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

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

Read and view it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14505051/transition-defense-left-offensive-rebounds-cutting-room-floor

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

Read it here:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/ct-bulls-rotation-depth-jimmy-butler-spt-0105-20160104-story.html

–  LBJ on Lack of Playing Time for Some  (from Chris Fedor, cleveland.com):

Read it here:  http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2016/01/lebron_james_on_a_lack_of_minu.html

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

Read it here:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2016/01/04/dwyane-wade-chris-bosh-hassan-whiteside-erik-spoelstra-heat-lebron-james/78271386/

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

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2016/news/features/david_aldridge/01/04/morning-tip-los-angeles-clippers-find-a-better-bench-chris-paul-blake-griffin-j-j-redick-austin-rivers-jamal-crawford-questions-for-2016-qa-with-orlando-magic-elfrid-payton/index.html

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

Read it here:  http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nba/pistons/2016/01/04/detroit-pistons-orlando-magic/78249168/

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

Read it here:  http://www1.vantagesports.com/Articles/article_view/VoquZR8AAPC2SV6Y

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

Watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=ialg8Wq7DO0

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

Read it here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/shorthanded-wizards-hope-to-heal-before-time-runs-out-on-their-plans/2016/01/04/5dcdd902-b327-11e5-a842-0feb51d1d124_story.html

–  Bucks’ Future Remains Bright  (from Ian Thomsen,  NBA.com):

http://www.nba.com/2016/news/features/ian_thomsen/01/05/milwaukee-bucks-bright-future-in-lost-season-giannis-antetokounmpo-michael-carter-williams-greg-monroe-john-henson/index.html

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

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4705961/rajon-rondo-i-have-nothing-but-love-for-mavericks

 The Case for Flip Saunders as Executive of the Year  (from Britt Robson,  minnpost.com):

Read it here:  https://www.minnpost.com/sports/2016/01/why-flip-saunders-should-be-nba-executive-year

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

Read it here:  http://theadvocate.com/sports/pelicans/14476252-128/pelicans-still-work-on-picking-up-the-pace

–  Tyreke Evans Having Difficulty Adjusting to Gentry’s Offensive System  (from John Reid,  NOLA.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nola.com/pelicans/index.ssf/2016/01/tyreke_evans_1.html

–  Recapping Monday’s Games  (from SBNation):

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/2016/1/4/10712540/nba-monday-pacers-hope-to-down-heat

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

Read it here:  http://www.hoopsrumors.com/2016/01/where-are-they-now-amnestied-players.html

And for those with access to ESPN insider:

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

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/14500756/the-charlotte-hornets-showing-how-teams-learn-golden-state-warriors-nba

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

–  Draymond Green  (from Sam Amick, USA Today):  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2016/01/03/draymond-green-magic-johnson-warriors-draymagic/78237606/

–  DeMar DeRozan  (from Josh Lewenberg,  tsn.ca):   http://www.tsn.ca/derozan-deserves-more-credit-for-career-best-stretch-1.418150

–  TJ Warren/Devin Booker/Alex Len  (from Jonathan Tjarks,  RealGM):  http://basketball.realgm.com/article/240329/Going-Back-To-McDonoughs-Original-Plan-In-The-Suns-Lost-Season

–  Jonathon Simmons  (from Tim McMahon,  Express-News):  http://www.expressnews.com/sports/spurs/article/Simmons-gives-Spurs-juice-to-blow-by-Bucks-6736840.php?t=871d385940927fc3fb&cmpid=twitter-premium

–  DeMarre Carroll  (from Ryan Wolstat,  Toronto Sun):  http://www.torontosun.com/2016/01/04/raptors-lose-carroll-for-game-in-cleveland–and-likely-for-some-time

–  Ish Smith (from Jason Patt,  SBNation):  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/1/5/10715482/ish-smith-philadelphia-76ers-highlights-stats

–  Montrezl Harrell  (from Jonathan Feigen,  Houston Chronicle):  http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2016/01/rockets-rookie-montrezl-harrell-ready-to-play-with-donatas-motiejunas-out/

–  John Wall  (from Abdullah Sharif,  hoopdistrict.com):   http://hoopdistrict.net/how-john-wall-destroyed-december-in-spite-of-inadequate-supporting-cast/

–  Larry Nance, Jr  (from Harrison Faigen,  silverscreenandroll.com):  http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2016/1/5/10712886/la-lakers-larry-nance-jr-nba-draft-2015

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–   The Brad Stevens Offense: Pace, Space And The Pick And Pop  ( from Michael Hilperts,  Hardwood Houdini):

Read and view it here:  http://hardwoodhoudini.com/2015/09/22/the-brad-stevens-offense-pace-space-and-the-pick-and-pop/

 

–  Celtics Must Improve Three Point Shooting  (from Joshua Bateman,  Hardwood Houdini):

Read it here:  http://hardwoodhoudini.com/2015/09/22/boston-celtics-must-improve-three-point-shooting/

 

–   How do the Kings fit the Dribble-Drive offense?  (from Omer Khan,  sactownroyalty.com):

” George Karl is back on the coaching sidelines. Known as an X’s and O’s mad scientist, Karl’s newfound opportunity gives him a chance to restart the wacky experiment he began in Denver. With his trusty assistant Vance Walberg at his side, Karl once again tries his hand at introducing the NBA to the Dribble-Drive offense.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.sactownroyalty.com/2015/9/23/9373389/30q-how-do-the-kings-fit-the-dribble-drive-offense

 

–  A Q-and-A with new Orlando Magic coach Scott Skiles  (from Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel):

Read it here:  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orlando-magic/os-scott-skiles-interview-0607-20150606-story.html

 

–  T-Wolves’ Vice President of Sports Performance Arnie Kander (from Kyle Ratke, timberwolves.com):

” The Wolves hired Arnie Kander as their Vice President of Sports Performance last week.

When you first saw that press release, you probably thought to yourself, “Who is Arnie Kander?”

And that’s a fair question. Most NBA fans don’t pay attention to a team’s physical therapist, Kander’s role with Detroit before coming to Minnesota. But if there were an All-Star Game for physical therapists, Kander would probably be the starting point guard – hence why the Wolves made him their Vice President of Sports Performance.

So, let’s get to know Kander. You can read the press release for the basic details. We’re here to feed you some of the very interesting things he told the media members.”

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/timberwolves/kander-being-candid

 

–   5 Under the Radar Keys Entering the Season For the Indiana Pacers (from Jordan Yant,  8points9seconds.com):

Read it here:  http://8points9seconds.com/2015/09/23/5-under-the-radar-keys-entering-the-season-for-the-indiana-pacers/

 

–   Billy King loves the Nets culture change, but won’t say it’s because Deron Williams is gone  (from Devin Kharpertian,  thebrooklyngame.com):

Read it here:  http://thebrooklyngame.com/billy-king-loves-nets-culture-change-wont-say-deron-williams-gone/

 

–  Deron Williams makes practical fit for Mavs’ offense  (from Rob Mahoney,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:   http://www.si.com/nba/2015/09/22/deron-williams-mavericks-nets-free-agency-dirk-nowizki-rick-carlisle

 

–  Paul George at power forward: Pacers’  plan can work  (from Ian Levy,  NBA.com):

Read it here:  http://www.sportal.com.au/nba/paul-george-indiana-pacers-power-forward-position-stats-outlook-season/17drkjw4y1ef91u6be7ls24sp2

 

 Pistons:  REIGNITING MOTOR CITY’S ENGINE  (from Ari Wagner,  fullcourtfreepress.com):

Read it here:  http://fullcourtfreepress.com/reigniting-motor-citys-engine/

 

–  NBA Player Stats: Top 5 Players – Speed & Distance  (from Tamberlyn Richardson,  spacecityscoop.com):

Read it here:  http://spacecityscoop.com/2015/08/28/nba-player-stats-top-5-players-speed-distance/

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

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

–   BBALLBREAKDOWN’s Top 50 NBA Players: 20-16 :  http://bballbreakdown.com/2015/09/21/bballbreakdowns-top-50-nba-players-20-16/

 

–   Brandon Bass’ Inside Finishing  (from Darius Soriano, forumblueandgold):  http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2015/09/22/one-player-one-skill-brandon-bass-inside-finishing/

 

–  Sasha Kaun Q & A (from Joe Gabriele,  cavs.com):  http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/features/kaun-150922

 

–   Inside the Most Important Summer of Bradley Beal’s Life  (from Josh Martin,  Bleacher report):  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2570348-inside-the-most-important-summer-of-bradley-beals-life

 

–   Film Room: Tobias Harris’ High Basketball IQ  (from Josh Cohen,  magic.com):   http://www.nba.com/magic/film-room-tobias-harris-high-basketball-iq

–  Chris McCullough:   Nets’ big man gamble without timetable  (from Tim Bontemps,  NYPost):  http://nypost.com/2015/09/22/walking-on-fire-8-months-later-nets-big-man-gamble-without-timetable/  and from Colby Giacubeno, fromrussiawithdunk:  http://fromrussiawithdunk.com/2015/09/22/the-chris-mccullough-plan/

 

–  76ers: Richaun Holmes Or Christian Wood, Who To Keep?  (from Josh Wilson, thesixersense.com):  http://thesixersense.com/2015/09/23/richaun-holmes-or-christian-wood-who-to-keep/

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–    How Donatas Motiejunas Became Houston Rockets’ Best Low-Post Scorer Threat (from Kelly Scaletta,  Bleacher Report):

”  Donatas Motiejunas has turned out to be the right answer, but apparently the Houston Rockets got the question wrong. They thought he was going to be their stretch 4. Instead, he’s become the team’s best low-post scorer.

And as far as the Rockets’ philosophy goes, that’s just as good. There are two ways they like to score: inside the restricted area and outside the three-point line. While Motiejunas has shown improvement in the latter—shooting 36.6 percent from deep this year—it’s inside the smaller semi-circle he’s shown the most progress.”

Read and view it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2392055-how-donatas-motiejunas-became-houston-rockets-best-low-post-scorer-threat

 

 

–  Stan Van Gundy says mercurial, emotional 2014-15 ‘seems like about 10 years’  (from David Mayo,  mlive.com):

” Stan Van Gundy’s comeback to coaching has seemed like more than one season, the Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations and head coach acknowledged today.

“I say that all the time to my assistants — it seems like about 10 years, yeah,” Van Gundy said after today’s shootaround here, where the Pistons play the Los Angeles Lakers tonight.

There were the 5-23 Pistons, the post-Josh Smith Pistons, the pre-Brandon Jennings-injury Pistons, and the post-trade-deadline Pistons who have had struggled against perhaps the most difficult schedule stretch of the year.

The rebuild of a downtrodden franchise has remained the central focus, but with playoff hopes heightened at the All-Star break, and all but dashed a scant three weeks later, the ride has been emotionally taxing.”

Read it here:  http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2015/03/detroit_pistons_stan_van_gundy_8.html

 

 

–  76ers Offense Adjusts  (from Dan Falcone, thesixersense.com):

”  The 76ers offensive attack has been altered slightly since the departure of Dribble-Drive Offensive guru Vance Walberg just a couple of weeks ago.

Walberg has taken a job with George Karl, the newly acquired head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

The 76ers allowed Vance Walberg out of his contract to reunite with Karl and move back to the west coast. Walberg had coached at both Pepperdine and Fresno City previously and also worked with Karl with the Denver Nuggets.

Philly… used some of his concepts, but mostly the Spurs Offense . One of the interesting lasting effects of Walberg will be how the Sixers incorporate some dribble-drive concepts within the larger Spurs Motion set of concepts. For much of the season, Walberg’s influence seemed apparent as the offense featured more of: an attack mentality, the utilization of gaps, the corner three, and the utilization of spacing.

For instance, in the last outing against the Hawks, the Sixers managed to combine the offensive philosophies rather well.

Read it here:  http://thesixersense.com/2015/03/11/76ers-offense-adjusts-without-guru-vance-walberg/

 

 

 

–  Andrew Wiggins’ defensive abilities and potential being tested nightly  (from Zach Harper, CBS Sports):

” (T)he season has been tough for the Wolves. Various key injuries to veterans depleted an already shaky roster as they began their latest rebuilding effort they’re hoping will be more fruitful than the previous two. No matter what the lineup has looked like, they’ve asked Wiggins to be the star on the court on both sides of the ball.

Wiggins has responded well, finding his rhythm has a scorer averaging 18.6 points on 46.6 percent shooting since December 23 (36 games). More impressively, he continues to take on the best scorers around the league and makes them work for every bit of success. The recently turned 20-year old rookie is the Wolves’ leading defensive option.

Over his last eight games, he’s had to defend James Harden,  Jimmy Butler, and even Chris Paul. Those players have had good games, but it’s the way Wiggins has approached each defensive match-up that has been fascinating in showing his growth as a defender. Let’s take a look at each of those very different match-ups to look at where he’s excelled and where he needs a little more work and experience.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25101915/andrew-wiggins-defensive-abilities-and-potential-being-tested-nightly

 

 

 

–  Awaiting Paul George’s return, Pacers in good playoff shape  (from Shaun Powell,  nba.com):

” Indiana has held down the fort all season without its superstar and is in position for a playoff push.”

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/shaun_powell/03/10/indiana-pacers-await-paul-georges-return-as-they-aim-for-2015-nba-playoffs/index.html

 

 

 

Assistant Coach Antonio Lang enjoying new role with Jazz  (from Kaz Nagatzuka, Japan Times):

“We basically do everything, all assistants,” Lang told The Japan Times in a recent interview. “We watch teams, we know exactly what we are going to execute, instead of having someone from the outside scouting for us. And that’s the quickest way to learn. I’ve been learning a lot.”

Lang said that he also helps get big men like forward Trevor Booker and center Derrick Favors into more offensive plays, while he has some responsibility for the team’s transition defense.

Lang added that although he played in the NBA for six years, he has faced some challenges being a coach in the world’s best hoop circuit.

He said that the most striking adjustment he’s had to make was to the NBA rules, because he’d worked under FIBA regulations in his previous 13 years as a player and coach in Japan and Brazil.

“That’s just a different game and a different type of players,” Lang said. “The spacing is different. Defensively, defensive strategies are different because of the spacing. Offensively, they play differently because of the spacing, because it’s an illegal defense. Stuff like that.””

Read it here:  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2015/03/11/basketball/nba/former-nbl-coach-lang-enjoying-new-role-jazz/?#.VQBwF_nF_wo

 

 

 

Hornets Coach Steve Clifford: The Basketball Lifer, Part One (from Sam Perley, hornets.com):

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/hornets/out-bounds-3/10/15

 

 

Pistons scouting report never arrives a minute too soon — and isn’t wanted until then  (from David Mayo, mlive.com):

”  The Pistons (23-40) play the Warriors in a 10:30 p.m. game at Oracle Arena, and while their assistant coaches had the scouting report prepared in advance, Van Gundy said before Tuesday’s game against the Lakers that he doesn’t do advance preparation for situations like the current four-game, five-day western road trip.

It’s one game at a time, no matter how great the temptation to look ahead to a team as explosive as the Warriors with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and a dynamic inside game.

“I don’t work ahead because then I get confused,” Van Gundy said Tuesday. “Stay focused on the game in front of you. Like, I’ve got Golden State on my laptop already, the film, but if I watch that, I’ll come in confused between their play calls and L.A.’s play calls, and everything else.

“And it doesn’t do you any good to be early anyway, because you’ve got until tomorrow. Until we walk through as a team at noon tomorrow, then that’s when I’ve got to have everything down on how we’re going to play.”

By then, the assistant coaches already have met with players before the game-day walk-through to go over the game plan.

And before that meeting, Van Gundy said he needs four to five hours of preparation time, scouting report in hand, to be able to brief his assistants.”

Read it here:  http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2015/03/pistons_patter_detroit_scoutin.html

 

 

 

–  These Mavericks are not good  (from Tim Cato, mavsmoneyball.com):

Read it here:  http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2015/3/11/8188925/dallas-mavericks-not-good-playoffs

 

 

 

–   D-League is Testing Rule Changes (from Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com):

” Positive feedback could pave way to changes in NBA in 2015-16″

Read it here:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/scott_howard_cooper/03/10/headsets-among-rule-changes-d-league-is-trying-out/index.html

 

 

 

Nuggets’  Melvin Hunt: “I’ve always viewed myself as a head coach” (from Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post):

“For me, real coaching is when you’re not a slave to your system,” Hunt said. “For me, the best coaches I’ve been around reinvent themselves. The first time I really saw that and it stood out to me was in college. Tom Penders at Texas. The best thing about coaching to me is being able to look at what we have, evaluate it and then trying to figure out ways to get the best out of it. I’m trying to step back and trying to put the guys in position to where they can be successful.”

Read it here:  http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_27685397/melvin-hunt-ive-always-viewed-myself-head-coach

 

 

 

–  Jazz notebook: Strong play of Favors, defense help fuel Jazz resurgence (from Randy Hollis, deseretnews.com):

Read it here:  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865623920/Jazz-notebook-Strong-play-of-Favors-defense-help-fuel-Jazz-resurgence.html?pg=all

 

 

 

–  D-League Deconstruction: The Necessary Plan to Fix the NBA’s Farm System  (from Arn Tellem,  Grantland):

Read it here:  http://grantland.com/the-triangle/d-league-deconstruction-the-necessary-plan-to-fix-the-nbas-farm-system/

 

 

And for those with access to ESPN Insider:

 

–  C’mon, Doc;  DeAndre Jordan’s not DPOY  (from Tom Haberstroh):

”  Despite his coach’s campaigning, the Clips’ center isn’t the NBA’s top defender”

Read it here:  http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/12457815

 

 

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:

 

Alexey Shved:  http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/alexey-shved-making-the-most-of-his-playing-time-with-knicks-1.10043690

 

Mitch McGary;  http://newsok.com/okcs-healing-roster-leaves-few-minutes-for-mitch-mcgary/article/5400165

 

Tony Allen:  http://www.csnne.com/blog/celtics-talk/former-celtic-allen-still-doing-his-thing-griz

 

Tristan Thompson:  http://kingjamesgospel.com/2015/03/11/tristan-thompson-cleveland-cavaliers-x-factor/   and   http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2392524-tristan-thompson-will-be-expensive-necessity-not-luxury-for-cleveland-cavs

 

Gigi Datome/James Young:  http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics_nba/boston_celtics/2015/03/young_celtics_must_seize_moment

 

Jordan Clarkson:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2392357-jordan-clarkson-emerging-as-impressive-nba-draft-steal-for-los-angeles-lakers

 

Carl Landry:  http://cowbellkingdom.com/carl-landry-takes-utility-role-in-stride/

 

Nerlens Noel:  http://www.vantagesports.com/#story/VPalNykAACgAkLmB/a-look-at-nerlens-noels-rookie-season

 

LaMarcus Aldridge:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/ian_thomsen/03/11/portland-trail-blazers-lamarcus-aldridge-attacks-adversity-in-chase-for-championship/

 

Andre Miller:  http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/111903120/andre-miller-sacramento-kings-nba-longevity

 

Nikola Pekovic:  http://www.nba.com/2015/news/features/shaun_powell/03/10/indiana-pacers-await-paul-georges-return-as-they-aim-for-2015-nba-playoffs/index.html

 

Hassan Whiteside:  http://www.complex.com/sports/2015/03/hassan-whiteside-miami-heat

 

Rodney Stuckey:  http://www.vigilantsports.com/2015/03/10/stuckey-was-cookin-scores-a-season-high-34-points-as-pacers-win-six-straight/