Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 4/16/16


 36 Things To Watch For In The First Round  (from Mike Prada, SBNation):

Read and view it here:

–  Warriors:  Breathtaking Outbursts Are Game-Changers  (from  Phil Barber,

Read and view it here:

–  How To Beat The Warriors? It Starts With Discipline  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):

Read it here:

–  Can Beverley Slow Down Steph?  (from Jeff Faraudo,  East Bay Times):

Read it here:

–  Warriors/Rockets Preview   (from Andrew Flohr/Darren Yuvan, goldenstateofmind/thedreamshake):

Read it here:

–  First Round Success Means Something Different To Each Team  (from ESPN):

Read it here:

–   Hawks vs Celtics: Three Questions  (from Kurt Helin,  NBC Sports):

Read it here:

Boston’s Defense Against Hawks’ Pick-and-Roll  (from wjsy,

Read and view it here:

–  Playoff Preview: Mavericks vs. Thunder  (from

Read it here:

 Spurs Playbook: The Spurs Use The “4 Out, 1 In” Attack (from Eli Horowitz,

Read and view it here:

Scouting The Grizzlies  (from Paul Garcia,

Read it here:

–  Pistons:  Adjustments Key To Containing Irving  (from David Mayo,

Read it here:

Video Breakdown: The Bulls Season (from Coach Nick, BBall Breakdown):

Watch it here:

–  Long Island Nets Hit Home Run With Nored Hire (from Keith Schlosser, Ridiculous Upside):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

James Harden  (from Michael Rosenfeld, Vantage Sports):

–  Steph Curry  (from Ray Allen interview by Abe Schwadron,

SLAM: Where do you rank Stephen Curry in terms of the greatest shooters in the history of the League? 

RA: Based on what he’s done, I think he has to be—he’s on his way to being the best ever. It’s always arguable, based on who’s telling the story. One thing I always tell people is, it’s hard to compare generations. Everybody has something or somebody that makes him feel special about the game, or the way they saw and the way they appreciate the game. I’ve sat back and watched a lot, and listened to a lot of people talk. He’s creating a lane all of his own. People comparing him to me, to Reggie [Miller]. But I think Steph is in a category of his own. Just being able to have great handles the way he has with the ball, to be able to score at will by getting to the basket. Myself, Reggie Miller, Kyle Korver, Klay Thompson—we play a different game. We’re shooters. We come off screens, pindowns—Steph can do that, but he’s creating a different lane. Point guards haven’t been able to do what he’s been able to do, because he’s mixing that 2 guard-ish in there with having the great handles of a point guard.


Jonas Valanciunas/Terrence Ross  (from Doug Smith,

–  Kyle Lowry  (from Michael Grange,

Kristaps Porzingis  (from George Willis,  NY Post):

Lance Thomas  (from Marc Berman,  NY Post):


Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 1/30/16

–  The Pelicans Are Back From The Dead  (from Tim Cato,  SBNation):

Read it here:

–  Luis Scola Keeps Raptors’ Win Streak In Perspective  (from Mike Ganter,  Toronto Sun):

Read it here:

–  The Wizards’ Defensive Shortcomings  (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

Read it here:

–  Previewing Kawhi vs LeBron Matchup  (from Zach Buckley,  Bleacher Report):

Read and view it here:

–  Celtics On A Rampage:  Trend Analysis  (from DRJ,

Read it here:

–  Blazers Talk Defense After Win  (from David MacKay,

Read it here:

–  Cavaliers:  Five Observations  (from Chris Fedor,

Read it here:

–  Video Breakdown:  Klay Thompson’s Upside Down Elevator For Draymond Green’s Three (from EricApricot, Golden State of Mind):

Read and view it here:

–  Ten Things You Need To Know About The Grizzlies  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

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–  Why Are The Grizzlies Suddenly Scoring So Many Points?  (from Peter Edmiston, Commercial Appeal):

Read it here:–367005981.html

–  Michael Malone Flourishing After Kings Disappointment  (from Michael Lee,  Yahoo Sports):

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–  How Anthony Morrow Turned His Jumper Into NBA’s Fastest Weapon  (from Scott Rafferty, Sporting News):

Read and view it here:

–  Fixing The Bucks’ Defense  (from Daniel Larsen,

Read it here:

–  Devin Booker Might Already Be One Of The NBA’s Best Shooters  (from Mika Honkasalo,  Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:

–  Searching For Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s Partner On The Wing  (from Reinis Lacis,

Read and view it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Kristaps Porzingis  (from Adrian Wojnarowski,  Yahoo Sports): The unlikely story of how Kristaps Porzingis found his way to the Knicks


–  Zaza Pachulia  (from Tim McMahon,  ESPN):

–  Draymond Green  (from Sekou Smith,

Julius Randle  (from Harrison Faigen, Silver Screen And Roll):

–  Lance Thomas  (from James Herbert,  CBS Sports):

–  Terrence Ross (from Chris O’Leary,

–  Trevor Ariza  (from Calvin Watkins,  ESPN):

–  Derrick Rose/ Jimmy Butler (from Sam Smith,

–  DeMarcus Cousins  (from Neil Paine,

LaMarcus Aldridge  (from Mike Monroe,  Bleacher Report):

–  Shabazz Napier  (from Gary Washburn,  Boston Globe):

J.J. Redick  (from Michael Rosenfeld,  Vantage Sports):

Boban Marjanovic  (from Fran Blinebury,

–  Donatas Motiejunas  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):

–  Tyrus Thomas  (from KC Johnson,  Chicago Tribune):

–  Mario Hezonja  (from Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel):

–  Bryce Dejean-Jones  (from John Reid,


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Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 1/27/15

–  Thunder:  Ball Movement And The Importance Of Context  (from Positive Residual,  Nylon Calculus):

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–  Billy Donovan:  Connecting With Thunder Players  (from Scott Cacciola,  NY Times):

Read it here:

–  Rookie/Vet:  Tyson Chandler/ Devin Booker  (from The Players’ Tribune):

Watch it here:

–  Brad Stevens:  The Wizard Of Boston  (from Jeff Siegel,

Read and view it here:

Timberwolves Coach Mitchell Tries To Reach His Young Roster  (from Associated Press):

Read it here:

–  Recapping Tuesday’s Games (from SBNation):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Carmelo Anthony  (from Troy Tauscher, BBall Breakdown):

–  Justise Winslow  (from Zach Buckley,  Bleacher Report):

–  Ian Mahinmi  (from Nate Taylor,

–  Emmanuel Mudiay  (from Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post):

–  Lance Thomas  (from Jared Dubin,  Bleacher Report):

–  Nik Stauskas  (from  John Finger,

–  Willie Cauley-Stein  (from Ailene Voisin, Sacramento Bee):

–  Jrue Holiday  (from Brett Dawson,  The Advocate):

–  D’Angelo Russell  (from Baxter Holmes, ESPN):

–  Meyers Leonard  (from Jason Quick,

Archie Goodwin  (from Paul Coro,

–  Erick Green  (from Randy Hollis,  Deseret News):

–  Ronald Roberts, Jr  (from Keith Schlosser,  Ridiculous Upside):

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Bulls expect Derrick Rose back this season after successful surgery  (from KC Johnson, Chicago Tribbune);

Read it here:



James Borrego’s past paying off as he learns the ropes as Magic coach  (from Zach Oliver,

” Borrego’s time studying under coach Gregg Popovich in San Antonio is serving him well with the Magic.”

Read it here:




Is There a Future for Both Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings with the Pistons? (from Dan Favale, Bleacher report):

Read it here:




Five observations from the Thunder’s 117-113 overtime loss in Phoenix (from Anthony Slater,

Read and view it here:

And more on the game from Darnell Mayberry (



The Rockets’ Cohesive Game Plan (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

” Houston is finding an equilibrium in the way it manages the margins between both sides of the ball. While looking to score, Houston maintains remarkable floor balance considering just how often Harden ends up at the hoop or on the floor. Beverley, Trevor Ariza, and Corey Brewer are stellar sprint-back defenders with a great sense of when to retreat and when to linger. As a result, Houston sits in the top 10 in points allowed per transition possession, per Synergy Sports. The Rockets’ style naturally allows opponents to get out on the break, but that doesn’t mean those opportunities need go undefended.”

Read it here:



– – Eric Bledsoe (from Gerald Bourguet,

Read it here:     (Note: this is 5 pages, be sure to click “next” at bottom of each of 1st 4)



Luol Deng’s path of righteousness (from Michael Wallace,  ESPN):

” In a life full of difficult challenges, Heat forward manages to keep a positive outlook”

Read it here:



Jamal Crawford Believes Clippers Can Win it All (from Alex Kennedy, basketball Insiders):

“The Los Angeles Clippers have the eighth-best record in the NBA at 37-21 and currently hold the sixth seed in the incredibly competitive Western Conference. They have the league’s first-ranked offense, scoring 110.2 points per 100 possessions, and are ranked second in true shooting percentage (56.6 percent) as well as effective field goal percentage (53.1 percent).

This is a team that has one the of best players in the league in Blake Griffin, one of the best head coaches in the league in Doc Rivers, one of the best point guards in the league in Chris Paul, one of the best defensive big men in the league in DeAndre Jordan and one of the best sixth men in the league in Jamal Crawford.

Yet, the Clippers are often referred to as a pretender rather than a contender. Critics say they have no shot at hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy as currently constructed. “They haven’t made enough moves to improve their roster.” “They aren’t good enough on the defensive end.”

“I think we’ve been in overlooked in some ways, but that’s okay with us,” Jamal Crawford told Basketball Insiders in a phone interview.”

Read it here:



Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag (from

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




–  NBA to release ‘last 2 minutes’ reports on crunch-time calls  (from Associated Press):

“Our policy in the past was pretty much to wait until we had something that was controversial enough to really garner a lot of interest and we didn’t think that that was a practical approach,” NBA executive vice president of referee operations Mike Bantom said. “And it also wasn’t very fair because they always tended to be errors that were made, so we tried to come up with a system that would allow us to provide some insight into our process and set a criteria that would allow us to be more standardized and more consistent.”

Bantom said the referees had input into the plans and welcomed the change from the league’s former policy of announcing only when calls were incorrect.

“Our prior practice of commenting only about mistakes that they made was a bone for them, something we didn’t feel that was fair to them and also something that they weren’t happy about as well,” Bantom said. “So I think this is a solution that puts them in a much better light, doesn’t hide the fact that they are human and will make mistakes, but also points out the fact that the overwhelming majority of the calls that they get correct.””

Read it here:



With sadness, BI notes the passing of Earl Lloyd, a true giant, who was the first African-American to play in an NBA game:


Earl Lloyd: NBA’s first black player (from Ken Shouler, ESPN):

Read it here:





Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



Eric Bledsoe:     (Note: this is 5 pages, be sure to click “next” at bottom of each of 1st 4)


Reggie Jackson   and


Ray McCallum:


Julius Randle


Jae Crowder:


Alonzo Gee


Norris Cole:


DeMar DeRozan/Kyle Lowry:


Quincy Miller:


Bismack Biyombo


Shawne Williams


Jose Calderon


Lance Thomas


Steph Curry


Darren Collison:


Paul George


QOTN:  “ ‘Are you happy with the minutes you’re playing?’ a reporter asked Cleveland Cavalier Tristan Thompson after Thompson’s 12 points and eight boards in 21 minutes off the bench were instrumental in helping the Cavs secure a huge nationally televised win.

‘Are you happy with our results?’ Thompson swiftly responded with a mystified expression on his face.”

(from Chris Haynes,

Today’s Top NBA Stories

– Quin Snyder leaves lasting impression on ex-Jazz players in Atlanta (from Jody Genessy,

” While player development of young players is a well-known forte of Snyder’s — and is one reason why the Jazz are so happy to have him on board with their youth movement — his ability to help Korver improve as a thirtysomething was a good example of how he can also teach old dogs new tricks.

“A lot of his stuff is just brand new and it’s fresh and it’s exciting,” said Korver, who’s eager to see what changes he makes to the Jazz offense. “And it’s fun to play. It makes you want to work harder.”

Read it here:

– Andre Drummond Under Construction in Detroit (from Zach Lowe,

Read and view it here:

– Coach Steve Kerr’s Style Is Molded by Many Mentors (from Andrew Keh, NYTimes):

Read it here:

– How good are the Toronto Raptors? (from Mike Prada, SBNation):

” The East’s feel-good story of last year is off to an even better start this season. But can Toronto really challenge for an Eastern Conference crown?”

Read and view it here:

Clippers’ perimeter defense an issue that is not going away (from Kurt Helin, NBC Sports):

” It’s been a hot topic around Southern California and the league: What is going on with the 4-3 Clippers? They haven’t looked like contenders, and they haven’t looked like the dangerous team they were at the end of the playoffs last year.

Critics can talk about execution down the stretch, and the Clippers certainly lacked that in their loss to the Spurs Monday. They can talk about the team playing flat and without energy, and that is certainly true for long stretches. They can talk about poor offensive execution, and the Clippers are down 5.4 points per 100 possessions on offense from their league high last season. They can talk about Blake Griffin taking too many jumpers, although on Monday he made a point of getting back inside. All of that is true.

But none of that is the Clippers’ biggest problem.

The most concerning issue is their perimeter defense — and there’s no easy fix for this leak.”

Read it here:

– Discussing Andrew Wiggins’ development with David Thorpe (from Zach Harper,

” I’ve known David for a few years, and he’s worked with dozens of NBA and international players, including Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer. He and I sat down to discuss Andrew Wiggins’ potential and the process of developing such an exciting prospect. His answers were incredible and he offered up great insight. I decided to post the full Q&A here, since I could only use so much of what he said in my piece on CBSSports.  ”

Read it here:

and more on Wiggins here: – Andrew Wiggins:

– Everyone stays ready on deep Bucks bench (from Andrew Gruman, Fox Sports Wisconsin):

The reserves of the Milwaukee Bucks have adopted a saying that’s become more of a mindset early on this season.

“As long as you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready.”

Through eight games, the Bucks lead the NBA in bench scoring at 46.4 points per game and have relied on their reserves for more minutes per game than any other team in the league.

Milwaukee’s bench has a mix of young talent and veterans who have started previously in the NBA. But more importantly, they are all buying in to the way first-year Bucks coach Jason Kidd utilizes his second unit.”

Read it here:

– Breaking Down the Celtics Pick and Roll Defensive Struggles (from

Read and view it here:

– Tom Thibodeau, Creator of Elite Point Guards (from honkasalom,

” The Bulls have never had players to replace what Rose does: someone who can beat you off the dribble, penetrate, and kick it to an open shooter. The kind of player you really need if you want to create good looks possession after possession. There’s a limit on what you can do and the efficiency you can manufacture with Joakim Noah in the high post, no matter how cool it is.

The Bulls have had to rely on some less than stellar talent to hold down the fort in Rose’s absence. Players such as Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich, John Lucas, D.J. Augustin and C.J. Watson have had to carry a big offensive load.

Now some of those names are bigger than others, but what they have in common is that they all had some type of career resurgence, bounce-back year, or otherwise outperformed expectations while they were with the Bulls. Some to a miraculous degree.”

Read and view it here:

– Bucks Floppy Play for Khris Middleton (from Andrew Ford,

” The Milwaukee Bucks offense has struggled in the early going this season (29th in offensive rating), but one play that head coach Jason Kidd has implemented with great success in his first season is floppy for Khris Middleton. On opening night against the Charlotte Hornets, floppy was called for Middleton six times, leading to a bucket each time. Since that night, the Bucks have run floppy for Middleton much less frequently, but it remains a solid option for a sputtering offense.”

Read and view it here:

– Toronto Raptors and Their Odd Starting Unit (from Ben Dowsett, BBall Breakdown):

read and view it here:

– Too Early for Many NBA Players to be Traded (from Eric Pincus, Basketball Insiders):

” Players who were signed over the summer cannot be dealt until December 15, unless they received at least a 20 percent raise (and their team was over the cap upon signing), which creates a trade restriction until January 15.  Additionally, players signed after September 15 cannot be dealt until 90 days from their contract date — and those claimed off waivers must wait until 30 days into the season to be traded.

Recently traded players cannot be re-dealt in a package (via aggregation of salary) with other players on their new roster for 60 days, if their team is over the cap.

Some players have no-trade clauses in their contracts, either explicitly or implicitly.  Veterans like Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Brooklyn Nets forward/center Kevin Garnett have the former.  Players re-signed by their teams on one-year deals (even if there’s a second on a team or player option) can also block trades, like Miami HEAT guard Dwyane Wade and Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe.

Veterans whose contracts were recently extended cannot be traded for six months, like Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao.  Those claimed off amnesty waivers, specifically Los Angeles Lakers forward Carlos Boozer, cannot be traded until July 2015.”

Check out the list of players with trade restrictions here:

More player updates:

– Reggie Jackson:

T.J. Warren:

– Marc Gasol:

– Jusuf Nurkic:

– Lance Thomas: