The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops stories from around the Internet
Smith wrote one of the better pieces detailing what happened in Game 2 of the Finals in semi-serious fashion. While Matthew Dellavedova is having a relatively successful playoff run, there is an asinine view that he deserves the figurative “MVP” for Game 2 because Stephen Curry had one of his worst games of the season. Dellavedova did a commendable job on Curry, but he was miserable on offense for most of the game, and some teammate of his did contribute 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. I know LeBron James didn’t have the most efficient game, but what Cavs’ player should have received more shots? It wasn’t the LeBron James we saw last year, but it was still one of his more incredible performances.
If you’re reading this, then I surely don’t have to tell you to go read Zach Lowe detailing a game, but go read Zach Lowe detailing this game. From Andre Iguodala’s fouling to Marreese Speights’ mishaps at the rim to the lead Cleveland surrendered before ultimately winning, Lowe puts the game into a perspective as only he can. Lowe points out that the Cavaliers got away with playing a washed up Mike Miller for a few minutes, J.R. Smith’s numerous mistakes on the defensive end of the court and not getting a basket from LeBron after he put the team up 11.
The Bay Area has a number of talented writers, none of which are more readable than Sherwood Strauss. Sherwood Strauss gives us the three most important words to the Warriors (rhythm, pace and tempo) as well as the inner feelings from the best team during the regular season. We also get a look at just how competitive Draymond Green is as he refuses to give Dellavedova his just credit for making Curry’s life difficult on the court. The Warriors will try to survive LeBron’s ability to control the pace by forcing him to do so all on his lonesome while throwing multiple bodies to tire him and hope that eventually their shots will fall.
Partnow does another excellent job looking at the statistics to show why the Cavaliers are doing what they are doing. Slowing the game down, running isolation ball and trusting only one player on the court isn’t the most pleasing game to watch, but it is the right move for this particular team, and especially in late game situations. Partnow gives this quote from an assistant coach:
You’ll run something to get the ball into certain player’s hands because you trust them to be able to create for themselves or their teammates. While I’ll take a well-executed action that gets the ball in the hands of the open guy every time, even the best coach will sometimes just put the ball in the hands of [the best] player because he trusts the player’s ability to create. Sometimes you just can’t come up with a clever play or don’t want to try something complicated so you do something simple.
As I mentioned before, if you want to take shots from LeBron James, who are you giving them to?
I’ve only recently gotten into really breaking down the draft prospects, and O’Connor does an excellent job comparing the top two guards of the draft. While Mudiay is a gifted athlete with an exceptional handle, Russell seems to be able to make the plays we expect guards to make in the new era of the NBA (great vision, ability to shoot and a long wingspan). With the way teams are built today, it’s easier to build around a point guard that has shown the ability to shoot (Russell) rather than one that is still learning (Mudiay). While Mudiay could certainly improve his shot, O’Connor gives an excellent chart comparing where Mudiay’s shooting ability is to current NBA guards around the same age.