Basketball:

Kyrie Irving Shines Brightest ON Kobe-LeBron Night Dave McMenamin studies the relationship between Kobe Bryant and Kyrie Irving. Kobe Bryant’s tutelage directly when Kyrie Irving came into the NBA effected the latter’s development of a midrange game.

Critiquing A Friend: Lakers’ TV Radio Analysts Face Tricky Situation Bill Oram, writing for the Orange County Register, examines how Lakers’ TV and radio play-by-play announcers face a tough task in critiquing Byron Scott. This is because many of those announcer are close friends with Byron Scott from their playing days.

Eighteen Lakers Journalists Tell Their Favorite Kobe Bryant Story Complex Sports asks eighteen journalists one lasting memory they have of Kobe Bryant. The stories cover everything from in-game plays to press conference jokes.

After waiting, Mario Hezonja’s time is now Philip Rossman-Reich, writing for Hardwood Paroxysm, examines the rise of rookie Mario Hezonja. Hezonja, international star, was drafted in the 2015 NBA draft. But halfway through his rookie season, he was trusted only once in the final minutes of a game, and this occurred when Victor Oladipo exited with a head injury.

The Give and Take of Enes Kanter Austin Peters, writing for Hardwood Paroxysm, contends that Enes Kanter is a controversial player. Essentially, Kanter is a gift offensively. He scores with ease and provides a significant number of offensive rebounds. Defensively, however, Kanter struggles mightily. This makes him one of the key reasons the Thunder wing games, but also, it makes Kanter a reason Oklahoma City will struggle against offensive powerhouses like Golden State.

2016 Hardwood Paroxysm Alternative All Stars: Damian Lillard Hardwood Paroxysm, in their “Alternative All Stars” segment, argue that Damian Lillard deserves to be an all star. While Lillard does not have nearly the superstar quality that Russell Westbrook or Steph Curry do, that is irrelevant, because he is one of the best all around point guards in today’s game.

2016 Hardwood Paroxysm Alternative All-Stars: James Jones Chris Manning, writing for Hardwood Paroxysm, argues that because of his locker-room value, James Jones has a spot in their “Alternative All-Stars.”

2016 Hardwood Paroxysm Alternative All Stars: Myles Turner Kaveh Jam posits that Myles Turner has been incredibly impressive as a rookie, and is one of the more dominant big men in the NBA.

2016 Hardwood Paroxysm Alternative All-Stars: Devin Booker David Vertsberger, writing for Hardwood Paroxysm, discusses Devin Booker. He argues that Booker, who is a rookie, embodies the best shooters in the current association. Consequently, Vertsberger argues that Book should be an “Alternative All Star.”

Pace and efficiency changing over time Ian Levy examines the statistical relationship between efficiency and pace over the course of the NBA. A few interesting notes. First, historically, pace and efficiency seem to be separate, and in some instances, corollary. Secondly, as a league, the NBA is nowhere near the “pace peak” from earlier in the association.

The NBA Schedule Is Breaking Its Players Tom Haberstroh of ESPN uses “dunking” in the NBA as a measure for exhaustion. What he finds is startling. First, the amount of one team’s dunks decreases progressively per quarter. Second, on the second night of a back-to-back game, teams dunk 30% less. Thirdly, dunking exerts significantly more pressure on the body than any other play. And fourthly, the Spurs have 500 less dunks per season than any other team over the past decade. Haberstroh contends this is part of the reason they are healthier than everyone else.

Memo to the Knicks: Trade Carmelo Anthony Jordan Brenner argues that the Knicks best move going forward would be to trade Carmelo Anthony. He posits that, due to the varying ages of their two stars, the Knicks will not be a title team while Carmelo Anthony is still in his prime. Essentially, the argument goes, Kristaps Porzingis is only twenty years old. He won’t be reaching his prime for six or so years. Consequently, the age difference between the two players will prevent the Knicks from developing a coherent identity. Thus, the Knicks should trade Carmelo and create an identity based around Porzingis.

Beast Mode Ryne Nelson examines Russell Westbrook’s history and how it has impacted his NBA career. From losing his high school best friend, to being an underdog coming into UCLA, to learning how to play with Kevin Durant, Westbrook has had a beastly career.

Pacers Are Successfully Turning Defense Into Offense The Indiana Pacers began last offseason with the goal of playing faster. Consequently, they traded Roy Hibbert, moved on from David West, signed Monta Ellis, and drafted Myles Turner. Josh Planos details how this strategy has positively effected the Pacers’ efficiency.

Football:

Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton Unlike Any NFL Quarterback Tim Keown analyzes how Cam Newton has rejuvenated the NFL. His positive attitude and unique skillset has made the sport more entertaining than it was before his rise. This all stems from Cam Newton’s childhood.

Broncos Pass Rush Making Huge Impact In First Half Of Super Bowl 50 Neil Greenberg analyzes how Denver rushed Cam Newton without blitzing. This strategy, throughout the season, resulted in a significant drop in QBR for Cam, and consequently was successful in Super Bowl 50.

Elite Defense Is Alternate Path Around NFL QB Star System Kevin Seifert argues that, even though elite quarterbacks were undefeated against top-5 defenses in through Super Bowl XLVII, Denver’s victory is evidence that the conventional wisdom regarding a star QB being necessary to win it all is flawed. Following the Seahawks latest title, elite defenses have statistically been more significant than an elite QB.

Soccer:

Has Klopp Failed To Have The Desired Effect At Liverpool? Martin Laurence argues that Klopp has been no more effective than Rodgers at Liverpool. He shows that the goal differential and winning percentage are nearly the same. Consequently, Liverpool’s struggles may be the fault of a lack of playing talent, and not solely coaching.

Arsenal Must Show They Are Not Prisoners Of Arsène Wenger’s Stubbornness Jonathan Wilson posits that Arsenal has struggled to reach the pinnacle of performance this season due to their manager. He examines a bit of Wenger’s history, and suggests Arsenal needs to win Sunday against Leicester, and if not they should consider a manager switch.

Sports: by Stats:

The Knicks Fired Derek Fisher, Problems, Solutions, and the Lakers Jordan Cohen discusses the future of the Knicks and how the roots of their problems are not the triangle offense, but rather, misuse of the triangle and rotations.

Kobe Bryant’s Last Game In Cleveland Is Today And Why It Is Important Jordan Cohen examines the could-be, should-be, wasn’t rivalry between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

What Is Behind Talks Regarding A Possible Atlanta Hawks Rebuild? Jordan Cohen examines the Hawks faulty roster, potential trades, and why a rebuild is not such a terrible idea.

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