Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 5/31/16

–  Warriors Close Out Thunder  (from Ben Golliver,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:

–  Key Game 7 Stats  (from ESPN):

Read it here:

–  Game 7 Video Highlights  (from Dime Mag):

Watch it here:

–  OKC Might Have Won With Defensive Adjustment  (from Neil Greenberg, Washington Post):

Read and view it here:

–  A Deep Bench:  The One Thing OKC Is Missing  (from Jack Winter,  Dime Mag):

Read it here:

 A Jump-Shooting Team Will Win The NBA Title  (from Kevin Pelton, ESPN):

–  Harry Edwards/Billy Donovan:  The NBA’s Little-Known Odd Couple  (from Marc J. Spears,  The Udefeated):

Read it here:

–  Questions Await New Grizzlies Coach David Fizdale  (from Ronald Tillery,  Commercial Appeal):

Read it here:

–  Hubie Brown On Jeff Hornacek  (from Marc Berman,  NYPost):

Read it here:

–  Raptors’ GM Craves Challenge To Top This Season  (from Doug Smith,

Read it here:

–  How Close Are We To Every NBA Team Having A D-League Affiliate?  (From Chris Reichert,  Upsaide & Motor):

Read it here:

–  Draft Picks By Team  (from Hoops Rumors):

 Draft Picks By Team:

  • Boston Celtics (8): 3rd, 16th, 23rd, 31st, 35th, 45th, 51st, 58th
  • Denver Nuggets (5): 7th, 15th, 19th, 53rd, 56th
  • Phoenix Suns (4): 4th, 13th, 28th, 34th
  • Utah Jazz (4): 12th, 42nd, 52nd, 60th
  • Philadelphia 76ers (3): 1st, 24th, 26th
  • New Orleans Pelicans (3): 6th, 39th, 40th
  • Milwaukee Bucks (3): 10th, 36th, 38th
  • Orlando Magic (3): 11th, 41st, 47th
  • Atlanta Hawks (3): 21st, 44th, 54th
  • Los Angeles Lakers (2): 2nd, 32nd
  • Sacramento Kings (2): 8th, 59th
  • Toronto Raptors (2): 9th, 27th
  • Chicago Bulls (2): 14th, 48th
  • Memphis Grizzlies (2): 17th, 57th
  • Detroit Pistons (2): 18th, 49th
  • Indiana Pacers (2): 20th, 50th
  • Los Angeles Clippers (2): 25th, 33rd
  • Houston Rockets (2): 37th, 43rd
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (1): 5th
  • Charlotte Hornets (1): 22nd
  • San Antonio Spurs (1): 29th
  • Golden State Warriors (1): 30th
  • Dallas Mavericks (1): 46th
  • Brooklyn Nets (1): 55th


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  DeMar DeRozan (from Bruce Arthur,

–  Justin Anderson (from Matthew Postins,


Today’s Top NBA Stories

-Brad Stevens learns between Frank Vogel meals (from Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald):

” Brad Stevens had just signed on with the Celtics in July 2013 when he headed down to summer league in Orlando. There, he made sure to connect quickly with Frank Vogel, coach of the NBA team across town from Butler, the job Stevens was leaving.

The two friends engaged in a dinner meeting in which the Pacers leader tried to throw as much orientation at Stevens as he could.

Last July, the meeting was a bit different.

“We went to dinner basically the same night one year later at summer league,” Stevens said before the Celtics’ 101-98 victory against Indiana last night. “I probably knew a lot more of what he was talking about. But it was great. I mean, he’s a great guy and a terrific coach, and he’s been real helpful for me in my transition, so I certainly respect him and think a lot of him.

“When I first got the job, he was like, ‘Hey, there are going to be a lot of things going on. Don’t get too high or too low. It’s just going to come in a flurry, and you’re going to feel a lot more comfortable one year from now.’ And he was right. When we were sitting down and eating this year, I did feel a lot more comfortable.”

Read it here:

– Jeff Green Silencing Critics in Boston Celtics’ New-Look Offense (from Brian Robb, Bleacher Report):

” Early on in the 2014-15 season, the critics have mellowed. Despite Boston’s slow start, Green’s production has not been an issue. In fact, it’s been a major weapon for the rebuilding squad, thanks to a tweak in Brad Stevens’ offensive system.”

Read it here:

– L.A. Clippers Get Creative To Stop The Pick-And-Roll (from Ben Dowsett, BBall Breakdown):

” L.A. runs a slight variation known as a “high hedge”, wherein the big defender, most often Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan, pops out on high pick-and-rolls hard enough to impede the progress of the ball-handler, often times making some contact. But instead of staying high and perhaps even pressing higher for the steal, the Clippers bigs then drop back down toward the roll man”

Read and view it here:

– A breakdown of Enes Kanter’s defense (from Ryan Miller, Deseret News):

” Enes Kanter has been criticized for his defense since his arrival in Utah. On Friday, we put our camera on him to further investigate.”

Read and view it here:

– Knicks’ famous triangle offense showing a dark side (from Flip Bondy, NYDailyNews):

“No matter how flexible, the triangle can befuddle the unenlightened. It can be prescribed for the wrong players, same as any other system. It can be as alien to gunners such as Tim Hardaway Jr. and J.R. Smith, as Mike D’Antoni’s system was to a post-up, isolations guy such as Carmelo Anthony.

Read it here:

– Mavericks’ offense is hi-tech firepower (from Matt Moore, CBS Sports):

” The Dallas Mavericks are a squadron of F-15 Strike Eagles. They are versatile. They are fast, they are durable, and man, alive, do they carry some firepower. After an opening night loss to the defending champs in San Antonio, Dallas has rattled off three straight. Despite losing a game, they’re fourth in point differential.

Early on in the season, the numbers don’t mean much and the eye test is even shakier than usual. But when the two converge, you start to get a sense for where things are going. And where things are going is the Mavericks may be the best offense in the league, in a league with some killer offensive teams.”

Read and view it here:

– Kobe Bryant took over the Lakers offense with a lot of shots (from Zach Harper, CBS Sports):

” It’s not that Kobe is alone; it’s that the system isolates him from allowing team basketball to truly exist. There doesn’t seem to be a flow to the offense. There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place. This is the NBA so there is obviously a game plan and a set of plays the Lakers go through each night, but the process isn’t discernible by any means. That leaves Bryant the opportunity to unleash a string of field goal attempts that doesn’t involve team play on any level. This isn’t how you win in today’s NBA, whether you believe in the 3-point Fairy or not.”

Read it here:

– Curry may be a great defender after all (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss, ESPN):

” Could Curry’s defense tilt toward great?

“He’s really taken it upon himself,” Golden State’s defensive guru Ron Adams said. “I give all the credit to him as a top-flight performer of internalizing stuff defensively that has made him better and has made his team a lot better.”

Adams, once Tom Thibodeau’s top assistant in Chicago, is the guy Curry credits for recent defensive improvement. “Coach Ron Adams has been on me, watching film, and it’s all about positioning, effort and having that focus every possession,” he said. That quote in and of itself represents a culture shift, not because Curry’s talking about defense, but because he’s giving a shoutout to an assistant coach. Last season’s coaching situation was so poisoned with insecurity that players were wary of publicly validating Jackson’s assistants. ”

Read it here:

– Steve Kerr is trading sleep for wins as Warriors coach (from Sam Amick, USA Today):

Read it here:

– Why We Shouldn’t Devalue the Center Position in Today’s NBA (from Zach Buckley, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:

– Teams That Owe 2015 First-Round Picks (from Chuck Myron, Hoops Rumors):

” The protections attached to traded draft picks are becoming increasingly complicated as front offices seek greater precision in their asset management. The whims of the draft lottery, not to mention the unpredictability of future seasons, make it difficult for teams to gauge just what they’re giving up or what they’re receiving. It’s of particular concern for first-round picks, since the talent gulf between the top pick and the 30th overall pick is almost always vast. There’s a significant difference between players available at No. 31 and No. 60 most years, too, but none of them usually carry the franchise-altering potential that often comes with the players at the top end of the first round.

Teams in recent years have sought to add clarity to what they’re exchanging when they swap draft picks, adding protections that apply to multiple ranges in the draft order. The Rockets receive a first-round pick from New Orleans this year, but if the Pelicans draw a position in the top three selections, or if the pick ends up between No. 21 and No. 30, New Orleans keeps its pick. Similar “double protection” is attached to the first-rounder the Grizzlies owe the Cavs. Other teams have simply agreed to a simple exchange of their first-round selections, but the Cavs attached protection to Chicago’s right to exchange 2015 first-round picks with them.

Thus, it can be hard to understand who gets what in a year in which as many as 11 of the 30 first-round picks may change hands. It’s likely a smaller number of first-rounders will actually be conveyed this season, not counting the 2015 picks that teams might trade between now and draft night. In any case, here’s as simple a look as possible at the teams that owe 2015 first-round picks.”

Check out Chuck’s annotated list here:

For those with access to ESPN Insider: Two from Tom Haberstroh:

– The NBA’s back-to-back problem :

” Why the league’s new All-Star break rest period will do more harm than good”

Read it here:

– Ariza, D driving Houston’s hot start

Read it here:

More player updates:

– Blake Griffin:

– LaMarcus Aldridge:

– Aaron Gordon:  and

– Gerald Wallace:

– Ben McLemore:

– Andrew Wiggins:

– Travis Wear:

– Channing Frye:

– Paul Pierce:

– Carl Landry:

– Legends talk ’72 Lakers in new film (from Bill Dwyre, LATimes):

( BI Note: On Thursday in Los Angeles, we attended the world premiere showing charity event of the new documentary tribute to Bill Sharman and the 1971-1972 Lakers NBA Champs who won 33 straight regular season games (the greatest winning streak in pro sports history). It was  a wonderful event  graciously hosted by Joyce Sharman, who also co-produced the film. Among the basketball dignitaries who attended: Bill Russell, Jerry West, Pat Riley, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Jim McMillian, Keith Erickson, Mitch Kupchak, Jamaal Wilkes, Bill Bertka, Norm Nixon, Lucius Allen. The event raised considerable funding  for the outstanding programs run by the West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation.)

” Since the Lakers’ present isn’t much, it’s nice that there exists a heartwarming and inspirational story from their past.

Where there is history, there is hope.

The story is captured in a documentary film titled: “33STR8.”

That was Bill Sharman’s license plate. It represented the Lakers’ record 33-game winning streak in the team’s 1971-72 championship season.

Sharman was the coach, architect, guardian angel, creative director, priest, rabbi and parole officer of a team that, in Los Angeles lore, has gone beyond legendary to near-sacred.

They held the film’s premiere Thursday night at L.A. Live. By one count, there were more than 500 in attendance.

Read it here: