Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  The NBA Finalists: How to Make a Sequel  (from Zach Lowe, Grantland):

Read it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-nba-finalists-how-to-make-a-sequel/

 

 

–  2015 NBA draft:  Top 60 prospects  (from Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/06/23/nba-draft-player-rankings-big-board-karl-anthony-towns-jahlil-okafor

 

 

Karl-Anthony Towns will go to Wolves at No. 1  (from  Jerry Zgoda, startribune.com):

” Wolves Nation and NBA executives have fallen hard for Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns, smitten in recent weeks and months by a 19-year-old who can dribble it, pass it and shoot it from both near and far.

“I knew he had some perimeter skills, but I didn’t know he had the ability to shoot the ball as effortlessly and with as much range as he does,” Saunders said. “No question KG was the first player his size to do those things. He could guard out on the floor, run the floor, shoot the ball. There have been more who have come: [Anthony] Davis at New Orleans is similar and K.A.T. is along those lines. He’s able to do a lot of different things and be good at a lot of them. Sometimes players are good at a couple different things, but not a lot of them.”

Read it here:  http://www.startribune.com/talk-of-karl-anthony-towns-he-ll-go-to-the-wolves-at-no-1/309187721/

 

 

–   Who Is Kristaps Porzingis?   (from Danny Chau, Grantland):

Part I:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/who-is-kristaps-porzingis/

Part II:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/notalleuros-the-perfect-storm-behind-kristaps-porzingiss-rise/

 

 

 

–  The Long-Term Effects of Going No. 2 in NBA Draft  (from Jessica Camerato, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/the-long-term-effects-of-going-no-2-in-nba-draft/

 

 

–  Melvin Hunt reflects on his time with Denver Nuggets, how coaching interview process unfolded  (from Nate Timmons, denverstiffs.com):

Read it here:  http://www.denverstiffs.com/2015/6/23/8824561/melvin-hunt-reflects-on-his-time-with-the-denver-nuggets-nba-mavericks

 

 

–  The game Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni pioneered in Phoenix is showing up on championship teams (from Bruce Arthur, thestar.com):

Read it here:  http://www.thestar.com/sports/basketball/2015/06/22/steve-nash-is-easy-to-find-if-youre-looking-arthur.html

 

 

–  The best Warriors quotes on coaching, teamwork  (form Coachad.com):

Read it here:  http://www.coachad.com/news/the-best-warriors-quotes-on-coaching-teamwork/

 

 

NB-  The Basketball Tournament: Roundtable Q&A  (from Alex Kennedy,  Basketball Insiders):

” The NBA season is over, which means diehard basketball fans must go without the game they love for quite some time. For a long time, summer league was the only option for a basketball fan craving some action featuring professionals. Now, there’s another alternative.

The Basketball Tournament is back for the second straight year, and it features a ton of former NBA players, old college teams reuniting, a $1 million prize and nationally televised games on ESPN and ESPN U. The opening round of TBT starts on July 10, and games will be played in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. Games will be on ESPN, ESPN U and live-streamed onlinrent NBA players from playing in TBT, but former NBA players and free agents are free to participate.’

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/the-basketball-tournament-roundtable-qa/

 

 

For those with access to ESPN Insider:

 

–  Evaluating each NBA team’s draft-and-stash talent  (from Kevin Pelton):

” During the second round of next week’s NBA Draft, you’ll hear the names of plenty of players selected who won’t play for their teams in 2015-16. Instead, they’ll head — or stay — overseas to continue improving before potentially coming to the NBA down the line. This is the “draft-and-stash” method that has become a crucial part of drafting.

While many players never develop into NBA-caliber players or pass on the opportunity to come to the league because they can make more money overseas, patience with their picks allowed the Chicago Bulls to add Rookie of the Year runner-up Nikola Mirotic and the San Antonio Spurs to land Manu Ginobili andTiago Splitter, among others.

To evaluate the talent that might be headed to the NBA in the future, I used translated stats from the D-League, Euroleague, EuroCup, Adriatic League, Spanish ACB, French Pro A to project most players whose rights are held by teams. (A handful have not played in any of these leagues within the past three years.) Based on how stats have translated from these leagues to the NBA in the past, we can get a general sense of their value. These projections are expressed inmy per-minute win percentage, where .500 is an average player and .410 is approximately replacement level — the minimum threshold needed to add value to an NBA roster.

Let’s take a look at these ratings and the likelihood of players coming over on a team-by-team basis”

Read it here::  http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2015/insider/story/_/id/13081815/nba-draft-evaluating-nba-team-draft-stash-talent

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

Danny Green:  http://www.expressnews.com/sports/spurs/article/Spurs-Green-exepected-to-be-hot-commodity-6342325.php?t=8125b7afdc927fc3fb&cmpid=twitter-premium

 

Willie Cauley-Stein:  http://www.espn.co.uk/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/106830/cauley-stein-brings-rare-defensive-versatility

 

Emmanuel Mudiay:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2015/06/23/on-emmanuel-mudiay-larry-brown-ponders-what-could-have-been-yet-is-still-excited-for-what-could-be/

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   The Last Ride of the Spurs Dynasty: Appreciating San Antonio’s Final Hurrah   (from Zach Lowe, grantland.com):

” The Spurs should be the biggest story of the postseason as long as they’re kicking. There are other meaty issues: the Warriors’ quest to cap their historically dominant regular season; LeBron James, redeeming Cleveland and dunking Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving into the playoff baptismal pool; Derrick Rose’s desperate search for his MVP zip; the trumped-up battle over Chris Paul’s “legacy”; the Hawks, once the NBA’s most vanilla organization, soldiering through tabloid headlines and the possibility that police brutality ended Thabo Sefolosha’s season; and the Wizards’ and Raptors’ dual quest to play a passable professional basketball game.

But nothing tops what could be the last stand of the Spurs as we know them. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are 381 and 37, respectively, and both could retire — even though each is clearly capable of playing at a high level beyond this season. Six other rotation players are free agents, including Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, perhaps the best two-way starting wing combination in the league. The Spurs are down 1-0, with Game 2 on the road against the strongest first-round opponent they’ve faced in the Tim Duncan era.

The Spurs could easily win this series,2 repeat as champions, and re-sign their aging stars to one- or two-year contracts. This could all be much ado about nothing. The franchise hasn’t faced this level of top-to-bottom uncertainty since Duncan dined with the Magic in 2000, and it’s hard to quash the feeling of preemptive nostalgia as you watch Duncan drain bank shots and nail every rotation while Ginobili dances steps he literally invented. Appreciate it all, because this really could be the last springtime run for one of the greatest core groups in the history of team sports.”

Read and view  it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-last-ride-of-the-spurs-dynasty/

(NOTE:  This story also includes Zach’s takes on a number of the other playoff series)

 

 

 

– Let’s Look at the Clippers’ Perfect Offensive Scheme  (from Sagar Panchal, thesportspost.com):

Read and view it here:  http://network.yardbarker.com/nba/article_external/three_possessions_or_less_lets_look_at_the_clippers_perfect_offensive_scheme/18659720

 

 

 

 Draymond Green:  Brow’s shadow steps into spotlight  (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss, ESPN):

” After the Golden State Warriors finally closed out the scrapping New Orleans Pelicans 97-87 in Game 2, Klay Thompson got the national TV interview. Draymond Green, whose defense was astounding on Monday night, talked for the local feed. It happened that way because that’s how we’ve always done things. If you scored the most points and your team won, you’re getting the biggest spotlight. It’s the formula because scoring a basket is obvious and preventing one is less obvious.

Though Thompson certainly deserves acclaim for a great shooting game, this particular space will mostly be reserved for crediting Green, fulcrum of a Golden State defense that held New Orleans to 37.8 percent shooting. Green’s overall defense on Monday night was brilliant, but most especially against Anthony Davis. Their battles echo those of the shorter Tony Allen throwing everything atKevin Durant — the undersized grinder going up against young Goliath.

In theory, this should have been too large a task for Green, who’s the size of a wing player. “It’s tough, man,” he said after the game. “Most guys I give up length to who I guard, most them aren’t as quick as me though.”

Read  it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/golden-state-warriors/post/_/id/497/brows-shadow-steps-into-spotlight

 

 

 

–  Draymond Green, Warriors’ bench fuel Game 2 win against pesky Pelicans (from Phil Taylor,  Sports Illustrated):

”  The Warrior reserves were missing in action in Game 1, but they re-emerged on Monday night at the best possible time for Golden State. The Warriors trailed 28-17 after the first quarter and were badly in need of a boost. Leandro Barbosa came off the bench to score eight points on an assortment of drives and jumpers, Marreese Speightsdrilled a couple of mid-range shots and Andre Iguodala made a corner three after some crisp ball movement.

Boost provided.

“Nobody will write it, nobody will talk about it, but the bench won us the game,” Green said. “When they left the game we were still down seven, but they changed the complete pace and tempo of the game. We were getting punched and getting punched and getting punched, and then the second unit came out and threw a punch.”’

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/04/21/warriors-pelicans-draymond-green-game-2-western-conference-round-1

 

 

–  This is why you pay Draymond Green his money (from Tom Ziller, SBNation):

” In the context of the Warriors, Draymond Green is a virtuoso. There is absolutely no reason for Golden State to abandon the relationship.”

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/4/21/8461049/draymond-green-warriors-contract-context-nba-playoffs-2015

 

 

 

–  The Other Guy: Klay Thompson on His Sensational Season  (from Kirk Goldsberry, Grantland.com):

Read and view it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-other-guy-klay-thompson-on-his-sensational-season/

 

 

 

–  Nets look to get Brook Lopez going  (from Mike Mazzeo,  ESPN):

Read it here:   http://www.espn.co.uk/blog/new-york/brooklyn-nets/post/_/id/22509/nets-look-to-get-brook-lopez-going

 

 

 

–  How the Atlanta Hawks (and Lionel Hollins) Limited Brook Lopez in Game 1  (from Paul Mitchell,  brooklynsfinestblog.com):

Read and view it here:  http://brooklynsfinestblog.com/2015/04/21/how-the-atlanta-hawks-and-lionel-hollins-limited-brook-lopez-in-game-1/

 

 

 

–  Film Study: The Nets ability to stop the Hawks 3-point assault  (from  Reed Wallach,  netsdaily.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.netsdaily.com/2015/4/21/8461191/film-study-nets-hawks-game-one-kyle-korver-defense-win-three-pointer

 

 

 

–  How Can the Celtics Slow Down Kyrie Irving?  (from Jordan Greer,  celticshub.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.celticshub.com/2015/04/21/can-celtics-slow-kyrie-irving/

 

 

 

–  Kyrie Was Hot but Celtics’  TO% and Cavs’  OReb Pursuit Rate Are More Telling  (from Kevin O’Connor,  Vantage Sports):

” “The turnovers kill you. The offensive rebounds kill you,” (Celtics’ Coach Brad) Stevens said. “The superhuman shots do not.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VTMbnCcAACgA0u3P/celtics-vs.-cavaliers-04-19-15-game-1

 

 

 

–  Video Review: How the Rockets ran the ball down the Mavericks’ throat  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25157265/video-review-how-the-rockets-ran-the-ball-down-the-mavericks-throat

 

 

 

–  Digging deeper into James Harden’s Game 1  (from Jake Garcia, thedreamshake.com):

Read and view it here:   http://www.thedreamshake.com/2015/4/21/8460445/rockets-film-breakdown-james-harden-mavericks-nba-playoffs-2015

 

Rockets-Mavs:  WHAT TO WATCH FOR: GAME 2 (from Bobby Karalla, mavs.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.mavs.com/what-to-watch-for-game-2/

 

 

–  How the Mavericks can fix the problem of Dirk Nowitzki’s defense  (from Josh Bowe,  mavsmoneyball.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2015/4/21/8454969/dirk-nowitzki-defense-mavericks-rockets-game-2

 

 

 

–  Dwight Howard plans to stop using ‘weight-room muscles’ against Mavericks in Game 2  (from Eddie Sefko,  dallasnews.com):

Read it here:  http://mavsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/04/dwight-howard-plans-to-stop-taking-the-mavericks-bait.html/

 

 

 

Butler’s Efficient Scoring Helped by Bulls’ Assist Rate as Bucks Fail to Keep Pace  (from Bob macKinnon, Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VTQEfCcAACgA13nL/bucks–bulls-4-20-15-game-2-the-butler-did-it-on-his-way-to-a-playoff-career-high-31-points-by-nailing-1.35-points-per-shot.

 

 

 

– Bucks offense stagnates with lack of passing in Game 2 loss  (from Mark Strotman,  csnchiacgo.com):

Read it here:  http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/bucks-offense-stagnates-lack-passing-game-2-loss

 

 

 

George Karl on the playoffs (from Bill Herenda, csnbayarea.com):

Read it here:   http://www.csnbayarea.com/warriors/george-karl-says-warriors-will-win-it-all

 

 

 

–  Player development a Scott Brooks strength  (from Berry Tramel,  newsok.com):

” (A) criticism I’ve heard about Brooks is measureable. And quite absurd. The idea that Brooks doesn’t develop players.

What can anyone possibly be talking about? Player development has been a Thunder mantra since the franchise hit town, and it’s not just talk. The Thunder develops players wonderfully, and coaching has to be a major part of that. Let’s go down the list:”

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/player-development-a-scott-brooks-strength/article/5412355

 

 

 

–   With Enes Kanter, the Thunder plugged one hole but opened another  (from Berry Tramel, newsok.com):

” Kanter could score. but his defense was atrocious”

Read it here: http://new sok.com/with-enes-kanter-the-thunder-plugged-one-hole-but-opened-another/article/5411297

 

 

 

–  A year of familiarity figures to get Pistons closer to top-10 D standing SVG craves  (from Keith Langlois, pistons.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/pistons/features/year-familiarity-figures-get-pistons-closer-top-10-d-standing-svg-craves

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

 

Paul Millsap:  http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/04/20/4251192_hawks-millsap-trying-to-cope-with.html

 

James Johnson:  http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/04/20/raps-james-johnson-waiting-for-the-call

 

James Harden:  http://www.sportal.com.au/nba/team-leader-harden-adjusts-as-mavericks-focus-on-him/1exda9khn67871boivarcuvse2

 

Jimmy Butler:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/4/21/8460479/jimmy-butler-bulls-vs-bucks-nba-playoffs-2015

 

Mike Conley:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2437048-mike-conley-providing-spark-that-could-propel-the-memphis-grizzlies

 

Terrence Ross:  http://www.torontosun.com/2015/04/21/raptors-see-investment-in-terrence-ross-paying-off

 

Robin Lopez:  http://www.slamonline.com/the-magazine/features/robin-lopez-blazers-interview/#itBGYYoSgmGrjExB.97

 

Clint Capela:  http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/rockets/article/Capela-s-whirlwind-year-ends-with-jump-to-reserve-6212707.php?cmpid=twitter-premium&t=f78ba23ba4f992f472

 

Jordan Adams:  http://www.3sob.com/uncategorized/the-young-gun-jordan-adams/21753/

 

Elfrid Payton;  http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2015/04/21/what-went-orlando-magic-right-elfrid-payton/

 

Isaiah Canaan:  http://www.csnphilly.com/basketball-philadelphia-76ers/sixers-player-evaluation-isaiah-canaan

 

Nik Stauskas:  http://cowbellkingdom.com/nik-stauskas-survives-his-rookie-campaign/

 

Tyler Johnson:  http://www.foxsports.com/florida/story/miami-heat-tyler-johnson-player-profile-042115

 

Furkan Aldemir:  http://www.csnphilly.com/basketball-philadelphia-76ers/sixers-player-evaluation-furkan-aldemir

 

Ish Smith:  http://www.nba.com/sixers/news/150420-smith