What We’re Reading: Player Profiles Galore

From Flickr via NSNewsflash

From Flickr via NSNewsflash

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.

Hopefully, this can serve as a good distraction as you wait to hear more about Derrick Rose’s injury in last night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

NBA cap expert Mark Deeks spent some time taking a closer look at the repeater tax and how it is going to transform the NBA in the coming years.  One of the teams Deeks profiled was the Chicago Bulls because of the repeater rules that go into effect in the 2015-2016 season.  Deeks superbly broke down some very complex salary cap rules and the impact it may have on the Bulls going forward.

Joakim Noah took some time out of his schedule to do a Q&A with James Herbert at SB Nation this week and not surprisingly they spent a majority of their time talking about Noah’s ability to be a great teammate.  Noah is one of the few players in the league that could turn a Q&A session with a journalist into an opportunity to talk about his team and teammates.  This was a really great inside look at how Noah sees the game and what he’s thinking about out on the floor.

Herbert profiled another player that doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves this week when he took a look at Portland’s “Mr. Everything” Nicolas Batum.  The Blazers are off to a white-hot start and Batum has a lot to do with it though bigger names like Damian Lillard and Lamarcus Aldridge will receive more of the credit.  Like Noah, Batum is a guy who does all of the little things right and his impact can extend well beyond just the box score.

On Monday, Beckley Mason took an inside look at the pre-game preparation of former Bull Kyle Korver.  Korver has recorded an unbelievable true shooting percentage of 71.7% thus far this season and Mason took an interesting look at the unusual pre-game preparations of Korver.  The piece does a great job detailing the muscle memory mastered by the league’s best shooters.

Speaking of great shooters, Cole Patty of Hickory High stopped by Hardwood Paroxysm and discussed the beauty of Klay Thompson’s jumpshot.  Instead of talking about his pure stroke, he argues that the emergence of advanced analytics will have people picking apart his 50.9 effective field goal percentage from last season instead of appreciating his pure shooting stroke.  Throughout the piece, he likens Thompson’s underappreciated stroke to the work of a master carpenter.

Also at Hardwood Paroxysm, Noam Schiller wonders why the Kings don’t appreciate their diminutive, but wildly effective point guard Isaiah Thomas.  Since the Kings selected Thomas with the final pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, he has produced at the point guard position, but the Kings have hesitated to play him and Schiller just can’t comprehend the decision.

Many people also can’t comprehend what is happening in New York with the Knicks and Tom Ziller is confused why people didn’t see this coming.  Ziller mentions that a team’s record in the previous season is typically a great indicator of future success, but it shouldn’t apply when that team makes wholesale changes like the Knicks did in this past offseason.

Another offseason move that hasn’t worked out exactly as planned is the Rockets’ acquisition of Dwight Howard.  At Grantland, Zach Lowe broke down why the Rockets haven’t been quite as stellar as many had expected thus far.  Lowe masterfully broke down the Rockets’ inability to integrate Omer Asik into the lineup, Howard’s now weakened post game and the absolute failure of the Rockets’ guards and wings to guard anyone.  (Everything Lowe writes could be included in this column.  He’s the best in the business right now.)

With Asik’s lack of playing time in Houston, everyone wants to discuss the current trade du jour of Asik to the Pelicans for Ryan Anderson, but Marc Stein investigated why that trade isn’t so simple.  The first and most important reason is the Pelicans aren’t really interested in adding Asik to their team.  Asik’s addition would completely change the team’s identity and that isn’t something the Pelicans are interested in right now.

Finally, the weirdest and most fantastic story of the week has to be the NBA’s probe into the Knicks inclusion of Chris Smith on their roster.  The NBA doesn’t normally look into the reasoning for why teams have a player on their 15 man roster, but Chris just happens to be J.R. Smith’s 26-year-old brother and…well…he’s not very good at basketball.  Just when you think the Knicks can’t get any worse, they get investigated for signing a terrible player to the their team just to keep J.R. Smith happy.  It’s a beautiful world, folks.

Remember…reading is FUNdamental.

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