– Backups stepping up for team-oriented Hawks (from Charles Odum, Associated Press):
– Enes Kanter has been a fantastic fit to Thunder offense (from Darnell Mayberry, Newsok.com):
” Kanter is a fantastic fit for the offense. And with the 22-year-old center exceeding expectations through his first five games, he’s made the Thunder’s trade deadline deal look like a dandy.
“He knows how to play,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He’s played a lot of basketball growing up, and he’s picked up things pretty quickly. We want to focus on getting him better with the stuff that we run. But he’s comfortable on the block, he’s comfortable making plays off the block and he’s a good offensive rebounder so he gets opportunities there as well.””
– A coach’s son: The education of Brett Brown (from Sam Donnellon, philly.com):
– Live from the Sloan: Dean Oliver of the Sacramento Kings (from Carl Bialik, 538):
– Mavs are a different defensive team (from Tim McMahon, ESPN):
“Guys are understanding what we need to accomplish,” reserve guard Devin Harris said. “Our help-side defense is impacted. We’ve always had Tyson in the middle, but I think we’re doing a better job of closing the gaps, forcing people to shoot more jump shots, forcing skip passes and things that we’ve been emphasizing all year long. I think guys are really honing in on that.
“It’s just repetition. We go through it in practice. Punch it in enough and it will start to sink in. I think guys are really doing a great job of recognizing it and keeping it moving forward.”
– Understanding What Makes Marc Gasol Great (from Derek James, Hardwood Paroxysm):
” At this point, there’s no NBA indie cred to be had for fawning over Gasol’s brilliance. He’s been the Defensive Player of the Year, as well as an all-star starter two weeks ago. He averages 18 points and eight rebounds while making nearly half of his shots on one of the best team’s in the West.
No, Gasol is no 25 and 15 guy; his team is too good for that. Watching Gasol is something that hardcore basketball fans can appreciate. Much like Tim Duncan, Gasol can oscilate between grace and brute force. At 7’1 and 265 pounds, this is a rare ability, but one that makes him a weapon at Dave Joerger’s disposal.”
Read and view it here: http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2015/03/03/marc-gasol-grizzlies-great/
– Ainge’s focus is on player development (from Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald):
” Ainge is focused less on the wins and losses and more on the individuals as he reconstructs this roster.
“I’m just watching their development in practice and games and seeing how they fit in, how they play, how quickly they pick up the schemes, how they fit into Brad’s system, how much they value every offensive and defensive possession,” Ainge said. “I’m just watching their individual progress.
“I just want them to keep getting better. I don’t think any of them have reached their peak yet as players. I think they all have a long way to go to reach their peak, actually.”
– HOW GEORGE KARL CHANGES THE KINGS (from Brett Koremenos, sportsonearth.com):
– The risks of a Kemba Walker- Mo Williams backcourt (from Frank Berndt, atthehive.com):
” Coach Steve Clifford was adamant that Kemba Walker and Mo Williams would be sharing the backcourt when Walker returns from injury. Offensively it sounds great, but what about the other side?
Read and view it here: http://www.atthehive.com/2015/3/3/8140489/the-risks-of-a-walker-williams-backcourt
– Dante Exum (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):
“What kind of player do you hope to become?”
I pose this question to Jazz rookie Dante Exum—a rangy, 6-6, 19-year-old point guard—in part out of sheer curiosity. There are players for whom this bit is rehearsed, akin to another of Exum’s age reciting their college major and career prospects in particular fashion. Exum doesn’t commit to that script. He cracks wise (“Well, have you seen Steve Novak?”), mulls over the question, and tells the truth.
“You know, I don’t know,” Exum says.
The beauty of the NBA is that he doesn’t have to. Basketball prospects might be widely discussed in concrete, matter-of-fact terms, yet those evaluations are mere feints at certainty. There is no convenient comparison for Exum, which leaves open a tantalizing—and perhaps terrifying—array of possibilities.”
– Dominique Wilkins Q & A (from Jonathan Abrams, grantland.com):
” What were your expectations for the Hawks entering this season?
I knew we’d be good. I said before the season that this team would be in the top five. I said that and people looked at me like I was crazy. But I know basketball. I know our team, and all we did was add little pieces.Coach Bud has come in with a system that 100 percent works. You talk about the architect — the architect of this team is Coach Bud and his coaching staff and the players who bought into the system. Those guys deserve all the credit in the world, because they accepted the challenge that the coach put in front of them. There’s three things in my opinion [for why the team is thriving]: We defend on the basketball. Not a lot of teams in the NBA actually defend up front. Secondly, they trust one another. They love one another. Thirdly, we’ve got 10 guys who can shoot. Then you’ve got Jeff Teague, who in my opinion is the engine that makes this team run.”
– Is Tony Snell Breaking Out, Or Just Breaking In? (from Kelly Scaletta, Bball breakdown):
” The 2015 NBA trade deadline has passed, and the Chicago Bulls did not make a move for a wing player, much to the chagrin of some fans. However, unequivocally, it was the right move not to do so. To make a trade now would be self-sabotage, as sophomore Tony Snell is finally finding his footing.
With the sad news of Derrick Rose’s latest injury, there’s little question Snell can keep getting rotation minutes. He is needed now. After the Bucks game, Tom Thibodeau didn’t hesitate to confirm Snell had cracked the rotation, saying, “[a]s long as Tony’s playing well, he’s gonna keep playing. So you don’t have to worry about Tony being in the rotation.” With Kirk Hinrich assuming the role of starting point guard, Snell will be the first wing off the bench. And the turmoil makes it all the more crucial that the first wing off the bench knows the system and his teammates.
No, the best course of action for the Bulls was to let Snell continue to progress. Truthfully, they are more in need of continuity than help. Their starting five is 15-4. They are 27-11 when Mike Dunleavy plays and 9-10 when he doesn’t. They have the roster to contend. They just need stability. With Snell developing into a bona fide backup, the fix to the Bulls’ biggest weakness is already on the roster. Why trade for what you already have?
Read and view it here: http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/03/02/is-tony-snell-breaking-out-or-just-breaking-in/
– Understanding Jimmy Butler’s UCL Elbow Sprain (from Jeff Stotts, instreetclothes.com):
Read it here: http://instreetclothes.com/blog/
– Joffrey Lauvergne Gets His Shot With The Nuggets (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):
Read and view it here: http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/03/01/joffrey-lauvergne-gets-his-shot-with-the-nuggets/
– Emerging Defensive Force: Terrence Jones (from Jordan Foley, Vantage Sports):
” Vantage has previously covered the All-Star potential of Terrence Jones, emphasizing his ability to take his man off the dribble and finish at the rim. While Jones’s offense is easy to like, the Portland playoff series is often cited to deride his defense. Although Jones certainly has a long way to go defensively, his 15 games of play have been better than you may think.”
Read and view it here: http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VPOlbSgAACgACPHS/emerging-defensive-force-terrence-jones
Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:
– Rudy Gobert/Derrick Favors: http://www.sltrib.com/sports/2237432-155/utah-jazz-twin-towers-gobert-and
– Mike Muscala: http://hawkshoop.com/mike-muscalas-journey-to-grow/
– Thomas Robinson: http://www.mcall.com/sports/mc-sixers-robinson-20150303-story.html