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Starting 5: Will Barton Throws a Shoe

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The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet

1. Will Barton throws a shoe, NBA Christmas wish list 2015, KAT breakdown | Baseline Rewind Episode 2 – Dane Carbaugh, Hardwood Paroxysm

In this episode of Baseline Rewind, Carbaugh discusses his nominees for unsung hero, what he’ll ask for Christmas this year and a play breakdown showing why Karl-Anthony Towns could be the most difficult player to cover for the foreseeable future. It’s informative, only takes up five minutes of your time and will make you a smarter basketball fan. Give it a watch.

2. Pick and Roll: Kawhi Leonard Vs Paul George – James Holas and Jesse Blanchard, BBALLBREAKDOWN

Both are leading their respective teams, they are only separated by one year in age and should be superstars in the NBA for years to come, but only one of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can be labeled the better player. Leonard and George came into the league as prospects that had the ability to be good players, possibly more than that. But it’s difficult to argue (outside of San Antonio and Indiana) that anybody saw this type of improvement from the two perimeter players.

Leonard, largely known for his outstanding defense, has developed into one of the best three-point shooters in the league with the ability to negate any option the opposition has offensively. George, who is apparently fully recovered from a leg injury that would force most of the general population to quit athletic endeavors forever, is having one of the most efficient seasons in the league, although the buzz around him is lessened due to Steph Curry. An argument can be made for either player, currently, and this is hopefully an argument that will be had for years to come.

3. Ty Lawson Trade Rumors: 5 Destinations for the Rockets’ PG – Colby Giacubeno, Hoops Habit

The Ty Lawson trade that was supposed to be a low-risk move for the Rockets has been all risk with little reward so far this season. Lawson is posting some of the worst numbers of his career since his rookie season, and the Rockets are suffering as a whole because of it. Two months into the season, a few of the more likely trade destinations are discussed. Among them are Milwaukee, who has been hurting at point guard since the Brandon Knight trade, Brooklyn, who is in dire need for a lead guard after buying out Deron Williams, Sacramento, a team that has played Rajon Rondo more than 40 minutes 9 times this season, and other teams in desperate need for a point guard.

4. Tyus Jones and the curse of “Most Outstanding” – J.M. Lindsay, Hardwood Paroxysm

Only a few short months ago, Tyus Jones was leading the Duke Blue Devils to a victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA Championship game. Jones was given the award as the “Most Outstanding Player” in the game, and would be drafted in the first round of the draft a few weeks later. Jones, a 19-year old point guard, is trying to avoid the footsteps of players given the “Most Outstanding” award before him. Among them are Mateen Cleaves (who lasted six seasons in the NBA), Ed O’Bannon (who is best known for something other than his basketball ability) and of course, Luke Hancock. It’s far too early to put a stamp on Jones’ career in the NBA, and he certainly has skills that the Wolves felt justified in using a first-round draft pick on him, but while this year’s rookie class has been showered with praise, Jones has been but an afterthought for most of the league.

5. Nylon Calculus 101: Possessions – Justin W., Nylon Calculus

With all the new statistics made available for the general public, it’s important to understand what most of them are based on: possessions. A possession is simple enough — the entirety of the time one team has the ball, including offensive rebounds — but there are subtle nuances that factor into a team’s possession (like team rebounds). While a relatively small majority of fans watch the NBA with the intensity of “Basketball Twitter,” knowing some of the simpler advanced statistics can make watching the games far more enjoyable.

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