– The Spurs make history by being the Spurs (from Paul Flannery, SBNation):
” Becky Hammon’s resume speaks for itself. One of the greatest players of all time, no gender qualifiers needed, Hammon played 16 brilliant seasons in the WNBA where she was a six-time All-Star and a two-time all-WNBA player. She’s retiring and wanted to coach. The Spurs had an opening and added her to Gregg Popovich’s staff.
None of this is all that surprising. The Spurs are the most progressive team in the sport and that’s ultimately what keeps them so good year after year.”
Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/8/5/5971931/becky-hammon-spurs-coach
– Becky Hammon’s life has prepared her well to be a pioneer (from Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo Sports):
Read it here: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/becky-hammon-s-life-has-prepared-her-well-to-be-a-pioneer-012950651.html?
– Serge Ibaka, the NBA’s “3-and-D big man” prototype (from Kevin Young, welcometoloudcity.com):
” The role of the NBA big man has traditionally been to protect the rim. Sure, being tall means you can score over short guys near the basket and get to rebounds easier, but the first priority has always been to be the final line of defense against the opponent, and deterring the easiest shot in basketball: the closest one.
Ever since hand-checking on the perimeter was outlawed in 2004 and the league’s defensive rules shifted more in favor of zone and help-based defenses, shooting has redefined the NBA. Floor spacing has been an almost necessary cog to every efficient offense, and few teams can score effectively against modern defenses without shooters spreading the floor. While traditional shooters at the wing slots have seen their market value shoot up (Jodie Meeks for $19 million over three years, anyone?), the player type that has really burst into demand in the modern NBA’s evolution is the stretch big.”
Read it here: http://www.welcometoloudcity.com/2014/8/6/5970949/serge-ibaka-defense-three-pointer-big-man-value
– What predicts NBA success? (from Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American):
” What are the most important factors that distinguish NBA legends from the rest? This is not only of great interest to players and fans, but is obviously also of major interest to team managers, coaches, and talent scouts.
When scoping out talent, scouts look for two main things. First, they look for stellar prior performance– players who have distinguished themselves among the competition in high school, college, semi-professional, or other professional leagues.
But scouts are not just interested in prior performance. They are also interested in “untapped potential”– the idea that two equally skilled individuals are different distances from the limits of their talent.”
Read it here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2014/08/05/what-predicts-nba-success/
– NBA rookies get crash course on the life of a pro athlete (from David Ebner, theglobeandmail.com);
Read it here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/basketball/nba-rookies-get-crash-course-on-the-life-of-a-pro-athlete/article19927381/
– Meant to be: ‘Slo-Mo’ and the Spurs (from Chris Johnson, Sports Illustrated):
” Kyle Anderson watched the Spurs throughout their 2014 championship run and knew they were the team he wanted to play for. He watched them outlast the Mavericks in seven games in the first round, roll over the Blazers in five in the second, put away theThunder in six in the West finals and breeze past the Heat in five to win the the title. The Spurs’ sheer dominance was alluring, but what really grabbed Anderson’s attention was the team’s style of play. The crisp passing, the precise off-ball movement, the superb floor spacing — the harmony of it all. Anderson wanted to be a part of it.”
Read it here: http://www.si.com/nba/2014/08/05/kyle-anderson-spurs-slo-mo-nba
– Are NBA Centers Better When Playing With a Stretch Four? (from Bryan Mears, numberfire.com):
Read it here: http://www.numberfire.com/nba/news/2815/are-nba-centers-better-when-playing-with-a-stretch-fourhttp://dimemag.com/2014/08/lamar-odoms-slow-painful-descent-personal-professional-oblivion/
– LAMAR ODOM’S SLOW, PAINFUL DESCENT INTO PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL OBLIVION (from Jamie Cooper, dimemag.com):
Read it here: http://dimemag.com/2014/08/lamar-odoms-slow-painful-descent-personal-professional-oblivion/
– Welcome to the
Lake Freak Show (from Justin Verrier, ESPN):
” Fresh off the worst season in their L.A. tenure, one that ended with Jordan Hill, Ryan Kelly, Wes Johnson, Jodie Meeks and Kendall Marshall in the starting lineup, the Lakers whiffed on all the big free agents and ended up with a pu pu platter of middling holdovers, prominent castaways, a pair of intriguing young bigs and Nick Young. Four years removed from their last title, “That sounds crazy, but …” might as well replace the Jacob Riis quoteonce plaqued next to Kobe Bryant’s corner locker.
It would be an appropriate scarlet letter for the Lakers’ Sith Lord. By signing a two-year, $48.5 million extension at age 35, Bryant not only hung a millstone on the Lakers’ salary cap, he effectively posted a “BEWARE” sign to ward off any player capable of providing the high-caliber help they so desperately need. The problem isn’t merely having to play alongside a ball-dominant, domineering, past-his-prime alpha dog, though that was enough to drive Howard right past those “Stay” billboards and into the arms of Daryl Morey. It’s that so much of the Lakers’ worldview still revolves around that guy, to the point that the team’s brass — despite so very much evidence that the on-court product would continue to suffer should they continue to do so — bought back in, at a hefty price, for two more years.
And so the Lakers remain stuck in a Kobe-induced purgatory: Beholden to Bryant to cobble together a contender, but without the ability to do so as long as he insists on operating like the Bryant of old”
Read it here: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/70049/welcome-to-the-lake-freak-show
– An Aging NBA Player’s Best Move Is Knowing When and How to Retire (from Adonal Foyle, Bleacher Report):
Read it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2140170-adonal-foyle-an-aging-nba-players-best-move-is-knowing-when-and-how-to-retire
– How Kyle Lowry Figured It Out (from Yannis Koutroupis, Basketball Insiders):
“When you come into the league you’re trying to figure it out,” Lowry said to Basketball Insiders. “You’re really just a young guy trying to figure it out, make a name and find your niche.”
Lowry made a name for himself, but it was as a guy who was difficult to coach. He let his frustrations with playing time affect his work ethic to a certain extent as well. Just prior to this year’s trade deadline, the Raptors still weren’t sold on Lowry being their point guard of the future. He got off to a relatively slow start and after trading Rudy Gay, it looked like the Raptors were going to ship him off to the New York Knicks and just embrace the 2013-14 campaign as a rebuilding year.
But right as they were about to pull the trigger, Lowry took his game, and the Raptors as a whole, to another level. After December he was one of the most productive point guards in the league, and actually garnered All-Star consideration.”
Read it here: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-sunday-how-kyle-lowry-figured-it-out/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nba-sunday-how-kyle-lowry-figured-it-out