The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. Celtics’ potential depends on Jae Crowder’s continued advancement – Bobby Manning, CelticsBlog
The Celtics finally landed one of the stars of free agency in Al Horford, but their future success might hinge on a player already on the roster. Jae Crowder was a large part of the success in Boston last season, and although he wasn’t the All-Star on the team (Isaiah Thomas), he might have been the team’s most important player, an argument that was made stronger with his injury. Every team in the league is looking for a player that can adequately shoot from the outside and defend on the perimeter, and the Celtics might have one of the best.
2. Brooklyn Nets: How is Sean Marks picking up the broken pieces? – Maruful Hossain, Nothin’ But Nets
Few teams are as bleak as the Brooklyn Nets. With none of their own draft picks in the immediate future, no significant young talent and no reason for stars to sign with them in free agency, there aren’t realistic avenues for the Nets to become contenders anytime soon. But new general manager Sean Marks is doing the best with what he’s been given, signing a head coach with a reputation of developing players, finding ways to acquire young talent and trying to change the culture around the team.
3. Allen Iverson is still here – Ian Levy, FanSided
Allen Iverson is one of the most polarizing athletes of the past 20 years. He entered the NBA when Michael Jordan was at the end of his career, and the figurative torch was passed due to the hype surrounding Iverson coming out of Georgetown. His most notable attribute was his diminutive size, but his passion for the game and obvious love for what he was doing was evident at all times. His career wasn’t without warranted criticisms both on and off the court, but his success was one of the best underdog stories in recent memory.
4. Jason Williams is the greatest magician of our era – Chris Reichert, Hardwood Paroxysm
Hardwood Paroxysm’s “Hot Takeover” series continues, and this time it’s about Jason Williams’ magic with the ball. A simple Google search will show that Williams was one of the most creative players with the ball, and his ability to make the best defenders look lost was nearly unmatched (the Gary Payton highlight is one of my favorites). His elbow pass will forever remain one of the most interesting passes thrown and is proof that magic is real.
5. State bias and recruiting rankings – Nylon Calculus
As basketball gets deeper into the analytic movement, market inefficiencies are more difficult to recognize. One area that will always remain an inexact science is recruiting, as players with high expectations fail often and players with the bar set lower end up as top players in the NBA in only a few short years. As the post states, players can come from all areas of the United States, and while players from Texas, California and Florida are among the most heavily recruited, they fail just often — and in some cases, more often — than players from less populated areas.