– The Perilous Journey Into the NBA’s Bargain Bin (from Zach Lowe, Grantland.com):
” General managers are fond of saying, “If a player hasn’t made it by age 25 or 26, there’s a reason he hasn’t made it.”
That phrase is correct for most of the minimum bin, but it also shows a failure of imagination. Teams that define players by what they can’t do risk overlooking plus NBA skills attached to unformed all-around players.”
– Mike Miller Makes His Way to Cleveland (from Joe Gabriele, cavs.com):
” Before the start of last season, the Cavaliers were the second-youngest team in the NBA. Anderson Varejao was the squad’s grizzled veteran, its key players were all under the age of 24 and their most realistic expectation was reaching the postseason.
One year later, the Wine and Gold head into Training Camp with many of those same youngsters. But this year, they’re bolstered by a group of seasoned, successful, savvy veterans with 507 combined playoff games and eight Championship rings between them.
Naturally, the expectations have been raised considerably.
Those veterans, most of whom have plenty of postseason pelts on the wall, are undaunted by those expectations. And you can count 14-year vet Mike Miller – who has 85 of those postseason games and two of the rings – among them.”
Read it here: http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/features/miller-140916
– Andrew Bogut is already taking charges on D, adding offense (from Rusty Simmons, SFGate.com):
” The Warriors’ starting center has no plans to change his physical play on defense, but new head coach Steve Kerr has presented the big man with some new options on offense.”
– How the Warriors have improved their bench (from Scott Goodell, bluemanhoop.com):
– Budenholzer deals with double-duty (from Steve Aschburner, nba.com):
” His circumstances are unusual, but Budenholzer joins the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers, Minnesota’s Flip Saunders, Detroit’s Stan Van Gundy and of course San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich in holding added clout beyond their work on the court.
Until Rivers beefed up his role last year when he moved from Boston to L.A., Popovich was more of an exception. Most teams in recent years preferred to separate the powers, believing that a coach focuses on tonight (win the game) while a front-office exec thinks about tomorrow, next season and several years after that.
So is this the start of a new trend? A pendulum swing?
“I don’t know, those pendulums seem like they’re always swinging,” Budenholzer said Thursday in Chicago, in town for the annual NBA coaches meetings. “There are a couple of people who have done that, and obviously Pop’s been doing that for a long time, with R.C. [Buford, Spurs GM to Popovich’s president title] doing a ton. Those two together have been just an amazing combination. So I don’t know.”
The long-established view that the jobs should be kept separate has led to some coaches, hungry for more input on their teams’ architecture, finding themselves on the sidewalk.”
– Sophomore Season Could Hold Key to Career Relevance for Hornet Cody Zeller (from Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report):
” It wasn’t a big deal that Cody Zeller underperformed his rookie year. The veterans stepped up and led the team on a feel-good run.
But if Zeller can’t build on what was a promising second half of last season, it could mean bad news for everyone involved.
For starters, it puts a dark cloud on Zeller‘s outlook as a prospect. One rough season is reasonable. Two in a row calls for panic.
A disappointing year from Zeller might also hurt the Charlotte Hornets, a team that could use all the firepower it can get. The Hornets finished No. 24 in offensive efficiency last season, and then lost Josh McRoberts (free agency), who ranked third on the team in scoring, second in rebounding and second in assists.”
– Miles Plumlee can become defensive ace (from Kevin Zimmerman, vlleyofthesuns.com):
“There’s a lot of ways I can improve just being a little more intelligent,” Plumlee said of his defense back in April.” I think that sometimes I’m too much of a help defender and you got to realize when you can get to something and when you can’t. And when you can’t, don’t give up rebounding position going to block shots.”
– Bulls: Jimmy Butler entering a crucial campaign (from Aggrey Sam, csnchicago.com):
– Mavs will attempt to foster young talent while competing now (from Earl K Sneed, mavs.com):
“I mean, it gets us younger,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said after inking Parsons back in July. “The good news about all the experience we had is it really allowed us to modify and give the Spurs a run for their money last year. The bad news is that we had to restrict minutes, and so restricted minutes was a bigger challenge. [Parsons] is a guy that we can keep out there a lot longer, whereas with Vince and with ‘Trix [Marion] and Dirk we really had to balance minutes.”
– Andrew Wiggins Says He’s Glad To Have More Freedom With Minnesota (from Jack Winter, dimemag.com):
” Now getting settled in Minny with training camp fast approaching, Wiggins has had time to reflect on the tumultuous start to his career. And despite going from a championship contender to a likely lottery team, it’s clear that he’s happy to be in Minnesota.”
– Kobe conducting classes in physical education (from Bill Oram, ocregister.com):
” You’ve heard of NBA players going back to college in the offseason. And this story is sort of like that. Except while Wesley Johnson is just a few credits shy of his earning his degree from Syracuse, the Lakers forward found himself in a different kind of summer school this year.
Classes ran from Easter through July, with instruction beginning nearly daily at 7 a.m. The tests were grueling. There were take-home assignments.
The professor? Kobe Bean Bryant.”
– Why Brooklyn Nets’ Frontcourt May Surprise You (from Ben Dowsett, Hardwood Paroxysm):
” Plumlee and Lopez, along with Mirza Teletovic and an aging Kevin Garnett, form an intriguing frontcourt for Brooklyn. On the surface they’re easy to look past; Lopez is always an injury risk, Plumlee is young and may or may not have been picked for FIBA play just to fuel Mike Krzyzewski’s quest for dominion over both college and international basketball, Teletovic is undersized and Garnett seemed over the hill for portions of last season.
Looking more deeply, however, sheds certain bits of positive light.”
Read and view it here: http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2014/09/18/brooklyn-nets-frontcourt-may-surprise/
– The Jodie Meeks Conundrum: Another Product Of Mike D’Antoni’s System Or An Integral Piece For the Detroit Pistons’ Rebuild? (from Scott Rafferty. Hardwood Paroxysm):
– 2014-15 all about development for the Sixers (from Michael Kaskey-Blomain, philly.com):
“It is too early to tag the team as historically futile, as the roster is full of young talent whose development could lead to some moderate on-court success this season, but still, a struggle is ensured. Yes, the Sixers are all but guaranteed to be out of the playoff picture again, but for the franchise and fan base alike, the success of the Sixers’ season in 2014-15 won’t be based on the win-loss column, but rather by the development displayed on the court.”
– Understanding NBA Developmental League Player Rights (from Zach Oliver, prestointhepaint.com):