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Being an excellent shooter while being tall for your position counts solidly against your "with the least" column, but not nearly as much as having a coach and teammates are setting your shots up for you so often that you're posting a 20+% usage rate.


I have nothing against Klay Thompson, mind you, but "all he does is shoot extremely well off the catch and LOOK AT HIS PER" is better evidence that a guy is coasting on his talent in an ideal situation than it is of him overcoming the limits of his body with, I don't know, his SOUL POWER or GUTLY GRITS or anything like that.




10 months, 4 weeks ago on Klay Thompson does a whole lot with a little


Uh, THIS might shed some light on why KG hasn't been playing well in BKN...

Specifically, KG's PER when he played Center was 20.3 and when he played as a PF, it PLUMMETED down to 9.8. His EFG% similarly crashed from .502 to .409.

In 2011-12, the difference was still there, if not as pronounced: PER of 22.5 in his min as a Center and 17.0 as a PF.

The 5-spot has been manned by Lopez and Blatche, (if I'm not mistaken) and while KG still seems to think of himself as a 4, his production over the last two years suggests that his current production is about what we should expect if he remains in the Nets' lineup as a PF. 

If it makes the Nets better, KG should at least take over Blatche's minutes in the middle, where KG is almost definitely still a MUCH better defender.

11 months, 2 weeks ago on 5 Final Thoughts on Wizar-IS IT TIME TO PANIC!?


This sounds basically  like a reporter didn't like the interviewing-Deron-Williams experience. Wasn't really even about basketball.

11 months, 2 weeks ago on Is Deron Williams out of excuses?


Heh, heh... I was in the middle or watching this game in my DVR when I saw your tweet about the Howard piece and ended up here. Had some similar observations:


First, Derrick Rose is inhumanly fast; he's the sort of fast where a move and countermove can happen so quickly that the defender is in position because he never even have a chance to get off-balance.


Basically, this: is Derrick Rose crossing you over twice.


Second, when Rose got into the open court or put on the after-burners in semi-transition, it was ugly. He got a foul called on KD, but it was a bad call and got stripped  or fumbled the ball trying to get contact. I'm not sure if it was just Rose trying to see how fast he can explode or what, but he seemed to have very little control. Your point that getting comfortable with your handle comes back later may be exactly what's happening, but I thought OKC did a pretty great job of softly contesting him, KD in particular. It's the sort of thing Roy Hibbert added to his arsenal last year and with guys like James Harden flying at the lane without making an honest attempt at making the layup, it's extremely effective. Rose simply (or additionally) may not have adapted to a tactical shift in the league's defensive tactics that happened while he was out.


Third, Rose looked better in the half-court (to me at least). When he wasn't putting on the rocket pack at mid-court and accelerating to the bucket, he had more control. The spatial constraints seemed to help him avoid Westbrooking-out as often as he seemed to in the early going. 


Fourth, we know Rose has a deadly floater/runner arsenal and the expertise to use it when the defense has adjusted to keep him from the rim. But it's a countermove, not a primary option, and it makes perfect sense that he wouldn't be working on that if he's still getting used to being a fully health-actualized freak of nature. Another (ENTIRELY SPECULATIVE) consideration is that he might be wary of that kind of stopping-in-traffic move when he's going at full speed and just spent 18 months away from the game rehabbing an ACL injury caused ENTIRELY by the force of his own motion. Like LeBron learning to Karl Malone it below the rim, Rose might be flying have an eye on prolonging his career. Or he's just trying to get to the line. Could be anything, really. 


Fifth, Rose's jumper is downright *pretty.* Great balance, quick release, and a ton more accurate when he just calmly steps into it with nobody (e.g. Derek Fisher) guarding him. This made me look back at his 2010-11 season and, well, I'll hold off on that for tomorrow, since this post is long enough and that inquiry kinda went down a rabbit hole and I should probably edit it.


But yeah! Hoopspeak's back! Wooooo! :D

12 months ago on Perspective on Derrick Rose's preseason


 @HomerGreenz Oh, I'm sure he or she (are there any female scouts working for NBA teams? There should be...) is a legit pro scout, but it's pretty valuable illustration of what GMs trying to impose an analytical culture on their front offices are up against.


This scout HATES Dwight enough to make me think it's a Lakers employee :)

12 months ago on Dwight Howard is still my favorite


 @beckleymason I mean, the least graceful things Dwight Howard does tends to involves applying restrained force. But when full force is required, he's pretty incredible.


Dwight in motion is a lot like a racehorse - things don't look pretty until you reach that full gallop.


I wonder how much that has to do with relative proportions of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. It's easy to just say practice makes perfect, but if it affects one's propensity to be a sprinter or a distance runner, it probably affects the stylistic performances of basketball players, too.


It's gonna be hard to negotiate non-medical muscle biopsies into the next CBA, but well, I can dream...

12 months ago on Dwight Howard is still my favorite


I love how people keep trying to make the jump from "Dwight is annoying off the court" to "if Dwight Howard is on your team, you cannot win a championship." That's basically the summary of this scout's report on the Rockets :)

12 months ago on Dwight Howard is still my favorite


Good, thoughtful exploration on this. In so many ways, all of this recent stuff is just another few loads of the same ol' garbage, so it's good to see that people are starting to take it more seriously in the mainstream.

1 year, 4 months ago on Sociology Sunday: The Crackpots and These Women


@timthreethreethree @Ignarus Well, I'm still partial to "Danny Green's Revenge," even if the Pacers end up winning. It's just a little bit of a reach, you see.

1 year, 4 months ago on Video Game Villainy And The San Antonio Spurs


Can we please irrationally bill SAS-MIA as "Danny Green's Revenge," like there's all this bad blood between him and LeBron from Cleveland? Thanks.

1 year, 5 months ago on Video Game Villainy And The San Antonio Spurs


"As a huge Joey Crawford fan, let me be the first to say it: Screw Tim Duncan." ~Nobody, ever.

1 year, 5 months ago on Theories on why you don't like the Spurs


It took nationalistic propaganda and the threat of nuclear annihilation to get casual fans to care about chess, and even THEN it was all about the players' personalities.




Lacking the funds to start a Cold War, the only way to get Tim Duncan to be popular (against his will) is if he's ACTUALLY a robot, and his engineering team is willing to talk some smack.

1 year, 5 months ago on Theories on why you don't like the Spurs


Remind me to spend a lot of time rewatching Curry highlights when we're two months into the inevitable 2016 lockout.

1 year, 5 months ago on Stephen Curry can save you


We need to say "The Chris Paul System: a VDN Offensive Production" or something of the sort in order to rhetorically insulate CP3 from his coach's vast inadequacies.



1 year, 6 months ago on HoopSpeak Live 109: Kevin Arnovitz


NBA fans don't trash the college game as an act of aggression. It's a Pavlovian classically conditioned response to the howling multitudes of idiot college fans that show up in comment sections whenever the NBA and NCAA are mentioned in the same article. Experiencing this enough times causes the coupling of the disdain response that the noxious stimulus (belligerent fools who talk trash about the NBA) naturally elicits to an otherwise neutral stimulus (the mere existence of college basketball).


With time, lack of exposure to the noxious stimulus to reinforce the conditioned response should allow it to diminish to extinction.


Plus, if nobody actually *said* stupid stuff like "College players shoot better than NBA players" and "Yeah, but in college, people play DEFENSE," you'd never hear NBA fans exasperatedly pointing out the opposite. Track the stupidity outbreak back to its source.

1 year, 7 months ago on Stop complaining about college basketball


I think a big part of it is execution - It's simply harder to execute quickly. The faster a team tries to play, the more likely they are to screw things up, turn the ball over, and just be an embarrassing mess. Why do teams always talk about pushing the pace and then end up slowing things down to reduce turnovers? Because they aren't good enough to play fast and play well. The Suns would have plenty of teams try to play at their tempo, but just fail, and it's not like Mike D'Antoni has been able to execute his offense at any of the other places he's coached.The Melo-Lin-Knicks were just too turnover prone and Melo just doesn't have the court-vision to run a quick, ball-moving offense creatively. Ironically, only after he left and the Knicks signed Kidd/Felton/Prigioni did we actually see his spread offense come to life (and in a stunningly low-turnover fashion).


There are only so many guys in the NBA that can facilitate a great high-tempo offense. And when you've got one of those guys, you also need a speedy enough roster with position mismatches and perimeter shooters to make it happen. Nash had Marion and STAT - two athletic guys for their positions to begin with who got wiiiide open when they played small at the 4 and 5, respectively. Rondo *could* run an offense like that, but the aging Celtics roster often lacked guys to run with him at the wing and frontcourt positions. For the short while that he and Avery Bradley shared a court, they actually had some solid chemistry but Bradley's injuries derailed it. I also don't think Doc tried to run much before Rondo got hurt - the fact that Boston has a functioning fast break without him shouldn't be taken to mean that he's a Marbury-esque ball-hog who will demand the ball in the backcourt and walk it up every single time just to ensure that he controlled the possessions.


A coach with the knowledge and will to do what works best on paper just isn't enough. There's risk to mitigate your expected payout and just like a lot of teams don't have the personnel to be ballhawking, lockdown defensive squads, many just don't have the guys to set the court on fire whenever they get the ball. And even if they do, the coach still has to determine that it's optimal to go all-out for offensive pace - a move that might leave some of his more talented but less athletic players sitting at the end of the rotation.


To make it more difficult, your defense needs to generate opportunities to run. You need to encourage low percentage shots and get rebounds without committing too many guys to the glass, or you need to generate turnovers, a risky business that can undermine a defense. Every player that can get out and run, but doesn't help the defense set up those plays is a problem. Big burly rebounders that aren't quick and don't spread the floor are also a problem.


Most rosters just aren't going to play that well on both ends if optimized for a run and gun offense. You need a great, unselfish PG, a defense that can generate opportunities to run, and you need the athletic mismatches to make all that running fruitful. You also need the maturity and mental discipline to run around a lot without being sloppy about it.


Remember Mike D'Antoni's seven-eight man rotations in Phoenix? It's a demanding style to commit to and even with ownership and management fully behind your gameplan, you're still one role-player injury away from it all going up in smoke.


1 year, 7 months ago on Why don't more teams play fast?


 @UnkleDrew Mavs anecdote-wise, it was their three point shooting that got maximized during their championship run, not Dirk's midrange game. In the Finals, he didn't really shoot that well, and admitted as much afterwards. I'm not saying Dirk isn't a master of the long two; it's just that Miami didn't have particular trouble defending him. The crisp ball movement and hot outside shooting were another matter entirely.


Absolutely with you on Chandler. though I wouldn't label him a specialist. He's one of the league's few great mobile defensive centers and Cuban seems to have made a huge mistake in letting him walk.

1 year, 7 months ago on The Dissection of Shot Selection: Historical Trends


Note: 79 points + 11 assists = minimum of 101 pts. So, yeah, KD and LBJ actually DID combine for at least 100 pts.

1 year, 8 months ago on HoopSpeak Live 99: Kevin Pelton


Spo is having a helluva good time working his way through Doc's Ray Allen strategy guide.

1 year, 8 months ago on Miami runs Ray Allen's clutch play, LeBron gets a dunk


I guess Dwight isn't here because of Pau? If so, reconsider. If Pau starts at Center, they'll stll have an All-Star Center, but then Antawn Jamison starts, which is the definition of "no suitable backup" in the world of defense. Not to be hyperbolic, but if he could move his feet on defense, Lebron might still be in Cleveland. 


Also, no KG? Dwight's omission has a logic behind it, but KG anchors one of the league's best Ds and there's clearly no replacement if he goes down. Jason Collins? Fab Melo? 


It's good to see Varejao get some credit, and I'm glad to see that Ibaka didn't inexplicably end up in the mix, but the league's various Gasols appear to have earned joint credit for two particularly glaring omissions. 



1 year, 11 months ago on The NBA's defensive lynchpins


 @rubthemtogether The Stockton-Malone PnR is a clumsy reminder of a bygone era, crushed by the raw computing power of our tiny phones.

2 years, 3 months ago on A comment on the 1992 Dream Team vs. 2012 Dream Team debate


very good points - the problem with being a game-changing player is that the game learns from you and that's what guys do, going forward.


i still think 92 team has an advantage in size that isn't countered by perimeter dominance, but the historic nature of the team's forming was a massive recruiting advantage. they could pretty much pick anybody and they'd show up (provided that isiah wasn't there, apparently).


but the 92 team would have their hands full trying to match the absurd athleticism today's team has.

2 years, 3 months ago on A comment on the 1992 Dream Team vs. 2012 Dream Team debate


So where do those of us that are primarily interested in better understanding what we're looking at fit in?


The game itself is compelling and provides its own drama, well, at least in most of the Playoffs. If one's chosen narrative doesn't actually come from an insightful understanding of what's happening on the floor, one might as well be writing fan-fiction.


Maybe I want to read fan-fiction and maybe I don't, but it's crap if the author isn't being up-front about it.


Derivative fiction can be imaginative and entirely compelling, but in the context of something that's actually happening, it's self-serving and dishonest. There are limits to objectivity, but when a writer chooses to serve narrative over truth, it's historical fiction at best and the writer is obligated to the readers to label his or her work as such. 



2 years, 3 months ago on LeBron James' career as explained by Shakespeare


Griffin's a great, entertaining dunker, but going out of his way to show people up, elbowing guys in the head, that has nothing to do with basketball and there's enough guys who aren't going to take that crap that he's almost definitely going to get seriously hurt if it goes on long enough.


I put a lot of blame on the league for letting him get away with so many taunts. It forces the rest of the players to choose between letting Blake get away with humiliating them or stopping him as forcefully as they can to maintain their dignity. If his antics don't end voluntarily, they're not going to end well.

2 years, 6 months ago on Blake Griffin and Identity


A lot of folks come from NY out to NJ for Nets games, so you can't really blame them for not being particularly stuffed with NJ-pride.


"Let's go Heat" is pretty freaking ridiculous, though.

2 years, 6 months ago on Here We Go


My retinas have detached in protest.

2 years, 7 months ago on How Do Two Teams Combine For Four Points In Overtime? Ask Atlanta And Utah


I'm disappointed that he didn't mug for the camera after that, like he usually does.

2 years, 7 months ago on Video: DeShawn Stevenson Accidentally Scores From Halfcourt