The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
LeBron James is currently playing some of the best basketball of his career. He and the Cavaliers are romping through the Eastern Conference as they try to repeat as champions. But this season has had its hiccups for LeBron and Co., with one of those stumbling blocks being James’ struggles from the free-throw line. LeBron shot a career-worst 67.4 percent from the charity stripe, and Haberstroh examines how he’s tried a ton of different routines at the line to find a groove. The good news is James is up around his career mark in the playoffs.
The 2017 All-NBA teams have been announced, and Paul George didn’t make it. George had a lot of money riding on making it, because he would’ve been eligible for a super-max extension from the Pacers that would’ve added $30 million to what they can currently offer. This also would’ve created more than a $70 million difference between what Indiana could offer and what another team could offer. Now that difference is nearly cut in half, which could give George incentive to leave.
The Warriors obviously have a lot of talent, but part of what makes them so great is what Kawakami calls the “Doubling Effect.” In essence, the Dubs double down on what makes them so good. Stephen Curry is an incredible offensive player, and they doubled down on that by signing Kevin Durant. Andre Iguodala is a versatile wing off the bench, and they’ve doubled down on that with players like Patrick McCaw, Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes. They cycle through a group of centers who bring different things but can all play. When all the parts are working together, Golden State is unstoppable.
Game 1 was real ugly for the Celtics. They were never competitive, and the 13-point margin didn’t really show how bad of a beating it was. One silver lining, though, was the play of rookie Jaylen Brown. The youngster was all over the place, and he nearly recorded a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes. He also did an admirable job on defense against LeBron James. Expect to see more than 20 minutes of Brown in Game 2.
Many people are enamored with this draft class, but in an NBA where 3-point shooting has become more important than ever, will this group be prolific from behind the arc? Johnson’s projections suggest that won’t be the case. Although, remember that these are simply projections and the results could be totally different. But it’s something to keep in mind.