Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 5/6/16

TOR 96, MIA 92 (from Chris O’Leary, thestar.com):

Read it here:  https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2016/05/05/five-raptors-heat-moments-that-mattered-in-game-2.html   from Matt Moore, CBS Sports:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25578944/toronto-manages-to-tie-series-but-miami-still-has-upper-hand-takeaways   and from  Matthew Way, BBall Breakdown:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2016/05/05/raptors-find-redemption-overtime/

–  Raptors Need To Use Valanciunas A Lot More On Offence  (from Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun):

Read it here:  http://www.torontosun.com/2016/05/05/raptors-need-to-use-valanciunas-a-lot-more-on-offence

–  Raptors Need Better Offensive Execution  (from Jordan Greer, Sporting News):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/dwane-casey-raptors-kyle-lowry-heat-nba-playoffs-lebron-james/128awrjmwo3821iivc33z06clk

–  Why Chris Bosh Is Out Of The Playoffs  (from Rohan Nadkarni, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/chris-bosh-health-blood-clot-miami-heat-nba-playoffs

–  Moe Harkless’ Defense On Klay Thompson (from Joe Freeman, Oregon Live):

Read it here:  http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2016/05/moe_harkless_frustrating_physical_defense_on_klay.html

–  Harrison Barnes Remains Stoic In Face of Criticism  (from Tim Kawakami,  mercurynews.com):

Read it here:  http://www.mercurynews.com/tim-kawakami/ci_29856214/kawakami-warriors-harrison-barnes-remains-stoic-face-criticism

–  The Amazing Shaun Livingston  (from Kerry Eggers, Portland Tribune):

Read it here:  It’s all a best-case scenario for the amazingly rebounded Shaun Livingston

 Video Breakdown:  Festus Saves The Dubs  (from EricApricot,  Golden State Of Mind):

Read and view it here:  http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2016/5/4/11589550/warriors-vs-blazers-video-analysis-2016-highlights-festus-ezeli-defense

–  Three Adjustments The Blazers Need To Make  (from Ben Golliver,  Sports Illustated):

Read and view it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/05/06/nba-playoffs-trail-blazers-damian-lillard-warriors-stephen-curry-game-3

–  LaMarcus Aldridge Is Dominating  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25578812/lamarcus-aldridge-is-dominating-and-the-thunder-are-just-fine-with-that    from Anthony Slater, newsok.com:  http://newsok.com/okc-thunder-should-the-thunder-double-team-the-scorching-hot-lamarcus-aldridge/article/5496296

–  Andre Roberson’s Defense  (from Berry Tramel, newsok.com):

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/now-you-know-why-andre-roberson-starts-for-the-thunder/article/5496301

–  CLE/ATL Notes  (from Terry Pluto, cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/index.ssf/2016/05/cleveland_cavaliers_scribbles_35.html

–  Did Vogel Get A Fair Shake? (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/15468298/frank-vogel-just-latest-coach-grow-stale-larry-bird-world

–  Up Next For Pacers:  Small Ball Coach Who Is Not Afraid To Ruffle Feathers   (from Mitch Lawrence, Sporting News):

Read it here:  http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/larry-bird-frank-vogel-pacers-coach-small-ball-warriors-playoffs/5tre4sjidao1xylwc7qsrr3p

 Debating Hack-a-Farce  (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/15464738/there-no-clear-answer-how-solve-hack-shaq-issue

Player Profile:

–  Dirk Nowitzki  (from Tariq Saleh, givemesport.com):  http://www.givemesport.com/770486-dirk-nowitzki-a-success-story-built-on-perseverance-loyalty-and-class

 

Best NBA Reporting: Must Reads from Media Day

–  Pistons:  random thoughts and expectations for the season ahead  (form Keith Langlois,  pistons.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/pistons/features/camp-tips-smattering-random-thoughts-and-expectations-season-ahead

 

–   Raptors hope for better fit, ‘different type of basketball’ after off-season changes  (from Eric Koreen,  nationalpost.com):

Read it here:  http://news.nationalpost.com/sports/nba/toronto-raptors-hoping-off-season-acquisitions-mesh-well-with-teams-core-to-create-winning-formula

 

Villanova Coach  Jay Wright talks Okafor, Noel with Brett Brown  (from Bob Ford,  Philadelphia Inquirer):

“He’s very committed to the fact that he wants to adjust to his personnel. I love how he sees himself as a coach: ‘You give me the players and I’ve got to figure out a way to make them successful. How can this person I’ve been given be most successful?’ That’s a lot better than a guy who says, ‘This has to be done my way.’ ”

 

–  7 Undrafted Free Agents to Watch in 2015-16 NBA Training Camps (from Jonathan Wasserman,  Bleacher Report):

” Going undrafted doesn’t mean the NBA dream is over. We see undrafted players make rosters every year. And a handful of them manage to secure legitimate rotation spots.

Langston Galloway, Tarik Black and Jabari Brown were just a few from last season.

Of course, the fit has to be right. Each of the following prospects offers something specific, whether it’s upside, shooting ability or energy, that their training-camp team must value.

These potential rookies have all signed partially guaranteed deals and will be players to watch over the next few weeks as they look to make an NBA roster.”

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2573015-7-undrafted-free-agents-to-watch-in-2015-16-nba-training-camp

 

–   Breaking Down the Miami Heat’s Training Camp Roster  (from Wes Goldberg, allucanheat.com):

Read it here:   http://allucanheat.com/2015/09/29/breaking-down-the-miami-heats-training-camp-roster/

 

–   Three Point Plinko and the Minnesota Timberwolves  (from Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus):

” We still don’t know an awful lot about the process of shot and offense creation in the NBA. We’ve gotten pretty good at describing the inputs in terms of what various players bring to the table, and the outputs in terms of team level offensive success or lack thereof. But in between, how a given set of players interact with an offensive system to arrive at the shots actually taken, remains something of a black box, at least from an analytic view.

From a qualitative standpoint, coaches know a great deal about what kinds of actions will tend to produce the best shot, but even in that frame of reference it resembles a game of plinko. The structure of a team’s offense and personnel determine the placement of the pegs, and the play call is choosing which slot to drop in the pellet. But from there, the series of bounces, the intricacies of the offensive and defensive execution of any given play, determine the outcome in a not entirely predictable way.

Open threes are usually the end result of good things happening throughout the offensive process. Which leads me to the problem with Mitchell’s statement: Minnesota’s process, their “flow”, stunk.

Getting back to the plinko analogy, one season of low three point rates might be an unfortunate happenstance of roster construction or random variation. But Flip Saunders’ offenses (as well as those of his disciple, Washington’s Randy Wittman) have always produced three pointers at well below league average rates and long twos at higher than average rates3. That “flow” Mitchell was speaking of, from which threes must naturally arise is not an accident, an exogenous force with which the Wolves must deal. That “flow” is the result of design. And that design consistently produces the worst shot in basketball, the long two.”

Read it here:  http://nyloncalculus.com/2015/09/28/three-point-plinko-and-the-minnesota-timberwolves/

 

–   Abundance of questions surround start of 2015-16  (from David Aldridge, NBA.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/david_aldridge/09/28/morning-tip-early-questions-for-2015-16-ty-lawson-with-rockets-qa-caron-butler/index.html

 

Q & A: Beat Writer John Reid on the Pelicans  (from Chuck Myron,  hoopsrumors.com):

Read it here:  http://www.hoopsrumors.com/2015/09/the-beat-john-reid-pelicans.html

 

–   HOIBERG GIVES HIS BULLS SCOUTING REPORT  (from Sam Smith,  bulls.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/samsmith/hoiberg-gives-his-bulls-scouting-report

–   BULLISHLY CONFIDENT: SAME LOOK, NEW SYSTEM  (from sheilas, fullcourtfreepress.com):

Read it here:  http://fullcourtfreepress.com/bullishly-confident-same-look-new-system/

 

–   An American coach is trying to lead Palestine to the Olympics – and it’s all even crazier than you think  (from Jorge Sierra,  hoopshype.com):

Read it here:  hoopshype.com/2015/09/28/an-american-coach-is-trying-to-lead-palestine-to-the-olympics-and-its-even-crazier-than-you-thought/

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

–  Bball Breakdown Player Rankings: Chris Paul, #6  (from Jesse Blanchard):  http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/09/28/chris-paul-no-6/

 

–  Why Harrison Barnes Could Be the Most Intriguing Free Agent of 2016  (from Zach Lowe, Grantland):   http://grantland.com/the-triangle/harrison-barnes-2016-extension-free-agent/

 

–  Why David West gave back $11 million to join the Spurs  (from Adrian Wojnarowski,  Yahoo Sports):  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/why-david-west-gave-back–11-million-to-join-the-spurs-195800859.html

 

Finally united with coach Alvin Gentry, Pelicans guard Eric Gordon is eager to push the tempo (from Brett Dawson, theadvocate.com):  http://theadvocate.com/sports/pelicans/13569570-128/finally-united-with-coach-alvin

 

–  Tyreke Evans set to play primarily at point guard  (from John Reid,  nola.com):  http://www.nola.com/pelicans/index.ssf/2015/09/new_orleans_pelicans_tyreke_ev_9.html

 

Meyers Leonard Talks Versatility and Off-season Focus  (from David MacKay,  blazersedge.com):  http://www.blazersedge.com/2015/9/28/9411371/media-day-portland-trail-blazers-meyers-leonard-interview

 

Trail Blazers Moe Harkless and Cliff Alexander  (from Jason Quick,  oregonlive.com):  http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2015/09/trail_blazers_unexpected_story_lines_the_eye-openi.html

 

Vogel won’t ‘waste’ Paul George’s defensive skills  (from Candace Buckner,  indystar.com):  http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/insider/2015/09/28/vogel-wont-waste-paul-georges-defensive-skills/72997192/

 

–  Jameer Nelson the leader the Denver Nuggets need  (from Adam Kinney,  bsndenver.com):  http://bsndenver.com/jameer-nelson-the-leader-denver-nuggets-need/

 

Kyle Lowry fit and fuelled for a rebound  (form Bruce Arthur,  thestar.com):  http://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2015/09/28/lowry-fit-and-fueled-for-a-rebound-arthur.html

 

Elfrid Payton learning to think like a shooter  (from Philip Rossman-Reich,  orlandomagicdaily.com):  http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2015/09/29/elfrid-payton-learining-to-think-like-a-shooter/

 

–  The Kevin Garnett Files  (from Michael Boosalis, twolvesblog.com):  http://twolvesblog.com/uncategorized/the-kevin-garnett-files.html

 

–  Michael Malone wants to find Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris consistent role  (from Nate Timmons,  bsndenver.com):  http://bsndenver.com/michael-malone-wants-to-find-denver-nuggets-guard-gary-harris-consistent-role/

 

Myles Turner (from Gregg Doyel,  indystar.com):  http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/columnists/gregg-doyel/2015/09/28/doyel-pacers-rookie-myles-turner-better-than-we-think/72989202/

 

–  Kyrie Irving wants to change his game so his scoring stays up and he won’t get knocked down (from Chris Haynes, cleveland.com):  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2015/09/kyrie_irving_7.html

 

–   The Versatile Nikola Mirotic  (from Brandon Pence,  chibullszone.com):  http://chibullszone.com/2015/09/29/versatile-nikola-mirotic/

 

–  Croatian Dragan Bender at epicenter of historic Maccabi-Milano rivalry tour  (from Jake Fischer,  Sports Illustrated):   http://www.si.com/nba/2015/09/28/dragan-bender-nba-draft-croatia-maccabi-tel-aviv-olimpia-milano-dario-saric

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Selecting a 12-man roster for Rio Olympics won’t be easy   (form Michael Lede, Washington Post):

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2015/08/15/selecting-a-12-man-roster-for-rio-wont-be-easy/

 

How a short stint on Wall Street led Billy Donovan to coaching  (from Anthony Slater,  newsok.com):

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/okc-thunder-how-a-short-stint-on-wall-street-led-billy-donovan-to-coaching/article/5440510

 

–  Undrafted rookies weigh options to pursue dream  (from Ian Thomsen,  NBA.com):

Read it here  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/ian_thomsen/08/14/tyler-kalinoski-decision-to-go-to-europe-or-pursue-nba-dream/

 

–   How the final 2 playoff spots in the West can be won  (from Tim Cato,  sbnation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/8/15/9159213/nba-playoff-predictions-pelicans-mavericks-jazz-suns-kings

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:

 

–  Former Nugget Nikoloz Tskitishvili wants redemption and another chance   (from Christopher Dempsey,  denverpost.com):    http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_28647525/former-nugget-nikoloz-tskitishvili-wants-redemption-and-another

 

Martell Webster interview  (from Ben Mehic,  wizofawes.com):  http://wizofawes.com/2015/08/15/washington-wizards-martell-webster-interview-music-future-health-more/

 

Olynyk a Stretch 5, Not a 4  (from Lee Lauderdale,  celticsgreen):  http://celticsgreen.blogspot.com/2015/08/sq21-olynyk-stretch-5-not-4.html

 

–  Do not sleep on Moe Harkless  (from David MacKay,  ripcityproject.com):  http://ripcityproject.com/2015/08/16/do-not-sleep-on-moe-harkless/

 

–  The great tendencies of Nikola Mirotic  (frm Morten Stig Jensen,  chicagonow.com):  http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-bulls-confidential/2015/08/the-great-tendencies-of-nikola-mirotic/

 

–  Is Tayshaun Prince Still An NBA Rotational Player?  (from Aaron Mah,  hoopshabit.com):   http://hoopshabit.com/2015/08/16/minnesota-timberwolves-tayshaun-prince-still-nba-rotational-player/