Westbrook’s Affect on Kevin Durant’s Game

Durant Looking Awesome

I just finished reading an article over at nyloncalculus.com about what Kevin Durant’s shooting chart looks like without Westbrook in the lineup and then with him in the lineup. I quoted the summary below but you really need to read the whole thing to appreciate and fully understand the differences. I’ll give you my thoughts on the matter when you get back… go ahead… I’ll wait.

Original Summary

Simply put: during the past 1.5 seasons, when Kevin Durant is on the court with Russell Westbrook, he is scoring from only a fraction of his preferred shot locations. As I mentioned at the onset, this is not an indictment on Russell Westbrook or Scott Brooks. KD has been hurt and working his way back into regularity, which may help stabilize these Hunting Grounds. Also, there is not necessarily a 1:1 relationship with increased court space and points scored. From a predictability standpoint, however, Durant appears to lose some of his offensive spontaneity. Less spontaneity potentially means (relatively) greater opportunities for the defense to succeed. The Thunder currently sit in 10th place in the uber-competitive Western Conference, with either a 41% or 73% chance of making the playoffs this season (depending your flavor of metrics and/or which part of ESPN you ask). Expecting Durant and Westbrook to continue to play together 75% of the time is entirely reasonable. Thus, getting over the hump and into the Second Season may rest on Durant not changing his shot volume, but getting different looks going forward.

 

I think the author nailed it when he pointed out that Durant becomes more predictable with Westbrook on the floor. But what does that mean for the team?

Read the rest of this entry »

Too Much Snow – Too Much Passing?

The NBA postponed two games (kings /knicks and blazers / nets) tonight due to a crippling and potentially historic blizzard that should go continue into Tuesday. A blizzard warning remains in effect until midnight EST Tuesday night, and there are expectations of up to three (3) feet of snow. I live in the south and the concept of that much snow is simply mind blowing. About the only snow we’ve seen around here is this guy – and we haven’t seen him in quite a while.
eric_snow_cleveland

Kobe Bryant is out for what will probably be the remainder of the season due to surgery for a torn rotator cuff. All the Laker fans and especially Kobe’s fans are feeling a little down in the dumps, consider Kobe was really starting to come on playing fewer minutes, but putting up better numbers – especially assist totals. Check out Kobe’s line from the game before he got hurt. That’s 17 assists! That’s a monster number of dimes and he even had a little fun with it after the seriousness of his injury was reported.

kobe-bryant-suffers-torn-rotator-cuff

At least he’s in decent spirits about the whole situation. I picked up Ellington and Young in my fantasy league when Bryant went down, but I’d rather watch a great player finish out his career at a high level than win my fantasy league because he got hurt.

LeBron James Talks About Becoming The Best Ever In March Issue Of GQ

LeBron James - GQ COVER

LeBron James, the most stylish empire-builder in sports, covers GQ’s March issue. GQ’s Jeanne Marie Laskas catches up with James to hear how he feels about winning, change, fatherhood, his responsibility on and off the court, and what he has his sights on to conquer next.

“Winning is my drug,” James tells GQ. Ten years into his career, he strives to be the best. “My drive to be the greatest basketball player ever is very high,” says James.

His response to people wanting more points out of him: “Like, I could average thirty-five points a game if I really wanted to,” he says. “But then—it wouldn’t be me.”

He also talks about what he wants to achieve outside of his basketball career, including being a comedy actor, singer, Picasso. And a billionaire. “If it happens. It’s my biggest milestone. Obviously. I want to maximize my business. And if I happen to get it, if I happen to be a billionaire athlete, ho. Hip hip hooray! Oh, my God, I’m gonna be excited,” he tells GQ.

He talks to GQ about change—what turned him into basketball’s most hated villain for a stretch. “Good! That’s like a good thing. I’m like, ‘Thank you.’ Shit. I’m 29 years old with a family—I’m married with a family. I—of course I’ve changed. The problem is, you haven’t changed. And that’s why you dislike what I do.” He’s sick of hearing it used as criticism and says, “I’m trying to better myself. Change is not a bad thing.” His response to people in his community that accuse him of change, “It’s my responsibility to show them it’s not a bad thing to be someone who’s changed.”

James also explains why fatherhood is a lot like sports. “Being a leader of my household, a leader of Miami, a leader of Team USA. It’s the exact same thing.”

James tells GQ that “The Decision” was a learning experience: “The best thing that ever happened to me. I needed it. It helped me grow as a man. As a professional, as a father. At the time, as a boyfriend. It helped me grow.”

Check out the full article and photo slideshow at GQ.com now:
http://www.gq.com/entertainment/sports/201403/lebron-james-cover-story-march-2014

Photo Credit: Terry Richardson / GQ

Fables of Fandom – Memphis Grizzlies

Hilarious, right? The “State of Fandom” allows you to declare your team allegiance through customized Facebook cover photos, watch some funny team mascot vidoes (like the one above), and do a slew of other things..

You can also generate your NBA fan graph to see where your Facebook friends’ loyalties lie, and watch how things play out as we move into the NBA Playoffs!

No Bull and a lot of Heat in the Eastern Conference

The Chicago Bulls may not have been the prohibitive preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference in NBA probabilities but let there be no doubt that they are for real and last year’s breakout season has proven to be no fluke as they have led the Eastern Conference since the season began.

The Miami Heat is a huge favorite to win the Eastern Conference in NBA future odds after they took the crown last year following a disappointing and inconsistent regular season.  The Heat has been right behind Chicago for Eastern Conference supremacy and look to be a prime candidate to take the title this year.

The Eastern Conference has also seen several potential surprise value teams emerge that may not get the public love or full court “press” but certainly have proven to have the ability to go deep into the post season. Such teams as the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, andPhiladelphia76ers are all making noise as potential contenders that were off the radar to start the year.

And then there is “The Over The Hill Gang” in Bostonas the Celtics are starting to get it together after a dreadful start.  Bostonwon 9 out of 12 games from January 22 through February 10 to eclipse the .500 mark and get back in the post season race.  The Celtics were 14-12 and built on a foundation of the NBA’s best ranking defense.

Philadelphia was the surprise of the Atlantic Division that Bostonwas supposed to dominate.  The 76ers were also built on defense as they ranked 2nd only toBoston in team defense.  The Sixers are the ultimate team game type that is greater than the total sum of their parts as their leading scorer, Louis Williams, was averaging just 15.6 points per game.

Speaking of defense, Chicagois among the best and ranked 3rd overall in the NBA. What sets the Bulls apart is that they also have an offense and superstar leader. Derrick Rose was averaging 22 points per game along with 7.8 assists per outing to spark an offense that ranked 9th in the NBA.

The Miami Heat have used their 2nd ranked offense to challenge the Bulls for Eastern supremacy.  The Heat were ranked 16th overall in the NBA for defense and were of course led by King James and his 28.1points per game.

The 5 Best Dressed NBA Players of 2011

Many players in the NBA are amongst the most well-dressed individuals in the celebrity world. After all, the NBA comes along with plenty of glitz, glamor and high salaries. As a result, many NBA players put a great deal of time and effort (not to mention money) into each ensemble they wear. Those who have never seen certain players off the court are often surprised to see how they dress, as many players have a penchant for designer clothing of the utmost quality. The following are five of the best dressed players in the NBA, all of whom can be viewed as veritable trend-setters.

kobe-bryant-fashionKobe Bryant
Kobe is on just about every “best dressed” list, and for good reason. Known for rocking the full suit, Kobe Bryant knows how to draw attention to himself without looking even remotely out of place. As one might expect, Kobe puts just as much effort looking good off-court as he does in the middle of a heated competition, and is one of the NBA’s most stylish players. It doesn’t hurt also that Kobe is one of the most well-known names in basketball, which means those who don’t even follow the sport likely have a sense for how the man dresses. His signature look: charcoal suit with strong pin striping pattern, white shirt, and bold necktie. Kobe also likes to accessorize his suit & tie with complementing pocket square and tie bar.

carmelo-anthony-fashionCarmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony’s name is synonymous with style. Always one that dresses to impress, Anthony embodies New York style both on and off the court. A trendsetter like no other, “Melo” turns heads wherever he goes, and is a great example of how athletes can be fashionable during their time away from the game. While Kobe prefers the elegant suit & tie look, “Melo” dresses both casually as well as elegant/trendy. His favorite sui & tie look: Gingham check shirts, boldly colored, striped or paisley patterned tie, and contrasting jacket with bold patterns in gray, beige, or brown. His favorite accessories include sunglasses by Gucci or LV, pocket squares, and fedora hat. He himself said in a recent interview with GQ that he is the best dressed man in the NBA.

lebron-james-fashionLeBron James
It should come as no surprise that LeBron James makes the list of best dressed players in the NBA, especially to those who have paid attention to his style during the course of his career. James’ style can only be described as “casual-hip,” comprised of elements that only the highest paid player in the game could ever be able to afford. Just as comfortable in jeans as in a full suit, LeBron James knows what he’s doing when it comes to throwing together an attention-grabbing outfit. That he has also been featured on the cover of GQ magazine is no surprise to us. His signature look consists of cashmere V-neck sweater and dress shirt that are leisurely worn with with rolled up sleeves displaying an exclusive, over-sized designer wrist watch.

dwyane-wade-fashionDwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade needs no introduction, as he is one of the most well-dressed players in the game. “Flash” has been a part of a few successful modeling projects, and is well adept at displaying his unique fashion sense. Women the world over love Wade’s ability to go from “casually thrown together” to “thoughtfully composed” at the drop of a hat, making him one of the most versatile players in the NBA when it comes to off-court fashion. He has been spotted wearing self tied bow ties, cardigan sweaters, boldly patterned neckties paired with sleek V-neck knits, elegant 3-piece suits, as well as flashy all-white tux with matching white fedora. His signature look? There is none! Mr Wade knows how to dress and can pull of almost any style imaginable. He definitely earns a gold medal for the TOP 5 best dressed NBA player award.

OJ-May-fashionO.J. Mayo
O.J. Mayo might just have the most unique sense of style in the NBA. When off the court, mayo looks more in line with a flashy professor than a basketball player, rocking some extremely formal attire that is often comprised of three-piece suits, fat Rolex watches and sophisticated frames. As a result, Mayo commands a great deal of respect not only for the fact that he’s the number one draft pick since LeBron, but also as a result of the way he dresses.

This article was brought to you by Hendrik from Cheap Neckties

Kobe Lost His Wife

Shocking that Kobe is getting divorced. He was sleeping around for years. I guess Vanessa realized that the diamonds only get so big. That and the girls only get younger. Typically, the wives wait until the career is over. Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley are good examples. Lets just hope that Kobe doesn’t get caught looking for BJ’s driving down the main drag of Scottsdale, AZ.

This shouldn’t affect the twilight of Kobe’s Career. Especially when he has Meta World Peace playing along side of him. Dare I say the Clippers may be the next show in Los Angeles? That is one scary proposition. The end of the Lakers Era. Mike Brown doesn’t not have the pedigree to carry this aging Lakers roster. Vinny DelNegro has more upside then Brown. The Cards have aligned and the Clip are about to overtake the Lakers.

The NBA as officially been turned upside down…

 

Chris Paul is Now a Clipper. An NBA Joke.

I Describe this trade in three words – A Bleeping Joke! The NBA owned team (Hornets) sent the best PG in the game to the racist Don Sterling. Why might you ask? To try to revive the joke of the NBA— The Los Angeles Clippers. Lets be honest. The Lakers already have a great audience. The Clippers do not. Why not spread the wealth around the NBA. LA is a huge market. Since the NBA is a show why not entice Hollywood? I’m sure Jessica Alba is a happy woman today. She has a reason to go to more Clip games. No reason to give Chris Paul to the Lakers when you can revive a dead franchise in the same building.

In reality there are only 5 markets that mean anything – New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami (because Lebron exists), and Dallas. That’s it. Post lockout Stern wisely decided to pump up one of only two markets that has two teams – NY and LA. In fact, LA almost had 3 teams! Remember last year when the Kings were looking into Anaheim? They would have been the Anaheim Kings of Los Angeles. The NBA seems more like a Ponzi scheme then it does an Association.

Here’s the trade directly from ESPN:

The Clippers will send guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 first-round pick to the Hornets for Paul. The Clippers will also receive two future second-round picks.

Stern is trying to rebuild the New Orleans franchise. This is shady as shady comes. Sell off the pieces and stockpile the 2012 first round pick to attempt to recruit an owner in a damaged economy. This move solidifies one thing. That the Hornets will be in Las Vegas by 2013. The big argument against Vegas was the fear the Hornet’s would throw games. That “an ugly” element will creep into the NBA. There is nothing more shady then how this CP3 trade went down. So as far as I’m concerned feel free to ship the Hornets to Vegas. There is no legitimacy to this league— it has all been lost!

Does this make the Clippers better? Duh?! Obviously. Does this help the Hornets? Hmmm. I guess. Ask Memphis how long it took for them to rebuild. How bout those Timberwolves? If the goal is for the Hornets to suck then Stern was genius.