On Thursday, we gave you our All-Breakout Team for the upcoming season for the Eastern Conference. Today, we bring you our Western Conference All-Breakout Team. These are the players we believe are on the verge of breaking out or standing out. We used the same parameters – five players, one at each position, but no rookies. Let’s get right to it.
Coming into the 2014-15 season, the Oklahoma City Thunder figure to continue to be one of the league’s true title contenders. What’s different? A big free agent signing, the continued development of young talent, and finally a change in the starting lineup. Should everything work out, this could be the strongest Thunder team ever. Hovering over this potential perfect storm is a world of doubt. The Thunder have remained contenders for three or four years now but still have little hardware
Russell Westbrook personifies the story of his generation in the NBA. He is probably the most polarizing player in the league. Here we will try to layout the arguments of his loyal supporters, who believe he is one of the top 10 players in the NBA, as well as the reasoning of his naysayers, who believe he is far too out of control to play point guard. Once we do that, we will debunk both. Then, with a clean slate, we will
If you’re wondering where Derrick Rose ranks among the NBA’s top 10 point guards, he doesn’t. Neither does Deron Williams. Or Kemba Walker. Or Kyle Lowry. Point guard is the most demanding position in the NBA. And in ranking the top floor generals, we have demanding criteria. Is your favorite point guard an All-Star? How long has he been at that level? Is his current career track pointing upward or downward? Where does he rank among scorers at the position? Assists? Does he
PHILADELPHIA – Let’s begin with a question. In the three-plus decades since David Stern took the reins as NBA commissioner from Larry O’Brien and handed them to Adam Silver, what do these franchises – the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers – have in common? Answer: None has gone to the NBA Finals. Furthermore, among that group only Denver, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Sacramento and
The NBA offseason continues to roll along, complete with Kevin Love trade talks seeming to have spiked to an all-time high. If you’re interested, our own Chris Sheridan spoke with Dan Bickley on KTAR 98.7 regarding the latest on a potential trade. The Detroit Pistons have had a rather busy offseason. Theirs began with the hiring of a new head coach and president of basketball operations, Stan Van Gundy. Lacking a first round draft pick, they drafted Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, whom
The growth of analytics in the NBA has been nothing short of phenomenal. It started with a deeper look at numbers that already were available and produced new and useful statistics such as true shooting percentage, defensive rebound percentage, offensive rating and win shares. With the use of a grid or a matrix, we now have the ability to determine a player’s offensive tendencies and hot spots. For some players, it is quite revealing. For others, such as DeAndre Jordan, it pretty
Wednesday the All-NBA Teams were announced, and with them came a slew of congratulatory, confused and frustrated tweets. Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant led all vote getters as the lone unanimous selection to the First Team, followed by Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul. Much to the chagrin of 124 NBA writers with voting privileges, Chris Sheridan, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, was the lone vote preventing