The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. Power Rankings: Spurs thump Warriors and don’t stop there – John Schuhmann, NBA.com
Power Rankings are always difficult to read too much into, especially after only one week of play. But they are interesting nonetheless, and a few teams surprised in the first week of play. The Spurs thumping the Warriors was enough to claim the top spot, and winning three other games that week didn’t hurt either. The loss dropped the Warriors to the third spot, behind the Spurs and the Cavaliers. The 76ers bring up the rear this week, although Joel Embiid might be the most interesting story so far this season.
2. “Stagger” – Dylan Murphy, Medium.com
With basketball season now upon us, knowing the terminology for specific sets helps when trying to break down the games. Fortunately, The Basketball Dictionary continues its series on terminology with the “stagger” or multiple screens for a cutter, including videos of NBA teams and how they use it in the offense.
3. The collected wisdom of ESPN’s Doris Burke – Brett Dawson, NewsOK
Few are better at what they do than Doris Burke, whose distinct voice and knowledge of the game make every listening opportunity enjoyable. Burke is the rare analyst who has competed at a high level, is still knowledgeable about the game today and provides something new with every game.
4. Are players like Monte Morris a dying breed in today’s NBA? – J.Z. Mazlish, The Step Back
Monte Morris is one of the best point guards in college basketball, but the jump from college to NBA is not only difficult because of the increased talent level, but also because of the differences of the games. Players like Morris, a pass-first point guard that shoots only when absolutely necessary, only succeed in the NBA if they can control a game on an elite level; think prime Rajon Rondo. And even then, they experience the best success if they can defend their position, making life difficult for their counterparts. Morris will certainly have his shot to make an impact in the NBA, but his specific type of skill set may be one that’s not utilized as it once was.
5. High Complements: On related skills and the NBA’s best passers – Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders
The terms “best rebounder” or “best passer” are often thrown around to describe the players with a clear, unique skill, but rare is it that a part of the game is separated as clearly as just passing or just rebounding. Dowsett makes the argument that James Harden and LeBron James are among the best passers in the league, not only because of their ability to pass, but also their ability to score at an elite level. Without a double-team, or at least some semblance of help defense, each player would take advantage of his matchup at will. But it’s the ability to find open teammates that makes their skills so unique and what makes each player as good as he is.