The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
Anthony Davis has done nothing but live up to the extremely lofty expectations many have set for him in his young career. But as he enters Year 3, it’s time to consider: is he going to blow past all of our wildest dreams for his potential? David Fisher dove deep into Davis’s third season in comparison to those of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, two future Hall of Famers who’ve set the standard for the power-forward position in today’s game. Somewhat surprisingly, Fisher finds that AD was pretty clearly the best player in his third season and producing at unprecedented levels. Davis might be the Duncan-KG hybrid we never knew we needed.
Darryl Dawkins, the former NBA star nicknamed “Chocolate Thunder” and perhaps best known for his backboard-annihilating dunks, passed away at the age of 58 a few days ago. David Roth of Vice Sports penned a wonderful essay analyzing Dawkins’s tangential effect on his childhood even without ever watching him play. Dawkins was a unique being in the NBA, someone who cared far more about the pursuit of joy than the grind of professional basketball. Dawkins’s passing is tragic but the celebration of his life in the wake of it has been exactly how a man like him should be remembered.
You may remember Omri Casspi taking DeMarcus Cousins, Iman Shumpert and several other NBA players on a trip to his home country of Israel this summer. Aside from getting the scoop on that interesting offsesason excursion, James Herbert discusses a wide range of NBA and Kings topics with Casspi. He explains his close bond with both Cousins and the Sacramento organization as well as expressing confidence in the Kings’ future. Casspi has had a rocky NBA career but seems to have finally found his spot with the always interesting Kings.
Last year, everything went wrong for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins contracted viral meningitis 20 games into the season, tanking their chances at contending and sending the organization into a tailspin. Court Zierk has to wonder, though, what if everything goes right this season? While most are caught up in laughing at the Kings’ apparent offseason blunders, there are several fixable problems that could yield a competitive squad. Court does a great job going through the problems Sacramento faced last year and how they can get by them.
Nylon Calculus continues to be the NBA community’s greatest website for redefining the way we consider statistics. Here, site editor Seth Partnow digs through some data on what happens after a shot is blocked. There’s some interesting findings that actually jive pretty nicely with what the “eye test” tells us. Blocking shots is obviously crucial, and keeping them inbounds generally even more so. Anthony Davis and Serge Ibaka are highly skilled at retaining their blocks (88 percent and 82 percent inbounds, respectively), while Dwight Howard does in fact have a tendency to favor the theatrics over possession (35.8 percent blocked out of bounds).