Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 2/26/16

–  Recapping Thursday’s Games: Curry, Harden And More  (from Liam Boylan-Pett, SBNation):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/2016/2/26/11117396/2016-nba-scores-james-harden-rockets-comeback-blazers-stephen-curry-51

Steph Curry:  51 Points Vs. The Pelicans  (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss,  ESPN):

Read and view it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/golden-state-warriors/post/_/id/1362/steph-currys-becoming-legendary

–  Anatomy Of A Comeback:  Warriors Go On a 64-28 Run To Defeat Raptors  (from Zach Harper,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24326312/anatomy-of-a-comeback-warriors-6428-run-to-beat-raptors

Video Breakdown:  Steph Curry Not Trying For 50  (from EricApricot,  Golden State of Mind):

Read and view it here:  http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2016/2/26/11118176/warriors-vs-magic-video-analysis-2016-highlights-stephen-curry-doesnt-try-for-50-points

–  The Polarizing Talents Of Hassan Whiteside  (from Rob Mahoney,  Sports Illustrated):

Read and view it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/02/25/hassan-whiteside-miami-heat-dwyane-wade-chris-bosh-nba-free-agency

–  Hassan Whiteside’s Numbers Don’t Ring Hollow Any More  (from Jesus Gomez,  SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/2/25/11112764/hassan-whiteside-stats-highlights-miami-heat

–  How The Warriors Exploited Whiteside  (from Jesse Blanchard,  BBall Breakdown):

Read and view it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2016/02/25/the-breakdown-hassan-whitesides-terrible-defense/

Thunder Film Room:  5 Worst Defensive Errors In Loss to New Orleans  (from Anthony Slater,  newsok.com):

Read and view it here:  http://newsok.com/thunder-film-room-the-five-worst-defensive-errors-in-okcs-loss-to-the-pelicans/article/5481326

–  Spurs Maximizing 3-Point Shooting In A New Way (from Miles Wray,  fansided.com):

Read and view it here:  http://fansided.com/2016/02/26/san-antonio-spurs-maximizing-three-point-shooting-new-way/

–  Brad Stevens  (from Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/brad-stevens-bostons-safest-asset/

–  Rambis: Knicks Scrimmage More To Improve Communication, Timing, Chemistry  (from Frank Isola, NY Daily News):

Read it here:  http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/rambis-knicks-scrimmaging-calls-team-immature-article-1.2544102

–  Key Stats For Teams On The Playoff Bubble  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25495401/numbers-that-matter-key-stats-for-each-team-on-the-playoff-bubble

 – For NBA Refs, It’s A Whole New Ball Game  (from Bob Cooney,  philly.com):

Read it here:  http://mobile.philly.com/beta?wss=/philly/sports/sixers&id=370192561

–  Pacers:  No Technical Fouls In A Month  (from Nate Taylor,  IndyStar.com):

Read it here:  http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/2016/02/25/paul-george-pacers-no-longer-chase-after-referees/80942748/

–  The Subtle Brilliance Of Portland  (from Stephen Shea,  Basketball Analytics):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballanalyticsbook.com/2016/02/25/the-subtle-brilliance-of-portland/

How Far Can Versatility Carry The Pistons?  (from Jesus Gomez,  BBall Breakdown):

Read and view it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2016/02/25/pistons-testing-far-versatility-can-carry-team/

–  The Warriors And Analytics  (from Mark Emmons, Lean Data Inc):

Read it here:  http://www.leandatainc.com/account-based-sales-marketing/understanding-the-data-the-warriors-and-basketball-analytics

The Kings Need To Start Playing Together  (from Ailene Voisin, Sacramento Bee):

Read it here:  http://www.sacbee.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/ailene-voisin/article62587067.html

–  Game vs. Cavs:  Not A “Measuring Stick” For Raptors (from Mike Ganter,  Toronto Sun);

Read it here: http://www.torontosun.com/2016/02/25/tilt-against-cavaliers-not-measuring-stick-game-for-raptors

  •  How Pacers Are Improving  (from Mark Monteith,  Pacers.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/pacers/starters-improving-reserves-verge-it

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Trey Burke (from Tony Jones,  Salt Lake Tribune):  http://www.sltrib.com/sports/3583078-155/utah-jazz-playing-time-no-longer

–  Willie Cauley-Stein  (from Matt Kawahara, Sacramento Bee):  http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nba/sacramento-kings/article62562822.html

–  Jrue Holiday  (from Justin Verrier, ESPN):  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14838724/jrue-holiday-unsung-catalyst-new-orleans-pelicans

–  Giannis Antetokuonmpo  (from Josh Criswell,  Fansided.com):  http://fansided.com/2016/02/26/giannis-antetokounmpo-nbas-next-big-thing/

–  Joe Johnson  (from Kevin Pelton,  ESPN):  http://espn.go.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/14847673/how-much-does-joe-johnson-left-offer-contender-nba

–   Josh Richardson  (from Aric DiLalla,  Miami Herald):  http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article62498387.html

–  Channing Frye  (from Chris Haynes,  cleveland.com):  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2016/02/how_channing_frye_became_the_3.html

–  Brandan Wright  (from Ronald Tillery,  Commercial Appeal):  http://www.commercialappeal.com/sports/After-Brandan-Wright-finding-his-footing-370116551.html

–  Alex Stepheson  (from Jacob Freedman, galencentral.com)  http://galencentral.com/2016/02/25/from-istanbul-to-iowa-alex-stephesons-long-journey-to-the-nba/

–  Cody Zeller  (from Rick Bonnell,  Charlotte Observe):  http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nba/charlotte-hornets/article62519362.html

–  Shaun Livingston  (from Kevin Cottrell, Jr,  NBA.Com):  http://www.nba.com/2016/news/02/25/bridging-the-gap-shaun-livingston-providing-vital-component-to-golden-state-warriors-success/index.html

–  John Jenkins,  Isaiah Thomas,  Phil Pressey  (from Paul Coro,  azcentral):  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14838724/jrue-holiday-unsung-catalyst-new-orleans-pelicans

Isaiah Thomas  (from Donnovan Bennett, Sportsnet.ca):

http://www.sportsnet.ca/magazine/how-celtics-isaiah-thomas-gives-up-a-foot-without-getting-blocked/

–  Greg Monroe  (from Gery Woelfel,  journaltimes.com):  http://journaltimes.com/sports/bucks-beat-does-monroe-regret-signing-with-milwaukee/article_9d050a98-1e7c-5acd-9e11-1635ab04a594.html

–  Michael Carter-Williams  (from Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald):  http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2016/02/michael_carter_williams_different_world

–  Tim Hardaway, Jr  (from Ray Glier,  USA Today):  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2016/02/26/tim-hardaway-mike-budenholzer-hawks-dleague/80974866/

Nick Minnerath  (from Keith Schlosser,  Ridiculous Upside):  http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2016/2/26/11119074/can-nick-minnerath-carve-out-nba-future-canton-charge-d-league

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 2/19/16

(NOTE:  Again today our links are limited by the effects of the all-star break and trade deadline.  The good news is that this is probably the last disclaimer we will need.  Our expectation is that we will be back to our “old normal” this weekend.)
–   Pick-And-Roll Perfected:  Draymond Green And Steph Curry  (from Jeff Siegel, fansided):
–  Lockdown Defense Keeping Celtics Among East Elite  (from Chris Forsberg,  ESPN):
SVG Explains Pistons’ Trade Process And How Little He Is Involved  (from Aaron McMann, mlive.com):
–  Bulls’ GM Gar Forman  Q & A  (from K.C. Johnson,  Chicago Tribune):
–  George Karl Should Not Go Out Like This  (from Ailene Voisin,  Sacramento Bee):
–  Every Trade Completed During The 2-15-16 Season  (from SBNation):

–  Trade Deadline Recap  (from Chuck Myron,  Hoops Rumors):
The Key Deadline Deals  (from Bobby Marks,  Yahoo Sports):
–  10 Questions Following The Trade Deadline  (from Jonathan Tjarks,  RealGM):
–  Recapping Thursday’s Games  (from SBNation):
–  A Guide To The Buyout Season  (from Mika Honkasalo, Hoops Hype):
–  NBPA Mounting Crackdown On Agents’ Conflicts Of Interest  (from Ken Berger,  CBS Sports):
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
Brandon Jennings/Ersan Ilyasova  (from Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily):  http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2016/02/19/brandon-jennings-ersan-ilyasova-know-the-work-ahead/
–  Dante Exum/Shelvin Mack  (from Dan Clayton,  Salt City Hoops):  http://saltcityhoops.com/sc7-basketballs-back-deadline-and-why-exums-still-central/
–  Channing Frye  (from Luke Sicari,  King James Gospel):  http://kingjamesgospel.com/2016/02/19/channing-frye-strengthens-cavs-weaknesses/

–  Jon Horford  (from Chris Reichert,  Upside & Motor):  Jon Horford putting in the work to create his own path

Iguodala,KD,Bulls,Exum,Buyouts,LaVine,D-League

– In defense of Andre Iguodala (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss, ESPN.com):

” Remember how Stephen Curry scored 54 thrilling points last time he played at Madison Square Garden? The frequent replays of this game serve as commemorations for the day he became a star. Remember Andre Iguodala’s equivalent defensive performance? It probably happened, and you’ll probably never hear about it as long as you live.

Say Iguodala was on fire that night, stifling would-be drivers, helping with psychic anticipation, weaving through screens like a running back and closing out on shooters like he was magnetized to the ball. How many noticed? Much like defense itself, the answer to that question likely won’t be tangible to the point of satisfaction.”

Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/66294/in-defense-of-andre-iguodala

– Durant’s playmaking is the Thunder’s biggest improvement (from Ricky O’Donnell, SBNation):

” But as much as Durant’s scoring binge has captured hearts and minds, it’s another facet of his game that could be the real difference maker for the Thunder this year.

Durant’s playmaking, floor vision and passing have been remarkable this season. Not just by KD’s standard, but by anyone’s. That’s the real secret of Durant’s career-year in his sixth season. He’s no longer just special because he can score the ball at will. Now, he can also make everyone around him a better player.”

Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/2/28/5455912/kevin-durant-passing-okc-thunder-nba-2014

– Bulls don’t panic, pick up big win over Mavs (from Nick Friedell, ESPNChicago.com):

” The reason the Chicago Bulls have rattled off eight wins in their past 10 games, including an impressive 100-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, has more to do with their DNA than it does with any one play or sequence.

The difference between the Bulls and many other teams in the league is that they rarely lose focus on what they are trying to accomplish. They believe in themselves and they believe in coach Tom Thibodeau’s system. They believe, no matter how good their opponent might be, that they can win each night. That’s why, when they got into a 16-point hole in Friday’s first half and had to knock down shots late in the game, their demeanor never changed. They never stopped believing that tough defense and big shots would be the elixir against a Mavericks team playing some of its best basketball of the season.”

Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/17964/bulls-dont-panic-pick-up-big-win-over-mavs

– What Makes Dante Exum a Top 2014 NBA Draft Prospect (from Daniel O”Brien, BleacherReport.com):

” Over the past several months, the NBA world has become increasingly intrigued and excited about the potential of Australian prodigy Dante Exum.

The interest is absolutely warranted.

An impressive set of skills, elite athleticism and length has propelled him toward the top of the 2014 draft boards. He dominated his high school competition in 2013, but more importantly, the 18-year-old showcased tremendous playmaking throughout international play.

It’s easy to understand why a speedy, 6’6″ combo guard would be an attractive NBA prospect, but we want to delve into what precisely makes him such a sought-after prize.

Why exactly is Dante Exum top-five material?”

Read it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1974365-breaking-down-what-makes-dante-exum-a-top-2014-nba-draft-prospect

– Most late-season NBA buyout additions don’t make a major impact (from James Herbert, SBNation.com):

Herbert takes a “look at the full list of late-season additions since 2008:”

Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/2/28/5443602/nba-buyouts-history-glen-davis-jason-collins

– Swinging on the NBA Draft Yo-Yo (from Robert Mays, Grantland.com):

Tracking the up-and-down life of UCLA prospect Zach LaVine”

Read and view it here: http://grantland.com/features/swinging-on-the-nba-draft-yo-yo/

– Continuing D-League coverage from Grantland:

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nba-outcast-im-sorry-mr-jackson/

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/no-country-for-old-men-melvin-ely-and-the-reclamation-projects-of-the-texas-legends/

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-d-league-days-of-ricky-davis/

Jazz,Kings,Bulls,Trades,Mavs,Clips,Vipers,OKC,Buyouts,Knicks,Draft

– With Favors back in lineup, Jazz break losing skid (from Mike Sorensen, DeseretNews.com):

” The simple fact is the Utah Jazz lose when Derrick Favors doesn’t play this season. The Jazz are 0-9 without Favors this year, including the last three games since the All-Star break.

So you can imagine how happy the Jazz were to welcome Favors back to the lineup Wednesday night. And it wasn’t surprising that they got back on the winning track with Favors helping lead the way in a comfortable 110-98 victory over Boston.

Favors scored 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting and more importantly he helped on the defensive end against the Celtics.”

Read it here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865597330/With-Favors-back-in-lineup-Jazz-break-losing-skid.html

– Isaiah Thomas Again Trying To Prove Himself (from Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com):

“This makes three seasons of being dismissed in the rotation or replaced as the starting point guard only to survive as the last man standing, so many shifts on the depth chart that Isaiah Thomas says he honestly cannot remember all those who showed up with the expectation of winning the job only to soon disappear.

He is defiant in all the right ways, refusing to play like the No. 60 pick in 2011, and a survivor, not merely making the league at 5 feet 9 but about to get big money as a restricted free agent in July. And paranoid. We can’t forget paranoid.

Thomas keeps proving people wrong, all right, except that it’s the Kings most of all. That would be interesting enough as the real truth while fans wonder why he doesn’t get enough respect around the league — hint: his own organization isn’t sold on him as a starter – except that now it comes with the defiance on full display.”

Read it here: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/02/24/thomas-again-trying-to-prove-himself/

– On the evolution of Joakim Noah (from Ricky O’Donnell, blogabull.com):

“Noah’s evolution from where he began to where he is today has been a joy to watch. A reputation is a dangerous thing, and for years most of the country saw a player who had funny hair, wore a weird suit to the draft and shot free throws with the rotation of a knuckleball. Now we know better, know that Joakim Noah is one of the most gifted two-way big men in the NBA with a skillset as unique as any player in the league.”

Read it here: http://www.blogabull.com/2014/2/24/5442668/joakim-noah-stats-age-chicago-bulls

– The Post-Deadline NBA (from Zach Lowe, grantland.com):

” Even a blah trade deadline changes the landscape of the league and hints at important big- and small-picture trends. After a few days to breathe, let’s examine some key unanswered questions: Which players are on notice after the roster shifts around them? Which teams should face scrutiny for their deadline action or inaction? And what does the dull deadline say about the league’s evolution?”

Read it here: http://grantland.com/features/the-post-deadline-nba/

– NBA Overnight: Dirk Is Out Here Playing H-O-R-S-E With People’s Lives (from Chris Ryan/Kirk Goldsberry, grantland.com):

A quick run through last night’s NBA action

Read and view it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nba-overnight-dirk-is-out-here-playing-h-o-r-s-e-with-peoples-lives/

– Jamal Crawford looks forward to returning to 6th-man role (from Arash Markazi, ESPNLosAngeles.com):

Jamal Crawford is happy to step into the starting lineup for the Clippers when needed, but it’s not a role he relishes.

While most NBA players aspire to start, Crawford, in his 13th season in the league, realizes his value to a championship contender is as a scoring punch off the bench, and it’s a role he looks forward to returning to as soon as the injured J.J. Redick is ready to return.

“I can’t wait until he comes back because I get a chance to go back to the bench,” Crawford said. “We’ll hold down the fort until he gets back and healthy, until then we’ll get as many wins as possible.”

Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/clippers/post/_/id/6003/crawford-barnes-provide-spark-for-clippers

– The Amazing Pace of the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers (from Jason Schwartz, grantland.com):

” The D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers play faster and shoot more 3-pointers than just about any team in professional basketball history. Can their turbocharged style work in the NBA?”

Read it here:http://grantland.com/features/nba-dleague-rgv-vipers-houston-rockets-future-of-basketball/

– Durant’s Overall Evolution Is Way More Than Just the Scoring Hype (from Fred Katz, BleacherReport.com):

” Scoring and facilitating aren’t mutually exclusive actions. Over the course of the 2013-14 NBA season, Kevin Durant proved just that.

The Western Conference’s premier superstar may be scorching hot, and he may be putting the ball in the basket in bunches, but that’s not all he’s doing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant took his already dominant game and added a new, playmaking wrinkle to it.”

Read it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1972255-kevin-durants-overall-evolution-is-way-more-than-just-the-scoring-hype

– Buyout market primer: Players who could potentially join NBA title contenders (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

“The roster reshuffling of the NBA’s trade deadline often ends with a few veteran players landing in places they shouldn’t. Contracts are included to make deals work. Salaries are dumped to help certain franchises clear space or duck the luxury tax line. All of which leads to ill-fitting circumstances.

A buyout offers a chance for remedy. Rather than see an experienced player ride out the remainder of the season as the material form of an expiring contract, agreeable teams often negotiate with those veterans for the soft termination of their deals. Thus creates the final wave of NBA movement before the playoffs, as contenders and near-contenders look to scoop up those bought-out veterans before the postseason eligibility deadline on March 1.”

Read Mahoney’s “guide to help navigate that secondary market, and which players are and might be available to help those vying for a title” here:

http://nba.si.com/2014/02/24/nba-buyout-market-players-candidates-danny-granger-glen-davis/

– NBC’s Kurt Helin on the Knicks’ defense:

“Mike Woodson’s odd love of switching everything and scheme (such as it is) doesn’t help matters, but he has just terrible perimeter defenders to work with (and that includes the now waived Metta World Peace, who moves in molasses and is a shadow of his former self). The Knicks play with no defensive IQ. How the heck is Vince Carter left that open all night long to drain threes? The Knicks pick-and-roll defense is atrocious — it leads to open threes or passes to open cutters every time down. I could go on and on, but watch this defense and tell me again how the Knicks are going to make up 6 games in their remaining 25 and make the playoffs.”

And for those who have access to ESPN’s Insider, in light of the Sixers’ stockpiling of 2nd round picks, Tom Haberstroh addresses “What are second-rounders worth?” here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10510844/nba-exactly-sixers-bounty-2014-second-round-picks-worth