The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. 2016-17 Minnesota Timberwolves season: 20 over/under predictions from AWAW staff – A Wolf Among Wolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are the darlings of the NBA, as Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and the rest of the young roster will look to improve upon a 29-win season. Among the things discussed in the roundtable are Wiggins’ points per game, Towns’ chance to be in the All-Star Game and whether or not the Wolves make the playoffs.
2. Lakers plan to waive Yi Jianlian – Mark Medina, Insidesocal.com
After signing Yi Jianlian to a contract this summer that could have been worth around $8 million with incentives, the Lakers have cut him instead. The Lakers had hoped Jianlian would provide outside shooting from a big man, something the league currently covets. Jianlian had played with four teams before his training camp invite with the Lakers, but it appears that his time in the NBA is coming to a close.
3. NBA: Ranking the league’s top 10 power forwards for 2016-17 – Gerald Bourguet, Hoops Habit
While positions are less traditional than they once were, there is little doubt that the forward position is stacked in the NBA. From Kristaps Porzingis to Draymond Green to Anthony Davis, big men need to be more versatile than ever in order to receive playing time, and that’s exactly the type of player that is included in this top-10 list.
4. Let’s celebrate mediocrity! – Matt Rutkowski, The Step Back
The countdown to the start of the NBA season can now be measured in hours, and that means it’s time to judge the Golden State Warriors on every game they play. The large majority of people are picking the Warriors to win the title, and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the teams aren’t worth watching. You never know when you’ll get a Corey Brewer 51-point game, a ridiculous triple-double from Russell Westbrook, or a points, rebounds and blocks triple-double from Hassan Whiteside.
5. These defenses won’t rest – Bradley Heltzel, The Cauldron
Improvement is often perceived by how well a team does offensively, but there are a few teams that stand to improve their record based on how well they stop opponents from scoring. The Jazz are probably the most obvious candidate, as Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors are two of the most versatile big men in the league defensively. The Hornets, Pistons and Wizards are all teams that stand to improve on the defensive end of the court for one reason or another. But the team that might rely most heavily on defense this year is the Orlando Magic, a team that finished with a below-average defensive rating last year.