Today's Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 3/5/16
- The Mystery Of Ricky Rubio (from Zach Lowe, ESPN):
- Is There A Way To Slow Down Steph Curry? (from Zach Harper, CBS Sports):
- Rudy Tomjanovich on Steph Curry (from John Canzano, Oregonlive):
"I think Steph Curry's in a league of his own. There have been guys sort of like him, but I've never seen anybody with the skill level that he has, and with the range that he has, and how he can take a situation where there isn't a shot and create a shot for himself. And you know, that would be enough if he just did that, but the kid plays without the ball and he's a great cutter, he has a great feel for the game.
"I love his penetration when he goes in there and he just, you know, the first couple of years in the league you sort of felt like, "I hope this guy doesn't get hurt." He's so tiny. Now, he's got 7-footers swatting at it, and he doesn't even break stride. I mean, he makes the most difficult shots, in balance, right over a 7-footer. Out of all the players I've seen I think I've been more awed by him... this guy is a phenomenal basketball player and he's setting the bar so high I can't wait for the future to see where somebody uses him as a role model and tries to improve on what he does."
- Steph Curry's New Shooting Drill (from Ananth Pandian, CBS Sports):
- Cavs' Small Ball Look Provides Actual, Tangible Fodder To Reflect On (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):
(Note: Major kudos to Dave McMenamin - as much for exposing as nonsense the crap that pretends to pass as news as for his excellent "actual" take.)
- Tyronn Lue: "(T)he biggest thing for me to do the best job I can do, but then also enjoy it," (from Dave McMenamin, ESPN):
- Small Ball Leads To Big Things For Cavs (from T.J. Zuppe, cbscleveland.com):
- How Whiteside's Move To The Bench is Saving The Heat's Season (from Jack Winter, Dime Magazine):
Read and view it here: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/hassan-whiteside-miami-heat-bench-career/
- 'New' Grizzlies Playing Fast, Loose (from Peter Edmiston, Commercial Appeal):
- Pistons Dissect Game Film Of Loss To Spurs (from Mike Brudenell, Detroit Free Press):
- The Passing Game: Just Another Night At Oracle (from Martin Soaries, Basketball Society):
- Durant's Increased PG Role Has Created Turnover Problems (from Anthony Slater, newsok.com):
Read and view it here: http://newsok.com/article/5482950
- Raptors 117, Blazers 115 (from Tim Cato, SBNation):
- Cavs 108, Wizards 83 (from Jason Lloyd, Ohio.com):
- Celtics 105, Knicks 104 (from Jared Weiss, celtics.com):
- Former Raptors Exec Bryan Colangelo Q & A (from Dave McCarthy, Vice Sports):
- Five Interesting Outliers In Team Statistics (from Mika Honkasalo, Vantage Sports):
- Mavs' Offense is On Fire: Enough To Secure A Playoff Spot? (from Josh Planos, Washington Post):
- The Celtics' "Lineup Of Death" (from celticslife.com):
Let's talk about Lineups of Death. The Warriors famously have theirs (SCurry, KThompson, AIguodala, HBarnes, DGreen), and it's an offensively-directed lineup that happens to also be really good on D. It puts points on the board faster than any other 5-man group in the NBA.
The Celtics have their own version: a defensive Lineup of Death, which they've been using in second halves over their last ~7 games (since they got their defensive mojo back ~Feb 21). The exact personnel involved can vary a bit, depending on the opposition. Avery Bradley is always out there along with Jae Crowder or, sometimes, Evan Turner. (Crowder is standard, for maximum defensive pressure and turnovers; Turner is used if they need a bit more scoring punch. Both are elite defenders now.) Jared Sullinger is there for rebounding and defending tough bigs, and Isaiah Thomas keeps the offense humming and also works hard to harass his man. The last spot has lately been given to either Amir Johnson or Marcus Smart in Q3; this spot is flexible.
So the Celtics LoD lineup, 1 through 5, is: Isaiah, Avery, Crowder, Sully and Amir — with Avery cross-covering the opposing PG (which is key). Smart or Turner can sub in for Amir in which case Sully moves to the 5, Crowder's the 4, and Smart or Turner is the 3 — which seems to be the most effective version of all, and my fav.
When the Cs' LoD is on max, Avery picks up the opposing PG at the midcourt line, and everyone is whirling, swirling, covering every angle that's possible to cover. Most opponents just crumble when this lineup applies its maximum defensive pressure, sometimes in a matter of 1-2 minutes (like POR). Other times — when opponents make shots (like the Knicks did) — the pressure must be carried into the 4th quarter.
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
- LaMarcus Aldridge (from Jesus Gomez, SBNation): http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/3/4/11160778/lamarcus-aldridge-highlights-stats-spurs-warriors
- Jabari Parker (from Kevin O'Connor (SBNation): http://www.sbnation.com/2016/3/4/11159998/jabari-parker-highlights-shooting-milwaukee-bucks
Derrick Favors (from James Herbert, CBS Sports): http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25504491/quietly-angry-derrick-favors-becoming-jazzs-modern-karl-malone
- Donatas Motiejunas (from Joshua Van Horn, Space City Scoop):
- Chris Andersen (from Jason Lieser, Palm Beach Post): http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/sports/basketball/ex-heat-chris-birdman-andersen-miamis-always-gonna/nqdLd/
- Dru Joyce III (from Joe Vardon, Cleveland.com): http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2016/03/lebron_james_best_friend_now_g.html