Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 4/12/16


 Olshey Shows GM Chops In Rebuilding Blazers On The Fly  (from Steve Aschburner,

Read it here:

–  Flip Saunders’ Script: His Vision Remains Alive  (from Zach Harper, CBS Sports):

Read it here:

Draft Rights On The Line In The Season’s Final Days  (from Danny Leroux, Sporting News):

Read it here:

–  Recapping Monday’s Games  (from SBNation):

Read it here:

–  Zach Lowe’s Awards Ballot  (from ESPN):

Read it here:

–  Jazz Are In Playoff Mode – Just Not In Playoffs  (from Brad Rock, Deseret News):

Read it here:—-just-not-in-playoffs.html

–  Spurs Offense Is Struggling  (from Michael Erler,  Poundng The Rock):

Read it here:

–  Dwane Casey Q & A  (from Evan Rosser,

Read it here:

Behind The Curtain Of The Pelicans’ Training Operations  (from Justin Verrier, ESPN):

Read it here:

Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:



DeMarre Carroll  (from Mike Ganter, Toronto Sun):

–  Blake Griffin  (from Ben Bolch, LA Times):

–  Jeremy Lin  (from Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer):

–  Andre Drummond  (from Mike Brudenell,

Steph Curry  (from Sam Smith, Japan Times):

–  Tristan Thompson  (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):    and from Craig Battle,

–  Tristan Thompson/Paul Millsap  (from David Zavac, Fear The Sword):

Marreese Speights  (from Vic Tafur,

 Seth Curry  (from Jason Jones,  Sacramento Bee):

–  Archie Goodwin  (from Paul Coro,  azcentral):

–  Cole Aldrich  (from Dan Woike,  OCRegister):

Al-Farouq Aminu  (from Dan Marang, Blazer’s Edge):  Should Al-Farouq Aminu be Considered an All-League Defender?

–  Wayne Ellington  (from The Players Tribune):

–  Stanley Johnson (from Keith Langlois,

Nick Minnerath  (from Keith Schlosser, Ridiculous Upside):


Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Raptors: analyzing the defensive rebuild  (from Kevin Nimmock,

Read and view it here:



–  Danny Green, DeMarre Carroll, and the Complicated Calculus of a 3-Point Shooter  (from Kirk Goldsberry,

” (H)ere’s the thing about spot-up shooters: More than just about any other type of scorer, their performances depend on external factors. Even the best catch-and-shoot guys live and die by the ability of their teams to create the kinds of shots they thrive on; Tom Thibodeau’s Kyle Korver was a lot less scary than Mike Budenholzer’s version. Yet while there is no shortage of evidence to support this idea, there is a shortage of teams that are capable of generating wide-open catch-and-shoot looks beyond the arc on a regular basis. And every time a big-name spot-up guy switches uniforms, he and the team acquiring him are taking on all the risk that comes with changing a shooting environment.”

Read it here:



Sam Hinkie Q & A (from Bob Cooney,

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– Olshey using revised ‘Clipper Model’ to reboot Trail Blazers (from Jabari Young,

Read it here:



– Merging New Shooters With The Rest of the Hornets (from Brett Koremenos,  RealGM):

Read and view it here:



 Is Enes Kanter really worth $70 million? (from Royce Young,  ESPN):

Read it here:



–  Will the Trail Blazers regret giving up their D-League affiliate?  (from Chris Reichert,

Read it here:



–  2015 Offseason Trades  (from Chuck Myron,

” Trades are listed here in reverse chronological order, with the latest on top. So, if a player has been traded multiple times (as often happens with draft picks), the first team listed as having acquired him is the one that ended up with him. For more details on each trade, click the date above it. Note that this list only includes trade agreements that have become official, so agreed-upon deals, like the David Lee swap and the Sixers/Kings trade, won’t be included until they’re finalized.”

Read it here:




Read it here:



Hidden Gems of the Orlando Summer League  (from Cody Taylor, Basketball Insiders):

” In addition to rookies, the games provide a chance for unsigned free agents to make a name for themselves. The Summer League can be a great opportunity for prospective players to earn an invite to training camp, which could eventually lead to a spot on the roster.

Each summer there are some players that come into the Summer League under the radar, but leave having improved their stock around the league. With the Orlando Summer League set to end on Friday, we are beginning to have an idea of which players helped their chances of making it to training camp.

Here are some hidden gems from the Orlando Summer League (in no particular order):”

Read it here:



–  2015 NBA Las Vegas Summer League primer: Everything you need to know  (from Ben Golliver,  Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:



For those with access to ESPN Insider:


The top players on Las Vegas Summer League Rosters  (from Amin Elhassan/Kevin Pelton):

Read it here:



Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


Jahlil Okafor: 


Shane Larkin/Wayne Ellington:


Jordan Hill/Myles Turner:


Kevin Love:


C. J. Watson:


Jason Smith/ C.J. Watson:


Thomas Robinson:


Tyson Chandler:


Gary Neal:


Reggie Jackson:–is-reggie-jackson-the-right-man-for-the-pistons–present-and-future-163528077.html


Zaza Pachulia:


DeMarre Carroll/Cory Joseph:


Ray McCallum:   and


Dez Wells:


Cameron Payne:


Greg Monroe:


Jeremy Lin:


Roy Hibbert:


Amir Johnson:


Devin Booker:


Mo Williams:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

Brad Stevens:  Spur Execution Should be “Eye-Opener” for Celts (from Zack Cox,

Read it here:




Elfrid Payton: far More Than Just a Prospect  (from Brett David Roberts,

Read it here:

More on Elfrid here:




–  Warriors’ passing game  (from Mark Purdy,

Read it here:



Warriors:  68 Games Deep, and Still Improving (from Adam Lauridsen,
” I hope what we’re witnessing in Thompson’s absence is the Warriors’ transition from an collection of individually gifted players working unselfishly together, to an even more deeply integrated system where the absolutely buy-in and constant execution make the pieces nearly interchangeable.  That’s the level the Spurs teams hit when they’d bench their starters and still blow out talented Warriors teams.  There are signs in the minutia — like the embarrassed frustration the end-of-the-bench players showed after giving up an easy second-chance basket, up by 20+ in the final minute of garbage time — and writ large — like the Warriors’ once-again growing point differential for the season — that we’re witnessing a still evolving beast.  Cut off a leg, an arm, or even the head — and it just grows another and keeps on charging.”





–  Cavaliers notes about bench scoring and playoff position (form Terry Pluto,

Read it here:



– With playoffs looming, Cavaliers must get physical (from Marla Ridenour, Akron beacon Journal):

” After Friday’s shootaround, Love said what stood out about the Pacers was their physical style of play.

That is by design, Vogel said.

“Part of winning basketball is playing physical basketball,” Vogel said before the game. “We want to make sure there’s collisions at the rim, don’t give up anything easy, protect the paint, hit people when the shot goes up and try to rebound. Offensively we want to be more physical in the screening.

“It’s the style of play I believe that works for this group. I believe there’s a lot of styles that work in the playoffs. I’m not one of those guys who believes small ball doesn’t work in the playoffs or running teams don’t work in the playoffs. You’ve seen over the last few years different styles can be successful. You’ve got to play a style that fits your personnel.”

Cavs coach David Blatt agrees with Vogel’s point on physical basketball.

“We have tried to raise our level of physicality in the last few months and I think we’ve done a good job of that, not only Moz, but all of the guys,” Blatt said before the game.

But he doesn’t agree with a thug mentality like some teams have used to rough up LeBron James.

“There’s physical play and then there’s correct play,” Blatt said. “If you’re just physical but you’re not playing correctly there’s not a great deal of value in it. If you’re playing correctly but you’re not being physical at all, that’s also going to cost you.

“You really want to have both of them together. You want to play the game right and play the game hard. If you want to compete at the highest level, you’re going to have to be physical. That’s 1 through 13; it’s not one guy.”

–  J.J. Redick Is the Secret Ingredient to Clippers’ Offense  (from  Josh Martin, Bleacher Report):
“(T)here’s much more to Redick’s repertoire nowadays than running around the hardwood and shooting. He’s not a defensive stopper by any means, but he’s become a pesky opponent on that end—particularly when assigned to James Harden. He’s a willing facilitator, passing up good shots for great ones. Put the ball in Redick’s hands, and he’s liable to make a play off the dribble.
“Stan [Van Gundy] talked about his pick-and-roll play,” Rivers said of his conversations with the former Magic head coach two summers ago. “He said, ‘You’re going to be surprised what he does with the ball besides his shooting’, and Stan’s right.”
“I just thought he might at the next level be a standstill shooter,” saidDahntay Jones, who was a senior at Duke when Redick was a freshman. “I didn’t think that he could play in this capacity. It’s great to see him develop into this.”
And more on Redick (from Arash Markazi, ESPN):
–  We Need to Talk About Kevin: On Life Without Durant for the Oklahoma City Thunder  (from Zach Lowe,




Additional Player Notes, Updates, profiles:


Wayne Ellington:


Udonis Haslem:


–  Tyler Zeller:


Andre Drummond:


Nikola Mirotic:


Quincy Miller/Spencer Dinwiddie/Jodie Meeks:


Jae Crowder:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Every NBA trade completed this season  (from Mike Prada, SBNation):

” The trade deadline ended with a bang. Here is every deal that happened on Feb. 19 and before.”

Read it here:

(BI Note:  There was a lot of action yesterday, but only 2 players -Afflalo and Dragic – went to their rumored destination – three if you count KG, but that’s a stretch since the rumor started just before he was traded.  So much for the validity of trade rumors.)



–  Recapping every deal from an eventful NBA trade deadline  (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

” Now that the dust has settled on the NBA’s trade deadline blitz, it’s time to take stock of the day’s events.”

Read it here:



–  You’ve Been Traded  (from Patrick Patterson,

” A trade feels like a breakup. But like a tough breakup, my bitterness towards the Rockets faded over time. I understand now that it was strictly a business decision. And I respect the guys in the front office for doing their jobs. But how can you not take it personally?”

Read it here:



–  Toronto Raptors ‘believe in our guys,’ stand pat at trade deadline (from Eric Koreen,

Read it here:




” The Bulls have, at least according to win/loss, one of the easiest schedules to close the season, ranking in the top five least taxing against top opponents. And even with a first 54 games of some confusion and indecision and rumors of even a coaching change and a decline in play, the Bulls are 10th in overall point differential, third in the East. That’s a reliable indicator of team strength.

The Bulls, also according to NBA statistics, are eighth in field goal defense, sixth in three-point defense and third in rebounding, all numbers which suggest title contending and not the much concerning defensive slippage. The Bulls, however, don’t do as well in advanced statistics at 17th in pace—we know they often play too slowly—13th in points per 100 possessions on defense, and 14th in true shooting percentage to account for all shooting.

It suggests an overall mixture of a team with numerous injuries in its first 54 games that with 28 to go can have a strong finish. But there still are questions the Bulls face in these last two months. Here’s a look at the major ones:’

Read it here:



The five reasons the Hawks keep winning and why they will continue to succeed (from Mark Phelps,

Read it here:



 Warriors: From one-dimensional and one-and-done to NBA title favorites (from Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here:



–  The Nets are stuck in a bad place  (from Devin Kharpertian,

Read it here:




Read it here:

–   Breaking Down the Wolves, Part II: The Veterans  (from John Meyer,

”  In Part I of an ongoing five-part series, aimed at breaking down the current state of the Wolves, I looked at the franchise cornerstones: Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins and potentially the Wolves 2015 lottery pick.

Part II brings an inside look at the veterans in Minnesota: Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic and the newly acquired, but certainly a familiar face, Kevin Garnett (Chase Budinger and Gary Neal are not included because they exist in another tier called “Time is Running Out”). What should fans look for over the last 29 games out of these three, and how do they fit into the long-term plans of the organization?”

Read it here:

–  140 points a game – but are the Reno Bighorns a basketball experiment too far?  (from  les Carpenter,

” (The Bighorns)  model their game on the frenetic, hell for leather style of college basketball’s Grinnell. But … can (it) translate to the pros?”

Read it here:

–   The Inside Man: NBA Analytics  (from Ben Alamar,  ESPN):

” I spent seven years working in the NBA; here’s how teams are shortchanging analytics”

Read it here:



Additional Player Updates:


Russ Smith:


– Norris Cole:


Steven Adams:


Michael Carter-Williams:   and


Enes Kanter:


Wayne Ellington:


Ramon Sessions:


Damien Wilkins:


Isaiah Canaan:


Channing Frye:


David Stockton:


Andre Miller:

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

–  Hawks show they can win in different ways (from Ray Glier, USAToday):

‘” When Golden State tried to fit a lineup on the floor to solve the Hawks offense of threes, Atlanta set screens, rolled to the basket, popped out, and greeted all the switches the Warriors made on defense with a big smile. Because suddenly there was Paul Millsap, 6-foot-8 and a bulky 246 pounds, looking down on a guard and barreling to the basket. There was 6-10 Al Horford running at the rim with a slower big man trying to keep up.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr had to go to a smaller lineup when his 7-footer Andrew Bogut came face-to-face with 6-foot-1 guard Dennis Schroder late in the third quarter. Instinctively, the Hawks shifted the floor away from Schroder to give him room to bamboozle Bogut and the little guy faked a drive, stopped, and popped in a floating 11-footer. When Bogut left the game and the lane was free, the path was made easier for Millsap to abuse and Horford to rim run.

It is a basketball savvy and maturity to behold, and a pretty good reason why coach Mike Budenholzer should be, so far, the NBA Coach of the Year. When the Hawks get a mismatch, they recognize it instantly, and lock in on it. They do not take panicked looks at the shot clock and they sure don’t pass up the chance to exploit the mismatch. The Hawks’ egos, never, ever, get in the way (‘hey, it’s my turn to shoot’).”

Read it here:


–   Hawks, Warriors Stage Classic In New Age of NBA (from KL Chounard,

” The emergence of the three-point shot helped reshape NBA offenses to the style now played by Golden State and Atlanta, but Kyle Korver noted that the biggest incentive for fixing ball-stopping offenses may have actually involved fixing the defenses.

“The trend a couple of years ago was Coach Thibs’ defense: loading up the one side of the floor, stopping the iso,” Korver said, referring to Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau and his tendency to put extra defenders on the same side of the court as the ball.

“A lot of teams have caught onto that. A lot of teams do that now.”

As a result, teams have figured out that the proper counterattack, the best means for getting high-percentage shots, is through ball movement.

This contest had ball movement in spades. After the two teams scored a combined 240 points on each other’s top-5 ranked defenses, Korver compared the Hawks and Warriors.

“We’re different teams, and we have different personnel but I think a lot of the philosophy is probably similar. Both teams play with the pass, both teams play with space, both teams have a lot of shooting, both teams play great defense. I think that gets lost.”

Read it here:


–  Hawks vs. Warriors  (from Mike Prada, SBNation):

” Switching doesn’t work against the Hawks either.

As the Hawks kept racking up victories, a school of thought developed on how to stop them. Rather then try to fight through every screen in a fruitless attempt to keep up with Korver off the ball or contain Teague in the pick and roll, some argued it made more sense to switch assignments and bait the Hawks into going at mismatches. At least this strategy prevents the Hawks from kicking their legendary flow into high gear.

With their surplus of 6’7 wings, the Warriors seemed to offer the best test case for this theory. And as usual, the Warriors constantly took advantage of their interchangeability, trading assignments on the weakside and even letting Curry guard Paul Millsap in the post at times.

It … didn’t work.”

Read it here:


– Hawks’ depth and former AAU teammates prove to be deciding factors vs. Warriors (from Jacob Eisenberg,

Read it here:


(BI Note:  Game One of the Best-of-Nine NBA Finals series was outstanding.  Next up: Game Two in Oakland on March 18.  We will be there.)


–  An NBA Friday night to remember (from Michael Lee, Washington Post):

” The last Friday before the NBA all-star break gave us a few things to consider for the remainder of the season: Time is running out before the rest of the league has to start being very afraid of Anthony Davis. The Russell Westbrook Appreciation Society should have a slew of new members after this week. Continue dismissing the passing-every-test Atlanta Hawks at your own peril. Cleveland has figured out a lot in recent weeks but winning in Indiana and getting that Kevin Love to work all the time aren’t among them. And finally, Minnesota isn’t finishing with the league’s worst record if Ricky Rubio’s around.”

Read it here:



–  For Patrick Ewing, deep-rooted dedication drives him towards head coaching goal  (from Michael Lee, Washington Post):

” Thirty years after graduating from Georgetown and going first overall to the New York Knicks with aspirations of winning titles at the rate of Bill Russell, Ewing is associate head coach of the Charlotte Hornets and harbors grander aspirations. Ewing is still hoping some owner or general manager will finally decide to take a chance on an all-time great who has been paying his dues on the sideline with a sharp suit and a clipboard for more than a decade.

Ewing’s pursuit of an NBA head coaching job has yielded only two interviews in 13 years, but he remains committed to chasing it — just like his long and ultimately fruitless quest for a championship ring. “I’d like the opportunity to succeed or fail like everybody else. I can’t sit around and boo-hoo, ‘They won’t give me an opportunity,’ ” Ewing said. “I just keep working and keep grinding, and whenever my name is called or somebody decides to give me that call, I just want to make sure I’m ready.””

Read it here:



–  Jared Sullinger’s safe playmaking  (from Jay King,

” Sullinger’s safe playmaking has become a precious pillar for the Boston Celtics offense. His low turnover totals are even more impressive because the Celtics use him so often to handle the ball. He initiates dribble hand-offs, finds backdoor cutters and executes an occasional spin move to the hoop. He cuts to the middle, stops to receive a pass and whips the ball to the opposite corner. He works in the post, draws double-teams, and finds open teammates.

Sullinger has found open teammates a lot lately. Over the last three games, he has established a career high in assists twice, racking up 17 assists compared to just two turnovers. His inside-outside game has helped small lineups prosper. The brilliant playmaking stretch has only highlighted what might currently count as Sullinger’s greatest offensive strength: the ability to facilitate offense while keeping possession for his team.

Before we continue, know these assists are not all simple. Sullinger’s creativity, vision and feel allow him to try passes a lot of big men wouldn’t consider.”

Read and view it here:



–  All-Star starting nod just the beginning for Raptors’ Lowry (from Ian Thomsen,

” Guard took path he wanted to become both All-Star, team leader”

Read it here:




Read and view it here:



– Zach Randolph Is Having Himself a Season  (from Mike Honkasalo, Vantage Sports):

Read and view it here:



–  James Harden’s clutch defense seals win for the Rockets (from Matt Moore CBS Sports):

”  Giannis Antetokounmpo had a huge night Friday. Twenty-seven points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and a block in a loss to the Rockets. But with a chance off a long rebound to make a big play in transition, a Houston Rocket stepped up and made a defensive play to essentially seal the game for the Rockets.

Yes, it was James Harden.”

Read and view it here:



–  Five NBA D-League Assistants Who Could Find Success As Head Coaches  (from Keith Schlosser,

Read it here:



–  D-League: Can Jack Cooley Or Jerrelle Benimon Contribute I n the NBA? (from Joshua Riddell, BBall Breakdown):

Read and view it here:



Stat of the Night:  Last night’s game was the second  of a back-to back for the Cavs .  Prior to last night, Kevin Love was shooting 37.3% in 2nd game of  back-to-backs (12 games), 41.7% on one day of rest (27 games), and 55.6% on two days of rest (7 games).  Last night’s Love went 2-for-8.



 QOTN (from Coach Satch Sullinger, responding to son Jared’s rationalizations regarding showing up late  for two games in a row):
 “In his mind, he’s going, ‘Other people might have done this. Other people might have done that.’ And he tried that with me. My point was, ‘I don’t have a nickel or a dime with anyone else. You’re a Sullinger and you’re my son. I want to talk about you. I want to talk about your growth and your development and that maturity doesn’t take place until you start dealing in reality.’
“My message to him was you can come up with all the rationale and all the reasons you want, but the bottom line and reality is you were late. Once you start dealing with that reality, then maturity can start taking its place. But until you accept it, then you’re just fighting the process of manhood.
“I said to him, ‘Fight the process if you want to. You can rationalize it any way you want in your head. But this is your final process of manhood when you start accepting responsibility of doing things the way a man’s supposed to do things.’ I told him I’m not mad at him; I’m not disappointed in him. This is just the last process of him consummating this thing called manhood. And as his father, I’m supposed to help him do it.”


Additional Player Updates:


Eric Gordon:


Marcus Morris:


Jared Sullinger:


Tim Frazier:   and


J.R. Smith:


Patrick Patterson:


Wayne Ellington:


Khris Middleton:


Ricky Rubio: