What a difference a year makes. Just last summer, Dennis Schroder was the toast of the NBA Summer League and was heralded as the future cornerstone of the Atlanta Hawks. His long arms, quick hands and athletic prowess had veterans gushing that the Hawks had found the second coming of Rajon Rondo. One training camp later and, in theory, we should be in the same spot from where we started last season. Schroder just turned 21 in October – mere months older
Four months have passed since the masterpiece was finished with a throwback flourish that had purists spouting superlatives and invoking sacred basketball institutions like the Red Holzman Knicks, the Jack Ramsay Blazers . . . Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, James Naismith. The Spurs joined the pantheon of great teams when they mutilated the Heat dynasty in the 2014 NBA Finals, playing a brand of team basketball that Naismith would have found ideal, even if it was unimaginable when he invented the
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.
Wednesday afternoon, or evening depending on which northern hemisphere you were in, saw the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in their first preseason exhibition. Their opponent, Alba Berlin (otherwise known as the Berlin Albatrosse). It was, for many, expected to be a blowout in the champs favor, much in the same way that the Cleveland Cavaliers so easily dispatched Maccabi Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, fortune favors the bold. Alba Berlin, though seemingly outmatched in talent, kept the game within striking distance the
The departure of LeBron James as a free agent earlier this summer left a void for the Miami Heat to fill. With the leagues best player taking his talents back to Cleveland, there isn’t really a viable way to replace such a loss. Determined to remain competitive the Heat retooled by adding new free agents, but they’ll also be relying on their returning stars to contribute in a major way.
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
It might sound ridiculous to try to compare Aron Baynes, an undrafted reserve with four career starts, to Bill Laimbeer, a four-time All Star and NBA champion. However, the two have more in common than you would expect. Before Laimbeer became the ringleader for the Pistons’ Bad Boys and a namesake for a Super Nintendo videogame, he was an afterthought. Sandwiched in the draft between two players who never appeared in the NBA, Laimbeer – the 65th overall pick in 1979 – was forced to
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