– Raptors Looking to Use Familiar Formula in Order to Take the Next Step (from Ethan Skolnick, Bleacher Report):
“… (C)ontinuity can count.
“We hope it does,” Casey said. “I think it does help us. Continuity with terminology, continuity with schemes, continuity with play calls, continuity with the familiarity with each other. They know some things are non-negotiable offensively, some things are non-negotiable defensively. That helps. Anytime you can keep teams together.”
Read it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2253579-toronto-raptors-looking-to-use-familiar-formula-in-order-to-take-the-next-step
– Cavs’ New Wrinkles (from Tom Pestak, cavstheblog.com):
Read and view it here: http://www.cavstheblog.com/?p=28666
– Kings take massive leap, upset Clippers on road (from Scott Levin, aroyalpain.com):
” You’re not alone if you spent most of Sunday’s matinee just waiting for the Clippers to rise up and dispose of the Sacramento Kings. After all, this was a Kings team that, despite an impressive win over Portland on Friday, had not proven themselves on the road in a decade. But maybe this is a new era in Kings basketball? Clippers runs were limited by active Sacramento defense, and the Kings offense ran efficiently around their two studs. Unlike years past, Sacramento did not succumb in the waning moments, taking down the Clippers, 98-92. In the process, the Kings took another big step forward in their hope to become relevant again.”
Read it here: http://aroyalpain.com/2014/11/02/kings-take-massive-leap-upset-clippers-road/
– Jack Armstrong: Five thoughts on the Raptors’ D, Payton, Napier, replays and Johnson (from tsn.ca):
” It’s Monday and TSN basketball analyst Jack Armstrong starts the week with his five thoughts on the NBA including a struggling Raptors defence, a pair of impressive rookie point guards in the Magic’s Elfrid Payton, Jr. and Shabazz Napier of the Heat, a potential problem with the NBA’s new replay centre and James Johnson of the Raptors.”
Read it here: http://www.tsn.ca/talent/armstrong-five-thoughts-on-the-raptors-d-payton-napier-replays-and-johnson-1.123668
– John Wall steering the Wizards ship early with composure and standout play (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):
” Then there’s Wall’s standout all-around play to begin the season. Overshadowed by the dominant combination of Marcin Gortat and Nene down low, and the breakout contributions from Temple and Otto Porter Jr., Wall quietly finished Saturday’s victory with 19 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, five steals, and a huge block of Jerryd Bayless’s jump shot seconds before he and Mayo exhanged words.
Without back-court mate Bradley Beal due to injury, Wall is averaging 21.7 points, 11 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and three steals in 37.7 minutes through three games. His four turnovers per contest are too high — his goal this season is to average three — but Wall is getting to the free-throw line (18 of 22) and shooting 45.8 percent from the field.”
Read it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wizards-insider/wp/2014/11/03/john-wall-steering-the-wizards-ship-early-with-composure-and-standout-play/
– Is switching still a problem with the Washington Wizards’ defense? (from Umair Khan, bulletsforever.com):
” Despite Randy Wittman’s claims that Washington is not a switching team on defense, they continue to revert to it in the early going this season, leading to several breakdowns. Is this a problem or a strategy that can actually help them?”
Read and view it here: http://www.bulletsforever.com/2014/11/3/7138041/washington-wizards-defense-breakdown-switch
– CJ McCollum Learns How to Use His Hands From Wesley Matthews (from Willy Raedy, blazersedge.com):
” Fans hear about veteran leadership all the time but it’s rare to see it on the court. We get a glimpse looking at how Wesley Matthews’ active hands on defense are helping CJ McCollum stay on the court.”
Read and view it here: http://www.blazersedge.com/2014/11/3/7148581/cj-mccollum-learns-use-hands-wesley-matthews-defense-portland-trail-blazers
– There’s no doubt, Snyder has Gordon Hayward’s back (from Jim Burton, standard.net):
” (T)o Snyder’s credit, he’s getting through to his players. They believe in him and he believes in them, which is, of course, a critical piece to the puzzle.
“He’s just instilled confidence in me,” veteran Gordon Hayward said. “We’ve been leaning on each other out there on the court. He’s pretty knowledgeable at the end of the game. If I have a question or if I want to lead he lets me go to him and he lets me know what I should do and what I need to keep doing.”
Hayward, whose shooting percentages have dropped each year since coming into the league in 2010, shot just 3-for-11 from the field against Houston and was 0-for-3 from 3-point range.
Despite the fact he also had eight rebounds, seven assists and a steal, if you listened carefully you could hear the fanbase thinking to itself, “Oh no. Here we go again.”
But Snyder wasn’t saying that at all.
“I would be very hesitant to judge Gordon’s shooting based on one night,” Snyder said. “He’s been shooting it great. I think he’s been playing with confidence. If he needs to hear that from me, he’ll hear it. The last thing I want him to do is think about his percentage or anything like that. I think that’s counterproductive. You watch him shoot the ball in practice, he shot it in the preseason. We’ve just got to keep encouraging that from him and I think his numbers will be good.”
Read it here: http://www.standard.net/Extra-Point/2014/10/29/There-s-no-doubt-Snyder-has-Gordon-Hayward-s-back.html
– Dirk Nowitzki continues to work on his jump shot, 17 years into his NBA career (from Josh Bowe, mavsmoneyball.com):
” Every summer Dirk Nowitzki locks himself away in a small, hot gym in Germany. He’s with his mentor and personal coach, Holger Geschwindner, and they work. They work on Dirk’s game, adding to his already vast array of shots and moves.
This is Dirk’s 17th season in the NBA. He’s evolved from a spot-up perimeter guy to a pick-and-pop dynamo to a post-up and isolation nightmare. It’s amazing how much Dirk has added since he’s entered the league and how he’s stylistically changed as well.
Which is why it was somewhat surprising that Dirk said he was going to continue to tinker with his shot. Doesn’t he already have it all? Apparently not.”
Read and view it here: http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2014/11/3/7138219/dirk-nowitzki-quicker-shot-release-dallas-mavericks
– Phoenix Suns coach expects better defense this season (from Dave King, brightsideofthesun):
” Despite the debacle on Saturday night against the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek expects this year’s team to play better defense.
“Getting after it a little bit more,” he says of the plan. “Quicker rotations. Last year, most of these guys it was their first year playing. When you start playing these teams over and over, you know what they can do.””
Read it here: http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2014/11/3/7149419/phoenix-suns-coach-expects-better-defense-this-season
– Thibodeau hitting the right note with minutes and rest (from Doug Thonus, chicagonow.com):
Read it here: http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-bulls-confidential/2014/11/thibodeau-hitting-the-right-note-with-minutes-and-rest/
– DeMarcus Cousins dominates Clippers in upset Kings victory (from Mike Prada, SBNation):
Read and view it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/11/2/7147719/demarcus-cousins-stats-highlights-kings-clippers
More on Cousins from Dylan Hughes at FanSide.com, here:
– Suns experiment early with striking three-guard lineup (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):
Read it here: http://www.si.com/nba/2014/11/03/suns-three-guard-lineup-goran-dragic-eric-bledsoe-isaiah-thomas-tiny-ball
– Perry Jones Is Finally Turning Potential into Productivity (from Gregory Mason, upsidemotor.com):
” Watching Perry Jones III emerge over the last two games has been like watching a kid finally figure out how to stay upright on his bicycle. It’s taken years of tentative uncertainty but a light has come on for the silky smooth 6’11” Baylor product.
Jones’ talent has never been in question. The former five-star recruit and mixtape god does things that defy logic for a man of his size. It’s taken extreme circumstances, however, for Jones to turn his immense potential into productivity. The major issue with Jones throughout his career has been his mentality. Aggressiveness does not come naturally to him. To compound the issue, the coaching staff never really found a for place for him. As such, he ultimately settled into a role in which he spent a majority of his time watching much of the action while floating around the three-point line.
With the loss of Durant, Westbrook, Jackson and four others to lengthy injuries, Jones has found himself as the team’s go-to scorer. This obviously won’t be sustainable once Durant and Westbrook return but it does mark an important ‘aha moment’ in Jones’ career, as he transitions from knowing that he needs to be more aggressive to knowing how to be more aggressive.”
Read and view it here: http://upsidemotor.com/2014/11/03/nba-baylor-oklahoma-city-thunder-kevin-durant-russell-westbrook-perry-jones-iii/
– As a pipeline for NBA talent, Europe still leads the world (from Sekou Smith, NBA.com):
” For every Dirk Nowitzki, Gasol (Pau or Marc) or Tony Parker, — NBA champions, MVPs, Finals MVPs and All-Stars from Europe — there are legitimate role players from all over Europe filling out NBA rosters in ways they did not and could not have imagined as recently as a decade ago.”
Read it here: http://www.nba.com/2014/news/features/sekou_smith/11/02/international-influence-europe/
– Risk Vs. Reward In the NBA (from Michael Pina, sportsonearth.com):
” Rookie contract extensions are a funny game. After careful research and detailed projections are made, general managers must assume development in their prospects and bet that the player they’re giving a ton of money to today will be much more refined and evolved by the time his last paycheck rolls around.
This year’s crop of extension candidates are in a unique situation. The possibility of a soaring salary cap in the near future has incentivized some teams to act sooner than later, locking young players up to contracts that will eventually end up below market value. Unfortunately, right now we don’t know how high the cap will go; if it’ll make one dramatic spike before continuing on into nine-figure territory, or go the other direction and go anti-pandemonium by smoothing itself out (the owners prefer the latter). It’s what makes a few recent deals so interesting. Some look like a ton of money, but are they really?
A few candidates, like Kyrie Irving, Kenneth Faried and the Morris Twins — Marcus and Markieff — knew their future finances well before it was time to go trick-or-treating, but here’s a closer look at almost every other notable player who either agreed to his rookie contract extension soon before Friday night’s deadline, or didn’t and is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.”
Read it here: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/100387518/nba-rookie-extensions-ricky-rubio-kawhi-leonard-kemba-walker
– CBA 101: Contract Extensions (from Daniel Hackett, raptorshq.com):
” First, let’s clarify something that the media gets wrong all the time. An extension is not a player re-signing with his team. That’s a new contract. There were plenty of reports this summer of Kyle Lowry signing an extension with the Raptors. Not true – he signed a new contract. That might seem like pedantry to some, but in terms of the limitations of what an extension allows a player to sign for versus a new contract, there’s all the difference in the world.
A contract extension is when a player re-ups with his team by extending his current contract, obviously, before hitting free agency. What this means is that, for the most part, the contract has to look like it is the same contract, just longer. So, it has to follow the same rules as any contract.”
Read it here: http://www.raptorshq.com/2014/11/3/6999751/cba-101-contract-extensions-kyle-lowry-toronto-raptors
– 2014 Camp Invitees Who Remain On NBA Rosters (from Chuck Myron, Hoopsrumors.com):
” Players face a daunting challenge when they arrive at NBA training camps without guaranteed money on their contracts. Most teams enter October with all but one or two of the spots on their opening-night rosters already spoken for. Camp invitees can occasionally convince a team to eat a guaranteed contract to open up an extra spot, as was the case with Charlie Villanueva and the Mavericks this year, but for the most part, regular season jobs are limited to those who proved their worth long before the preseason began.”
Still, Villanueva is one of more than a dozen NBA players who remain on NBA rosters after signing non-guaranteed contracts in the offseason.”
Read it here: http://www.hoopsrumors.com/2014/11/invitees-remain-rosters.html
More player updates:
– Malcolm Thomas: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20141103_Here_are_Sixers__ready_or_not.html
– Amar’e Stoudemire: http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/59526/amare-hopes-this-is-only-the-beginning
– Garrett Temple: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/wizards-garrett-temple-steps-into-starting-role-with-an-assist-from-bradley-beal/2014/11/02/8b1581c8-62e0-11e4-bb14-4cfea1e742d5_story.html
Kevin Garnett: http://nypost.com/2014/11/02/why-ageless-kevin-garnett-is-off-to-such-a-quick-start-for-nets/
– Jimmy Butler: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/basketball/bulls/30817820-579/jimmy-butlers-offseason-work-manifesting-itself-early.html
– Kostas Papanikolaou: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2253463-who-will-develop-into-houston-rockets-6th-man
– Steph Curry: http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2014/11/03/warriors-95-trail-blazers-90-stephen-curry-noticeably-hawking-people-taking-steps-forward-defense/
– Matthew Dellavedova: http://www.ohio.com/sports/cavs/on-team-of-stars-and-past-champions-matthew-dellavedova-emerging-early-as-fixture-of-cavs-reserves-unit-1.537568
– Tony Allen: http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2014/11/3/7147563/Memphis-Grizzlies-to-live-and-die-with-tony-allen
– Kent Bazemore: http://hawkshoop.com/bazemores-renewed-opportunity/
– QOTD (from Tristan Thompson): “Being that guy that when I check in guys on the other team are like, ‘Damn, he’s here tonight.’ That’s my mentality,”