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.
After almost a week of silence, Joakim Noah finally talked to the media about the Luol Deng trade over the weekend and had quite a bit to say. Noah mentioned that trade definitely hurt, but the team would need to move on. Throughout the interview, Noah mentioned how proud he was to be a part of this Bulls team and how he understood that the team represented the city each time they took the floor. Noah also remained adamant that the Bulls will not be tanking and that trading Deng is just another piece of adversity for the team to deal with going forward.
SB Nation continued to take a look at tanking and this time it was Tom Ziller’s turn as he took a look at “tanking” teams and what sets them apart. For a tanking team to be successful, Ziller found that they need to be lucky enough to acquire a great talent in the draft and then smart enough to successfully build a team around that player. He mentioned that you will find some luck in just about any team that has found success in recent years, but also a quality GM that put together a plan following that luck. Ziller was able to find some really interesting numbers and show that “tanking” doesn’t magically create a great team.
Teams looking to tank this season received some good news on Monday as Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reported Australian prospect Dante Exum met with eight powerhouse representation agencies and gave them the strong impression that he will enter the upcoming NBA Draft. Wojnarowski reported that the agents he spoke with believe it is inevitable that Exum will enter this year’s draft, but that he has been careful throughout this process and has made sure to maintain his NCAA eligibility, in case he would not feel ready to enter the draft. Exum makes quite a few general managers drool and could even be a top five pick in this year’s draft.
Jonathan Tjarks looked at a couple of the other top NBA Draft Prospects and outlined three games in which you should judge Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, and Jabari Parker. For Wiggins, Tjarks believes Iowa State and Oklahoma State will prove to be key matchups because their style will really highlight Wiggins’ strengths and weaknesses. Tjarks believes Florida and Tennessee will provide the toughest tests for Randle’s strength because of their large front courts, while Missouri will provide a test of Randle’s defense at the next level with athletic wings that can shoot the three. Finally, for Parker, Tjarks highlights games against NC State and Florida State as true tests of Parker’s defensive ability and strength as both teams provide a tough test for Parker’s skill set.
Doug Eberhardt at SB Nation covered a skill each of those prospects will have to master in the NBA in his breakdown of “two nine”. In his breakdown, Eberhardt explains that “two nine” refers to the 2.9 seconds that defensive players can theoretically spend in the lane before being called for defensive three seconds. He shows how the “two nine” works and how some of the league’s best interior defenders find ways to stretch out their time in the lane as long as possible. Though “two nine” seems like it should only affect defenses, Eberhardt goes on to explain that “two nine” has greatly affected offenses and actually made them quite a bit more complex.
This past week, James Herbert of SB Nation spent a little time with a player who likely understands the “two nine” concept very well, Andrei Kirilenko. In his Q&A with Kirilenko, Herbert touched on some interesting topics with Kirilenko including the frustrations of dealing with injuries as a team. Kirilenko has extensive experience with this as he suffered through an injury-riddled season with the Timberwolves last season and an unlucky start to this season with the Nets. Herbert also talked with Kirilenko about playing with John Stockton and Karl Malone in his first two NBA seasons and the influence that those two players had on him as a player.
Finally, at Hardwood Paroxysm, Derek James took a look at a Q&A session LeBron James randomly decided to hold on Twitter and just how much LeBron has changed in the last few years. In the Q&A, LeBron was extremely candid and even made fun of his performance in the 2011 NBA Finals. James noted that the transformation of the perception of LeBron among basketball fans has been staggering as LeBron has shifted in the mind of fans from a pariah who was questioned after every single game to the league’s supreme ruler.
That’s all for today. Remember…reading is FUNdamental.