Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 8/31/16

–  Scott Brooks Won’t Immediately Reward Young Players With Playing Time  (from Ben Mehic Wiz Of Awes):

Read it here:

–  Spurs Stamp Evident As Sean Marks Hires Staff (from Net Income, Nets Daily):

Read it here:

–  Are The Rockets Headed For Terrible Defense?  (from Ian Levy, Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:

–  The Most Intriguing Offseason Moves (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Ilsutrated):

Read it here:

–  Clippers’ Player Profiles  (from Kevin Pelton,  ESPN):

Read it here:

–  Draymond And Durant Will Be Just Fine Together  (from Scott Rafferty, Sporting News):

Read and view it here:

 Is Steve Clifford The Most Undervalued NBA Asset?  (from Jonny Auping, RealGM):

Read it here:

–  The Continuing Education Of Larry Sanders  (from Mike Pielucci,  VICE Sports):

Read it here:

–  The Knicks’ Potential Point Guard Problems  (from Tommy Beer, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:

 How NBA Coaches Use Their Point Guards Off The Ball (from John Zall):

Watch it here:

–  Cavs’ Baseline Out-Of-Bounds Plays (from John Zall):

Watch it here:

 Elder Statesmen On New Teams  (from Jeremy Woo, Sports Ilustrated):

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 What Does The Lauvergne Trade Mean For Thunder And Nuggets?  (from Matt Moore, CBS Sports):

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 Who, Exactly, Is “The League” You Talk About  (from Steve Kyler, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:

Stretch Provision Deadline (from Luke Adams, Hoops Rumors):

Read it here:

Empty Tank:  Hinkie’s Shadow Looms Large  (from Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Karl-Anthony Towns (from Brandon Jefferson, BBall Breakdown):

Jeremy Lamb  (from Jerry Stephens, Swarm And Sting);

Evan Turner (from Willy Raedy, Blazers Edge):

 Serge Ibaka (from Sports Illustrated);

Alexis Ajinca  (from Oleh Kosel, The Bird Writes):

–  Jaylen Brown (from A. Sherrod Blakely,

 Julius Randle  (from Jameson Miller,  Silver Screen And Roll):

–  Kendall Marshall (from Dakota Schmidt, Ridiculous Upside):

–  Bradley Beal (from J. Michael,

 Tim Hardaway, Jr  (from Chris Herbert, Peachtree Hoops):


Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 4/13/16


The Players No One Passed To This Season  (from Kyle Wagner,
–  Film Session:  Avery Bradley Defends  (from Scott Rafferty, Sporting News):
–  Knicks Focus Is To Get Players Who Fit The System  (from Stefan Bondy,  NY Daily News):

–  Terry Stotts’ Playoff Guarantee Changed The Blazers’ Season  (from Joe Freeman, Oregon Live):

Read it here:

–  The Mavs Shouldn’t Have Made The Playoffs  –  But They Did  (from Tim Cato,
–  Recapping Tuesday’s Games  (from SBNation):
–  NBA Releases Playoff Scenarios  (from Dan Feldman,  NBC Sports):
–  Kings’ Season Is Down To How Many Games They Can Lose  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
–  Kevin Love  (from Chris Fedor,
George Hill (from Mark Monteith,
Jerian Grant  (from Ryan Weinkauf,
–  Cody Zeller  (from Reinis Lacis,
–  John Holland  (from Brian Rzeppa, Ridiculous Upside):


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Ten years in, Colangelo’s Team USA vision realized  (frm Nick Friedell,  ESPN):

Read it here:


–  Will The Younger, Faster Blazers Play A More Uptempo Offense Next Season?  (from evansclinchy,

” The Blazers turned their roster upside down this summer. It stands to reason that their style of play should change accordingly.”

Read and view it here:


–  Blazers are bottoming out without tanking  (from Jesus Gomez,

Read it here:


–  Blazers look to bounce back from tough off season  (from Scott Howard-Cooper,

Read it here:



–   Bobby Marks On The Complexities Of The Salary Cap, Roster Building  (from Coach Nick,  Bball Breakdown):

” Coach Nick sat down with Bobby Marks, who started with the New Jersey Nets in the mid 90s and moved up to assistant General Manager by the time they moved to Brooklyn. We go over many of the complicated terms that are tossed around but never full understood like the stretch provision, traded player exception, and the tax apron. For a better understanding of how NBA contracts work, this is a must listen.”

Listen to it here:



–  Traded 2016 First-Round Pick Exchange Scenarios  (from Chuck Myron,

” The moves that teams make in the offseason don’t merely affect the season to come. Indeed, every transaction has a ripple effect of some kind, and as rosters get either better or worse this time of year, it has significant ramifications on next year’s draft. Nearly 20 different scenarios exist in which a first-round pick may change hands. As usual, some are more likely than others, but the relative likelihood in many cases has changed since July 1st.

We’ll break down every scenario here…”

Read it here:



For those with access to ESPN Insider:


–  Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love highlight players looking to bounce back  (form Amin Elhassan)

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Kevin Durant Reveals Unknown Bone Break in Foot, but Says He’s Healthy Now  (from Kevin Ding,  Bleacher Report):


–  Jeff Teague’s Development Helps Hawks Take Flight  (from Shane Young,  Bball Breakdown):


–  Harrison Barnes/ Festus Ezeli: The Future of the Golden State Warriors  (from Conrad Chow,


–  Ezeli focused on slowing game down (from Monte Poole,


In Defense of Andre Roberson  (from Shawn Woods,


–   The ways Luol Deng can make an impact this season  (from Brandon DiPerno,


Jimmy Butler interview  (from Sam Smith,


– The Anatomy of Tristan Thompson’s Offensive Rebounds  (form Jordan M. Foley, Vantage Sports):


–  What David Lee brings to the Celtics  (from Jeff Nooney,


–  Willie Reed Gets His Shot With Nets  (from Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders):




NOTE:  Today’s BI posting was delayed due to this being a travel day as we returned from TeamUSA minicamp in Las Vegas.  Our regular schedule resumes tomorrow



Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

With Derrick Rose Back, Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau Now Faces Colossal Task (from Sean Highkin, Bleacher Report):

”  Tom Thibodeau is in a time crunch the rest of the way to make a collection of pieces fit together that he hasn’t had all in one place for much of the year. The most important of those pieces is a player feeling his way back from a third knee surgery in as many years, who now has one week to put together something resembling the continuity and confidence that comes with having games under his belt.

It’s no easy task—not for Rose, not for Thibodeau, not for any of the Bulls’ players who have grown used to the shuffling of healthy players over the course of the season. But if the title hopes the organization and locker room still hold onto from training camp are going to become reality, they’ll have to find a way to make that happen.

Even with Rose back, Thibodeau still has some figuring out of his rotations to do. Wednesday’s game was just the fourth time this season where the Bulls had their entire roster available, and the 20th with their normal starting lineup.

Re-acclimating a player as important as Rose with this little time left is a tough coaching feat under the best of circumstances. Further handcuff him with a minutes limit and the juggling act becomes all the more dangerous.”

Read it here:




–  New X-Factors Emerging for San Antonio Spurs’ 2014-15 NBA Playoffs Run  (from David Kenyon,  Bleacher Report):

” (O)nce the postseason begins, the Spurs will be able to showcase a few players who occupy non-glamorous, advantageous roles on a potential title-winning squad.”

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–  Trust is growing within Orlando Magic (from Philip Rossman-Reich,

“The joy for me comes out of watching our players,” coach James Borrego said. “Their excitement, their joy. They’re the group on the floor. The credit goes to those 15 men in the locker room that have stuck together, that pull for each other, that compete with each other. They’ve never backed down from that. And I’m proud of the way they have stuck with that. They made growth on the floor, but as a group they have come together and the credit belongs tot he 15 men in that locker room.”

The last two games have shown how deep that trust can go.”

Read it here:





–  Jason Kidd Leads Bucks’ NBA Learning Experience This Season (from Fred Katz,  Bleacher Report):

” The Bucks have some of the most detailed whiteboards in the league, a direct reflection of their coach, Jason Kidd, who is in the midst of his first year coaching them. Preparedness is becoming their identity.

“They’re detailed about everything,” breakout star Khris Middleton mused about his new coaching staff, especially Sean Sweeney, the apparent calligrapher responsible for the Bucks’ stifling defense and whiteboard doodling. “I mean, it really helps us out. All the tendencies, what we need to do. It helps.””

Read and view it here:




–  If the Thunder miss the playoffs, blame their horrific defense  (from Satchel Price,

” Everyone knew the injuries to Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka would hurt Oklahoma City, particularly once it became clear in March that neither would return. What people didn’t expect was a complete collapse on the defensive end of the floor, where the Thunder have been solid for many years.”

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– Screening Isn’t Really Houston’s Thing  (from Jordan M. Foley, Vantage Sports):

” The simplicity of Houston’s read-and-react offense is a widely known fact, yet the Rockets are able to score very efficiently. It is easy to assume that a free-flowing, play-less offensive system would rely on screening actions to generate spacing and facilitate the offense. After all, when you think of other highly efficient scoring teams, you typically think of teams like the Spurs, Warriors, or Hawks. Each of those teams have offenses that feature an incredible amount of movement and screening, but that is something that you do not see in Houston.”

Read and view it here:




On the Road with the 76ers  (from Michael Sokolove, NYTimes):

” A Philadelphian, by birth and temperament, I followed the Sixers off and on for months this season, trying to understand how the team’s quixotic plan was progressing. Oddly, the basketball team the Sixers put on the court was not uninteresting. On their better nights, they were not unwatchable. At all times, they were illuminating. I felt as if I were looking in on a strange social-science experiment: Throw together a group of marginal, overmatched professional athletes and give them a shot at their lifelong dream. The results were both inspiring and heartbreaking”

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:


Jameer Nelson: Nelson:  meer-nelson-has-thrived-in-melvin-hunts-offense/


Tyler Hansbrough:


Lou Williams:


Kawhi Leonard:


Rajon Rondo:


Isaiah Thomas:


Derrick Favors:


Nicolas Batum:


Tristan Thompson:


Shabazz Muhammad:


– Steph Curry/ Klay Thompson:


Jonas Valanciunas:


Gordon Hayward:


Ricky Ledo:


Joakim Noah:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  The Suns provided the blueprint for stopping James Harden (from Mike Prada, SBNation)

Read and view it here:



–  Hawks concerned by recent play, but still confident  (from Kris Willis,

“The last three games, the way teams have been able to get free and get shots and the percentages they’ve shot is a concern,” Budenholzer said. It’s a lot of little things. It starts probably with better individual defense. But I would probably be more concerned if we hadn’t shown an ability to do it a lot of the season. We need to draw on that. We need to know how important it is first, to be good defensively, and to remind us how we are good defensively, and get back to doing that.”

“We give them a lot of credit,” Budenholzer said. “Some of the things they did well I think we need to do some of those things, driving and finding guys and moving the ball. It is a lot of the stuff we have done all year. I think taking care of the paint. Just all of the little things. Decision making, quicker decisions, harder drives, better defense, better individual defense. You’ve got to do all of the little things against a good team. So tonight and other nights when we haven’t played well against the good teams, that is what you learn. Rarely is it just one big thing, it’s a lot of little things that add up to being a good team and having success.”

Read it here:




 Cavs have  lost only six games in 10 weeks   (from Terry Pluto,

Read it here:



–  Bucks disrespected JR Smith’s range and LeBron James made sure they paid  (from Chris Haynes,

” (W)hen the Bucks’ defense managed to cut James off, he made them pay with his court vision.

Smith is one of the better guards in the league in moving without the ball. His high basketball IQ and long distance range paired with James has been a recipe for disaster for the opposition and the Bucks were the latest victim to find that out.

“You just find him. You find him,” James said of Smith. “When I know JR has it going, which has been a lot for us, you keep giving him the ball.”

In the fourth quarter James found Smith for two of his three consecutive wide-open three-pointers. Wherever James drove, Smith rotated the opposite way to ensure a proper passing angle if James elected to dish it off. He did, and Smith knew what to do with the ball from there.

James makes the game easy for his teammates, but the Bucks made it a lot easier. Those treys Smith connected on down the stretch, no defender was within five feet of the sharpshooter.

James isn’t shocked by how well Smith has been playing. He just chalks it up to making smart basketball plays.

“I just think over the course of the years I knew what he was very good at and for me, it’s my job once a guys comes to my team, or our team, to put them in their best position to succeed,” James said. “You don’t put Tristan [Thompson] in pick-and-rolls handling the ball, you let him set it and let him roll and he cleans glass. Things of that nature.”

“With JR, you don’t have him running pick-rolls. You have me and Kyrie [Irving] running pick-and-rolls so he can be the recipient on the backside. You put guys in the right position where they succeed the most and that’s where a team comes together because everyone does their part. And that’s all part of having a role and JR fits his role tremendously and more.”

Read it here:



–  Rebuilding plans diverge for Lakers, Sixers  (from Baxter Holmes,  ESPN):

” (D)espite their proud pasts, awful presents and uncertain futures, these two major-market teams have little in common. In fact, when it comes to their plan to rebound from rebuilding status, these two teams couldn’t be more different.

The Lakers not only swing for the fences, they often have a grand-slam-or-nothing mindset. Some teams go after All-Stars, but the Lakers chase future Hall of Famers and don’t settle for much less.

The 76ers have other ideas, such as aggressively trading to stockpile draft picks — even if it means trading away valuable pieces, such as Michael Carter-Williams, the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year, whom they shipped to Milwaukee in February.

All told, since Hinkie’s first draft on June, 27, 2013, the 76ers have made 21 trades, yielding 32 different players and 15 additional picks. And this June, the team could have as many as ninedraft picks — four in the first round, five in the second.

“It is extremely aggressive, it’s extremely bold,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said before the game. “We think we have to do that to get to where we want to go.”

Read it here:




–   Sixers’ Coach Brett Brown has winning mentality  (from Bob Cooney,

” He knows a chance at the top pick in June’s draft slips with each win. Still, he won’t give in to the thinking that losing is better.

“I don’t know how to coach anymore if that becomes part of it all,” Brown said through a tightened jaw. “I really don’t. You can’t cheat the game. I get it and I understand it. I just don’t even know how to do my job, otherwise. We go about our business. I can’t walk into the locker room and do anything else for those guys. They want to play hard. They want to compete. Whatever ends up happening, ends up happening.”
Read it here:




–  Randy Wittman wants Wizards to focus more on defense  (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

” (W)e’re bitching about who’s getting shots and not instead of worrying about stops,” Wittman said. “What did we score, 50 at half? That’s plenty. It has nothing to do with offense. I don’t even know why you would bring that up. It’s all about focus from a defensive standpoint.

“I think we were selfish defensively,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “We weren’t helping each other, especially in pick and rolls. We were doing concepts we weren’t even planning on doing tonight. It just creates a lot of opportunities for them, open threes, easy layups, uncontested layups. We were just out of sync. We were out of character. We weren’t playing our style of basketball.

“We come to a timeout and we’re worried about turning the ball over there, let’s look to throw it in the post,” Wittman said. “No, let’s look to get some defensive stops.”

Read  it here:




Mavs’ Over-reliance on Monta  (from Bobby Karalla,

Read it here:

More on this (from Tim McMahon, ESPN) here:




–  Film room: Inside Anthony Davis passing improvements  (from Matt Cianfrom,

” Anthony Davis has started to show off an incredible new skill that could turn him into the type of player that renders the rest of the NBA even more helpless as he continues to grow older.

What has emerged recently from Davis is a new-found passing ability that combines both excellent tough, vision and feel for the game that not many big men in basketball today have. The results have followed as well. In his last five games Davis has posted games of six, five, seven, four and five assists. While Davis won’t ever be a player that averages 10 assists per game, the improvements have shown that the Pelicans can run their offense fully and completely through Davis and not have to worry about things bogging down.

For this trip into the film room we will look at Davis throwing four different types of passes. First working out of the high post, then from the pick-and-roll, then out of the post before a final look at a pass that didn’t turn into an assist but came from his working from the perimeter.

Read and view it here:




Grizzly Light and Leadership: Memphis is Rising to the Occasion  (from Joe Mullinax,  grizzlybearblues):

” The fastest way to right the wrongs of an organization and roster is to win, and win the Memphis Grizzlies did this past weekend. After a successful run against potential playoff competition, and after the worst of Memphis in the darkness, it took a return, a force of nature, and an act of selflessness to allow for leadership and light to shine through once again.”

Read and view it here:




– As Clippers season winds down, coach has no formula for resting players  (from Broderick Turner,  LATimes):

“What I still don’t know — and I’m not smart enough to know that — if rest in games 40-50, is that more effective than resting from games 70 to 80? We all have theories. I’m sure there actually is an answer to that. I would think later has to be better. But who the heck knows?”

“If I thought rest would help us in the playoffs, then we’re going to rest,” Rivers said. “I think that’s the better way of explaining. Because if you’re playing guys and you’re tired, you’re going to lose anyway. So give me a chance of a healthy team. I know that as a fact: A healthy team is better than an unhealthy team. I’m positive of that.”

Read it here:



–  The San Antonio Spurs and Fundamentals  (from JC Sites,  Vantage Sports):

“The core fundamentals are clean passing (i.e., no deflections), solid screening, staying in front of the offensive player, rebounding, and getting and making open shots. This is a broad group, but with Vantage Stats, we can inspect each fundamental aspect of the Spurs’ game.”

Read and view it here:




Khris Middleton Q & A (from Zach Lowe,

Read it here:





Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:


Isaiah Canaan:


Ish Smith:


Nikola Mirotic:


Ricky Ledo:


Rudy Gay:


Justin Holiday:


Zach LaVine/Kevin Martin/Chase Budinger:


Elfrid Payton: