Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Phil Jackson:  “How Phil Became Phil” (from Charley Rosen,  today’

Read it here:


–   Training camp a test of endurance – for Pistons players and coaches both   (from Keith Langlois,

Read it here:


–   Notes from the Milwaukee Bucks Media Day  (from Will Gottlieb,  BBall Breakdown):

Read it here:


–  Derek Fisher has new approach that Carmelo Anthony agrees with  (from Marc Berman, NYPost):

Read it here:


–   The Wizards might finally embrace an efficient offense  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:


–  Mike D’Antoni Q&A: Nash-Curry, small ball and the future of NBA basketball  (from Jake Fischer,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:


–   Brad Stevens says lineups in Europe mean little  (from Steve Bulpett,  Boston Herald):

Read it here:


–  Heat’s added depth likely means playing time at a premium  (from Barry Jackson,  Miami herald):

Read it here:


–   Pistons hope their new schemes improve defense  (from Vince Ellis,

Read it here:


–   Twin Towers Redux? Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah Aim to Turn Back Clock in Chicago  (from  Kevin Ding,  Bleacher Report):

Read it here:


–   Warriors player consultant Nash makes big impact right away  (from Rusty Simmons.

Read it here:


–  Michele Roberts, the first woman head of the NBA Players Association, talks growing up poor and defying the odds (from Durga Chew-Bose, Cosmopolitan Magazine):

Read it here:


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


BBall Breakdown Player Ranking:  Kevin Durant #2 (from Jesse Blanchard):


–   Tristan Thompson Continues His Poker Game With Cleveland  (from Zach Lowe, Grantland):


–   Larry Bird has that feeling so pay attention to Glenn Robinson III  (form Gregg Doyel,


–  Jimmy Butler looking “dominant” in training camp  (form Sam Smith,


–   Jordan Hill Sheds Lottery Pressure  (from Joel Brigham,


–  For energy, Grizzlies will go Green — as in JaMychal  (from Ronald Tillery,  Commercial Appeal):–as-in-jamychal-20c5f184-5df3-663a-e053-0100007fe1c4-330440311.html


–  Raul Neto thrust into prominent point guard role  (from Tony Jones,


–   DeMarre Carroll knows his story has given him strength  (from Doug Smith,


–  Cory Joseph getting used to new Raptors systems (from Mike Ganter, Tornto Sun):


–   For Wizards’ DeJuan Blair, it’s nothing but lighter days ahead  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):


–   Minnesota Timberwolves: Zach LaVine To Start At The 2?  (from Aaron Mah,


–   Answering Some Questions About Paul George Playing Power Forward  (form Andrew Sharp, Grantland):


–   Shabazz Napier  (from S.W. Guest, orlandomagicdaily):




Celtics’  Big man David Lee given freedom to handle the ball in transition  (from Jay King,


–   Isaiah Thomas: ‘I’m Ken Griffey (Jr.) in his prime’  (from Chris Forsberg, ESPN):


–   Tim Hardaway Jr: ‘Coming to Hawks is a new beginning for me’  (from Kris Willis,


–   The Truth about Bismack Biyombo’s offense  (from Joshua Priemski,


–  Kings’ Kosta Koufos ready to make big impact by doing little things  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):


–  Sixers’  Jerami Grant, JaKarr Sampson expected to be key defensive players (from Bob Cooney,

–  Steph Curry Says He Wants To Create More Space And Be More Explosive  (from

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Raptors: analyzing the defensive rebuild  (from Kevin Nimmock,

Read and view it here:



–  Danny Green, DeMarre Carroll, and the Complicated Calculus of a 3-Point Shooter  (from Kirk Goldsberry,

” (H)ere’s the thing about spot-up shooters: More than just about any other type of scorer, their performances depend on external factors. Even the best catch-and-shoot guys live and die by the ability of their teams to create the kinds of shots they thrive on; Tom Thibodeau’s Kyle Korver was a lot less scary than Mike Budenholzer’s version. Yet while there is no shortage of evidence to support this idea, there is a shortage of teams that are capable of generating wide-open catch-and-shoot looks beyond the arc on a regular basis. And every time a big-name spot-up guy switches uniforms, he and the team acquiring him are taking on all the risk that comes with changing a shooting environment.”

Read it here:



Sam Hinkie Q & A (from Bob Cooney,

Read it here:



– Olshey using revised ‘Clipper Model’ to reboot Trail Blazers (from Jabari Young,

Read it here:



– Merging New Shooters With The Rest of the Hornets (from Brett Koremenos,  RealGM):

Read and view it here:



 Is Enes Kanter really worth $70 million? (from Royce Young,  ESPN):

Read it here:



–  Will the Trail Blazers regret giving up their D-League affiliate?  (from Chris Reichert,

Read it here:



–  2015 Offseason Trades  (from Chuck Myron,

” Trades are listed here in reverse chronological order, with the latest on top. So, if a player has been traded multiple times (as often happens with draft picks), the first team listed as having acquired him is the one that ended up with him. For more details on each trade, click the date above it. Note that this list only includes trade agreements that have become official, so agreed-upon deals, like the David Lee swap and the Sixers/Kings trade, won’t be included until they’re finalized.”

Read it here:




Read it here:



Hidden Gems of the Orlando Summer League  (from Cody Taylor, Basketball Insiders):

” In addition to rookies, the games provide a chance for unsigned free agents to make a name for themselves. The Summer League can be a great opportunity for prospective players to earn an invite to training camp, which could eventually lead to a spot on the roster.

Each summer there are some players that come into the Summer League under the radar, but leave having improved their stock around the league. With the Orlando Summer League set to end on Friday, we are beginning to have an idea of which players helped their chances of making it to training camp.

Here are some hidden gems from the Orlando Summer League (in no particular order):”

Read it here:



–  2015 NBA Las Vegas Summer League primer: Everything you need to know  (from Ben Golliver,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:



For those with access to ESPN Insider:


The top players on Las Vegas Summer League Rosters  (from Amin Elhassan/Kevin Pelton):

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


Jahlil Okafor: 


Shane Larkin/Wayne Ellington:


Jordan Hill/Myles Turner:


Kevin Love:


C. J. Watson:


Jason Smith/ C.J. Watson:


Thomas Robinson:


Tyson Chandler:


Gary Neal:


Reggie Jackson:–is-reggie-jackson-the-right-man-for-the-pistons–present-and-future-163528077.html


Zaza Pachulia:


DeMarre Carroll/Cory Joseph:


Ray McCallum:   and


Dez Wells:


Cameron Payne:


Greg Monroe:


Jeremy Lin:


Roy Hibbert:


Amir Johnson:


Devin Booker:


Mo Williams:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis


Read it here:


More on the Thibodeau story (from Steve Aschburner, here:




–  NUMBERS PREVIEW: THE FINALS  (from John Schuhmann,

” These are special teams. Statistically, the Warriors are the best team we’ve seen since the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls, outscoring their opponents by 11.4 points per 100 possessions in the regular season. The Cavs, meanwhile, have fought through a myriad of changes (via trades and injuries) to get here, improving defensively along the way.

And the Cavs have been statistically better, both offensively and defensively, than the Warriors in the playoffs, even when you account for weaker competition. Cleveland has better marks in adjusted efficiency (taking their opponents’ regular season marks) on both ends of the floor.”

Read it here:




GSW-HOU Game 5 Analytics (from Joshua Jonah Fschman,  Vantage Sports):

Read it here:




–   Appreciating  James Harden  (from Gerald Bourguet,

”  (A)lmost every NBA superstar has been called “overrated” or a “choker” at some point in their careers. For some reason, the vast majority of the world seems hellbent on making James Harden the poster boy for irrationally hated superstars right now, and it’s really high time this nonsense came to an end.”

Read it here:




– An analytic look at LeBron James’  postseason (from Shlomo Sprung,

Read it here:




–  Cavaliers Overcame Many Obstacles  (from Alex Kennedy,  Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:




Warriors/Cavs Preview (from Jonathan Tjarks, RealGM):

Read it here:


(Note: This is our first link to a finals preview.  We expect to feature several more before the series begins.)




Warriors Assistant Coach Alvin Gentry Q & A (from Scoop Jackson, ESPN):

Read it here:




Coaches’ Agent Mike  Tannenbaum helped Kerr, Blatt toward NBA Finals (from Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel):

” A long way from the NBA Finals, a long way from his agent days, a long, long way from helping land coaching jobs for Steve Kerr and David Blatt, Mike Tannenbaum sits in his Dolphins office and shares this hope of their upcoming series:

“I’m rooting for a Game 7 overtime,” the Dolphins vice president of football operations says.

This is a rare story wrapped inside a even rarer one. Because if the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Blatt and the Golden State Warriors’ Kerr represent two first-year NBA coaches meeting in the Finals for the first time, Tannenbaum representing them both offers a good glimpse into him as well.

“It gets crazier,” he said. “They almost worked together this year.”

–  The Atlanta Hawks’ Exit Interviews  (from
–  Cut Efficiency (from Henry Steckel,  Vantage Sports):
” Out of the myriad ways to score a basket, one of the best ways is to slice through the defense.  Finding cutters destroys defensive schemes and creates a more fluid offense.”
And for those with access to ESPN Insider:
Numbers tell the story of Clippers’ postseason collapse  (from Kevin Pelton):
–  Giving DeAndre Jordan max salary could sink Clippers  (from Amin Elhassan):

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Then & Now & Later: Eric Bledsoe (from DJ Foster, ESPN):

” Then & Now & Later” is a scouting profile series that analyzes the perception, development and potential of young players in the NBA. Previous editions tackled Anthony Davis and Ricky Rubio and Kyrie Irving. Up now: Eric Bledsoe.”

Read it here:

Read more on Bledsoe and the Suns from Matt Peterson, here:


 Mavs math: 9 stats to know after (No. 9) Rondo’s first 9 games (from Tim MacMahon, ESPN):

Read it here:

(BI Note:  8 interesting useful, relevant stats plus the 15.6 stat  as yet further evidence of the silliness of a vastly overrated, nearly meaningless one.)



” Though there’s still more than half a season of basketball remaining, the losses and even close wins are showing just how much the Spurs are missing their 2014 NBA Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard.

While some of the Spurs’ struggles this season do have to do with focus and effort, there is also data that supports the team’s defense and rebound struggles are also connected to the absence of Leonard, due to his right hand injury.”


Read it here:


–  Serge Ibaka Showing Why He Should Have a Larger Role for Oklahoma City Thunder (from Dave Leonardis, Bleacher Report):


Read it here:


Draymond Green is Warriors’ unsung hero  (from Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News):

“Guys don’t want to play against him,” Andrew Bogut said of Green with great, great admiration after Warriors practice on Tuesday.

“You can see certain guys, certain stars in this league don’t want to play against him because he plays bigger than his frame.

“(But) a lot of times it’s not even close because he’s in guys’ heads, he talks, he’s physical.”

For this and for many other reasons, Green has been a singular standout performer among a group of players who all seem to be having career years at once.

There are a hundred factors that have led to the Warriors’ 27-5 record and that make them a true championship contender, right here and now.

But if you had to circle the main difference between this team and last season’s team – which was very good, not great – you’d have to begin with the gabby, in-your-face Green, whose jump into the starting lineup has changed everything.”

– Curry: Draymond ‘bleeds basketball and winning’ (from csnbayarea staff report):
Draymond Green Q & A (from Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News):
–  Warriors doing it with defense (from Associated Press):
” For the past three years, the Warriors have been a dominant defensive team disguised as an offensive juggernaut. They’ve taken that to the extreme this season, shutting down opponents on one end and running away from them on the other.Of course, the latter is what seems to stick in the minds of most.“It’s easy to fall in love with the offence,” Thompson said. “No one watches SportsCenter to watch the defensive rotations. You watch it for the highlight dunks, the Steph Curry dribbling exhibitions, his shooting and his passing. I think it’s easy to overlook it.””Read it here:
 Is Amir Johnson Raptors’ unsung hero? (from Ray Kim,
” (Johnson)  makes his teammates better, and that’s rare for a big man that doesn’t demand double teams in the post. This is why he earns $6.5 million per year. He has been a vital part of the Raptors’ success…”
Pistons Streak Hits 6 (from Vincent Goodwill, Detroit News):
 What the f*** does ‘FORM A F***ING WALL’ mean? (from Mike Prada, SBNation):
” Learn more about the term Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy invented on Tuesday.”
 How the streaking Pistons are finding success without Josh Smith (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):
 Lopez, Plumlee ‘haven’t played well together’ (from Tim Bontemps, NYPost):
”  When the Nets are fully healthy, Hollins plays a basic rotation of nine players: some combination of guards Williams, Jack, Joe Johnson, Sergey Karasev and Alan Anderson and big men Lopez, Plumlee, Kevin Garnett and Mirza Teletovic.The problem is, several of those players are awkward fits playing next to one another. As Hollins said, the numbers this season have not been kind to the pairings of both Lopez and Plumlee in the frontcourt and Williams and Jack in the backcourt.“I’m just trying to put a group out there, and try to compete and win,” Hollins said. “Sometimes the numbers show that they don’t, and you try to stay away from it as much as possible because they don’t play well together, and why, I have no idea. You try to figure it out when you’re at practice and you’re watching tape, but sometimes it’s that way.”Read it here:
–  The Future of Basketball Is Here, and It Looks a Lot Like James Harden (from Kirk Goldsberry,

”  As of today, James Harden is the leading scorer in the NBA and the most important offensive force on a team in the thick of the Western Conference title race. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate, quite clearly the best shooting guard in the league. And yet, he’s more than that. Those plaudits only scratch the surface of what he’s doing this season.

When Daryl Morey, the mad scientist of analytics, landed Harden in the trade of the decade, he not only got the superstar he coveted, he also acquired the perfect instrument for his basketball laboratory. Morey told Grantland that Harden “is a good fit here, but James would be a good fit with all 30 teams.” Be that as it may, the pair has become perhaps the most stylistically harmonious player-GM arrangement in the NBA over the last two months. By design or by happy accident, Harden plays a brand of basketball that beautifully conforms to his GM’s innovative visions.

Symbolically, Harden might be the most important player in the world. He’s a manifestation of the current trends in offensive basketball. The things that make him such an unusual superstar serve as a leaguewide harbinger of what’s to come.”

Read and view it here:


Marc Gasol drops weight, adds scoring and becomes the best center in the NBA (from Adam Kilgore, Washington Post):

Read it here:


Atlanta Hawks’ After Time Out (ATO) Sets:

View them here:


–  NBA 10-Day Contract Candidates (from Cody Taylor, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:


Harvey Pollack:   Numbers alone can’t tell full story of the NBA’s ‘Superstat’ (from Fran Blinebury,

Read it here:


 For Those With Access to ESPN Insider:

Dwight  Howard’s return to dominance on D:

” How does Dwight Howard compare to other DPOY candidates?”

Read it here:


Additional Player Updates:

Joe Ingles/Elijah Millsap:

Jordan Hill:

Larry Sanders:

Miles Plumlee:

Beno Udrih:

Steph Curry:  and

Jermaine O’Neal:

–  Emmanuel Mudiay

Richard Jefferson:

Maurice Harkless

Today’s Best NBA Stories

Breaking Down How the Indiana Pacers Are Keeping Their Defensive Swagger (from Ian Levy, Bleacher Report):

” The Indiana Pacers are not the bruising championship contender they were last season. Still, a 6-9 start has them in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, a huge surprise when many projected them to bottom out completely.

Fighting through a myriad of injuries, the Pacers have maintained one of the best defenses in the league. Their respectable start has come, primarily, from clamping down on opponents’ scoring. Currently, they rank 10th in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing just 105.6 points per 100 possessions.

Although just one of their starters from last season, Roy Hibbert, has played so far this season, he happens to be the most important part of their defense.

The entire structure of the Pacers’ system is built around Hibbert‘s ability to protect the basket. On pick-and-rolls and most dribble-drive actions, he sags back into the paint. This strategy walls off the basket and cedes the space for penetrators to pull up for an inefficient long two-pointer. ”

Read it here:

The Tyler Hansbrough Story:  (from Dave Zarum,

” His brash playing style and the success that it’s bred have made Hansbrough a polarizing figure, a walking archetype of the player you love when he’s on your team and hate when he’s not. But take the guy off a basketball court and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more, well, normal pro athlete. Turns out Tyler Hansbrough isn’t who you might have thought.”

Read it here:


Paul Pierce, Andre Miller were teammates long before Wizards (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

Read it here:

Tight-knit Toronto Raptors squad care little about outside talk (from Lori Ewing, The Canada Press):

” This season’s Toronto Raptors are a tight-knit bunch. And on a day ESPN pegged the Raptors’ chances at winning the NBA title at a whopping 41 per cent, they scoffed. Anything said outside of their gym, they said, is all just noise.

“We don’t care about nothing ESPN is saying, honestly,” DeRozan said. “Nobody cares what anybody says. We care about everybody that’s got this Raptors jersey on. Everything else don’t matter to us, man.”

“We’ve got our confidence,” Vasquez added. “We don’t need anybody to talk about us, whether it’s good or bad.”

Read it here:

Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors preview (from Jonathan Tjarks,

Read it here:

Nicolas Batum Q & A (from Dave Decckard and amlmart1,

Read it here:

Justin Zormelo: Stats geek to the NBA stars, including Kevin Durant (from Kathy Orton, Washington Post):

” Justin Zormelo stands on a Georgetown University basketball court, a cellphone pressed to his ear. No answer. Where is Glen Rice Jr. ? The Washington Wizards player was supposed to be here hours ago.

Zormelo, dressed in the same baggy white Hoya shorts he wore when he was a team manager and a black T-shirt with his company’s logo on the chest, looks like someone who just wandered over from the pickup game on the next court. But unlike those Saturday morning jocks, the 30-year-old Fairfax County native has dozens of NBA clients listed in his cellphone, including Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, Wizards guard John Wall and Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo. Not to mention the guy who helped Zormelo start it all: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

Zormelo is one of the hottest trainers these days because of his creative use of stats. Not the usual stats, such as points, rebounds and assists, but an advanced analytics approach that has allowed a basketball fanatic who didn’t play past high school and never coached to help Durant become the NBA’s most valuable player.”

Read it here:

Pistons’ Drummond needs to be more instinctive (from Terry Foster, Detroit News):

” Legendary Pistons coach Chuck Daly often sent a short but powerful message to budding superstar Dennis Rodman during the Bad Boys’ reign of terror.

“Don’t think,” he’d bark to Rodman. “Don’t think. Just play.”

In time Rodman became one of the most instinctive players in the NBA. He ran the floor, was strong, could defend any position and scored off of offensive rebounds and broken plays. He won defensive player of the year honors and was one of the game’s best rebounders.

Andre Drummond, the current Pistons prodigy, is similar.

Don’t think Andre. Just play the game.”

Read it here:

Goran Dragic accepts cut in playing time, new backcourt dynamic (from Paul Coro,

” When Goran Dragic watched the final 13 minutes of Monday’s loss at Toronto, he was not upset with a reworked Suns rotation that is set up to play the hot hands.

He was mad at himself for a third quarter that turned from three scoring drives to three turnovers. Once Eric Bledsoe (14 fourth-quarter points) and Isaiah Thomas (12 fourth-quarter points) caught fire to bring the Suns from a 17-point hole to a one-point lead, there was nothing for Dragic to do but watch after his 21 minutes.

Dragic played fewer minutes in a game once last season, but it was due to a sprained ankle that ended his night in the third quarter at Oklahoma City.

“I had a bad game,” said Dragic, whose steady road trip ended with a six-point, four-assist, four-turnover game. “You cannot feel bad if you’re not playing good. I can feel bad for myself. But if the team is doing well, you need to be there. You need to support them. I’ll try to avoid this for the next game.””

Read it here:


CBA 101: Rookie Scale Contract Extensions (from Daniel Hackett,

” Daniel Hackett continues his CBA 101 series with a look at the various rules that apply to rookie scale contract extensions in the NBA.”

Read it here:


More Player Updates:

Omri Casspi

Jordan Hill

Wesley Johnson

Shawn Livingston

Josh McRoberts

Jerome Jordan

Brady Heslip:

Furkan Aldemir

Victor Claver

Marreese Speights

Marcus Smart/Avery Bradley

Brandan Wright

Shabazz Napier/James Ennis

Jeff Taylor

A. J. Price

Spencer Dinwiddie   and

Mitch McGary