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 an extended absence, we’ll start with a profile of Suns coach Jeff Hornacek from Matt Moore of CBS Sports. People keep expecting the Suns to fade at some point this season and Moore used his access with the Suns to find out why that might not happen. Along with Hornacek, Moore interviewed Gerald Green and Goran Dragic and found that the Suns’ philosophy is completely different from one year ago. In just a single season, Hornacek has completely transformed the Suns’ strategy offensively and defensively and Moore’s profile shows the thought and care that has gone into that transformation.
Another surprise this past week has been the development of former Suns lottery pick Kendall Marshall. After getting traded by the Suns to start the season and then cut by the Wizards, Marshall has found a home on the Lakers and Rob Mahoney of the Point Forward breaks down why Marshall has been able to find success. Friday night was a coming out party of sorts as Marshall put up career highs in points (20), assists (15) and rebounds (6). Mahoney showed in a couple clips that Marshall had improved greatly in a few areas of concern (scoring and decision-making), but was also quick to point out that not every game Marshall plays will be against the Jazz’s hapless defense.
It doesn’t seem possible, but Kyle Korver has somehow improved as a shooter this season and Korver wrote an interesting piece about his process as a basketball player. It isn’t often that a NBA player articulates his thoughts in such a thoughtful way, so this was a great opportunity to see how a professional basketball player actually thinks. Over the years, his shot has turned into something that has become nearly perfect and Korver details how he can feel even the slightest imperfection in his mechanics while shooting. Really interesting stuff.
Scott Rafferty at Hardwood Paroxysm showed how a great shooter like Kyle Korver can help coaches create distinct advantages for their team on the offensive end. Instead of Korver, Rafferty broke down how Ryan Anderson’s shooting acumen led to a few easy buckets for Anthony Davis this past week. In the highlights, the only thing anyone saw was Davis embarrassing Joel Freeland, but a closer look at the play showed that the play Monty Williams drew up made the Blazers’ help defenders make a very difficult decision.
Anthony Davis is a great young player, but he’s not the best power forward in the league quite yet. At least, according to Andrew Lynch at Hardwood Paroxysm, he isn’t and neither are many of the other players you’d suspect to find on the list of the league’s best power forwards. Lynch instead argues that the best power forward in the league right now is Lebron James because James plays a majority of his time on the floor with the Heat as a power forward. He also admits that most basketball debates right now come with the tacit implication that James should not be included in the argument because he’s just about the best everything right now.
One of the supremely underrated power forwards that would likely not be a part of most debates about the league’s best power forward is David West. This past week, Zach Lowe of Grantland spent some time with him and asked him some questions about the season as well as his path to the Indiana Pacers. Lowe spent some time asking about West’s decision-making process after leaving the Hornets and how close he actually came to becoming a member of the Boston Celtics. Another interesting portion of the Q&A session came in his discussion of the Pacers’ strategy against the Heat and what he sees his role being in attempting to exploit possible mismatches.
Continuing the power forward talk, Chris Broussard published a report stating New York Knicks officials have discussed proposing a trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to the Clippers for Blake Griffin. This is quite the interesting report because there is no mention of the teams discussing this trade, but rather just the Knicks discussing this possibility internally. It seems like a pretty crazy idea, but Broussard is quick to mention that Chris Paul has wanted to play with Anthony since 2010.
Chris Paul is the most recent star to suffer a major injury and Tom Ziller at SB Nation believes it couldn’t have happened at a better time. This may seem unusual considering the Clippers are in a battle for home court advantage in the Western Conference and any injury could be monumental, but Ziller details just how weak the Clippers schedule is in the next month. The Clippers could very easily end up with a record very similar to the one they may have recorded with Paul in the lineup.
Jonathan Tjarks decided to take a look at one of the top prospects in this year’s draft, Julius Randle, and found that Randle may not excel at the next level. Tjarks doesn’t spend a lot of time looking at game footage, but rather Randle’s measurements. He compared Randle’s wingspan to the rest of the league’s starting power forwards and found that Randle’s 6’11″ wingspan would measure dead last in the entire league. Tjarks also looked at Zach Randolph, the player Randle is most often compared to, and found that though Randolph’s height and weight might be similar to Randle’s, his wingspan is at least 7’4″.
We’ll end today’s What We’re Reading with quite possibly the most perfect interview ever recorded. Here is Swaggy P embracing his inner Mamba and impersonating Kobe Bryant for an entire interview.
That’s all for today. Remember…reading is FUNdamental.