The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. “I watched the 2016 NBA Finals in virtual reality and it was just as cool as it sounds” – Luke Kerr-Dineen of For The Win
If money and distance weren’t factors, I know I would’ve jumped all over the chance to attend one of the 2016 NBA Finals games. It was definitely one of the classic series in league history.
Kerr-Dineen got an opportunity to watch a new virtual reality movie of June’s Finals put together by Oculus in partnership with the NBA. The simulator apparently makes the experience feel extremely genuine.
This technology is pretty expensive at the moment, but don’t be surprised if it catches on in the next few years.
2. “The League is Ready for Joel Embiid” – Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer
It’s easy to forget how hot of a prospect Joel Embiid was in early March 2014. Over the final six games of his college career at Kansas, he averaged 12.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.5 blocks and 1.2 steals in a mere 24.7 minutes per contest, also shooting 66.7 percent from the field and 74.4 percent from the free throw line. He was looking more and more like the right choice for the No. 1 selection over Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.
Then, an injury struck him. And then the injuries kept coming.
Now, two-and-a-half years later, he’s become a bit of an enigma on the court. There’s no doubt that plenty of eyes will be on the seven-footer as he attempts to get a potentially amazing career off the ground in 2016-17. O’Connor has the scoop on Embiid and his ceiling with training camp approaching.
3. “Indiana Pacers: What To Do With Monta Ellis?” – Jordan Treske of Hoops Habit
It kind of went under the radar last season, but Ellis had a major down year offensively in his first go-round with the Pacers. Following eight consecutive years of averaging at least 18.9 points per game, the 30-year-old checked in with an average of 13.8 points per contest while achieving a well-below-average 50.4 true shooting percentage.
In 2016-17, he’ll have a significantly different set of teammates to work with, which should change his role yet again. Treske examines what’s next for the slashing 2-guard in Indiana.
4. “Five training camp cuts NBA teams probably came to regret” – HoopsHype
Training camp is only a couple weeks away, and HoopsHype gives us a good reminder that sometimes teams don’t exactly make the best decisions after seeing their roster perform in the preseason.
For whatever reason, five NBA impact players who are still in the league slipped through the cracks in training camp at one point. You may have heard the stories before, but it’s still fun to remember that there was at a time when a team didn’t think each of the five players deserved a roster spot.
5. “NBA AM: Hawks Bracing For Schroder’s Growing Pains” – Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders
The point-guard position has always been an important position, but it’s especially key now with the amount of quality floor generals in the league. If a team starts a 1 who isn’t up to snuff, he’ll really stick out and hurt his team.
The Hawks are moving on to Dennis Schroder as the starter this season. It’s a scary move because he’s never started before and is prone to making terrible decisions on occasion. The talent is there, but the questions are with how he handles the role mentally.
Greene examines how Atlanta will ease Schroder’s transition with its veteran-laden squad and strong coaching staff.