This year’s Spurs are better equipped to defend the Warriors

(Note:  We are expanding our original content at Basketball Intelligence.  Starting today, we will be including a weekly feature from our rotation of outstanding NBA analysts.

Today’s feature is from Eli Horowitz, assistant men’s basketball coach at Caltech & NBA/WNBA analyst):


Barring injury, the Warriors should repeat as NBA champions in 2017-2018. But after an enthralling offseason that saw the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder add future hall of famers in an effort to compete with the Warriors, it’s easy to forget how close the Spurs were to going up 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals, with a chance to put pressure on Golden State. Unlike other teams in the West that added superstars, the Spurs’ offseason was ridiculed as they overpaid Pau Gasol, added injury-prone Rudy Gay and lost Jonathon Simmons, who played a significant role in the playoffs last year. Put it all together, and many feel like the Thunder and Rockets moved ahead of San Antonio with their respective additions of Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and several good role players. Although criticism off the offseason has some merit, you can’t win games in the summer. The Spurs won 67 games in 2015-2016 and 61 games in 2016-2017, and may be even better equipped to defend the Warriors this year:

Size across the roster

When people talk about size, they mistakenly think about big men clanking post-ups and an inefficient style of play in the modern NBA. But the Spurs have size throughout their roster, starting in the backcourt. Dejounte Murray is a 6-foot-5 point guard with the length to disrupt opposing lead guards and some wings:

He was unafraid in the playoffs last year, and should breakout in year two as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich trusts him more. His shooting mechanics leave a lot to be desired, but his ability to penetrate and finish at difficult angles should offset the loss of Simmons.

The Spurs have the best defensive wing combo in the league in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Both can guard positions one through four, and their ability to take turns on opposing stars is a rarity in the NBA. Rudy Gay presents a third long perimeter defender, albeit nowhere near Leonard or Green, who could shine at the four. Add LaMarcus Aldridge, who is a huge body at the four, and who is still big at the five against the Warriors lineup of death, and the Spurs have big bodies that make it difficult for opponents to move through their offense.

Losing Dewayne Dedmon is notable. But Pau Gasol was key to stopping the Rockets in last year’s playoffs. He’s a liability out in space, but the Spurs have the perimeter defense to fight over, under and through screens and allow the Gasol to hang out by the basket. You know Popovich will somehow turn Joffrey Lauvergne into a competent defender as well, much like he did with David Lee last season.

If the Warriors have shown any weakness it’s to long, athletic teams that can also pound the offensive glass. The Oklahoma City Thunder went up 3-1 playing this style two postseasons ago and the Spurs have shown it to work themselves, until Leonard’s injury in last year’s semifinals. It’s annoying to go up against players who can both pressure up on the ball and have the length and quickness to stay with the play and prevent straight line drives to the rim. It’s probably not enough, but the Spurs positional size will force the Warriors go to plan C.

Versatility at the four

Rudy Gay will be the biggest experiment nobody is talking about this NBA season. There’s too many flashy storylines elsewhere, too many All-Stars who switched teams that will get first billing. But Rudy Gay unleashes a potential lineup of Murray-Green-Leonard-Gay-Aldridge that will be as good as it gets against the Warriors. Aldridge’s defense has been solid for the Spurs, and he can hang with Draymond Green, knowing their are four long defenders who can help at the rim. We’ll see if Murray can stick with Steph Curry, but that would allow Green, Leonard and Gay to rotate on Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala. If Murray isn’t ready, Patty Mills will at least scrap on defense and is an offensive upgrade. Better yet, let Murray hang on Iguodala and let Green or Leonard challenge Steph.

If the Spurs want to get really crazy, Gay can even play the five at times:

This would allow the Spurs to play both Mills and Murray, or give Davis Bertans more minutes. Bertans was surprisingly stout defending in the paint last year. Stick him on Iguodala or even Green and he might just hold up. If the Warriors counter by posting him up, that’s a win for San Antonio as it halts the continuous movement of the Warriors and gives the Spurs a break.

The Thunder and Rockets have defensive lineups that might be even more potent, but they sacrifice offense. Carmelo Anthony will struggle on any Warrior defensively, and Andre Roberson is an offensive liability. The Rockets best offensive and defensive lineups are vastly different. The Spurs might be the team with the best defensive lineup that sacrifices the least offense.


Between the draft, free agency, summer league and an onslaught of trades, the NBA world has spent the last five months talking about players. But coaching still matters, especially in the playoffs. After watching the Rockets embarrass his team in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals last year, Popovich pushed all the right buttons to adjust on James Harden. They went over and zoned up pick and rolls to force midrange jumpers. They event went under some screens and personalized their pick and roll coverage depending on who was involved. It was complex, and completely gassed the Rockets, who lost the next four out of five.

Popovich has now had three years to learn the Warriors. He’s had small victories along the way even while balancing the late stage careers of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. His schemes alone won’t be enough to stop Golden State, but he’s a lot closer to figuring it out than his colleagues.

It wasn’t a stellar summer for San Antonio, but the addition of Gay, the sophomore campaigns of Murray and Bertans, a refocused Aldridge and the continued evolution of Leonard are more than enough to keep the Spurs in the mix. They don’t have the sheer talent of Houston or Oklahoma City, but they might have the best defensive lineups to throw at the Warriors.

Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 7/15/16

  •  R.C.Buford Interview  (from Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports):

Listen to it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/vertical-pod-with-woj–r-c–buford-162451176.html

–  Brett Brown Has Reason To Smile  (from Paul Hudrick,  csnphilly.com):

Read it here:  http://www.csnphilly.com/philadelphia-76ers/sixers-head-coach-brett-brown-has-reason-smile-legitimate-nba-roster

–  Wizards’ Scott Brooks Bonds With Young Players  (from Jerry Brewer, Washington Post):

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/wizards-new-foundation-begins-with-scott-brookss-bond-with-young-players/2016/0

–  Kenny Atkinson Fast Breaks Into Coaching Nets Summer League Team (from Robert Horne, Newsday):

Read it here:  http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/nets/kenny-atkinson-fast-breaks-into-coaching-nets-summer-league-team-1.12045225

–  Las Vegas Day 7 Player Grades  (from Kevin Pelton, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/17080616/nba-las-vegas-summer-league-grades-day-7

–  Does Summer League Success Matter?  (from Joel Brigham,  Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/does-nba-summer-league-success-matter/

–  Remaining Unsigned FAs  (from Moke Hamilton, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/difference-making-free-agents-remain-unsigned/

–  Continuity At The Heart Of Raptors’ Off Season  (from Dave Zarum, sportsnet.ca):

Read it here:  http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/nba/derozan-extension-proves-continuity-heart-raptors-off-season/

–  Do The Clippers Need More Facilitator Balance?  (from Maxwell Ogden, Hoops Habit):

Read it here:  http://hoopshabit.com/2016/07/14/los-angeles-clippers-one-change-thatd-make-lac-true-contenders/

–  Is This The End Of Hack-A-Nonsense?  (from Matt Femrite, Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:  http://nyloncalculus.com/2016/07/13/is-this-the-end-of-hack-a-shaq/

Mavs’ Off Season  (from Tim McMahon,  ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/17080521/nba-dallas-mavericks-summer-league-buzz-harrison-barnes-front-center

–  What NBA Teams Want Changed In The Next CBA  (from Tim Bontemps, Washington Post):

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2016/07/15/nba-teams-appear-to-be-preparing-for-a-lockout-heres-what-they-want-changed/?

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



 Towns/Wiggins  (from Jason Concepion, The Ringer):  https://theringer.com/brotherhood-of-the-wolf-e70e68b3889e#.ispiufel1

–  DeMar DeRozan  (from Ryan Wolstat, National Post):  http://news.nationalpost.com/sports/nba/new-deal-done-demar-derozan-turns-his-attention-to-improving-his-game-and-taking-the-raptors-further

–  Buddy Hield  (from Renaldo Dorsett,  tribune242.com):  http://www.tribune242.com/news/2016/jul/14/buddys-shot-target-nba-summer-league-play/

Jose Calderon  (from Marc Berman,  NY Post):  http://nypost.com/2016/07/14/calderons-knicks-reflection-ive-needed-lesser-role-for-years/

–  Ramon Sessions  (from Ben Mehic,  wizofawes.com):  http://wizofawes.com/2016/07/14/washington-wizards-remembering-the-departing-free-agents-ramon-sessions/

Jared Sullinger (from Ryan Wolstat, slam.canoe.com):  http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Basketball/NBA/Toronto/2016/07/14/22651791.html

–  Dario Saric  (from Bob Cooney, philly.com):  http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/20160715_Cooney__Early_reviews_of_Saric_are_mixed.html

–  Jaylen Brown (from Brian Robb,  Bleacher Report):  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2651069-jaylen-brown-is-ready-for-the-nbas-space-and-boston-celtics-expectations

–  Kay Felder  (from Jason Lloyd,  ohio.com):  http://www.ohio.com/sports/cavs/cavaliers-rookie-point-guard-kay-felder-still-betting-on-himself-1.697324

–  Dragan Bender/Marquese Chriss (from Michael Pina, VICE Sports):  https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/dragan-bender-and-marquese-chriss-are-raising-the-ceiling-in-phoenix

–  Terry Rozier  (from Danielle Hobeika , Celticslife.com):  http://www.celticslife.com/2016/07/danny-ainge-terry-rozier-winning-spot.html

 Terrence Ross (from Oliver Maroney, Basketball Insiders):  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/terrence-ross-working-hard-to-maximize-potential/

–  Cheick Diallo  (from Oleh Kosel, The Bird Writes):  http://www.thebirdwrites.com/2016/7/14/12165282/summer-league-cheick-diallo-grade-chriss-maker-skal-poeltl-zubac

–  Georges Niang  (from Jared Wade,  8points9seconds.com):  http://8points9seconds.com/2016/07/15/georges-niang-indiana-pacers-film-study-draymond-green/

Richaun Holmes  (from Christopher Kline, thesixersense.com):  http://thesixersense.com/2016/07/14/richaun-holmes-winner-christian-wood-departure/

–  Tyus Jones (from John Meyer and David Naylor,  canishoopus):  http://www.canishoopus.com/2016/7/14/12193930/mr-survive-and-advance-tyus-jones-leads-wolves-to-quarterfinals-in

–  Larry Nance, Jr.  (from Broderick Turner, LA Times):  http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/la-sp-lakers-larry-nance-hand-injury-20160714-snap-story.html

–  Christian Wood  (from Eric Laboisonniere,  Ridiculous Upside):  http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2016/7/14/12190844/christian-wood-nba-summer-league-charlotte-hornets

–  Kyle Kuric/Timothe Luwawu (from David Pick, Bleacher Report):  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2651944-international-nba-notebook-a-summer-league-ballers-showdown-with-death

–  Thon Maker  (from Jeff Siegel,  Hardwood Paroxysm):  http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2016/07/15/thon-maker-bucks-summer-league-youtube-learning-quickly-raw/

–  Cody Zeller  (from Luke Spencer, swarmandsting.com):  http://swarmandsting.com/2016/07/15/charlotte-hornets-underappreciated-work-of-cody-zeller/

–  Troy Daniels  (from Mac Trammell, Grizzly Bear Blues):  http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2016/7/15/12188554/troy-daniels-memphis-grizzlies-free-agency-nba

–  Stanley Johnson  (from Leighton Chappell,  pisotnpowered.com):  http://pistonpowered.com/2016/07/15/stanley-johnson-right-guy-detroit-pistons/

–  Tyler Ulis  (from Kyle Fleeger,  Valley Of The Suns):  http://valleyofthesuns.com/2016/07/15/short-look-tyler-ulis-big-potential/


Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 6/10/16

 The Simple Adjustment The Cavs Made To Revive Irving  (from Jesus Gomez,  SBNation):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/6/9/11893124/kyrie-irving-nba-finals-2016-cleveland-cavaliers-game-3-adjustment

–  LBJ Guarding Draymond Changed Everything  (from Mike Prada, SBNation):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/6/9/11893824/lebron-james-draymond-green-nba-finals-2016-warriors-cavaliers-game-3

–  Richard Jefferson Taking Full Advantage Of Opportunity   (from Sam Amick,  USA Today):

Read it here:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/playoffs/2016/06/09/richard-jefferson-kevin-love-cavaliers-warriors-nba-finals/85670068/

–  Kevin Love Can Still Be A Weapon…Off The Bench  (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):

Read and view it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/16097908/2016-nba-finals-cleveland-cavaliers-bring-kevin-love-bench

–  Will Kerr Make Adjustments?  (from Monte Poole,  csnbayarea.com):

Read it here:  http://www.csnbayarea.com/warriors/draymond-key-any-kerr-adjustment-got-be-more-active    and from Dan Devine,  Yahoo Sports:  https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/despite-big-game-3-loss–don-t-expect-warriors-to-go-small—–yet-021830234.html

 Steph, Klay Facing Different Struggles  (from Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated):

Read and view it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/06/10/stephen-curry-klay-thompson-struggles-nba-finals-warriors-cavaliers

–  A Unified Theory Of Steph’s Struggles  (from Adam Lauridsen,  mercurynews.com):

Read it here:  http://blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors/2016/06/09/unified-theory-stephen-currys-struggles/

–  Film Study:  Ball Pressure From Cavs  (from John Schuhmann,  NBA.com):

Read and view it here:  http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2016/06/09/film-study-ball-pressure-from-the-cavs/

–  Video Breakdown:  How Cavs Opened With a 19-4 Run In Game 3  (from Coach Nick,  BBall Breakdown):

Watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE0PDnRMXsE

–  Film Study: How The Cavs Unleashed J.R.  (from Carter Rodriguez,  Fear The Sword):

Read and view it here:  http://www.fearthesword.com/2016/6/9/11896372/nba-finals-how-getting-creative-off-ball-unleashed-j-r-smith

–  Irving’s Game 3 Eruption  (from Bryan Toporek, BBall Breakdown):

Read and view it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2016/06/09/kyrie-irving-quiets-critics-game-3-eruption-2016-nba-finals/

–  Game Three Takeaways  (from James Herbert,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/cavs-blow-out-warriors-in-game-3-of-the-finals-make-it-a-series-again-takeaways/

–  The Finals’ Other Thompson  (from Michael Pina, Sports On Earth):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/183189406/nba-finals-tristan-thompson-important-cavs

–  Phil Handy: Behind The Cavs’ Resurgence  (from Marc J. Spears, The Undefeated):

Read it here:  https://theundefeated.com/features/phil-handy-the-man-behind-the-cavs-resurgence-in-the-finals/

A Conversation With Author/Historian Roland Lazenby  (from Jabari Davis, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:  http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-pm-a-conversation-with-roland-lazenby/

–  Spurs’ Assistant James Borrego  (from Mark Smith,  abqjournal.com):

Read it here:  http://www.abqjournal.com/789427/borrego-in-his-comfort-zone.html

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



James Jones (from Sean Deveney, Sporting News):  http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/james-jones-nba-finals-lebron-cleveland-cavaliers-miami-heat-history-record/1o62n9fpto8gi1mjsa5xb10u3l

–  Brandon Ingram  (from David Thorpe, ESPN):  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/Coach15759801/brandon-ingram-nba-ceiling

–  Demetrius Jackson  (from Brian Altman,  cbslocal.com):  http://sports.cbslocal.com/2016/06/09/demetrius-jackson-my-life-as-an-nba-draft-prospect/


Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 5/7/16

–  CLE 121, ATL 108 (from James Herbert, CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25580027/cavaliers-outclass-hawks-again-in-game-3-four-things-to-know    and from Kacy Sager, BBall Breakdown:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2016/05/07/hawks-change-everything-but-the-outcome/

–  Channing Frye: Cavs’ Missing Piece?  (from Jeff Zilgitt, USA Today:

Read it here:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/playoffs/2016/05/07/channing-frye-lebron-james-kyrie-irving-kevin-love-kevin-durant-russell-westbrook-cavaliers-hawks-playoffs/84060442/

–  Tyronn Lue Has Thrust Cavs Into Company Of Warriors, Spurs  (from Chris Haynes.  cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2016/05/tyronn_lues_messages_demeanor.html#incart_river_mobile_index

–  Raptors Could Benefit From Sharing The Ball (from Bruce Arthur, the star.com):

Read it here:  https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2016/05/06/raptors-might-need-to-embrace-a-pass-time-arthur.html

–  Valunciunas’ Growth   (from Chris O’Leary, thestar.com):

Read it here:  https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2016/05/06/the-growth-of-raptors-valanciunas-comes-game-by-game.html

–  How Bosh’s Absence Has Impacted The Heat (from Zach Buckley, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2638459-how-chris-boshs-absence-has-impacted-and-will-continue-to-impact-miami-heat

–  Blazers Need To Limit Draymond’s Impact  (from Joe Freeman, Oregon Live):

Read it here:  http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2016/05/trail_blazers_react_to_stephen_currys_game_3_absen.html

–  Kawhi Lets HIs Game Do The Talking  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25580158/kawhi-leonard-lets-his-game-and-crucial-rebound-do-all-the-talking

–  How The Spurs Put Away OKC In Game Three (from Dan Devine, Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/-it-s-all-about-the-details—how-the-spurs-put-away-okc-in-game-3-065140365.html

–  Leonard And Aldridge Make The Spurs Look Different, But The Results Stay The Same  (from Tim Cato, SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/5/7/11614332/spurs-thunder-playoffs-kawhi-leonard-lamarcus-aldridge-different-look

–  Spurs’  Big Man Trio Is Complementing The Stars  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/05/07/playoffs-thunder-spurs-kevin-durant-tim-duncan-game-3-video

–  Donovan, Thunder Depth Are Being Tested  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/05/06/okc-thunder-kevin-durant-russell-westbrook-billy-donovan-defense-rotation

–  Ian Clark Helping Fill Warriors’ Void  (from Courtney Cronin,  Mercury News):

Read it here:  http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_29859867/no-stephen-curry-no-problem-ian-clark-helping

–  Should The Blazers Start Allen Crabbe?  (from McLayne Bertsch, ripcityproject.com):

Read it here:  http://ripcityproject.com/2016/05/07/blazers-crabbe-start/

–  Grizzlies Fire Joerger  (from Adrian Wojnarowski,  Yahoo Sports):

Read it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources–grizzlies-fire-head-coach-dave-joerger-133415083.html

–  Q & A With Memphis GM Chris Wallace Re Coaching Change  (from grizzlies.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/grizzlies/news/grizzlies-q-a-chris-wallace-160507

–  Coaching Search Q & A With Headhunter Jed Hughes  (from Associated Press):

Read it here:  http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/05/06/sports/basketball/ap-bkn-search-firms.html

–  Rockets’ Fall Is No Reason To Bash Morey’s Anlaytics Focus  (from Ben Alamar, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/74347/whatever-daryl-moreys-fate-analytics-movements-foothold-strong-in-nba

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



Karl-Anthony Towns  (from Tom West, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  https://thecauldron.si.com/karl-anthony-towns-leading-the-nbas-new-generation-b601136723f2#.co4hwi1gn

–  Malcolm Delaney  (from Nikos Varlas, eurohoops.net):  http://www.eurohoops.net/interviews/238458/delaney-were-going-to-berlin-to-win-the-title


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 5/6/16

TOR 96, MIA 92 (from Chris O’Leary, thestar.com):

Read it here:  https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2016/05/05/five-raptors-heat-moments-that-mattered-in-game-2.html   from Matt Moore, CBS Sports:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25578944/toronto-manages-to-tie-series-but-miami-still-has-upper-hand-takeaways   and from  Matthew Way, BBall Breakdown:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2016/05/05/raptors-find-redemption-overtime/

–  Raptors Need To Use Valanciunas A Lot More On Offence  (from Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun):

Read it here:  http://www.torontosun.com/2016/05/05/raptors-need-to-use-valanciunas-a-lot-more-on-offence

–  Raptors Need Better Offensive Execution  (from Jordan Greer, Sporting News):

Read and view it here:  http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/dwane-casey-raptors-kyle-lowry-heat-nba-playoffs-lebron-james/128awrjmwo3821iivc33z06clk

–  Why Chris Bosh Is Out Of The Playoffs  (from Rohan Nadkarni, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/chris-bosh-health-blood-clot-miami-heat-nba-playoffs

–  Moe Harkless’ Defense On Klay Thompson (from Joe Freeman, Oregon Live):

Read it here:  http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2016/05/moe_harkless_frustrating_physical_defense_on_klay.html

–  Harrison Barnes Remains Stoic In Face of Criticism  (from Tim Kawakami,  mercurynews.com):

Read it here:  http://www.mercurynews.com/tim-kawakami/ci_29856214/kawakami-warriors-harrison-barnes-remains-stoic-face-criticism

–  The Amazing Shaun Livingston  (from Kerry Eggers, Portland Tribune):

Read it here:  It’s all a best-case scenario for the amazingly rebounded Shaun Livingston

 Video Breakdown:  Festus Saves The Dubs  (from EricApricot,  Golden State Of Mind):

Read and view it here:  http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2016/5/4/11589550/warriors-vs-blazers-video-analysis-2016-highlights-festus-ezeli-defense

–  Three Adjustments The Blazers Need To Make  (from Ben Golliver,  Sports Illustated):

Read and view it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2016/05/06/nba-playoffs-trail-blazers-damian-lillard-warriors-stephen-curry-game-3

–  LaMarcus Aldridge Is Dominating  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25578812/lamarcus-aldridge-is-dominating-and-the-thunder-are-just-fine-with-that    from Anthony Slater, newsok.com:  http://newsok.com/okc-thunder-should-the-thunder-double-team-the-scorching-hot-lamarcus-aldridge/article/5496296

–  Andre Roberson’s Defense  (from Berry Tramel, newsok.com):

Read it here:  http://newsok.com/now-you-know-why-andre-roberson-starts-for-the-thunder/article/5496301

–  CLE/ATL Notes  (from Terry Pluto, cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/index.ssf/2016/05/cleveland_cavaliers_scribbles_35.html

–  Did Vogel Get A Fair Shake? (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/15468298/frank-vogel-just-latest-coach-grow-stale-larry-bird-world

–  Up Next For Pacers:  Small Ball Coach Who Is Not Afraid To Ruffle Feathers   (from Mitch Lawrence, Sporting News):

Read it here:  http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/larry-bird-frank-vogel-pacers-coach-small-ball-warriors-playoffs/5tre4sjidao1xylwc7qsrr3p

 Debating Hack-a-Farce  (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/15464738/there-no-clear-answer-how-solve-hack-shaq-issue

Player Profile:

–  Dirk Nowitzki  (from Tariq Saleh, givemesport.com):  http://www.givemesport.com/770486-dirk-nowitzki-a-success-story-built-on-perseverance-loyalty-and-class