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The Starting 5: A Plus-Minus Primer

Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports

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

1. A Primer on the NBA’s Plus-Minus Statistics – Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders

Let’s first define what plus-minus is so that we can determine if it’s a worthy stat to measure players. Simply put, it defines whether a team gets outscored or outscores the opponent when a single player is on the floor. Plus-minus can be helpful for comparing players, but sometimes is detrimental when a certain player plays with another player who’s a defensive sieve. So while plus-minus is a useful tool, it can’t be a end-all, be-all stat. Read more on how to use plus-minus to judge players for yourself.

2. The Mavericks have finally moved past DeAndre Jordan – Tim Cato, Mavs Moneyball

The Mavericks-Clippers game last night was strewn with the overarching story line of DeAndre Jordan’s indecisive summer. While it was great for the fans to have another aspect of the game to root for, it was mostly a pretty boring theme to watch. The postgame stories were pretty entertaining, but it seems like the Mavericks are past the entire ordeal, which is good; dwelling on the past will do nothing moving forward, and the Mavericks are not in a position to stay complacent. The Mavericks, despite the victory over the Clippers, are going to struggle to even make the playoffs and aren’t a true contender.

3. Drummond, Cousins And Why Coherent Visions Matter – Jonathan Tjarks, RealGM 

Most teams are gravitating towards big men who can shoot the ball and stretch out the floor for primary ball handlers. Playing in maximum space allows for talented slashers to create good looks for shooters, and the new pace and space movement seems to be the direction of the future of the NBA. Then we come upon teams like Sacramento and Detroit who are going against the grain and building around dominant big men. Going against the grain only works when there’s a coherent plan in place; read more on the plans of Detroit and Sacramento and why it’ll work for those franchises.

4. The Sacramento Kings’ problem start at the top – Derek James, Hardwood Paroxysm

Coming on the flip side of the plans of Sacramento, Derek James examines what the problems are with the Kings. It begins and ends with DeMarcus Cousins. As the franchise player, he must take ownership and responsibility of leading the team. That certainly doesn’t include cursing out the coach; Cousins seems like a very talented child at this point. It’s hard to pinpoint the blame of the dysfunctional Kings, but James takes a look at what problems the Kings are currently going through.

5. The Continuity of Calipari’s Cats – Jeff Feyerer, Nylon Calculus

John Calipari is known as one of the best recruiting coaches of all time; the man seems to pump out one-and-dones year after year. It’s good for Calipari to be consistently sending these college kids to the league, but how does his team keep winning? Feyerer takes a look at the players who Calipari re-ups with and what strategies he employs to keep his team competitive. It’s one thing to get the best talent, but it’s a whole different story making that team mesh.

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