The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
1. Untangling the Gridlock of Cleveland’s Frontcourt – Jonathan Tjarks, RealGM
As it currently stands, Cleveland’s combined salary is more than double Portland’s combined salary (per basketballinsiders.com), and they still have another important piece to decide on. Tristan Thompson and the Cavaliers have been playing NBA’s version of chicken for two months, despite Thompson and LeBron James sharing an agent. What also looms over Cleveland is the free agency of Timofey Mozgov next summer as he’ll be one of the most coveted big men. Thompson and Mozgov were both vital to the success of the Cavaliers after Kevin Love was lost in the first round due to injury. Having James (who is better when surrounded by three shooters), Love, Thompson, Mozgov and Anderson Varejao is an embarrassment of riches that the Cavaliers may not be able to afford in the long run.
2. Chris Paul, No. 6 – Jesse Blanchard, BBALLBREAKDOWN
Chris Paul plays with such a fluent efficiency that it’s often hard to evaluate just how good he is. He doesn’t have the ferocity that Russell Westbrook does, and he doesn’t cause defenses to worry about him the second he touches the ball like Stephen Curry does, but what he does bring is the guarantee that the offense will be in good hands at all times. Paul also brings stellar defense, which neither of the other two can claim.
3. NBA 2K16 Review: MyCareer Mode as absurd as it is addicting – Zach Harper, CBS Sports
As a man who is probably far too old to be playing video games, this is one of two video games that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to quit. The NBA 2K series has been a game I’ve bought every year for as far back as I can remember, and this one sounds like it will be the same. From the ridiculousness of the story to the smooth game play, NBA 2K16 is well worth the money spent.
4. Why Myles Turner is the Perfect Fit for the Indiana Pacers – Jordan Yant, 8 Points 9 Seconds
In an interview with Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers, Turner reveals several elements of his life that wouldn’t be known otherwise. Not only is Turner a gifted athlete with the unicorn-like potential to protect the rim and shoot from the outside, but it appears he has the work ethic that a young player needs to make it in the league. Turner seems like the type of player that could help usher the Pacers into the new era of pace and space while still providing elite defense that the team has coveted over the past few years.
5. Three Point Plinko and the Minnesota Timberwolves – Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus
One of the biggest rebuttals to those who think teams should shoot more threes is that the shots can only come within the flow of the offense. While this statement is mostly true, the issue with most teams that don’t take many threes—and the Timberwolves specifically—is that the flow is broken, according to Partnow. Players not named Steph Curry are discouraged from shooting a three off the dribble due to its inefficiency. That means that three-point attempts typically come off of an assist opportunity, usually created by movement from the offense. If the goal is to direct a player to one of the more inefficient spots on the floor most of the time, such as a long two-point attempt, then the offense probably needs to be adjusted. The teams that take the most threes normally do so due to the specific flow of their offense.