The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. “Wednesday NBA Roundup: Karl-Anthony Towns Learning Hardest Superstar Lesson Yet” – Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report
There are plenty of similarities between Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns. Both were one-and-done big men at Kentucky who were selected No. 1 overall in their respective drafts. Both represent the future of the post player in the NBA.
And now, both guys’ teams have been futile enough to waste monster games from their star big men.
Towns went off on the Knicks Wednesday night, but all it resulted in was a loss for the Timberwolves. The future is bright in Minnesota, but the present may not be all that great. Hughes dives into everything surrounding Towns’ historic performance and summarizes some other key happenings around the league.
2. “After the Process: Meet Sam Hinkie 2.0” – Chris Ballard of The Crossover
Does anybody really know if Hinkie’s famed “Process” is a success yet? I think it’s probably too soon to tell. Jahlil Okafor is looking like a bust and the team has done a poor job keeping Nerlens Noel happy. Joel Embiid could challenge Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis as the league’s best big man in a couple years, and the jury is still out on Ben Simmons.
But we do know Hinkie’s move was gutsy. He ended up stepping down from his general manager position, but he’s still keeping busy in Palo Alto, California. Ballard catches up with him here in this illuminating profile.
3. “Russ busting historic moves so far” – Alex Wong of Sports on Earth
Russell Westbrook just notched his fourth consecutive triple-double on Wednesday, a feat that’s basically unheard-of in the NBA today. In that same stretch, he’s averaging 28.8 points, 14.0 rebounds and 14.3 assists per game and is now averaging a triple-double.
Wong talked to Russ and some of his teammates following the Thunder’s win over the Knicks on Tuesday (when his streak was still at three). As all good squads are, Oklahoma City seems to be focused on winning rather than one player’s statistical excellence.
4. “Once sidelined by rare disorder, Austin gets new shot at NBA dream” – Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie
One of the league’s most touching draft-night moments in history happened more than two years ago, when the NBA selected Isaiah Austin as a ceremonial pick. Leading up to the draft, Austin was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a condition thought to be too dangerous to play with.
Now, the former Baylor Bear has announced that he was been cleared to return to basketball and will attempt to chase his NBA dream again. It’s an awesome story that Devine covers well here.
5. “NBA tanking may be traumatic but it works” – Dave Schilling of The Guardian
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently announced that his team wouldn’t tank. Schilling and I disagree with his decision, and he backs up his reasoning with several past examples.
Tanking is a risky proposition, but for the Mavs, it would really be for the best. This team doesn’t have a high ceiling with a young core of Harrison Barnes, Seth Curry, Justin Anderson and Dwight Powell. Now, if you add a guy like Markelle Fultz or Josh Jackson to that, then you’ve got something exciting.