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

–   Offensive change is both clear and here for Wizards  (from Todd Dybas,  Washington Times):

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–  Installing their new offense, Wizards heed the need for speed  (from Jorge Castillo,

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–  Replacing LaMarcus Aldridge: Trail Blazers will lean on versatile, interchangeable frontcourt to supplant All-Star  (from Joe Freeman,

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–  Mavs Transition D  (form Jonny Auping,

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–  Wesley Matthews Battles Back from Torn Achilles (frm Jonathan Abrams (Grantland):

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–   Reinventing the New Orleans Pelicans  (from Rob Mahoney,  Sports Illustrated):

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–  After struggles on defense, Pistons go back to basics  (from Aaron McMann,

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–   LeBron James and the Cavaliers broke their isolationist ways for one night, anyway  (from Joe Vardon,


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Enes Kanter, Billy Donovan and Questions of Fit  (from Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders):


–  How Kenneth Faried can become the impact player the Nuggets need  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):


–  Jonathon Simmons making an impression on Popovich  (from Jabari Young,


–   Damian Lillard and Tim Frazier: A friendship that will remain no matter who wins Trail Blazers backup job  (from Jason Quick,


–   Grizzlies’ Courtney Lee vows to be more aggressive  (from Ronald Tillery,

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–  Rudy Gobert (from Andrew Bailey, BBall breakdown):


–   Blake Griffin wants to take his defense — and the Clippers — to another level  (from J.A. Adande (ESPN):


–  Pacers’ Joe Young pesters coach, veterans to learn  (from Candace Buckner,

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–  Brett Brown wants to help Jahlil Okafor’s post presence  (form John Finger,


–  Utah Jazz: Center Jeff Withey making his case for roster spot  (from Aaron Falk, saltlaketribune):


–  A closer look at Julius Randle’s impressive preseason performance  (from Drew Garrison,


–   2015 Pistons preview: Key season for Spencer Dinwiddie  (from Steve Hinson,  detroitbadboys):


–   Solomon Hill Looks to Find Niche  (from Matt Andreason,


–   Bullock’s bid to win Pistons roster berth boosted by preseason debut – and SVG’s faith in his D  (from

–   Bullock’s defense could earn him a Pistons roster spot  (from Aaron McMann,


–  Kris Humphries is adapting to his new role with the Wizards  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):


–   Marco Belinelli’s play elevates his Kings teammates (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):


–  Jrue Holiday on minute restriction but showing encouraging early signs  (from Jim Eichenhofer,


–  Heat’s Tre Kelley Trying to Become 30-Year-Old NBA Rookie (from Jessica Camerato,  Basketball Insiders):


–  Bradley Beal  (from J. Michael,


–   Jonas Valanciunas:

– from William Lou, williamlounba:

– from Tim Chishom,

Today’s Top NBA News and Analysis

–  Golden State Warriors’ secrets to best record in NBA (from Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News):

” Bob Myers tried to picture the imaginary scene, but it was so preposterous that he started giggling as soon as he uttered the first words to describe it.

  What if, on the brink of a big decision, the Warriors general manager got into a room with co-owner Joe Lacob, shut the door, and locked out the franchise’s other basketball executives?
 On this team? With those personalities? Hilarious.
 “If I tried to operate with the door closed,” Myers said in an interview recently, through the laughter, “my door would get broken down.”
 The Warriors’ basketball operations staff–led by Myers and Lacob, but also including NBA legend Jerry West, new coach Steve Kerr and assistant general managers Travis Schlenk and Kirk Lacob–is a hot pot of buoyant opinions, meaty debates and insistent voices.
 It’s a powerful dynamic, with the core group in place since West joined in May 2011, and, as you look back, a series of key moves that have led the Warriors to the NBA’s best record into the All-Star break.
 Some teams are essentially run by one man by himself (think: the 49ers), most are driven by a smaller, tighter group (think: the Giants and A’s).
But the Warriors operate as a full-time, full-tilt, large-group war room–which is exactly how Joe Lacob wants it.”

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–  Defying Defenses With Klay Thompson  (from Nathan Walker,  Bball breakdown):

” Not a king of the stepback like James Harden, Klay seems to thrive with defenders right in his face. Or at least, they are often flying in the general direction of his face. A couple of prime examples of Klay’s beloved shot follow below: a defender makes a half-second error, then all of a sudden has to sprint to get a hand in his face, but Klay doesn’t alter his shot form and just calmly drills it.”

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–  Unpicking The Problem With The Toronto Raptors Defense (from Matthew Way, BBall Breakdown):

Toronto’s defensive struggles come from their combination of having a reactionary defensive scheme, and not having the personnel to execute that scheme properly. Many teams around the league are “icing” pick-and-rolls more and more, trying to deny the ball screen from happening altogether…

and rotate defensively as the play dictates. This isn’t a unique defensive approach, but it is one that can be difficult to execute properly without the correct personnel. One defender who does not rotate quickly to or close hard enough on a shooter will lead to an open shot or easy penetration against offenses who move the ball well. Because defenses have to react to as many as 15 things in a fairly standard play,  this style of defense becomes very difficult to execute properly…

When the defense does rotate well, it can be an extremely effective approach. The Miami Heat ran it very effectively with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, two wings who were good at anticipating passes and who could cover a lot of ground, and forced a lot of turnovers when opposition ball movement wasn’t perfect. But the Raptors don’t have the wing personnel to be nearly as effective as the Heat were with LeBron.”

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–  The Best Basketball Advice I Ever Got (from Jason Kidd,

” The most important lesson I ever learned in basketball?

Slow down.

My first two years in the NBA, coaches and veteran players said it to me over and over.

Slowwww dowwwn.

Young guys in the league don’t know how to “slow down.” I know, because I was one of those hot shot young players and I didn’t have any idea. Go slower? I wasn’t hearing it.

Was it like when you’re driving through a 35 MPH zone and you see a state trooper and you slow down to 30? Slowing down was the opposite of how I approached the game. I didn’t see the point.

Coming into the league, I knew I had two strengths: I could post guys up. And I was fast. Why would I want to take away one of my advantages? When I left college, I was nervous about competing in a bigger, faster league. On the Mavericks, my first two years in the league, I thought I had to rely on my speed to survive.

Looking back, my mistake was that I only had one gear. The fastest gear.”

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Kobe Bryant Q & A (from Chuck Closterman,

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Additional Player Notes,Updates and Profiles:


Kevin Seraphin:


Timofey Mozgov:


Jeremy Lin:


Adreian Payne:


–  Dario Saric:


Josh Smith:


Gerald Wallace;


Kris Humphries:


Tyreke Evans:


Otto Porter:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analyisis

– Golden Warriors (from Ken Berger, CBS Sports):


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Tom Thibodeau Q & A (from Sam Amick,  USAToday):

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–  The Trey Burke Bench Effect (from Clint Peterson,

” When Dante Exum was inserted into the staring lineup four games ago I worried there might be an adverse effect on Derrick Favors’ game due the move. Through four games, the numbers show rather drastic ramifications via the Trey Burke bench effect.”

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Can Miles Plumlee still fit in Phoenix  (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):

” After a frustrating rookie season for Miles Plumlee, in which he appeared in only 15 games for the Indiana Pacers after being drafted with the 26th pick, he managed to find some reclamation after being jettisoned to the Phoenix Suns. Traded along with Gerald Green and a future first round pick in exchange for Luis Scola, Plumlee enjoyed a successful sophomore campaign that saw him start 80 games while averaging 11.8 points and 11.5 rebounds per 36 minutes, shooting 51.7% from the floor in just over 24 minutes per game.

This season, however, Plumlee has seen a decrease in both minutes played and production this season. With rumors swirling that he is available for a first round pick, why has he fallen out of favor so quickly in Phoenix?”

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Blazers’ Assistant Coach Nate Tibbetts (from Erik Gundersen,

”  The journey of Nate Tibbetts to the coaching ranks of the NBA sounds like a classic basketball story told time and again.

Being a coach was his destiny. The son of a high school coach in South Dakota, Tibbetts grew to play point guard at University of South Dakota.

“My Dad was the guy that I looked to all the time growing up,” Tibbetts said. “And I knew I wasn’t going to play overseas at the professional level so I got into coaching fairly quickly.”

And on the bench with the Trail Blazers, Tibbetts still gets a sweat on.

Recently, he played LaMarcus Aldridge in one-on-one as Aldridge tested the brace on his left thumb that has a torn radial collateral ligament.

But the journey from South Dakota to the NBA is not a common road. When Tibbetts started coaching back in 2001, the NBA D-League did not yet exist. He began his career at a liberal arts college, University of Sioux Falls, which was then an NAIA school.

But in 2005, Tibbetts matriculated to the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce where he eventually became the head coach before the 2007-08 season. It was there in Sioux Falls that Tibbetts met Terry Stotts who was then the D-League’s coaching consultant.”

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–  D-League Will See Influx of Talent as China’s CBA Wraps Up (from Chris Reichert,

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And for those with access to ESPN Insider:


–  NBA’s late-developing PG trend (from Kevin Pelton):

”  Conley, Lowry latest examples of teams needing to be patient with their PGs”

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Additional Player Updates:


Vander Blue:


Michael Carter- Williams:


Garrett Temple:


Joe Ingles:


Kris Humphries:


Jordan McRae:


Terrence Williams:


Oscar Who? (how does this possibly happen):


(BI Note:  Even worse was Reggie Miller disrespect for Oscar on TNT recently)

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Video of Klay’s 37 point quarter shot-by-shot: (from

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(BI Note:  27 of his points came in the final 5:32 of the quarter)


–  Klay Thompson’s absurd third quarter shots, graded (from Mike Prada. SBNation):

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– Breakdown of the Kings’ breakdown vs. Klay Thompson (from Rui Thomas,

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–  Pistons’ Monroe actually good defender, says Van Gundy (from Vincent Goodwill, Detroit News):

”  The general consensus surrounding Pistons forward Greg Monroe is that his defensive struggles prevent him from being an elite big man in today’s game, as his perceived lack of athleticism turns him into a liability.

But don’t tell that to coach Stan Van Gundy.

“I think Greg’s actually pretty good defensively,” Van Gundy said. “I’ve thought that all year.

“He’s a very good low post defender, in my opinion. And he’s a smart defender. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.”

In a way, Van Gundy believes Monroe’s lack of athleticism makes him a more sound player because he knows he doesn’t have the natural ability to cover up for mistakes and play above the rim. Of course, Andre Drummond is the athlete who can erase everybody’s mistakes when he’s on, but Monroe is usually in the right place at the right time.”

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–  Korver a perfect match for Hawks’ system (from Chris Vivlamore,

” The sharp-shooting guard is having a career year – at 33 years old and in his 12th NBA season – as a starter in a Hawks system predicated on pace, space and ball movement. They are a perfect match – player and system.”

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–  Can the Blazers Survive LaMarcus Aldridge’s Absence? (from Zach Lowe,

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–  Explaining the Phoenix Suns rule on being benched for getting T’d up (from Dave King,

” For the third time this season, coach Jeff Hornacek benched a Phoenix Suns player for the rest of the game for getting a technical foul for arguing with the referee over a call (or missed call). This time, it was mild-mannered fan favorite Goran Dragic who got himself benched for bumping a referee while yelling at him after a no-call on a fast break.

Goran Dragic sat out the rest of the game.

The Suns are 1-2 in those games, each of them coming down to the final possession in regulation.

Why would a coach make bad matters even worse by benching one of his best players for sticking up for himself to the referee? It’s bad enough that you lose a point on the technical foul, but to lose the game as a result is madness.


Wrong, actually.

Prior to this new rule being in place, the Phoenix Suns led the league with 32 technical fouls called against them in just 41 games.

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Kyle Lowry Q & A (from Scoop Jackson, ESPN):

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Flip Saunders Q & A (from Britt Robson,

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–  A week in the life of Toronto Raptors’ Chuck Hayes (from Eric Koreen, National Post):

” Since joining the league, Hayes has earned a reputation for his post defence, despite his comparatively short stature, standing at 6-foot-6. His low centre of gravity and quick feet allow him to hold his position. He has been frustrating bigger opponents for years.”

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Cavaliers anonymously concede roster composition was an issue (from Chris Haynes,

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–  Cavs Report: Roster, Not Coach, Was the Problem  (from Jared Mueller, kingjames

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–  What Timo Mozgov means to Cleveland Cavaliers and David Blatt (from Terry Pluto,

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 The Rudy Gobert Report   (from Darryn Albert,

” New Jazz head coach Quin Snyder is finding better ways to utilize Gobert than his predecessor (and now NorCal punchline) Tyrone Corbin ever did and credit Gobert’s accelerated development as well.  The other Rudy G has nearly doubled his averages across the board this season relative to his rookie year, with averages of 6.6 points per game, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks on 62.5% shooting from the field.  And the most spine-chilling part about those numbers is that he’s doing that in less than 22 minutes per game on average.  Look at Gobert’s line per-36 minutes and those numbers jump to 11.1 points per game, 11.9 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks.  And in 7 starts so far this season, the block totals rise even further, ballooning to 4.3 blocks per game (4.8 when starting at the center position).”

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And for those with access to ESPN Insider:

Brandon  Jennings maturing for Pistons (from Amin Elhassan):

” The dynamic PG is shedding his ball-hog mentality to help Detroit’s makeover”

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Additional Player Updates:


Langston Galloway/Lance Thomas:

Lamar Patterson:

Dante Cunnigham:

Jae Crowder:

Kawhi Leonard:

Nic Batum:

Kris Humphries:

Lou Amundson: