Just six NBA teams have played at a .600 pace this season. A seventh briefly reached the threshold last week, and you have to wonder how in the world they got there. Consider that this team: Is in the bottom five in 3-point makes, attempts and percentage in the most prolific season for 3-pointers in league history. Has been without its best player for over a month. Responded to losing its best player by dealing two more of its top five remaining rotation players
On a ten-game NBA Friday at this time of year, some have no significance in the standings. That doesn’t mean they won’t be entertaining, or produce the kind of individual performances that reward daily fantasy owners. [Read more…]
After as astoundingly entertaining slam dunk contest on All-Star Saturday, the NBA was again reminded that sometimes the best response to criticism is to ignore it. After the performances of Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon, it is doubtful anyone will suggest the contest should be eliminated, or even slightly altered. But that could change as soon as next year. LaVine and Gordon established a standard that seems impossibly high to top. So if the next slam dunk is not as good as
TORONTO— Say this for Russell Westbrook: It’s only fitting that someone who embodies Kobe Bryant’s ceaseless competitiveness would take home the MVP award in Bryant’s final All-Star game. Westbrook-ASG Russell Westbrook scored 31 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists to take home his second straight MVP award in a 196-173 win— a record number of points in the game and for the winning team— for the West over the East on Sunday night at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. “That’s
For the first time in roughly two decades, the Eastern Conference is better than the Western Conference from top to bottom. Nine East teams are at .500 or better – nearly twice as many teams as last season, when sixth-seeded Milwaukee finished 41-41. And the East actually has a winning record against the West this season at 100-98 What changed so quickly from last season, when articles were written about how there was the greatest disparity in conference strength in recent memory? “I
If you’ve noticed that this year’s rookie class is being talked about and praised around the league and in the media, there’s good reason for that. This year’s top five picks— Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis and Orlando’s Mario Hezonja— are making a larger early impact than any top-five group in at least a half decade. A detailed statistical analysis of top five picks over the last five years shows that over the first two
In Part 1, we looked at some players who couldn’t finish last season but appear to be healthy again. Today, we will focus on players who are still getting up to full speed. [Read more…]
Whenever I’m asked if I have been watching the NCAA Tournament, I say, “No. I haven’t.” That raises some eyebrows in my home state of Connecticut, where both genders of Huskies basketball have been winning national championships for nearly a generation and are followed religiously by the Nutmeg State’s hoops fans. But among the many reasons I don’t go mad in March is because over that same generation, the college game has become less and less of a barometer for NBA success.