Thankfully, the dominoes of the summer of 2014 have begun to fall into place for next season (and beyond). And even though it’s the middle of July, it’s never too early to think about the possibilities that lie ahead on the hardwood. Here are three offensive certainties that will make waves during the 2014-15 NBA season.
MIAMI — We’re four games into the 2014 NBA Finals and the most consistent player on the floor hasn’t even broken double figures yet. His name is Boris Diaw, and the tremendous impact he has had on this series is still reverberating around South Beach and the rest of America as the San Antonio Spurs followed their 19-point Game 3 victory with an equally impressive 107-86 victory in Game 4 over the Miami Heat, who have been forced to the brink of elimination
MIAMI — The proverbial “Next step.” When a young player scores a career-high 29 points on 10-for-13 shooting in a 111-92 win in Game 3 in a tied NBA Finals, takes that “Next step,” it’s a big deal (especially in the social media centric world we live in today). Normally he’ll shower, get dressed and head to the podium to answer questions from the media. That was not the case on Tuesday evening. Stone faced and serious, Kawhi Leonard headed toward the throng of media
How will the San Antonio Spurs guard LeBron James? Exactly one year ago, as the 2013 NBA Finals were about to tip off in Miami, the above inquiry was the question. After all, what is the most effective way to defend such a powerful, explosive, unselfish all-around threat? If you paid attention to the epic series as it unfolded last season, you are well aware of the San Antonio Spurs’ strategy: Make LeBron James into an indecisive player by sagging off of him. Force
CHICAGO - If there was anything to be learned at the 2014 NBA Draft combine, it is that when discussing prospects, positions are somewhat blown out of proportion. Despite their size, a prospect must must become very well-rounded in order to reach true star status at the next level. “It’s not new to see guys playing multiple positions,” Tom Penn, an ESPN analyst, told the Wall Street Journal in 2012. “But we’ve never seen this many elite players play multiple positions at an elite
CHICAGO — No, Andrew Wiggins. No Jabari Parker. No Joel Embiid. Since most of the projected upper-echelon 2014 NBA Draft Lottery picks chose not to participate in drills at the combine, the door was open for other players to come in and catch the attention of GMs and scouts in attendance, who were, of course, out in abundance doing their due diligence and networking with just over a month until draft day.
You’ve heard the saying: “The kids are alright.” Well, these kids are more than alright. As the NBA’s ever-evolving landscape of perimeter-oriented and multifaceted skill sets take the basketball world by storm on a nightly basis, the youth who aspire to compete against their heroes (in 2015 or beyond, thanks to the one-and-done rule) have keenly paid attention to the changes in the game and what they mean for their own personal development as players. SheridanHoops caught up with nine of the 24
CHICAGO — Three headlining freshmen. Three spectacular performances. Julius Randle? All he did was take his youthful Kentucky Wildcats and rally them with a dominant second half performance of 23 points and eight rebounds against Michigan State, one of the more consistently well coached and talented teams in college basketball.