Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 1/30/16

–  The Pelicans Are Back From The Dead  (from Tim Cato,  SBNation):

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–  Luis Scola Keeps Raptors’ Win Streak In Perspective  (from Mike Ganter,  Toronto Sun):

Read it here:

–  The Wizards’ Defensive Shortcomings  (from Jorge Castillo, Washington Post):

Read it here:

–  Previewing Kawhi vs LeBron Matchup  (from Zach Buckley,  Bleacher Report):

Read and view it here:

–  Celtics On A Rampage:  Trend Analysis  (from DRJ,

Read it here:

–  Blazers Talk Defense After Win  (from David MacKay,

Read it here:

–  Cavaliers:  Five Observations  (from Chris Fedor,

Read it here:

–  Video Breakdown:  Klay Thompson’s Upside Down Elevator For Draymond Green’s Three (from EricApricot, Golden State of Mind):

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–  Ten Things You Need To Know About The Grizzlies  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

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–  Why Are The Grizzlies Suddenly Scoring So Many Points?  (from Peter Edmiston, Commercial Appeal):

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–  Michael Malone Flourishing After Kings Disappointment  (from Michael Lee,  Yahoo Sports):

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–  How Anthony Morrow Turned His Jumper Into NBA’s Fastest Weapon  (from Scott Rafferty, Sporting News):

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–  Fixing The Bucks’ Defense  (from Daniel Larsen,

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–  Devin Booker Might Already Be One Of The NBA’s Best Shooters  (from Mika Honkasalo,  Vantage Sports):

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–  Searching For Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s Partner On The Wing  (from Reinis Lacis,

Read and view it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Kristaps Porzingis  (from Adrian Wojnarowski,  Yahoo Sports): The unlikely story of how Kristaps Porzingis found his way to the Knicks


–  Zaza Pachulia  (from Tim McMahon,  ESPN):

–  Draymond Green  (from Sekou Smith,

Julius Randle  (from Harrison Faigen, Silver Screen And Roll):

–  Lance Thomas  (from James Herbert,  CBS Sports):

–  Terrence Ross (from Chris O’Leary,

–  Trevor Ariza  (from Calvin Watkins,  ESPN):

–  Derrick Rose/ Jimmy Butler (from Sam Smith,

–  DeMarcus Cousins  (from Neil Paine,

LaMarcus Aldridge  (from Mike Monroe,  Bleacher Report):

–  Shabazz Napier  (from Gary Washburn,  Boston Globe):

J.J. Redick  (from Michael Rosenfeld,  Vantage Sports):

Boban Marjanovic  (from Fran Blinebury,

–  Donatas Motiejunas  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):

–  Tyrus Thomas  (from KC Johnson,  Chicago Tribune):

–  Mario Hezonja  (from Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel):

–  Bryce Dejean-Jones  (from John Reid,


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Best NBA Reporting and Analysis – 9/30/15

–  NBA training camp storylines: Western Conference (from Ben Golliver,  Sports Illustrated):

” With training camps opening across the country, the official start of the 2015–16 NBA season is upon us. This is an uncertain time: optimism runs rampant, as it should, but every team faces ambiguities that could develop into serious problems. On Monday,’s Rob Mahoney previewed the top storylines facing all 15 Eastern Conference teams. Now, it’s time to take a look at the Western Conference landscape.”

Read it here:


–  NBA training camp storylines: Eastern Conference  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:


How Tyreke, Jrue, and Gentry Can Help Anthony Davis (from Kirk Goldsberry, Grantland):

Read it here:


–  The Value of Icing the pick-and-roll  (from John Schuhmann,

Read it here:


–   Paul George and Frank Vogel Must Recreate Indiana’s Identity  (from Tim Donahue,

Read it here:


–   Raptors to alter team philosophy  (from Josh Lewenberg,

Read it here:


–  Kings looking at different options at power forward  (from Jason Jones,

” For most of the past seven seasons, Jason Thompson started at power forward for the Kings.

This season will be different. To revamp the position, the Kings traded Thompson, their longest-tenured player, to the Philadelphia 76ers over the summer. The 76ers dealt Thompson to the Golden State Warriors.

The Kings now have multiple options at power forward as complements to All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. Coach George Karl began examining the candidates Tuesday during the team’s first practice of training camp at UC San Diego.

The team has looked for a power forward with shooting range, or one who can contribute through effective defense if not an impact scorer.”

–  The rise of Brad Stevens and his starless Celtics  (from ben Rohrbach, Yahoo Sports):


–   As camps begin, Thibodeau looking from outside view  (from Steve Aschburner,

” Out of a job for first time since 1991, ex-Bulls coach on ‘sabbatical'”

Read it here:


–  Basketball and Learning in Las Vegas: A trip to Pro Scout School  (from Jack Maloney, hardwoodparoxysm):

Read it here:

(Note:  We have attended PSS each of the last two sessions and highly recommend it to evryone who wants to learn more about hoops.)


–   Dispatches from NESSIS 2015  (from Seth Partnow/ Will Schreefer,  Nylon Calculus):

” (The 2015 New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports was held this past weekend in Boston. Will Schreefer was there, and fills us in with this guest post. Will  lives in New Jersey, where he works and studies as a civil engineer. He does some college basketball stat work on the side1, and is always sure this is the the year Villanova makes it past the first weekend.)

This past Saturday, the biennial-since-2007 ‘New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports’ – or NESSIS – was held at Harvard University’s Science Center. The brainchild of Mark Glickman andScott Evans, distinguished New England-based academics with a passion for (and serious expertise in) the intersection between sports and statistics, the conference is characterized on the program as ‘a meeting of statisticians and quantitative analysts connected with sports teams, sports media, and universities to discuss common problems of interest in statistical modeling and analysis of sports data.’ Describing it, though, is as simple as ‘heaven.’ Heaven, at least, for that population slice who’d want to hear Jeremias Engelmann explain how to recreate Adjusted +/- and RAPM for a pickup basketball game and then take questions on his choice of ridge (Tikhonov) regression vs. ordinary least squares regression from an audience mostly composed of people who know exactly what the choice means.

Read it here:


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


BBall Breakdown’s Player Rankings:  James Harden, #5 (from Kelly Scaletta):


–   Pistons look for Ersan Ilyasova to bring ‘Turkish Thunder’ to backboards  (from David Mayo,


–   Entering his critical fourth season, Wizards’ Bradley Beal is still tweaking his game  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):


–  Monta Ellis wanted to be wanted  (from C.Cooper,


–  Alvin Gentry confident Omer Asik will adapt quickly to new offensive system  (from John Reid,




–  Rockets’ goal for Harden: more catch-and-shoot opportunities  (from Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle):


–  Film Room: Breaking Down Tobias Harris’ Offense  (from Josh Cohen,


Nik Stauskas (from Bob Cooney,


Channing  Frye: “I Have A Lot to Prove” (from John Denton.


Joe Young (from Mark Monteith.




–   Clippers’ Wes Johnson happy to get L.A. makeover  (from Janis Carr,


–   NORMAN POWELL IS NEVER SATISFIED  (from Steven Lebron, Vice Sports):


–  Otto Porter Could Emulate Trevor Ariza In Washington  (from Ben mehic,


–  Q&A: Jimmer Fredette  (from Ananth Pandian, CBS Sports):


–   SVG’s reputation, freedom he allows big men helped lure Baynes to Pistons  (from Keith Langlois,


–  This is Isaiah Thomas’ Time to Shine  (from Alex Kennedy,  basketball Insiders):


–   Steve Blake OK with Pistons throwing different roles at him, including not playing  (from Aaron McMann,


–  Utah Jazz: Alec Burks or Rodney Hood? Two good options for one starting job  (from Tony Jones,


–   Meet 17-Year-Old European Dragan Bender, Who Could Be 2016’s Kristaps Porzingis  (from David Pick, Bleacher Report):

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Breaking down down some of the Warriors’ most commonly used offensive sets (from  Bball Breakdown):

Watch it here:




–  Draymond Green’s ascent from Spartan to Warrior  (from  Joe Rexrode, Detroit Free Press):


Read it here:





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Finals Preview Part 1: the Cavs (from Mike Gallagher,  Rotoworld):

Read it here:–nba.htm




–  The 1 team that stopped Steph Curry  (from Rick Maese, Washington Post):

Read it here:


–  Pelicans hire Alvin Gentry to play faster, fully unleash Anthony Davis  (from Ben Golliver, Sporrts Illustrated):

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–  With Alvin Gentry aboard, the Pelicans next hire is vital  (from Oleh,

Read it here:




– Scott Skiles’ players have to earn their minutes  (from Josh Robbins,

Read it here:




Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


Trevor Ariza:


Marcus Smart:


– Tony Parker:


Henry Walker:


Maurice Harkless:

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):

Read and view it here:




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

Read and view it here:




–  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,

Read it here:




–  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.”

Read it here:


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

Read it here:


–  Eastern Conference Finals Preview  (from CJ McCollum,

Read it here:




–  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

Otto Porter took the next step in his development in Game 2 vs. Hawks  (from Iake Whitacre,

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–  Paul Pierce, the new old model for stretch fours  (from William Bohl,

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Wizards’ Wall has multiple fractures in wrist and hand; status in doubt  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):

Read it here:




–  How the Wizards can cope with Wall’s injury  (from Umair Khan,

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–  Shots were still Available for the Bulls in Game Two, But For The Wrong Players  (from Chris terzic,

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–  Tristan Thompson is a matchup problem for the Bulls  (from Jesus Gomez,

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Tristan  Thompson just ‘fits in’ with Cavaliers  (from Dave McMenamin,  ESPN):

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–  Understanding Chris Paul’s Hamstring Strain & the Issues Moving Forward   (from Jeff Stotts,

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–  How the Rockets stopped Blake Griffin by going small  (from Jesus Gomez,

Read it here:




–  Grizzlies frustrating, disrupting Warriors in 1-1 series  (frm Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

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–  The Playoffs in a Make or Miss League – What IS A “Good” Shot  (from Seth Partnow,

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–   Stretch-4s: How Rockets’ Coach Rudy Tomjanovich  radically changed NBA offenses  (from Adam Kilgore, Washington Post):

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–  Gimmicky fouls: fundamentally flawed  (from J.A. Adande,  ESPN):

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–  Raptors have had similar ugly finishes and should avoid repeating past mistakes  (from Eric Koreen,

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–  Oklahoma City Thunder: Familiar faces could join Billy Donovan’s staff  (from Anthony Slater,

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–  An Open Letter to the NBA Draft Class  (from Patrick Patterson,

Read it here:





–  Pelicans offense reaches top-10 status  (from David Fisher,

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–  Pelicans improved on defense   (from David Fisher,

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And for those with access to ESPN Insider:


–  Blake Griffin’s postseason breakout  (from Kevin Pelton)

Read it here:




Additional Player Notes,Updates, Profiles:


Bradley Beal/Otto Porter:


Andrew Bogut:


Jimmy Butler:


Courtney Lee:


Zach Randolph:


DeMar DeRozan:


Ryan Anderson:


Chis Kaman:


Avery Bradley:


Dwight Powell:


Bruno Caboclo:


Quincy Pondexter:


Omri Casspi:


Elfrid Payton:



QOTD (from David Blatt on why Hack-a-foul doesn;t exist in Europe):

. “It’s considered unsportsmanlike.

“We have fouled players who are poor foul shooters, but in a legal and tactical fashion. There’s no such thing as Hack-A-Shaq. That’s one of the reasons I believe they can and should change the rule. … You can’t foul a guy with no relation to the game whatsoever. And the referees are educated enough to understand when it’s a basketball play and when you’re grabbing a guy at the other end of the court who’s not involved in the play so as to purposely on the line. …

“That’s one of those rules overseas that I think is better than what we have here.”