Today’s Top NBA Stories

- The Wolves’ Hidden Scoring Sources (from Wm. Bohl @ AWolfamongwolves):

“By now, you know all the gaudy accolades Kevin Love is stockpiling. If you don’t know them by heart, it’s owed to information overload rather than apathy. Love was the first player in NBA history with 160 points, 80 rebounds and 30 assists in his first six games of the season (according to the Elias Sports Bureau). He’s first player in NBA history with at least four 3-pointers, 19 rebounds and seven assists in a game (via Sportando). Lengthy homages are paid to his outlet passing. He and Ricky Rubio teamed up for one of the best ESPN basketball commercials in recent memory. Countless, terrific features are being written about him by very talented people. His re-emergence as a dominant force, following a lost season in 2012-13, has been the talk of the league through its first three weeks.

If you care to branch out a bit, you may learn about Corey Brewer, who is garnering attention for being on the receiving end of many of Love’s patented outlets, as well as for bringing energy to the floor every single night. You might consider the blazing start Kevin Martin’s put together, scoring at least 20 points in 9 of the 10 games he’s appeared and hitting nearly half (21/43) of his three-pointers from the left side of the floor. You may have even noticed Nikola Pekovic getting in on the fun, the $60 million man recovering from a slow beginning to average 17.3 points and 8.8 boards on nearly 74% shooting over his past four games.

But why not dig even deeper? The Wolves average more than 102 possessions per 48 minutes — Minnesota’s offense is more than Corey Brewer in transition, Nikola Pekovic in the paint, Kevin Martin shooting threes and Kevin Love doing everything. So what else happens? What can we learn about the team by focusing on a couple of the lesser-known, quirkier elements of their offensive attack?”

Read about Rubio’s off-hand layups & KMart’s post-ups here: http://www.awolfamongwolves.com/2013/11/the-wolves-hidden-scoring-sources-rubios-off-hand-layups-martins-post-ups/

- SportVU stats can be helpful, overwhelming (From Jeff McDonald @ San Antonio Express-News):

“High in the rafters of the AT&T Center, above the four NBA championship banners, the Lighthouse scoreboard and the cheap seats, eyes in the sky are always watching.

There are six, to be exact — a half-dozen cameras peering down from the catwalk during every Spurs game, recording everything, missing nothing.

 It sounds like something out of an Orwellian dystopia. Except, it’s not.

The cameras were installed in every NBA arena by a company called SportVU, beginning last season, at a reported cost of $100,000 per system. They record the movement of every player, plus the ball, 25 times a second.

Their purpose is to provide teams with reams of statistical information — some of it useful, some of it not so much — that might not otherwise have been available.

The player-tracking data is of great interest to hard-core fans, who no longer need wonder, for instance, how many miles Spurs point guard Tony Parker travels during an average game (2.4) or how fast he runs (4.6 mph).

NBA front offices and coaches, however, are still grappling with how to translate such minutia into the building of their rosters and adjusting of their game plans.”

Read it here: http://www.expressnews.com/sports/spurs/article/SportVU-stats-can-be-helpful-overwhelming-4993731.php?t=41caf6db69927fc3fb

- Why Tiago Splitter is worth every penny to the Spurs (from Matthew Tynan @ 48minutesofhell.com):

Read it here: http://www.48minutesofhell.com/tiago-splitter-spurs-defense-nba

-It’s Been a Long Time Coming for Jordan Hill (from Andy Roth @ Sports Network):

“It’s been a long time coming for Jordan Hill to get the playing time he deserved in Los Angeles, but it simply came down to the fact that Lakers’ coach Mike D’Antoni undervalued what Hill brought to the table.”

-Spurs’ 8th straight win (from CBSSports.com):
“Although the San Antonio Spurs seem rather methodical and downright boring to some, they are enjoying themselves this season and that is ruining the fun for others.”
- The Technician: Kyle Korver’s Pre-game workout (from Beckley Mason @ Hoopspeak.com):
-Thunderhorns (from Royce Young @ Dailythunder.com):
As the Thunder clawed their way back late in the fourth quarter of Monday’s game against the Nuggets, one fellow writer leaned over and said simply, “How do you stop that?”

When you’re talking about the Thunder, the that could’ve been any number of things, like Russell Westbrook attacking at full speed, Kevin Durant in general or a pick-and-roll combo with both participating. But the that he was referring to was a very common set almost every team runs called “Horns.” Because for the Thunder, Horns isn’t just any setpiece offensive play. It’s something that can potentially be extremely destructive on opposing defenses because of everything it incorporates, namely being the Thunder’s three best players.”

Read ( & watch) it here: http://dailythunder.com/2013/11/film-study-thunderhorns/

- Steve Blake (from Darius Soriano @ Forumblueandgold):

“Lakers’ fans, maybe more than any other fan-base, love to have their whipping boys. Typically, these are guys who don’t consistently play well, but also fit snugly into two different categories: 1). Guys who fans think should play a certain way, but don’t (Pau needs to be tougher!) or 2), Guys who aren’t seen as earning their paycheck. Players who have fallen into the latter category in recent seasons range from Lamar Odom (when he was making near max money before the Lakers went to the Finals in 2008), Luke Walton (whose six year contract at the full mid-level was instantly criticized by a certain sect of fans), and, most recently Steve Blake (who, in his first few years of his contract, didn’t live up to what fans expected from a guy making $4 million a year).

It’s Blake’s inclusion on this list that’s always been somewhat puzzling to me. Not because Blake was playing well and didn’t deserve some criticism for his on-court production, but rather because as a back up point guard making less than the mid-level, I never really viewed Blake as either A). overpaid or B). not playing hard or giving it his all on the court. Sure, Blake could have played better and there were times I wanted more from him considering his skill set. That said, when a player competes hard and is put in a position to be a role player who mostly plays off the ball and is only given limited opportunities, I don’t necessarily think it is fair to jump on him when his production isn’t what you’d want. Critique is one thing, but some of the blowback Blake has received in his time as a Laker has gone way beyond fair criticism.

This season, though, the much maligned Blake has turned those criticisms upside down by playing some of the best basketball of his

career and certainly his best as a Laker.”

Read it here: http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2013/11/19/steve-blake-turning-the-simple-into-the-sublime/

-Robin Lopez making an impact (from Dane Carbaugh @ blazersedge.com)

“After several double-digit rebounding games, Portland seems to have settled the question mark at the center position in Robin Lopez. He’s been putting in serious work on the low block for the Blazers, and game film shows that the acquisition of the young center was another smart off season move for the organization.

Lopez isn’t an All-Star caliber center, nor is he a dominant shot blocker. That being said, his size and his length allow him to at least alter shots at the rim when he doesn’t get a hand on them. By changing the arc on shots in the paint, Lopez is able to clean up the glass as soft rebounds glance off the bucket. Lopez is able to create changes in possession with his defensive ability without blocking shots.”

Read (& watch) it here: http://www.blazersedge.com/2013/11/19/5120166/playbook-breakdown-blazers-c-robin-lopez-hits-the-glass-alters-shots

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