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

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

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

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

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

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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

–   Offensive change is both clear and here for Wizards  (from Todd Dybas,  Washington Times):

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–  Installing their new offense, Wizards heed the need for speed  (from Jorge Castillo,

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–  Replacing LaMarcus Aldridge: Trail Blazers will lean on versatile, interchangeable frontcourt to supplant All-Star  (from Joe Freeman,

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–  Mavs Transition D  (form Jonny Auping,

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–  Wesley Matthews Battles Back from Torn Achilles (frm Jonathan Abrams (Grantland):

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–   Reinventing the New Orleans Pelicans  (from Rob Mahoney,  Sports Illustrated):

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–  After struggles on defense, Pistons go back to basics  (from Aaron McMann,

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–   LeBron James and the Cavaliers broke their isolationist ways for one night, anyway  (from Joe Vardon,


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Enes Kanter, Billy Donovan and Questions of Fit  (from Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders):


–  How Kenneth Faried can become the impact player the Nuggets need  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):


–  Jonathon Simmons making an impression on Popovich  (from Jabari Young,


–   Damian Lillard and Tim Frazier: A friendship that will remain no matter who wins Trail Blazers backup job  (from Jason Quick,


–   Grizzlies’ Courtney Lee vows to be more aggressive  (from Ronald Tillery,

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–  Rudy Gobert (from Andrew Bailey, BBall breakdown):


–   Blake Griffin wants to take his defense — and the Clippers — to another level  (from J.A. Adande (ESPN):


–  Pacers’ Joe Young pesters coach, veterans to learn  (from Candace Buckner,

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–  Brett Brown wants to help Jahlil Okafor’s post presence  (form John Finger,


–  Utah Jazz: Center Jeff Withey making his case for roster spot  (from Aaron Falk, saltlaketribune):


–  A closer look at Julius Randle’s impressive preseason performance  (from Drew Garrison,


–   2015 Pistons preview: Key season for Spencer Dinwiddie  (from Steve Hinson,  detroitbadboys):


–   Solomon Hill Looks to Find Niche  (from Matt Andreason,


–   Bullock’s bid to win Pistons roster berth boosted by preseason debut – and SVG’s faith in his D  (from

–   Bullock’s defense could earn him a Pistons roster spot  (from Aaron McMann,


–  Kris Humphries is adapting to his new role with the Wizards  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):


–   Marco Belinelli’s play elevates his Kings teammates (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):


–  Jrue Holiday on minute restriction but showing encouraging early signs  (from Jim Eichenhofer,


–  Heat’s Tre Kelley Trying to Become 30-Year-Old NBA Rookie (from Jessica Camerato,  Basketball Insiders):


–  Bradley Beal  (from J. Michael,


–   Jonas Valanciunas:

– from William Lou, williamlounba:

– from Tim Chishom,

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Q & A: Kings Vice President of Basketball Strategy and Data Science Roland Beech  (from Kyle Ramos,

”  I always preach that fit matters so much, which differs from people who obsess about the stats. You can rate guys, but so much is about how they fit with different players and coaching schemes.”

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–   Doc Rivers discusses Jordan, Garnett, and 2010 NBA Finals in Boston visit  (from Justin Barrasso, Sports Illustrated):

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Vegas semipro team reaches deal with David Harrison, targets Royce White  (from Jeff Goodman,  ESPN):

” Former first-round pick David Harrison has verbally agreed to a deal with the semipro Las Vegas Dealers, who are also in significant discussions with ex-NBA player Royce White.

The Dealers are part of the startup Amerileague, which intends to target top high school talent and well-known former NBA players.”

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Jazz Team Physician Lyle Mason Interview (from Laura Thompson, saltcityhoops):

” I recently spent a couple of hours with Dr. Lyle Mason, picking his brain on the last 36 years of life — just barely more than half of his life — as the team physician with the Utah Jazz. It’s impossible to perfectly encapsulate that long of a career into a brief article, or even series of articles, and give him the proper honor I believe he deserves, but I’m certainly going to try.”

Read Part One here:

Read Part Two here:


–  Wolves’ Coach Flip Saunders to take leave to fight cancer  (from Jerry Zgoda,

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  D’Angelo Russell’s Pull-Up Shooting  (from Anthony Irwin,


–  Film Room: Aaron Gordon on Defense  (from Josh Cohen,


–  Hornets Player Forecast: Nicolas Batum  (from Spencer Percy,


What will Kings see from Marco Belinelli?  (from Greg Wissinger, sactownroyalty):


–  Reggie Bullock’s shot got him to the NBA, but he expects his D to help him stick with Pistons  (from Keith Langlois,


–   Will Cummings Hopes To Make Mark With Rockets Following Road Far Less Traveled  (from Colby Giacubeno,


–  Taking A Look At Cavaliers Hopefuls:  Jared Cunningham, Jerrelle  Benimon, D. J. Stephens, Quinn Cook  (from Mike Schreiner,


–   The fighter in Marcin Gortat  (from Mark Woods,  ESPN):


–   After struggling in first NBA season, Nik Stauskas steps up for Canada at FIBA Americas  (from Eric Koreen, National Post):

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Houston defense will make Draymond Green’s judgment critical (from Rusty Simmons,

” Ideally, Houston tries to pressure the point guard, chase players off the three-point line and funnel everything into the middle — where Dwight Howard waits to erase shots (an injured knee could keep Howard sidelined Thursday).

But somewhere in between the three-point arc and the rim, there’s an abundance of space — territory where Green can stand out with his unique ability to score or make plays for others.

“Coach told me, ‘You’re probably going to have open shots, but you’re going to have to pick and choose when to take those open shots,” Green said after Wednesday’s practice. “You might have an open shot, but if you put the ball down one time and get in the paint, someone else is going to be wide open.’ He explained it, and it kind of worked out that way.”

“Draymond is one of our best playmakers,” Kerr said. “We know we have to get deeper into our offense to get good shots. He’s a big part of that, because he often catches the ball after the initial action. When he can play-make from that spot, we’re better for it.”

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–  How Golden State’s Small Lineup Flipped Game 1  (from Adam Spolane,  CBS Houston):

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Breaking Down the  Rockets’ Guide to Defending Stephen Curry  (from  Dylan Murphy, Bleacher Report):

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–  The Houston Rockets Biggest Mistake In Game 1 Vs Warriors  (from Lee Golden,

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–  Rockets’ Capela is ready for his close-up  (from Fran Blinebury,

” Seven months ago, the rookie arrived in training camp hoping to find a place in the Rockets future. Two months ago, he was in the NBA D-League toiling for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Now, if a sprained left knee keeps Dwight Howard out of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, Capela might find himself in the starting lineup against the Warriors. Or at the very least, getting significant playing time.

“When I was in the D-League, no, I would not think this was possible,” said the precocious 21-year-old native of Geneva, Switzerland. “I thought I’m not going to play this year, maybe next year. I was just trying to keep working hard and be ready when they would call me up.”

But with a live, aggressive body and a willingness to learn, Capela forced his way into the consciousness of the Rockets coaching staff and then into the playing rotation.”

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–  Bogut overcomes adversities to anchor defense  (from Ian Thomsen,

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–  Shaun Livingston’s long, broken road to unlikely postseason hero  (from Rodger Sherman,

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–  The importance of Trevor Ariza  (from Ethan Rothstein,

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– Cavs 97, Hawks 89  (from Jason Lloyd,

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Cavs vs Hawks Game One Stats (from

Smith’s 3-point shooting, Cleveland’s superior ball movement and rebound dominance, and Atlanta’s use of drives.

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–  The LeBron  factor is real  (from Paul Flannery, SBNation):

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–  LeBron James’s sidekicks, led by J.R. Smith, fuel Game 1 win over Hawks  (from Chris Mannix,  Sports Illustrated):

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–  J.R. Smith rewards Cleveland Cavaliers’ faith  (from  Matthew Florjancic,

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–  J.R. Smith gives LeBron James the help he needed to beat the Hawks (from Neil Greenberg, Washington Post):

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Frustration building for Kyrie Irving and Cavaliers take away Atlanta’s specialty (from Chris Fedor,

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–  Carroll injury looms large after Hawks drop Game 1 to Cavs  (from Zach Dillard,

” Carroll was the go-to defensive option for LeBron James. Already facing an uphill battle in a series against the four-time MVP, Carroll’s absence would force Budenholzer’s hand. This is not a position of depth for Atlanta. Reserve wing Thabo Sefolosha is out for the season after breaking his leg while being arrested in New York. Carroll was tabbed for the lion’s share of defensive possessions against LeBron…. no other Hawks defender makes life more miserable for him.”

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Update:  DeMarre is now listed as day-to-day as MRI shows hyperextension and bone bruise but no structural damage



We are a little late linking to CJ McCollum’s playoff previews:


–  Western Conference Finals Preview (from CJ McCollum, the

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–  Eastern Conference Finals Preview  (from CJ McCollum,

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–  The myth about max contracts  (from Sean Penney,

” What comes to mind when you think of a player worthy of earning the maximum amount allowed under the collective bargaining agreement? Many people seem to think that a “max contract” has to be reserved for a handful of the league’s elite, the best of the best. If the Boston Celtics are going to shell out a max contract to anyone this summer, those fans are expecting to get an MVP caliber player that will be the cornerstone of the franchise.

That is simply not the case, as not all max deals are created equal.

(J)ust because you hear that a player is rumored to be getting a max contract, that does not necessarily mean that he’s about to be paid as much as someone like LeBron James, or that the player necessarily has to be in the same stratosphere to earn it.”

Read it here:





Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


Mike Conley:


Tyreke Evans:


Allen Crabbe:


Jerome Jordan:


Perry Jones:


Reggie Bullock:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

How the Blazers countered the Grizzlies with Meyers Leonard (from Kevin Yeung,

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–  With Mike Conley out, Memphis Grizzlies show some cracks in 99-92 loss  (from Mike Tokito,

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–  Rockets determined to fix defense (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):

” We need more help,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “The bigs have got to get back, get in the paint. (Ellis) has to see big bodies. Guards have to pick him up earlier. Everybody.

“Our bigs have to get back. They have to show Barea their chest. They have to sink more. Guards have to come back. Anybody in the backcourt can’t run with your man; you’ve got to run with the ball. It’s seventh- and eighth-grade basketball. That’s what I was taught in seventh and eighth grade. You have to do it up here.”

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James Harden’s 42-point Game Three  (from Jake Garcia,

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Winners and Losers in the NBA Playoffs So Far  (From Zach Lowe,

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–  Brooklyn Seems to Be Getting Its San Antonio On Lately  (from Zach Lowe,

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–  The Resurrection of Deron Williams: Hawks At Nets Game 4  (from Coach Nick,  BBall Breakdown):

” Coach Nick breaks down the scintillating performance by Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams, a day after we eviscerated his game and showed how much he was hurting the Nets. For one night at least, he showed us the old Utah Jazz version of himself, and it carried his team to an overtime victory.”

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–  Brad Stevens’ coaching  job can’t be ignored  (from Jeff Goodman, ESPN):

” One general manager ranked Brad Stevens third among NBA coaches, just behind five-time champion Gregg Popovich and Rick Carlisle. Another said the Boston Celtics’ second-year coach isn’t quite that high but has already cracked the top 10 — and is climbing.

It’s hard to argue against ranking Stevens in the top half of the league’s coaches, despite the fact that the 38-year-old has coached fewer than 170 NBA games and fewer than 400 overall games in his career.

NBA executives will seldom praise another team’s coach on the record. But behind the scenes, a large number of decision-makers around the league are raving about Stevens.

“What he’s done with that group this season, to get them into the playoffs and compete with Cleveland in the first three games, is awfully impressive,” a high-ranking executive said. “Just think of what he’ll do if he can get some actual high-level talent.”

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Thunder, Hawks, Brook Lopez Q & A  (from David Aldridge,

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And for those with access to ESPN Insider:


–   Watch why Kawhi Leonard is an MVP candidate  (from Tom Haberstroh):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



Steph Curry:


Deron Williams:


Michael Carter- Williams:


Trevor Ariza:


Derrick Rose:


Iman Shumpert:


Hassan Whiteside:


Archie Goodwin:


Alex Len, Archie Goodwin, T.J. Warren, Reggie Bullock:


Ian Mahinmi:


– Perry Jones:


Henry Walker:


–  Elliot Williams: