The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
1. “Evan Fournier’s nickname is ‘Never Google’ and SERIOUSLY DO NOT DO THAT” — Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation
Basketball is supposed to be fun, right? Good.
Because the Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier now has one of the NBA’s best (or at least most clever) nicknames simply because of the potentially deadly type of gangrene that he shares a name with.
As Rosenthal mentions, CBS Sports’ Matt Moore seems to be the one who brought the nickname into the mainstream in the past few days as the swingman has emerged for the Magic. “Never Google” is averaging 20.6 points in 39.0 minutes per game for the Magic.
Consider this your official PSA from Today’s Fastbreak to NEVER, ever google “Fournier” unless you put “Evan” in front of it.
2. “Confidence intervals: is it too early to say your team sucks?” — Johannes Becker of Nylon Calculus
We went through this during the preseason: any sort of substantive analysis about teams or players made during the NBA’s exhibition slate had to be prefaced with “it’s just preseason”.
Now, even with the regular season underway and already nine days old, it still feels early to make any sweeping conclusions. So when can we actually pass official judgment on players and teams?
Becker has your answer, and although it’s not obviously a fail-proof time frame (see: 2006-07 Dallas Mavericks who started 0-4, went 67-11 over their next 78 games and then lost in the first round of the playoffs), it’s an estimate rooted in rigorous statistical research.
3. “Sorting Out the State of the WNBA” — David Berri of Vice Sports
You don’t have to love the WNBA, and you don’t have to follow it as closely as you do the NBA. But it does deserve your respect.
Berri dives into some numbers from the recently concluded 2015 WNBA season, which saw the Minnesota Lynx take home the championship over the Indiana Fever in the decisive Game 5. Although the league’s growth in popularity has been slow since its inception in 1997, it’s doing pretty well overall. The nearly-packed-out Target Center for the final games of the WNBA Finals was definitely encouraging.
4. “Shabazz Napier Out of LeBron James’ Shadow” — Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders
In the past year and a half, Shabazz Napier has gone from best player on the national title-winning Connecticut Huskies to a draft-night acquisition of the title-contending Miami Heat at the request of LeBron James (who quickly left the team) to an end-of-the-bencher for the Magic.
It’s been a wild and disappointing ride, but Napier is staying confident and hoping for the best.
Brigham talks to the 24-year-old and hears his side of the story in a very interesting piece.
Nets fans, I hate to bag on your team here, but it’s true: Brooklyn has, by far, the worst future outlook of any team.
People talk about the lack of young talent on the team, as well as its terrible draft-pick situation, but, as Bontemps mentions, Brooklyn will have trouble luring in free agents next summer, even with all the projected cap space they’ll have.
With the cap exploding over the next few years, I wonder if some players won’t care as much about the exact dollars in their contracts. They might be fine going to a team with more potential than the Nets at $15 million per year than Brooklyn at, say, $20 million per year.
For Mikhail Prokhorov, that wouldn’t be a good thing.