- Overrated teams and players
- Who would the Thunder protect in an expansion draft?
- Adams and Roberson extensions
- A preview of the Atlantic Division
- …and what makes us miffed and or peeved
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From Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports on Hurricane Katrina: “Randy Livingston reached out for help to the only person he knew in San Antonio in Presti, the San Antonio Spurs’ assistant general manager in late August 2005. Presti quickly agreed to aid the Livingstons, but there was a challenge in finding a woman he never met amongst hundreds of evacuees.”
Extra Mustard figured out Russell Westbrook plays well after T-Swift releases a single: “Westbrook has won nine of 10 games after the release of a new single, and the Thunder have outscored opponents by a total of 137 points. He has seen jumps in his field goal percentage each season, and is scoring two more points per game than his career average. Rock on, Russ. Let’s hope Taylor Swift drops some more singles this year so you and Kevin Durant have a shot at winning a title before he enters free agency next off-season.” Keep Reading…
Berry Tramel: “But Collison remains with the team. In fact, Collison is high on the NBA longevity list. Hoopsrumors.com has compiled a list of the longest-tenured players on each of the 30 franchises, and Collison ranks fifth. The four players ahead of him are iconic Hall of Famers — the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, the Spurs’ Tim Duncan, the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Heat’s Wade, who is ahead of Collison only because Wade was drafted 35 minutes or so before Collison.”
Brett Oswalt of NumberFire: “Last year, everyone was talking about Anthony Davis and his eleventh-best Player Efficiency Rating (30.9) of all time. But Westbrook’s also shows up on the all-time list at number 33. And when we sort by seasons in which a player has achieved a PER of at least 29 by the age of 26, Westbrook’s season is just the 15th of its kind. As a matter of fact, Westbrook boasted the highest Usage Rate of any of those players in such a season, some of the most efficient campaigns in league history.” Keep Reading…
Pretty powerful post from D.J. Augustin on The Players’ Tribune about living through Hurricane Katrina as a 17-year-old. Read it:
When I finally returned home, there wasn’t a home. I had to wear a mask to go inside. Everything was stiff just from sitting in water, like a corpse. Mildew was everywhere. I was just in shock. First of all, being back in New Orleans, the feel of the city was just eerie. It felt funny, I don’t know how else to explain it. When I walked into my house, everything was moved around, all the furniture had been shifted by the water. All my recruiting letters from colleges were destroyed. That was stuff I wanted to save for my kids one day. My bed was flipped over, my dresser was turned on its back. The TV was on the ground. The crazy thing was you could see a brown ring where the ceiling and wall met, going around the whole house. That’s where the water was just sitting for weeks until it finally drained out.
Fran Blinebury of NBA.com on his comeback player: “What could be a more impressive comeback than winning a fifth scoring title, a sixth All-NBA First Team and winning a second MVP award? A visit with Durant at the Orlando Summer League showed a man with a fire in his eyes and hunger in his voice to get back out on the court and wipe away the disappointment of last season’s foot injuries. If you thought losing in the Western Conference finals to the Spurs was hard for K.D., not even taking part in the playoffs was harder. He’ll be blazing starting on opening night.”
Lee Jenkins of SI.com with his preferred rule change: “I’m tired of watching DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard shoot free throws, talking about watching DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard shoot free throws, and listening to broadcasters talk about watching DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard shoot free throws. I understand why the NBA doesn’t want to change a rule to cater to a couple of guys, but those guys aren’t going anywhere, and their long walk to the charity stripe will continue to hijack otherwise wildly entertaining games. Call intentional fouls intentional, give the teams possession plus the free throws, and see more Chris Paul lobs and James Harden pull-ups.” Keep Reading…
It’s still August.
(Was this one in there? I think they missed this one.)
Matt Moore on KD’s free agency: “So everyone, technically, has a shot at Durant. You’re not absolutely out of the conversation if your cap is tied up. On the other hand, if your team clears a huge amount of cap space in pursuit of Durant, and they don’t get him, there’s pressure to spend that money. Teams have done better in recent years at not just using up cap space to use it up, but there is still that pressure to use the assets available to make your team as good as it can be. And down that path lies doom. Teams have long sought the B or C level talent after striking out on free agents and signing unworthy players to huge long-term contracts.”
John Wall and KD played in a flag football game together no naturally…: “Wall didn’t just spend time catching passes, though. At one point, he and Durant, a guy that Wizards fans seem to be mildly interested in having play with the team at some point in his career, squared off for a jump ball and, in the process, came extremely close to high-fiving/holding hands/grasping forearms. … The result of that play is unknown, but one would think the height differential between the two NBA players would have led to Durant hauling in the pass. However — and more importantly — it was just another small interaction between Wall and Durant that could end up having major consequences in the future.” Keep Reading…
Anthony Slater on Billy Donovan at Florida: “As a key recruiter for Rick Pitino’s reboot of Kentucky, Donovan was shoved right in the middle. Still in his mid-20’s, still navigating the waters at his first coaching job, Donovan hit the trail a novice legitimized by his school’s reputation. As a youth, Billy’s basketball desire drove him to greatness. As a young coach, his energy and passion guided him to success. But during his climb to the top at Florida, it was that early experience at Kentucky – and the recruiting knowledge and confidence that resulted from it – which helped him morph a vision into reality in Gainesville.”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider on Jonas Valanciunas: “If that sounds like a lot for a player who averaged 12.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last season, prepare to be shocked over the next 12 months. The new salary cap will change the market for player value dramatically. As I explained in previewing 2016 free agency, teams will have to spend at least a billion dollars — that’s billion with a B — on free agents to reach the salary cap on average. In all likelihood, they’ll spend more than that.” Keep Reading…