Don’t Forget About Us, Other Stars Having Career Years

Don’t Forget About Us, Other Stars Having Career Years

It’s easy to get lost in story lines of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the two clear leaders for the MVP award based on their individual accolades this season.  Their numbers are ridiculous and unheard of in today’s NBA, Harden (28.7 ppg, 11.7 ast, 8.3 reb) and Westbrook (30.7 ppg, 10.3 ast, 10.5 reb).  However, there are some other NBA players putting up their own incredible stat lines and dominating the sport that need recognition too. Anthony Davis We start off our list with arguably the best big man in the league (just don’t tell that to Lebron James, Draymond Green and the man they fancy, DeMarcus Cousins).  Anthony Davis has improved year after year but this season, through 39 games, he is averaging career best in points per game, rebounds per game and steals per game. Unfortunately, the Pelicans don’t provide much support for this super star and that is why he is flying under the radar this season despite putting up close to 30-12 every night with 2.5 blocks and 1.3 steals. Isaiah Thomas The Boston Celtics were highly touted coming in to this season with the acquisition of Al Horford.  But what really makes this Boston Celtics team go is the 5’9” point guard, Isaiah Thomas.  Since coming to Boston from Phoenix after Danny Ainge hoodwinked his old associate Ryan McDonough, he has been one of the best scorers in the league.  He has improved each season and is shooting a career best 45.9% from the field and 90.7% from the charity stripe.  He is averaging a career high 28.4 points per game and leads the...
New Year’s Resolutions: Eastern Conference

New Year’s Resolutions: Eastern Conference

The holidays are just passed us as we look towards a new year. This time of year people get really excited for a new beginning or maybe just their next chapter. Well, NBA teams also get excited for the New Year. A new year brings the trade deadline closer, the NFL ending it’s season, the NBA All Star weekend, and the time we all look forward to, the playoffs. Below we will run through new years resolutions for all 30 NBA teams. Eastern Conference Philadelphia 76ers This was the perfect team to lead off because they have to just keep taking it a day at a time. Many didn’t like the Hinkie process but Joel Embiid has been showing fans and media all season long to Trust the Process. We haven’t even seen Ben Simmons on the court yet. The most impressive aspect of this rebuild for the 76ers is their assets (Philly owns the Kings 2019 first round pick and right to swap in 2017). They will most likely move one of their big men (Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor) for so much needed guard help. Ben Simmons will be an excellent guard in the league but they will need some help. Their resolution is to get good value in Noel/Okafor and acquire a young guard who has potential. Brooklyn Nets Trade. They have to move Brook Lopez for a package of picks and prospects. He’s averaging more points per 36 minutes than he ever has. On top of this, he established a three-point game. The Nets are an older team and they only have eight wins. It’s...
Attacking The Rim Is A Lost Art

Attacking The Rim Is A Lost Art

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with the NBA?  Was it Julius Erving’s reverse lay up?  Was it Michael Jordan dunking from the free throw line in the Slam Dunk Contest? Was it Baron Davis dunking over Andrei Kirilenko? Or maybe it was as recently as Lebron James having no regard for human life over Kevin Garnett?  The one thing we have in common is there was one particular play where a player took it strong to the rim and wowed everyone watching.  Everyone enjoys a good dunk. But does dunking resort to winning?  With the paradigm shift in the style of play the NBA has taken on over the past few years, more and more teams are turning to three point shooting because analytics explains that it’s more efficient to play that style of play.  To break it down for those non math geeks, if you shoot 40% from three point range, this is better than shooting 50% from within the arc.  Here is a simple break down with 10 attempts: 10 Three Point Attempts x 40% = 4 made three pointers for 12 points 10 Two Point Attempts x 50% = 5 made two pointers for 10 points This is the meat and potatoes behind the analytics to suggest you are better off shooting three’s than twos.  Of course this is all contingent if you make them.  Which brings us to the point of this article. Why do certain teams drive and why are they doing it less? Or are they doing it less? In the 2013-14 season, the Chicago Bulls took the...
Triple Double Tuesdays – November 15th, 2016

Triple Double Tuesdays – November 15th, 2016

Welcome to my first Triple Double Tuesday column for the 2016-17 year.  It has been a weird year to say the least with many teams overachieving (I see you Nets and Lakers) and some high expectation clubs trying to figure out what is going wrong (Pacers anyone?).  Excited to bring this weekly column back. Three Positive Plays Lakers and Nets are combined for 10-11 Well it appears that none of us saw the Nets and Lakers combining for .500 basketball.  Both of these teams have overachieved so far, or maybe we were just wrong.  I touched on the Lakers reasons for success on the Hoopscritic Podcast, attributing to the culture change brought on by Luke Walton and the combination of the young talent getting minutes and making the most of them.   The Nets on the other hand are being carried by all-star center Brook Lopez.  It seems every year we tend to forget about Brook Lopez due to his career of injuries and the Nets lack of success.   Jeremy Lin is also better than we remember and the help of some of the younger guys like Sean Kilpatrick, Joe Harris, and Justin Hamilton have made the Nets a more competitive group than one initially thought. Hawks transitioned roster paying off Atlanta pulled off one of the better roster roll overs in recent years and haven’t seemed to miss a beat.  They saw Al Horford leave in free agency and traded away Jeff Teague.  This opened up the door for Dennis Schroder to take over and he has performed as expected if you were monitoring his per 36 numbers (19.5...
The Bulls Are Proving Us Wrong Already

The Bulls Are Proving Us Wrong Already

  The Chicago Bulls experiment seems to be paying off early in the 2016-17 NBA season.  Coming into the season, many experts wrote them off.  The likes of Basketball Insiders and NBA.com writers and staff members have this team around .500 and barely making the playoffs, if at all.  Even some media members have them last in their division. With a disappointing season last year and an overhaul of the roster, there was reason to be skeptical heading into this season. Except this season hasn’t gone as we’d expect. In fact, the Bulls are playing some of the best basketball in the NBA out of the gate. They beat the Nets, Pacers and Celtics to start the season and will face the Celtics for the second time this year tonight on ESPN.  Chicago is currently the best offensive team in the league. Last year the biggest problem for the Bulls was scoring.  Their offensive rating was ranked 23rd in the league with 105.  They have always been a solid defensive team and struggled offensive, something that head coach Fred Hoiberg was supposed to fix.  This year, it seems his system is working much better, although it is only 3 games into the season.  The Bulls are ranked first in offensive rating with 117.6. The Bulls have been excellent in their offensive rebounding opportunities, collecting 33.6% of their missed shots, which is first in the league.  This group, with Taj Gibson, has always been good on the glass.  You can also look to the addition of Robin Lopez for the reason they have been rebounding at a higher rate offensively. Also, having...
Seven Thoughts On The 2016-17 NBA Season

Seven Thoughts On The 2016-17 NBA Season

With a new season come new stories. This season will be no different. In fact, it may actually be one of the most storied seasons in NBA history. The best got better and the rest improved. The talent that has come out of the NBA draft the past few seasons has injected new life into the NBA just as the old guard (Kobe, Duncan, Kevin Garnett) moves on. I dive into a few stories, predictions, and other mischief that I believe will take place for the upcoming season. Cleveland vs Golden State: Round Three This will be the first time in NBA history that the same two teams have faced off in the NBA Finals. It’s hard to see anyone beating the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference as they shouldn’t have a real playoff series until the second round. Cleveland’s biggest competition comes from the Raptors or the Celtics, both of which are one all star away from being a contender. Until one of those teams makes a splash with a trade, the Cavaliers will be the clear favorite in the East. The Golden State Warriors will have a harder road but that road became easier with the addition of Kevin Durant. The Spurs and Clippers will compete and an injury could change the landscape of the playoffs. However, as it sits, the Warriors are still the clear favorite. We will see a third round against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The 76ers will Trade No one outside of the 76ers front office believes they can play an entire season with Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and...
Vegas Odds Per NBA Team

Vegas Odds Per NBA Team

We are about a month away from the regular season.  The offseason is practically done outside late rotation roster moves and the fireworks have ended.  To keep it light and fun, we will look at every team’s Vegas future odds and adjust according to my thoughts and thinkings. Also, we will compare them to the heavily favored Golden State Warriors, who don’t need any introduction. Brooklyn Nets 1250/1 Brooklyn currently has 20 players under some sort of contract but only 8 on the active roster (it’s weird).  They only have two guys who are over 30.  They are under new management as they try to turn around this ship that gave everything they had in the future for the present.  This roster doesn’t need much explanation but it will be fun seeing Jeremy Lin playing 30-40 minutes a game doing whatever he pleases. Phoenix Suns 1250/1 The Suns are in a transition right now after firing their head coach Jeff Hornacek last year during the season.  This year they head into the season with Jay Triano, who compiled a 87-142 coaching record with the Raptors.  Phoenix is full of young talent and they have two decent guards in Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe, as well as the emergence of Devin Booker.  However, Phoenix will still be a bottom dweller until one of these three guards turns into an all-star caliber player. Philadelphia 76ers 500/1 Trust the process.  I will trust it when it produces a .500 or better season.  Until then, let’s have fun watching these kids develop and add smoke to the fire of all the trade rumors...
PRESS RELEASE: NBA AND MOUNTAIN DEW® LAUNCH LEAGUE’S FIRST-EVER U.S. 3×3 BASKETBALL COMPETITION TOUR

PRESS RELEASE: NBA AND MOUNTAIN DEW® LAUNCH LEAGUE’S FIRST-EVER U.S. 3×3 BASKETBALL COMPETITION TOUR

  Today we received a press release regarding an excellent summer 3 on 3 tournament hosted by the NBA and Mountain Dew.  This continuation of promoting basketball year round and globally will only make the game stronger.  It will also provide more avenues for players to showcase their talents and possibly obtain a shot at the D-League, overseas leagues or possibly the NBA.  Below is the entire press release: NBA AND MOUNTAIN DEW® LAUNCH LEAGUE’S FIRST-EVER U.S. 3×3 BASKETBALL COMPETITION TOUR –  Dew NBA 3X to Feature Elite Basketball, Hall of Famer Gary Payton and Engaging Fan Activities in Six-City Tour – –  Men’s and Women’s Championship Teams to Qualify for 2017 USA Basketball 3×3 Tournament – NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 – The NBA and Mountain Dew today announced Dew NBA 3X, the league’s first-ever nationwide elite 3×3 basketball competition tour that will make stops in six NBA markets between May and October with winning teams qualifying for the 2017 USA Basketball 3×3 Tournament. The invite-only competition will tip off Saturday, May 21 in Atlanta and culminate on Sunday, Oct. 23 in Los Angeles with the Dew NBA 3X National Finals.  The program will also visit basketball fans in Miami, Dallas, Chicago, and Houston. Dew NBA 3X Ambassador and Hall of Famer Gary Payton, along with local NBA players and legends, will be on hand to interact with fans as they participate in exciting skills contests and other fan-friendly entertainment that celebrates basketball culture.  In addition to the games, Dew NBA 3X will feature appearances by celebrities, Dew athletes, team and local talent, art installations, celebrity DJs, food...