We at Bulls by the Horns realize that you’re busy and don’t have the time to go searching through website after website for some interesting, NBA related reads. So, from time to time, we’ll gather the articles we’ve found interesting and put them together for you in one place.
Today, we’ll start with some masterful writing from Paul Flannery at SB Nation. Flannery took a look at how the Pacers have gone about attempting to win back “the heart of Indiana” after the debacle of the Pacers led by Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson. Flannery detailed how each of the players on the team contributed to the rebuild and how each of them are an integral part of the team’s identity. It might take a little while to read this longform piece, but it was well worth it.
After that long piece, we’ll go to a video to help make things a little bit easier. We’ve had some breakdowns from Coach Nick at Bball Breakdown before, but this time Coach Nick had a chance to interview Damian Lillard and discuss the pick and roll with him. Though an interview with Lillard has the potential to be a boring recap of the action, they discuss some really detailed stuff and you really get a look into what Lillard is thinking on the floor.
Lillard is having a great season shooting the ball, but he has not shot the ball quite well enough to get himself on to Kirk Goldsberry’s list of best shooters thus far this season. Over at Grantland this week, Goldsberry used the ShotScore metric he developed earlier this year to figure out who the league’s best shooters are this season. Though seeing Lebron James at the top isn’t a surprise the other four leaders were a bit of a surprise. Along with the best shooters, Goldsberry took another day to look at the league’s worst shooters.
It should come as no surprise that Josh Smith is featured prominently in Goldsberry’s list of the league’s worst shooters and Ricky O’Donnell at SB Nation decided to take a closer look at Smith’s first season in Detroit. O’Donnell took a look at the high volume of three pointers Smith has taken as well as the low percentage he is shooting from the three point line, but he also examined the shoddy effort Smith has given on the floor. Though Smith certainly deserves some of the blame, O’Donnell writes that Pistons fans may want to point their fingers at Joe Dumars since he decided to go with a win-now quick fix approach by signing Smith.
Another poor shooter, Rajon Rondo, was in the news this week as he told Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports that he is targeting the Celtics’ January 17th game against the Lakers for his return. In the story, Rondo also talked about how boring it has been for him on the sidelines because his mental approach hasn’t really changed and he feels like he should be able to dominate, but can’t because of his conditioning. An interesting aspect of the story was Rondo insisting to local media that he doesn’t have a target date for his return later in the same day the report from Spears was published.
In more depressing news, two more point guards went down with injuries this week. The Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday will reportedly be out for a month with a stress fracture in his right tibia, which is another tough break for a Pelicans team that just can’t seem to get anything to go right this season. The Suns’ Eric Bledsoe also went down this week and Kevin Zimmerman at Valley of the Suns took a look at what it might mean for the Suns going forward. Bledsoe presents an interesting case for the Suns because he will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season, but his future will now be uncertain with the injury.
Bledsoe has helped the Suns perform extremely well this season even though many thought the Suns would be tanking in order to get a high draft pick in the upcoming NBA draft. The lack of tanking in Phoenix and throughout most of the league led Mark Deeks at SB Nation to question the idea of “tanking”. Deeks questioned what it really means to “tank” and if any team in the league is actually doing that right now. He brings up some interesting points in showing that though there has been a recent uproar against tanking, there aren’t really many teams that are “tanking”.
That’s all for today. Remember…reading is FUNdamental.