The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. “The NBA embraces big data” – Alex Wong of Sports on Earth
The growth of advanced stats in basketball hasn’t stopped. In fact, the movement might have more momentum than ever.
Wong recaps the NBA’s first hackathon in Manhattan, which featured more than 200 participants with extensive experience in statistics, specifically related to basketball. As we know, more and more NBA teams are looking for analytics experts to add to their staffs, so expect these type of conferences to become more of a thing in the future.
2. “New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis Must Anchor Defense in 2016-17” – Maxwell Ogden of Hoops Habit
Especially with Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday out to start the season, Anthony Davis will pretty much be the Pelicans’ No. 1, 2 and 3 options on offense. The team will count on him to score out of the post, on catch-and-shoot jumpers, as a pick-and-roll finisher and in transition.
But if the Pelicans are to return to the playoffs, his Davis will have to improve some defensively. Davis is definitely above average there, but he hasn’t quite been the defensive monster he looked like he could be when he was drafted.
It won’t be easy for “The Brow” to carry such a heavy load on both ends, but he’ll definitely prove his worth as a superstar if he can.
3. “NBA AM: Pachulia is Perfect for the Warriors” – Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders
Zaza Pachulia sticks out like a sore thumb in the Warriors’ 2016-17 starting lineup. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are coming off All-Star seasons, and Pachulia…isn’t.
However, the veteran center is by no means a bad player, and he was a huge get for the team that desperately needed some frontcourt help to make up for the losses of Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights. Kennedy talks to him about his role for next season and why he joined Golden State.
4. “Justin Holiday is New York’s X-Factor” – Gabriel Allen of The Lottery Mafia
You can make the argument that the acquisition of a guy like Justin Holiday will actually help the Knicks more than the acquisition of Derrick Rose. Rose is easily a more talented player, but New York needs guys who are fine with being role players. Holiday fits that bill perfectly.
Allen details how the strong 3-and-D wing can help the Knicks in his first season with the team. He already seems like a nice fit in lineups with guys like Rose, Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Jennings.
5. “Brooklyn basketball finally means something” – Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily
The Nets are still going to be really, really bad this season. Their busy offseason doesn’t change that.
But Puccio notes that the atmosphere has changed around the Brooklyn organization. New head coach Kenny Atkinson is embracing the city’s culture and encouraging his players to do the same.
The Nets have a long road toward respectability ahead of them. After the summer, they seem to have some of the right pieces in tow to start that journey.