OKC’s Ball Movement And The Importance Of Context Positive Residual, writing for Nylon Calculus, examines the Thunder’s lack of ball movement. He argues that, while it is not ideal, they are creating a unique offense driven by isolation. This is a way to differentiate themselves from teams like the Spurs and Warriors, as well as a way to maximize their roster’s talent.
A Defensive Perspective: Spurs and Warriors Paul Garcia, writing for Project Spurs, argues that the Spurs’ defense excels in areas where Golden State’s offense is strong. He also suggests the Warriors’ defense is very good, however, they allow a significant number of points in the paint. Garcia contends that this because of the Warriors’ fast tempo, lack of offensive rebounding, and defensive switching. Nonetheless, he posits, the biggest threat any team faces against Golden State is defending their pick-and-roll, and is curious how the Spurs’ choose to defend it.
The Orlando Magic Are Running Out Of Time Chris Barnewall argues that the Orlando Magic’s rebuild is nearing failure. This is their third year of the rebuild and they’ve seen little to no progress. Early in the season, it looked like Skiles defensive coaching style would provide Orlando with an identity, however that has not yet occurred. Meanwhile, every year Orlando states “well if one of our young players transitions to all-star caliber we’ll be a playoff team.” Unfortunately for Magic fans, this has not yet occurred. More importantly, the dream pairing of Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton has failed, as they have an atrociously low net rating.
No Caveats: Golden State Warriors Are The Team To Beat Derek James argues that, even sans Tim Duncan, Golden State’s thrashing of San Antonio signifies that the Warriors are the best team in the NBA.
Inpredictable: San Antonio’s Stinginess in Transition Micael Beuoy examines just how historically great the Spurs’ defense is. They lead the league in defensive efficiency, defensive efficiency after a made shot, defensive efficiency after a turnover, and defensive efficiency after a missed shot.
Is LeBron A Coach Killer? Brian Windhorst analyzes the history of LeBron James in the NBA to answer if “the King” is a “coach killer.” Overall, Windhorst argues, James is more of a “coach creator” than a killer because he gives mediocre coaches long careers in the association.
What’s The Toronto Raptors’ Formula For Run At East Crown? Kevin Arnovitz looks at how the Raptors’ are utilizing their one-two bunch of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to split apart opponents’ defenses. This includes running the two guards of the pick-and-roll together where Lowry sets the screen, utilizing mobile big men to score and spread the floor, and attempting to get at the basket by any means necessary.
Kemba Walker Deserves To Be An All Star Cody Taylor goes over evidence suggesting that Kemba Walker deserves to be an NBA all-star. He also studies Ish Smith’s spectacular improvement in Philadelphia.
Analyzing The Decline Of Dwayne Wade Shlomo Sprung analyzes how Dwayne Wade’s age is impacting his performance on the court. He states that Wade is significantly better with one day of rest, and while continuing to be a very good player, has slowed down in back-to-backs. Sprung also shows how playing with a faster pace, and getting into offensive sets sooner, may benefit Dwayne Wade.
Fisher’s Knicks Aren’t Kobe-Shaq Lakers, But They’re Finding Identity Similar to Derek Fisher’s Lakers teams, the Knicks are utilizing the triangle offense. However, there are significant differences in the two systems. The biggest similarity is both offenses create a significant number of open, midrange shots. This has led some critics to say the triangle does not fit the modern NBA. Nonetheless, even here, the Knicks take far more midrange shots, mainly due to personal differences. Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Arron Afflalo are all good penetrators, and consequently, create more midrange shots than a team with Shaq, Pau Gasol, or Andrew Bynum. This also means that the Fisher Lakers teams had more paint points than this Knicks team. Additionally, there is significant differences in the pace for both teams; nevertheless, the Knicks are utilizing the triangle to create an identity, even if it is different than Phil Jackson’s famed teams.
Panther’s Run Game Ben Muth argues that, while for most teams the run game is simple and passing game is complex, for Carolina the corollary is true. He then argues the reason Carolina was able to score against Arizona early was that the Cardinals were not ready for the Panthers’ complex running scheme. Afterwards, Muth examines game tape showing how the Panthers utilize complex running schemes, even with a week offensive line.
Denver And Carolina Gambled On Free Agents… And It Worked Scott Kacsmar shows how Carolina and Denver drafted well, but even more importantly, used an analytics-heavy approach to sign free agents. Most players these teams signed, such as Emmanuel Sanders and Ted Ginn Jr., have worked out surprisingly well. Thus, these two teams developed their rosters in similar ways, and it has resulted in both being in the Super Bowl.
Carolina Panthers Ride Ohio State Buckeyes Connection To Super Bowl Jeremy Fowler looks at the four Buckeyes on the Panthers’ roster (the most in the NFL): Corey Brown, Kurt Coleman, Ted Ginn Jr., and Andrew Norwell. Moreover, Fowler looks at how their history impacted their effect in Carolina.
What Should The Cardinals Do With Carson Palmer? Nick Elges examines the dilemma facing the Arizona Cardinals. Carson Palmer is a good, perhaps very good quarterback. Unfortunately, he is not good enough to take the Cardinals far enough. Due to his contract, the Cardinals are stuck with Palmer. Nonetheless, Elges argues that it should be no surprise if Arizona drafts a Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook in the NFL draft.
Denver’s Defense Cian Fahey examines film of the Broncos-Patriots game to discover what Denver’s defensive strategy was. Fahey argues that the Broncos’ disguised pass rush posed serious problems for the Patriots’ weak offensive line. This allowed the Broncos to prevent the Patriots’ short passing game while pressuring Tom Brady. The Panthers’ creative running game, per Fahey, presents a different challenge for Denver. Effectively, the Broncos can’t use a disguised pass rush and Cover 2 Zone against Carolina because that encourages the Panthers to run, they can’t all out blitz because Newton thrives against it, and playing a man-to-man defensive scheme would burn the Broncos because of Ted Ginn Jr.’s speed. Fahey argues the Broncos best bet is to drop TJ Ward into the box and act as a sort of spy against Carolina’s running game. Nevertheless, the Panthers provide the greatest test to the Broncos’ defense all season.
How Many Points Will It Take To Win The Premier League This Season Jonathan Wilson examines how, this year, it will take a significantly low amount of points to win the Premier League. Then Wilson examines whether it is a decrease in parity in the EPL or just the rise of middle of the table teams.
Leicester City Are Sowing The Seeds To Be A Top Four Contender For A Long Time Kartik Krishnaiyer argues that Leicester City have developed talent to the point where they will be considered a top-four EPL contender for a long time. Considering the high likelihood of reaching European competition next season, Leicester is dedicating this transfer window into bringing talent in order for them to perform well.
Sports: by Stats:
Are The Dallas Mavericks A Team That Can Make Noise In The West Jordan Cohen analyzes how Rick Carlisle has developed Dallas’ offensive system to resemble that of the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks. He questions if it will be enough for the Mavs to contend in the West.
How The Interior Presence Of DeMarcus Cousins And Willie Cauley-Stein Is Revitalizing Kings Basketball Jordan Cohen examines how the interior of DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein, while definitely unique, is helping the Kings win important games. Moreover, if their momentum continues, the Kings will be a playoff team.
Why The Warriors’ Biggest Weakness Has Nothing To Do With Forcing Them To Slow Down In the face of analysts saying the best way to beat Golden State is to slow down the pace of a game, Jordan Cohen does statistical analysis to invalidate this claim.
The Dominance Metric, January 19-25 In this week’s metric, Golden State have reasserted complete dominance over the top of the ranking.
Ten Thoughts on Tyronn Lue’s Coaching Debut and the Bulls Interior Dominance. Cavs-Bulls, January 23, 2016 Jordan Cohen analyzes Tyronn Lue’s coaching debut. Moreover, he looks at how the Bulls have established an identity surrounding frontcourt defense.
A Cleveland Team Fired Its Head Coach? So What Else Is New? A Lot, Actually. Jordan Cohen examines why Cleveland fired its ex-head coach David Blatt, and why that shouldn’t create gut reactions about the Cavaliers.