The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. Chris Paul’s hand injury could derail Clippers’ promising postseason – Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated
The Clippers went from actual championship contenders to possibly being ousted in the first round with one broken hand. Without Chris Paul in the lineup, the Clippers don’t have the firepower to beat the Golden State Warriors, and probably don’t have the firepower to beat the Blazers in the first round. While the past three seasons have certainly been bad luck for the Clippers, it may be time to consider moving one of the big players for the Clippers, as this current iteration just can’t seem to have the ball bounce their way.
2. Foul Trouble or Troubled by Fouls – Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus
Playing hesitant with foul trouble isn’t new, but Hassan Whiteside has taken it to new levels, per information found by Partnow. With Whiteside not in foul trouble (defined as having fewer fouls than quarters in the game), Miami’s defense is elite, allowing only 90.2 points per 100 possessions during the regular season. When he’s in foul trouble, though, the opponents grab more offensive rebounds, take more shots in the restricted area and score 102.7 points per 100 possessions.
3. The Rotation: Clippers lose Game 4 and Chris Paul – Ian Levy, Fansided
As always, The Rotation is a must read, regardless of how much basketball you’ve watched the night before. In today’s edition, Chris Paul’s injury is discussed, the Hornets resurrection is detailed and most importantly (to someone who is, admittedly, as big of an Andre Roberson fan as one is allowed to be) a look at what Roberson brings to Oklahoma City. Dre is obviously limited on offense, but his activity and ability on defense can help make up for that.
4. Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets focus on the perpetual market inefficiency – Miles Wray, Hardwood Paroxysm
The Brooklyn Nets have a well-documented long way to go with their current rebuild. With no first round draft picks of their own for the foreseeable future, they have to rely on other ways to improve their team, ones with far less upside than the draft. The Nets’ decisions seem to be in the right direction thus far, as the hiring of Sean Marks and Atlanta Hawks’ assistant Kenny Atkinson have been received well. The Nets are on the first floor of the championship skyscraper, but at least they can see the staircase that could lead them to the floors above.
5. Kyrie Irving is back – Will Reeve, BBALLBREAKDOWN
Irving struggled for a lot of the regular season, but he showed the potential that the Cavaliers’ Big 3 have with his excellent performance in the series-clinching game Sunday night. Irving, Kevin Love and LeBron James have all had their moments in the first round of the playoffs, and with all of the injuries piling up in the Western Conference, the Cavaliers’ chance at a championship just increased dramatically.