– Suns’ Isaiah Thomas just knows how to navigate (from Paul Coro, azcentral.com):
” Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas might be the smallest guy on the court but he draws fouls with a combination of lightning speed and a big man’s physical nature.
Entering Friday night’s game, Thomas was averaging 11.1 free throws per 48 minutes. Only six players in the league shot free throws more often, including Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and Houston’s Dwight Howard.
“It’s a skill,” Thomas said. “I just have always had that knack for drawing fouls. When I see my teams heading in the bonus, I just try to be a little more aggressive than usual and try to make something happen and put it on the refs. I think it’s a talent that you have and you can’t really teach it.”
Most players are unaware of team foul situations but Thomas is the one urging teammates to be more aggressive once an opponent hits four team fouls. The ability to play catch-up with the clock stopped can be crucial.”
Read it here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/suns/2014/11/14/phoenix-suns-isaiah-thomas-drawing-fouls-nba/19054115/
– Blazers’ Terry Stotts continues to push right buttons (from Joe Freeman, oregonian.com):
” There will be a lot of talk about the rugged, ruthless play of Robin Lopez, about yet another relentless fourth-quarter comeback, about a gutsy performance from an under-the-weather LaMarcus Aldridge.
But there was more than that, and more than merely another Trail Blazers Houdini act, Monday night at the Moda Center, as the Blazers overcame a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 102-93 before a sellout crowd of 19,441.
Monday night was the latest superbly managed game by coach Terry Stotts, who has pushed all the right buttons at all the right times as the Blazers have navigated the absence of starting small forward Nicolas Batum and — for one game — Aldridge.
“He’s had great success getting the right guys on the floor — the right mix of guys — and making sure our chemistry’s at its best,” Lopez said of Stotts.”
Read it here: http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2014/11/terry_stotts_continues_to_push_all_the_right_butto.html
– Brett Brown on Spurs’ title, Bowen’s work ethic, Popovich’s approach (from Paul Garcia, Projectspurs.com):
Read it here: http://projectspurs.com/2014-articles/a-discussion-brett-brown-spurs-title-bowens-work-ethic-popovichs-approach.html
– Chris Paul and the NBA’s Broken Narrative (from Zach Lowe, grantland.com):
” Some narratives are…frankly, dumb. The word “narrative” can act as a synonym for “line of thought that exists somewhere in the world, and is demonstrably false.” We use an awful lot of brain space addressing and rebutting “narratives” that probably don’t merit all that much attention, save for the fact that they bring clicks. The “LeBron isn’t clutch” narrative after the 2011 Finals was ridiculous, given his past buzzer-beaters, overtime baskets, insane streaks of consecutive points, and other playoff heroics.
What will it mean if the Clippers bow out early again this year? How will it affect Paul’s legacy?
Maybe these aren’t the right questions. They’re interesting, and inflammatory, but they also skimp on the work in a rush toward some false generalization. Maybe the answer would just be, “Chris Paul is awesome, and he played fantastically, but another great Western Conference team was just a bit better over a full series.” Such a failure could mean many things, only some of which would have do with Paul. Perhaps it might be some indication that it is difficult to win the whole thing with a point guard alpha dog.
Paul is objectively one of the 10 greatest point guards ever, a rare combination of historic passing, very good shooting, slicing attacks toward the rim, and elite defense at his position. He has no weaknesses, save perhaps his height, which can make it hard for him at times to see over the defenses and throw the cross-court passes that LeBron tosses with such ease.
The game provides truth. When you have truth, you don’t need narratives — including the one that says a player is somehow flawed until he wins a championship.”
Read it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/death-to-ringz-chris-paul-and-the-nbas-broken-narrative-of-success/
– Doc Rivers: Our Trust Was Broken Offensively (from Rowan Kavner, NBA.com):
” The word “trust” pervaded the Clippers’ locker room following Monday’s loss to a Bulls team without its two stars.
The only problem is head coach Doc Rivers, guards Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford and forward Blake Griffin all mentioned it because of a lack of its consistent presence on the court, which they believe played an integral role in Monday’s loss.
“They trusted their offense,” Rivers said. “We took them out of a lot of stuff and they just kept playing, and I thought our trust was broken today offensively. I thought we all tried to do it individually, and that’s the old way we played, where there’s no ball movement, ball’s in one spot.
“I think it’s very hard to win a game against a good defensive team that way. That proved out tonight.”
Read it here: http://www.nba.com/clippers/Rivers-I-Thought-Our-Trust-Was-Broken-Offensively
– Doc the Coach, Doc the Exec (from Fred Katz, Bleacher Report):
” There are two people to evaluate when looking at Rivers, two guys who are professionally different even if they do share the same body: Doc the Coach and Doc the Exec.
Doc the Coach has a resume which speaks for itself: a championship, two Finals appearances and a .564 career winning percentage along with universal respect around the league to complement his ultra-likable personality. But Doc the Exec—that guy has a different set of credentials.
Even if you ignore last year’s mostly ineffective midseason veteran signings of Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis, Stephen Jackson and Danny Granger, there’s more to criticize.”
Read it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2270932-la-clippers-can-be-saved-by-coach-who-built-them
– Injuries no reason to count out Thibs’ Bulls (from Nick Friedell, ESPN):
” Tom Thibodeau doesn’t believe in excuses, just effort. He doesn’t believe in moral victories, just hard-fought wins.
The beauty of Thibodeau’s mindset, the one he has drilled into his Chicago Bulls over the past five seasons, is that they never step on the floor believing they can’t win. No matter who he has, Thibodeau believes he can coach his players to victory.
That was the case again on Monday night in the Bulls’ impressive 105-89 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Playing without Derrick Rose (strained hamstring) and Pau Gasol (strained left calf), the Bulls pulled out their most impressive victory of the season with the type of balanced attack that had become the norm for them over the past two seasons without Rose. ”
Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/20730/injuries-no-reason-to-count-out-thibs-bulls
– The Clippers don’t look anything like championship contenders (from Jason Patt, sbnation.com):
Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/11/18/7240905/la-clippers-championship-contenders-bulls-nba
– DeMarcus Cousins: When a Miss Becomes a Rebound Becomes a Make (from Kirk Goldsberry, grantland.com):
” The act of missing a shot, grabbing your own rebound, and putting it back for two points — we shall call it the “Boogie Board.”
Last year, NBA shooters missed 111,331 shots, but those errant shooters rebounded only 5 percent of their misses. While self-rebounds are generally rare, they’re more common in Sacramento; Cousins is the top self-rebounder in the league. Last year, he recovered 13 percent (78 total) of his misses and also converted those self-rebounds into more points than anybody else. In other words, Boogie led the NBA in Boogie Boards.
Cousins is right back at it again this season, which increasingly looks like it’s going to be his breakout year. As of Monday morning, 97 players had missed at least 50 shots, and Cousins led all of them in self-rebounding rate, collecting 16 percent of his own misses. He has also jumped out to an early-season lead in both total self-rebounds (13) and Boogie Boards (5). It’s safe to say that Cousins doesn’t sulk after he misses a shot; he busts his tail trying to recover his losses.
This kind of behavior not only benefits the Kings, it’s also a nightmare to defend.”
Read and view it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-boogie-board-offensive-rebounding-scoring-demarcus-cousins/
– Utah Rebuilding Plan (from Jonathan Tjarks, thepatternofbasketball.com):
” The Utah Jazz are only 4-7 this season, but they have one of the most talented young teams in the NBA. They have had a pretty stacked schedule – four home games (all against good teams) and seven road ones. They just finished a five game in seven day swing through the East Coast, with 2 of the 3 losses coming on the second night of a road back-to-back. The record will come around and the future is bright in Utah.
Getting to this point, though, took a whole lot of work and patience. Let’s take a look at how the Jazz built this team”
Read it here: http://patternofbasketball.blogspot.com/2014/11/utah-rebuilding-plan.html
– Rough start puts OKC culture to the test (from Royce Young, ESPN):
“Everybody is counting us out every game, but we’re there every single night. We’re playing competitive basketball,” Durant told ESPN.com. “As a teammate, I couldn’t be more proud to be on this team and a part of this organization. We’re showing our true colors as a whole. I’m excited to be a part of something so special.”
Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/okc-thunder/post/_/id/61/rough-start-puts-okc-culture-to-the-test
– Steve Nash’s Possible Retirement: An Exploration Of Financial Ramifications (from Mark Deeks, Bball Breakdown):
Read it here: http://bballbreakdown.com/2014/10/24/steve-nashs-possible-retirement-an-exploration-of-financial-ramifications/
– Draymond Green: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2271064-warriors-may-find-key-piece-to-title-puzzle-draymond-green-comes-at-high-cost
– Darrell Arthur: http://fansided.com/2014/11/18/denver-nuggets-darrell-arthur-help-good-team/
– Tyler Zeller: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4715770/notebook-a-stellar-zeller and http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics_nba/boston_celtics/2014/11/time_to_get_in_game_tyler_zeller_shows_he_s_earned_it
– Omri Casspi: http://cowbellkingdom.com/omri-casspi-taking-shooting-efficiency-to-new-heights/
– Brady Heslip: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/sports/basketball/brady-heslip-78-points-in-2-games-give-him-hope-of-reaching-nba.html
– James Johnson: http://www.tsn.ca/lewenberg-raptors-johnson-could-miss-time-with-ankle-injury-1.137734
– Lou Williams: http://www.hopestandard.com/national/sport/282988941.html