The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
It’s almost time for the preseason, which means total win over/unders are due to come out shortly. In anticipation of all the usual preseason excitement, Duncan Smith gives his projected records for every team in the NBA. He’s got the Lakers projected at just 16 wins, the lowest in the NBA; that would be quite the disappointment for the franchise and its fans. As for the now super-powered Warriors, Smith projects them to win 66 games. While that might sound low after last year’s historic season, I agree that there will likely be less of a focus on regular-season success.
The team at Basketball Insiders is doing a comprehensive preview of every team, here with the Portland Trail Blazers entry. They go through their expectations for the upcoming season as well as look at the top players on both ends of the floor, and potential x-factors. New additions Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli will have to find their roles within the team. Ultimately, Portland’s ceiling is somewhere in the middle of the Western Conference playoff seedings. After dramatically exceeding expectations last year, there’s also a decent chance that the team takes an unwelcome step backwards.
While the case surrounding Derrick Rose’s alleged rape has been ongoing for over a year, only recently have the details been picked up in the mainstream media. With lots of information and sometimes confusing details flying around, Tim Cato talks with lawyers to cogently explain the details of the case against Rose. This is a very balanced, detailed primer for a very ugly but very important case against one of the NBA’s most visible stars. It’s a bit surprising that the case hasn’t been settled out of court, but it could go to trial next month.
This morning’s shootaround has a few tidbits from around the league, starting with Reggie Jackson’s determination to take on a bigger leadership role. Detroit emerged as a playoff team last season and projects to be a strong candidate to return to the postseason once again. With a young and talented team lacking a true star, Jackson taking on a bigger role could be a big step. Smith also notes that young Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis has quickly taken a liking to new arrival Joakim Noah. Why doesn’t that surprise anyone?
Nylon Calculus remains the premiere destination for NBA fans who love goofy and informative deep dives into statistics. Here, Matt Femrite burrows deep into how frequently teams are playing in the penalty for free throws. One interesting finding is how teams get into the bonus far less frequently in the first quarter. Going an entire game without getting into the penalty is extremely rare. He includes the full list along with some close calls near the end, along with a comprehensive look at different teams’ frequency over the years.