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,

Read it here:


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 – 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,

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–  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):

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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

Michael Malone goes to great lengths to know his Nuggets players  (from Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post):

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–   With Monroe gone, who will be Pistons’ low post threat?  (from Vince Ellis,

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–  Raptors still have plenty to learn as training camp ends  (from Mike  Ganter,  Toronto Sun):

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–   Green says Warriors’ players will hold each other accountable during Kerr’s absence  (from Carl Steward,  Contra Costa Times):

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–   Warriors say Year 2 in offensive system will be even better  (from Rusty Simmons,

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–  Bucks have plenty of Point Guard options   (from Charles F. Gardner,

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–   Orlando Magic get stern message as Scott Skiles pull starters  (from Philip Rossman-Reich,

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–  Hinrich says Hoiberg has brought fast pace, calm demeanor to Bulls  (form Mike McGraw,

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Pierce fits in seamlessly with Clippers  (frm Dan Woike,


–  Hornet Michael Kidd-Gilchrist dislocates right shoulder; likely out for weeks (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer):


–  Kobe Bryant might be changing positions  (form Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):


–  New-look Bogut turning heads at Warriors training camp  (from Monte Poole,


–  Will Additions of Splitter, Tavares Help Hawks Offensively?  (from KL Chouinard,


–  Sasha Vujacic Offers Knicks Stability  (from Scott Cacciola, NYTimes):


–   Rehab work gives Chandler Parsons a different perspective  (from Eddie Sefko,


–   Deron Williams hopes to rejuvenate career with Mavericks  (from Dwain Price,


–   Paul George Looking To Find A Medium as a 3 and 4  (from Mark Monteith,


–  A breakout spring has Wizards thinking Porter’s time could be now   (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):


–   Crabbe looks to break out for Blazers  (from  Grant Lucas,


–  Gortat rolling with Wizards move toward small ball  (from Ben Standig,


–   Rajon Rondo: The King Of Sacramento’s Playoff Hopes  (from Brad Winter,


–   Blazers Player Review: Noah Vonleh  (from Joel Viss,  ripcityproject):


–   Blazers’ Gerald Henderson remains sidelined, but surgically-repaired hip is improving ‘every day’  (from Joe Freeman,

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Wolves Q&A: Interim coach Sam Mitchell: ‘I’m not going to come in here and try to be Flip’  (from Jerry Zgoda,

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– Skiles stresses precision during Magic’s 1st practice  (from Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel):

Read it here:


–  Brad Stevens Focuses on Discipline, Timing During First Practice  (from Marc D’Amico,

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–   New-look Pistons beginning to look like SVG’s Magic  (from Vince Ellis,  Detroit Free Press):

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–   SVG Part VI:  Reggie Jackson emerging as Pistons leader with a little help from young and old  (from Keith Langlois,

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–   Q&A: Vlade Divac sees Kings challenging for playoffs this season  (from Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee):

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–  Rockets’ similarities to Warriors encourage Morey  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):

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–  Perspective, opportunity work for new Rio Grande Valley  Vipers coach Matt Brase (from Dennis Silva II,

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–  General managers, scouts analyze Heat  (from Barry Jackson,  Miami Herald):

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–  NBA Player Stats: Top 5 Players – Defensive Impact  (from Tamberlyn Richardson,

Read it here:

(Note:  This is part 4 of a 9-part series)


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


BBall Breakdown Player ranking:   Blake Griffin, No. 8  (from Jeff Feyerer):


–  Hawks get more traditional center with Splitter  (from Chris Vivlamore,


–  Emmanuel Mudiay gets keys to run Nuggets’ offense as rookie  (from Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post):


–  Comfort will not change Crowder  (from Steve Bulpett,  Boston Herald):


Marcus Smart/Jared Sullinger (from Mark Murphy, Boston Herald):


Evan Turner is working work on his playmaking skills  (from A. Sherrod Blakely,  csnne):


Doug McDermott (from Ashish Mathur,


–  For Nik Stauskas, stable environment should be key  (from John Finger,


–   Suns: What To Expect From P.J. Tucker In 2015-16  (from Troy Tauscher,


 Hornet Tyler Hansbrough gives all he has  (from Tom Sorensen, Charlotte Observer):


–   Kostas Papanikolaou  (from Tamberlyn Richardson,  spacecityscoop):


–   Mavs: McGee’s Status Opens Door for Salah Mejri Heading into Camp  (from Jay Knodell,

Today’s Best NBA Reporting

–   Horseshoes and Shot Clock “Grenades”  (from Seth Partnow,  Nylon Calculus):

” Recently, we’ve spent some time looking at the difficulties in late shot clock offense, and especially how a player like James Harden can almost single-handedly keep an offense afloat by providing a sort of “security blanket” that a team will get a reasonable shot near the end of the 24. One reason scoring in the “red zone” of the last 5 seconds of the shot is so difficult is there isn’t time to run anything. By that point, a team may well have exhausted the first, second and third options from a set, and the ball is stuck in someone’s hand. With time running out til the possession expires into a turnover.

I’m not sure where I first heard the term, but this is sometimes called a “live grenade” situation, meaning you just have to get the ball out of your hands, towards the rim, somehow. These grim-looking possessions are what is commonly derided as iso-ball or hero ball, commonly perceived to plague the ends of NBA games. Anyone reading this can probably picture this sort of play in their mind’s eye.  A player receives the ball, the clock is winding down and a “guess I have to do it myself” thought bubble almost appears above the player’s head:”

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–  2015 EuroBasket Preview  (from Joshua Riddell,  Bball Breakdown):

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–   Contenders, pretenders at 2015 EuroBasket  (from Mark Woods,  ESPN):

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Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–   The Evolution of Mike Conley  (from Jonah Jordan,


–  Suns rookie Devin Booker brings fundamentals, basketball IQ to aid NBA transition  (from Dave King,


–   Robert Covington is Set to Break Out in 2015-16  (from Shamus Clancy,


–   Bulls Profile: Bobby Portis  (from Jeremy Karll,


–  How much will Kosta Koufos help DeMarcus Cousins?  (from Blake Ellington,


–   Tiago Splitter: Helps Hawks More on Offense or Defense?  (from John Buhler,