Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Seven Questions That Will Shape the NBA Finals  (from Zach Lowe,

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–  How The Cavs Use LeBron In Their Offense  (from Bball Breakdown):

” Coach Gibson Pyper broke down the most common sets the Cleveland Cavaliers run to leverage the immense talents of LeBron James into a cohesive offensive scoring machine.”

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Andrew Bogut appears content to fill role defined for him by the Golden State Warriors (from NYTimes):

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–  Warriors coach Steve Kerr — fire and fun (from Tim Kawakami,

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Steph Curry: the Stories Behind the Stories (from Adi Joseph, Sporting News):

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–  Luc Longley looks on as NBA Finals take an Australian flavour  (from Angus Crawford,

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–’s 2015 NBA Finals predictions (from Sports Illustrated):

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–  The Warriors should not double-team LeBron James  (from Mike Prada,  sbnation):

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 Steph Curry’s rise from question mark to the MVP  (from Zach Harper,  CBS Sports):

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–  The Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals because of 3 players the Knicks ditched  (from jesus Gomez,  SBNation):

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Harrison Barnes (from Scott Sargent,

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–  The Splash Fathers ( Dell Curry and Mychal Thompson) know best (form Tom Friend, ESPN):

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–   Klay Thompson’s uncertain status highlights lack of understanding on concussions (from Sam Amick,  USA Today):

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–  Jeff Van Gundy on Cavaliers head coach David Blatt: ‘He was masterful’  (from Dan Labbe,

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– What kind of coach is Chicago getting with Fred Hoiberg?  (from Kurt Helin, NBC Sports):

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– Comparing On-Ball and Off-Ball Screens  (from Jordan M. Foley, Vantage Sports):

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–  Who Has the Best Post Moves in NBA History?  (from John Amaechi,

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Read it here:–the-value-of-the-2nd-round.html



And for those with access to ESPN Insider:



–  Hoiberg and Donovan’s college teams hint to how Bulls, Thunder will play  (from Kevin Pelton):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


Draymond Green:


Timofey Mozgov:


Tony Allen:


Miles Plumlee:


Garrett Temple:


Jordan Clarkson:–jordan-clarkson


Fab Melo:


Chris Smith:


Alex Abrines:


Pacers,Knicks,Raptors,Suns,Heat,Bobcats,Grizzlies, Nets,Nuggets,Bucks,Clips,Post Moves, Rebuilding

– Pacers sound off after frustrating loss to Knicks (from Candace Buckner,

” The Indiana Pacers played the style of defense on Wednesday that should carry them through the playoffs and should have propelled them to a win on national television.

But the togetherness that the team has built a 50-win season upon was absent inside Madison Square Garden. The bright lights of the beautiful arena turned on, then exposed an upsetting weakness during the Pacers’ 92-86 loss to the New York Knicks.

As Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, leading his team to a seventh straight win, the Pacers looked like individuals who just so happened to be caught in the same uniform and not the tight unit that had earlier in the season dismantled these jump-shooting Knicks by nearly 30 points.

But after the game, the Pacers shared one thing in common. Their frustration.”

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– Raptors dig deep (from Doug Smith,

” They know what ultimately awaits them; some of them barely remember what it feels like, while some have never had the experience.

It is what drives the Raptors most nights and, after another improbable victory stolen with resolve and hustle and aggression at winning time, Kyle Lowry spoke the words that few Raptors publicly will.

It is the end game — a place in the NBA post-season — that allows them to find the fight and the will to grind out victories like the 107-100 triumph they took from the New Orleans Pelicans here Wednesday night.

“It’s just toughness,” Lowry said after the Raptors seemingly willed themselves to win by outscoring the Pelicans 26-15 in the fourth quarter and outhustling them all over the floor.

“We’ve got resilient guys in here, we’ve got professional guys who all they want to do is win games.”

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More on Lowry:

– How Kyle Lowry transformed the Raptors (from Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports):

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– Markieff Morris boosts power game (from Paul Coro, Arizona Republic):

” Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are two of the better driving guards in the league.

The Suns are the best team at scoring on fast breaks.

But for those times when they are unable to get to the rim one of those ways, they turn to sixth man Markieff get them as close as they regular get otherwise.

The Suns lean on Morris’ improved post-up and power game as a fixture of the offense. He counts on it for more of his scoring, making him more efficient than he was in first two seasons.”

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– Trainer Tim Grover Reveals Full Story of DWade’s Injury Recovery (from Ethan Skolnick, Bleacher Report):

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– Goran Dragic: Creative, energetic, unafraid and the savior of the Phoenix Suns’ season (from Shlomo Sprung,

” Goran Dragic slashes, drives and penetrates into the lane like no other NBA player, creatively opening up space to create for himself and his Phoenix Suns teammates. That creativity, though, comes with a heavy price: the beating he takes on a nightly basis as he hurtles into and bounces around defenders with his breathtakingly fun to watch forays towards the basket which sweep opponents and fans alike off their feet like a swift and strong gust of wind.

Dragic’s offensive game is so unique stylistically, but this year he’s coupled his singular energy and fervor with the efficiency both Dragic and his Suns have lacked. For any ball-handler to shoot over 50 percent from the field and nearly 42 percent from three is impressive. For Dragic to do so with his number of minutes and a usage rate, especially when guard Eric Bledsoe was injured, makes him one of the NBA’s most valuable players this season on the league’s most surprisingly successful squads.”

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– Al Jefferson, a low-post whiz, brings sunshine to Charlotte (from Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated):

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– Examining the five players with the best low-post repertoires in the NBA ( from Rob Mahoney, Sports Ilustrated):

Rob Mahoney breaks down “in capsule form the play of the five current players with the best post moves.”

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– Pacers: Prototype Remodel Franchise (from Jared Dubin, ESPN’s TrueHoopNetwork):
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– Grizzlies, Nets lead scary underdogs in NBA playoffs (from Sam Amick, USAToday):

” The NBA playoffs are still a month away, and already the script has been flipped.

Top teams suddenly look pedestrian, and better-late-than-never threats such as the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets have gained fast. So it is, then, that the postseason possibilities suddenly are far more compelling than they appeared before the New Year rolled around. Snooze-a-palooza in the early rounds, in other words, is no longer on the docket.”

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– In a tough season, Brian Shaw has kept the Nuggets ‘on the rope’ (from Matt Moore, CBS Sports):

“…we’re getting the effort. We’re competing. Even when we lose and we compete, we can live with that. So now it’s a matter of trying to be more consistent, but to learn from these situations and build off the fact that we’ve shown that when we play at the level we’re capable of, we can compete with any team in the league.”

” The odds are that Denver will look significantly different next season. But after a year that left so many wondering how much different things had been if the team had simply not made its changes at the top in the offseason, there are signs of a new foundation being laid. And if nothing else, there’s proof that even as Shaw continues to learn how to swing a head coaching job in the NBA, he’s kept his guys on the rope.”

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– Larry Sanders done for season, making progress after eye surgery (from Charles Gardner, Journal Sentinel):

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– DeAndre Jordan (from Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated):

” Like Clippers of yore, DeAndre Jordan was moody, uninspired—a basket case even. Like Clippers of today, he is something new entirely: a shot-swatting, glass-cleaning demon, the NBA’s most-improved player”

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There are actually even more interesting posts in the ‘sphere today so we will either do a part II later today or carry them over until tomorrow.

– Eric Bledsoe’s playoff push (from James Herbert, SBNation):

” With the ninth-place Suns in the thick of a playoff race, Eric Bledsoe came back from injury at just the right time.”

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And for those with access to ESPNInsider:

– Why rebuilding can work in NBA (from Kevin Pelton):