The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
NBA legend Moses Malone sadly passed away at the age of 60 on Sunday morning, so we go deep into the SI Vault for this excellent piece on Malone from 1979. Simply put, it’s well worth your time.
Bradley Beal was a much-buzzed about college player and has hardly disappointed in his first few NBA seasons. Still, nagging injuries have allowed Beal to fade into just a bit of obscurity, something Jeff Feyerer says we won’t be worrying about for long. Beal was fantastic last postseason when Washington opened up the floor with shooting-heavy lineups. Expect more of the same this season as the Wizards embrace their more modern style of play.
Ian Levy digs into the very meaty discussion of which NBA superstar — Kobe, LeBron or MJ — had the least support from his teammates. Levy pores through the best available statistics to try and parse out which great player was pulling the most weight. Unsurprisingly, given LeBron’s supporting casts in his Cleveland seasons, James has had the worst teammates. Stop blaming that dude for his Finals record.
Kyle Ramos sits down with Roland Beech, the new analytics guru for the Sacramento Kings. Beech was a part of Mark Cuban’s front office for a very long time and also founded the highly useful 82games.com, an advanced stats website available to anyone. Beech discusses his time with the Mavericks organization, the future in Sacramento and more.
One of the biggest changes that the 2011 CBA ultimately made was an altering of incentives that made extending star players’ contracts nearly impossible. In the current landscape, it rarely makes financial sense for a maximum level player to negotiate an extension before hitting free agency. With a boom of cap space approaching, Nate Duncan dives into how teams can now utilize extensions under the newer rules. Instead of blowing newfound cap space on average players, teams can spend a little more on their own guys and keep them in town longer. Denver recently took advantage of this by extending both Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.