Monthly Archives: March 2018

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Three reasons why LeBron James joining Warriors is more pipe dream than plausibility

There is also the clash of styles. James has always been the focal point of the offense throughout his career, and this season has been no different. He’s a top-10 player in terms of usage percentage (30.9) and touches per game (88.0). James enjoys surveying the floor and operating in isolation. He’s second in the league behind only James Harden in isolation possessions per game (6.4). The Cavs make the fourth-lowest number of passes per game (282.2), while the Warriors’ offense, predicated on movement to force defenders into undesirable switches, move the ball at a top-five rate (324.8). Either James or the Warriors would have to adjust.

Then again, there is this tweet from 2015. What does it all mean?! James to the Warriors confirmed!

Bender’s block highlights another one of Ball’s limitations: He can finish above the rim when given space to gather, but he’s not as explosive of a leaper in traffic. It explains why Ball has had his shot blocked 28 times in the restricted area this season, an incredibly high number considering he’s only attempted 134 shots at the rim. It doesn’t help that Ball avoids contact on drives to the basket. To go along with getting his shot blocked frequently in the restricted area, he’s averaging only 1.4 free throw attempts per game this season, and he’s made 48.0 percent of those opportunities.

We have different players in this locker room with different styles of leadership, Curry said. We have just about every element covered between our vets so it’s easy for me to be myself and lead my way. I don’t have to be demonstrative; we have someone like that. I’ve always been a lead by example person. I think your teammates respect you when you’re being true to yourself.

In particular, Curry has tried to emulate the leadership he learned from his coach at Davidson.

Coach Bob McKillop is the best example of how I always wanted to lead a team, he said. He wasn’t loud, but his message and tone was consistent enough that you knew what he stood for and guys followed. He knew when and how to get his point across and that’s what I try to do here.

Solder showed signs of slowing down as Tom Brady’s athletic blindside pass protector this past season, and there were some thoughts that he might retire. If he plays, he can still be a solid starter at a tough position to find a worthy veteran.

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Curry feels he has an obligation to uphold, and it stems from his childhood experiences shadowing his father, Dell Curry, who had a 16-year NBA career.

I have a different perspective on kids. I was in that position where I was around NBA athletes all the time and I knew which ones were a–h—s or not, Curry said. That actually affected me as a kid. My dad’s teammates or the people he played against, if I sat in the hallway and I said ‘hey’ and said ‘what’s up’ to them, if they even said something back to me, that made my day. If they just cold-shouldered me, that hurt. It wasn’t a lasting effect, but in the moment, that means a lot.

The only rookies currently averaging more blocks per game than Ball (0.9) are Jonathan Isaac, Jordan Bell and John Collins. He is also second among rookies in deflections per game (2.5) and steals per game (1.5), trailing only Simmons, who is in a dead heat with Donovan Mitchell for Rookie of the Year, in those categories. Ball hasn’t lucked into those numbers, either. He has a good sense of where to be when he isn’t defending the ball, and he can pick errant passes out of the air with his long arms.

Butler has delivered what the Timberwolves needed, not only providing a veteran leader and defensive stalwart on the perimeter, but giving Minnesota an able scorer (22.4 points per game) from all parts of the floor. Butler is a good midrange shooter, but he has developed the consistency from the 3-point line that was missing early in his career, shooting 37.2 percent from deep.

Butler leads the league in minutes played, which is of some concern because he has battled a bad knee this year.

Lillard has had reason to gripe about not making the All-Star team in the last two years, but with the talent-stocked West, it’s never easy. But he has been relatively efficient this year, shooting a career-best 44.7 percent from the field for his 26.1 points per game. And he enters the weekend especially hot: In his last three games, he has scored 50, 39 and 44 points, shooting 55.3 percent in that run.

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We’ve got action between the Pistons and Pelicans, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Pistons and Pelicans seriously discussing a Brice Johnson-Dante Cunningham deal, league sources tell ESPN.

Dante Cunningham has veto power on any trade based on the 1 year bird restriction.

Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard ranks sixth in the NBA in scoring this season (26.1 PPG), and he is moving on up after a stellar 30-day stretch. During the past month, Lillard’s 29.2 PPG ranks third in the league behind only Harden (30.8) and Anthony Davis (30.2). Impressively, he has made 49.1 percent of his shots during that stretch.

Sacramento Kings: At 18-39 on the season, no team in the NBA has fewer wins than the Kings as we exit the All-Star break. Oddly enough, five other teams are, however, also at 18 wins. In any case, it’s clear that the Kings need to spend the final months of the regular season seeing what they have in their young players, and we have already seen the beginning of that trend. In seven games this month, the team’s four leaders in minutes per game are Bogdan Bogdanovic (30.4), De’Aaron Fox (29.7), Willie Cauley-Stein (28.0) and Justin Jackson (28.0).

San Antonio Spurs: Danny Green’s 12.0 PPG this month ranks second on the Spurs behind only LaMarcus Aldridge, and the veteran swingman is chipping in with 2.5 3PG, 4.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG and 1.2 BPG during that stretch. Somehow, he is still available in more than 92 percent of ESPN leagues.

Atlanta Hawks: Taurean Prince tends to go overlooked in the fantasy world, but the second-year swingman is playing more minutes and scoring more points than anyone else on the Hawks this month aside from Dennis Schroder. The 12th pick in the 2016 draft needs to get his 3-point shot squared away, though, as he is only 1-for-25 from long range in his past four games.

Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart (hand) practiced with the Celtics on Wednesday and has been cleared to return to the court on Friday against the Pistons. Smart hasn’t played since late January due to a severe laceration on his hand, and his return to the rotation will take away minutes from Terry Rozier, who busted out with averages of 15.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists in his past 10 games.

Brooklyn Nets: D’Angelo Russell has played 30 minutes or more only once since returning to the Nets lineup, but that will likely start to change as he continues to build his endurance and get in game shape. A bigger concern might be Russell’s inefficient shooting; he is shooting 40.9 percent, including 22.2 percent from 3-point range, in his past five games. Right now, Russell isn’t a top-100 fantasy option.

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