The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
1. Mavericks vs. Thunder 2016 results: Dallas shocks Oklahoma City to take Game 2 – Liam Boylan-Pett, SBNation
In a complete turn of events, the Dallas Mavericks overcame a near 40-point blowout in Game 1 to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 85-84 in Game 2 of their playoff series. Raymond Felton played 42 minutes and scored 21 points on 8-16 shooting, grabbed 11 rebounds and helped carry the Mavericks in a game where Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined to shoot 15-55 and score 40 points. Raymond Felton, one good quarter from Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki having more shots than points was enough to overcome a team with two of the best players in the league, albeit for one game. When the Thunder decide to collapse, they do it with all their might.
2. The Breakdown: blitzing the pick-and-roll works for the Cavaliers and the Clippers – Jeff Siegel, Hardwood Paroxysm
The Cavaliers and the Clippers are employing the same strategy against their opponents, blitzing the pick-and-roll, but for two different reasons. The Pistons use the pick-and-roll as a way to get Andre Drummond easy dunks at the rim. By blitzing (or double teaming the ball-handler with the screener’s defender) Reggie Jackson, the Pistons don’t have a direct pass to Drummond, which forced the Pistons to get the ball to Drummond just below the free throw line, a place he isn’t used to scoring from.
The Clippers use this strategy to get the ball out of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum’s hands, forcing some of their other players to be decision makers. The strategy worked well in Game 1, and the Blazers’ adjustments will decide how they fare in Game 2.
3. “Hustle” Caveats – Seth Partnow, Nylon Calculus
NBA.com rolled out its “hustle stats” for the playoffs, and while there is a lot of noise on how valuable the stats are, more information is always better than less. Most of the information makes sense: Draymond Green averages the most contested shots through the first two games, and the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs have the most contested shots as a team (they were the top two defenses during the regular season. As with any amount of stats, though, it’s far too early to tell what impact these stats have on the play on the court.
4. The Rotation: Warriors win without Curry – Fansided Staff, Fansided.com
A comprehensive article on everything that happened in the playoffs last night. From Raymond Felton’s heroics to Dwight Howard’s collapse to Andre Iguodala’s ability to make even the impossible look easy, everything you missed from last night’s games can be found here.
5. Jamal Crawford voted 6th Man for third time – Sam Amick, USA Today
Despite having one of his worst true shooting percentages in nearly a decade, Jamal Crawford won the 6th Man of the Year award for the third time. There were more deserving candidates, but in the end, the voters decided that Crawford was most deserving of the award for the 53-29 Clippers. To see the voting, go here.