The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the Internet
1. Who In The World Is David Nwaba? – David Nwaba, Players’ Tribune
You ever read about players like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook talking about how they were overlooked and told they couldn’t do it their whole lives, and so on and so forth, and then just looked at your computer screen like, “What?!” You were one of the most recruited players in the country and a top draft pick.
I don’t know if David Nwaba will ever be a star or even a rotation player in the NBA. I do know that he went to a Division II school and has a shot at getting a spot with the Chicago Bulls. This is a great story about a guy who really has had to overcome a lot to get to where he is. When “I could make more driving an Uber” is a quote from the player, you gotta read the article, right?
2. Brandon Ingram attacks the offseason – Mike Trudell, Lakers.com
Brandon Ingram was a borderline bust his rookie season. He was the highest pick who actually played, and he played the most minutes of any rookie, yet he didn’t get a single vote for Rookie of the Year–not even a third-place vote. That’s pretty telling. But he did have some good splits and showed signs of life after the All-Star Break. He’s hoping to take a big step forward this year, as he discusses in the interview with Trudell what he’s doing to improve.
3. Under the radar: The 2016-17 season was the best free throw shooting season of all-time – Igor Sopar, Clutch Points
Last year, the league shot 77.2 percent from the stripe, which was the highest in NBA history. If you’re like me and did not know that, this is indeed an under-the-radar story. So why might that be? Is it just an anomaly or is something happening to make players better at making shots? Sopar cites three things that can help free throw totals: more small ball, some big men improving as shooters, and increased access to resources. I would add that rule changes that take away the incentives to “hacka-whoever” probably cut down on the shots from bad shooters as well.
4. Curry’s trainer says he’s still getting better – Scott Ostler, SF Chronicle
Is Stephen Curry getting better? As Ostler puts it:
“That sounds like pure blarney, considering that Curry turns 30 in March and, for at least the past three seasons, has played at the superduperstar level. But with (Brandon) Payne (Curry’s trainer) I curb my skepticism. He keeps overselling Curry, and Curry keeps outplaying Payne’s oversell. Truth is truth.”
Just the notion of a better Curry should be enough to get you to read this. Beyond that, though, it’s interesting to see Curry’s workout regime.
5. How Is Dirk Nowitzki preparing for his 20th NBA season? – Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated
What’s German for “seven foot Energizer Bunny”? Dirk Nowitzki just keeps on going. He’s 39 now and will be playing in his 20th season. He’s the greatest European player in history and arguably the biggest reason that European players are commonly on NBA teams. He’s one of the greatest scorers in the history of the game. He has accrued a lot of wisdom during his career. This is a good interview with Dirk, who describes what it’s like to age in the Association.