Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 10/11/18

Tiers: Contenders, Hopefuls & Bad Teams (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):
Anonymous Scouts’ Takes: Previewing All 30 Teams (from Sports Illustrated):
ATL: 3 Ways Trae Young Will Impact The Team (from Chris Guest, Soaring Down South):
BKN: The Key To Unlocking The Offense  (from Jared Dubin, The Step Back):
BOS: It’s Not What Irving Sees, It’s How He Sees It (from Howard Beck, Bleacher Report):
BOS: Jaylen Brown & The Quest To Reach His Ceiling  (from Alex Kungu, Celtics Blog):
CHA: Hornets Are Shifting From “Kemba-Or-Bust” Offense (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer):
GSW: Q & A: Draymond Green (from Sam Alipour, ESPN):
GSW: The Death Of Bully Ball & The Rebirth Of Steph Curry (from Grant Hughes, Bleacher Report):
HOU: Rockets Getting In Touch With New Freedom Of Movement Calls (from Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle):
HOU: Will Change Be Good For The Rockets?  (from Eric Spyropolous, The Step Back):
IND: Pacers Need Less Iso-Ball (from Caitlin Cooper, Indy Cornrows):
IND: Should Pacers Convert Sumner’s Two-Way Contract?  (from Tony East, 8 Points, 9 Seconds):
LAL: Exploring LBJ’s Offensive Role (from Jackson Frank, The Step Back):
LAL: Why The Lakers Might Not Make The Playoffs (from Daniel Lubofsky, Hoops Habit):
MIL: Video: Breaking Down The Bucks’ Secondary Series (from Zak Boisvert, Pick And Pop):
MIN: Jimmy Butler’s Return (from Jon Krawczynski/Shams Charania):
NYK: For Enes Kanter, Basketball Is More Than A Paycheck Or Even A Passion (from Jordan Ritter Conn, The Ringer):
ORL: Film Room: Isaac’s Versatility, Magic’s Smothering Defense (from Josh Cohen, magic.com):
ORL: Isaac Puts The Magic At Ease & Makes Their Job Easier (from Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily):
POR: Role Players Who Will Decide Blazers’ Fate (from Dane Delgado, NBC Sports):
SAC: On The Rise: WCS  (from Alex Squadron, Slamonline):
SAC: Kings’ Rotation Coming Into View (from Jason Anderson, Sacramento Bee):
UTA: Grading The Jazz Roster (from NBA Math):
Players, Coaches Are Trying To Adapt To New Clutching, Grabbing Calls (from Kurt Helin, NBC Sports):
Preseason Injury Updates  (from Justin Fensterman, Fantasy Alarm):
USA Basketball Adds Star Power To Its Coaching Staff (from Marc Stein, NY Times):
Today’s BI Is Dedicated To The Memory Of Tex Winter:

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Ranking draft prospects from 1-60  (from Kevin O’Connor,  sbnation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/2015/6/23/8832521/nba-draft-rankings-2015-big-board-karl-towns

 

 

–  Celtics’ Austin Ainge Offers Inside Window into Boston’s Predraft Process  (from Brian Robb,  Bleacher report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2503996-celtics-austin-ainge-offers-inside-window-into-bostons-pre-draft-process

 

 

–   How do the Pacers decide who to pick in the NBA draft?  (from Candace Buckner,  indystar.com):

Read it here: http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/2015/06/23/pacers-decide-pick-nba-draft/29173885/

 

 

–  Steve Clifford Q&A: Lance reflections, Hornets’ draft process and more  (from Chris Mannix,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/06/24/steve-clifford-hornets-nba-draft-lance-stephenson-al-jefferson

 

 

– Analyzing the 2015 NBA Draft’s Top Fundamental Big Men’s Defense (from Kevin O’Connor, Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.vantagesports.com/story/VYibMSgAACgA-Prm/analyzing-the-2015-nba-drafts-top-fundamental-big-men

 

 

–  A Manifesto for the “Best Player Available” Approach  (from Layne Vashro,  Nylon Calculus):

Read it here:  http://nyloncalculus.com/2015/06/23/a-manifesto-for-the-best-player-available-approach/

 

 

–  Cuban: NBA should form youth club system  (from Tim MacMahon, ESPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas-mavericks/post/_/id/4705380/cuban-nba-should-form-youth-club-system

 

 

–  Should NCAA serve as NBA’s minor league?  (from Tim MacMahon, ESDPN):

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13136578/should-ncaa-serve-nba-minor-league

 

 

The Obtuse Traingle  – Explaining the Triple-Post offense  (from Nicholas Dawidoff, NYTimes):

Read it here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/sports/basketball/phil-jackson-knicks-triangle-offense-nba.html

 

 

Harvey Pollack, RIP (from Frank Fitzpatrick, Philly.com):

Read it here:  http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20150624_Harvey_Pollack__76ers__legendary_stat_man__dies_at_93.html

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

Willie Cauley-Stein:  https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/06/23/kentucky-willie-cauley-stein-dialed/cet0Fu624L0HiN2j0mKuRO/story.html

 

Trey Lyles:  http://www.sbnation.com/2015/6/24/8836361/trey-lyles-kentucky-basketball-nba-draft-prospect

 

–  Mario Hezonja:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2502765-meet-nba-draft-prospect-mario-hezonja-europes-kobe-bryant-wannabe

 

Kristaps Porzingis:  http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/06/24/who-is-kristaps-porzingis-why-does-everyone-want-to-draft-him-we-break-down-his-game/

 

Emmanuel Mudiay:  http://www.si.com/nba/2015/06/24/emmanuel-mudiay-nba-draft-congo-china-texas-smu-larry-brown

 

Pat Connaughton:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2500209-inside-pat-connaughtons-two-sport-dream-pro-pitcher-eying-nba-career-too

 

Norman Powell:  http://www.hoopsrumors.com/2015/06/prospect-norman-powell.html

 

Chris McCullough:   http://www.foxsports.com/nba/story/nba-draft-chris-mccullough-long-and-winding-journey-062415

 

Bobby Portis:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2490872-after-tough-childhood-bobby-portis-has-become-drafts-most-intriguing-sleeper

 

Jordan Mickey:  http://www.hoopsrumors.com/2015/06/prospect-jordan-mickey.html

 

 

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  If LeBron and the Cavs lose, blame injuries, not the roster  (from Akiem Bailum,  section215.com):

Read it here:  http://section215.com/2015/06/15/if-lebron-and-the-cavs-lose-blame-injuries-not-the-roster/

 

 

–  FILM STUDY: WARRIORS KEEP BRINGING THE D  (from John Schuhmann,  NBA.com):

Read and view it here:  http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2015/06/15/film-study-warriors-keep-bringing-the-d/

 

 

–  Green and Iguodala give Warriors their versatility, excel in Game 5  (from Eric Freeman,  Yahoo Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/green-and-iguodala-give-warriors-their-versatility–excel-in-game-5-060929972.html

 

 

Barbosa  provides a big lift  (frrom John Shea, SFGate.com):

Read it here:  http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Brazilian-Blur-provides-a-big-lift-6327065.php

 

 

Did Blatt play into Warriors’ hands by abandoning Mozgov? (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

Read it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25214759/nba-finals-blatt-plays-into-warriors-hands-in-game-5-by-abandoning-mozgov

A different take (from Kurt Helin, NBC Sports):  http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/06/15/david-blatts-gambit-going-small-didnt-work-but-was-only-call-he-could-make/

 

 

–  Warriors taking a page from past Finals success stories – plus Alvin Gentry, Vlade Divac Q &A, more (from David Aldridge, NBA.com):

Read it here:   http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/david_aldridge/06/15/morning-tip-golden-state-warriors-adjustments-in-nba-finals-vs-cleveland-cavaliers-alvin-gentry-new-orleans-pelicans-anthony-davis-qa-vlade-divac/

 

 

–  The Pace-and-Space Miami Heat Live in These NBA Finals  (from Wes Goldberg,  allyoucanheat.com):

Read it here:  http://allucanheat.com/2015/06/15/pace-and-space-miami-heat-live-in-these-nba-finals/

 

 

Jason Lloyd’s 35 Thoughts on Game 5 (from ohio.com):

Read it here:  http://www.ohio.com/blogs/cleveland-cavaliers/cleveland-cavaliers-1.275356/warriors-104-cavs-91-jason-lloyd-s-35-thoughts-on-lebron-s-greatness-missing-mozgov-1.600374

 

 

Game 5: Chris Fedor’s Five Observations (from Cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2015/06/lebron_james_burden_too_much_a.html

 

 

–  Steph, LeBron both play like MVPs — with one difference  (from Steve Aschburner,  NBA.com):

” Curry’s help negates Cavs superstar in Warriors’ 104-91 win”

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/steve_aschburner/06/15/warriors-win-game-5-stephen-curry-lebron-james/

 

 

–  J.R. Smith starts hot, but Warriors cool him down in Game 5 win  (from Dan Devine, Yahoo Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/j-r–smith-starts-hot–but-warriors-cool-him-down-in-game-5-win-055152882.html

 

 

 

–  Warriors Pull Away and Take a 3-2 Series Lead (from Bob MacKinnon,  Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:  http://www.vantagesports.com/story/VXs15ScAACUA6sDo/cavs-vs.-warriors-6-14-15game-5-the-4th-quarter-again-belongs-to-golden-state-as-they-take-a-3-2-series-lead

 

 

 

–  Fundamental flaw mars brilliant LeBron performance  (from Dave McMenamin,  ESPN):

Read it here:   http://www.espn.co.uk/basketball/playoffs/2015/story/_/id/13080408/2015-nba-finals-fundamental-flaw-mars-brilliant-lebron-james-performance

 

 

–   How Steph Curry Attacks In The Pick And Roll  (from Coach Nick,  Bball Breakdown):

” Coach Nick took a DEEP dive into the Warriors pick and roll attack, charting every one and analyzing which pairing is doing best, and which defensive alignment has worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

Read and view it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/06/14/nba-finals-how-steph-curry-attacks-in-the-pick-and-roll/

 

 

– LeBron, Steph & The NBA’s Constant Darwinian Struggle  (from Jonathan Tjarks,  RealGM.com):

Read it here:  http://basketball.realgm.com/analysis/238195/LeBron-Steph-&-The-NBAs-Constant-Darwinian-Struggle

 

 

–  STEPH CURRY DESTROYED THE DREAMS OF NARRATIVE DRIVERS IN GAME 5  (from Joseph nardone,  crossoverchronicles):

Read and view it here:  http://bloguin.com/crossoverchronicles/2015-articles/steph-curry-destroyed-dreams-narrative-drivers-game-5.html

 

 

–  HOW TEX WINTER HAS INFLUENCED THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS   (from Roland Lazenby,  Vice Sports):

Read it here:  https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/how-tex-winter-has-influenced-the-golden-state-warriors

 

 

–  How Rick Barry is telling the tale of the Warriors  (from Sam Amick, USA Today):

Read it here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/playoffs/2015/06/15/rick-barry-telling-tale-warriors-cavaliers-finals-game-5/71236062/

 

 

–  Tristan Thompson is Enjoying Proving His Critics Wrong  (from Moke Hamilton, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here:   http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-sunday-tristan-thompson-is-enjoying-proving-his-critics-wrong/

 

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–  Who will Hawks keep?  (from Kevin Arnovitz,  ESPN):

” Five burning questions and answers ‎about the immediate future of the Atlanta Hawks”

Read it here: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13067059/next-atlanta-hawks

 

 

 

–  Should The Blazers Run More?  (from Chris Lucia, blazersedge.com):

Read it here:  http://www.blazersedge.com/2015/6/15/8780509/portland-trail-blazers-offense-fast-break-damian-lillard-cj-mccollum-meyers-leonard

 

 

–  Memphis Grizzlies 2014-2015 Season Reviews: Front Office  (from Andrew Ford,  grizzlybearblues.com):

Read it here:  http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2014-15-season-review/2015/6/15/8778739/memphis-grizzlies-2014-2015-season-reviews-front-office

 

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

– James Michael McAdoo /Ognjen Kuzmic :  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/15/sports/basketball/these-golden-state-warriors-won-before-in-april.html

 

Mason Plumlee:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2496126-figuring-out-mason-plumlees-is-hidden-domino-in-brooklyn-nets-offseason

 

Amir Johnson:  http://www.raptorshq.com/2015/6/15/8776663/raptors-player-review-amir-johnson-young-veteran

 

Jae Crowder:  http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/06/07/robb-celtics-should-bring-back-jae-crowder-for-next-stage-of-rebuild/

 

Joel Embiid:  http://www.csnphilly.com/blog/700-level/joel-embiid-injury-update-yes-panic-or-no-panic

 

Andre Roberson:  http://thunderousintentions.com/2015/06/15/andre-roberson-odd-man-donovans-system/

Kings,Grizzlies,Pacers,Pelicans, Heat,Knicks,Blazers

Conley leads Grizzlies turnaround (from Jeff Caplan, NBA.com):

Mike Conley is having the best all-around season of his career. Even he, not one to toot his own horn, won’t deny this, calling it his “most productive year, by far.”

His biggest assist though can’t be found on any stat sheet. It’s been revealed in the locker room, during film sessions and on the practice floor where his cool demeanor, his evolving, encouraging style of leadership helped pull the Memphis Grizzlies back from the brink of disaster.

He won’t, however, go all individualistic in taking credit for a turnaround of a team that started the season adrift, as if it had yet to make peace with the summer’s upheaval, the controversial transition from stalwart Lionel Hollins to his youthful assistant, Dave Joerger. Now, through renewed health, a return to their trademark defense and a forged camaraderie, the 2013 portion of the season seems a distant memory.

“The chemistry is as good as it’s been since I’ve been here, and that speaks to the fact that we have a bunch of veteran, professional guys who realize how to be unselfish, sacrificing for the next man, and that’s something that’s rare to find,””

Read it here: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/03/21/conley-leads-grizzlies-turnaround/

For Scola and Pacers, it’s about fixing carefully what was broken barely (from Steve Aschburner, NBA.com):

Read it here: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/03/22/for-scola-and-pacers-its-about-fixing-carefully-what-was-broken-barely/

Don’t expect Pacers to pace themselves (from Steve Aschburner, NBA.com):

” I have no idea where that comes from,” Thibodeau said. “I really don’t. What, they should apologize for playing hard? Come on.”

The topic was the Indiana Pacers, the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 team and the Bulls’ opponents Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. There have been rumblings in the media and the Pacers’ fan base that, maybe, coach Frank Vogel and his guys ought to be, well, pacing themselves better as the regular season runs out and the postseason nears.”

Read it here: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/03/21/dont-expect-pacers-to-pace-themselves/

– Q&A: Anthony Davis on life in the NBA (from Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN):

Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/66877/qa-anthony-davis-on-life-in-the-nba

– Dave Joerger Q&A (from Sam Amick, USAToday):

Read it here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2014/03/21/a-to-z-dave-joerger-memphis-grizzlies-marcin-gortat-washington-wizards/6698823/

– ‘Youthful’  Ray Allen provides much-needed boost (from Israel Guttierez, ESPN):

“Of course a rugged, painful, Memphis-special type of game would be sealed in an uncontested, two-handed dunk from Ray Allen.

It makes as much sense as a team seemingly stuck in quicksand in its quest for a third straight championship relying on a rejuvenated 38-year-old for a burst of life.

But that’s exactly how this Miami HeatMemphis Grizzlies 91-86 slugfest effectively ended, with Allen shaking free and catching a long inbound pass from Dwyane Wade that left Allen free for the rare, flashy finish and a four-point Heat lead in the final seconds.

And that’s exactly what Allen has done for this Heat team in a surprising March malaise: given Miami the offense punch it so sorely lacks.

Friday’s Heat performance wasn’t just about the team’s unique struggles. The Grizzlies and their consistent defense also had plenty to do with Miami kind of piecing together a less-than-stellar effort for three quarters. As did LeBron James’ sore back that kept him out of the Heat’s last game, a loss in Boston on Wednesday.

But for the third time in five games, it was Allen who finished with the top scoring total for Miami, with 18 points in 31 minutes off the bench.

Before these three Allen-led games, no Heat player outside the Big Three had led Miami in scoring since last year.”

Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/20266/youthful-allen-provides-much-needed-boost

– Amar’e Stoudemire Reflects: His Knicks Journey, the Tough Times and What’s Next (from Jared Zwerling, Bleacher Report):

Read the interview here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1998149-amare-stoudemire-reflects-his-knicks-journey-the-tough-times-and-whats-next

– Zach Lowe (Grantland.com) analyzes the Blazers:

” Two months ago, the Blazers were both exciting and predictable — the feel-good story of the NBA season, but also a story with an ending we could see coming. They were 31-9 with the league’s best offense, an unsustainably awesome record in nail-biters, and a bottom-10 defense that would surely be their undoing in the postseason.

That they’re in the no. 5 spot in the loaded Western Conference, staring at home-court disadvantage in the first round, is not a surprise. But the route they’ve taken has been strange, and has made them a hard team to know as we approach the playoffs.”

Read and view it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/pdx-problems-what-exactly-is-wrong-with-the-blazers/

– Petrie enjoys life sans NBA (from Kerry Eggers, Portland Tribune):

(BI note: Seems like he cuts the Maloofs far, far too much slack, but otherwise…)

” For the first time since the late 1980’s, Geoff Petrie isn’t doing everything in his power to improve the personnel side of an NBA club.

And he’s getting along just fine.”

Read the interview here: http://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/214165-72562-eggers-petrie-enjoys-life-sans-nba

– Tex Winter’s son: Jackson’s coaching gifts will translate to front office (from Ken Berger, CBSSports):

” …one character who clearly fits Jackson’s vision — or at least, the offense that became the backbone of Jackson’s six championships in Chicago and five with the Lakers — is Anthony, according to Winter.

“Anthony’s a beast,” said Winter, a physicist who lives in the Boston area. “If he learns to be a little bit more unselfish and take better shots, in that pinch-post of the triangle he would just be amazing with his footwork and ability to make a pass. He would be so efficient in that situation that Phil would almost definitely convince any coach to run at least that part of it.

“That pinch-post area, they had [Pau] Gasol in there and they had [Michael] Jordan do a lot of that, and [Scottie] Pippen,” Winter said. “Even [Dennis] Rodman was really good at it. They kind of cut into that area and get the ball and it’s really hard to defend. It’s just kind of a sweet spot that you can’t double team. … You do have to have some skills there — have good footwork, know how to protect the ball and make quick decisions — and you have to be able to shoot. It’s a critical position in the offense. You also have to know when to cut into the position so you can swing the ball to the weak side. I’ve always thought that Carmelo was just a natural for that. Most people would have to learn it because it’s different footwork with inside pivots, but Carmelo somehow has already learned those things.

“Jackson, of course, is not coaching any more; that’s not part of the job description that league sources say will make Jackson the highest-paid coach or executive in the NBA. Having been a coach of some longevity and repute, Jackson would respect boundaries and not impose his will on the man who lords over that realm. But suffice it to say that the triangle is not merely Xs and Os on a whiteboard to Jackson; it is a way of life. The first step in Jackson’s takeover of the Knicks will be to find a coach who shares his philosophy, if not his precise playbook.

“It’ll involve some kind of system that involves read-and-react and some sort of intelligence,” Winter said. “It doesn’t have to be the triangle, but he doesn’t want to see a frenzy.”

Read it here: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/writer/ken-berger/24489081/tex-winters-son-phil-jacksons-coaching-gifts-will-translate-to-front-office

Royce White quietly plays for the first time (from Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com):

Royce White finally made his NBA debut Friday night, and the strangest thing happened.

Nothing.

No bright spotlight after all the attention of the last two seasons, no great expectations after entering the league as the No. 16 pick in 2012 with a unique skill set that intrigued front offices, no memorable moments after all the regrettable moments. Just a guy on a second 10-day contract going in for the last 56.1 seconds with his team about to lose by 20 points, hoping for the chance to show he deserves to be signed for the rest of what little remains of the season.”

Read it here: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/03/22/royce-white-quietly-plays-for-the-first-time/

Q&A: Royce White ( from James Ham, ESPN):

Royce White is going to play in the NBA. Be it tonight against the San Antonio Spurs or on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks, the 22-year-old big man will put on a Sacramento Kings uniform and take the court, answering the question of whether he will ever play an NBA game.

The question is nearly two years in the making. It didn’t work out for him in Houston or Philadelphia, and there were a few D-League experiments as well. He has been called a bust, but that is an oversimplification.

White’s story is about as complex as it gets. As the muscular former first-round pick tries to acclimate to his new team, he is not interested in delving deep into the mental health disorders that almost knocked him out of the league for good. It is a daily struggle that unfortunately has played out on a national stage.”

Read the Q&A here: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/66885/qa-royce-white-readies-for-nba-debut