Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 12/13/15

  – The Warriors Finally Lose – and That’s Fine  (from Paul Flannery,  sbnation):

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Recapping Last Night’s Games  (from sbnation):

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–  Celtics 98,  Hornets  93  (from Jay King,

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How Brad Stevens Brought Defense to Boston  (from Brett Koremenos,  RealGM):

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–  Isaiah Thomas, Point Guard  (from wjsy,

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–  Can Grizzlies Find Their Fading Grind?  (from Geoff Calkins,

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–  Hornets: Offensive Rebounding vs. Transition Defense   (from Austin Peters,

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 The Spurs Do So Many Things Well (from Brayden Neumayer,

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–  Film Room: Inside the Nets’ 24-8 Run Against the Clippers  (from Justin Russo,

Read and view it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

Reggie Jackson  (forom Keith Langlois,

–  Karl-Anthony Towns   (from Scott Cacciola,  NYTimes):

Trying to Figure Out What’s Wrong With Danny Green  (from John Carr,

–  Why Julius Randle Has Struggled Recently  (from Harrison Faigen,

Kosta Koufos: Helping the Team Win by Doing the “Little Things”  (from Leo Beas,

 DeMarre Carroll:  Fish Out of Water in Raptors Offense  (from Gavin Macpherson,

–  Noah Vonleh  (from Cody Sharrett,

–  Dennis Schroder  (from Eric Yeboah, BBall Breakdown):

–  Raptors’  Caboclo is in a Good Place  (from Ryan Wolstat,  Toronto Sun):

–   Jazz Center Tibor Pleiss Maximizes His D-League Stint  (from Kurt Kragthorpe,  Salt Lake Tribune):

–  Mario Hezonja  (from Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel):  Magic rookie Mario Hezonja receives playing time at point guard


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Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis – 10/13/15

–  Bradley Beal is ready to follow the path of James Harden and Klay Thompson  (from Sporting News):

” Beal is determined to eliminate long 2-pointers from his game.”

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–  Billy Donovan is changing the way the Thunder approaches defending the 3-pointer  (from

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–   Thunder Film Room: Three new ways to set up Serge Ibaka  (from  Marina Mangiaracina, welcome to loud

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–  Denver Nuggets 2015-16 Offensive Playbook Preview  (from gibsonpyper,

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–  The Lakers are taking baby steps toward embracing modern basketball  (from Harrison Faigen,

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–  The NBA’s Next Shooting Revolution Has Already Been Televised  (from Kirk Goldsberry, Grantland):

”  The basketball of the ’90s and early ’00s — the days of Jordan, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Allen Iverson, and Kobe Bryant — calls to mind a certain aesthetic. The defense was rougher, the fouls were harder, and the playmakers played hero ball. Of course, memory does funny things — that’s not exactly how things were. But the offensive game has certainly moved out of the paint and beyond the arc, and the best squads play pass-happy team basketball. And they have a very good reason to do so.”

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–  Big men anchor Kings’ improving defense  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):

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–   Kings Continue to Build Chemistry  (from Kyle Ramos,

Read “what the squad had to say following practice in Sacramento before their final two preseason games” here:


–  Former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell has a team full of promise in Minnesota Timberwolves  (from Eric Koreen,

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–  Timberwolves Interim Coach Sam Mitchell Q & A (from Ryan McNeill,

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–  Toronto Raptors: The curious case of starting Patrick Patterson  (from Quenton Albertie,  raptors

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–   Hawks’ big lineup a work in progress  (from Chris Vivlamore,

” The early reviews are mixed.

The Hawks have used training camp and exhibition games to experiment with a “big” lineup with Tiago Splitter at center, Al Horford at power forward and Paul Millsap at small forward. The oversized frontcourt debuted early in Friday’s exhibition against the Pelicans.

Most agree it’s a work in progress.

“It’s something we are going to give a look and see if we can get comfortable with,” Budenholzer said Monday. “Obviously, we have a lot of good big guys. We are trying to figure out a way to play them together.”

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–  Toronto Is Hedging Its Bets for Better Defense  (from Jordan M. Foley,  Vantage Sports):

” Toronto’s attacking screen defense is in stark contrast to teams like the Bulls and Trail Blazers, who preferred to focus containment by dropping their bigs into the paint, or the Rockets and Warriors, who switch on roughly one out of every five screens. Switching on screens may take some of the pressure off backcourt defenders, making it harder for the offense to force rotations. Packing the paint with bigs puts a ton of pressure on backcourt players to recover from screens, opening up the middle of the floor where playmakers can do major damage.

Hedging brings its own set of defensive risks, however. It requires frontcourt players to have nimble feet and an ability to cover ground quickly. It also requires a great deal of communication between teammates in order to rotate correctly. Everyone needs to be able to time his rotations to compensate for contingencies like a big man getting completely hung out to dry beyond the three-point line or a team that gets wise and releases early on the roll. Toronto may not allow many points on the screen itself, but they can get punished later in plays as the ball finds its way around the horn.”

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–   Utah Jazz put in some extra work in Sunday’s long practice  (from Jody Gennessy, Deseret News):

” “We’ve got a young team”, said Gordon Hayward.  “Other teams are going to throw stuff at you that maybe we aren’t prepared for. We’ve got to stick to our habits and take care of the ball.”

Utah is averaging 20 turnovers a game this preseason. Hayward said the Jazz offense has counters in place to help give options when opponents take things away from them — such as perimeter passes — but it’s a matter of being on the same page with teammates.

“It’s just all reads. It’s all just being mentally sharp, mentally focused and that’s everybody,” Hayward said. “If you have one person who forgets what they need to do, it messes up the whole flow of the offense. We’ve all got to be sharp. When a team tries to deny you, take things away, you’ve just got to go to your counter.”

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–  Sixers 2016 draft choices: Picks, Pick Swaps, Protections  (from Michael Levin,

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–  Reading too much into preseason: Minnesota Timberwolves-Toronto Raptors  (from Derek James,

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–  International Prospects Bender and Gentile Impress in American Tour  (from Michael Wonsover,

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– Potential Nirvana for Viewers:

When will TNT or ESPN or SOMEONE wise up and have the broadcasters for an NBA game be folks like this sharing their observations with each other while watching the game, as if they aren’t even aware they are on the air:



And for those with access to ESPN Insider:

–  How the NBA is doubling down on its love of the 3-pointer  (from Tom Haberstroh):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Jahlil Okafor Q & A (form Scoop Jackson, ESPN):


–  Richard Jefferson  Q & A (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):


–  Tyler Zeller’s calm demeanor belies his intensity  (from  Scott Souza,  Providence Journal):


–   Andrew Wiggins learning from a legend in Minnesota  (from Lori ewing,


–  Christian Wood makes case for roster spot in Sixers’ loss (from John Finger,


–   ‘A great sign’ for Mavs guard Wesley Matthews  (from Eddie Sefko,


–  Anthony Bennett embraces fresh start with Raptors  (from Josh Lewenberg,


–   Be patient with Heat rookie Justise Winslow  (from Ethan J. Skolnick,  Miami Herald):


–  Nets’ Karasev: How brutal injury made me a better player  (from Tim Bontemps,  NYPost):


–  Rashad Vaughn Hopes To Contribute in Rookie Season for Bucks (from Charles F. Gardner,


–  Phoenix Suns’ Cory Jefferson fighting for his spot  (from Zach Buchanan,


–   Chris Kaman emerges as a mentor for young Trail Blazers  (from Mike Richman,


–   Lakers already feeling Roy Hibbert’s sizable impact  (from Anthony Irwin,


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Preparation, dedication to defense make assistant coach Darren Erman pivotal for the Pelicans  (from  Scott Kushner,

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–   With a simplified approach, the Pelicans are confident their defense can be among the NBA’s best (from Brett dawson,

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–  Skiles’ arrival might alter Magic’s perceptions about officiating (from Josh Robbins,  orlandosentinel):

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Beat Writer Jerry Zgoda On The Timberwolves (from Chuck Myron,

” Nobody knows NBA teams better than beat writers, save for those who draw paychecks with an NBA owner’s signature on them. The reporters who are with the teams they cover every day gain an intimate knowledge of the players, coaches and executives they write about and develop sources who help them break news and stay on top of rumors.

We at Hoops Rumors will be chatting with beat writers from around the league and sharing their responses to give you a better perspective on how and why teams make some of their most significant moves.

Today, we gain insight on the Timberwolves from Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.”

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–  Brett Brown: Emphasis on improving quality shots for Sixers  (from John Finger,

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 Film Room: Scouting the Rockets  (from Josh Cohen,

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Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Kings center DeMarcus Cousins adjusting to life on perimeter  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):


–   Carmelo Anthony looks like a force in eye-opening preseason (from Marc Berman,  NYPost):


–   Ray McCallum has big shoes to fill  (from Jesus Gomez,


–  Utah Jazz: Favors, Gobert looking to improve offensive chemistry  (from Aaron Falk,  saltlaketribune):


–   Koufos creates options for Kings  (from James Ham,


–  Kris Humphries adjusting to new role as 3-point shooter (form Ben Standig,


–   How Justin Anderson can immediately make an impact for the Mavericks  (from Rohan Bhatt,


–  Gerald Green offers Heat a taste of his caffeinated scoring approach  (from Ira Winderman,


–   Ginobili accepts, is adjusting to changing role  (form Mike Monroe,

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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–  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

–   Horseshoes and Shot Clock “Grenades”  (from Seth Partnow,  Nylon Calculus):

” Recently, we’ve spent some time looking at the difficulties in late shot clock offense, and especially how a player like James Harden can almost single-handedly keep an offense afloat by providing a sort of “security blanket” that a team will get a reasonable shot near the end of the 24. One reason scoring in the “red zone” of the last 5 seconds of the shot is so difficult is there isn’t time to run anything. By that point, a team may well have exhausted the first, second and third options from a set, and the ball is stuck in someone’s hand. With time running out til the possession expires into a turnover.

I’m not sure where I first heard the term, but this is sometimes called a “live grenade” situation, meaning you just have to get the ball out of your hands, towards the rim, somehow. These grim-looking possessions are what is commonly derided as iso-ball or hero ball, commonly perceived to plague the ends of NBA games. Anyone reading this can probably picture this sort of play in their mind’s eye.  A player receives the ball, the clock is winding down and a “guess I have to do it myself” thought bubble almost appears above the player’s head:”

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–  2015 EuroBasket Preview  (from Joshua Riddell,  Bball Breakdown):

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–   Contenders, pretenders at 2015 EuroBasket  (from Mark Woods,  ESPN):

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Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–   The Evolution of Mike Conley  (from Jonah Jordan,


–  Suns rookie Devin Booker brings fundamentals, basketball IQ to aid NBA transition  (from Dave King,


–   Robert Covington is Set to Break Out in 2015-16  (from Shamus Clancy,


–   Bulls Profile: Bobby Portis  (from Jeremy Karll,


–  How much will Kosta Koufos help DeMarcus Cousins?  (from Blake Ellington,


–   Tiago Splitter: Helps Hawks More on Offense or Defense?  (from John Buhler,