The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. “NBA 2K17 review” — Allen Kim and Ben Eagle, Sports Illustrated
NBA 2K17 is one of the most popular video games out there, and they’ve made some improvements from last year’s game. One of their best new features is expansion teams. You can start a franchise and bring back the Seattle SuperSonics if you so choose. You can change your team’s design, colors, arena and even city. Ever dream of being an NBA GM? With MyGM, you get to take control of any team you wish and run them as you like. However, the game has drawn some criticism for its MyCareer mode. There are a lot of cut-scenes you aren’t allowed to skip, and you have to spend hours practicing in the gym to upgrade your player’s skill level. While this game is certainly an upgrade from NBA 2K16, it isn’t significantly better.
2. “Bulls may be better off minus Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah” — Steve Aschburner, NBA.com
With Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah taking their talents (and glass legs) to New York, the Chicago Bulls no longer have to deal with constant injury headlines and rehab updates. They also won’t have to worry about the civil lawsuit Rose is entangled in. Of the Bulls’ last 328 regular-season games, Rose has only played in 127 of them. Already, Noah is missing Knicks practices with a hamstring injury and Rose is missing practice for his trial in Los Angeles. When healthy, both of these players were incredible for Chicago. But now, they’re the Knicks’ problem.
3. “DeMarcus Cousins pounds Warriors frontline in preseason game in San Jose” — Anthony Slater, The Mercury News
The Warriors’ preseason game against the Kings last night did nothing to allay the concerns about Golden State’s lack of rim protection. DeMarcus Cousins had his way against the Warriors’ front line, finishing the game with 20 points before he took the rest of the night off. Zaza Pachulia was expected to replace Andrew Bogut and provide much of the same high-IQ defense. However, Pachulia wasn’t able to get underneath Cousins’ skin the way Bogut has in the past. Fortunately for Golden State, Cousins isn’t on a contender, so they won’t have to deal with his size and strength in the postseason. This does give JaVale McGee a bigger chance of making the team, however, which would be loads of fun.
4. “Sources: NBA, union optimistic new CBA deal likely finalized within several weeks” — Adrian Wojnarowski, The Vertical
NBA fans can rest easy knowing that the NBA and National Basketball Players Association are close to reaching an agreement that would eliminate the possibility of a work stoppage in 2017. The deadline for either side to opt out of the current deal is Dec. 15, but both the NBA and the union are optimistic they’ll reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in the coming weeks. Much of the bigger CBA issues have reportedly been agreed upon, and there are now more minor details to work out. Part of these discussions have involved significantly increasing rookie contracts and creating two-way contracts between the league and the D-League.
5. “Kevin Garnett was the NBA’s future” — Neil Paine, FiveThirtyEight
Kevin Garnett recently announced his retirement from the game of basketball, but he revolutionized the game in crucial ways. He was one of the first players to make the jump from high school to the pros and, in 1997, signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves for what was at the time the biggest contract in sports history (six years, $126 million). The lanky 6’11” forward played like the ideal modern big man long before it was appropriately appreciated. He made an impact with his athleticism, length, skill and versatility rather than relying on brute force. The new age of analytics has helped many to understand just how dominant and effective Garnett really was.