– Latest replay review adjustments give NBA referees more leeway to change calls (from Eric Freeman, Yahoo Sports):
” …(A)ny basketball fan can attest that the league’s replay system needs some useful adjustments and changes to operate more smoothly. It’s not yet clear if the NBA’s new replay rules announced via press release on Thursday will meet those goals, but they at least provide us with some topics for discussion.”
Read it here: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/latest-replay-review-adjustments-give-nba-referees-more-leeway-to-change-calls-015734068.html
– Instant-replay tweaks, rules changes announced for 2014-15 (from Steve Aschburner, nba.com):
Read it here: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/10/16/instant-replay-tweaks-rules-changes-announced-for-2014-15/
– Quin Snyder: To Board Or Not To Board (from Dan Clayton, saltcityhoops.com):
” The coach has been a little cagey in describing exactly what his philosophy is relative to offensive rebounding. We know his basic philosophy: protect against the fast break. But how much of an absolutist is he about ignoring opportunities on the offensive glass? The Atlanta Hawks team he just came from had just 603 field goal attempts result from offensive rebounds all last season, third least in the league. Is that indicative of just how little Snyder cares about rebounding on that end?
“Guys gotta get back right away,” Snyder said in describing some of the defensive improvements they need to make, especially in transition. “You probably sacrifice some of the offensive glass, but that doesn’t mean our bigs can’t still offensive rebound.
What he wants to cut back on is ball-watching guards who aren’t anticipating and getting back. Opportunistic offensive rebounds by the wings are OK, he says, just as long as it’s clear what the priority is. “We’re not asking them to leave before the possession happens, but we want our guards out… You know, we’re sacrificing a little bit of that (offensive rebounding) to get back.”
Read it here: http://saltcityhoops.com/to-board-or-not-to-board/
– How The Blazers Thrive With Mid-Range Jump Shots (from evansclinchy, blazersedge.com):
” NBA conventional wisdom holds that mid-range jumpers are bad. So how do the Blazers take so many and still achieve so much success?”
Read it here: http://www.blazersedge.com/2014/10/17/6987045/portland-trail-blazers-offense-jump-shots-wesley-matthews-nicolas-batum
– From Language Barriers to Leadership: Jose Calderon’s Journey (from Jessica Camerato, Basketball Insiders):
” Jose Calderon ran the ball up the floor and called out a play. His teammates, unsure of the directive, stood still. Nothing happened.
This was back in 2005. Calderon had moved from his home country of Spain to play for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA. He had mastered basketball in Europe. English, though, was another story. The point guard had knowledge of the language, but his accent and limited vocabulary made it difficult to communicate on the court.
“That was the problem in the beginning,” Calderon told Basketball Insiders. “A few times I just called plays and nobody moved because they didn’t know [what I was saying].”
” Nine seasons later, that initial transition is a distant memory as Calderon has developed into a reliable, veteran point guard on the New York Knicks. The person who was once unable to communicate plays is now revered as an on-the-court coach by his teammates and staff.
Read it here: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/from-language-barriers-to-leadership-jose-calderons-journey/
– Timberwolves trio went through weeks of hell with Navy SEAL trainer (from Phil Ervin, foxsports.com):
” Some members of Minnesota’s revamped roster, including Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin, worked with their longstanding trainers again this offseason. Center Gorgui Dieng spent much of his time in Minneapolis working out at the University of Minnesota. Nikola Pekovic was limited to the elliptical and the pool while recovering from an Achilles’ injury.
Muhammad, Anthony Bennett and Ronny Turiaf, though, took a trip to hell.
And they came back looking like this.
Matrisciano’s famed “chameleon training” — a series of unconventional, physically and mentally taxing evolutions geared toward adaptation and overcoming — has transformed the bodies of Blake Griffin, Zach Randolph, Aaron Afflalo, Gilbert Arenas, Navy SEALs, triathletes, wartime boxers and even pregnant women (with an altered regimen, of course). His reputation is translucent in NBA circles, his mystique burgeoned by the fact he doesn’t recruit athletes — “they come to me” — and dresses like a modern-day urban ninja when meeting face-to-face with the media.”
Read it here: http://www.foxsports.com/north/story/timberwolves-trio-went-through-weeks-of-hell-with-navy-seal-trainer-093014
– Film Study: The Nets new offense (from Reed Wallach, netsdaily.com):
” With a roster built around perimeter scoring threats and one offensive force in the paint, the Nets should be swinging the ball around the three-point line, cutting off the ball to get easy eight footers, and then pounding it into Brook Lopez for easy finishes. It may have taken the fourth coach in three seasons in Brooklyn to realize it, but it seems as if Lionel Hollins has figured out how to get the Brooklyn Nets efficient offensive looks.
Read and view it here: http://www.netsdaily.com/2014/10/16/6990349/film-study-the-brooklyn-nets-new-offense
– Bulls Update (from Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times):
” Mike Dunleavy might be moved to the new-look bench crew. Don’t call it a demotion; it might have to be done out of necessity.
With newcomers Nikola Mirotic and Aaron Brooks still finding their way with that second group, coach Tom Thibodeau has been kicking around the idea of promoting first-round pick Doug McDermott to the starting lineup so that Dunleavy can help stabilize the bench, which was outscored 38-24 by the Hawks, including an 11-4 run in the second quarter that put the Bulls in a hole for most of the game.
“I don’t want to overlook what Mike’s done, either,’’ Thibodeau said of the switch. “Mike has shot the ball extremely well. He helps that first unit function well, so I’m not locked into it.
“As I said, that’s the great value of Mike — he’s started before, he’s come off the bench, he’s comfortable in both roles. We’ll see how it unfolds.’’
– Warriors’ Ognjen Kuzmic showing how he belongs (from Rusty Simmons, SFGate):
“He’s got a lot of tools. He just needs the time and the belief. It’s exciting to watch his growth,” Kerr said. “He doesn’t really know how good he can be yet. As he gains experience and confidence, I think he’s going to be really good for us.”
Read it here: http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-Ognjen-Kuzmic-showing-how-he-belongs-5828630.php
– Kerr finally gets his chance with Curry (from Scott Howard-Cooper, nba.com):
” (Kerr) was the Suns general manager in June 2009 and wanted Curry in the draft. Badly. There was phone call after phone call between Kerr and Riley, his Warriors counterpart. There were internal conversations among Phoenix management about the risk of trading 26-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire coming off three consecutive seasons of at least 20 points and eight rebounds — and the risk of keeping Stoudemire with free agency a year away and growing health concerns.
The Warriors were very interested, intrigued by the chance to get the known of a proven power forward over the uncertainty of a scoring point guard from mid-major Davidson. They also really liked Curry and, in fact, doubted he would be on the board when Riley picked seventh. Arizona’s Jordan Hill was the fallback, probably for both sides, for the Suns if a deal had been arranged and for Golden State to keep if no deal was in place.
It got close, but never imminent. The Warriors were not going to trade for Stoudemire unless he at least showed strong likelihood of re-signing as a free agent the next summer, and Riley had yet to so much as ask the Suns for permission to have the conversation. And if Golden State and Stoudemire did talk, the result would have been the same. He was not going to commit to anything at that point other than showing up, playing hard and keeping an open mind about the future, an understandable stance that almost certainly would have ended the talks bouncing between Phoenix and Oakland.
The Warriors took Curry seventh and he turned into a star. The Suns kept Stoudemire one more season and 23.1 points and 8.9 rebounds and played it right to not get into a bidding war with the Knicks in 2010 free agency.
The Warriors ended up hiring Kerr to coach. To coach the entire roster, obviously, but with Curry as the best player and one of the main attractions of choosing Golden State over the option of working for long-time friend and coaching mentor Phil Jackson with the Knicks.”
Read it here: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/10/16/kerr-finally-gets-his-chance-with-curry/
– The Lakers must embrace their youth movement (from Ben R, silverscreenandroll.com):
” Following a bizarre offseason in which the Lakers essentially struck out on all of the major free agents and signed almost no one of consequence, they are left with an oddball mix of young players and veterans that has to be managed well for any measure of team success.”
Read it here: http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2014/10/16/6854305/to-experience-success-this-season-the-lakers-must-embrace-their-youth
– Who is new Nets coach Lionel Hollins? (from Lou DiPietro, yesnetwork.com):
” Despite four decades of NBA success, Hollins’ resume is not well-known by many”
Read it here: http://web.yesnetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20141017&content_id=98722350&oid=36318
– Outside shooting, no longer lost art, has regained NBA’s respect (from Associated Press):
Read it here: http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Outside-shooting-no-longer-lost-art-has-5828096.php
– Hard Cap 201: Graduate Hard Caponomics (from Daniel Leroux, midlevelexceptional.com):
” The NBA’s soft cap provides the system with a volatility and nuance that other North American sports leagues just cannot match. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement combines a lack of prohibition on excessive spending with some pretty substantial penalties so franchises that choose to be aggressive can do so but at a great cost, as we saw last season with the Brooklyn Nets.
As I discussed in the introduction to the NBA’s hard cap, the league has created a smart system to prevent teams from gaming the system too much. To briefly recap, there are certain tools for building a team that franchises over the luxury tax apron cannot use, most notably acquiring players via sign-and-trade and using either the full Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception or the Bi-Annual Exception. To close a potential loophole, the current CBA forces teams that utilize one or more of these pieces to stay under the apron for the rest of that league year, creating a narrow hard cap that will affect more than one-third of the NBA’s franchises this season.
That introduction laid the groundwork for the consequences and functional purpose of the hard cap but the real fun comes from how it actually works.”
Read it here: http://midlevelexceptional.com/2014/10/17/advanced-hard-cap/
– Jeff Van Gundy Has Quick Fixes to Speed Up NBA’s Slow Finishes (from Mitch Lawrence, NBCNewYork.com):
“…(N)umerous timeouts down the stretch of playoff games, in particular, also mean bringing games to a screeching halt, making them culprits, along with TV replays and the customary inordinate number of fouls. The last two minutes of games can last a lifetime.
“When you’re coaching, you really don’t notice it as much,’’ Van Gundy said. “But when you watch it on TV, it is just beyond comprehension.’
I know people are saying, ‘Well, we can’t cut a timeout, because it’s going to cost us money.’ But you know what? Look at this next TV contract we have and look how it’s going to make everybody plenty of money. How about we go with the concept of giving back to the fan? By cutting a timeout, we’ll be doing that and we would also be helping to keep the flow of the game going.’’
And some additional player updates:
– Otto Porter: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/wizards-otto-porter-seeing-role-more-clearly-in-second-season/2014/10/16/d30aeeaa-5575-11e4-809b-8cc0a295c773_story.html
– Jeff Ayres: http://www.expressnews.com/sports/spurs/article/Ayres-eager-for-expanded-role-5828521.php#/0
– Kentavius Caldwell-Pope: http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nba/pistons/2014/10/17/detroit-pistons-kentavious-caldwell-pope/17424825/
– George Hill: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2233419-the-reinvention-of-george-hill-is-critical-the-to-indiana-pacers
– Phil Pressey: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics_nba/boston_celtics/2014/10/phil_pressey_shows_he_belongs
– Greg McDermott: http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/korver-hopes-mcdermott-has-similar-experience-thibs-bulls
– Jimmy Butler: http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/bulls-confidence-grows-so-too-does-jimmy-butlers-game
– Dwight Howard: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/10/17/hakeem-howard-is-ready-for-an-mvp-type-season/
– Shabazz Napier: http://www.hothothoops.com/2014/10/17/6991981/miami-heat-point-guard-decision-easy-one-shabazz-napier-rookie
– Devyn Marble: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/devyn-marbles-looks-to-make-noise-in-rookie-season/