It wasn’t long ago that Goran Dragic was considered expendable. Jeff Hornacek made his intention to employ a two point guard backcourt of Dragic and summer trade prize Eric Bledsoe well-known before the season, but most league followers deemed that decision wildly optimistic and even outright naive.
Such lofty preseason expectations for Kawhi Leonard were never fair. The popular assumption that the high-motor, mild-mannered Leonard would usurp Manu Ginobili as the third wheel in the San Antonio machine this season was always naive, a result of kneejerk NBA Finals judgments and the belief that time was finally catching up with the Spurs.
[caption id="attachment_4521" align="aligncenter" width="789"] via flickr | research451[/caption]
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is built on a foundation of forward thinking. The sports world
Multiple league sources have confirmed that the Philadelphia 76ers have traded Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for two 2014 second-round draft picks, Earl Clark, and Henry Sims.
33 year-old Dirk Nowitzki, still basking in the glory of newly-minted titles like NBA champion and Finals MVP, opened the 2011-2012 season out of shape. The impending consequence was the worst campaign of his professional career: Nowitzki appeared in just 53 games, registered his lowest player efficiency rating since 2000, and failed to lead Dallas to a playoff birth for the first time in 12 years.
LeBron James and Steph Curry traded four would-be game-winners in the final 60 seconds of the Heat’s wild 111-110 win over the Warriors in Oakland on Thursday night. Miami squandered a seemingly insurmountable 21-point third quarter lead at the hands of surreal Golden State shot-making and a raucous Oracle Arena crowd, setting the stage for James to steal back the victory with a 27-footer as .2 seconds remained on the game-clock.
Somewhere between the time he jumped “over” a kia in 2011 and Chris Paul separated his shoulder on January 3rd, Blake Griffin’s game was taken for granted. Not his highlights, of course. The jaw-dropping dunks that made Griffin a superstar his rookie year came more frequently than ever. But the crux behind his eroding reputation as a player had as much to do with those posterizations and alley-oops as any sudden deficiencies. Was Griffin, he of dropping raw statistics for consecutive seasons, really much more than the league’s best dunker?
[caption id="attachment_3649" align="aligncenter" width="688"] via flickr | Odalaigh[/caption]
It was more than a single performance that swayed consensus favor from Andrew Wiggins to Jabari Parker.
[caption id="attachment_3524" align="aligncenter" width="721"] via flickr | Fizzcity Gallery[/caption]
The Corner Three
Two games before Terrence Ross set twitter ablaze
[caption id="attachment_3388" align="aligncenter" width="819"] via flickr | karlnorling[/caption]
Pace, space, the extra pass, layups – these are universal, all-encompassing standards of small-ball.