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The Starting 5: Analyzing ‘BullyBall’

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

1. BullyBall – Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus 

Partnow discusses the current state of the low-post game. In an age where pace and spacing is focused on more than ever, the amount of players who can handle their own down in the paint or abuse matchups is growing smaller by the season. With the art of the post game dwindling, it’s crucial for those teams that have that advantage to use it. Look at the Spurs. From the article, “ Still, some players are quite effective at bullyball. One of the theoretical pluses of the Spurs acquiring LaMarcus Aldridge is his supposed ability to negate smallball by being an effective scorer when presented with a smaller defender.” It’ll be interesting to see how the evolving game uses traditional big men in the future.

2. Doc Rivers is overthinking if he really plans to start Wesley Johnson – Jesus Gomez, SB Nation

First off all, wait. Let’s take a look at the roster for the Clippers: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, J.J. Redick, Austin Rivers and Wesley Johnson. In what world does it make sense to start Wesley Johnson over some of these other candidates? It’s the first time I’ve heard this rumor of Rivers thinking about Johnson in the starting lineup, and smart money (no offense to Johnson) says that Johnson will remain a reserve, although perhaps Doc really likes the fit. 

3. NBA Season Preview: Brooklyn Nets – Brett Koremenos, RealGM 

Koremenos continues his team breakdowns, this week with the Brooklyn Nets. A team that had huge expectations a few years ago, the Nets haven’t made the type of impact that was expected of them when they moved to the Barclays Center. With Deron Williams leaving, Brook Lopez is the sole remaining star from the core that was built a couple years ago, and I’m not sure if Lopez is the type of talent who can take the roster of Brooklyn to contention.

4. The Curious Case of Michael Carter-Williams – Austin Peters, Hardwood Paroxysm 

MCW has had an interesting career to this point, to say the least. I still remember his first game in the NBA, even though I’m not a Sixers fan. At home against the Heat (the LeBron James era Heat), MCW dropped 22 points (6-for-10 shooting), 12 assists, seven rebounds and nine steals. The man almost had a quadruple double in his first NBA game! To top it off, he had the game-sealing free throws to lead the Sixers to a home win. MCW has the physical tools to be successful in the NBA, but he hasn’t quite put it all together yet. 

5. Over and Back: NBA’s 50 Greatest Players – Chris Webber, Over and Back Podcast at Hardwood Paroxysm

Continuing the series at Hardwood Paroxysm, the Over and Back Podcast takes a look at Chris Webber, considered one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. Sometimes players like Webber get defined by one thing (think back to the crucial timeout mistake that Webber had at Michigan), and it’s easy to forget how good Webber was back in the day. It’s especially tough for me because I always rooted against Webber, so I’d say things like, “he is not that good, he’s just getting lucky.” It’s always nice to look back with a more rational look and appreciate how good we had it getting to watch greatness.

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