The Dallas Mavericks are known for inching through basketball games with little room for improv. Under Rick Carlise’s precise micro-management, their astute half-court offense has guided them past opponents that don’t cherish possessions like they do. Over the past four years, Dallas has had the third-slowest offense in basketball, and in three of the past six seasons they avoided transition chances more than any other team in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. This made sense. Their transition offense had been bad while operations in the half-court were, if not very good, at the very least a pain to deal with. As recently as 2016, Dallas had one of the five most efficient half-court offenses in the league. Instead of rushing up the court—not so easy with an aging Dirk Nowitzki!—they patiently shared and took care of the ball while hunting for the shots they preferred. In some ways this was a sensible approach. In others, any system so reliant on timing and … [Read more...] about The Mavericks are already good enough to make the playoffs
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers say Anthony Davis is day-to-day with a sprained right thumb. An MRI exam on Davis' injury revealed only a sprain, increasing the chances of the Lakers' new star being ready for the regular season. … [Read more...] about Anthony Davis’ MRI reveals only thumb sprain, Lakers say
The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are heading home from China, their roles as unwitting participants in a geopolitical drama that neither team had any role in starting or escalating now over. The Nets beat the Lakers 91-77 in Shenzhen, China on Saturday, capping a two-game preseason series in China that was overshadowed by the fallout from a tweet on the protests in the country about Hong Kong by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. The league has played preseason games in China every year since 2007, with the exception of the lockout-shortened season in 2011. Now it's unclear if the fractured relationship can be mended for the series to continue next year. … [Read more...] about The Lakers-Nets series in China ends _ quietly, again
Last season Buddy Hield had one of the most prolific three-point shooting seasons of all-time. He was essentially a third Splash Brother, one who lived 90 minutes down the road from his siblings. He ended up with the seventh highest single-season total on three-pointers made ever. Only one player ever, Stephen Curry, had ever hit more three-pointers in a single season while shooting better than 40 percent from long-range. (Steph has the top four spots on this list.) This would not appear to be a fluke: Hield hit 43 percent on three-pointers the year before while finishing 20th in the league in attempts and he hit 39 percent from deep as a rookie. Of course, Hield came to fame at Oklahoma by shooting and making lots of three-pointers. The evidence suggests that Buddy is one of the best shooters in the entire NBA. The evidence also suggests that Hield is a good fit with his team’s best and most promising player, De’Aaron Fox, the lightning bolt point guard responsible for … [Read more...] about Buddy Hield’s contract extension will test the Kings’ good vibes
The Washington Mystics are your 2019 WNBA champions. The Mystics were the best team in the league all year, had the best player in the league in Elena Delle Donne, had the best offense in WNBA history, were well-coached, deep (look at Emma Meesseman winning Finals MMVVPP!), and extremely well-built. What a team! Washington would have been one of the best basketball teams in memory to not win the title if they had fallen short (up there with the 2016 Warriors, 2016 Lynx, and 2013 Spurs). Kudos to the Connecticut Sun for a great season -- they had two chances to finish off the Mystics and fell short both times, but not for lack of excellence or effort. The Mystics were just too good. The Mystics won’t have a parade because ... a bunch of the players of the new WNBA champions have to go play in international leagues like next week to supplement their WNBA salaries. This is like when 2 Legit 2 Split beat the Lords of Pinterfell in your local bowling league championship but team … [Read more...] about Make no mystake: the Washington Mystics are WNBA champions!