Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  NBA Free Agency, Day 2: Sacramento’s Crazy Salary Dump and Greg Monroe’s Milwaukee Move  (from Zach Lowe,  Grantland):

Read it here:



–  Week In Review  (from Eddie Scarito,

” The NBA’s free agent signing period is underway and there have already been a flurry of deals agreed upon, though, these pacts cannot become official until after the moratorium is lifted on July 9th. Before the next wave of wheeling and dealing begins, here’s a look back at the week that was.”

Read it here:



–  Tracking the Journeys of Free Agents and Traded Players  (from Jessica Camerato, Basketball Insiders):

” In the opening days of NBA free agency, players have shuffled around the league. Add this to a handful of trades, and there will be new faces in new places next season. Basketball is a business, though, and these players have been through this before. See just how many organizations those in the news this week have played for over the years.”

Read it here:



Fred Hoiberg Q & A (from K.C. Johnson,  Chicago Tribune):

Read it here:



–  Five to watch at Orlando Summer League  (from Michael Wallace,  ESPN):

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–  Talents to watch in Orlando Summer League  (from Brett David Roberts,

Read it here:



–  D-League alums to watch at the Orlando Summer League  (from Chris Reichert,

Read it here:



–  NBA Summer League 2015: Rosters for Orlando and Vegas Teams  (from Alec nathan, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


DeAndre Jordan:


Robin Lopez:–continue-to-build-toward-a-new-normal-165821385.html   and


Tiago Splitter:


Hassan Whiteside:


Greg Monroe:


Brandan Wright:


Tobias Harris:


Jae Crowder:


Wesley Matthews:


Aaron Baynes:


Spencer Dinwiddie:


Bismack Biyombo:


Phil Pressey:


Aaron Craft:


Jack Cooley:


Cliff Alexander:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

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

” 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:

(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,

Read and view it here:




 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:




–  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.”’

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–  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.”

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

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

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

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

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–  How Can the Celtics Slow Down Kyrie Irving?  (from Jordan Greer,

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–  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:




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

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–  Digging deeper into James Harden’s Game 1  (from Jake Garcia,

Read and view it here:


Rockets-Mavs:  WHAT TO WATCH FOR: GAME 2 (from Bobby Karalla,

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–  How the Mavericks can fix the problem of Dirk Nowitzki’s defense  (from Josh Bowe,

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

Read it here:




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:–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,

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George Karl on the playoffs (from Bill Herenda,

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–  Player development a Scott Brooks strength  (from Berry Tramel,

” (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:”

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–   With Enes Kanter, the Thunder plugged one hole but opened another  (from Berry Tramel,

” Kanter could score. but his defense was atrocious”

Read it here: http://new




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

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



Paul Millsap:


James Johnson:


James Harden:


Jimmy Butler:


Mike Conley:


Terrence Ross:


Robin Lopez:


Clint Capela:


Jordan Adams:


Elfrid Payton;


Isaiah Canaan:


Nik Stauskas:


Tyler Johnson:


Furkan Aldemir:


Ish Smith:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Quincy Pondexter brings a little bit of everything to the table for the Pelicans (from Scott Kushner,

Read it here:


–  McDermott defied convention in hiring Popovich (from Tom Orsborn,

” Robert McDermott never was afraid to journey down an uncharted path.

Whether influencing the way the U.S. Air Force Academy taught cadets as its first dean of faculty or rebuilding USAA as the head of the financial services giant, McDermott often defied conventional wisdom while tackling challenges.

That certainly was true 21 years ago when the retired Air Force brigadier general, charismatic San Antonio powerbroker and then-Spurs chairman hired Gregg Popovich, a former Air Force player, to be the club’s general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations.

It was regarded as a shocking move.

At the time, Popovich’s only head coaching experience had come at Division III Pomona-Pitzer, and he had logged just six seasons as an NBA assistant coach.”

Read it here:


–  Examining Tony Parker’s Curious Decline (from Aaron McGuire,

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The (New) Life of Bryan Colangelo (from Michaek Grange,

” On a cold winter day, Colangelo seems the same as he ever was as GM, if a bit calmer and more rested. But having the team he built pulled out from under him left him shaken. “Everything was being questioned so much; it was almost starting to make me wonder: Did I lose my [way] of thinking? Is the league changing?” he says. “I started questioning myself a little bit.”

With each Raptors win, the doubts dissipate. He’s cautious about sounding like he’s swooping in to take credit, but realistic enough to know that the Raptors’ rise looks good for him. Some things have worked out even better than he could have predicted. “I knew Kyle was a top-10 point guard,” he says, chuckling. “I just didn’t know he’d be a top-five point guard. [But] selfishly, it’s helping me potentially re-establish the credibility required to stay alive in this business.””

Read it here:


Ryan Anderson and Shooting Risk (from Michael Pellissier,

” Ryan Anderson is such a large part of our 3 point coalition that teams can simply pack the paint (because they aren’t scared of our other shooters) and either have one player stick with Ryno or perform wild closeouts once the ball gets kicked out to him.  They aren’t scared of a Ryno pump fake and drive or just about any offensive action inside the 3 point line.  On a team with multiple shooters, he can make an extra pass to another open shooters. But right now, aside from Gordon, we don’t have other reliable shooters.  It’s why our offense falls apart versus great defenses and it’s why it will continue to fall apart until we find shooters to accompany our other players in the lineup.”

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–  A Few Words On Utah Jazz Lineups (from Clint Peterson,

”  Much has changed in barely more than half a season for the Utah Jazz, in regards to preseason expectations for a team we hardly know even now. Some things we thought would be givens have leaped out of the mind’s eye entirely due to injury or expected results. Others have remained relevant, solidifying their status. Some have carved out an entirely new space of relevancy. With these qualifiers in mind, let’s take a quick look at the Utah Jazz lineups used the most over the last month of the 2014-15 NBA season.

Due injury, Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, Joe Ingles, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors has been the starting lineup for most of the last month for Quin Snyder, until five games ago when he swapped out Dante Exum for Burke. Rudy Gobert, Elijah Millsap and Trevor Booker make up the other players in what has essentially become a nine-man rotation for Snyder.

We’ll look at the most-used lineups over the last month, a period in which the Utah Jazz have made the most progress, minimum 20 minutes played together, which constitutes seven lineups.”

Read it here:


–  Despite Kevin Love’s struggles, trading for him was right call for Cavs (from Jason Lloyd,

Read it here:


– If Celtics keep improving, Ainge “would love” to make playoffs (from A Sherrod Blakely,

” I asked him if he would like to see the Celtics in the playoffs this year?

“That depends,” Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, told “I would love to see our team in the playoffs, but I don’t want to see us back into the playoffs with a really bad record and not even have a fighting chance. If our team can keep getting better by developing, if we can make some deals at the trade deadline that put us in position to actually get into the playoffs and have a chance to win a playoff series, I think that would be a lot of fun.”

Read it here:


–  Checking in on the Defense of Rookie Wings and Guards  (from Khrishna Narsu,  Vantage Sports):

” For rookies, playing good defense right away is probably less likely than playing good offense, especially for guards and wings. Defense tends to improve with more experience. So has Andrew Wiggins and his fellow rookie wings improved on their defense during the season?

Not really. Of course, to expect significant improvement within their rookie season is asking a lot. In all likelihood, it will be years before we see any of these five rookies reach their defensive peaks. However, we can see some interesting trends.”

Read it here:


Additional Player Updates:


Willie Green:


Roy Hibbert:


Hassan Whiteside:


Jonas Valanciunas:


Ty Lawson:


Dennis Schroder:


Thad Young:


Jordan Adams:


Alex Ajinca:


Jordan Clarkson:

Today’s Best NBA Stories

–  Steph Curry steps up on defense (from Diamond Leung,

”  Warriors coach Steve Kerr said afterward the only thing he learned about his backcourt that he hadn’t realized as a broadcaster was how Curry could defend at such a high level.

“I knew he was better defensively than people gave him credit for, but honestly what he’s done this year at that end is remarkable,”

Read it here:


Nikola Vucevic: Center of the Magic’s offense (from Joe Atmonavage,

” Vucevic’s diverse offensive skill-set has been the focal point of the Magic’s offense through the first 13 games of the season. In today’s NBA, very few teams have the ability to run their offense through their center. Many teams are perimeter-oriented and rely on wing play to consistently get quality looks on offense. The Magic do depend on perimeter players like Tobias Harris offensively, but Vucevic is at the epicenter.”

Read and view it here:

–  Horn of Plenty :Warriors 101, Jazz 88 (from Adam Lauridsen,

” It’s not just the fact that the Warriors are blowing out opponents, but that they’re doing it with cohesive, balanced and beautiful team basketball.  The box score for the win over the Jazz would have been inconceivable back when this team needed a big night from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson or David Lee (who hasn’t even played yet) to secure a win over even an average opponent.  Now?  We’re starting to see the power of a well-designed system. ”

Read it here:

–  Wittman seeks maturity from Wizards (from Michael Wallace, ESPN):

” How you handle a screw-up is more what I’m concerned about. I understand this is a game of mistakes and who makes the least of them, who moves on from them. And that’s where I’m trying to get into.”

Read it here:

–  Bogut:  Coach Kerr has turned my career around (from Ronny Lerner,

” “They’re running me in the high post a lot more and utilising my passing and it’s been great so far. Steve Kerr’s turned around my career and getting me back involved offensively, too, helps.”

Bogut said his teammates had also benefited from Kerr’s style of coaching.

“He’s adapted (multiple championship-winning coaches) Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson and taken the best of all those guys and he continues to learn,”

“I think guys are starting to feed off that, he’s a very fair coach, he’s not a negative guy, he’s just got a positive vibe about him to be around every day and I’ve really enjoyed working with him so far and I think it will only get better.”

Read it here:

The Portland Trail Blazers And Their Different Take on “Moneyball” (from Ben Dowsett, Bball Breakdown):

Read and view it here:

Can the Dallas Mavericks’ Record-Setting Offense Last All Season? (from Josh Martin, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:

Jordan Adams And Finding A Way (from Chris Faulkner,

” Fans and scouts tend think of athleticism as an innate trait, but Adams presents us with a case not of ingrained athleticism, but rather learned athleticism. He wasn’t born a hardwood contortionist, he learned how to be one.  He’ll never be Wiggins in transition, but Adams’ ability to alter and distort his body in open air and through narrow spaces is a different type of virtuosity. It’s an unorthodox athleticism that challenges basketball orthodoxy, difficult to describe and more difficult to argue with. Jordan Adams just finds his way.”

Read it here:

Why Rudy Gay and the Sacramento Kings Are Perfect for Each Other (from Russell Peddle,

“…(W) hen the Sacramento Kings brought Rudy in to ride out his contract on their bottom-feeding team, something interesting happened.

Rudy Gay became an efficient basketball player.”

Read it here:

Selflessness and communication helping Kings to hot start (from Blake Ellington,

” The Kings’ early success may stem from a new vibe and changing culture in the locker room. ”

Read it here:

More Player Updates:


Thabo Sefolosha

Solomon Hill


Derrick Williams

Channing Frye

Michael Carter-Williams

John Wall

Chris Copeland

Roy Hibbert


– Anthony Davis headlines’s FIBA World Cup All-Tournament Team (from Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated):

Read about “’s unofficial all-tournament team selections” here:

– Rose feeling golden as USA wins (from Sam Smith,

“I still have to get my rhythm back,” Rose acknowledged. “But as far as I’m concerned, I think performed good. Making this team was enough for me. And the championship was the cherry on top. Just lets you know that you’re heading in the right direction, especially when you are on a team like this. And actually making it all the way through to the end and playing good. It let me know I’m on the right path.”

Some would look at the numbers, the box scores and exclaim, “That’s not Derrick Rose!”

But you wouldn’t include USA assistant and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau among them.”

Read it here:

MVP Irving takes Serbia to school, USA to World Cup gold (from John Schuhmann,

Read it here:

– A Portrait of Boris Diaw (from Michael Erler,

Read it here:

– Is it too late for Derrick Williams? (from bwest5,

” As the Kings enter the second season of the Derrick Williams gamble, they may soon hit an impasse with the 23 year-old forward. Williams remains one of the youngest players on the squad and has plenty of potential for growth, but the team wants to win now, and his $6.6 million dollar expiring contract is a logical fit in any blockbuster trade. Is it too late for Williams to earn a place as a long-term player in Sacramento?”

Read it here:

– Mario Chalmers, After Tough Playoffs, Promises a Major Comeback for Heat (from Ethan Skolnick, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:

– Will J.R. Smith Ever Grow Up? (from Jonathan Wagner,

” Search the entire National Basketball Association, and you might find no other player who is more maddening for his team’s fans, in terms of both production and behavior, as New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith.

True to everything he is, that statement is meant as a simultaneous compliment and criticism of the enigmatic Smith, simply because he can be very good when he chooses to be.

Strictly in terms of his play, Smith is the embodiment of the type of NBA player that makes fans watch and react by yelling, “No! What are you doing?! Don’t shoot that… oh… okay… good shot.”

Otherwise, Smith can drive his fans crazy through a variety of senseless shenanigans.”

Read it here:

– A look at who and what the Nets gained for the upcoming season (from Anthony Puccio,

” Once again, the Nets saw a hectic summer unfold, losing five key role players, along with their coach who unexpectedly left for Milwaukee. Although they kept their “core” of star players, ten altogether, they lost Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston, Andray Blatche, and Marcus Thornton, all of whom play significant roles in the 2013-2014 season.

Based on that, it’s easy to be pessimistic about the upcoming season. But, with the additions of some younger and more athletic players, the Nets may exceed many of the low expectations placed on them. Let’s take a look at who they’ve acquired that should help make for another competitive season.”

Read it here:

– Memphis Grizzlies look to Jordan Adams (from Andrew Ford,

” Last season, the Grizzlies ranked dead last in three-point attempts per game. Lacking multiple three-point threats has caused less than ideal spacing in recent seasons, and that has hurt the Grizzlies a great deal in the playoffs. This offseason, their leading three-point shooter, Mike Miller, departed for the Cleveland Cavaliers, leaving the Grizzlies an even bigger hole to fill in the way of perimeter shooting.

As for shot creation, the Grizzlies lacked a perimeter player outside of Mike Conley that could consistently create a good look for himself last season. Teams (read: Oklahoma City in the playoffs) realized that things broke down for the Grizzlies offense rather quickly when the ball was forced out of Conley’s hands, so they began hard trapping Conley and forcing others to beat them.

If the Grizzlies are to progress as a team and move a step closer to winning an NBA championship, these issues must be addressed. Luckily for the Grizzlies, they might have found a guy that can address both aforementioned areas of weakness in Jordan Adams, their first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.”

Read it here: