– How Derek Fisher lost marquee Knicks and found himself (from Marc Berman, NYPost):
” This is no snow job. Phil Jackson’s fire sale three weeks ago was the best thing to happen to the development of Knicks rookie coach Derek Fisher.
With no pressure to make the playoffs, Fisher seems more confident, more content to coach a roster of players who bring more professionalism, smarts and hustle to their jobs than before. More like Fisher — and for that matter, Jackson — was as a player.”
Read it here: http://nypost.com/2015/01/26/how-derek-fisher-lost-marquee-knicks-and-found-himself/
– Budenholzer leans on Spurs’ lessons —on losing (from Buck harvey, expressnews.com):
” If the Hawks beat Brooklyn on Wednesday, they will have won their 17th consecutive game, tying them for the seventh-longest string in league history — the same as the 1996 Spurs.
The Spurs, coached by Bob Hill then, came apart against the Utah Jazz in the postseason. Gregg Popovich railed afterward about priorities, almost firing Hill that summer.
From then on, Popovich pledged, the Spurs would gear everything toward the playoffs. Budenholzer saw it all firsthand.
“Pop finds ways, above and beyond just getting better,” Budenholzer said. “He tests his players with adjustments and combinations, challenging their ability to come out of timeouts to do different things. He doesn’t sacrifice games. But he is more concerned with being totally ready, and other things take a back seat.”
Sometimes, such as in the spring of 2012, it’s been comical. The Spurs won the final 10 games of the regular season then and continued to streak into the postseason.
Popovich became uneasy. He wanted a loss to return everyone to reality. This continued all the way to the second round of the playoffs, against the Clippers, when Popovich was actually rooting against a sweep.
“The staff wasn’t so much with him on that one,” said Budenholzer, laughing.”
Read it here: http://www.expressnews.com/sports/columnists/buck_harvey/article/Bud-leanson-Spurs-lessons-on-losing-6041700.php
– Film Breakdown: Watch Mike Conley zip around screens for the Loop Play (from Andrew Ford, grizzlybearblues.com):
” Head coach Dave Joerger’s playbook is rapidly expanding. Against the Orlando Magic, he took a play out of the Spurs and Hawks playbook, running a loop set for Mike Conley that worked to perfection.”
Read and view it here: http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2015/1/27/7919615/memphis-grizzlies-mike-conley-film-breakdown-loop-play
– Interview with Delaware 87ers’ Head Coach Kevin Young (from Roy Burton, libertyballers.com):
Read it here: http://www.libertyballers.com/2015/1/27/7920823/sons-of-liberty-interview-delaware-87ers-kevin-young-sevens-sixers-76ers-nba-dleague
– Zach Lowe’s NBA All-Star Team (from Grantland.com):
” It’s that time again — time to overthink 24 roster spots for a concert featuring a “basketball game” at intermission.
A brief reminder of the ground rules:
• I proceed as if the fan vote never happened. It’s more fun to build the full roster and convenient to ignore the One Big Star who wins an undeserved starting spot.
• I consider only this season. You get no legacy points here.
• I follow the same roster-formatting rules as the fans in picking the starters and the coaches in picking reserves.
• I use all available tools: stats of all types (including some nonpublic numbers), copious game and film watching, and conversations with league insiders. Even so, deciding the last two or three spots in each conference remains the equivalent of choosing among a few delicious slices of pizza.”
Read it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nba-all-star-team-eastern-western-conference/
(BI Note: Normally, we ignore stories of this type since they are like….you know, everyone’s got one and they are typically not worth the electrons used to post them. However, no surprise, Zach’s is worth reading. Ditto for Sam Smith’s take on deserving reserves at bulls.com: http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/making-case-deserving-stars.)
– Some NBA Coaches May Have To Go, Who’s Got Next? (from Steve Kyler. Basketball Insiders):
” There is a saying in the NBA that coaches are hired to be fired.
The reality is that it’s always easier to change a coach and a coaching staff than it is to completely re-tool a roster, even if the roster is what’s likely wrong. Coaches know that when they sign their contracts; their agents spend a lot of time understanding what the exit language on a contract looks like. It’s the unspoken promise when you sign your contract: You will be fired at some point. Most coaches get four years to figure things out if they are lucky. The average as of late has been a lot closer to two years.
Since 2012 the NBA has seen 21 coaches take over a NBA team. The longest tenured coach in the NBA is San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, who was hired in 1996. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Dallas’ Rick Carlisle and Oklahoma City’s Scott Brook round out the next longest tenure tier, with all three hired in 2008.
This past summer saw one of the largest influxes of new coaching faces, with ten teams changing coaches this past year, and that number could still grow as some teams continue to struggle to find their way. That begs the question of who are the coaches sitting on the sidelines both physically and metaphorically waiting for a shot to lead a team? After talking with a few league executives about the subject, here are some of the names that were mentioned:”
Check out Steve’s list here: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-am-some-nba-coaches-may-have-to-go-whos-got-next/
– Rudy Gobert is Ahead of Schedule (from Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders):
” Entering the season, he was ready to take on a bigger role with the Jazz and had made a number of improvements.
He bulked up over the summer, adding over 10 pounds to his 7’2 frame. He worked hard to improve his post moves and passing, since he would often be facilitating from the elbows in new head coach Quin Snyder’s system. His increased confidence led to him playing with more intensity, which is what the Jazz wanted to see from their big man prospect. Growing up, Gobert loved to box (imagine how terrifying it’d be to face him in the ring with that reach) and that aggressiveness is now on display during games. He also improved his decision-making and looked much more comfortable on the floor as a result.
This season, his growth has been stunning since he has gotten so much better in such a short period of time. On the season, he’s averaging 6.7 points on 67 percent shooting from the field, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in just 21.5 minutes. His free throw percentage has also improved from 49.2 percent to 67.3 percent (which is more in line with his past free throw shooting since he shot nearly 70 percent from the charity stripe in France, suggesting his rookie struggles from the line were likely a byproduct of inconsistent opportunities).
Recently, Enes Kanter was sidelined with an ankle injury and Gobert was moved into the starting lineup. He took full advantage of this opportunity, as he averaged 9.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 34 minutes of action. He was dominant on the defensive end, swatting shots left and right and altering even more attempts at the rim.”
Read it here: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-pm-rudy-gobert-is-ahead-of-schedule/
– Meyers Leonard and Thomas Robinson (from Willy Raedy, blazersedge.com):
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” – Sun Tzu in The Art of War. The chaotic injuries of the past week have given new opportunities to the Blazers’ young bigs. How have they improved and who has the brighter future?”
Read and view it here: http://www.blazersedge.com/2015/1/26/7898115/portland-trail-blazers-nba-meyers-leonard-thomas-robinson-fight-future-frontcourt-synergy-sports
– How the Mavericks can adjust Chandler Parsons’ role for the better (from Austin Ngaruiya, mavsmoneyball.com):
” Chandler Parsons’ production has fluctuated all season. Is he being used the right way?”
Read it here: http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2015/1/26/7903903/chandler-parsons-mavericks-analysis-role-synergy-sports
– Andrew Wiggins Gives Minnesota a New Hope (from Kirk Goldsberry, Grantland.com):
” Any breakdown of Wiggins in January 2015 is bound to touch on four main themes: one about what he can do right now, one about what he can’t do, one about what he will likely do in the future, and one about Kevin Love.”
Read and view it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/andrew-wiggins-kevin-love-timberwolves-rookies/
– Houston’s Second Unit (from Jordan Foley, Vantage Sports):
” I chose several Rockets bench players to analyze based on total minutes played since the acquisition of Josh Smith. After the starting five, the next four players in minutes are Corey Brewer, Josh Smith, Jason Terry, and Kostas Papanikolaou. Terrence Jones is not included in any graphic stats because of his small sample size so far this season, but Motiejunas is included due to the likelihood that “Donuts” joins the second unit once Jones returns.
We’ll look at this bunch from both the offensive and the defensive sides of the ball this season.”
Read and view it here: http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VMSiYSUAAIYNkaFp/headband-of-brothers-houstons-second-unit
– Replacing Kobe: His Defense Was the Problem (from Munir Mohamed, Vantage Sports):
” Kobe Bryant’s 2015 season has been an interesting roller-coaster ride. Coming off two major injuries and a full season’s worth of missed games, Kobe was expected to decline but not to the extent that he has. Now, with Kobe’s season officially over, the Lakers will have to turn to other options at shooting guard.
Kobe has been bashed quite a bit for his offense this season and deservedly so. Kobe has a high Usage% with historically low shooting efficiency rates. But that is not where Kobe is causing the most damage to the Lakers. His defense has contributed a lot to the Lakers’ dismal season. The spotlight has been on Kobe’s shot totals, but it should be focused on his defense.”
Read it here: http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VME4iiUAAJQpis07/replacing-kobe-his-defense-not-offense-was-the-problem
– Kevin Seraphin’s Hook Shot (from Irfan K, hoopdistrict.net):
” …(N)ot only does Seraphin shoot the hook shot at a MUCH higher percentage than all of the best bigs in the league, but he smartly resorts to it as his shot of choice far more regularly.”
Read and view it here: http://hoopdistrict.net/le-crochet-de-ciel-kevin-seraphins-hook-shot-unstoppable-move-nba-today/
– Nets’ Hollins: Aversion to stats ‘dumbest thing I’ve ever heard’ (from Tim Bontemps, NYPost):
” When Lionel Hollins wasn’t brought back to coach the Grizzlies last season — after leading them to a franchise-record 56 wins and a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2013 before his contract expired — it was rumored a main reason was because of a disconnect between an old-school coach and a new-school front office that believed in the power of advanced statistics.
But when that question was posed to Hollins recently, he made it clear he didn’t share that view.
“I’m going to take a breath,” Hollins said after a long pause, “and say it’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard because every coach uses stats.
“Now, do I understand some of the stats that are out there that are new? No. But I can learn them.””
Read it here: http://nypost.com/2015/01/26/nets-hollins-aversion-to-stats-dumbest-thing-ive-ever-heard/
Additional Player Updates:
– JaMychal Green: http://www.poundingtherock.com/2015/1/26/7894373/jamychal-green-common-danny-green
– O.J. Mayo: http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/jason-kidd-squeezing-the-best-out-of-juice-b99432722z1-289866381.html
– Nerlens Noel/Anthony Davis: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20150127_Unlike_Noel__Pelicans__Davis_was_brought_along_slowly.html
– Dwight Powell: http://nesn.com/2015/01/dwight-powell-proving-to-be-more-than-rajon-rondo-throw-in-for-mavericks/
– Tayshaun Prince: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4717386/the-artist-currently-known-as-prince
– Justin Holiday/Robert Covington/Hassan Whiteside: http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2015/01/27/breakout-player-year-midseason-2015/
– Jusuf Nurkic: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2335345-everything-you-need-to-know-about-dark-horse-roy-contender-jusuf-nurkic
– Shane Gibson: http://roadtotheassociation.com/2015/01/27/shane-gibson-not-taking-time-d-league-granted/
– Spencer Dinwiddie: http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2015/01/detroit_pistons_spencer_dinwid_2.html