Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 4/12/16


 Olshey Shows GM Chops In Rebuilding Blazers On The Fly  (from Steve Aschburner,

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–  Flip Saunders’ Script: His Vision Remains Alive  (from Zach Harper, CBS Sports):

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Draft Rights On The Line In The Season’s Final Days  (from Danny Leroux, Sporting News):

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–  Recapping Monday’s Games  (from SBNation):

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–  Zach Lowe’s Awards Ballot  (from ESPN):

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–  Jazz Are In Playoff Mode – Just Not In Playoffs  (from Brad Rock, Deseret News):

Read it here:—-just-not-in-playoffs.html

–  Spurs Offense Is Struggling  (from Michael Erler,  Poundng The Rock):

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–  Dwane Casey Q & A  (from Evan Rosser,

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Behind The Curtain Of The Pelicans’ Training Operations  (from Justin Verrier, ESPN):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



DeMarre Carroll  (from Mike Ganter, Toronto Sun):

–  Blake Griffin  (from Ben Bolch, LA Times):

–  Jeremy Lin  (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer):

–  Andre Drummond  (from Mike Brudenell,

Steph Curry  (from Sam Smith, Japan Times):

–  Tristan Thompson  (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):    and from Craig Battle,

–  Tristan Thompson/Paul Millsap  (from David Zavac, Fear The Sword):

Marreese Speights  (from Vic Tafur,

 Seth Curry  (from Jason Jones,  Sacramento Bee):

–  Archie Goodwin  (from Paul Coro,  azcentral):

–  Cole Aldrich  (from Dan Woike,  OCRegister):

Al-Farouq Aminu  (from Dan Marang, Blazer’s Edge):  Should Al-Farouq Aminu be Considered an All-League Defender?

–  Wayne Ellington  (from The Players Tribune):

–  Stanley Johnson (from Keith Langlois,

Nick Minnerath  (from Keith Schlosser, Ridiculous Upside):


Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis – Part I – 3/15/16



–   Hawks’ Defense Doesn’t Rest  (from Chris Vivlamore,
–  What Nuggets Basketball Is To Coach Malone (from Christopher Dempsey,  Denver Post):
–  Damian Lillard; Hawks’ Cutting Edge Training; Vince Carter Q & A  (from David Aldridge,
–  Coach Snyder Says Season Won’t Be A Failure Even If Jazz Don’t Make Playoffs  (from Tony Jones and Aaron Falk,  Salt Lake Tribune):
–  Believe The Hype:  The Raptors  (from BBall Breakdown):
Mavericks Snap Losing Streak With Grinding Defensive Effort  (from Eddie Sefko,  Dallas Morning News):
–  Pachulia Not Concerned With Limited Playing Time (from Eddie Sefko,  Dallas Morning News):
–  Sloppy Play Ends For Durant, Westbrook  (from Berry Tramel,
–  Monday’s Roundup (from Grant Hughes,  Bleacher Report):
–  Recapping Monday’s Games  (from SBNation):
–  The Wizards Struggle In The Half-Court  (from Jake Whitacre,  Bullets Forever):
–  Video Breakdown: Defending AD; Defending Steph  (from EricApricot, Golden State Of Mind):
–  Why Scouts Botched It So Bad On Steph Curry In The 2009 NBA Draft  (from Scott Rafferty, Sporting News):
–  Screen Usage And Refusal Rates  (from Jordan M. Foley,  Vantage Sports):
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
Giannis Antetokuonmpo  (from Yaron Weitzman,  SBNation):

–  Garrett Temple  (from Bryant Frantz,  CBSDC):

–  Greg Monroe  (from Arman Bery,



–  Ben Simmons  (from Jonathan Givony,  Yahoo Sports):


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis – 10/13/15

–  Bradley Beal is ready to follow the path of James Harden and Klay Thompson  (from Sporting News):

” Beal is determined to eliminate long 2-pointers from his game.”

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–  Billy Donovan is changing the way the Thunder approaches defending the 3-pointer  (from

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–   Thunder Film Room: Three new ways to set up Serge Ibaka  (from  Marina Mangiaracina, welcome to loud

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–  Denver Nuggets 2015-16 Offensive Playbook Preview  (from gibsonpyper,

Read and view it here:


–  The Lakers are taking baby steps toward embracing modern basketball  (from Harrison Faigen,

Read and view it here:


–  The NBA’s Next Shooting Revolution Has Already Been Televised  (from Kirk Goldsberry, Grantland):

”  The basketball of the ’90s and early ’00s — the days of Jordan, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Allen Iverson, and Kobe Bryant — calls to mind a certain aesthetic. The defense was rougher, the fouls were harder, and the playmakers played hero ball. Of course, memory does funny things — that’s not exactly how things were. But the offensive game has certainly moved out of the paint and beyond the arc, and the best squads play pass-happy team basketball. And they have a very good reason to do so.”

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–  Big men anchor Kings’ improving defense  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):

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–   Kings Continue to Build Chemistry  (from Kyle Ramos,

Read “what the squad had to say following practice in Sacramento before their final two preseason games” here:


–  Former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell has a team full of promise in Minnesota Timberwolves  (from Eric Koreen,

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–  Timberwolves Interim Coach Sam Mitchell Q & A (from Ryan McNeill,

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–  Toronto Raptors: The curious case of starting Patrick Patterson  (from Quenton Albertie,  raptors

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–   Hawks’ big lineup a work in progress  (from Chris Vivlamore,

” The early reviews are mixed.

The Hawks have used training camp and exhibition games to experiment with a “big” lineup with Tiago Splitter at center, Al Horford at power forward and Paul Millsap at small forward. The oversized frontcourt debuted early in Friday’s exhibition against the Pelicans.

Most agree it’s a work in progress.

“It’s something we are going to give a look and see if we can get comfortable with,” Budenholzer said Monday. “Obviously, we have a lot of good big guys. We are trying to figure out a way to play them together.”

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–  Toronto Is Hedging Its Bets for Better Defense  (from Jordan M. Foley,  Vantage Sports):

” Toronto’s attacking screen defense is in stark contrast to teams like the Bulls and Trail Blazers, who preferred to focus containment by dropping their bigs into the paint, or the Rockets and Warriors, who switch on roughly one out of every five screens. Switching on screens may take some of the pressure off backcourt defenders, making it harder for the offense to force rotations. Packing the paint with bigs puts a ton of pressure on backcourt players to recover from screens, opening up the middle of the floor where playmakers can do major damage.

Hedging brings its own set of defensive risks, however. It requires frontcourt players to have nimble feet and an ability to cover ground quickly. It also requires a great deal of communication between teammates in order to rotate correctly. Everyone needs to be able to time his rotations to compensate for contingencies like a big man getting completely hung out to dry beyond the three-point line or a team that gets wise and releases early on the roll. Toronto may not allow many points on the screen itself, but they can get punished later in plays as the ball finds its way around the horn.”

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–   Utah Jazz put in some extra work in Sunday’s long practice  (from Jody Gennessy, Deseret News):

” “We’ve got a young team”, said Gordon Hayward.  “Other teams are going to throw stuff at you that maybe we aren’t prepared for. We’ve got to stick to our habits and take care of the ball.”

Utah is averaging 20 turnovers a game this preseason. Hayward said the Jazz offense has counters in place to help give options when opponents take things away from them — such as perimeter passes — but it’s a matter of being on the same page with teammates.

“It’s just all reads. It’s all just being mentally sharp, mentally focused and that’s everybody,” Hayward said. “If you have one person who forgets what they need to do, it messes up the whole flow of the offense. We’ve all got to be sharp. When a team tries to deny you, take things away, you’ve just got to go to your counter.”

Read it here:


–  Sixers 2016 draft choices: Picks, Pick Swaps, Protections  (from Michael Levin,

Read it here:


–  Reading too much into preseason: Minnesota Timberwolves-Toronto Raptors  (from Derek James,

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–  International Prospects Bender and Gentile Impress in American Tour  (from Michael Wonsover,

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– Potential Nirvana for Viewers:

When will TNT or ESPN or SOMEONE wise up and have the broadcasters for an NBA game be folks like this sharing their observations with each other while watching the game, as if they aren’t even aware they are on the air:



And for those with access to ESPN Insider:

–  How the NBA is doubling down on its love of the 3-pointer  (from Tom Haberstroh):

Read it here:




Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Jahlil Okafor Q & A (form Scoop Jackson, ESPN):


–  Richard Jefferson  Q & A (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):


–  Tyler Zeller’s calm demeanor belies his intensity  (from  Scott Souza,  Providence Journal):


–   Andrew Wiggins learning from a legend in Minnesota  (from Lori ewing,


–  Christian Wood makes case for roster spot in Sixers’ loss (from John Finger,


–   ‘A great sign’ for Mavs guard Wesley Matthews  (from Eddie Sefko,


–  Anthony Bennett embraces fresh start with Raptors  (from Josh Lewenberg,


–   Be patient with Heat rookie Justise Winslow  (from Ethan J. Skolnick,  Miami Herald):


–  Nets’ Karasev: How brutal injury made me a better player  (from Tim Bontemps,  NYPost):


–  Rashad Vaughn Hopes To Contribute in Rookie Season for Bucks (from Charles F. Gardner,


–  Phoenix Suns’ Cory Jefferson fighting for his spot  (from Zach Buchanan,


–   Chris Kaman emerges as a mentor for young Trail Blazers  (from Mike Richman,


–   Lakers already feeling Roy Hibbert’s sizable impact  (from Anthony Irwin,


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  5 things we learned from NBA free agency’s wild start  (from Mike Prada,  sbnation):

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–  The Overwhelming Sound and Fury of Day 1 of NBA Free Agency  (from Zach Lowe,

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–  How Does Jahlil Okafor Fit Alongside Nerlens Noel for Philadelphia 76ers?  (from Dylan Murphy, Bleacher Report):

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–  How Do They Fit? Cavaliers Re-Sign Love And Thompson  (from Mike Schreiner,

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–  Ricky Rubio’s shot and the importance of Mike Penberthy  (from Zach Harper,

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–  Celtics Using Free Agency to Keep Dream of Blockbuster Trade Alive  (from Brian Robb,

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Phoenix Suns on the money: Cap magic required to fit Chandler and Aldridge  (from Dave King,  brightsideofthe

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–  Q & A: Rod Strickland (from Jack Flagler,

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–  My NBA All-Star Team of Socially Conscious Players  (form Richard Lapchick, Huffington Post):

Read it here:



Day 7 of our continuing coverage of 2015 NBA Draft Selections:


19, New York (from Washington), Jerian Grant :  and


24, Minneosta (from Cleveland), Tyus Jones:


43, Indiana, Joseph Young:


53, Cleveland, Sir’Dominic Pointer:


58, Philadelphia,  J.P. Tokoto:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


DeMarre Carroll:


Paul Millsap:


Danny Green:


Brandan Wright:


Khris Middleton:


Omer Asik/Alex Ajinca:


Ryan Anderson:


Amir Johnson:


David West:


Solomon Hill:


Alex Len:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Stats from GSW-HOU game 4 (from

“Examining  Houston’s 3-point shooting, Harden’s playoff career-high 45 points, Dwight Howard’s rim protection and more.”

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–  LeBron James bearing unprecedented load as Cavaliers close in on Finals  (from Ben Golliver,  Sports Illustrated):

” Picture Atlas with the world braced on his shoulders, and then picture someone gradually inflating the globe, day after day. Two options emerge: Atlas continues to impress everyone with his unprecedented strength, or the weight eventually becomes even too much for him to bear.

That’s where LeBron James finds himself as the Cavaliers look to sweep theHawks on Wednesday and claim their second Finals appearance in franchise history. As these playoffs have progressed, and as his teammates have missed time with injuries, James has steadily carried more and more on his shoulders. So far, he’s made due just fine: Cleveland is 9-2 in the playoffs despite losing Kevin Love to a season-ending shoulder injury in the first round and losing Kyrie Irving to knee tendonitis for multiple games in the East finals.

But cracks appear to be developing. James was hobbling around the court down the stretch of Game 3 on Sunday, as he did his best to fight off cramping that has sidelined him multiple times over the course of his career. Although specifics on his health have been hard to pin down, James may also be dealing with knee and/or ankle issues. Cavaliers coach David Blatt said after Game 3 that James had played through “pain,” adding Monday that his star player was dealing with “a number of things” after getting “banged up a little bit.”

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Paul Millsap: The Quiet Man (from Jonathan Abrams,

” Facing elimination in the Eastern Conference finals, the Atlanta Hawks’ Paul Millsap remains stoic and determined, like he’s always been”

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We Interrupt This Eulogy for the NBA Post-Up Game to Bring You Its Rebirth  (from Zach Lowe,

” Post-ups appear to be dying, and on the surface, these playoffs read like their obituary.

But no basketball skill ever goes extinct, and if you view these playoffs as a window into the league’s future, you can see a world in which the post-up makes a comeback”

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–  Understanding Kyle Korver’s Injury: A Complete Primer to Ankle Injuries   (from Jeff Stotts,

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–  Nets’ offseason priorities   (from Marc Stein and Mike Mazzeo (ESPN):

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OKC:  Following The Warriors’ Plan  (from Jake Fielder,

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The Hometown Assist (from Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus):

” A topic to which I return with some frequency is the degree to which statistical analysis of basketball is impacted by imperfect input data. As the expression goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” No matter how much care is put into building a model, flawed inputs lead to misleading outputs. Especially in terms of box score stats, traditional numbers can be pretty good, but don’t capture what happens on the floor with anything resembling perfect accuracy.

We know this already, and have had many practical demonstrations: all rebounds aren’t created equal; shot blocking and rim protection aren’t totally synonymous; differentiating between turnovers and steals is important, and so on. Even on such topic of plus/minus-based one-number metrics, the input data is messy. The degree of randomness in made or missed jump shots by teammates or opponents can easily skew the results. It is hoped with sufficient sample size, this evens out. And on aggregate, it probably does. But in evaluating players or specific teams, we aren’t dealing in aggregates. None of the above invalidates the whole process, but it should operate as a reminder that for all the numeric exactitude of the result, that result remains an estimate.

Almost nowhere is this problem on better display than the assist stat.

By comparing expected assists based on touch time with actual assists awarded both home and away5, very different patterns emerge for each team.

A few extra assists here or there matter far more to the chattering classes than it does in the actual outcome of games. Further, if a team is systematically overrating its own players with generous scoring decisions, they are only hurting themselves. If management buys into a player being better because of inflated totals, the team is set up for disappointment, while if the league as a whole buys in, the free agent price tag goes up, forcing the team to either overpay or let the player walk.

However, for the purposes of statistical analysis, it does matter. If Paul’s assists are worth less than Mike Conley’s because of the relative generousness of the awards, that impacts a comparison between the two. At the very minimum it’s just another reminder that there remains a great deal of uncertainty in terms of measuring basketball impacts.”

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– Cryotherapy draws athletes, others for icy-cold treatments  (from Sammy Caiola, Saramento Bee):

Read it here:





Additional player notes, updates, profiles:


Tristan Thompson:


Matthew Dellavedova:


Pat Beverley:


John Wall:


J.J. Barea:


Raymond Felton:


Jimmy Butler:


Courtney Lee:


Allen Crabbe:


Eric Gordon


CJ McCollum:


Tyler Zeller:


Jeremy Lamb:


Kyle O’Quinn:


Anthony Tolliver: