Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 12/19/15

–  How Will Teams Stop the Best 3-point Scorers?  (from Zach Harper,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25418260/how-will-teams-stop-the-best-3-point-scorers-in-the-nba

–  Kawhi Leonard, Quiet Superstar  (from Michael C. Wright,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14386491/san-antonio-spurs-kawhi-leonard-nba-quiet-new-superstar

–  Brad Stevens:   Always Seeking an Edge  (from Gary Washburn,  Boston Globe):

Read it here:  http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/12/17/celtics-found-right-man-brad-stevens/MLmGbthDRz6TQA92DNsRDO/story.html

–  Paul George’s Defense  (from Clint Corey,  Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www1.vantagesports.com/Articles/article_view/VnRYQx8AAOVqw5hF

–  Spurs’ Defense:  Blast from the Past (from Jesus Gomez, BBall Breakdown):

Read and view it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/13413/

Luke Walton:  Warriors’ Unlikely Leader  (from Lee Jenkins,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/12/17/golden-state-warriors-stephen-curry-luke-walton-steve-kerr

–  Recapping Friday’s Games  (from SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba-scores

–  James Johnson Helps Lead Raptors Past Heat  (from Blake Murphy,  raptorsrepublic):

Read it here:  http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2015/12/19/utilized-james-johnson-draws-start-help-leads-raptors-past-heat/

–  Eight Surprise Starters Who Have Caught On This Season  (from Zach Buckley,  Bleacher Report):

Read and view it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2599467-8-surprise-starters-who-have-caught-on-this-season

–  Zach LaVine’s True Position  (from Gerald Bourguet,  Hoops Habit):

Read and view it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2015/12/19/minnesota-timberwolves-zach-lavine-thriving-true-position/

–  Jeff Green Cannot Play With Zach Randolph  (from Joe Mullinax,  grizzlybearblues):

Read it here:  http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2015/12/18/10440742/friday-three-jeff-green-zach-randolph-memphis-grizzlies-problems?_ga=1.263042572.1018263438.1420308416

–  Jerian Grant Is Struggling in the Knicks’ Triangle  (from Stefan Bondy,  NY Daily News):

Read it here:  http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/knicks-jerian-grant-change-plays-article-1.2470803

–  Brandon Jennings’ Decision to Play in D-League May Change NBA’s Rehab Practice  (from Peter J. Wallner,  Grand Rapid Press):

Read it here:  http://www.mlive.com/drive/2015/12/brandon_jennings_decision_to_p.html

–  Tony Parker Is Back to Being Key Cog for Spurs  (from Fran Blinebury,  NBA.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/fran_blinebury/12/19/even-with-new-parts-for-spurs-parker-remains-key-cog/

–  Jeremy Lin’s Revival  (from Jesus Gomez,  SBNation):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/12/18/10575088/jeremy-lin-highlights-stats-hornets-helping

–  Decisions Nearing on Non-Guaranteed Players  (from  Eric Pincus,  Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/decisions-nearing-on-non-guaranteed-players/

–  Dario Saric Q & A  (from Antonis Stroggylakis, slamnroll):

Read it here:  http://www.slamnroll.com/content/dario-saric-how-i-feel-and-think-about-basketball-comes-first

NOTE:  SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER:

 $39.99/year FOREVER!
Available ONLY to the FIRST 1000 subscribers, one-year access to Basketball Intelligence, containing daily coverage of the very best in NBA Reporting and Analysis for $39.99.  Renewable annually for this special introductory rate FOREVER!
(That’s a 60% discount from our normal rate and just 11 cents per day!).
Take advantage of this offer at basketballintelligence.net
*Please note, this is an individual subscription, not to be shared, our system does not allow  concurrent users.  For teams and bulk member rates, please contact us at ray@basketballintelligence.net

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 10/18/15

 

–  Nuggets’ coach Michael Malone demands defense  (from Christopher Dempsey,  Denver Post):

Read it here:  http://www.dailycamera.com/nuggets-nba/ci_28985765/malone-demands-defense

 

–  Sam Hinkie And The 76ers’ Numbers Game  (from RealGM):

Read it here:   http://basketball.realgm.com/article/239551/Sam-Hinkie-And-The-76ers-Numbers-Game

 

–  Amir Johnson: Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens has rare ability to draw up plays  (from Jay King,  masslive.com):

Read it here:  http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2015/10/amir_johnson_boston_celtics_co.html

 

–   Oubre’s Yin to Porter’s Yang — Washington at Philadelphia – Wizards Preseason  Game 4  (from Sean Fagan,  truthaboutit.net):

Read and view it here:  http://www.truthaboutit.net/2015/10/wizards-at-sixers-dc-council-preseason-game-4.html

 

–  Knicks should keep focus on young talent (from Derek James, Hardwood Paroxysm):

Read and view it here:  http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2015/10/17/new-york-knicks-preseason/

 

–  Cameras, concussions and LeBron: The NBA’s ongoing effort to make courts safer  (from Jason Lloyd, Akron beacon Journal):

Read it here:  http://www.centredaily.com/2015/10/18/4973106_cameras-concussions-and-lebron.html

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

 T. J.  McConnell slugging away in 76ers’ point guard competition  (from Matt Breen,  philly.com):  http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20151018_McConnell_slugging_away_in_76ers__point_guard_competition.html

 

–  Newest Hornet Damien Wilkins: ‘I’m not going to try to be MKG’  (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer):  http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nba/charlotte-hornets/article39608961.html

 

–   How J.J. Barea’s unlikely success story continues to defy odds  (from Eddie Sefko,  dallasnews.com):  http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-mavericks/20151017-sefko-how-j.j.-barea-s-unlikely-success-story-continues-to-defy-odds.ece

 

 Gkenn  Robinson III Brings Intrigue to Pacers Roster  (from Mark Monteith,  pacers.com):  http://www.nba.com/pacers/robinson-iii-brings-intrigue-pacers-roster

 

–  Biyombo should add defensive depth to Raptors  (form Ryan Wolstat,  Tornto Sun):  http://www.torontosun.com/2015/10/17/biyombo-should-add-defensive-depth-to-raptors

 

Sessions Settling in with Wizards  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):  https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/backup-point-guard-ramon-sessions-settling-in-with-washington-wizards/2015/10/17/ae4d913a-74f5-11e5-8248-98e0f5a2e830_story.html

– Doug McDermott ‘completely fine’ with coming off the bench for Bulls  (form K.C> Johnson,  Chicago Tribune):  http://www.centredaily.com/2015/10/17/4972297_doug-mcdermott-completely-fine.html
–  Rookie Bobby Portis making a name for himself early  (from Nick Friedell, ESPN):  http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago-bulls/post/_/id/22381/rookie-bobby-portis-making-a-name-for-himself-early
–  Nerlens Noel developing mid-range game within offense’s flow  (from John Finger,  csnphilly.com):  http://www.csnphilly.com/basketball-philadelphia-76ers/nerlens-noel-developing-mid-range-game-within-flow-offense
–  Soaring Confidence is Driving  Hunter’s Progression  (from Taylor C.Snow,  celtics.com):  http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/101715-soaring-confidence-driving-Hunters-early-progression
–  DeJuan Blair predicts ‘great year’ ahead with Wizards  (from  J. Michael,  csnmidatlantic.com):  http://www.csnmidatlantic.com/basketball-washington-wizards/talk/dejuan-blair-predicts-great-year-ahead-wizards
–  Cleanthony Early starting to find some success at NBA level  (from Marc Berman,  NYPost):  http://nypost.com/2015/10/18/second-year-knick-starting-to-find-some-success-at-nba-level/
–  How I’m adjusting to life as an NBA player (from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, NYPost):  http://nypost.com/2015/10/18/nets-rookie-how-im-adjusting-to-life-as-an-nba-player/
–  Terry Rozier outran a lot to get to the NBA (from Gary Washburn,  Boston Globe):  http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/10/17/terry-rozier-long-outside-shot/ZUT39O5obcrdFC4aAAZjEP/story.html
–  Raptors’ James Johnson must adapt to survive  (from Doug Smith,  the star.com):  http://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2015/10/17/raptors-james-johnson-must-adapt-to-survive.html
Channing  Frye Appears More Agile and Aggressive to Start This Season  (from John Denton,  magic.com):  http://www.nba.com/magic/news/frye-appears-more-agile-and-aggressive-start-season

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Pelicans Injuries Could Create Ample Opportunites For Role Players  (form Michael McNamara,  bourbonstreetshots.com):

Read it here:  http://www.bourbonstreetshots.com/2015/10/08/pelicans-injuries-could-create-ample-opportunites-for-role-players/

 

–  How Will Houston Rockets Make the Bold James Harden/Ty Lawson Experiment Work?  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Blear Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2577356-how-will-houston-rockets-make-the-bold-james-hardenty-lawson-experiment-work

 

–  Why now? Wizards slowed down for Pierce  (frm J. Michael,  csnmidatlantic.com):

” The logical question for the Wizards is if this smaller, fast-paced style is so much better, why didn’t coach Randy Wittman start using it sooner? The answer is pretty simple, and he said it many times without actually saying it in previous seasons: They’ve lacked the personnel — until now.”

Read and view it here:   http://www.csnmidatlantic.com/basketball-washington-wizards/talk/morning-tip-why-now-wizards-slowed-down-pierce

 

–   How Minnesota Should Use Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones  (from Wes Kosel,  hoopscoop.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.mensbasketballhoopscoop.com/how-minnesota-should-use-karl-anthony-towns-and-tyus-jones/

 

–   How Stephen Curry works on slowing the game down  (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss,  ESPN):

“How can Stephen Curry improve?”

It’s a question usually asked more with incredulity than curiosity. It would seem the 2015 NBA MVP has topped out, optimized as much as one can from a skinny frame and normal-person height. In theory, Curry has less upside to work with than the game’s athletic wings and burly bigs. His MVP award doesn’t come with a popular expectation that he’ll ever claim status as the NBA’s top player. After all, the 6-foot-3 guard won’t suddenly sprout as tall as Anthony Davis or jump as high as LeBron James.

Indeed, if Curry ever does claim that top-player status, it won’t be because he starts jumping over defenders or bullying foes in the post. The improvements will result from something internal — the slowing of time inside his mind. They will be the function of weaponized perception, a training of the brain to think quicker than your opponent can leap.

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13836125/nba-how-stephen-curry-golden-state-warriors-gets-even-better

 

–  How Marc Gasol’s Fellow Bigs Fit  (from Joe Mullinax, grizzlybearblues):

Read and view it here:  http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2015/10/8/9478857/marc-gasol-memphis-grizzlies-front-court-fit-NBA

 

–   Half Court Creators  (from Seth Partnow,  Nylon Calculus):

” Earlier this week, I looked at how good half court offense relies to some degree on a team having one or more creators. The common expression is “ability to break a defense down,” which in practical terms means forcing a second and possibly even third defender to guard the ball, leaving others open to make less demanding plays. Against modern exacting and drilled NBA defensive schemes, somebody or combination of bodies has to do something to break that initial shell.

So, while talk of “alpha dogs” and “true number one options” can be tedious, there is probably something to the notion that having someone1 to take the game by the scruff of the neck is if not essential, extremely useful to having a quality offense. As with many situationally good things, this can get taken too far, and this sort of “heroball” often becomes a goal in and of itself rather than an instrument to pry open a defense to allow the application of more refined approaches. Identifying that line is all but impossible in a vacuum, and plenty difficult even knowing the full context of a situation.”

Read it here:  http://nyloncalculus.com/2015/10/08/straws-that-stir-the-drink-half-court-creators/

 

–  Rebounding Rates and the 2014/15 “J.J. Hickson All-Stars”  (from Mika Hokasalo,  Nylon Calculus):

” At first glance, the rebounding column in the box score seems like a relatively straightforward indicator of how good of a player’s rebounding ability. Increasingly, however, I’ve come to believe that how many rebounds a player gets has very little to do with how good of a rebounder they are. The difference between the top and bottom quartile of defensive rebounders among big men is only about two defensive rebounds per 36 minutes, and a lot of factors goes into whether or not you grab those two extra rebounds that has nothing to with providing value to a team. Stealing rebounds from teammates, or diligently boxing out and allowing your guards to pick up the rebound, can quite easily increase/decrease a player’s rebounding totals by an extra board or two without having any effect on the game. And chasing boards recklessly without boxing out can often be harmful to a team.”

Read it here:  http://nyloncalculus.com/2015/10/08/rebounding-rates-and-the-201415-j-j-hickson-all-stars/

 

–  What teams will climb the rankings in offensive efficiency this season?  (from John Schumann,  nba.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/john_schuhmann/10/08/most-improved-offenses/index.html

 

–  Dissecting Clipper Defense  (from   Larson Ishii and Caden Kinard,  clipsnation.com):

” I’m not one to put too much stock into anything that happens in preseason basketball, especially the first two games. However, in watching the Clippersplay the Nuggets and Raptors, there was one meaningful thing that jumped out at me: the Clippers have completely changed how they defend the pick and roll.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.clipsnation.com/2015/10/9/9485983/clip-chat-dissecting-clippers-new-defense

 

For those with access to NBA Insider:

 

Golden State Warriors: 2015-16 player profiles (from Amin Elhassan):

Read it here:  http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/preview2015/insider/story/_/id/13431825/golden-state-warriors-player-profiles

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

–  Pacers:   Mahinmi Happy with Limited Role  (from Mark Monteith,  paacers.com) : http://www.nba.com/pacers/mahinmi-happy-limited-role

 

–  Raptors’ James Johnson looking forward to playing time  (from Mike Ganter, Post Media Network):  http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Basketball/NBA/Toronto/2015/10/08/22560601.html

 

–   Cauley-Stein impressing coaches, teammates with energy, effort  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):  http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nba/sacramento-kings/kings-blog/article38293308.html

 

–  Blazers’ Allen Crabbe playing with house money, cashes in  (from Peter Socotch,  csnnw.com):  http://www.csnnw.com/blazers/crabbe-playing-house-money-cashes

 

–  Outspoken Enes Kanter has a complicated relationship with his home country of Turkey (from Anthony Slater,  newsok.com):  http://newsok.com/okc-thunder-outspoken-enes-kanter-has-a-complicated-relationship-with-his-home-country-of-turkey/article/5452222/?page=2

 

–  PIERCE, JOHNSON OFFER DIFFERENT OPTIONS FOR DOC RIVERS  (form Rowan Kavner,  clippers.com):  http://www.nba.com/clippers/pierce-johnson-offer-different-options-for-rivers

 

–   Avery Bradley goes back to the future  (from Chris Forsberg,  ESPN):  http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4720545/avery-bradley-goes-back-to-the-future

 

–   Childhood finger injury helped motivate Heat guard Gerald Green to succeed  (from Linda Robertson, Miami Herald):  http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article38271498.html

 

–   Film Room: The Lance Stephenson Exemplum – Part 2  (from Justin Russo,  clipsnation.com):  http://www.clipsnation.com/2015/10/8/9474317/film-room-the-lance-stephenson-exemplum-part-2

 

–   Terrence Ross Is Ready To Bring More To The Raptors This Year  (from Stephen Brotherston,  Pro Bball Report):   http://probballreport.com/terrence-ross-is-ready-to-bring-more-to-the-raptors-this-year/

 

–   LaMarcus Aldridge seeking balance between aggressive and selfless with Spurs  (from Sam Amick,  USA Today):  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/spurs/2015/10/09/lamarcus-aldridge-balance-aggressive-selfless-spurs-preseason-debut/73638170/

 

–  Reason to believe in Dion Waiters?  (from Luke McConnell, dailythunder.com):  http://dailythunder.com/2015/10/reason-to-believe-in-dion/

 

–  Cleveland Cavaliers Player Previews: Richard Jefferson  (from Trevor Magnotti,  fearthesword.com):  http://www.fearthesword.com/2015/10/9/9451331/2015-cleveland-cavaliers-player-previews-richard-jefferson-just-needs

 

–   Robert Upshaw is focused on reaching his defensive potential with the Lakers  (from Drew Garrison, silverscreenandroll):  http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2015/10/9/9485963/la-lakers-robert-upshaw-preseason-analysis

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

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

” 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:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-last-ride-of-the-spurs-dynasty/

(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, thesportspost.com):

Read and view it here:  http://network.yardbarker.com/nba/article_external/three_possessions_or_less_lets_look_at_the_clippers_perfect_offensive_scheme/18659720

 

 

 

 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:  http://espn.go.com/blog/golden-state-warriors/post/_/id/497/brows-shadow-steps-into-spotlight

 

 

 

–  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:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/04/21/warriors-pelicans-draymond-green-game-2-western-conference-round-1

 

 

–  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:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/4/21/8461049/draymond-green-warriors-contract-context-nba-playoffs-2015

 

 

 

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

Read and view it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-other-guy-klay-thompson-on-his-sensational-season/

 

 

 

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

Read it here:   http://www.espn.co.uk/blog/new-york/brooklyn-nets/post/_/id/22509/nets-look-to-get-brook-lopez-going

 

 

 

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

Read and view it here:  http://brooklynsfinestblog.com/2015/04/21/how-the-atlanta-hawks-and-lionel-hollins-limited-brook-lopez-in-game-1/

 

 

 

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

Read and view it here:  http://www.netsdaily.com/2015/4/21/8461191/film-study-nets-hawks-game-one-kyle-korver-defense-win-three-pointer

 

 

 

–  How Can the Celtics Slow Down Kyrie Irving?  (from Jordan Greer,  celticshub.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.celticshub.com/2015/04/21/can-celtics-slow-kyrie-irving/

 

 

 

–  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:  http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VTMbnCcAACgA0u3P/celtics-vs.-cavaliers-04-19-15-game-1

 

 

 

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

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25157265/video-review-how-the-rockets-ran-the-ball-down-the-mavericks-throat

 

 

 

–  Digging deeper into James Harden’s Game 1  (from Jake Garcia, thedreamshake.com):

Read and view it here:   http://www.thedreamshake.com/2015/4/21/8460445/rockets-film-breakdown-james-harden-mavericks-nba-playoffs-2015

 

Rockets-Mavs:  WHAT TO WATCH FOR: GAME 2 (from Bobby Karalla, mavs.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.mavs.com/what-to-watch-for-game-2/

 

 

–  How the Mavericks can fix the problem of Dirk Nowitzki’s defense  (from Josh Bowe,  mavsmoneyball.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2015/4/21/8454969/dirk-nowitzki-defense-mavericks-rockets-game-2

 

 

 

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

Read it here:  http://mavsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/04/dwight-howard-plans-to-stop-taking-the-mavericks-bait.html/

 

 

 

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:  http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VTQEfCcAACgA13nL/bucks–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,  csnchiacgo.com):

Read it here:  http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/bucks-offense-stagnates-lack-passing-game-2-loss

 

 

 

George Karl on the playoffs (from Bill Herenda, csnbayarea.com):

Read it here:   http://www.csnbayarea.com/warriors/george-karl-says-warriors-will-win-it-all

 

 

 

–  Player development a Scott Brooks strength  (from Berry Tramel,  newsok.com):

” (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:  http://newsok.com/player-development-a-scott-brooks-strength/article/5412355

 

 

 

–   With Enes Kanter, the Thunder plugged one hole but opened another  (from Berry Tramel, newsok.com):

” Kanter could score. but his defense was atrocious”

Read it here: http://new sok.com/with-enes-kanter-the-thunder-plugged-one-hole-but-opened-another/article/5411297

 

 

 

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

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/pistons/features/year-familiarity-figures-get-pistons-closer-top-10-d-standing-svg-craves

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

 

Paul Millsap:  http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/04/20/4251192_hawks-millsap-trying-to-cope-with.html

 

James Johnson:  http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/04/20/raps-james-johnson-waiting-for-the-call

 

James Harden:  http://www.sportal.com.au/nba/team-leader-harden-adjusts-as-mavericks-focus-on-him/1exda9khn67871boivarcuvse2

 

Jimmy Butler:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/4/21/8460479/jimmy-butler-bulls-vs-bucks-nba-playoffs-2015

 

Mike Conley:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2437048-mike-conley-providing-spark-that-could-propel-the-memphis-grizzlies

 

Terrence Ross:  http://www.torontosun.com/2015/04/21/raptors-see-investment-in-terrence-ross-paying-off

 

Robin Lopez:  http://www.slamonline.com/the-magazine/features/robin-lopez-blazers-interview/#itBGYYoSgmGrjExB.97

 

Clint Capela:  http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/rockets/article/Capela-s-whirlwind-year-ends-with-jump-to-reserve-6212707.php?cmpid=twitter-premium&t=f78ba23ba4f992f472

 

Jordan Adams:  http://www.3sob.com/uncategorized/the-young-gun-jordan-adams/21753/

 

Elfrid Payton;  http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2015/04/21/what-went-orlando-magic-right-elfrid-payton/

 

Isaiah Canaan:  http://www.csnphilly.com/basketball-philadelphia-76ers/sixers-player-evaluation-isaiah-canaan

 

Nik Stauskas:  http://cowbellkingdom.com/nik-stauskas-survives-his-rookie-campaign/

 

Tyler Johnson:  http://www.foxsports.com/florida/story/miami-heat-tyler-johnson-player-profile-042115

 

Furkan Aldemir:  http://www.csnphilly.com/basketball-philadelphia-76ers/sixers-player-evaluation-furkan-aldemir

 

Ish Smith:  http://www.nba.com/sixers/news/150420-smith

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Bucks bemoan mistakes in Game 1 loss to Bulls  (from Steve Aschburner, NBA.com):

” Milwaukee vows to step up energy, discipline, defense”

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/steve_aschburner/04/19/bucks-need-to-make-fixes-for-game-2/index.html

 

 

 

–  Playing James Johnson an obvious adjustment for the Raptors in Game 2  (from Blake Murphy,  raptorsrepublic.com):

” James Johnson is not a savior. He’s not a star. In some matchups, he might not even be a player you want on the floor.

But James Johnson has a very particular set of skills, skills he’s only figured out how best to use recently in his career. Skills that, when engaged and focused, can make him a nightmare for people like Paul Pierce.”

Read it here:  http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2015/04/20/playing-james-johnson-an-obvious-adjustment-for-game-2

 

 

Kyle Lowry Needs To rediscover His Form (from Eric Koreen,  nationalpost.com):

“I have no doubt that Kyle Lowry will come back and play at a level that he’s played at and has made him successful,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “That’s who he is. He’s a guy who plays better with a chip on his shoulder. He’s been doubted all his life since junior high school, so I think he’ll bounce back. I don’t think shooting is where you rate him, I think making winning plays, defensive plays, draw and kick, not turning the ball over, those are the winning plays that he’s excellent at.” But it is those plays where Lowry looks flat, though. He fouled out late in the fourth quarter Saturday on a Bradley Beal jump shot off of a curl, a play Lowry totally misread. On a Raptors’ possession early in the fourth quarter, when they were down by 15 points, Lowry got the ball at the top of the key, trying to ignite his team. Instead of using his killer spin move or finding one of his teammates after drawing some attention, Lowry bowled into two Washington big men and missed a shot. For Lowry, such a calculating and cunning player at his best, it was all very aimless, and certainly flat.

Read it here:  http://news.nationalpost.com/sports/nba/toronto-raptors-kyle-lowry-needs-to-rediscover-his-superstar-form-if-team-wants-a-deep-playoff-run

 

 

 

– Five things Raptors must do differently in Game 2  (from Mike Ganter,  torontosun.com):

Nene and Marcin Gortat are beasts in the paint. And yes Drew Gooden is a wily, old veteran with size on his side as well. But giving up 19 offensive boards in a game and finding a way to win are pretty much mutually exclusive events. Unless the Raptors rebounding improves, not even a solid defensive effort like Saturday’s is going to save them. The good news is the Raptors talked about it ad nauseum after the game and again Sunday and are tweaking things to ensure that the second and sometimes third chances these offensive boards led to are cut down drastically. It’s going to start with the Raptors bigs but the guards are going to have to do their part too. Keeping themselves between the basket and their man or as Casey describe it Sunday: “It’s about putting your forearm in somebody’s chest, getting your butt in their knees and going to get the ball.”

Read it here:  http://www.torontosun.com/2015/04/19/five-things-raptors-must-do-differently-in-game-2

 

 

 

Hawks 99, Nets 92  (from Paul Flannery,  SBNation):

” There were several moments in the Hawks’ 99-92 Game 1 victory over the Nets where Atlanta looked like the team that blitzed through the league in December and January. And, there were other times when the Hawks looked like a team that might be vulnerable against bigger, more talented squads as the playoffs wear on.”

Read it here:   http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/4/20/8455585/hawks-vs-nets-kyle-korver-doubts-nba-playoffs-2015

 

 

 

–  Grizzlies Defeat Portland Trail Blazers 100-86 in Game One   (from Joe Mullinax,  grizzlybearblues.com):

Read it here:  http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2015/4/20/8455259/memphis-grizzlies-defeat-portland-trail-blazers-2015-NBA-playoffs-game-one

 

 

 

–  Beno Udrih’s mid-range touch allows Memphis Grizzlies to ease Mike Conley back in vs. Blazers  (from Mike Tokito,  oregonlive.com):

”  The Trail Blazers’ defensive philosophy is to contest shots at the rim and challenge three-point attempts, meaning they will sometimes give up open midrange jump shots.

Hello, Beno Udrih.

Udrih feasted on mid-range jumpers as he scored a team-high 20 points to help the Memphis Grizzlies to a 100-86 victory over the Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series.

“I was just mentally ready like I always try to be, come in, get some shots for myself, try to get my teammates open, just be aggressive,” Udrih, 32, told TNT. “I gotta give credit to my big guys, setting good screens for me in that sweet spot, 17 feet, and I was just knocking them down.”

The veteran point guard’s effort off the bench was a big lift for a Grizzlies team still trying to get healthy, and it was especially helpful in allowing starting point guard Mike Conley to keep his playing time to 23 minutes in his first game back after missing four games.”

Read it here:  http://www.oregonlive.com/nba/index.ssf/2015/04/beno_udrihs_mid-range_accuracy.html

 

 

 

Blazers:   The formula for winning Game 2  (from Kerry Eggers,  portlandtribune.com):

Read it here:  http://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/257394-127867-the-formula-for-winning-game-2

 

 

 

Cavs 113, Celtics 100  (from  Jay King,  masslive.com):

” “They’ve got good offensive players so they’re going to put you into rotation, but we’ve gotta get the guards to come down and get rebounds,” Crowder said. “When the bigs have the other bigs locked up, we’ve gotta come down and get rebounds. Penetration and making us rotate is part of the game.”

One of the problems for the Celtics: to keep pace with scoring, they need to spread the court with skilled lineups. But to spread the court with skilled lineups, they sacrifice size and rebounding. They also need to at least occasionally double James in the post, or send hard help, which forces tough rotations to the rest of the Cavaliers lineup.

“I think it’s all about, each play is its own unique entity,” Stevens said. “Sometimes you’re matched up and you’ve just gotta make sure you block your matchup out. Sometimes LeBron has drawn a double, Kyrie’s drawn two off the pick-and-roll, sometimes you’re not responsible for blocking your guy out. Somebody else has to pick up the slack. Sometimes we were on Tristan Thompson’s body and it didn’t matter, and Mozgov’s as well. We’ve gotta do a better job of making contact and getting the ball.

“Again, this is what great teams do to you. They put you in a position where you have to pick your poison. We have to pay attention to LeBron. We have to pay attention to Love and Irving. So we’re going to have to do a better job of rotating. But I thought we did in the second half. I thought defensively in the second half we were pretty good.””

Read it here:  http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2015/04/jae_crowder_boston_celtics_did.html

 

 

 

–  Warriors strategy in Game 1: Let The Brow eat, everybody else starve  (from Zach Harper,  CBS Sports):

”  “We’re not worried about Davis scoring a lot of points. We’re worried about making sure we cover other areas: the 3-point line, not fouling, not reaching — that kind of stuff.”

It’s not that they let Davis score; he earned his points. They were just willing to live with it while playing the NBA’s version of a prevent defense.

The question becomes whether or not this is a valid strategy for the rest of the series. Can you afford to give up 30-40 points to Davis every night and just hope to shut everybody else down? Will the confidence and bravado of guys like Green and Bogut be able to handle that kind of blow to their defensive ego, knowing their coach is willing to sacrifice their assignment for the good of the team?”

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25154933/warriors-strategy-in-game-1-let-the-brow-eat-everybody-else-starve

 

 

 The Pelicans have to help Anthony Davis by going small  (form Oleh, thebirdwrites.com):

” Monty Williams HAS to break apart Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut if New Orleans has any legitimate chance of coming back and winning this first round series against Golden State.”

Read it here:   http://www.thebirdwrites.com/2015/4/20/8455929/nba-playoffs-2015-to-beat-the-warriors-the-pelicans-have-to-help-anthony-davis

 

 

 

–  Warriors-Pelicans: What We Learned After Game One  (from Daniel Leroux, warriorsworld.com):

Read it here:  http://www.warriorsworld.net/2015/04/19/warriors-pelicans-what-we-learned-after-game-one/

 

 

 

–  Pelicans’  back-court depth could suddenly pay dividends  (from Jimmy Smith,  NOLA.com);

Read it here:  http://www.nola.com/pelicans/index.ssf/2015/04/pelicans_abundant_back-court_d.html

 

 

 

–  Rajon Rondo, the Point Guard the NBA Left Behind  (from Chris Manning,  Hardwood paroxysm):

Read it here:  http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2015/04/20/rajon-rondo-the-point-guard-the-nba-left-behind/

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

Isaiah Thomas:  http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/04/16/for-isaiah-thomas-long-road-success-ended-boston/qREEkPCvvKk5f2mJHkCuwJ/story.html

 

Jamal Crawford:  http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20150419/clippers-jamal-crawford-ends-shooting-struggles-in-game-1-win-over-spurs

 

Kevin Seraphin:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wizards-insider/wp/2015/04/20/kevin-seraphin-made-sure-he-was-prepared-to-make-an-impact-in-game-1/

 

Aaron Gordon:  http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2015/04/20/aaron-gordon-is-in-rhythm-and-gaining-his-teams-trust/

 

Spencer Dinwiddie:   http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2015/04/detroit_pistons_spencer_dinwid_3.html