Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 1/5/16

Offensive Rebounding/Transition Defense (from Zach Lowe,  ESPN):

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–  Bulls Getting Contributions Throughout Roster During Win Streak  (from KC Johnson, Chicago Tribune):

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–  LBJ on Lack of Playing Time for Some  (from Chris Fedor,

Read it here:

–  Can Heat Go From Good To Great?  (from Jeff Zilgitt,  USA Today):

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–  How the Clippers Are Doing It Without Blake Griffin;  Elfrid Payton Q & A  (from David Aldridge,

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–  Brandon Jennings Busts Loose, Hopes to Stay With Pistons  (from Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press):

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–  This Season’s Most Improved Jump Shooters  (from Mika Honkasalo, Vantage Sports):

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–  Kings’ Assistant Vance Walberg on the Dribble Drive Motion Offense  (from Coach Nick, BBall Breakdown):

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–  The Wizards’ Injury Woes  (from Jorge Castillo,  Washington Post):

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–  Bucks’ Future Remains Bright  (from Ian Thomsen,

–  Rajon Rondo Q & A Re: Days with the Mavs  (from Tim McMahon,  ESPN):

 The Case for Flip Saunders as Executive of the Year  (from Britt Robson,

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–  Pelicans Still Working on Picking Up the Pace  (from Brett Dawson, The Advocate):

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–  Tyreke Evans Having Difficulty Adjusting to Gentry’s Offensive System  (from John Reid,

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–  Recapping Monday’s Games  (from SBNation):

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–  Where Are They Now:  Amnestied Players  (from Chuck Myron,  Hoops Rumors):

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And for those with access to ESPN insider:

–  What the Warriors are Teaching the Hornets (from Kevin Pelton):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Draymond Green  (from Sam Amick, USA Today):

–  DeMar DeRozan  (from Josh Lewenberg,

–  TJ Warren/Devin Booker/Alex Len  (from Jonathan Tjarks,  RealGM):

–  Jonathon Simmons  (from Tim McMahon,  Express-News):

–  DeMarre Carroll  (from Ryan Wolstat,  Toronto Sun):–and-likely-for-some-time

–  Ish Smith (from Jason Patt,  SBNation):

–  Montrezl Harrell  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):

–  John Wall  (from Abdullah Sharif,

–  Larry Nance, Jr  (from Harrison Faigen,

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.”

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

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

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

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

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–   Raptors to alter team philosophy  (from Josh Lewenberg,

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–  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'”

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

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(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):

Best NBA Reporting: Must Reads from Media Day

–  Pistons:  random thoughts and expectations for the season ahead  (form Keith Langlois,

Read it here:


–   Raptors hope for better fit, ‘different type of basketball’ after off-season changes  (from Eric Koreen,

Read it here:


Villanova Coach  Jay Wright talks Okafor, Noel with Brett Brown  (from Bob Ford,  Philadelphia Inquirer):

“He’s very committed to the fact that he wants to adjust to his personnel. I love how he sees himself as a coach: ‘You give me the players and I’ve got to figure out a way to make them successful. How can this person I’ve been given be most successful?’ That’s a lot better than a guy who says, ‘This has to be done my way.’ ”


–  7 Undrafted Free Agents to Watch in 2015-16 NBA Training Camps (from Jonathan Wasserman,  Bleacher Report):

” Going undrafted doesn’t mean the NBA dream is over. We see undrafted players make rosters every year. And a handful of them manage to secure legitimate rotation spots.

Langston Galloway, Tarik Black and Jabari Brown were just a few from last season.

Of course, the fit has to be right. Each of the following prospects offers something specific, whether it’s upside, shooting ability or energy, that their training-camp team must value.

These potential rookies have all signed partially guaranteed deals and will be players to watch over the next few weeks as they look to make an NBA roster.”

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–   Breaking Down the Miami Heat’s Training Camp Roster  (from Wes Goldberg,

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–   Three Point Plinko and the Minnesota Timberwolves  (from Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus):

” We still don’t know an awful lot about the process of shot and offense creation in the NBA. We’ve gotten pretty good at describing the inputs in terms of what various players bring to the table, and the outputs in terms of team level offensive success or lack thereof. But in between, how a given set of players interact with an offensive system to arrive at the shots actually taken, remains something of a black box, at least from an analytic view.

From a qualitative standpoint, coaches know a great deal about what kinds of actions will tend to produce the best shot, but even in that frame of reference it resembles a game of plinko. The structure of a team’s offense and personnel determine the placement of the pegs, and the play call is choosing which slot to drop in the pellet. But from there, the series of bounces, the intricacies of the offensive and defensive execution of any given play, determine the outcome in a not entirely predictable way.

Open threes are usually the end result of good things happening throughout the offensive process. Which leads me to the problem with Mitchell’s statement: Minnesota’s process, their “flow”, stunk.

Getting back to the plinko analogy, one season of low three point rates might be an unfortunate happenstance of roster construction or random variation. But Flip Saunders’ offenses (as well as those of his disciple, Washington’s Randy Wittman) have always produced three pointers at well below league average rates and long twos at higher than average rates3. That “flow” Mitchell was speaking of, from which threes must naturally arise is not an accident, an exogenous force with which the Wolves must deal. That “flow” is the result of design. And that design consistently produces the worst shot in basketball, the long two.”

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–   Abundance of questions surround start of 2015-16  (from David Aldridge,

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Q & A: Beat Writer John Reid on the Pelicans  (from Chuck Myron,

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Read it here:


Read it here:


–   An American coach is trying to lead Palestine to the Olympics – and it’s all even crazier than you think  (from Jorge Sierra,

Read it here:


Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  Bball Breakdown Player Rankings: Chris Paul, #6  (from Jesse Blanchard):


–  Why Harrison Barnes Could Be the Most Intriguing Free Agent of 2016  (from Zach Lowe, Grantland):


–  Why David West gave back $11 million to join the Spurs  (from Adrian Wojnarowski,  Yahoo Sports):–11-million-to-join-the-spurs-195800859.html


Finally united with coach Alvin Gentry, Pelicans guard Eric Gordon is eager to push the tempo (from Brett Dawson,


–  Tyreke Evans set to play primarily at point guard  (from John Reid,


Meyers Leonard Talks Versatility and Off-season Focus  (from David MacKay,


Trail Blazers Moe Harkless and Cliff Alexander  (from Jason Quick,


Vogel won’t ‘waste’ Paul George’s defensive skills  (from Candace Buckner,


–  Jameer Nelson the leader the Denver Nuggets need  (from Adam Kinney,


Kyle Lowry fit and fuelled for a rebound  (form Bruce Arthur,


Elfrid Payton learning to think like a shooter  (from Philip Rossman-Reich,


–  The Kevin Garnett Files  (from Michael Boosalis,


–  Michael Malone wants to find Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris consistent role  (from Nate Timmons,


Myles Turner (from Gregg Doyel,


–  Kyrie Irving wants to change his game so his scoring stays up and he won’t get knocked down (from Chris Haynes,


–   The Versatile Nikola Mirotic  (from Brandon Pence,


–  Croatian Dragan Bender at epicenter of historic Maccabi-Milano rivalry tour  (from Jake Fischer,  Sports Illustrated):

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Steve Kerr Q & A (from Tim Kawakami,

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–  Projecting the NBA’s Most Efficient Teams Next Season  (from Adam Fromal, Bleacher Report):

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–   Rim Protection Metrics Revisited  (from Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus):

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–   How the D-League may shape the future of basketball  (from Matt Moore,  CBS Sports):

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–   Atlanta Hawks: How to Build a Team  (from Andrew Snyder,

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–   Cousins and Karl: An Enigmatic Partnership  (from Zack Zolmer,

Read it here:


Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  BBALLBREAKDOWN’S Top 50 NBA Players: 40-36  (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):


–  Draymond Green Q & A (from Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders):


–  Utah Jazz Ceilings and Floors, Part II: Bigs  (from Ben Dowsett,


–   Tyreke Evans: Healthy Pelicans not ‘any different from the Warriors’  (from Adi Joseph,  Sporting News):


Anthony  Tolliver gets a rare 2nd year with the same team  (from Keith Langlois,


–  The Future Of Canada’s Big Men (from RealGM):


–   Breaking Down the Quantity and Quality of D-Rose’s Threes  (from Will Gottlieb,


–   Making the case for Perry Jones III  (from Tim MacLean,


–   Blazers: In Defense of Gerald Henderson  (from Carlos Diaz,


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Should NBA teams rebuild through the draft, free agency or trade?  (from Matt Moore.  CBS Sports):

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–  It’s Time to Get Excited for Hoiberg’s Offense  (from thehungarianjordan,

” We’ve heard that Hoiberg is going to revolutionize the offense, but what exactly does that mean?”

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–  Tracking Blake Griffin’s improvement as a play-maker  (from Joshua Riddell,  Bball Breakdown):

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#AskBBall Stats Mailbag  (from Seth Partnow,  Bball Breakdown):

” Welcome back to another edition of the mailbag. We got really good responses the first time around, so we’re running it back. I’m going to start by asking myself a few questions that are pretty frequently asked.”

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–  Deep Team USA talent base on display at Vegas camp  (from Steve Aschburner,

” Three-day camp has 34 NBA players competing for ’16 Olympics”

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


 Evan Turner’s not bad, and that’s a problem for the Celtics:


–  Analyzing Ryan Kelly’s sophomore slump and his future with the Lakers:


–  Erick Green excited for Year 2 in NBA:


–  What to expect from David West:


–  How much of a threat can Lin be around the rim? :


Ed Davis interview:


–  Analyzing the New Orleans Pelicans backcourt: