– Poor ball movement, turnovers too much for rested Rockets to overcome (from David Barron, Houston Chronicle):
” (Coach McHale) elaborated on what he described as middle-school errors by professional athletes:
“We drove to the hole, had a layup and threw it to them,” he said. “We came down, jumped in the air and threw it to them. These are professional athletes, and some of the turnovers we had were seventh- and eighth-grade.
“We’ve got to do better. We’ve got to come off things more decisively. We have to play with more quickness. We have to play with more speed. And then, when you play with more speed, things are more definite. When you are stopping and starting, stopping and starting, you don’t know where to throw the ball. We just have to come off, get into our actions and get moving.”
Forward Terrance Jones said the Rockets’ turnovers, which led to 34 Clippers points, came “a little bit of everything – no energy, bad spacing, whatever cause it may be. We know we’re a better team that that and can’t afford to do it against this team.”
Read it here: http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2015/05/poor-ball-movement-turnovers-too-much-for-rockets-to-overcome/?#32739101=0
– The Evolution of Otto Porter (from Alec Nathan, Bleacher Report):
Read it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2453899-otto-porter-emerging-as-washington-wizards-biggest-playoff-x-factor
– Jeff Teague on art and science of the playmaker (from Henry Abbott, ESPN):
Read and view it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/73055/jeff-teague-on-art-and-science-of-the-playmaker
– DeMarre Carroll keeps plugging away for Hawks in playoffs (from Shaun Powell, NBA.com):
” (I)f you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the best player on the Hawks is … DeMarre Carroll. The only Hawks starter who didn’t make the 2015 All-Star Game.
This says much about the makeup of the Hawks, and also about Carroll, that a career role player on his fifth team in six seasons suddenly has something in common with the great Dominique Wilkins. The last Hawk to string together five straight 20-point playoff games was Wilkins, and what’s really weird is Carroll serves as Atlanta’s defense and dirty work guy.
The Hawks are very much a next-guy-up team, mainly and precisely because they lack an MVP candidate. The flavor of the moment is a role player who suddenly finds himself the biggest bargain in these NBA playoffs. Actually, the Hawks are full of blue-plate specials — Paul Millsap makes $10 million and Kyle Korver is among this season’s lowest-paid All-Stars at $6 million. Carroll is pulling down $2.5 million this season while averaging 18.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists through seven playoff games.
He’s a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard or Draymond Green, operating at a much lower profile than those X-factors all season but giving (so far) roughly the same performance for his team in the playoffs. Like Leonard and Green, Carroll must often must guard the other team’s top scorer and score and shoot well enough himself to keep from being a liability.
Read it here: http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/shaun_powell/05/05/demarre-carroll-carves-out-a-future-payday-for-himself-with-atlanta-hawks/
– DeMarre Carroll’s Scorching Playoffs (from Alec Nathan, Bleacher Report):
Read it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2453723-demarre-carroll-raising-2015-free-agent-price-tag-with-scorching-nba-playoffs
– Curry, Warriors’ success all connected (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss. ESPN):
” No man is an island, though MVPs are celebrated as though they can do everything alone. That’s the tension in a team sport that markets individuals as superheroes.
Stephen Curry’s extended MVP acceptance speech in Oakland was a reminder that Curry’s success hasn’t happened in a vacuum. The team’s structure improved enough to unleash his talent, and his steadying presence allowed the team to flourish. Everything is connected. Athletes aren’t just walking representations of statistical outcomes.
Kerr has compared Curry’s selfless professionalism to what he experienced with Steve Nash in Phoenix and Tim Duncan in San Antonio. That’s an anecdotal benchmark, but it will never be tangible.
And it’s easy to scoff at the intangible when the premise is that a team improved because its star was a good guy. Part of the problem is Curry embodies clichés that were long ago debunked. Fans know better than to buy that victory indicates virtue. Plenty of jerks have won titles, and plenty more have snookered the public into thinking they were someone they are not. It’s difficult to talk about it without seeming duped.
Draymond Green is adamant Curry is the real deal.”
Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/nba/post/_/id/2519/stephen-curry-warriors-organization-succeed-because-of-each-other
– Warriors’ Depth and Fluid Passing Prove Too Much for Grizzlies in Game 1 (from Henry Steckel, Vantage Sports):
Read and view it here: http://www.vantagesports.com/story/VUThBCYAACgAhn-B/grizzlies-vs-warriors-5215
– Steph Curry’s 2014-15 MVP season cements a new era of basketball (from Zach Harper, CBS Sports):
” A player doesn’t have to challenge for the scoring title or flirt with triple-doubles every night to put statistical lifts in their shoes to make them look taller than the competition.
Instead, a player buying into a coach’s set of ideals, making sure he’s the best player he can be within those parameters, and in turn making life much easier for teammates within the flow can make him the NBA’s most valuable player.”
Read it here: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25173632/steph-currys-2014-15-mvp-season-cements-a-new-era-of-basketball
– Stephen Curry’s road to NBA MVP not an easy one (from Sam Amick, USA Today):
Read it here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/warriors/2015/05/04/stephen-curry-nba-mvp-warriors/26886741/
– Tom Thibodeau makes his last stand with the Bulls (from Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports):
” For everything Chicago management does to undermine the coach, this Bulls locker room has remained something rare in professional sports: unaffected and unrelenting.
“Ahhhh, that’s all noise,” Thibodeau told Yahoo Sports. He won’t do it. He won’t think about endings on Monday night, when this feels so much like a beginning for these Bulls.
“I want them to be mentally tough,” Thibodeau said. “In this league, it’s so easy to get sidetracked. There’s so much noise. Trades. Free agency. This. That. Whatever. To me, none of that is important. All that matters is what we think. Are we doing the right things every day? Are we putting the proper work in? Are we playing the right way? Practicing the right way? That’s how you play well in this league. All that other stuff is just noise, it doesn’t mean anything.”
Read it here: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tom-thibodeau-makes-his-last-stand-with-the-bulls-072125079.html
– First-Round Epitaph: How the NBA’s Playoff Casualties Will Spend for the Future (from Zach Lowe, Grantland.com):
” The projections are all over the map, but every team is searching for ways to build continuity in a league in which the rules are increasingly slanted against it. Losing early in the postseason can push players and teams to think differently about their futures. Let’s look at how the eight fresh playoff victims fare in our unofficial uncertainty index, starting with the teams least affected by an early exit.”
Read it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/first-round-epitaph-how-the-nbas-playoff-casualties-will-spend-for-the-future/
– Cavs’ Blatt Took Unusual — And Occasionally Dangerous — Route To NBA (from Martin Kessler and Doug Tribou, onlyagame.wbur.org/):
Read and listen to it here: http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2015/05/02/david-blatts-cavaliers-coach-career
And for those with access to ESPN Insider:
– Why the Hawks’ high-octane offense has stalled in clutch situations (from Kevin Pelton and Amin Elhassan):
Read it here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/12823904/nba-playoffs-why-atlanta-hawks-offense-stalls-clutch-situations
Additional Player Note, Updates, profiles:
– James Jones: http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/features/jamesjones-150505
– Eric Gordon: http://pelicandebrief.com/2015/05/05/2014-2015-season-reviews-eric-gordon/
– Terrence Ross: http://www.raptorshq.com/2015/5/5/8540111/terrence-ross-toronto-raptors-when-potential-clouds-reality
– Jared Sullinger: http://www.celticsblog.com/2015/5/5/8542869/boston-celtics-exit-interview-jared-sullinger
– Nicolas Batum: http://ripcityproject.com/2015/05/05/assessing-nicolas-batums-late-season-improvement/
– Dwight Powell: http://www.mavs.com/2015-year-in-review-dwight-powell/
– Kyle Singler: http://www.welcometoloudcity.com/2015/5/5/8519991/2014-2015-thunder-player-grades-kyle-singler-still-gets-buckets
– Rodney Stuckey: http://www.nba.com/pacers/player-review-2015-rodney-stuckey
– Jarrid Famous: http://www.hoopsrumors.com/2015/05/jarrid-shifts-toward.html