是什么让第一轮的火箭打得如此轻松?

 

Title2

Why Rockets won both Play-Off 1st Round games so easily?

是什么让第一轮的火箭打得如此轻松?

#1. Rockets are in their “best shape” in whole 2018-19 NBA season, how about Jazz? Jazz and Rockets started season slow. Both teams play their best basketball after after All-Star break. Both teams are in “great shape” so this shouldn’t be a reason why Jazz were heavily defeated in both games.

1,火箭连胜的状态很好,爵士不是吗?

爵士也开始慢热的赛季,在常规赛结束时表现出色。两支球队在全明星赛结束后都打出了他们最好的篮球。两支球队的状态都很好,所以这不应该成为爵士队在两场比赛中都惨败的原因。

HOU UTA W%

Game 1: Rockets – Jazz 122:90 (+32); Game 2: Rockets – Jazz 118:98 (+20). With all the respect to Houston team +52 in 2 games don’t show us real strength comparison between these two teams. Utah Jazz will play much better at home, especially defensively.

第一场:火箭爵士122:90+32);第二场:火箭爵士118:98+20)。在2场比赛中对休斯顿+52分差并没有显示出这两支球队的真实实力对比,犹他爵士在主场会打得更好,尤其是防守方面。

#2. Good match-up for Rockets/Bad match-up for Jazz? Not sure, maybe.

2临场发挥也许吧。

In the 1st Round of Western Conference Play-Offs we have a match-up between:

2nd best offense Houston 115.5 OffRTG (regular season 2018-19);

2nd best defense 105.7 DefRTG (regular season 2018-19).

Houston = ISO to max offense + lot of 3s vs. Utah = one of the NBA leading team in pick-and-rolls and hand-off screens.

As all we know Houston attempts a lot of 3’s. High volume and high % (3-pointers) = almost impossible to stop Rockets for any team in NBA.

Regular season series 2-2.

在西部联盟季后赛的第一轮中,有一场比赛:

进攻第二的休斯顿:115.5分(常规赛2018-19);

防守第二的爵士:105.7分(常规赛2018-19)。

休斯顿进攻在联盟是挡拆和传球方面领先的。

正如我们所知道的,休斯顿尝试了很多三分球,高出手数和高命中率(三分球),几乎不可能阻止火箭在NBA的任何球队的面前得高分。

 

常规赛系列赛2-2

Rockets JAZZ

#3. Defensive strategy of forcing Harden to right helps Rockets?

3怎么防哈登

NBA is the League where you can’t hide anything and teams has tendencies to copy the style of best offenses and defenses.

Having 2nd best defense in 2018-19 regular season and playing 2-2 during regular season vs Jazz.. Why change defensive strategy? Of course , the key to be successful against Rockets = STOP HARDEN! So obviously Jazz tried the same defensive strategy what Coach Budenholzer (Milwaukee) used to apply vs. Harden = force to right hand and “send” him towards big man. Bucks have Giannis/Lopez, Jazz – Gobert. Milwaukee Bucks is best defensive team this season.

NBA是一个你不能隐藏任何东西的联盟,球队有模仿最佳进攻和防守风格的倾向。

2018-19常规赛中获得第二名防守,在常规赛的比赛中以2-2的比分结束。为什么要改变防守策略?当然,成功对付火箭的关键就是要站稳脚跟,所以很明显,爵士也尝试了同样的防守策略,就像教练布登霍泽(密尔沃基)对哈登的防守策略一样,把他到大个子面前。雄鹿有字母哥/洛佩兹,而爵士有戈伯特。所以密尔沃基雄鹿是本赛季最好的防守球队。

Harden right hand

Force to right

Milwaukee vs Rockets

As coach Quin Snyder said in interview during game – probably Gobert/Favors helps too early and it gives Harden more time for the best decision.

正如教练奎因·斯奈德在比赛中接受采访时所说的那样,戈伯特/费沃斯协防可能太早了,这给了哈登更多的时间来做出最好的决定。

#4. OPTIONS FOR JAMES HARDEN.

哈登的进攻选择

Option #1. Drive towards the basket and finish with lay-up/floater/dunk.

1,直接突破攻击篮筐,上篮得分

Floater

Lay-up

Option #2. Drive towards the basket – X5 helps – pass or alley-oop to Big man (usually Capela).

2,突破内线,打个球员顺下(通常是卡佩拉)接短传或空中接力的助攻得分

Alley Oop

drive + pass to big

Option #3. Step-back 3. Usually dribbling with non-shooting hand (in Harden’s case – right hand) allows to do step-back move more effective as it is if player dribbles with shooting hand.

3,后撤步投篮:用弱侧手运球能让防守队员不知所措。

2yz1re

Option #4. Drive towards the basket – X5 helps + rotation = drive-kick to shooters.

4,突破后队友在外线轮转跑位,接突分后投篮

Pass to corner

Option #5. Pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop. If teammate decides to set a screen for Harden then all the offensive basket skills vs WEAK (Force ball-handler to weak hand)/ICE defense applies. In this example pass to screener who pops behind three-point line.

5,打挡拆。如果队友在强侧作掩护,哈登直接突破;如果在弱侧作掩护,哈德也可以完成投篮

pick-and-roll pickpop

ADVICE

建议

Why not start rotation right after second dribble of Harden? In picture below we can see that XH (Ingles) already is too far behind Beard and he can’t guard him anymore. Why not to go directly to guard 2 (House) since his defender X2 (Rubio) is trying prevent Capela to receive alley-oop pass from Harden.

为什么不在哈登第二次运球后开始旋转?在下面的图片中,我们可以看到英戈尔斯已经离大胡子太远了,他再也不能覆盖到他了。为什么不直接去2位(豪斯),因为防他的后卫(鲁比奥)正试图阻止卡佩拉从哈登接到空接传球

Advice PDFAdvice.png

Best strategy for 2nd best defense in Regular season? I don’t think so. They don’t stop neither Harden nor whole Rockets squad. Of course bad offense affects defensive effectiveness.

常规赛第二防守的策略我不这么认为。他们既不阻止火箭队也不阻止整个火箭队。当然糟糕的进攻也会影响防守效果。

#5. Rockets = more than only Harden!

Rockets Field goal %

There are 2 type of wins of Rockets. Harden 40-50 points + teammates scores less.. Harden 20-30 points and teammates scores more…

Rockets proved that they can win Jazz various ways.

火箭有两种获胜方式。哈登40-50+队友得分更少;哈登20-30分,队友得分更高

火箭队证明了他们能以各种方式赢得爵士队。

Tucker the most corner 3

Tucker leads the League for 3-pointers scored from corner.

Capela plays his best basketball despite he wasn’t 100% ready for G2.

CP3, Gordon and others = all play great basketball.

Excellent job by Rockets adding these players to roster in the middle of the season.

塔克在底角三分球领先联盟。

卡佩拉打了他最好的篮球,尽管他没有100%准备好参加G2

CP3、戈登和其他人都打得都很好。

火箭在赛季中期将这些球员加入球队阵容,这是一个很好的工作:法里埃德,丹尼尔豪斯,小里佛斯,香波特。

Houston Notable playetrs

Unfortunately for Rockets but FG% for whole team in play-offs is so high that decrease in accuracy will be seen very soon . Regular season #1 – Golden State Warriors – 49.1% (FG%) (Rockets shoots more 3-pointers).

不幸的是,火箭队在季后赛中的总命中率很高,但很快又会降低。常规赛1-金州勇士队-49.1%fg%)(火箭队投三分球太多)。

#6. Rockets defense.

6火箭的防守

Defense creates offense.  I really like Rockets players on-ball defense especially in Pick-and-Roll situations.

HOU great PNR defense

Great on-ball defense on pick-and-roll ball-handler, not always covering roll man the best way but Mitchell/Rubio/Ingles don’t shoot well in PNR situations.

Since Rockets SWITCH very often, Gobert and Favors very often even didn’t set the screen but slip the screen anticipating SWITCH. It also helps on-ball defender to do his job better if screen is not set as it should be.

防守创造进攻。我真的很喜欢火箭球员的防守,特别是在对方挡拆的情况下。

在控球方面的防守很好,不总是以最好的方式掩护控球人,但是米切尔/鲁比奥/因格尔斯在PNR战术的情况下投篮不好。

由于火箭经常换位,戈伯特和费沃斯经常甚至没有设置挡拆,而是按照事先预料的换位。这也有助于球后卫更好地完成他的工作,如果挡拆没有设置也是应该的。

Jazz Type of shots

Ball-handler FG% in pick-and-roll situations in 2 play-off games so far has been 12.6% lower than regular season average…  Similar situation with hand-off – 28.7% lower accuracy.

Rockets as usual switch a lot, not always all screens but very often.

Anyway, it isn’t always Rockets defense. Jazz has high number of unforced turnovers that leads to fast break opportunities and wide open 3-pointers in transition.

到目前为止,在2场季后赛中,爵士控球手在接球和轮转球的情况下比常规赛平均水平低了12.6%…类似的情况下,接球的准确度都降低了28.7%

火箭像往常一样经常轮转,经常轮转。

不管怎样,火箭的防守并不总是如此。爵士有大量的非受迫失误,导致快速突破的机会和广泛开放的三分球给到火箭。

Example of defending drive to the basket of Rockets player.

Great drive defemse

#7 Jazz simply can’t score… Even wide open shots.

7,爵士得分太难了

Utah Jazz has the most wide open shots (29.7% of all shots) among all NBA Play-Off teams but has only 14th best FG% and together with Oklahoma City they have worst 3-point FG% (20.0%).

犹他爵士队在所有的NBA季后赛球队中拥有最多的空位投篮(占所有投篮的29.7%),但只有第14名的投篮命中率,与俄克拉荷马城队相似,他们拥有最差的3分球命中率(20.0%)。

Jazz Wide Open shots                                                                                      In NBA 2018-19 regular season both teams shot 35.6% from 3-point line (10th/11th in NBA). In Play-Offs situation is completely different.

2018-19赛季的NBA常规赛中,两支球队都在从3分线外获得了35.6%的命中率,但在季后赛中情况完全不同

Houston Jazz shots

Interesting that in this NBA Play-Off First Round match-up between Jazz and Rockets we probably have a chance to see the most alley-oop dunks compared to any other match-up.

有趣的是,在这场由爵士队和火箭队组成的NBA首轮比赛中,我们可能有机会看到最棒的空中接力扣篮:哈登给卡佩拉传了83个空中接力,卢比奥给戈贝尔传了33个空接。

Alley-OOp leaders

No doubts, Rockets looks like NBA Title contender! Anyway,  I don’t think Rockets will have any 20+ win vs Jazz this series, Utah team has too much potential and it’s hard to imagine other Rockets players except Harden to continue to shoot 50%+. Simply it’s too good to be truth 🙂 Series not over yet. 4-1 or 4-2 Rockets.

毫无疑问,火箭应该是NBA冠军的有力争夺者!无论如何,我不认为火箭会在这个系列赛中再次赢得20分以上的胜利了,犹他人有太多的潜力,很难想象除了哈登以外的其他火箭球员会继续50%以上的命中率。简单地说,这太理想了,不太可能是事实:)系列还没有结束。我想最后的结果会是4-14-2火箭晋级。

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For anyone who’s is interested in quality and well organized basketball practice in great venue @ Beijing – please contact me personally. 

如果有人在北京想要高质量的篮球训练,请私信联系我。

A+ Chinese version real

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Thanks for reading! CoachKris@HUPU

感谢阅读!

 

ROCKETS vs. JAZZ. WHY ROCKETS WON BOTH PLAY-OFF 1st ROUND GAMES SO EASILY!?

 

Title2

Why Rockets won both Play-Off 1st Round games so easily?

#1. Rockets are in their “best shape” in whole 2018-19 NBA season, how about Jazz? Jazz and Rockets started season slow. Both teams play their best basketball after after All-Star break. Both teams are in “great shape” so this shouldn’t be a reason why Jazz were heavily defeated in both games.

HOU UTA W%

Game 1: Rockets – Jazz 122:90 (+32); Game 2: Rockets – Jazz 118:98 (+20). With all the respect to Houston team +52 in 2 games don’t show us real strength comparison between these two teams. Utah Jazz will play much better at home, especially defensively.

#2. Good match-up for Rockets/Bad match-up for Jazz? Not sure, maybe.

In the 1st Round of Western Conference Play-Offs we have a match-up between:

2nd best offense Houston 115.5 OffRTG (regular season 2018-19);

2nd best defense 105.7 DefRTG (regular season 2018-19).

Houston = ISO to max offense + lot of 3s vs. Utah = one of the NBA leading team in pick-and-rolls and hand-off screens.

As all we know Houston attempts a lot of 3’s. High volume and high % (3-pointers) = almost impossible to stop Rockets for any team in NBA.

Regular season series 2-2.

Rockets JAZZ

#3. Defensive strategy of forcing Harden to right helps Rockets?

NBA is the League where you can’t hide anything and teams has tendencies to copy the style of best offenses and defenses.

Having 2nd best defense in 2018-19 regular season and playing 2-2 during regular season vs Jazz.. Why change defensive strategy? Of course , the key to be successful against Rockets = STOP HARDEN! So obviously Jazz tried the same defensive strategy what Coach Budenholzer (Milwaukee) used to apply vs. Harden = force to right hand and “send” him towards big man. Bucks have Giannis/Lopez, Jazz – Gobert. Milwaukee Bucks is best defensive team this season.

Harden right hand

Force to right

Milwaukee vs Rockets

As coach Quin Snyder said in interview during game – probably Gobert/Favors helps too early and it gives Harden more time for the best decision.

OPTIONS FOR JAMES HARDEN.

Option #1. Drive towards the basket and finish with lay-up/floater/dunk.

Floater

Lay-up

Option #2. Drive towards the basket – X5 helps – pass or alley-oop to Big man (usually Capela).

Alley Oop

drive + pass to big

Option #3. Step-back 3. Usually dribbling with non-shooting hand (in Harden’s case – right hand) allows to do step-back move more effective as it is if player dribbles with shooting hand.

2yz1re

Option #4. Drive towards the basket – X5 helps + rotation = drive-kick to shooters.

Pass to corner

Option #5. Pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop. If teammate decides to set a screen for Harden then all the offensive basket skills vs WEAK (Force ball-handler to weak hand)/ICE defense applies. In this example pass to screener who pops behind three-point line.

pick-and-roll pickpop

ADVICE

Why not start rotation right after second dribble of Harden? In picture below we can see that XH (Ingles) already is too far behind Beard and he can’t guard him anymore. Why not to go directly to guard 2 (House) since his defender X2 (Rubio) is trying prevent Capela to receive alley-oop pass from Harden.

Advice PDFAdvice.png

Best strategy for 2nd best defense in Regular season? I don’t think so. They don’t stop neither Harden nor whole Rockets squad. Of course bad offense affects defensive effectiveness.

#4. Rockets = more than only Harden!

Rockets Field goal %

There are 2 type of wins of Rockets. Harden 40-50 points + teammates scores less.. Harden 20-30 points and teammates scores more…

Rockets proved that they can win Jazz various ways.

Tucker the most corner 3

Tucker leads the League for 3-pointers scored from corner.

Capela plays his best basketball despite he wasn’t 100% ready for G2.

CP3, Gordon and others = all play great basketball.

Excellent job by Rockets adding these players to roster in the middle of the season.

Houston Notable playetrs

Unfortunately for Rockets but FG% for whole team in play-offs is so high that decrease in accuracy will be seen very soon . Regular season #1 – Golden State Warriors – 49.1% (FG%) (Rockets shoots more 3-pointers).

#5. Rockets defense.

Defense creates offense.  I really like Rockets players on-ball defense especially in Pick-and-Roll situations.

HOU great PNR defense

Great on-ball defense on pick-and-roll ball-handler, not always covering roll man the best way but Mitchell/Rubio/Ingles don’t shoot well in PNR situations.

Since Rockets SWITCH very often, Gobert and Favors very often even didn’t set the screen but slip the screen anticipating SWITCH. It also helps on-ball defender to do his job better if screen is not set as it should be.

Jazz Type of shots

Ball-handler FG% in pick-and-roll situations in 2 play-off games so far has been 12.6% lower than regular season average…  Similar situation with hand-off – 28.7% lower accuracy.

Rockets as usual switch a lot, not always all screens but very often.

Anyway, it isn’t always Rockets defense. Jazz has high number of unforced turnovers that leads to fast break opportunities and wide open 3-pointers in transition.

Example of defending drive to the basket of Rockets player.

Great drive defemse

#6. Jazz simply can’t score… Even wide open shots.

Utah Jazz has the most wide open shots (29.7% of all shots) among all NBA Play-Off teams but has only 14th best FG% and together with Oklahoma City they have worst 3-point FG% (20.0%).

Jazz Wide Open shotsIn NBA 2018-19 regular season both teams shot 35.6% from 3-point line (10th/11th in NBA). In Play-Offs situation is completely different.

Houston Jazz shots

Interesting that in this NBA Play-Off First Round match-up between Jazz and Rockets we probably have a chance to see the most alley-oop dunks compared to any other match-up.

Alley-OOp leaders

No doubts, Rockets looks like NBA Title contender! Anyway,  I don’t think Rockets will have any 20+ win vs Jazz this series, Utah team has too much potential and it’s hard to imagine other Rockets players except Harden to continue to shoot 50%+. Simply it’s too good to be truth 🙂 Series not over yet. 4-1 or 4-2 Rockets.

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Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com

NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE 1ST ROUND PLAY-OFF SERIES PREVIEW.

EAST NBA

 

MIL DET

NBA play-off

MIL

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

The best team in NBA after regular season = 60W-22L.

TOP teams in NBA standings

New arena, new coach, new offensive/defensive system.

#1 defense, opponent’s shoots with lowest field goal % against Bucks, least amount of free-throws allowed , the best team defensive rebounding team.

Top 5 offense, Top 3 field goal %. . Shoots high volume of three-pointers and makes them with high accuracy.

No mid-range shots ( only 5.5% of all shot attempt).

Milwaukee play fast-paced basketball.

Injuries.. Brogdon/Mirotic/Gasol. DiVicenzo.

Buckss

Lack of play-off experience?

BUCKS playoff experience

Giannis Regular season MVP?

Bucks only once in whole 2018-19 regular season lost 2 games in a row.

DET

Finished 8th in Eastern Conference. Secured play-off spot only in the least few days in NBA regular season. Detroit played their best basketball in second part of the season.

2nd worst FG% (44.0) in NBA. Lack of fast break points.

Shoots lot of 3’s but accuracy overall is not that high.

Top 5 rebounding team. Drummond is the best NBA rebounder.

Rebound leaders

One of the best three-point shooters Bullock traded to Lakers.

Worst away team of all 16 teams who qualified for play-offs (15-26).

2017-18 Coach of the Year Casey hasn’t been very successful in play-offs so far (Toronto expectations was higher).

Detroit team plays slow basketball.

MILDET2

PREDICTION. Milwaukee team has been playing stable and very successful whole regular season. Only once they have lost 2 games in a row this NBA season. Even without Brogdon, Mirotic and Gasol they are huge favourites in this First Round match-up. Despite having superstar Griffin and league’s best rebounder Drummond their chances to win the series are slim. In my opinion Detroit team is not the team which can surprise.

MILWAUKEE – DETROIT 4:0.

TOR ORL

NBA PO1 - Copy

TOR

#2 Team in NBA. Team basketball & balance.

We the norht

Stable and consistent whole season long. Started season 12-1.This is not the first time when Raptors play great during regular season in recent years.. How about Play-Offs? It’s right time and right situation! Lebron is in Western Conference or more precise in vacation 🙂

Both Top 5 offense and defense in NBA.

Balance. Despite being #2 in League Toronto leads NBA only FT% of all main statistical categories.

After acquiring Marc Gasol during the season they really can call themselves serious NBA Title contender.

Their strength is DEPTH and Kawhi also seems happy.

One of the worst teams in NBA dunks per game.

Raptors dancing

ORL

One of the biggest season surprises! Secured their play-off spot in last days of NBA regular season. Finished season 5-1.

Defense. Defensive specialist Coach Clifford improved Magic defense from 18th last season to 8th this season.

Orlando is slow defensive team who is one of the best rebounding teams in NBA and draws a lot of fouls.

Lack of free-throw attemps but shoots lot of mid-range shots.

Team basketball.

Top 3 leading scorers (Vučevič/Fournier/Gordon) total have 56 minutes of play-off experience.

TORORL2

PREDICTION. Orlando Magic is one of biggest surprises this season and all respect to All-Star Vučevič but #2 in NBA regular season has too much talent in their roster. Both good defensive teams, both teams have great big men (Gasol, Ibaka,Vučevič). I just don’t see too many options which could help Orlando to surprise again…

TORONTO – ORLANDO 4:1

PHI BKN

NBA PO1 - Copy - Copy (2)

PHI

 PHANTASTIC 5 = EMBIID, HARRIS, BUTLER, REDICK, SIMMONS.

76ers

Embiid’s health is very important for 76ers, two different teams with and without Embiid.

Ball-movement team – leads NBA in 3PT% AST and 3rd in FG% AST. Team basketball.

Enough aggressiveness. Among leaders both per FT attempts and makes.

Top 5 team both per rebounds and assists per game.

Team with huge potential,  team’s chemistry is very important.

Lack of depth?

People love basketball in Philadelphia – NBA attendance leaders.

One of the best clutch time teams in NBA . For example, Charlotte Hornets lost season series 0-4 woth total point difference -10 (2 OT).

BKN

Brooklyn Nets similar to Orlando Magic is one of biggest surprises of the season.

Ups and downs . Started season 8-18 and continued season with 19 wins of next 24 games.

Heartbreak Hotel

Drive and kick offense.

Shoots lot of 3-pointers and free-throws, don’t shoot lot of mid-range shots.

Top 5 team % of 3-pointers of total points.

Interesting that opposite teams attempts the most shots against Nets team.

One of the best benches in NBA (Dinwiddie).

Lack of points from C position players. Only ahead of Golden State Warriors.

The best season for D’Angelo Russell (All-Star) and J.Harris won All-Star 3-point contest.

Russell

(picture from mid-season)

Joe Harris

Despite playing entertaining basketball Brooklyn Nets have lowest attendance in whole NBA…

The worst team at home of all 16 play-off teams.

PHIBKN2

PREDICTION. This match-up between Philadelphia and Brooklyn will guarantee basketball fans entertaining basketball. It’s very important for Philly if Embiid will be healthy. Without Embiid there’s chance for Brooklyn to get to game 7 at least. Otherwise 76ers should win series without unnecessary stress.

Fans. Philadephia with highest attendance in League play against Brooklyn with lowest attendance…

PHILADELPHIA – BROOKLYN 4:2

BOS IND

NBA PO1 - Copy - Copy (3)

BOS

Preseason prediction – the best team in Eastern Conference…

Ups and downs. Problems with team’s chemistry.

Offensively Celtics mostly rely on 3-point/mid-range shooting.

3rd/4th average shooting distance from basket in NBA.

Lack of paint points and points from free-throw line.

Great defensive team.

Too many great players ? Too many players who play for same position?

It’s very likely that Boston Celtics during Play-offs will play their best basketball. Most of team’s young players have confidence because of great last season + Irving’s play-off experience and ability to play great in clutch moments.

IND

TOP3 defensive team in NBA.

DPOY candidate Turner. Most shots blocked per game in NBA!

Blocks leaders

Don’t shoot lot of 3’s but accuracy is pretty good. (similar to San Antonio Spurs).

Team basketball.

Only team without any player scoring more 20.0 points average per game.

76.8% FGA 2-pointers. Attempts a lot of mid-range shots.

Oladipo’s injury… After injury 16W-19L.

One of the worst NBA teams dunks per game.

BOSIND2

PREDICTION. Match-up between two great defensive teams but at the same time two completely different type offensive teams. Yes, Boston is favourite especially after Oladipo injury but Indiana is very tough defensive team. I think Kyrie’s play-off experience and leadership + home court advantage will be two main factors which will decide which team will be the winner of this Eastern Conference #4 and #5 series. +

BOSTON – INDIANA 4:3

Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBA REGULAR SEASON vs. PLAYOFFS. DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IN MILWAUKEE NBA TITLE CHANCES?

How important is to win NBA regular season? 

If you are simply the best you win – no questions. Home court advantage through whole Playoff time + psychological advantage (?) over opponents.

On the other hand… It’s doesn’t help much to dominate NBA from middle of October until April if team doesn’t win NBA Title in June.

The first thing that should come in NBA basketball fan’s mind is Golden State Warriors historic 73-9 regular season or last year’s Houston Rockets’ regular season success… As we all know both these teams didn’t win the NBA Title.

REG WINNER

THE FACT. NBA regular season winner won NBA Title only 4 times in last 9 seasons.

 

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE.

Reg win

It’s not secret – teams usually play better at home. In diagram shown #1 regular season’s team record at home/away. Even playoff home games winning % is high, it’s much lower than same teams total winning record @ home in regular season = 87.8% (180-25).

Home court advantage is very important but it doesn’t guarantee NBA Title! In Playoffs teams face better opponents and preparation against one single opponent is much different than during regular season when team sometimes play against 4 different opponents in 6 days.

Very important is how teams match-up to each other. For example 2017/18 NBA season – Portland #3 vs. New Orleans #6. Portland = pick-and-roll team vs. New Orleans = fastest team (2017/18). There’s no need for home court advantage if team (Portland in this case) is swept – 0:4..

 

PLAY-OFF EXPERIENCE AND PLANNING.

Being the best shape in right time!  Is San Antonio Spurs 9 game winning-streak just lucky run or well planned strategy from probably the greatest NBA and European coach?

Win Lose SAS

ettore POP

Even it was strength of schedule or just simply making shots with high % – THE LUCK IS EARNED.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

MIL

Let’s assume that Milwaukee will be #1 team in NBA in the end of regular season.

TOP teams now

New venue (Bradley Center to Fiserv Forum), new coach (Mike Budenholzer), new system. Shoots a lot of three-point shots, rebounds the ball excellent!

bucks-2018-19

What’s very important – best defense in NBA! Def RTG 104.7 (1st).

There are lot of sayings who describes importance of defense in basketball or any other sport: Defense wins championships, Defense has no bad days, Defense is consistent…

Defense really wins championships?

thinking

 

DEFENSE winner

 

DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IN BUCKS CHANCES TO WIN NBA TITLE?

INJURIES of Brogdon, Gasol, Mirotic. Good for Bucks they not out for rest of the season. And recent injury of DiVicenzo (out)…

Play-off experience & success..

It’s hard to truly believe in Coach Budenholzer team’s possible Play-Off success if their 7 best scorers totally have played 52 seasons and have won only 4 play-off series…

BUCKS playoff experience

THE FIRST ROUND

Shouldn’t be a problem for Bucks even without injured players. Brooklyn Nets? Personally I believe that other teams who possibly will finish regular season at #8 spot won’t be able to compete vs. great Milwaukee Bucks team.

     BKN OR DET MIACHAR

 

THE SECOND ROUND

Most likely it will be winner of #4 and #5. Boston/Indiana winner. Both great defensive teams but completely different style of offense.

Last season Milwaukee lost 3-4 in First Round to Boston Celtics without Kyrie and Hayward.

BOS OR  IND

Season series: vs. Boston 2-1/vs Indiana 3-1.

Two very tough teams to play against. Boston Celtics not stable but they play great in play-offs,+Kyrie know what it takes to win big games. Indiana without Oladipo.. I think Milwaukee should win any of these series if injured players are back. Slight favourites over Boston.

THE THIRD ROUND

TOR OR PHI

Hard to predict anything now but I can’t say Bucks are huge favourites. 76ers Starting Five and huge potential offensively + Toronto depth and teamwork + great defense.. Who knows?

Season series: vs. Raptors 3-1/vs. Philly 1-1.

Interesting statistics of recent game between Philadephia and Miwaukee 130:125. Despite Giannis career-high 52 points he was less effective when Embiid was his primary defender.

Giannis Embiid.png

 

NBA FINALS

GSW OR HOU DENVER 1.png OR ANY OTHER TEAM?

I think any team who will make it out of East will have a chance to win the NBA Title. With all the respect to Warriors/Rockets/Nuggets and other Western Conference teams, Bucks can play against all of them. Still.. Golden State Warriors is #1 favourite but other teams are much closer to them than it used to be recent years.

Thanks for reading NBA basketball fans! Kristians@abouthegame.com

 

 

 

LA LAKERS & LEBRON’S PLAY-OFFS STARTS NOW!

All-Star Break was right on time for Lebron and Lakers… 

Even die-hard Lakers fans have to admit that recently there’s not too much positive to say about Lakers team..

Thumb down

  • Point difference in last 7 games before All-Star break = -96…

LAL rezuktati last 7

  • Locker-room drama & atmosphere.

locker roomdr

LeBron at the end of the Lakers bench in game vs Indiana Pacers (94:136) = LAL heaviest defeat of the season.

Lebron Sits Away

  • AD trade. It’s hard to have good atmosphere in team if your GM offers 8 players of team to acquire 1… Business is business but it hurts players EGOs for sure.

AD offer

”Magic Johnson plans to hug it out with the Los Angeles Lakers to help them cope with the fallout from the NBA trade deadline.”

“I love our team. I love the guys,” Johnson said. “It’s a tough part of our business whether you’re mentioned in trade talk, or you get traded. It’s a tough part of professional sports, but they came together and played great against Boston. My job is to make sure we stay together as a team and stay focused on the goal, which is to make the playoffs.”

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25961264/magic-johnson-plans-hug-lakers-nba-trade-deadline-fallout.

After this all Los Angeles team finds themselves at 10th position in Western Conference.

West standings

 

Thumb up

Positive thing is that despite being out of Play-Off zone Lakers are only 6 wins away from 4th spot in Western Conference…

RETURN OF LEBRON! Healthy Lebron is the key of their success. The King has made Play-Offs 13th consecutive seasons in a row.

Lebron’s impact on his team’s performance through his career (regular season).

Lebron PLAY_OFFS

Acquiring great 3-point shooter Bullock (39.7% career 3-point shooting) and Muscala (36.5% career 3-point shooting) also should be positive impact on team.

LEBRON & LAKERS PLAY-OFFS STARTS NOW!!!

There’s slightly more than 30% of NBA regular season left (25 games for Luke Walton’s team in regular season) to save their season.

LAL season

As I wrote in my article about Lakers before 2018-19 NBA season, this team is “weird mix of players”. Group of very young players together with group of veterans. Team who plays excellent first 12 seconds of offensive possession and terrible the last 12 seconds. Team with the most DUNKS PER GAME.

FACT = Lakers haven’t been consistent whole season long… They never won more than 4 games in a row in 2018-19 season.

LAL1

 

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE.

LA Lakers have only 20th best schedule for remaining regular season.

rSOSReal

There are 25 games left for Luke Walton’s team to get back to secure their play-off spot and it’s better not to be the #8 spot… In my opinion 16 or 17 wins of last 25 regular season games should be enough.

1617.png

thinking

If Lakers will make play-offs which team won’t?

Even Sacramento Kings (#9) which is above Lebron’s team + they play entertaining basketball aren’t in Play-Off zone at the moment.

LAL PO which team

Los Angeles Clippers? Probably.. T. Harris traded to Philadelphia. Interesting that recent seasons Clippers have played excellent vs. Lakers.

It will be interesting end of the season in Western Conference. NBA basketball fans wants to see Lebron in play-offs and NBA knows that. In the end of the day it’s business but it would be better that Lakers secure play-off spot showing their best basketball 🙂

Thanks for reading! CoachKris@HUPU.com.

THE STORY OF 76ERS 2018-19 SEASON: FANTASTIC FIVE AND TITLE CHANCES.

THE STORY OF 76ERS 2018-19 SEASON: FANTASTIC FIVE AND TITLE CHANCES.

PHI

76ers team we see now is quite different than in the beginning of the season. More about this team which has one of the best starting five in NBA in this story of their 2018-19 season.

In addition to Lebron, 76ers to pursue Kawhi Leonard & Paul George in NBA Free Agency.

kawhi-leonard-LeBron-james-paul-george-76ers-photoshop-2018

‘’So far, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. Paul George stayed put in OKC, LeBron decided to take his talents to Los Angeles, and talks with the Spurs about a deal for Kawhi have become stagnant.’’(https://thesixersense.com/2018/07/07/philadelphia-76ers-no-need-sweat-quiet-offseason/)

Serious face

Things are much different for 76ers and GM Elton Brand during the regular season. What Philadelphia 76ers didn’t achieve during off-season they did during regular season!

Butler to 76ers and Covington & Saric to Timberwolves.

usat_jimmy_butler_dario_saric_robert_covington

 

Both Covington and Saric are great players but obviously not enough for ambitious team like Philadelphia to win the Title. Anyway, having Covington and Saric in starting line-up in 2017-18 season 76ers had the best starting line-up in NBA.

Best starting line-up

Butler starts excellent!

Game-winning shot vs. Hornets OT (Kemba Walker 60 points).

vs Hornets

Jimmy Butler’s game-winner against the Brooklyn Nets was his second since being traded to the 76ers. 

Butler game-winning.gif

Later this season Sixers acquired TOBIAS HARRIS, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott in a trade with the Clippers.

ap_mike_scott_tobias_harris_boban_marjanovic

Happy face

In my opinion it was also good decision to trade Fultz to Orlando. It’s hard to trade your #1 Draft for sure.

Fultz to ORL

176ers

 

WHAT TYPE OF BASKETBALL PLAYS PHILADELPHIA 76ERS?

76erslogo

When Coach Brett Brown describes how he wants the basketball moving on offense, he says he wants it going from player to player “like popcorn popping.”

Popcorn

BALL-MOVEMENT TEAM

Both above average offensive (Off Rtg 10th) and defensive team (DefRtg 11th).

One of the highest scoring teams in NBA – 115.9 points per game (3rd)

Despite playing pretty fast-paced basketball (7th) 76ers is team which has a least amount of FGA per 100 possessions in NBA (30th!).

Explanation of high scoring and low amount of FGA = high accuracy (TS%) 58.2% (3rd) + lot of personal fouls drawn which leads to lot of Free-Throw Attempts – 27.1/100 possesions (2nd).

3rd/4th assists per game/100 possessions – 26.4.

Second in NBA in AST% (how many of all made shots were assisted) only behind Golden State Warriors.

Team who has highest 3-pointers assisted % in NBA – 95.3%. Their best shooter J.J.Redick very often comes off the screens. There’s similarities to Klay Thompson and completely opposite to Harden who creates his own 3-point shot for himself in most of the time.

Coach Brett Brown team should reduce Turnovers if they want to be real title contender – 15.0/100 possessions (24th in NBA).

NBA teams with highest FT/3-POINT FGA ratio. 

FT3Pratio

76ers also is the TALLEST TEAM in NBA – 203.9 cm (player’s average) and 4th heaviest team in NBA.

 

FANTASTIC 5

 

Fantastic 5

 

The Best line-up in NBA (+/-) by wide margin (after 4 games played together).  +11.

Lineups +-

Third tallest starting 5 In NBA.

Even before adding T.Harris The Sixers are the only team in NBA with four players averaging at least 17.0 PPG this season. Harris trade gave them a fifth.

76ers

 

T. HARRIS THE MOST IMPROVED PLAYER THIS SEASON?

Most Improved player NBA

 

76ERS1

 

Embiid

EMBIID

Probably the best big man in NBA. NBA leader in Double-doubles per game (48). 6th best point scorer. Top3 in League : Rebounding/getting to the free-throw line/post-ups per game. Also Cameroonian is 2nd most used player in team’s offense (USG%) only behind Harden.

2017-18 NBA All-Defensive team.

Recently we can seen him left wide open when getting ball behind the 3-point line (31.4% career) although in his first year in NBA he made more than 36% of his 3-pointers which is above league average.

Embiid: “I don’t like shooting 3s” & “I only do it because of the spacing that we have”

Young player, have to avoid to commit turnovers and control his emotions and ego.

Simmons

SIMMONS

2017-18 Rookie Of the Year. Athletic and high IQ player. Despite lack of outside shooting (0/14 career 3-pointers) Australian often creates opportunities for team-mates = he is 6th best in NBA per Assist% (he assisted more than 1/3 of all 76ers field goals made when he was on the court). 3rd most Triple-Doubles in NBA this season (8). Excellent in past-paced game especially in offensive transition.

Butler1

BUTLER

One of the best defenders in NBA (4x All-Defensive Team). Although he wasn’t the best clutch player before in his career his 2 game winning shots for 76ers in first few games for new team was impressive way to start. Not high-volume shooter and not the best shooter in NBA but his 3-point shooting % has improved last few seasons. Fighter. Important to find his role in team and control his emotions. Not the best reputation in NBA recently for this very valuable player. Very valuable player even without scoring 30+ points per game.

Harris

HARRIS

Serious candidate to MIP award this season. Great start of the season with Clippers. Above average rebounder. Effective starting offensive transition (similar to Simmons). More driver to the basket than outside shooter but can be threat from beyond the arc (3- point shooting 40+% in last 2 seasons!). Able to defend multiple positions, very solid defender. Important that Harris is able to fit in any teams system pretty well.

Example of Harris great defense.

Harris defense

 

Redick1

J.J. REDICK

Great 3-point shooter (career 41.3%). Catch-and-shoot player who can spread the floor. Redick coming off screens puts lot of pressure to defense. He has attempted more 3-pointers than 2-pointers in this career. For 76ers to be successful Redick has to improve his 3-point shooting during Play-Offs (Reg season 41.3% > Play-offs 36.3%).

Reddick accuarcy decline

Redick 3

Not the best defender of Philly team. Team’s very often use post up their players if they are guarded by Reddick (great example last years PO series vs. BOS).

Redick post problem

 

BEFORE TRADE DEADLINE & AFTER. USG%.

 Every player of 76ers starting 5 experiences decrease of USG% and that’s only natural if you have another great player added to starting 5.

The main concern could be Jimmy Butler. Diagram shows that BUTLER HAS LARGEST DECREASE of USG% 6.5. It’s very important for Philly that he understands his role and accepts it.

Deadline comparison

 

Great thing of these 5 players playing at the same time = more open shots to each another since all of them can make impact. If any of them has bad game, it will be good day for other. Very rare to see all 5 star players playing bad basketball at the same time.

POST-UP

4 of 5 starting five (except Redick) can effectively play with back to the basket.

Post UP

 

THEY CAN DEFEND!

Only J.J. Redick defensively is below average NBA player similar to other his type of players. Last season Boston attacked Redick and McConnell in play-off series very often successful.

Harris/Butler/Simmons/Embiid = all can play very good defense.

 

BENCH PLAYERS

Depth definitely isn’t Philly’s advantage over their opponents Bucks, Raptors and Celtics (also Pacers) but if Coach Brett Brown can find right line-ups using his bench players it can work quite well (76ers starting 5 play together 18.2 minutes per game in first 4 games).

2018-19 season overall 76ers ranks 25th in bench points in NBA – 32.9 points per game.

76ERS HEAVY RELY ON THEIR STARTING FIVE. If we only look 4 games after trade deadline Philadelphia could 29th per bench points only behind Houston Rockets (26.5 bench points per game).

Starters vs bench

 

Marjanovic

MARJANOVIC. Tallest/heaviest NBA player. Slow but his height gives advantage over other players both offensively and defensively.

Example of Marjanovic using his height not even jumping to collect defensive rebound.

Boban rebound

Thumb up

Boban no need fancy moves, he can simply shoot over his defender 🙂

Boban over

Great passer out of the post.

Thumb down

Opponents can attack him in pick-and-roll situations.

Because of lack of quickness Boban is not among the best pick-and-roll defending bigs in NBA.

  • If he comes too far away from the basket to stop ball-hander = ball-handler attacks with speed (drive).

Boban 1

  • If he stays too close to the basket = shot.

Boabm2

Example of Hayward taking advantage of this situation.

Boban pick-and-roll problem

 

Euroleague Regular Season MVP (2014) who makes 60% of his FGA role could be to let Embiid rest for 10-15 minutes.

 

McConnel

McCONNELL

Floor General McConnell can bring energy to team and can play great defense on perimeter. Pretty good passer. Teams like Boston Celtics can use size and strength advantage by posting-up their players I guarded by T.J. (similar to Reddick)

 

Others should spread the floor and make shots/play good defense and give let starting 5 to rest.

 

NBA TITLE CHANCES/ EASTERN CONFERENCE TITLE?

 

CHEMISTRY AND EGOS.

Without the doubt 76ers starting 5 is one of the best in NBA at the moment + bench players can give rest for starters few minutes.

I would say it’s pressure on coach Brett Brown to figure out how to get most of his team and to find every player’s role in his ball-movement offensive system.

Teams chemistry has been issue after acquiring Butler. Not everyone can find his role.

jimmy-butler-has-challenged-brett-brown-about-role-in-offense

„Jimmy Butler is mad about his role. This is when the Sixers need to ACTUALLY trust the process” (www.sbnation.com)

Also Embiid wasn’t happy of his role in team’s offense. Sixers’ Joel Embiid not happy with role after Jimmy Butler trade: ‘It just really frustrates me’

It’s worth to mention that Embiid also wasn’t “happy with his NBA 2K18 rating”…

 

Good thing is that T. Harris/Marjanovic are able to bring joy to this team and environment no more „toxic” as it was before.

Boban Harris

Butler/Harris LAST YEAR OF CONTRACT… Better stats = better contract? Jimmy Butler happiness probably is the key for this team to be successful. Even Butler’s role in offense decreased after trade deadline, I like the way he has been playing these 4 games after Harris and Marjanovic joined the team.

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE TITLE/NBA TITLE?

TOP4

 

Even Philly now has TOP3 starting 5 in NBA I can’t say they are #1 Eastern Conference Title contenders for sure, their opponents Toronto and Milwaukee has been consistent whole season + they have depth + they signed 2 great players who can fit great in their system – M.Gasol (TOR) and Mirotic (MIL). In addition all other teams who are considered to be Eastern Conference Title contenders are in Top 8 best defenses in NBA – Milwaukee 1st, Boston 5th, Toronto 8th , also is worth to mentioned Indiana 2nd.

Trade deadline 76ers

 

Also Boston Celtics still have time to deal with their locker-room problems and inconsistency. They are play-off team.

And let’s not forget about Indiana Pacers who play pretty good despite Oladipo is out of the season. Pacers should be the biggest threat in 1st Play-Off round to any of these teams.

In my opinion 76ers definitely has a chance to win Eastern conference this season and even compete for NBA title but it really depends on themselves… Are they ready to play like a real team? Are they mentally tough enough? Real test will be when/if team will lose few games in a row or will be down 1-2 in play-offs.

Eastern Conference play-offs will be very exciting for NBA basketball fans this 2018-19 season. And Golden State Warriors not playing that stable as we have seen recent years + lack of depth can give a real chance for Eastern Conference winners to compete for NBA Title.

Good luck to coach Brett Brown and TRUST THE PROCESS!

Thanks for reading ! Kristians@abouthegame.com

 

PELICANS AND AD – THE VALUE OF UNIBROW. FACTS.

ADD

„I gave the city, organization, fans everything I feel like I could” said Davis.

After playing 6.5 seasons for New Orleans Davis requested trade and won’t sign extension.

Anthony Davis : 6x All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team, NBA All-Defensive first team , 3x  best shot blocker in NBA+ lots of other achievements. It’s just natural that NBA superstar like AD wants to win NBA Title. Is this franchise able to add enough quality players in their roster who can help Davis achieve his career goals?

New Orleans Pelicans/Hornets best result in franchise history is Conference Semifinals (twice).

Through the years (AD era) there was simply bad luck (injuries Gordon, Holiday, Cousins, Evans), also few bad decisions and even when New Orleans had a great season their play-off run was stopped by Golden State Warriors twice…

NOP play-off

 

NOP

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

  • Great 2017/18 season – „No. 6 seed Pelicans make NBA playoff history with first-round sweep of Trail Blazers”. 4:0. New Orleans became the first No. 6 seed (or lower) to sweep its first-round series since the NBA switched from its best-of-five format in 2003.

 

  • Promising start of 2018/19 season. Pelicans won their first 4 games of the season.

 

  • Plays fast – 2017/18 fastest team (1st) in NBA, this season 6th (pace 103.1).

 

  • Lack of depth. Heavily rely on their Starters – AD, Randle, Holiday, Mirotic and Moore/Payton. Second worst bench in NBA.

 

  • New Orleans also leads league in points scored by C position players and 4th points scored by PF position players. They definitely lack of quality wing players.

 

  • Leads league in POINTS IN THE PAINT (1st) – 59.9 points per game. 7 points per game (!) more than 2nd place LA Lakers.

 

  • I could say Pelicans are „streaky’’ team. They have tendency to either win or lose lot of games in a row.

Streaky NOP

  • If offense is pretty good and they rank 6th in NBA (Off Rtg 113.4) then defense is one of the worst in NBA (Def Rtg 112.2) – 24th of 30 teams in NBA despite having NBA All-Defensive First Team (2018) player in their roster.

2017/18 season their defense was average but 2018/19 it’s bad. Their roster didn’t change that much (Rondo to LAL, Cousins half a season and was injured + to GSW, Randle to NOP) and Randle definitely is above average defender („Luke Walton Calls Julius Randle Best One-on-One Defender in NBA”). Defense  is not only played with legs and arms but also with heart.  Probably problem is the last one mentioned. For example opponents score the most 3-pointers when playing against Pelicans.

Another reason is that Pelicans heavily rely on their Starting 5 players (31.6 min avg per game per starter) that it can badly affect their defense, especially in the end of the game.

 

  • Don’t play good in the end of the game this season. 2nd best clutch team last season 30W-20L but the worst clutch team this season percentage-wise of games won (29%; 9W-22L).

 

  • Atmosphere in team. Very similar to Rockets who had a chance to make it to Finals last year, Pelicans played great basketball last season and post-season but again = Warriors. Since AD, Harden and CP3 haven’t won NBA Title yet, it really disappoints All-Star player doing his best but it’s still not enough to be NBA champion. Emotionally it affects superstars with ambition to the best. Atmosphere in locker-room and team very often starts from team’s best player. If team’s best player is not happy with organisation it affects everyone. Probably Curry is the best of team leaders to play alongside in NBA.

 

  • Low attendance (29th of 30) also isn’t something that New Orleans Pelicans should be proud of. Not basketball city?

 

IMPORTANCE OF ANTHONY DAVIS.

„Lakers offering eight players for Anthony Davis’’

WithWOAD

There shouldn’t be hate towards Unibrow since he has been TOP 10 scorer in last 5 NBA seasons but Pelicans made play-offs only twice.

All TOP 10 point scorers in last 5 NBA seasons.

10scorers AD

Winning percentage (%) (only games where they actually played in seasons when they were among TOP 10 best) of all NBA players who has finished season (2019 not finished yet) in TOP 10 points scored per game at least 4 of 5 last NBA seasons. 

Only Cousins (Sacramento/New Orleans) team had worst record than Davis (New Orleans) in games where they participated. Cousins don’t play for Sacramento and New Orleans anymore but Golden State Warriors

TOp10 last 5 seasoms

 

OFFENSE. VERSATILITY OF AD.

He will be great for for every team in the League. Team player, can be effective in the both ends of the floor.

Despite his height (2.08m) very often he’s capable of doing what only guards capable to do. Similar to Giannis, Porzingis.

He can play both inside/out.

  • Post up. Both low post/high post.

1vs1 post signature move

  • Court vision & Passing. If double team = pass ball back to his teammates. I like his shot selection.

Pass out of Double

 

AD double

AD double 2

  • Can play effective 1vs1 from perimiter.

1vs1 perimeter

  • Can play great both fast-faced and slow-paced basketball. Able to start transition from defense to offense without passing to guards or other teammates.

Fast Break to start

  • Offensive rebounding.

Pass out of Double

  • Can be effective in pick-and-roll situations both as roller (most of the time) and ball-handler as well in pick-and-roll situations what’s not typical for that tall player. Pick-and-pop also option.

 

  • Team player. Unselfish. Can play both PF and C positons if needed.

 

  • Three-point shooting, spreading the floor? Definitely shoots 3-pointers better than Giannis but 31% career 3-point shooting is below NBA average (35.4% 2019 NBA).

AD spreads the floor

 

DEFENSE

His height and wingspan is his strength.

AD Wingspan

 

  • It’s very difficult for guards to attack in pick-and-roll situations when Davis defends ball-screener.

 

  • His impressive wingspan often is a cause of opponents taking shots and having bad passing angles.

PNR great defense

PNR defense Flat

  • SHOT BLOCKING. 3x NBA blocks leader (2014,2015, 2018)

Block

  • Sometimes heavier offensive problems cause problems while AD is trying to boxing out them but again.. but again height and wingspan are his weapons.

 

I guess lot of NBA basketball fans watched New Orleans games mostly because of Davis and hopefully Pelicans will get great players back in return of AD. The fact that „Lakers offering eight players for Anthony Davis’’ shows how valuable is Pelicans best player.

Thank you for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com