The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the internet
1. Jimmy Butler has something to say – Michael Pina, Vice Sports
In a lengthy piece that includes an extensive interview with Jimmy Butler about his work ethic and how Butler sometimes struggles to get along with himself, Pina encapsulates what drives the All-NBA player. Butler was the last man picked in the first round in 2011, the same man who has exceeded every expectation and continues to grow. The piece offers more insight into Butler than any other I’ve read on him.
2. Pistons banking on Jackson regaining magic – Rod Beard, The Detroit News
Post-surgery Reggie Jackson hasn’t been the same as pre-surgery Jackson, and that was a huge part of the reason the Pistons struggled last year. Jackson is taking the summer off from basketball activities, hoping to hit the season fresh and running. The Pistons are banking on that. Jackson’s ineffectiveness affected Andre Drummond too. With Jackson back to 100 percent surrounded by a restocked supporting cast, can the Pistons be revived?
3. Balancing the value of volume scoring with efficiency – Todd Whitehead, Nylon Calculus
One of the ongoing debates in basketball — it began before Twitter — is volume versus efficiency. When do stats matter? How does that compare with efficiency? Whitehead comes up with a stat that attempts to reconcile the two. While there are some weird results (Jimmy Butler), it tends to pass muster for the most part.
4. Isaiah Thomas’ injury is potentially far more serious than you know – Tom Haberstroh, ESPN
If you’re like me and were utterly and completely persuaded that the Celtics got scammed in the trade with the Cavaliers, you might want to read this article. Haberstroh gets into the medical aspects of Isaiah Thomas’ injury; it seems to be potentially far more serious than we realized. Effectively, the IT who dazzled last year might be done forever. He might be back by the All-Star Game. He might be back before then, but not playing at the same level. In sum, the injury is more than we thought, and that should cause us to re-evaluate the trade.
5. Bogdan wants the weight that comes with the crown – Emmet Ryan, BallinEurope.com
Bogdan Bogdanovic signed the largest rookie contract in NBA history this summer with the Sacramento Kings. Emmet Ryan looks at how he has helped Serbia during EuroBasket and grown up through the tournament, learning not only to shine but also to lead, both through his success and his disappointments. If you’re a Kings fan wondering what you’re getting, this is a great article to read.