Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 4/26/16

–  What’s Ahead For The Clippers Without CP3? (from J.A.Adande, ESPN):

Read it here:

–  Trail Blazers’ Luck:  Where Preparation Meets Opportunity  (from Arash markazi,  ESPN):

Read it here:

 Getting To The Playoffs Was Never Enough For The Blazers  (from Casey Holdahl,

Read it here:

–  Spurs Will Test Thunder In Ways The Mavs Couldn’t  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:

–  How Bad Is Curry’s Injury?  (from Al Saracevic/Maddie Lee,

Read it here:  and from Tim Grover, Yahoo Sports:

–  The Warriors Without Curry  (from Micah Adams, ESPN):

Read it here:

–  Kemba Walker Leads Hornets To Series Tie  (from Liam Boylan-Pett,  SBNation):

Read it here:

–  Lin’s Ability To Drive One Of The Keys To Hornets’ Victory  (from Jonathan Jones, Charlotte Observer):

Read it here:

–  Backcourt Heroics Help Hornet Even Series  (from Matt Rochinsky,

Read it here:

–  Raptors’ Adjustment Options  (from  Dave Feschuk,  Toronto Star):

Read it here:   and from Michael Grange,

–  Pacers’ Coach Vogel Has Had To Unlearn A Lot  (from Candace Buckner,

Read it here:

–  Brad Stevens: Next Superstar Coach  (from Jackie MacMullan,  ESPN):

Read it here:

–  Celtics’ Multiple Defensive Looks Causing Problems For Hawks’ Point Guards  (from Kris Willis, peachtreehoops):

Read and view it here:

–  One Change To LBJ’s Game Has Altered The Cavs’ Offense Entirely  (from Josh Planos, Washington Post):

Read it here:

–  Tyronn Lue Compares LBJ’s Treatment To Shaq’s  (form Dave McMenamin, ESPN):

Read it here:

–  Brooks’ Path To $35 Million Coach Began In CBA Draft’s 2nd Round (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

Read it here:

–  Why Some Bigs Are Bad Foul Shooters  (from Steve Kyler,  Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:

–  Every Trade That Has And Could Affect The 2016 Draft  (from Sam Vecenie,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:

Mavs: Positive Takeaways From This Season (from Cole Mentzel,

Read it here:

–  Keeping The Thunder On Their Game  (from Marc Tracy,  NY Times):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Kevin Martin  (from Tom Orsborne,

–  DeMarre Carroll  (from Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun):

Meyers Leonard (from Kerry Eggers, Portland Tribune):

C.J.Miles  (from Mark Monteith,


Today’s Best NBA Reporting 3/23/16

–  Recapping Tuesday’s Games  (from SBNation):
–  The Offensive Transformation of Kemba Walker And The Charlotte Hornets  (from Jared Zwerling,
–  Celtics Are Rebuilding On The Fly  (from Andrew Sharp (SBill Walton, Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericksports Illustrated):
–  Kirk Goldsberry:  Spurs Go Deeper Into A Secret World  (from Buck Harvey,  Express News):
Read it here:
–  Hubie Brown Q & A Podcast  (from Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated):
–  Vince Carter Q &A; Damian Lillard: Atlanta Hawks  (from David Aldridge,
–  Bill Walton Q & A  (from Lang Whitaker,
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
–  Kevin Martin  (from Jeff McDonald, Express News):


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

–  Brad Stevens’ Unique Form Of Motivation  (from Mark Murphy, Boston Herald):

Read it here:

–  Taj Gibson: Small Ball Destroyer  (from Michael Rosenfeld,  Vantage Sports):

Read it here:

The Nuggets’ Culture Change  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:

–  Video Breakdown:  Curry To Bogut Alley-Oop Dunks  (from EricApricot, Golden State Of Mind):

Read and view it here:

Recapping Thursday’s Games  (from SBNation):

Read it here:

–  Raptors 104, Hawks 96  (from James Herbert,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:

–  Injury Ends Joey Crawford’s Farewell Season Early  (from Steve Aschburner,

Read it here:

Every Team Tries To Copy Spurs’ Model  (from Tim Bontemps,  Washington Post):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Joel Embiid (from Tom Haberstroh, ESPN):

–  Larry Sanders  (from Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders):

–  Trey Lyles  (from Jesus Gomez,  SBNation):

–  Damian Lillard  (from Jason Quick,  Oregon Live):

–  Richaun Holmes  (from Wesley Share,

Josh Richardson  (from Manny Navarro,  Miami Herald):

–  Willie Cauley-Stein  (from Aykis16, Sactown Royalty):

–  Victor Oladipo  (from John Denton,

–  Emanuel Mudiay/Nikola Jokic  (from Yaron Weitzman, SBNation):

–  Andre Iguodala  (from Rusty Simmons,  SF Chronicle):

–  Patrick Beverley  (from Joel Birgham,  Basketball Insiders):

Nemanja Bjelica  (from Lucas Seehafer,  Canis Hoopus):

–  Salah Mejri (from Tim Cato,

–  Kevin Martin (from Michael C. Wright,  ESPN):

–  Andrew Goudelock  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):

–  Wesley Johnson (from LA Times):


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Q&A: NBA legend Jerry West’s winning formula  (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss,  ESPN):

Read it here:


–  Terry Stotts Discusses Blazers’ Moves  (from Sagar Trika,

Read it here:


–   The Transition Game in Minnesota: LaVine Gets the Nod While Martin Takes a Seat  (from Zach Lowe, Grantland):

Read it here:


–  Dwyane Wade schools Justise Winslow in art of the undersized post game  (from Ira Winderman,  Sun Sentinel):

Read it here:


–   Billy Donovan’s Playbook: From University of Florida to Oklahoma City  (from Shawn Woods,

Read and view it here:


–  Can Billy Donovan or Fred Hoiberg repeat Steve Kerr’s success?  (from Kurt Helin,  NBC Sports):

” Has any first-year NBA head coach ever walked into a more “win now” situation than Billy Donovan?

The Oklahoma City Thunder are have been considered title contenders ever since they stepped on the court in the 2012 Finals. However, they have yet to return to that stage due to a combination of personnel moves and injuries. Next summer their superstar Kevin Durant is a free agent and he’s the kind of franchise-changing player who will draw 29 other suitors. If OKC is going to keep him they have to prove to Durant he can win it all without having to change addresses. It’s a lot to ask of a rookie NBA coach.

Maybe the guy who can best relate is Fred Holberg, who was brought in from Iowa State to take over a Chicago Bulls team that has not lived up to expectations the past several seasons. He takes over for an innovative coach, but with with a mandate from management to rest guys more, modernize the offense, and lift a team known for physically breaking down up to challenge Cleveland.

That’s setting the bar ridiculously high.

Donovan and Hoiberg can thank Steve Kerr for that — he cleared that bar his rookie season.”

Read it here:


–   Look at these cool Thunder shot charts  (form Andrew Schlect,

Read and view it here:


–  Thunder Film Room: Steve Novak takes Russell Westbrook to next level  (from Marina Mangiaracina,

Read and view it here:



Read Sam’s answers to readers questions about the Bulls here:


–   Grizzlies’ training camp invitees work to get noticed  (from  Ronald Tillery,

”  Sampson Carter, just like the four other training camp invitees, realizes making the Grizzlies’ roster is a long shot. However, these outsiders don’t see themselves as just live bodies to be props for the players with guaranteed contracts. The training camp invitees are performing for their basketball livelihood, hoping they’ll get noticed and eventually paid for their performances in preseason games.

“They’ve stayed within their own games,” Griz coach Dave Joerger said. “We’re not looking for anybody to come in and isolate them and feature them. All of those guys have been conscientious about doing the right thing and that makes camp better.”

Read it here:


–  Battle For Roster Spots: Northwest Division  (from Chuck Myron,

”  Hoops Rumors will be taking a team-by-team look at the battles for regular season roster spots going on around the NBA this month, the last before rosters shrink from the offseason limit of 20 to the 15-man regular season maximum. First, we’ll check out the five Northwest Division franchises.”

Read it here:


–  Wizards: Three Reasons They’ve Improved This Season  (from Osman Baig,

Read it here:


Raptors: GM Masai Ujiri’s  Master Plan(s)  (from Michael Holian,

Read it here:


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Jahlil Okafor still getting comfortable in the post  (from Bob Cooney,

–  Jahlil Okafor out to prove he can cash in on free throws  (form John Finger,


–  Bucks’ Jabari Parker patiently waits return to full-time duty  (from Steve Aschburner,


–  Shane Larkin finally has the chance to equal draft hype  (from Tim Bontemps,  NYPost):


–   James Anderson quietly impresses Kings with steady play  (form Jason Jones,  Sacramento Bee):


–  Former Wizard Kevin Seraphin found a ‘real opportunity’ in New York  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):


–  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Injury Opens Up Last-Ditch Chances for Jeremy Lamb and P. J. Hairston  (from Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report):


–  Schroder sought counsel of Korver to improve jump shot  (from Chris Vivlamore,


–   Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey is waiting, teaching in preseason  (from Candace Buckner,


–  Less dribbling means more production for Avery Bradley  (from A Sherrod Blakely,


–   George Karl says he likes Cauley-Stein next to Cousins  (from Blake Ellington, Sactown Royalty):


– Aaron Gordon is trying to be productive during his recovery  (from Josh Robbins,  Orlando Sentinel):


Mavs:  Sharpshooter John Jenkins, first-round pick Justin Anderson see opportunity for growth during preseason  (from Earl K. Sneed,


–  Jared Sullinger improves body, mind  (from Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald):


–  Alex Len’s 21-point game shows offseason improvement  (from Paul Coro,


–  Suns: Why Alex Len’s Breakout Season Could Come In A Bench Role  (from Gerald Bourguet,  valleyofthesuns):



Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  The Suns provided the blueprint for stopping James Harden (from Mike Prada, SBNation)

Read and view it here:



–  Hawks concerned by recent play, but still confident  (from Kris Willis,

“The last three games, the way teams have been able to get free and get shots and the percentages they’ve shot is a concern,” Budenholzer said. It’s a lot of little things. It starts probably with better individual defense. But I would probably be more concerned if we hadn’t shown an ability to do it a lot of the season. We need to draw on that. We need to know how important it is first, to be good defensively, and to remind us how we are good defensively, and get back to doing that.”

“We give them a lot of credit,” Budenholzer said. “Some of the things they did well I think we need to do some of those things, driving and finding guys and moving the ball. It is a lot of the stuff we have done all year. I think taking care of the paint. Just all of the little things. Decision making, quicker decisions, harder drives, better defense, better individual defense. You’ve got to do all of the little things against a good team. So tonight and other nights when we haven’t played well against the good teams, that is what you learn. Rarely is it just one big thing, it’s a lot of little things that add up to being a good team and having success.”

Read it here:




 Cavs have  lost only six games in 10 weeks   (from Terry Pluto,

Read it here:



–  Bucks disrespected JR Smith’s range and LeBron James made sure they paid  (from Chris Haynes,

” (W)hen the Bucks’ defense managed to cut James off, he made them pay with his court vision.

Smith is one of the better guards in the league in moving without the ball. His high basketball IQ and long distance range paired with James has been a recipe for disaster for the opposition and the Bucks were the latest victim to find that out.

“You just find him. You find him,” James said of Smith. “When I know JR has it going, which has been a lot for us, you keep giving him the ball.”

In the fourth quarter James found Smith for two of his three consecutive wide-open three-pointers. Wherever James drove, Smith rotated the opposite way to ensure a proper passing angle if James elected to dish it off. He did, and Smith knew what to do with the ball from there.

James makes the game easy for his teammates, but the Bucks made it a lot easier. Those treys Smith connected on down the stretch, no defender was within five feet of the sharpshooter.

James isn’t shocked by how well Smith has been playing. He just chalks it up to making smart basketball plays.

“I just think over the course of the years I knew what he was very good at and for me, it’s my job once a guys comes to my team, or our team, to put them in their best position to succeed,” James said. “You don’t put Tristan [Thompson] in pick-and-rolls handling the ball, you let him set it and let him roll and he cleans glass. Things of that nature.”

“With JR, you don’t have him running pick-rolls. You have me and Kyrie [Irving] running pick-and-rolls so he can be the recipient on the backside. You put guys in the right position where they succeed the most and that’s where a team comes together because everyone does their part. And that’s all part of having a role and JR fits his role tremendously and more.”

Read it here:



–  Rebuilding plans diverge for Lakers, Sixers  (from Baxter Holmes,  ESPN):

” (D)espite their proud pasts, awful presents and uncertain futures, these two major-market teams have little in common. In fact, when it comes to their plan to rebound from rebuilding status, these two teams couldn’t be more different.

The Lakers not only swing for the fences, they often have a grand-slam-or-nothing mindset. Some teams go after All-Stars, but the Lakers chase future Hall of Famers and don’t settle for much less.

The 76ers have other ideas, such as aggressively trading to stockpile draft picks — even if it means trading away valuable pieces, such as Michael Carter-Williams, the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year, whom they shipped to Milwaukee in February.

All told, since Hinkie’s first draft on June, 27, 2013, the 76ers have made 21 trades, yielding 32 different players and 15 additional picks. And this June, the team could have as many as ninedraft picks — four in the first round, five in the second.

“It is extremely aggressive, it’s extremely bold,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said before the game. “We think we have to do that to get to where we want to go.”

Read it here:




–   Sixers’ Coach Brett Brown has winning mentality  (from Bob Cooney,

” He knows a chance at the top pick in June’s draft slips with each win. Still, he won’t give in to the thinking that losing is better.

“I don’t know how to coach anymore if that becomes part of it all,” Brown said through a tightened jaw. “I really don’t. You can’t cheat the game. I get it and I understand it. I just don’t even know how to do my job, otherwise. We go about our business. I can’t walk into the locker room and do anything else for those guys. They want to play hard. They want to compete. Whatever ends up happening, ends up happening.”
Read it here:




–  Randy Wittman wants Wizards to focus more on defense  (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

” (W)e’re bitching about who’s getting shots and not instead of worrying about stops,” Wittman said. “What did we score, 50 at half? That’s plenty. It has nothing to do with offense. I don’t even know why you would bring that up. It’s all about focus from a defensive standpoint.

“I think we were selfish defensively,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “We weren’t helping each other, especially in pick and rolls. We were doing concepts we weren’t even planning on doing tonight. It just creates a lot of opportunities for them, open threes, easy layups, uncontested layups. We were just out of sync. We were out of character. We weren’t playing our style of basketball.

“We come to a timeout and we’re worried about turning the ball over there, let’s look to throw it in the post,” Wittman said. “No, let’s look to get some defensive stops.”

Read  it here:




Mavs’ Over-reliance on Monta  (from Bobby Karalla,

Read it here:

More on this (from Tim McMahon, ESPN) here:




–  Film room: Inside Anthony Davis passing improvements  (from Matt Cianfrom,

” Anthony Davis has started to show off an incredible new skill that could turn him into the type of player that renders the rest of the NBA even more helpless as he continues to grow older.

What has emerged recently from Davis is a new-found passing ability that combines both excellent tough, vision and feel for the game that not many big men in basketball today have. The results have followed as well. In his last five games Davis has posted games of six, five, seven, four and five assists. While Davis won’t ever be a player that averages 10 assists per game, the improvements have shown that the Pelicans can run their offense fully and completely through Davis and not have to worry about things bogging down.

For this trip into the film room we will look at Davis throwing four different types of passes. First working out of the high post, then from the pick-and-roll, then out of the post before a final look at a pass that didn’t turn into an assist but came from his working from the perimeter.

Read and view it here:




Grizzly Light and Leadership: Memphis is Rising to the Occasion  (from Joe Mullinax,  grizzlybearblues):

” The fastest way to right the wrongs of an organization and roster is to win, and win the Memphis Grizzlies did this past weekend. After a successful run against potential playoff competition, and after the worst of Memphis in the darkness, it took a return, a force of nature, and an act of selflessness to allow for leadership and light to shine through once again.”

Read and view it here:




– As Clippers season winds down, coach has no formula for resting players  (from Broderick Turner,  LATimes):

“What I still don’t know — and I’m not smart enough to know that — if rest in games 40-50, is that more effective than resting from games 70 to 80? We all have theories. I’m sure there actually is an answer to that. I would think later has to be better. But who the heck knows?”

“If I thought rest would help us in the playoffs, then we’re going to rest,” Rivers said. “I think that’s the better way of explaining. Because if you’re playing guys and you’re tired, you’re going to lose anyway. So give me a chance of a healthy team. I know that as a fact: A healthy team is better than an unhealthy team. I’m positive of that.”

Read it here:



–  The San Antonio Spurs and Fundamentals  (from JC Sites,  Vantage Sports):

“The core fundamentals are clean passing (i.e., no deflections), solid screening, staying in front of the offensive player, rebounding, and getting and making open shots. This is a broad group, but with Vantage Stats, we can inspect each fundamental aspect of the Spurs’ game.”

Read and view it here:




Khris Middleton Q & A (from Zach Lowe,

Read it here:





Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:


Isaiah Canaan:


Ish Smith:


Nikola Mirotic:


Ricky Ledo:


Rudy Gay:


Justin Holiday:


Zach LaVine/Kevin Martin/Chase Budinger:


Elfrid Payton: