This year’s Spurs are better equipped to defend the Warriors

(Note:  We are expanding our original content at Basketball Intelligence.  Starting today, we will be including a weekly feature from our rotation of outstanding NBA analysts.

Today’s feature is from Eli Horowitz, assistant men’s basketball coach at Caltech & NBA/WNBA analyst):


Barring injury, the Warriors should repeat as NBA champions in 2017-2018. But after an enthralling offseason that saw the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder add future hall of famers in an effort to compete with the Warriors, it’s easy to forget how close the Spurs were to going up 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals, with a chance to put pressure on Golden State. Unlike other teams in the West that added superstars, the Spurs’ offseason was ridiculed as they overpaid Pau Gasol, added injury-prone Rudy Gay and lost Jonathon Simmons, who played a significant role in the playoffs last year. Put it all together, and many feel like the Thunder and Rockets moved ahead of San Antonio with their respective additions of Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and several good role players. Although criticism off the offseason has some merit, you can’t win games in the summer. The Spurs won 67 games in 2015-2016 and 61 games in 2016-2017, and may be even better equipped to defend the Warriors this year:

Size across the roster

When people talk about size, they mistakenly think about big men clanking post-ups and an inefficient style of play in the modern NBA. But the Spurs have size throughout their roster, starting in the backcourt. Dejounte Murray is a 6-foot-5 point guard with the length to disrupt opposing lead guards and some wings:

He was unafraid in the playoffs last year, and should breakout in year two as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich trusts him more. His shooting mechanics leave a lot to be desired, but his ability to penetrate and finish at difficult angles should offset the loss of Simmons.

The Spurs have the best defensive wing combo in the league in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Both can guard positions one through four, and their ability to take turns on opposing stars is a rarity in the NBA. Rudy Gay presents a third long perimeter defender, albeit nowhere near Leonard or Green, who could shine at the four. Add LaMarcus Aldridge, who is a huge body at the four, and who is still big at the five against the Warriors lineup of death, and the Spurs have big bodies that make it difficult for opponents to move through their offense.

Losing Dewayne Dedmon is notable. But Pau Gasol was key to stopping the Rockets in last year’s playoffs. He’s a liability out in space, but the Spurs have the perimeter defense to fight over, under and through screens and allow the Gasol to hang out by the basket. You know Popovich will somehow turn Joffrey Lauvergne into a competent defender as well, much like he did with David Lee last season.

If the Warriors have shown any weakness it’s to long, athletic teams that can also pound the offensive glass. The Oklahoma City Thunder went up 3-1 playing this style two postseasons ago and the Spurs have shown it to work themselves, until Leonard’s injury in last year’s semifinals. It’s annoying to go up against players who can both pressure up on the ball and have the length and quickness to stay with the play and prevent straight line drives to the rim. It’s probably not enough, but the Spurs positional size will force the Warriors go to plan C.

Versatility at the four

Rudy Gay will be the biggest experiment nobody is talking about this NBA season. There’s too many flashy storylines elsewhere, too many All-Stars who switched teams that will get first billing. But Rudy Gay unleashes a potential lineup of Murray-Green-Leonard-Gay-Aldridge that will be as good as it gets against the Warriors. Aldridge’s defense has been solid for the Spurs, and he can hang with Draymond Green, knowing their are four long defenders who can help at the rim. We’ll see if Murray can stick with Steph Curry, but that would allow Green, Leonard and Gay to rotate on Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala. If Murray isn’t ready, Patty Mills will at least scrap on defense and is an offensive upgrade. Better yet, let Murray hang on Iguodala and let Green or Leonard challenge Steph.

If the Spurs want to get really crazy, Gay can even play the five at times:

This would allow the Spurs to play both Mills and Murray, or give Davis Bertans more minutes. Bertans was surprisingly stout defending in the paint last year. Stick him on Iguodala or even Green and he might just hold up. If the Warriors counter by posting him up, that’s a win for San Antonio as it halts the continuous movement of the Warriors and gives the Spurs a break.

The Thunder and Rockets have defensive lineups that might be even more potent, but they sacrifice offense. Carmelo Anthony will struggle on any Warrior defensively, and Andre Roberson is an offensive liability. The Rockets best offensive and defensive lineups are vastly different. The Spurs might be the team with the best defensive lineup that sacrifices the least offense.


Between the draft, free agency, summer league and an onslaught of trades, the NBA world has spent the last five months talking about players. But coaching still matters, especially in the playoffs. After watching the Rockets embarrass his team in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals last year, Popovich pushed all the right buttons to adjust on James Harden. They went over and zoned up pick and rolls to force midrange jumpers. They event went under some screens and personalized their pick and roll coverage depending on who was involved. It was complex, and completely gassed the Rockets, who lost the next four out of five.

Popovich has now had three years to learn the Warriors. He’s had small victories along the way even while balancing the late stage careers of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. His schemes alone won’t be enough to stop Golden State, but he’s a lot closer to figuring it out than his colleagues.

It wasn’t a stellar summer for San Antonio, but the addition of Gay, the sophomore campaigns of Murray and Bertans, a refocused Aldridge and the continued evolution of Leonard are more than enough to keep the Spurs in the mix. They don’t have the sheer talent of Houston or Oklahoma City, but they might have the best defensive lineups to throw at the Warriors.

Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 3/7/17

Contenders Weighing Stretch-Run Chase Vs. Playoff Health (from David Aldridge, NBA.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/article/2017/03/06/morning-tip-rest-driving-teams-players-nba-season-winds-down

SAS 112, HOU 110  (from Jonathan Tjarks, The Ringer):

Read and watch it here: https://theringer.com/san-antonio-spurs-houston-rockets-kawhi-leonard-james-harden-40b5e73fb36f#.vi8cefpvp

There Are No Good Answers For Kawhi  (from Andrew Sharp, Sports Illustrated):

Read and watch it here: http://www.si.com/nba/2017/03/07/kawhi-leonard-mvp-case-spurs-james-harden-russell-westbrook

Kawhi Keeps Delivering (from Michael C. Wright, ESPN):

Read it here: http://www.espn.co.uk/nba/story/_/id/18836308/nba-quiet-methodical-rise-kawhi-leonard-superstar

Pelicans: DMC/AD Sets (from Paul Garcia, The Sports Daily):

Read and watch it here;  http://thesportsdaily.com/analyzing-the-league/early-offensive-sets-for-pelicans-davis-cousins-pairing/

Isaiah Thomas Is Using The Rim To Outsmart Tall Defenders (from Chris Herring, Five Thirty Eight):

Read and watch it here:  https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/isaiah-thomas-is-using-the-rim-to-outsmart-tall-defenders/

From Liam O”Brien, Hardwood Houdini: http://hardwoodhoudini.com/2017/03/07/isaiah-thomas-nbas-best-pick-roll-ball-handler/

The Next Generation: Nikola Jokic  (from Adam McGee, The Step Back):

Read it here:  http://fansided.com/2017/03/07/next-generation-nikola-jokic/

Also today in The Next Generation Series:

 – Luka Doncic (from Brandon Jefferson): http://fansided.com/2017/03/07/luka-doncic-greatest-generation/

 – Jabari Parker (from Chris Manning):  http://fansided.com/2017/03/07/jabari-parker-next-generation/

 – D’Angelo Russell (from Brendon Kleen):  http://fansided.com/2017/03/07/dangelo-russell-next-generation/

Jamal Crawford’s Long And Winding Road (from Mike Wise, The Undefeated):

Read it here:  http://theundefeated.com/features/jamal-crawford-of-the-clippers-long-and-winding-road/

Dario Saric Interview Translated (from tabslabblue, reddit.com):

Read it here: https://www.reddit.com/r/sixers/comments/5xsusq/darios_big_interview_for_croatian_sports_news/

A Guidebook For Exploiting Playoff Matchups  (from Jared Dubin, The Step Back):

Read it here:  http://fansided.com/2017/03/07/guidebook-exploiting-playoff-matchups/

Kyle Lowry On His Surgery And Its Impact On The Raps  (from Mike Ganter, The Sun):

Read it here:  http://www.torontosun.com/2017/03/06/raptors-lowry-opens-up-about-wrist-surgery-its-a-10-year-process

Willy Hernangomez: Second Round Steal  (from Kyle Maggio,The Knicks Wall):

Read and watch it here: https://theknickswall.com/rookie-of-the-year-577de05e1d1d#.bijmly4ag

Ron Baker: With Playing Time Comes Confidence (from Lenn Robbins, msgnetwork.com):

Read it here:  http://www.msgnetworks.com/2017/03/06/with-playing-time-comes-confidence-for-baker/

Where Has The Skyhook Gone? (from Chris Mannix, Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/why-the-skyhook-isnt-a-part-of-todays-game-195220557.html

Bojan Bogdanovic Is Fitting In With The Wizards (from Jesse Blancarte, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-am-bojan-bogdanovic-fitting-in-with-washington-wizards/

From Neil Greenberg, Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2017/03/07/bojan-bogdanovic-gives-the-wizards-a-player-they-havent-had-in-years/

From Bryan Frantz, truthaboutit.net: http://www.truthaboutit.net/2017/03/scott-brooks-rotational-mystery-tour-rolls-on.html

5 Keys To Bucks’ Winning Streak (from Joshua Cornelissen, Hoops Habit):

Read it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2017/03/07/milwaukee-bucks-5-keys-winning-streak/

From Ti Windisch, Behind The Buck Pass:  http://behindthebuckpass.com/2017/03/07/milwaukee-bucks-takeaways-win-philadelphia-76ers/

Grizzlies: The Underrated Importance Of Brandan Wright (from Parker Fleming, Beale Street Bears):

Read and watch it here: http://bealestreetbears.com/2017/03/07/memphis-grizzlies-underrated-importance-brandan-wright/

Glenn Robinson III’s Development (from Cameron Stewart, 16 Wins A ring):

Read it here: https://16winsaring.com/glenn-robinson-iii-more-than-a-dunk-contest-spectacle-72d1781ac464#.85js4ndob

Sean Marks: The Perfect Exec To Lead The Nets Out Of The Dark (from George Kondoleon, 16 Wins A Ring):

Read it here: https://16winsaring.com/the-brooklyn-nets-will-eventually-creep-out-of-gloomy-era-59b1ab2c8963#.1jwkre9ge

Breaking Down Where The Nets’ Defense Has Broken Down  (from Christopher Lavinio, Hoops Habit):

Read and watch it here: http://hoopshabit.com/2017/03/06/brooklyn-nets-defense-bad-every-level/

Breaking Down The Nets’ Offense (from Charles Maniego, Nothin’ But Nets):

Read and watch it here:  http://nothinbutnets.com/2017/02/28/breaking-brooklyn-nets-offense/

Why Ibaka/Biyombo Never Gelled (from Ricky Scricca, Orlando Magic Daily):

Read it here: http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2017/03/07/why-the-serge-ibaka-bismack-biyombo-frontcourt-never-quite-gelled/

Spoelstra’s Case For Coach Of The Year (from Rob Slater, All U Can Heat):

Read it here:  http://allucanheat.com/2017/03/07/miami-heat-erik-spoelstras-case-for-coach-of-the-year/

Growing Up In The NBA (from DeAndre Jordan, The Players Tribune):

Read it here: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/deandre-jordan-clippers-rebounding-all-star/

Limiting Opponents’ Offensive Rebounds Is A Growing Priority For Nuggets (from Nick Kosmider, Denver Post):

Read it here: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/03/06/limiting-offensive-rebounds-opponents-priority-nuggets/

Suns’ New Second Unit Transforms The Offense (from Kellan Olson, Arizona Sports):

Read and watch it here: http://arizonasports.com/story/1045788/new-second-unit-suns-offense-hottest/

Suns’ GM Saw Winning Trend In Tyler Ulis  (from Doug Haller, azcentral.com):

Read it here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/suns/2017/03/06/suns-gm-mcdonough-saw-winning-trend-ulis/98830564/

Knicks: After Jennings’ Release, Chasson Randle Is Making His Presence Felt  (from Keith Schlosser, sny.tv):

Read it here: https://www.sny.tv/knicks/news/after-release-of-jennings-randle-is-making-his-presence-felt/218291648

From Marc Berman, NY Post: http://nypost.com/2017/03/06/chasson-randle-helps-his-case-and-hurts-tank-in-knicks-rally/

D-League: The Top Catch-And-Shoot Wings (from Chris Reichert, The Step Back):

Read it here:  http://fansided.com/2017/03/07/catch-shoot-wings-d-league-call-up/

Despite Amazing Week, Felder Still Needs More Time In The D-League (from Dakota Schmidt, Ridiculous Upside):

Read it here: http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2017/3/6/14834660/kay-felder-nba-dleague-nbadl-canton-charge-cleveland-cavaliers

European Hoops Recap  (from Trevor Magnotti, Fansided):

Read And Watch It Here:  http://fansided.com/2017/03/06/european-hoops-recap-playoffs/

QOTN (from Marc Gasol, reacting to the Griz’ 3-game losing streak):

“I thought by now that we had a good idea of what we were going to do, especially from the players’ standpoint, knowing exactly what we are supposed to do. We can look ourselves in the mirror and be honest with ourselves, each and every single one of us. That’s what you’re supposed to do, especially when things don’t go as well as you would want them. Just look at yourself in the mirror instead of looking for an answer somewhere else and trying to point fingers.”


Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 12/14/16

–  Footwork Can Be The Difference Between Good And Great  (from Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer):

Read and watch it here:  https://theringer.com/nba-footwork-demar-derozan-giannis-antetokounmpo-jj-redick-c7819c1289b9#.sgsnlcw3g

–  Week 7 In Review: Giannis And Much More  (from Justin Willard, Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:  https://fansided.com/2016/12/13/nylon-calculus-shooting-fouls-60-points-giannis-mvp/

Is Kawhi’s Defense So Great That It Hurts The Spurs? (from Matt Moore, CBS Sports):

Read and watch it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/kawhi-leonard-is-so-great-at-defense-hes-actually-hurting-the-spurs/

Hornacek’s ATOs  (from Zach Diluzio, Poasting And Toasting):

Read and watch it here:  http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2016/12/13/13930510/jeff-hornacek-s-after-timeout-plays-have-been-wonderful

Fizdale:  LBJ Values Perfection Too Much To Be A Coach  (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/18273241/david-fizdale-memphis-grizzlies-see-cleveland-cavaliers-star-lebron-james-future-coach

Steven Adams: On Track To Becoming OKC’s Next Star (from Susan Bible, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/steven-adams-on-track-to-become-thunders-next-star/

Jamal Murray: Steal Of The Draft?  (from Jake Fischer, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/12/14/jamal-murray-denver-nuggets-rookie-kentucky-mike-malone/

–  Durant And Curry Torch Teams Without Even Touching The Ball (from Scott Rafferty, FanSided):

Read and watch it here:  http://fansided.com/2016/12/14/durant-curry-screens-off-ball-warriors/

–  The Raptors’ Points Per Possession: Off The Charts  (from James Herbert, CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/if-you-hadnt-noticed-the-raptors-currently-have-the-best-offense-in-nba-history/

From Mike Ganter, Postmedia Network):  http://www.theprovince.com/sports/basketball/toronto+raptors+having+remarkable+success+shooting/12522797/story.html

From Blake Murphy, Raptors Republic:  http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2016/12/14/raptors-scoring-well-warriors/

–  5 Reasons Why Rockets Could Be Western Conf. Dark Horse  (from Gerald Bourguet, Hoops Habit):

Read it here; http://hoopshabit.com/2016/12/14/houston-rockets-5-reasons-western-dark-horses/

–  Tuesday Recap  (from Tim Cato, SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/12/14/13948352/2016-nba-scores-atlanta-hawks-losing-streak

From Kurt Helin, NBC Sports:  http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/12/14/three-things-we-learned-tuesday-in-chicago-thibodeaus-minnesota-team-shows-tenacity-finally/

Players Of The Night: Kevin Love/Eric Bledsoe  (from Chris Ryan, The Ringer):

Read and watch it here:  https://theringer.com/kevin-love-grizzlies-cavs-all-star-king-court-808c86649b23#.49wy1meh6

–  The Warriors Are Passing Their Way To History  (from Positive Residual, Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:  https://fansided.com/2016/12/13/nylon-calculus-warriors-passing-history/

Exploring Why The Bulls Beat Good Teams And Then Lose To Bad Ones  (from Chris Herring, fivethirtyeight.com):

Read it here: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-the-bulls-beat-the-best-teams-and-then-lose-to-the-worst-ones/

–  The Battered Grizzlies Are As Close To Perfection As They’ve Ever Been (from Colin McGowan, RealGM):

Read it here: http://basketball.realgm.com/article/244271/The-Battered-Grizzlies-Are-As-Close-To-Perfection-As-Theyve-Ever-Been

–  Most Telling Stats From Lakers’ Losing Streak  (from Eric Yee, Lake Show Life):

Read it here:  http://lakeshowlife.com/2016/12/14/lakers-7-game-losing-stream-most-telling-stats-injury-turnovers-defense/

–  Turning The Timberwolves Around  (from Andy Grimsrud, A Wolf Among Wolves):

Read it here;  http://www.awolfamongwolves.com/2016/12/inbox-wolves-transition-d-struggles-rethinking-this-stage-of-development/

George Hill:  Unlocking The Jazz’ Ceiling As Contender  (from Brad Rowland, Dime Magazine);

Read it here;  http://uproxx.com/dimemag/george-hill-utah-jazz/

–  The Effectiveness Of The Different Spurs’ Lineups So Far This Season  (from Dimitrije Curcic, airalamo.com)

Read it here:  http://airalamo.com/2016/12/13/searching-perfect-spurs-lineup/

–  Rodney McGruder: Heat Bright Spot  (from Joshua Saunders,  The Hardwood Nation):

Read it here: https://thehardwoodnation.net/2016/12/13/rodney-mcgruder-the-one-bright-spot-for-the-miami-heat/

–  James Johnson Hopes He’s Found An NBA Home  (from Anthony Chicang, Palm Beach Post):

Read it here:  http://heatzone.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2016/12/13/james-johnson-hopes-hes-found-an-nba-home-with-the-miami-heat/

How The Rockets’ Survive The Moments Without James Harden  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/12/14/rockets-james-harden-mike-dantoni-patrick-beverley-eric-gordon

 Porzingis’ Pick-And-Pops Are Unguardable  (from Jeff Siegel, FanSided):

Read and watch it here:  http://fansided.com/2016/12/14/kristaps-porzingis-pick-and-pop/

–  Jae Crowder’s Defense  (from Peter Stringer, celtics.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/prac-121316-jae-crowder-kawhi-leonard-defense

–  Tristan Thompson, Rim Protector  (from Kevin Nye, Hashtag Basketball):

Read it here:  http://www.hashtagbasketball.com/cleveland-cavaliers/content/tristan-thompson-rim-protector

–  How Boston Changed Its Mind And Lost Out On Tony Parker  (from Chris Forsberg, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.in/nba/story/_/id/18273391/lamenting-another-super-spur-boston-never-got

 Steve Kerr Wants Extra Ref Focused Solely On Travel Calls (from Connor Letourneau, SFGate):

Read it here:  http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Steve-Kerr-wants-extra-ref-focused-solely-on-10793776.php

 The Night Billy Kennedy Went Back To Work  (from Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/12dayschristmas9/the-night-billy-kennedy-went-back-work-nba

–  Zubac Gains Experience In The D-League (from Joey Ramirez, lakers.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/161213-ivica-zubac-d-fenders


Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 11/3/16

Inside Story Of Zach Randolph’s Move To The Bench  (from Chris Mannix, Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/the-inside-story-of-zach-randolphs-move-to-the-bench-165427780.html

–  James Harden Is Set To Have A Season For The Ages (from Jared Dubin, fansided.com):

Read it here:  http://fansided.com/2016/11/03/james-harden-point-guard-mike-dantoni-mvp/

–  Video: How Isaiah Thomas Continues To Defy The Odds (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):

Watch it here:  http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=17956934

–  Where Would Isaiah Thomas And Celtics Be Without Each Other? (from Chris Forsberg, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/17885733/nba-where-isaiah-thomas-boston-celtics-other

–  Amir Johnson Hit 10 Treys Last Season; Last Night He Hit Four In One Quarter  (from Chris Forsberg, ESPN):

Read and watch it here:  http://insider.espn.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4724303/amir-johnson-3-pointers

–  DeRozan Continues To Dominate  (from Mike Ganter, Toronto Sun):

Read it here:  http://www.torontosun.com/2016/11/02/derozan-continues-to-dominate-as-raptors-take-down-wizards

–  TOR 113,  WAS 103  (from Eric Koreen, The Athletic):

Read it here:  https://theathletic.com/24635/2016/11/03/10-observations-raptors-defeat-wizards-113-103-in-imperfect-fashion/

–  How Dwight Howard Fits In Atlanta  (from Howard Megdal, VICE Sports):

Read it here:  https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/how-dwight-howard-fits-in-atlanta

“Ten Things I Like And Don’t Like” So Far This Season (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/17950115/zach-lowe-10-things-like

–  SVG:  Giving Nights Off To Rest Players Is “Not Us”  (from Aaron McMann, MLive):

Read it here:  http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2016/11/resting_players_early_thats_no.html

–  John Wall Q & A (from Andrew Sharp, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/11/02/john-wall-washington-wizards-bradley-beal-demarcus-cousins

–  Wizards Are 0-3 But See Themselves On Verge Of Something Positive  (from Candace Buckner, Washington Post):

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wizards-insider/wp/2016/11/03/wizards-believe-theyre-better-than-0-3-but-results-reveals-a-struggling-team/

–  Young Lakers Are Reborn Under Walton  (from Coach Nick, BBall Breakdown):

Watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7YhM31m1d0&feature=youtu.be&a

–  Joel Embiid: “All You Have To Do Is Watch”  (from Andrew Unterberger,  The Score):

Read it here:  http://www.thescore.com/nba/news/1145054

–  Kawhi Leonard Keeps Adding To His Game  (from Mike Monroe, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2673630-spurs-two-way-star-kawhi-leonard-has-quietly-become-an-iso-stud-too

–  TJ Warren: MIP?  (from Gerald Bourguet, Hoops Habit):

Read it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2016/11/03/phoenix-suns-t-j-warren-making-early-case-improved-player/

–  The Free-Flowing Nature Of Kevin Durant’s Basketball Life  (from Michael Lee, Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/the-free-flowing-nature-of-kevin-durants-basketball-life-143438722.html

–  Franchise Cornerstone Gorgui Dieng (from Steve McPherson, 1500espn.com):

Read it here:  http://www.1500espn.com/wolves-2/2016/11/feelings-arent-numbers-franchise-cornerstone-gorgui-dieng/

–  Jaylen Brown Works Incredibly Hard  (from Jay King, Mass Live):

Read and watch it here:  http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2016/11/jimmy_butler_on_workout_partne.html

–  Maurice Ndour’s Four Continent Quest To The NBA  (from Charlie Hatch, thepostathens.com):

Read it here:  http://www.thepostathens.com/article/2016/11/maurice-ndour-finally-makes-it-big-nba-new-york-knicks

–  Ryan Anderson: Rockets X-Factor  (from Maurice Bobb, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2673357-sharpshooting-ryan-anderson-has-quickly-become-rockets-x-factor

Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 5/3/16


–  Preview:  Raptors/Heat  (from James Herbert, CBS Sports):

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25575451   and from Kurt Helin,  NBC Sports:


–  Raptors/Heat: Numbers Preview  (from John Schuhmann):

Read it here:  http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2016/05/03/numbers-preview-raptors-heat/

–  The Importance Of The Raptors’ Role Players  (from Yaron Weitzman, SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/5/2/11555886/toronto-raptors-depth-cory-joseph-norman-powell-kyle-lowry-pacers-game-7

Norman Powell/ DeMarre Carroll (from Mike Ganter, Toronto Sun):

Read it here:  http://www.torontosun.com/2016/05/02/rookie-powell-helping-fuel-raptors-playoff-run

–  Raptors Facing Different Challenge In Heat  (from Blake Murphy, sportsnet.ca):


–  Roberson’s Defense On Leonard Keys Thunder’s Bounceback  (from Erik Horne, newsok.com):

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/thunder-journal-robersons-defense-on-leonard-keys-thunder-bounceback-in-game-2/article/5495656

–  OKC 98, SAS 97  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:   http://www.si.com/nba/2016/05/03/nba-playoffs-oklahoma-city-thunder-san-antonio-spurs-game-2

–  Breakdown: The Final Play  (from Zach Harper, CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25575595/breakdown-everything-that-went-wrong-on-final-play-of-thunder-spurs

–  Thunder/Spurs: Game Two Vines (from Coach Nick, BBall Breakdown);

Watch it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2016/05/03/thunder-at-spurs-game-3-vine-game/

–  Thunder Need New Strategy For Guarding LaMarcus  (from Matt Moore, CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25575239/thunder-need-new-strategy-when-it-comes-to-guarding-lamarcus-aldridge

–  Steven Adams’ Untold Story  (from Brian Windhorst,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/15443039/untold-story-thunder-center-steven-adams

–  Cavs 104, Hawks 93  (from Jason Lloyd, ohio.com):

Read it here:  http://three-pointer.com/cavs-104-hawks-93-jason-lloyds-21-thoughts-on-defending-kyle-korver-free-throws-and-3-pointers/    from Paul Flannery, SBNation:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/5/3/11575444/hawks-lose-kyle-korver-lebron-james-cavaliers-nba-playoffs-2016

–  Tristan Thompson Is Demoralizing The Hawks On The Glass Again  (from Dave McMenamin,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/cleveland-cavaliers/post/_/id/2594/tristan-thompson-demoralizing-hawks-on-glass-again    and from Chris Fedor,  cleveland.com:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2016/05/tristan_thompson_proves_to_be.html

–  How Do The Blazers Stop Bogut  (from Marcus Thompson II,  Mercury News):

Read it here:  http://www.mercurynews.com/marcus-thompson/ci_29842580/thompson-how-do-blazers-stop-bogut

–  Everybody Loves To Trash Talk Draymond  (from Ben Cohen, Wall Street JOurnal):

Read it here:


–  If The Pacers Move On From Vogel, Other Teams Should Pounce  (from Matt Moore, CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25574798/if-pacers-decide-to-move-on-from-frank-vogel-other-teams-should-pounce

–  NBA Coaches  (from Bob Walsh, coachbobwalsh.com):

Read it here:  http://coachbobwalsh.com/2016/05/03/nba-coaches/

  •  Brad Stevens Interview  (from Adam Himmelsbach, Boston Globe):

Listen to it here:  http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2016/05/03/parquet-interview-with-brad-stevens/m8O5PS71EtHuNlL46dmsBM/story.html




–  The NBA’s Best And Worst Shotmakers  (from Kyle Wagner,  fivethirtyeight.com):

Read it here:  http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-nbas-best-and-worst-shot-makers/

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Terry Rozier  (from Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald):  http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2016/05/bulpett_celtics_terry_rozier_eyes_next_train_to_success

–  Kemba Walker  (from Hornets.com):  http://www.nba.com/hornets/kemba-walker-2015-16-blog

–  J.J.Barea  (from Bobby Karalla,  mavs.com):  http://www.mavs.com/j-j-bareas-late-season-explosion-helped-to-fuel-mavs-playoff-push/