Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 5/7/16

–  CLE 121, ATL 108 (from James Herbert, CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25580027/cavaliers-outclass-hawks-again-in-game-3-four-things-to-know    and from Kacy Sager, BBall Breakdown:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2016/05/07/hawks-change-everything-but-the-outcome/

–  Channing Frye: Cavs’ Missing Piece?  (from Jeff Zilgitt, USA Today:

Read it here:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/playoffs/2016/05/07/channing-frye-lebron-james-kyrie-irving-kevin-love-kevin-durant-russell-westbrook-cavaliers-hawks-playoffs/84060442/

–  Tyronn Lue Has Thrust Cavs Into Company Of Warriors, Spurs  (from Chris Haynes.  cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2016/05/tyronn_lues_messages_demeanor.html#incart_river_mobile_index

–  Raptors Could Benefit From Sharing The Ball (from Bruce Arthur, the star.com):

Read it here:  https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2016/05/06/raptors-might-need-to-embrace-a-pass-time-arthur.html

–  Valunciunas’ Growth   (from Chris O’Leary, thestar.com):

Read it here:  https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2016/05/06/the-growth-of-raptors-valanciunas-comes-game-by-game.html

–  How Bosh’s Absence Has Impacted The Heat (from Zach Buckley, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2638459-how-chris-boshs-absence-has-impacted-and-will-continue-to-impact-miami-heat

–  Blazers Need To Limit Draymond’s Impact  (from Joe Freeman, Oregon Live):

Read it here:  http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2016/05/trail_blazers_react_to_stephen_currys_game_3_absen.html

–  Kawhi Lets HIs Game Do The Talking  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25580158/kawhi-leonard-lets-his-game-and-crucial-rebound-do-all-the-talking

–  How The Spurs Put Away OKC In Game Three (from Dan Devine, Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/-it-s-all-about-the-details—how-the-spurs-put-away-okc-in-game-3-065140365.html

–  Leonard And Aldridge Make The Spurs Look Different, But The Results Stay The Same  (from Tim Cato, SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/5/7/11614332/spurs-thunder-playoffs-kawhi-leonard-lamarcus-aldridge-different-look

–  Spurs’  Big Man Trio Is Complementing The Stars  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/05/07/playoffs-thunder-spurs-kevin-durant-tim-duncan-game-3-video

–  Donovan, Thunder Depth Are Being Tested  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/05/06/okc-thunder-kevin-durant-russell-westbrook-billy-donovan-defense-rotation

–  Ian Clark Helping Fill Warriors’ Void  (from Courtney Cronin,  Mercury News):

Read it here:  http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_29859867/no-stephen-curry-no-problem-ian-clark-helping

–  Should The Blazers Start Allen Crabbe?  (from McLayne Bertsch, ripcityproject.com):

Read it here:  http://ripcityproject.com/2016/05/07/blazers-crabbe-start/

–  Grizzlies Fire Joerger  (from Adrian Wojnarowski,  Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources–grizzlies-fire-head-coach-dave-joerger-133415083.html

–  Q & A With Memphis GM Chris Wallace Re Coaching Change  (from grizzlies.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/grizzlies/news/grizzlies-q-a-chris-wallace-160507

–  Coaching Search Q & A With Headhunter Jed Hughes  (from Associated Press):

Read it here:  http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/05/06/sports/basketball/ap-bkn-search-firms.html

–  Rockets’ Fall Is No Reason To Bash Morey’s Anlaytics Focus  (from Ben Alamar, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/74347/whatever-daryl-moreys-fate-analytics-movements-foothold-strong-in-nba

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

 

Karl-Anthony Towns  (from Tom West, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  https://thecauldron.si.com/karl-anthony-towns-leading-the-nbas-new-generation-b601136723f2#.co4hwi1gn

–  Malcolm Delaney  (from Nikos Varlas, eurohoops.net):  http://www.eurohoops.net/interviews/238458/delaney-were-going-to-berlin-to-win-the-title

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 4/30/16

–  IND 101, TOR 83  (from Dan Clayton, BBall Breakdown):
–  Blazers Will Face Warriors After Eliminating Clippers  (from Ben Golliver,  Sports Illustrated):
–  Ed Davis: Blazers “Have Nothing To Lose”  (from Joe Freeman, Oregon Live):
–  Blazers:  A Trail Of Wise Decisions  (from Matt Zemek,  Crossover Chronicles):

–  Numbers Preview:  Warriors-Blazers (from John Schuhmann, NBA.com):

Read it here:  http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2016/04/30/numbers-preview-warriors-blazers/

–  Advice To The Clippers (from Amin Elhassan, ESPN):
” My advice (to the Clippers) is to get a real GM. But what I foresee: They’ll look for some also-ran players who once played for team president Doc Rivers or played well against him (or played in his driveway). That’s who they’ll target.
 
” If you look at the four-man combination of Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, they’ve consistently ranked among the top lineups in the league in plus-minus and net rating. The idea that the Clippers need massive changes is overblown. What they need is competent cap management, good free-agent signings, better minor league evaluation and better player development. In short, all the things you need to correctly fill out your supporting cast. “
 
 
 
 
 
–  Steph Curry Is Optimistic He Will Return Sooner Than Expected  (from Sam Amick,  USA  Today):
OKC-SAS Preview  (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):

–  Spurs Need To Limit Thunder’s Role Players  (from Ian Smith, Air Alamo):

Read it here:  http://airalamo.com/2016/04/30/san-antonio-spurs-need-to-limit-okc-thunders-role-players/

–  Durant:  Spurs-Thunder Bears No Resemblance To 2014 Series  (from  Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25572639/kevin-durant-spurs-thunder-bears-no-resemblance-to-2014-playoff-series

–  Billy Donovan’s Transition From College To NBA  (from Jeff Zilgitt, USA Today):

–  Celtics’ Bright Future Eases Sting Of Loss (From Chris Forsberg, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25571192/six-things-that-must-happen-for-okc-to-pull-upset-over-the-spurs

 –  Inside A Brad Stevens Play  (from Ben Cohen, Wall Street Journal):
–  Walton Started Climb As U Of Memphis Assistant During NBA Lockout  (from Bill Oram, OC Register):

–  Why Walton Chose The Lakers  (from Ramona Shelburne,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/15433615/luke-walton-homecoming-move-dysfunctional-lakers

–  Wizards, Brooks Each Got What They Wanted (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/wizards-scott-brooks-both-got-what-they-wanted/2016/04/27/808c2034-0c00-11e6-8ab8-9ad050f76d7d_story.html

 Summer Agenda: Sacramento Kings  (from Bobby Marks, Yahoo Sports):  NOTE: This is the 10th installment in Marks’ series which will eventually analyze every team’s summer agenda.  At the end of this installment, you can clink on the link to each of the teams covered so far.

Read it here: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/summer-agenda–sacramento-kings-190612739.html

–  God Shammgod  Q & A  (from Josiah Turner, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/story/_/id/15424098/catching-one-only-god-shammgod-40th-birthday

–  The Birth of Hack-A-Farce  (from Andrew Keh,  NYTimes):

Read it here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/sports/basketball/the-birth-of-hack-a-shaq.html

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Terry Rozier  (from Joshua Bateman, Hardwood Houdini):  http://hardwoodhoudini.com/2016/04/30/terry-rozier-has-a-future-with-the-boston-celtics/
–  Solomon Hill (from Michael Pina, Sports On Earth):  http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/106321986/solomon-hill-indiana-pacers-coach-vogel
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Ian Clark took a road less traveled

Gordon Monson (SLC Tribune) & David Aldridge (NBA.com) on Ian Clark’s path to the Jazz:

From Monson:

“Ian Clark is nobody’s idea of a headliner — and that’s the man’s charge, and his charm.

Coming out of high school in Memphis, the town’s college team — the University of Memphis — treated him like yesterday’s garbage. He ended up, then, sitting on the curb, eventually recruited and scooped up by Belmont, a small school in Nashville, Tenn.

Four years later, out of college, where he shot 46 percent from beyond the three-point arc, finishing third in the nation in that regard, and averaged 18 points a game during his senior year, he was left on the curb, again, not getting drafted by any NBA team.

“I didn’t expect to get drafted,” Clark said. “I didn’t have any expectations. … Everyone wants to hear his name called on draft night, but every guy has a different path. Some guys get drafted, some guys go overseas. I just wanted to play in the summer leagues and compete.”

Sports Illustrated called Clark: “The NBA Draft’s forgotten shooter.”

On Monday, he was remembered, signing a two-year deal with the Utah Jazz — after killing it in both the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues, where he averaged better than 16 points a game in the former and scored 33 points in the latter’s championship game.

….

… “Belmont showed up in March to play at EnergySolutions Arena in the NCAA Tournament’s West Region, where Clark went 8-for-14 from the floor, dropping 21 points on Arizona in the Bruins’ first-round loss.

Belmont had no chance to win that game because … well, it never wins in the NCAA Tournament. It’s been to the tournament a fistful of times since 2006, and always lost, usually in blowouts. Clark was Belmont’s leading scorer last season and now … he has a chance to score in the bigs.

His summertime prowess grabbed the Jazz’s attention, desperate as they are for scoring and outside accuracy, in particular. Utah was one of several clubs interested in signing the 6-foot-3, 175-pound combo-guard, and the opportunity they laid down for him — giving him a chance at earned minutes — even as a free agent, landed him here.

….

“While he was blown away at the timing of the Jazz offer — “I was shocked it came so fast,” he said — he also knew Utah was giving him that one thing as significant as the security of a two-year deal: a shot to do more than be a decorative piece at the end of the bench…..

“I wasn’t highly recruited,” he said. “But I don’t regret going to Belmont at all. I just want to inspire other people that anything is possible.”

“After eight NBA teams — including Boston, Houston, the Clippers, Golden State, Phoenix, Portland, Chicago and Milwaukee — worked him out in the spring and, ultimately, decided against taking him in the draft, hooking up with the team of his choice brought a big grin at his introduction.

“Clark, indeed, took a different route to the NBA. But his path to playing time, with the Jazz this coming season, could be more promising for him than it is for a lot of guys who were happy to hear their names called on draft night, an emotion the Jazz’s new guard never felt and never expected.”

Read the rest of the piece here:  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/jazz/56661533-87/clark-jazz-monson-belmont.html.csp

David Aldridge (NBA.com) also wrote about Clark’s unconventional path to the Jazz:

“Let’s be honest. A lot of the basketball at the Vegas Summer League, like the Orlando Summer League, and like any summer league, is stultifying.

But then comes a guy like Ian Clark, from Belmont University, and his play reminds you that there is still the possibility for surprise and joy. Las Vegas is built for people like Ian Clark — even though he doesn’t gamble.

Clark’s star turn with the Warriors, who won the Summer League title over Phoenix last Monday, led to the unheralded guard from Belmont getting a two-year contract Wednesday from the Jazz. Before the month began, Clark was much more likely to spend next season playing overseas. But after a very good stint with Miami’s team in Orlando, and his 33-point explosion in the championship game against Phoenix, which brought him the game’s MVP award, Clark has a new future

….

“There’s obviously no guarantee that Clark will stick with the Jazz. But at least he has a chance. The recent success of players from small schools, with patron saint Stephen Curry (Davidson) leading the way, has opened up the door.

“Guys like C.J. McCollum, and the year before that, Damian Lillard, showed that guys that come from small schools can play basketball,” Clark had said earlier in the week. “That’s kind of the mindset that I have, that if you work, and if you can play, they’ll find you.”

“Belmont had that old saying posted in its locker room: “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.” Clark, who was a heralded recruit for Belmont Coach Rick Byrd, learned that lesson at Belmont.

….

“It is a credit to Clark, and a condemnation of supposed Draft “experts” such as myself (another reason I detest the pre-Draft process), that he could be the Co-Player of the Year in the Ohio Valley Conference, and the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, and lead his Belmont team to a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and finish third in the country in 3-point percentage, and have almost nothing written about him. I mean, nothing.

“No scout or general manager or coach mentioned his name a single time to me over dozens of hours of conversations before the Draft about guard prospects. Nor did I do enough research—which should have been simple, in retrospect—to uncover him.”

….

“Clark had starred locally in high school in Memphis, but fell—naturally—under the radar of the city’s bigger school, the University of Memphis. By the time new Memphis Coach Josh Pastner got the job and got to town in 2009, Clark had already committed to Belmont, a Christian school three hours east, in Nashville, with a little more than 6,600 students.

” ‘He came to us already as a terrific kid, with great parents,” Byrd said. ‘That’s the folks who deserve the credit for who Ian is. He’s extremely well-liked on campus, and he is extremely humble about what he’s accomplished … all things being equal, guys are going to like having Ian on the team. He’s always going to be team first.’ ”

Read the rest of Aldridge’s story here: http://tinyurl.com/lgqlxxk