The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the Internet
Read Zach Lowe’s Grantland feature on the circus and mayhem that went on with DeAndre Jordan. Make no mistake on the influence and power of Jordan; in a short couple of days, the single acquisition and reacquisition of said center shifted the balance of power in the Western Conference multiple times. In the wake of breaking news of DeAndre’s arrival to the Mavericks, comparisons to the 2011 team that won the NBA championships were made and fans were already envisioning an elite Maverick team just missing a point guard. Fast-forward to today and the Clippers have what’s already a classic relationship, breaking up just to realize what they missed is what they needed all along and doing whatever it took to win him back.
Jonathan Tjarks dissects why the Mavs are hurting after not developing any young talent and trading away pieces to clear cap space and sign veterans. One of the points that really stood out is “Cuban’s tenure in Dallas is that he’s a guy who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.” Cuban bought the franchise with Nash and Nowitzki on board, after the team had already gone through a long rebuilding phase. While he kept gambling that he could fill enough talent around Dirk to keep the Mavericks in contention, the time has finally come and the end is near. After Dirk retires, it’ll be a painful rebuild for the Mavericks as they’re short on draft picks and shy on young talent to develop.
I have loved the Players’ Tribune ever since its inception, as it gave way for a personal insight into the workings of an athlete. While social media gives insight to an athlete’s life like never before, there’s much more when it comes to the athlete thinking about what they want to say and explaining in their own words important moments in their life. This contribution by Wesley Matthews is a classy move by a classy guy to thank a devoted fanbase. Matthews was absolutely adored by Portland, not only for his skill but for his history, for the traits that Matthews embodied. What a relationship between fanbase and player; the former that realized the hard work and grit it took for this underdog player to even make it to the NBA level, and the latter understanding that the fanbase appreciated all his hard work, making him work even harder.
How many blows can the Dallas Mavericks take? While Lin wasn’t one of the most coveted free agents, he was definitely on the radar for the Mavericks, and I for one thought he would be a terrific fit for the Mavericks’ system. While it seems counterintuitive for Lin to go a franchise with a starting point guard already, Lin has discussed his role heavily with the head coach and is excited to be utilized both at the 1 and the 2 spot, with a heavy emphasis on the pick-and-roll. Lin hasn’t been used correctly since he rose to stardom in New York, and it’s pleasing to see him take control of his future and place himself where he’s valued and will be utilized. Hoping nothing but the best for him.
Kevin Love officially inked his new deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers and gave some insight into his decision. There were undeniably some rough patches in the Love-LeBron marriage, but any and all issues were cleared between the two and Love is all in on meshing with the team to help bring a championship to Cleveland. With a healthy Love, Irving and James and an entire season behind them to learn from, it’ll be interesting to see how Love will be featured next season, as he seemed often to be a glorified three-point specialist.