The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. Why Charles Barkley hates jump-shooting teams – Todd Whitehead, Nylon Calculus
The theory that jump-shooting teams can’t win championships should be extinguished with the past few NBA champions. The Spurs, Heat, Warriors, and last year’s Cavaliers all relied heavily on the long-range jumper, although each team had something else in the bag of tricks. Despite the evidence to the contrary, Charles Barkley still holds true to his statement, claiming at the beginning of every season that jump-shooting teams cannot win championships.
2. The Warney Files Episode 1: From Stony Brook to the NBA – Dakota Schmidt, Ridiculous Upside
Making it to the NBA is a dream for many players in college, and Jameel Warney details the beginning of his journey in the first part of a series. The Stony Brook alum was known for his defense and rebounding in college, and went through Summer League as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. He is currently with the Texas Legends — the D-League affiliate of the Mavericks.
3. The Baby Giraffe that is Joel Embiid – Drew Corrigan, Medium.com
After two long years, Joel Embiid (aka “The Process”) is finally playing real basketball, not just one-on-one against a 6-foot trainer. It’s only been four games, but the big man has shown the flashes that made him the third pick, despite a medical history that possibly would have kept a few teams from drafting him. He still has a lot to work on. For example, his 4.3 turnovers per game can’t make head coach Brett Brown happy. But his rare combination of size (he averages 3.0 blocks per game on the season) and shooting (he’s converted 1.5 threes per game at a 66.7% clip) has made him worth the wait in Philadelphia.
4. Devin Booker’s rise proves teams don’t need to tank to get rich in the lottery – Tom Ziller, SBNation
Tanking for a high lottery pick isn’t a necessity, as the Suns have shown with the 13th overall pick from the 2015 draft, Devin Booker. While many of the best players in the draft go in the top few picks, teams picking in the teens can find the diamond in the rough, and Booker appears to be just that for Phoenix. After dropping 38 and 39 points in consecutive games, the 20-year old guard is carrying a 53.3% true shooting percentage on a team with limited scoring options. His shooting has yet to show itself in the NBA, but his playmaking abilities are far ahead of projections coming into the NBA and fans in Phoenix seems to have a star in the making.
5. Four reasons why you should vote Luke Walton for president – Harrison Faigen, Silver Screen and Roll
Walton might not be the best presidential candidate, but he has been impressive in his short stint as the man in charge of the Lakers thus far. The Lakers reached their fourth win in only seven games this year, a mark that took 18 games last season. The defense has improved, despite not having a known defensive stopper on the roster, and the offense has the fluidity that those rooting for the team have craved for. There will be moments this season where the Lakers will struggle this season, but the early returns are positive for the fans rooting for the purple and gold.