Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 3/8/16


LBJ:  Cavs Aren’t Ready For The Playoffs  (from Dave McMenamin,  ESPN):
–  Quick Thoughts On Griz’ Win Over Cavs  (from Geoff Calkins, Commercial Appeal):
–  Kerr:  We Can’t Keep Relying On Steph Bailing Us Out  (from Ethan Sherwood Strauss,  ESPN):
–  Warriors Assistant GM Travis Schlenk Q & A  (from Matthew Steinmetz):
 Celtics Can’t Cross Line Of Emotional Play  (from Jimmy Toscano,
–  Hornets/Kemba; Baron Davis; Paul George Q & A  (from David Aldridge,
“Pressure Rate” Defenders  (from Jordan K. Foley,  Vantage Sports):
–  Suns Still Fighting Despite Down Season  (from Cody Taylor,  Basketball Insiders):
–  Wesley Matthews One Year Later  (from Saad Yousuf,
Mavs: Too Much Emphasis On 3s?  (from Eddie Sefko,  Dallas Morning News):
–  New Nets’ GM Sean Marks  (from Andy Vasquez,
–  Recapping Monday’s Games  (from SBNation):
–  GIF Breakdown: The High Scoring Stylings Of Devin Booker and Alex Len  (from Rollin J. Mason,
–  Video Breakdown:  Steph Screens, Klay Hits Wild Trey  (from EricApricot,  Golden tate Of Mind):
Luke Walton:  Dubs Have Freedom To Improvise  (from Scott Davis,  Business Insider):
–  Raptors’ Second Half Collapse Versus Rockets  (from Cooper Smither,  Raptors Republic):
–  How The Lakers Beat The Dubs  (from Coach Nick, BBall Breakdown):
–  Front Office Insider  (from Bobby Marks,  Yahoo Sports):
–  Zach Lowe’s “2016 Marc Gasol All-Stars”  (from ESPN):
–  Hawks Recapturing Some Of Last Season’s Form  (from Jonathan Savitske, Hoops Habit):
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
–  Giannis Antetokuonmpo  (from Jake Fischer,  Sports Illustrated):
Kristaps Porzingis  (from Yaron Weitzman,  SBNation):
Joe Johnson  (from Ira Winderman,
D.J. Augustin  (from Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post):
–   Dorell Wright  (from Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders):
–  Shelvin Mack  (from Tony Jones,  Salt City Tribune):
–  Jordan Clarkson  (from Mike Bresnahan, LATimes):
David West (from Mark Monteith,
–  Emmanuel Mudiay  (from Evan Fiala,  The Sports Quotient):
–  Josh Maggette  (from  Brian Rzeppa,  Ridiculous Upside):  Josh Magette Defies Odds for D-Fenders

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 11/4/15

– Cavaliers’ roster is set. What does it mean for the future? (from Nate Duncan, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:

Okafor pledges to improve on defensive boards (from  Matt Breen,

Read it here:

Heat Coach Spoelstra pushes for drills that more closely resemble games (from Ira Winderman,

Read it here:

Uptempo Wizards are good: here’s how they can be better (from Seth Partnow, Washingotn Post):

Read it here:

Spurs Offer a Model to Wizards (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

Read it here:

– Film Study: Brook Lopez is playing great, but he can’t do it alone (from Reed  Wallach, 

Read and view it here:

– T.J. McConnell playing his way into Sixers’ starting point-guard spot (from Bob Cooney,

Read it here:

Stat Stabilization: When do Net Ratings Become Reliable (from Johannes Becker, Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:

– As Kawhi Leonard’s offensive game emerges, he hasn’t forgotten to bring ‘D’ (from Jeff McDonald, San Antonio Express- News):  

Read it here:

–  Leonard’s transition to bigger role remains work in progress  (from John Schuhmann,

Jimmy Butler: Bulls Haven’t Been Playing Defense (from Nick Friedell,  ESPN):

Read it here:

Jimmy Butler Q & A (from Vincent Goodwill, csnchicago):

Read it here:

Bucks’ New Owners are Smart:  They Leave The Basketball Decisions to the Basketball People  (from Mitch Lawrence, Sporting News):

Read it here:

Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy vows to ‘rethink’ bench rotation  (from David Mayo,

Read it here:

The Nets: A Model of Inefficiency  (from Sean Woodley, Crossover Chronicles)

Read and view it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

Andre Iguodala  (from Motez Bishara and Junko Ogara, CNN):

Nikola Mirotic Continues to Impress (from Sam Smith,

Rockets Need More from Ariza  (from Henry Steckel, Vantage Sports):

Dwight Howard is Pushing Himself carefully  (form Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):

Hassan Whiteside (from Michael Wallace,  ESPN):

Tyler Zeller on struggles: ‘I have to work my way out of it’ (from A. Sherrod Blakely,

Sulllinger is Pulling His Weight for Celts (from Gary Washburn, Boston Globe):

– Horford on pace to set career best in 3-pointers in only 10 games  (from Chris Vivlamore,

Gordon Hayward (from Tony Jones,  Salt Lake Tribune):

Caron Butler can make impact in limited minutes (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee);

Thomas Robinson hopes to silence critics (from Alex Kennedy,  Basketball Insiders):

New Position Not the Issues says Andrew Wiggins (from Marcus R. Fuller,  Pioneer Press):

Dennis Schroder (from Mika Honkasalo,  Vantage Sports):

Glenn Robinson III  (from Rod Beard,  Detroit News):

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis – 10/15/15

–  How the Bucks landed Greg Monroe   (from Brian Windhorst,  ESPN):

Read it here:


–  Why aren’t the Rockets being taken more seriously as a West contender?  (form Seth Partnow, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:


–   The ‘Moneyball’ Man of the NBA: Daryl Morey  (from Andre Cantalogo,

Read it here:


–  ESPN Analytics Chief Ben Alamar: Using Data to Call the Shots  (from Clare Carr,

Read it here:


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–   Tristan Thompson:  The Not So Great Offensive Rebounder….Part I  (from David Wood,


–  How Austin Rivers, coached by his father on the Los Angeles Clippers, turned around his NBA career  (form Jonathan Abrams,  Grantland):


–  R. J. Hunter continues to exceed Celtics’ expectations  (from A. Sherrod Blakely,


–  Rookie is hunting for a role with Celtics  (from Chris Forsberg,  ESPN):


–  RJ Hunter and the other Celtics rookies are all players  (from Jay King,


–   Tiago Splitter transitioning into familiar frontcourt role with Hawks  (from Zach Dillard.


–   Coaching Course Paid Off for Jazz Guard Alec Burks (from Jody Gennessy, Deseret News):


–  Amir Johnson shows what he can do offensively (from A. Sherrod Blakely,


–  Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas working on a new type of jump shot  (form Adam Himmelsbach,  Boston Globe):


–   Nikola Mirotic aims for strong second impression  (from Nick Friedell,  ESPN):


–   Phoenix Suns: Can Alex Len Turn Into The Next Marc Gasol?  (from Michael Dunlap,


–  Mavericks’ Dwight Powell still coping with mom’s cancer-related death in 2012  (from Dwain Price,  Fort Worth Star-Telegram):


–   T.J. Warren’s Game Evolving After Summer Work  (from Gerald Bourguet,


–  For Jordan Bachynski, Pistons’ preseason a chance to stick in the NBA  (from Aaron McMann,


–  How veteran Joe Johnson is helping Nets’ star rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson  (from Tim Bontemps, NYPost):


–  Pistons bench gets a boost with Aaron Baynes’ return and another eye-opener from Reggie Bullock in win over Bulls  (from Keith Langlois,


–  Anthony Davis adjusting to new role as a tough perimeter defender  (from John Reid,


–  Larry Nance Jr. waits patiently out of limelight for Lakers to call his number  (from Mike Bresnahan,  LATimes):


(NOTE:  We were not able to distribute yesterday’s Basketball Intelligence to some subscribers.  Here  it is: )

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis – 10/14/15

–  James Harden:  A Mystery Wrapped Inside an Enigma Shrouded in a Beard  (from  Pablo S. Torre, ESPN):

Read and view it here:


–  James Harden: Advanced stats help, but sometimes it’s ‘too much’  (from Brett Pollakoff,

Read it here:


–  Shining a spotlight on the three best second-unit rotations in the NBA  (from Rob Mahoney,  Sports Illustrated):

” NBA teams are driven by stars but sustained by depth. Almost every member of an active roster comes into play at some point of the 82-game regular season marathon; now that forward-thinking teams more closely monitor their players’ minutes and workload than ever before, the role of reserves has grown accordingly. Factor in the injuries, suspensions, matchups, and foul trouble that bring second- and third-stringers into the limelight and the need for a reliable bench becomes a matter of real consequence.

With that in mind, we’ve brought our focus to the three best bench arrangements in the league at this stage in the preseason, along with the qualities and skill sets that make these particular reserves so effective.”

Read it here:


–  Forces of Character: A conversation with Gregg Popovich  (from Jon Finkel,

Read it here:


–  Dwane Casey carries on his ‘role card’ tradition with Raptors (from Josh Lewenberg,

Read it here:



Read it here:


–  Warriors expect even bigger things on offense this season  (from Associated Press):

Read it here:


–  Trail Blazers show ‘intriguing’ smaller lineup in win over Jazz  (from Mike Richman,

Read it here:


–   NBA Training Camp Questions – Atlantic Division   (from James Holas,  BBall Breakdown):

Read it here:


–  NBA Training Camp Questions – Southeast Division  (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:  



John Jenkins’ preseason play is helping his case for a roster spot on the Mavs  (from Eddie Sefko,


–  Lakers have a potential ‘Showtime’ revivalist in Marcelo Huertas  (from Tim Faklis,  Sporting News):


 ‘Tired of disrespect:’ Nets’ journeyman  Thomas Robinson seeking career rebirth  (from Tim Bontemps,  NYPost):


–  Aaron Gordon impresses in his preseason debut  (from Josh Robbins,  Orlando Sentinel):


–  Avery Bradley the tone-setter for Celtics aggressive approach on defense  (from Scott Souza, Providence Journal):


–  Opportunistic rookies Richaun Holmes and Christian Wood piquing 76ers interest  (from Bob Cooney,


–  Phoenix Suns’ T.J. Warren shows big love for basketball  (from Paul Coro,


–  Andrew Bogut’s Role After Trimming Down  (from Kevin Wang,


–  Collison holds huge key to Kings’ success as super-sub  (from James Ham,


–  Jeff Teague, the Hawks’ ‘engine,’ is only revving up  (from Adi Joseph, Sporting News):


–  Nene is a better backup than a starter, but he may no longer fit with the Wizards at all  (from Neil Greenberg, Washington Post):


–  Derrick Williams: Knicks’ triangle will shatter bust reputation  (from Marc Berman,  NYPost):


–  Zaza Pachulia’s passing leads to easy offense for the Mavs  (from Bobby Karalla,


–  Jerian Grant is  winning the Knicks over  (from Marc Berman,  NYPost):


–  Cory Joseph making smooth transition with Raptors  (from Chris O’Leary,


–  Cory Joseph: Keeping it Simple  (from Zarar Siddiqi,


Manu Ginobili  Q & A (from Peter Keating,  ESPN):


–   It’s Otto Porter Season in Washington  (form Andrew Sharp,  Grantland):


–  Rudy Gay (from Matthew Way/Adam Spinella,  BBall Breakdown):


Josh Harrellson (from J. Michael,

Best NBA Reporting: Must Reads from Media Day

–  Pistons:  random thoughts and expectations for the season ahead  (form Keith Langlois,

Read it here:


–   Raptors hope for better fit, ‘different type of basketball’ after off-season changes  (from Eric Koreen,

Read it here:


Villanova Coach  Jay Wright talks Okafor, Noel with Brett Brown  (from Bob Ford,  Philadelphia Inquirer):

“He’s very committed to the fact that he wants to adjust to his personnel. I love how he sees himself as a coach: ‘You give me the players and I’ve got to figure out a way to make them successful. How can this person I’ve been given be most successful?’ That’s a lot better than a guy who says, ‘This has to be done my way.’ ”


–  7 Undrafted Free Agents to Watch in 2015-16 NBA Training Camps (from Jonathan Wasserman,  Bleacher Report):

” Going undrafted doesn’t mean the NBA dream is over. We see undrafted players make rosters every year. And a handful of them manage to secure legitimate rotation spots.

Langston Galloway, Tarik Black and Jabari Brown were just a few from last season.

Of course, the fit has to be right. Each of the following prospects offers something specific, whether it’s upside, shooting ability or energy, that their training-camp team must value.

These potential rookies have all signed partially guaranteed deals and will be players to watch over the next few weeks as they look to make an NBA roster.”

Read it here:


–   Breaking Down the Miami Heat’s Training Camp Roster  (from Wes Goldberg,

Read it here:


–   Three Point Plinko and the Minnesota Timberwolves  (from Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus):

” We still don’t know an awful lot about the process of shot and offense creation in the NBA. We’ve gotten pretty good at describing the inputs in terms of what various players bring to the table, and the outputs in terms of team level offensive success or lack thereof. But in between, how a given set of players interact with an offensive system to arrive at the shots actually taken, remains something of a black box, at least from an analytic view.

From a qualitative standpoint, coaches know a great deal about what kinds of actions will tend to produce the best shot, but even in that frame of reference it resembles a game of plinko. The structure of a team’s offense and personnel determine the placement of the pegs, and the play call is choosing which slot to drop in the pellet. But from there, the series of bounces, the intricacies of the offensive and defensive execution of any given play, determine the outcome in a not entirely predictable way.

Open threes are usually the end result of good things happening throughout the offensive process. Which leads me to the problem with Mitchell’s statement: Minnesota’s process, their “flow”, stunk.

Getting back to the plinko analogy, one season of low three point rates might be an unfortunate happenstance of roster construction or random variation. But Flip Saunders’ offenses (as well as those of his disciple, Washington’s Randy Wittman) have always produced three pointers at well below league average rates and long twos at higher than average rates3. That “flow” Mitchell was speaking of, from which threes must naturally arise is not an accident, an exogenous force with which the Wolves must deal. That “flow” is the result of design. And that design consistently produces the worst shot in basketball, the long two.”

Read it here:


–   Abundance of questions surround start of 2015-16  (from David Aldridge,

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Q & A: Beat Writer John Reid on the Pelicans  (from Chuck Myron,

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Read it here:


–   An American coach is trying to lead Palestine to the Olympics – and it’s all even crazier than you think  (from Jorge Sierra,

Read it here:


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Bball Breakdown Player Rankings: Chris Paul, #6  (from Jesse Blanchard):


–  Why Harrison Barnes Could Be the Most Intriguing Free Agent of 2016  (from Zach Lowe, Grantland):


–  Why David West gave back $11 million to join the Spurs  (from Adrian Wojnarowski,  Yahoo Sports):–11-million-to-join-the-spurs-195800859.html


Finally united with coach Alvin Gentry, Pelicans guard Eric Gordon is eager to push the tempo (from Brett Dawson,


–  Tyreke Evans set to play primarily at point guard  (from John Reid,


Meyers Leonard Talks Versatility and Off-season Focus  (from David MacKay,


Trail Blazers Moe Harkless and Cliff Alexander  (from Jason Quick,


Vogel won’t ‘waste’ Paul George’s defensive skills  (from Candace Buckner,


–  Jameer Nelson the leader the Denver Nuggets need  (from Adam Kinney,


Kyle Lowry fit and fuelled for a rebound  (form Bruce Arthur,


Elfrid Payton learning to think like a shooter  (from Philip Rossman-Reich,


–  The Kevin Garnett Files  (from Michael Boosalis,


–  Michael Malone wants to find Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris consistent role  (from Nate Timmons,


Myles Turner (from Gregg Doyel,


–  Kyrie Irving wants to change his game so his scoring stays up and he won’t get knocked down (from Chris Haynes,


–   The Versatile Nikola Mirotic  (from Brandon Pence,


–  Croatian Dragan Bender at epicenter of historic Maccabi-Milano rivalry tour  (from Jake Fischer,  Sports Illustrated):