If the answer was easy, then surely more coaches would deploy whatever strategy was the best. Unfortunately the answer isn’t easy. With an offense that is essentially choosing between different toxins — let LeBron roam and try to cut off the snake’s head from it’s body, and the best player on the planet could be pouring in the points. Yet if a team focuses all their energy on King James, they can fail badly and have both LeBron and Wade going. And who can forget about Bosh? Well some teams do, and Miami’s big man is ready whenever his number is called.
So which member of the Big Three impacts the Heat’s chances to win by scoring the most. This look into the correlation between Miami’s victories and each players scoring totals sheds some light on the issue. (Note: All 247 games in this sample were Heat games in where all three players were on the floor for at least 20 minutes to take out the potential variables that can be caused by other players taking up a larger share of the minutes.)
Correlation in 192 Regular Season Games
Correlation in 55 Playoff Games
Correlation in all 247 Games
The answer becomes more convoluted after this research than before. However certain things tend to make sense. In the playoffs, stopping LeBron becomes the biggest priority. His 0.335 mark in postseason games is the highest out of all the results. When James doesn’t score, the team struggles. This can be seen in the most in the finals series loss against Dallas, where LeBron tallied 8, 17, 21, and 20 in the four losses. All of those games were below his average. On the other end of the spectrum, the Heat have won 21 of their 26 playoff games when James scores 30 or more points. After late-April stifling, number six needs to be the priority, bar none.
Ironically, preventing James to score isn’t much of a concern during the regular season. His 0.002 correlation in these games is minuscule, but might not be due to the opposing team’s defense. LeBron is so consistent during the regular season that his point totals doesn’t affect the game much. He is going to score a lot regardless, but the stakes aren’t high enough to where we see him as intense as he was in that notorious game six against the Boston Celtics.
During these games, keying in on Dwyane Wade may be a more prudent practice. When Wade is playing well in regular season games you can feel Miami’s confidence as a team grow, and the numbers back that up. His 0.178 mark leads the team in the regular season. With LeBron playing at that steady level — for better, or even for worse — Dwyane is the linchpin and as he goes so does Miami. 0.178 doesn’t seem like an astronomical mark, but considering the Heat’s regular season win percentage since uniting these players (74.5%) it isn’t something to overlook.
The post season looks much different for Wade. 0.013 ranks the lowest for out of all the different possibilities, and a myriad of aches and pains during the postseason could explain things. Dwyane’s body always seems to be breaking down by the end of the year, and it is possible the team looks to rely on him less when that happens.
As for Bosh, he stays in the middle ground of scoring importance the entire time. The playoff number is nearly triple the regular season number, but the shortening of the team’s rotation in the postseason and the lower winning percentage in this situation could potentially make up for this ground. Chris affects the so many different facets of the game, and often scoring is part of that. However the impact is felt, he’s always going to be a huge part of the game.
So in the regular season, letting LeBron roam free isn’t the worst thing in the world. Theoretically, locking down Wade is the perfect formula for sneaking out a regular season win against the league’s scariest squad. Don’t let James get going if you want to make a run for the Larry O’Brien trophy though, or he will start barreling down the lane and reducing your chance to win swiftly.
Last night the defending champion Heat thoroughly had their way with the Chicago Bulls. It was an especially deflating loss for Chicago given the high-spirits around their undermanned playoff challenge against the Heat last season and the return of Derrick Rose.
There were plenty of problems for Chicago, some troubling, some utterly forgettable, but one of the most surprising elements of the game was that Miami was able to create eight three-point attempts from the corners. They went 6-8 on those shots and it was big reason they were able to run away from the Bulls in the second quarter. Eight attempts may not seem like a lot but the Bulls defense only allowed 297 all of last season, working out to an average of 3.6 per game. They were one of the absolute best in the league at flexing their defense to deal with challenges, without leaving those corners exposed.
So how were the Heat able to create all of those open looks?
Here, as LeBron brings the ball over half-court there is some confusion about who exactly is supposed to be picking him up. In the photo you can see three different players pointing at LeBron, emphatically implying to their teammates that someone else should be stepping up to impede his progress.
Surprise . . . no one does. LeBron simply takes two more dribbles, freezing Luol Deng, and kicks it out to Ray Allen in the left corner for the wide open look.
On this possession Allen has beaten Mike Dunleavy off the dribble and collapsed the defense. This happens from time to time, but the Bulls defense has been fantastic at accommodating these sorts of breakdowns over the past few years with crisp rotations on the back line. In the image below you can see that the first two rotations happened as they should. Nazr Mohammed has rotated over to challenge Allen’s drive and Kirk Hinrich has dropped off of Norris Cole in the corner to put a body on Mohammed’s man. The problem is that both Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson are standing and watching. Neither has tried to put themselves in the passing lane or rotate out to cover for Hinrich.
You can barely see Cole, hidden by the score, but not only is he wide open, the four closest defenders all have their backs to him. The Bulls defense started to flex and reform around Allen’s penetration, they just didn’t quite finish the job.
Here Allen has again beaten Dunleavy off the dribble and you can see the incredibly difficult situation the Heat’s offensive versatility has put the Bulls in. Gibson has rotated down onto Allen, leaving Battier open in the corner. This is ultimately where the ball goes. But if he doesn’t make that rotation their is a cavalcade of bad options lurking on the other side. If he stays with Battier then Allen becomes Mohammed’s responsibility, leaving Chris Anderson open for a cut to the rim. If Rose rotates onto Anderson, then Cole is wide open at the three-point line. If Hinrich slides out onto Cole, then Wade is alone on the baseline.
Once that first defender is so thoroughly removed from the play there’s almost no way to prevent the Heat from finding a good shot. There’s just not a good decision to be made.
This one is another example of beautiful execution by the Heat stretching the Bulls defense beyond repair. Udonis Haslem is diving to the basket but Boozer is also occupied by helping rookie Tony Snell with LeBron. Rose is drifting through the lane but he’s really responsible for Chalmers who is sliding back to the corner. That means Joakim Noah is going to have to rotate over to take Haslem.
As Noah rotates into the lane, Chris Bosh moves out to the top of the key and Hinrich (after stepping in on Haslem) has to leave Allen to cover Bosh.
This ultimately leaves Rose responsible for both Allen and Chalmers on the wing. They see this and take advantage, Chalmers pulling him out higher to receive the pass as Allen fades back into the corner and prepares to shoot.
Ironically, Hinrich is the only Bulls player who sees what’s about to happen.
Here the Heat swing the ball to Allen on the wing and a brief moment of confusion between Rose and Hinrich about who is responsible for which Heat shooter leads to an open three.
On this last possession a simple push off a made basket catches the Bulls defense before it is set.
Going through these six possessions we see a healthy mix of problems. Things like miscommunication and a lack of focus are understandable (if not forgivable) in the first game of the season and can be fixed in quick order. But several of those possessions show how the Heat’s masterful spacing and execution can turn a simple perimeter breakdown into an extended flowchart of impossible decisions. The Bulls can play better defense, but even the best defense can’t take away everything.
This year, for the first time, Hickory-High will be tackling the challenging of crafting season previews for all thirty NBA teams. Beginning today we’ll be rolling out these previews, one each day, leading up to Opening Night. This was a task of considerable size and complexity and it required the help of every member of our staff. The only guidelines given were that each writer approach team by staying true to their own style and the result is season previews of a difference sort. We hope you enjoy!
Earlier this year, Daft Punk released Random Access Memories, their first album in eight years, which would subsequently reach the No. 1 spot on album charts in 21 different countries. The album was a departure from their previous work – after revolutionizing electronic dance music in France in the late 90s and early 2000s with a hybrid of house and synthpop (an almost exclusively digital medium), they flipped the script on Random Access Memories, working primarily with analog instruments, and mimicking sounds and styles of the 1970s and 1980s. During production of the album, they collaborated with a number of artists who were influential during that time period, including Giorgio Moroder, Paul Williams, and Nile Rodgers.
The album received nearly unanimous critical acclaim, primarily for its ambition in exploring a variety of musical styles, many of which have been out of vogue for the better part of the last two decades. In an interview for a YouTube series titled “The Collaborators,” Nile Rodgers referred to Daft Punk’s ability to co-opt past musical styles for the modern era, remarking, “they went back to go forward.”
In doing so, he also perfectly described the current iteration of the Miami Heat.
Most analysts today seem to agree that Miami plays a decidedly new-school style. They play without a traditional big man. They care more about speed, quickness, and flexibility than they do about size. They value ball movement, motion, and pick-and-roll over isolation. They move the ball and then move themselves. They spend near-undue energy trying to create corner threes and take those shots away from opponents.
These are all very new-school elements of basketball. But with the exception of fighting tooth-and-nail over corner threes, they’re also all very OLD school elements of basketball.
Back in the early days of the NBA, and even before, in the BAA, NBL and college ball, the emphasis of basketball was not to pound the ball inside to a 7-foot behemoth who would back down his opponent and get a shot close to the rim. The only pro team that did that was Minneapolis, and that was because they had George Mikan, who was roughly the size of a Chevy Suburban. For most of the 40s and 50s, the stars of the league were players like Dolph Schayes, a 6-7, 195 pound “Forward-Center,” or Harry Gallatin, a 6-6, 210 pound player with the same title. The emphasis in those days was on short passes in quick succession, with many players cutting from different directions. In the earliest days of basketball (going back to the turn of the century), dribbling wasn’t even allowed, which would render post play completely irrelevant.
In those days, basketball consisted of throwing your five best players out on the court and letting the chips fall where they may. This is how Miami plays basketball.
The Heat are seemingly indifferent to the traditional notions of “positions.” Coach Erik Spoelstra has taken to referring to LeBron as his (painfully forced) nickname “1-5,” a play on LeBron’s ability to play any position on the court (and, I suppose by extension, the idea that no nominal position is able to describe him). There were multiple instances over their last two postseason runs where James was seemingly playing point guard and power forward at the same time – usually alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, with some combination of Shane Battier, Mike Miller, and/or Ray Allen.
This generally trend has been going on for a handful of years – the blurring of the lines between positions. It seems that point guard is the only truly “static” position, but the other four seem to blend into each other. Positionally, is there a difference between Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors? What about Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler? How about Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler? Many teams are starting to value flexibility over fitting pegs (players) into corresponding holes (positions), but Miami is on the cutting edge. All they need is one rebounder, two reliable ball handlers, and range shooting everywhere else. What “position” those players are is irrelevant.
Now other teams are starting to follow suit. Golden State has three wing players (Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson – Draymond Green could even be a fourth) with diverse skill sets who can be thrown together in seemingly an combination along with Stephen Curry and either David Lee or Andrew Bogut. Other teams like New York and Oklahoma City are shuffling rotations around to place emphasis on speed and skill, not size and strength. But Miami remains the pinnacle.
This trend going forward will be interesting to watch. As more and more teams go smaller, there will be teams like Indiana and Memphis who swing the other way – getting bigger and more physical (interestingly enough, Indiana and Memphis are two teams who do fit the “Five Best Guys” model; it just so happens that their Five Best Guys also fall between clear positional divides). But what will happen less and less (presumably, I hope) is teams deviating from their own style to match up with opponents. We’re headed for the NBA’s version of Thunderdome.
“These are my five guys. Those are your five guys. Let’s play basketball.”
This season, Miami is playing against history. In the moment, they don’t really have much to prove. They’ve won two straight titles and appeared in the Finals three straight years, and it’s not like they’ve been up against the 2002 Nets or 1999 Knicks – they’ve been playing truly elite competition. They’re trying to become just the fourth team in history to make the Finals in four consecutive seasons. Magic’s Lakers did it from 82-85. Bird’s Celtics did it from 84-87. Russell’s Celtics had ten consecutive trips from 57-66. LeBron’s Heat have a chance to do it this year.
I say they have a chance because this year’s postseason is going to be a [expletive deleted] free-for-all. The Pacers are a year older, a year meaner, and they get back Danny Granger. Derrick Rose is back from injury and about to go America all over everyone’s ass. The Nets were basically a 50-win team last year and added three postseason warriors in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry. The Knicks are still a high-variance team that can beat any team on any night. And that’s just the East.
Some might say that getting to the Finals this year is going to take (another) Herculean effort from LeBron. But that would be too reductive. It’s going to take a triumph of style for the Heat to reach the Finals again. Yes, the two go hand-in-hand, as playing with Miami’s level of flexibility would be impossible without a player like LeBron, but simply having LeBron isn’t enough. It takes a commitment to innovation, and a commitment to basketball’s roots.
Shot creation is a loosely defined term in basketball discussions that means different things to different people and in different contexts. But as a general matter, it describes the ability of a player to get a decent shot in isolation when set offensive plays break down or are blown up by savvy defenses. Shot creation, when defined this way, usually requires a certain baseline level of ball handling skill and speed with which to collapse the set defense all on one’s own or, alternatively, an ability to work efficiently from the post. The league’s best players are so overwhelmingly talented that, generally speaking, they are also the best at operating within these disorganized, talent-over-execution contexts.
I’ve often heard and read that the need for players with shot-creating, isolation skills increases in the playoffs as typically the defenses being played against are superior and, due to the extra time between games in the playoffs, those defenses have an ability to go with much more intensity in each game and also have a better chance to figure out exactly what it is their opponents wants to get and how to deny them. Certainly, the Miami Heat being the back-to-back champions of the league, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh‘s reputations on their own as isolation killers, would seem to indicate that the conventional wisdom of the need for multiple “shot-creators” is still present. What’s interesting to me, though, is that there’s plenty of evidence that this isn’t the only way to win, even in the playoffs. In fact, the Miami Heat of the last two years are actually a great example of the principle I’m exploring here. The Heat of the last two years didn’t really make use of Wade and Bosh’s isolation abilities in the same way as in their first season together.
LeBron has become the fulcrum of the Heat offense, with Wade and Bosh, despite all their talent and accomplishment, becoming primarily an incredibly dangerous off-ball cutter and spot-up shooter, respectively. Of course, that’s not all Wade and Bosh do. When LeBron has to take a seat, having those two is incredibly valuable in keeping the rest of the role player flotsam that makes up the Heat afloat, by being able to draw the primary focus of the defense. But LeBron only rests a very small amount so Wade and Bosh have, essentially, become the world’s most talented and overqualified role players. Bosh protects the rim on defense and stretches the floor, keeping his man from occupying the paint. Wade opens up space for shooters and LeBron’s post-ups by being so dangerous off-the-ball that defenders are forced to sneak a peek at him from time to time. Those peeks provide all the time LeBron needs to fire a precise pass to a corner three-point shooter, duck into the paint for a lay-in or dunk, or deploy any of the many other weapons in his seemingly ever-expanding toolkit.
The Heat play this way not because Wade and Bosh couldn’t still dominate games using their isolation skills, but because it’s the most efficient deployment of the team’s talents. There’s only one ball and LeBron is by far the Heat’s best option with the ball in his hands. He’s the best passer, the best scorer, and really, the best everything, the Heat or anyone in the league has. Surrounding LeBron with shooters and guys who can blow by defenders over-zealously closing out on the open looks LeBron creates is just the smart thing to do. In fact, it’s probably the smartest thing any team can do with its best player, provided that player is a good and willing passer (and if your team’s best player is not a strong passer that’s probably a pretty big problem with the construction of the team).
Going back a couple of years, the way the Dallas Mavericks beat the Heat, despite being clearly outclassed in overall talent, was to operate using a more efficient distribution method for shots and touches. While the Heat’s trio seemingly took a “okay, my turn to isolate” approach, the Mavericks used Dirk Nowitzki as the focus of the offense and surrounded him with shooters and guys who could dribble drive enough to get a shot at the rim or a wide open midrange shot. They had ball handlers, to be sure, in Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and J.J. Barea, but not anyone outside of Nowitzki that you would really call a shot creator. It didn’t matter. The floor was spaced, the ball moved, and the Heat for all of their defensive intensity and overwhelming talent, simply couldn’t stop the Mavericks.
Even this year, the Heat were six seconds away from falling to a team that they were clearly more talented than, the San Antonio Spurs. It seems weird to say that the Spurs, a team with future Hall of Famers Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan, was less talented than any team, but the Heat have LeBron and, due to his failing body and questionable decision-making, Manu Ginobili was, all things considered, probably a net negative for the Spurs with how he played in the Finals.
Still, the Spurs were right there and probably should have won it all. How were they able to accomplish that? Well, they had Tony Parker acting as their offensive hub, operating off the ball and on it, attracting defensive attention. Then, when Parker created opportunities, they moved the ball quickly, smartly, finding open shots from behind the three point line or at the rim. They managed to keep changing their offense, adding small little wrinkles to keep the Heat guessing just enough that, even with the advantages the playoff format confers on the defense, the Spurs were able to keep pouring in the points.
This understanding of how to best deploy and structure an offense is what is probably driving the three-and-D wing craze. Smart teams have come to understand that while it’s essential to have one or two star players who can act as the focal point of an offense, most players in the draft simply won’t be that guy. So looking for guys who can create their own shot and do it often, outside of the top half of the lottery, is probably the wrong play. If you’ve already got one of those offensive centerpieces, the much bally-hooed shot creator, getting a player who can make open shots, competently dribble drive past a hard close-out, and become a plus defender at their position on a cheap rookie deal becomes very enticing, and likely the smartest play.
Basically, while shot creation is very important for team construction, not everyone needs that skill. In fact, most players do not need to be “shot creators” to be useful, good players. A team probably only really needs one person on the floor, at a time, who is really excellent at isolating or “shot creating”, so long as they have a sound offensive system based on off-ball movement, penetration, and spacing, and properly execute that system. Aside from each team’s offensive centerpiece, inflating a player’s worth based on his ability to create shots in isolation is unwise. Having more overall talent, and thus more players with one-on-one skills, is nice, as the Heat can attest, but even the league’s most talented team needed to re-configure their offensive system to make LeBron the centerpiece and the lesser talents orbit around him in order to maximize their full potential.
For an interesting look at these same sorts of ideas, check out this post from Nima Shaahinfar, “BLUEPRINT FOR NBA SUCCESS: How to Build a Team Greater than the Sum of Its Parts.”
Every year as the playoffs approach one thing is guaranteed.
A team or two always gets marked as “the team no one should want to face.” The teams normally fall into one of two categories.
First the young up and coming team that does something better than anyone else in the league. Think the Grizzlies of a few years ago, who excelled at the slowdown grind it out game because of an elite defense. Or this year’s Rockets who possess one of the most efficient and explosive offenses in the league.
The other category is the one the two teams being anointed as this years “don’t want to face” teams fall into. Veteran teams that fell below the seeds that many people expected them to before the season.
This year those teams are the Lakers and Celtics.
There is a problem with the labels this year though.
They just simply aren’t true.
These aren’t teams that were missing their best player for large chunks of the year but now have them back. These aren’t teams that are all of a sudden playing great basketball. In all reality, these aren’t even good teams.
In the end the Celtics and Lakers are who they are. They are bad teams, one who hung onto the seventh seed in the East because the Bucks forgot how to play basketball and lost to the Magic and Bobcats, and the other who plays tonight to determine their playoff fate.
Kobe Bryant is not about to come back from some midseason injury to save the Lakers. Ditto for Rajon Rondo and the Celtics.
This piece is not about the camerawork at a basketball game, but for this introduction, it’ll be about the camerawork at a basketball game. You can often tell when the producer is slacking off. He or she hoards an army of cameras, sprawled across the arena, ready to provide their unique view of the game. During periods of inactivity, the producer must cut to the most action-y shot he or she can find: a hyperactive dancing fan, Rasheed Wallace, or this.
The most mundane of these inactive moments, in my humble opinion, is the time before and between free throws. In case one, the players on the court are trickling into their respective positions. In case two, coaches are making substitutions, and, well, nothing else. In either case, you, the viewer, are probably reaching into your monstrous bag of cheesy Doritos.
Therefore, it’s up to the producer to ensure our attention is not stolen by such distractions. If they simply remain on the court, it’s a missed opportunity to document pure evidence of our existence.
However, when the producer does snooze, we get to see something I am way too interested in: free throw habits. Yes, by having the camera on the free throw shooter and not Spike Lee, I get an unadulterated view of the movements between free throws. Mainly, I am interested in how the shooter shuffles his feet. Rex Ryan would be impressed.
For example, observe Kobe Bryant, legendary basketball scorer, in his natural habitat.
Kobe steps forward, low-fives his forwards, turns around, and if he’s feeling nice (he isn’t in this clip, after almost missing), low-fives his guards. Most players imitate this ritual at the charity stripe.
Another common routine is the step forward, low-five, step backward, low-five. Here’s Steve Nash in such style.
Unfortunately, the producer decided that Stephen Curry chewing on his mouth guard was more important than witnessing the movements of the best free throw shooter in history. Also, Steve Blake is checking in.
Here’s a different sample of Steve Nash at work, which happens to be my favorite clip.
First, is there anyone more concentrated in his pre-shot routine? Nash is transfixed on the basket as he undergoes the actual kinesthetic process, complete with his knees bent, extension, and exhale.
At the 20 second mark, note how Nash lets his teammates come to him, while he firmly plants his right foot at the line. This is something I’ve always done myself, so I was especially giddy when I noticed Captain Canada remain in place.
The idea, for me, was for my body to remain calibrated to the basket. I always believed this would aid the accuracy of my second free throw, though I obviously can’t speak for Nash. The left foot can make necessary adjustments, such that the shoulders stay square to the basket.
Does this even ultimately matter? Probably not. You are what you are as a free throw shooter, despite what Dwight Howard would like to believe of himself. Nash, however, is not the only player who occasionally employs this habit.
That’s Nikola Pekovic, who at 19 seconds, takes extreme care to keep his toe glued to the stripe. Up next are two clips of Tiago Splitter. Note his left foot.
He just peels the left foot off the floor in this second one.
*Here, you can see how annoying the coach cuts are. Erik Spolestra is doing nothing externally except very seriously darting his eyes to areas unseen by us, but the producer is compelled to cut to him. If there was a ranking of important moments to cut to the coach, it would go like this:
Lastly, here’s Roy Hibbert, who performs the choreography to a popular children’s song.
You put your right foot in, you put your right out, you put your right foot in, and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. You tuck your jersey into your shorts, and that’s what it’s all about!
For the brief period I scouted free throw routines, the most apparent observation was that no one is consistent. It was simply “whatever I feel like doing.” The habits for each player varied with no rhyme or reason. Maybe those who engaged in lengthy strolls wanted to loosen themselves more in first quarters. And maybe fatigued, late-game shooters felt comfortable just standing. But this didn’t universally apply, either. In conclusion, we should make nothing of the clips shown1.
Aside from the habits are actual results. With play-by-play data2 from ESPN.com up to April 8th, I looked to find the free throw percentages on the first and second shots. For fun, here are the percentages of those captured above (meaningless, in causation), as well as the league overall.
The league shoots about five percentage points better on the second shot, which makes sense to me – some semblance of adjustment must occur between shots. Whether it is in stance of the feet, posture, stroke, or follow-through, these stages are likely to be better recalibrated to align with the basket, consciously or unconsciously3.
A hodgepodge group of players occupy the leaderboard for best improvement on their second shot (minimum 100 trips).
And the list of fallers isn’t a long one.
There are no evident similarities in either list that I can identify, and I bet if I went back a few seasons, these lists would be completely different.
Ultimately, free throw routines are observed for their entertainment value, especially when they defy convention. I want to believe that tightening up one’s routine and simply focusing on hitting the shots will improve success rate, but I also know that these are basketball players who practice charity shots every day, and the rhythm of the act itself is ingrained as muscle memory. Overthinking the process is something players want to avoid at all costs. It’s a craft that Steve Nash has perfected through years of repetition. And despite the unsurprising result he consistently delivers, it’s entertaining too, in its own way.
1. Thought that will nag me forever: SportVU technology, as it has been described to the public, would be able to capture the movements on free throws. Then a more conclusive analysis could be performed, rather than the patchwork one I’ve written up here. I’m sure this is exactly the type of exciting analyses that teams can’t wait to run with their expensive SportVU data.
2. Only “trips” that entail two shots are included. There is a little data omitted, due to gaps in collection.
3. Interestingly enough, trips of three shots this year showed a decreasing hit rate: 84%, 81%, and 75% on the third shot. This is on a sample of 112 trips. This might be a fluke or indicative of something; I don’t know. We do know that these are mostly attempted by “good” shooters capable of long distance jumpers.
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL These aren't your 2009 Golden State Warriors anymore, they tell us. This "they" is a jackass of a person, I tell you. There sure is a lot of telling going around these parts. If I had told you Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeff Taylor, Bismack Biyombo were out..well, actually that doesn't matter. The backups are similar in talen […]
Today the Timberwolves launched the Timberwolves Entertainment Network, or T.E.N. Bob Stanke seemed to be behind this one, go figure. Welcome to the new Timberwolves Entertainment Network! –> http://t.co/soEnkwJPWV #twolves #launchday — Bob Stanke (@bobstanke) December 9, 2013 Here’s what to expect. (This is from the site) The T.E.N. will feature all […]
This is the Timberpups weekly preview for the week of December 9th. It’d be nice to have strong performances from the Minnesota Timberwolves this week. Looking ahead at the schedule, which is becoming fairly easier, there are some decent opportunities to get momentum moving in the right direction. Monday December 10th. Wolves at Detroit […]
Last night ESPN’s Marc Stein talked to a bunch of scouts to get their takes on a lot of NBA early season happenings for Stein Line Live. All the takes can be found here and are all very interesting, but the one that will be most important to Nuggets fans can be found here. Stein talked to […]