Note: this post was originally published for The Strickland. Give them a click!
When asked in The Strickland’s preseason roundtable what Thibs’ most frustrating lineup trend would be, I said “Elf/guard/RJ/Randle/Mitch is my nightmare, and not because I don’t like RJ and Mitch, but because I do! These guys need the opportunity to not only play with spacing and show the front office whether or not they can be pieces on a winning team one day, but also grow with their current young’uns as much as possible. I’d rather see RJ come off the bench than stand on the wing and watch Elf/Randle buddy ball, or drive to the rim into seven help defenders at once.”
Continue reading “Game 1 of Season 2: RJ Barrett’s 2020-21 Debut”
Welcome to the fifth of the Corner Three 2019-2020 NBA division-by-division season previews. In each of these previews, we use RJ Garcia’s player-by-player ratings (based on on/off metrics and career trajectory) and per-game minutes projections (taking into account potential minutes lost to injury) to project overall team quality for the upcoming season. RJ and Derek Reifer also provide their own analyses and commentary to provide any context and additional insights.
Continue reading “Central Division Preview: The Bucks (Kinda) Run it Back”
On January 23rd, Victor Oladipo suffered a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee.
The 2017-18 Most Improved Player was the star of the team, giving them life on both ends of the court. Without another clear star on the roster, or multiple players the casual fan has even heard of, Indiana was surely in for a rough go of it – especially with other East contenders, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Toronto, loading up with talent at the trade deadline.
Continue reading “How is Indiana Keeping Pace in the East?”
During Sam Hinkie’s introductory press conference as President of Basketball Operations for the Sixers in 2013, owner Josh Harris said that the previous regime had made decisions without “good process. They weren’t good decisions.” Now, in 2019, the two leadership teams’ processes since Hinkie departed, led by Brian Colangelo and Elton Brand, have culminated in today, where the Sixers are stuck with decisions that – weren’t good.
Continue reading “The Process Is Over”
Now that the NCAA season is over and the first round of the NBA playoffs has begun, most professional basketball fans are focused on the now rather than the future. However, plenty of GMs are spending their playoff time looking over film from this past college season, breaking down statistics and play styles to find their next potential franchise player. This year especially will feature one of the most interesting drafts in recent memory, with the Thunder receiving their first lottery pick since James Harden and the T-Wolves “earning” their 10th lottery pick in as many years.
When deciding who to pick, there are two popular stances to take: selecting a player based off of their performance at the previous level, or choosing someone with tremendous physical attributes that signal a promising “upside.” Admittedly, these aren’t the only factors teams take into consideration when drafting a top pick, but they’re the most observable traits to measure and analyze. Looking at the top rookies from the past three NBA seasons, what carries more weight: athletic traits or collegiate success?
Continue reading “NBA Draft Prospects: College Career vs. Athleticism”
After an amazing 2013-2014 season, the unbearably long offseason is finally coming to a close. There’s a lot to look forward to this year in the NBA, with superstars on new teams, contenders adding pieces, and more squads than ever with a chance to make noise. Let’s get started with my projected standings for the Eastern Conference, and analysis for the teams in it:
Continue reading “The Comprehensive 2014-2015 NBA Preview: Eastern Conference”