If you have a few minutes to spare and are looking to read some basketball articles, we have your back.
- A couple of great Fanpost this week. First SRJ34 on taking the long view with your franchise stars. Then funkyspur dives into the numbers and suggest the Spurs might be having their best season ever. We had a lot of great fanposts recently. Go read them.
- It seems like the Spurs almost traded DeJuan Blair to the Heat before the season. With Aron Baynes close to joining the team, I think we'll see more stories about Blair being shopped
- Speaking of Baynes, the guys over at EuroStep think he could be successful in this new challenge:
Though there are doubts over Baynes’ success in the NBA, let’s remember that before this season there were doubts over his ability to play at a high level in Euroleague too. But here he is, as the Euroleague’s rebounding leader with 13.8 points and 9.8 rebounds a game, moving to one of the NBA’s most dominant franchises in recent history.
If Baynes keeps his the exponential curve in his recent improvement up, he should be just fine.
- Nando De Colo would like more playing time and I think a lot of Spurs fans agree with him. But he's being a complete professional about it and is not complaining, which is encouraging. As translated by Project Spurs:
Earn my place, this is a big word. In this team, you can not say that. These are players who have (been here) long, there is a hierarchy and it will always be respected. The trick, as I am told, is to be ready at all times.
- BSports did a a very, very interesting analysis on rim protectors, dividing them between "bark" and "bite" types meaning guys that actually block shots and guys that deter penetration. Tim Duncan is, unsurprisingly, the full package. Go read the whole thing.
- Wayne Vore from The Big Fundamental has an idea for the Spurs to use Leonard more on offense that I think is spot on:
I sure would like to see the Spurs get him the ball in the post some. He has a pretty good knack for scoring around the rim and it would allow us to take advantage of the mismatches in transition that frequently occur. Several times last night Steve Nash ended up on Kawhi. That should be an automatic post up, but you can only do it if he is used to getting the ball in the block.
- Billy Kennedy stalling for TV and saying as much while wearing a hot mic was hilarious.
- Hickory High takes a look at shot selection and creates a new stat: expected points per shot. Some shots are more efficient than others and taking better shots usually result in better efficiency but ultimately it's all about making shots others are missing. Here's what they have to say about the Spurs, the best team in the league at scoring above expected points per shot.
San Antonio has the highest XPPS of these three teams, and their system just augment the pattern we saw above of the efficiency of high-usage players making things easier for their teammates. Tim Duncan (+0.117), Tony Parker (+0.123) and Manu Ginobili (+0.052) are all out-performing their shot selection by healthy margins. The amazing things is that almost every one of their teammates are as well. On their roster, only DeJuan Blair (-0.081) and Stephen Jackson (-0.153) are under-performing their shot-selection.
Around the league
- Greg Oden is getting in shape and hopes to give basketball another shot, with the Heat seemingly interested. I'm rooting for the guy but it's a long shot he comes back and makes a difference.
- Carmelo Anthony will serve a one-game suspension for waiting for Kevin Garnett by the team bus after an in-game altercation. Someone will punch Garnett before he retires if he keeps acting like a jerk.
- Rudy Gay is on the block, with the Raptors, Suns and Warriors reportedly showing interest. It's hard to get a trade that works because Gay makes a lot of money and the Grizzlies want to remain competitive. This works. Just kidding.
- It looks like Tyreke Evans is on the block, too. The guy averaged 20-5-5 in his rookie season but without an offense tailored for his talents and with the rest of the league figuring him out, his development stalled and the Kings didn't offer him an extension. I still believe he could be a great player. He just needs a change of scenery.
- John Wall is apparently returning this week. The Wiz need him. Derrick Rose is practicing again. The Bulls need him. Kevin Love broke his hand and will miss at least eight weeks. It will be interesting how the Wolves deal with his absence. Time to shine, Derrick Williams.
- This Ricky Rubio pass is ridiculous. Unfortunately, Lou Amundson botches the layup.
- Finally, it looks like the Kings are moving to Seattle. Nothing is final yet but negotiations seemed to be underway. It's a slap in the face of Kings fans who fought, and continue to fight, to keep their team. A deal between the city and the Maloofs was reached in February but then the former Palms owners backed out of it. Now they seem to be trying to sell the team to an ownership group that will certainly move the team instead of exploring local options, like Bucks owner Herb Kohl is doing. They are lucky Sterling still owns the Clippers or they'd be the worse owners in the NBA.
If you have any other interesting links, feel free to share them in the comments.