimer we will need.  Our expectation is that we will be back to our “old normal” this weekend.)
–   Pick-And-Roll Perfected:  Draymond Green And Steph Curry  (from Jeff Siegel, fansided):
–  Lockdown Defense Keeping Celtics Among East Elite  (from Chris Forsberg,  ESPN):
SVG Explains Pistons’ Trade Process And How Little He Is Involved  (from Aaron McMann, mlive.com):
–  Bulls’ GM Gar Forman  Q & A  (from K.C. Johnson,  Chicago Tribune):
–  George Karl Should Not Go Out Like This  (from Ailene Voisin,  Sacramento Bee):
–  Every Trade Completed During The 2-15-16 Season  (from SBNation):

–  Trade Deadline Recap  (from Chuck Myron,  Hoops Rumors):
The Key Deadline Deals  (from Bobby Marks,  Yahoo Sports):
–  10 Questions Following The Trade Deadline  (from Jonathan Tjarks,  RealGM):
–  Recapping Thursday’s Games  (from SBNation):
–  A Guide To The Buyout Season  (from Mika Honkasalo, Hoops Hype):
–  NBPA Mounting Crackdown On Agents’ Conflicts Of Interest  (from Ken Berger,  CBS Sports):
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
Brandon Jennings/Ersan Ilyasova  (from Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily):  http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2016/02/19/brandon-jennings-ersan-ilyasova-know-the-work-ahead/
–  Dante Exum/Shelvin Mack  (from Dan Clayton,  Salt City Hoops):  http://saltcityhoops.com/sc7-basketballs-back-deadline-and-why-exums-still-central/
–  Channing Frye  (from Luke Sicari,  King James Gospel):  http://kingjamesgospel.com/2016/02/19/channing-frye-strengthens-cavs-weaknesses/

–  Jon Horford  (from Chris Reichert,  Upside & Motor):  Jon Horford putting in the work to create his own path

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Iguodala masters mental side of basketball  (from Marcus Thompson, Bay Area News Group):

Read it here:  http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/sports/20150605/commentary-iguodala-masters-mental-side-of-basketball

 

 

–  Andre Iguodala did whatever was necessary to help the Warriors win  (from Tim Cato, SBNation):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/2015/6/5/8735293/andre-iguodala-defense-nba-finals-2015-golden-state-warriors

 

 

 

–  Warriors’ defensive approach pushes LeBron James’ burden to new levels  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read and view it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/06/05/lebron-james-nba-finals-cavaliers-warriors-andre-iguodala-klay-thompson

 

 

 

–  NBA Shootaround: Finals Game One  (from Grantland staff):

Read and view it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nba-shootaround-finals-game-1/

 

 

 

Going Big – Cleveland’s Game One Bright Spot (from Seth Partnow, BBall Breakdown):

Read it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/06/05/going-big-clevelands-game-one-bright-spot/

 

 

 

–  Warriors Resolve Unbreakable, Even For LeBron James  (from Jesse Blanchard,  BBall Breakdown):

Read it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/06/05/warriors-resolve-unbreakable-even-for-lebron-james/

 

 

 

–  Understanding Kyrie Irving’s Patella Fracture  (from Jeff Stotts, instreetclothes.com):

Read it here:  http://instreetclothes.com/2015/06/05/understanding-kyrie-irvings-patella-fracture/

 

–  Analyzing the potential long term effects of Kyrie Irving’s patellar fracture  (from Trevor Magnotti, fearthesword.com):

Read it here:  http://www.fearthesword.com/2015/6/6/8739603/what-are-the-long-term-effects-of-kyrie-irvings-patellar-fracture

 

 

 

–  Cavaliers Yet Another Example of Fragility of Championship Runs (from jason Patt,  todaysfastbreak.com):

Read it here: http://www.todaysfastbreak.com/from-the-courts/cavaliers-fragility-championship-runs-kyrie-irving-kevin-love/

 

 

 

–  How Curry overcame ankle issues  (from Tom Haberstroh,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2015/story/_/id/13019137/2015-nba-playoffs-how-stephen-curry-put-ankle-issues-him

 

 

 

– LeBron James has sparked Tristan Thompson (from Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun):

Read it here:  http://www.torontosun.com/2015/06/03/lebron-james-has-sparked-tristan-thompson

 

 

 

THE VALUE OF DEFENSIVE COMMUNICATION (from Bob Starkey,  Hoops Thoughts):

Read it here:  http://hoopthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-value-of-defensive-communications.html

 

 

 

–  Keeping players healthy high on Adam Silver’s list  (from Sam Amick,  USA Today):

Read it here:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/playoffs/2015/06/05/adam-silver-nba-commissioner/28582449/

 

 

–  Kyrie Irving is the latest victim of the NBA’s injury problem  (rom Ken berger,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/writer/ken-berger/25206602/with-kyrie-irving-the-latest-victim-the-nbas-injury-problem-reaches-critical-mass

 

 

 

–  Alvin Gentry has emerged since working as Tim Floyd’s lead assistant in New Orleans  (from John reid,  NOLA.com):

Read it here:   http://www.nola.com/pelicans/index.ssf/2015/06/alvin_gentry_has_evolved_into.html

 

 

 

–  Envisioning the Chicago Bulls Under Fred Hoiberg  (from Kelly Scaletta and Randy Sherman, todaysfastbreak.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.todaysfastbreak.com/nba-east/central/envisioning-chicago-bulls-under-fred-hoiberg-strategy-head-coach/

 

 

 

–  Fred Hoiberg’s approach to coaching is radically different from Tom Thibodeau  (from  Sean Highkin, NBC Sports):

Read it here: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/06/02/fred-hoibergs-approach-to-coaching-is-radically-different-from-tom-thibodeau/

 

 

 

–  Draft Mistakes GMs Make  (from Joel Brigham,  Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-pm-draft-mistakes-gms-make/

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

Draymond Green:  http://www.todaysfastbreak.com/nba-west/pacific/draymond-green-warriors-free-agency-change-nba/   and    http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/06/05/why-dramond-green-is-the-real-mvp-of-the-warriors/

 

Joe Harris:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/cavaliers-rookie-harris-took-road-less-traveled-to-nba-finals/

 

Anthony Davis:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/06/04/anthony-davis-nba-2k16-pelicans-monty-williams-alvin-gentry-playoffs

 

Jeff Withey:  http://www.thebirdwrites.com/2015/6/6/8740113/jeff-withey-pelicans-center-future-asik

 

Khris Middleton:  http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150605/PC20/150609537/1032

 

Luis Scola:  http://8points9seconds.com/2015/06/06/verticality-101-with-luis-scola/

 

Nikola Vucevic:  http://hoopshype.com/interviews/sierra/nikola-vucevic

 

Damien Wilkins:  http://www.todaysfastbreak.com/from-the-courts/somewhere-other-than-here-the-story-of-damien-wilkins-the-d-league-and-a-vision-that-drives-the-future/

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  LeBron and his cast of Cavs  (from Ian Thomsen,  NBA.com):

” Can a rotation of role players help the King beat the Warriors?”

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/ian_thomsen/05/30/lebron-james-and-his-cast-of-cavaliers-characters/index.html

 

 

 

–  How the Warriors will try to contain LeBron James  (from Neil Greenberg, Washington Post):

Read it here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2015/06/01/how-the-warriors-will-try-to-contain-lebron-james/

 

 

 

–  Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith have helped turn Cavaliers’ defense around, say they are ready for their next challenge  (from Chris Fedor, cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2015/06/iman_shumpert_on_defending_ste.html

 

 

–   2015 NBA Finals matchup: Cavaliers vs. Warriors frontcourts  (from Matt Moore,  cbssports.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25201010/finals-matchup-the-frontcourt-battle

 

 

–  Harrison Barnes: How a Warrior bought in  (form J.A. Adande, ESPN):

Read it here:   http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2015/story/_/id/12982443/2015-nba-playoffs-steve-kerr-wins-big-harrison-barnes

 

 

–  David Blatt finds success is worth sacrifices  (from Matthew Florjancic,  wkyc.com):

Read it here:  http://www.wkyc.com/story/sports/nba/cavaliers/2015/06/01/david-blatt-finds-success-is-worth-sacrifices/28290743/

 

 

 For the casual follower, newcomers and Cavaliers fans: 20 things you should know about the Warriors  (from Marcus Thompson, mercurynews.com):

Read it here:  http://blogs.mercurynews.com/thompson/2015/05/31/for-the-casual-follower-newcomers-and-cavaliers-fans-20-things-you-should-know-about-the-warriors/

 

 

–   For Warriors’ longtime voice Barnett, timing finally perfect (from Daniel Brown, mercurynews.com):

Read it here:  http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/06/01/3587133_for-warriors-longtime-voice-barnett.html

 

 

–  Nate Thurmond, a Golden State legend and Cleveland Cavaliers inspiration, finds new audience in NBA Finals 2015  (from Tom Reid,  cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2015/06/nate_thurmond_a_golden_state_l.html

 

 

Next step in contract negotiations will test Miami Heat – Dwyane Wade bond  (from Dan Le Batard, miamiherald.com):

–  The Dwyane Wade crisis is a prelude to the NBA superstars’ coming war  (from Tom Ziller, sbnation):
–  Why Fred Hoiberg for Bulls?  (from JoelBrigham,  Basketball Insiders):
–  Thibodeau Quick Thoughts  (from Halran Schreiber,   Hoops Analyst):
–  The weekend Bay Area trip that helped make LeBron James a star  (from Marc Spears,  Yahoo Sports):

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

 

James Jones:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-heat/sfl-miami-heat-james-jones-s060115-story.html

 

Otto Porter, Jr.:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wizards-insider/wp/2015/06/01/otto-porter-jr-season-review-second-year-player-solidifies-standing-with-breakout-postseason/

 

Tyler Hansbrough:  http://www.raptorshq.com/2015/6/1/8685451/toronto-raptors-player-reviews-tyler-psycho-t-hansbrough

 

Mitch McGary:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2481656-why-mitch-mcgary-can-be-the-oklahoma-city-thunders-next-breakout-player

 

Kemba Walker:  http://www.atthehive.com/2015/6/1/8683887/2014-15-report-card-kemba-walker

 

Kristaps Porzingis:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/who-is-kristaps-porzingis/

 

Semaj Christon:  http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2015/6/1/8691435/exploring-the-rise-of-oklahoma-city-blue-guard-semaj-christon

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  THE THIBODEAU STORY FROM START TO FINISH  (from Sam Smith, Bulls.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/samsmith/thibodeau-story-start-finish

 

More on the Thibodeau story (from Steve Aschburner,  nba.com) here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/steve_aschburner/05/28/bulls-management-diss-tom-thibodeau/

 

 

 

–  NUMBERS PREVIEW: THE FINALS  (from John Schuhmann,  nba.com):

” These are special teams. Statistically, the Warriors are the best team we’ve seen since the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls, outscoring their opponents by 11.4 points per 100 possessions in the regular season. The Cavs, meanwhile, have fought through a myriad of changes (via trades and injuries) to get here, improving defensively along the way.

And the Cavs have been statistically better, both offensively and defensively, than the Warriors in the playoffs, even when you account for weaker competition. Cleveland has better marks in adjusted efficiency (taking their opponents’ regular season marks) on both ends of the floor.”

Read it here:  http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2015/05/29/numbers-preview-the-finals-2/

 

 

 

GSW-HOU Game 5 Analytics (from Joshua Jonah Fschman,  Vantage Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.vantagesports.com/story/VWS78yYAAMkY9gXn/rockets-vs.-warriors-05-27-15-game-5

 

 

 

–   Appreciating  James Harden  (from Gerald Bourguet,  hoopshabit.com):

”  (A)lmost every NBA superstar has been called “overrated” or a “choker” at some point in their careers. For some reason, the vast majority of the world seems hellbent on making James Harden the poster boy for irrationally hated superstars right now, and it’s really high time this nonsense came to an end.”

Read it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2015/05/29/houston-rockets-appreciating-james-harden/

 

 

 

– An analytic look at LeBron James’  postseason (from Shlomo Sprung,  sheridanhoops.com):

Read it here:  http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2015/05/28/sprung-an-analytic-look-at-lebron-james-polarizing-postseason/

 

 

 

–  Cavaliers Overcame Many Obstacles  (from Alex Kennedy,  Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-pm-cavs-overcame-obstacles-to-make-finals/

 

 

 

Warriors/Cavs Preview (from Jonathan Tjarks, RealGM):

Read it here:  http://basketball.realgm.com/article/238001/Whatever-Cleveland-Needs-LeBron-Can-Give

 

(Note: This is our first link to a finals preview.  We expect to feature several more before the series begins.)

 

 

 

Warriors Assistant Coach Alvin Gentry Q & A (from Scoop Jackson, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2015/story/_/id/12951208/qa-golden-state-warriors-alvin-gentry

 

 

 

Coaches’ Agent Mike  Tannenbaum helped Kerr, Blatt toward NBA Finals (from Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel):

” A long way from the NBA Finals, a long way from his agent days, a long, long way from helping land coaching jobs for Steve Kerr and David Blatt, Mike Tannenbaum sits in his Dolphins office and shares this hope of their upcoming series:

“I’m rooting for a Game 7 overtime,” the Dolphins vice president of football operations says.

This is a rare story wrapped inside a even rarer one. Because if the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Blatt and the Golden State Warriors’ Kerr represent two first-year NBA coaches meeting in the Finals for the first time, Tannenbaum representing them both offers a good glimpse into him as well.

“It gets crazier,” he said. “They almost worked together this year.”

–  The Atlanta Hawks’ Exit Interviews  (from hawks.com):
–  Cut Efficiency (from Henry Steckel,  Vantage Sports):
” Out of the myriad ways to score a basket, one of the best ways is to slice through the defense.  Finding cutters destroys defensive schemes and creates a more fluid offense.”
And for those with access to ESPN Insider:
Numbers tell the story of Clippers’ postseason collapse  (from Kevin Pelton):
–  Giving DeAndre Jordan max salary could sink Clippers  (from Amin Elhassan):

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

Celtics assistant Ron Adams

Celtics assistant Ron Adams has players’ respect

by Baxter Holmes (Boston Globe)

” First off,” Avery Bradley began, “I can say that every team that we’ve played — everybody loves him and respects him.”

The Celtics guard was referring to one of the team’s many new pieces this season, but one that a veteran Western Conference scout said was Boston’s best addition overall.

“For me,” Bradley continued, “that’s so cool that he’s on our coaching staff, and everybody respects him so much and says how good of a coach he is.”

He is a coach who is intelligent and measured, who believes in defense and that success is in the details. These are all traits that belong to rookie head coach Brad Stevens, but the particular coach Bradley was referring to is not Brad Stevens.

“I mean, I have people that walk up to me and say, ‘That guy, right there — listen to him,’ ” Bradley said. “Everybody — everybody says that. It’s pretty cool. It says a lot about him.”

Bradley was referring to assistant coach Ron Adams, whom Celtics players have raved about since training camp, noting his basketball IQ and hands-on approach.

….

… (A)dams, known as one of the league’s top defensive minds, joined the Celtics after spending last season as Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau’s lead assistant. Reportedly, a messy divorce with management suddenly ended Adams’s tenure with the Bulls.

Other teams started calling, vying for the services of an assistant consistently ranked as one of the best in the league, according to an annual poll of general managers the NBA releases.

In fact, league sources said Adams was the hottest assistant on the open market, a respected veteran that many of the 13 coaches taking over new teams wanted as the centerpiece on their staff.

….

There are many reasons why Stevens sought Adams: his experience, defensive expertise, and more. But Adams had also coached on many rebuilding teams during his more than two decades in the NBA, and the Celtics were about to enter such a phase.

….

There is no secret to rebuilding a team, Adams said.

“The key is always, in this sport or any other sport, trying to get the right people on the bus,” he said. “You have to have a group that is willing to join in the process of getting better. You’re at a certain level, there’s a process. This is a process: We have to get better.”

And for Stevens, Adams’s experience handling such processes has been invaluable.

“He knows where the red flags are,” Stevens said. “He knows what the good days are supposed to look like. I may think it’s a red flag day, he may think it’s a great day. I might think it’s a great day, he might think we didn’t get anything accomplished. It’s been a really good mix.”

….

Adams and Stevens are similar in (this) regard: Both more interested in teaching than “coaching,” in the details and defense, in being measured versus fiery.”

Read the rest of Holmes’ story here;  http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/10/17/celtics-assistant-ron-adams-well-informed-and-well-respected/reGfoLTdUPOPsHS6BsA58J/story.html?event=event12

(Basketball Intelligence note) Some backstory re how Adams became available:

– http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2013/10/relationship-between-coach-tom-thibodeau-and-gm-gar-forman-reportedly-toxic/

– http://chicagosidesports.com/gar-formans-questionable-call-ron-adams-is-a-class-act/