Basketball Wiretap

Thomas Robinson: I'm Tired Of Getting Treated Like A Rag Doll In NBA

Mar 4, 2015 11:19 AM

Thomas Robinson has been traded three times and also placed on waivers by a non-playoff team in his short career after being the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

The Philadelphia 76ers claimed Robinson in order satisfy payroll-usage rules, but they've also given him a chance to play.

Robinson has averaged 9.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 16.4 minutes (19.0 PER) of play off the bench in four games with the 76ers.

"I'm tired of getting treated like a rag doll in this league," Robinson said after his second game with the Sixers. "I just want to prove that I belong here. I'm tired of being treated like I've been treated in this league."

Robinson has been a healthy scratch for about 20 percent of his NBA games.

"Nobody's given me a chance," Robinson said. "That's pretty much it."

Marcus Hayes/Philadelphia Daily News

Tags: Thomas Robinson, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kidd: Khris Middleton Has Accepted Challenge To Get Better

Mar 3, 2015 11:07 AM

Khris Middleton has emerged as a long-term solution for the Milwaukee Bucks at shooting guard. Middleton is a two-way player favored by analytics.

Middleton is sixth among all NBA players in Real Plus-Minus, which attempts to measure a player's impact on team performance. Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeBron James are the only players ahead of Middleton.

The Bucks would like to re-sign Middleton this summer in restricted free agency.

"Right now I think the main improvement in my defense has just been the coaches," Middleton said, crediting coach Jason Kidd and his staff. "They've been teaching me defensive schemes, how to guard guys, how to use my length.

"I give all the credit to them and then my teammates having my back. I was watching film during the summer. We do our principles to make sure I stay straight and everybody else stays straight on it."

Middleton believes his length at shooting guard gives him an advantage.

"I'm a lot taller and longer than guys, so it's just using my length and making it tougher on them," Middleton said. "I don't have to be into them all the time and fouling them."


"He's accepted the challenge to get better," Kidd said. "He's gotten better in all phases of his game, not just being known as a shooter but defensively. And he's starting to be more vocal.

"You would probably say he's one of the quiet guys. But now he's taking a little bit more of that leadership role."

Middleton was acquired by the Bucks in the same deal that brought point guard Brandon Knight from Detroit in the summer of 2013, in exchange for Brandon Jennings.

Charles F. Gardner/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tags: Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Warriors, Clippers, Hawks Lead In Efficiency Differential

Mar 2, 2015 1:56 PM

The following table shows points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, efficiency differential and rank in those categories by team through March 1 for all 30 NBA teams.

  Team Eff. Diff. Offense Rank Defense Rank
1 Golden State 10.4 111.3 2 100.9 1
2 L.A. Clippers 6.6 112.6 1 106 16
3 Atlanta 6.6 108.9 6 102.3 4
4 Portland 5.3 107.6 10 102.4 6
5 Dallas 4.8 110.3 5 105.5 14
6 Memphis 4.4 106.7 11 102.3 5
7 Toronto 4 110.5 3 106.5 18
8 Cleveland 4 110.4 4 106.5 19
9 San Antonio 3.7 105.8 14 102.2 3
10 Houston 3.7 106.5 12 102.8 7
11 Chicago 2.9 107.7 8 104.8 13
12 Oklahoma City 2.8 106.1 13 103.3 10
13 Milwaukee 1.6 103.1 23 101.5 2
14 Phoenix 0.7 107.7 9 107 21
15 Washington 0.7 104.2 19 103.5 11
16 New Orleans 0.5 108.5 7 108 25
17 Indiana -0.8 102.2 26 103 9
18 Boston -1.1 104.5 17 105.6 15
19 Detroit -1.4 104.8 16 106.1 17
20 Utah -1.5 105.6 15 107 22
21 Charlotte -2.5 100.4 29 102.9 8
22 Brooklyn -3.2 103.2 22 106.5 20
23 Miami -3.4 103.8 21 107.2 23
24 Sacramento -4.5 104.3 18 108.8 27
25 Denver -5 103 24 108.1 26
26 Orlando -6 101.2 28 107.2 24
27 L.A. Lakers -6.7 104 20 110.8 29
28 Minnesota -8.2 102.6 25 110.8 30
29 New York -8.7 101.6 27 110.3 28
30 Philadelphia -11 93.7 30 104.7 12

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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LeBron James Has 42.9 Usage Rate Without Irving

Feb 27, 2015 12:42 PM

LeBron James has a usage rate of 42.9 when he's on the court this season without Kyrie Irving. Irving injured his shoulder on Thursday.

James has a 33.1 usage rate overall.

Russell Westbrook leads the NBA in usage rate at 37.1.

Joe Kaiser/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Oliver: Eyes Better Than Numbers But Numbers See All The Games

Feb 26, 2015 2:49 PM

Dean Oliver is one of basketball's pioneers of advanced analytics and participated in a discussion about its place in the game.

Oliver was asked to dispel the myth that "stat guys don't even watch the games."

"A good scout, a good analyst, they go and they watch the game," said Oliver. "Your eyes see the game much better than the numbers. But the numbers see all the games. And that's a big deal....They see all the detail and they really get you a lot of the story....Watching on video and going to games, those add different components to what the numbers can give you....And then there are other things that you have to talk to people about. You have to talk to the coaches."

Oliver currently works for Vivek Ranadive and the Sacramento Kings.

Howard Beck/Bleacher Report

Tags: Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Daryl Morey: Even We Had Doubts About James Harden Trade

Feb 26, 2015 2:44 PM

James Harden has become one of the NBA's best players since his trade to the Houston Rockets, but wasn't a clear-cut win at the time for Daryl Morey.

Some believed Harden would not be able to extend his production to superstar minutes when he was 6th Man of the Year with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"The Harden trade was about 60-40 in favor of our side at the time," said Morey. "Even we had doubts. You need to prepare yourself to be ready for those opportunities when they come. It's not like anyone's giving away these good players. You have to maneuver your way into them....The notion that people in analytics don't think talent wins is ludicrous."

Howard Beck/Bleacher Report

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Cavs, Warriors Feature Best Two Five-Man Units In NBA

Feb 26, 2015 1:24 PM

The Cleveland Cavaliers' five-man unit of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov and J.R. Smith has been the best in the NBA in terms of net rating at +25.9.

The lineup has played 242 minutes together since Smith and Mozgov were acquired via trade. The unit scores 118.6 points per 100 possessions while allowing just 92.7.

The Golden State Warriors' five-man unit of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes ranks second at +19.6.

The Cavaliers host the Warriors on Thursday.

John Schuhmann/

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Tony Parker Shoulders Blame For Spurs' Recent Struggles

Feb 26, 2015 2:00 AM

Tony Parker took his share of the blame for the San Antonio Spurs' recent struggles, which includes a four-game losing streak.

“It’s tough right now," Parker said. "It’s tough. Since I’ve been with the Spurs, I’ve never experienced that in a 3-game, 4-game stretch. We’re not making shots. It starts with me. I’m not making shots. Our 3-point shooters are not making shots, and everything is tough. We just have to stay positive."

Parker believes finding his midrange jumper again is at the core of his offensive struggles.

“That’s the whole key. I had great looks tonight, shots that I always make. That’s why it’s like … it looks good. It feels good when I shot it. But I miss my first 5 or 6 shots, and then you know the defense, waits until I make that shot. Once I make that shot, everything will open up. The last three games, I haven’t been hitting that shot.”

Jeff McDonald/San Antonio Express-News

Tags: Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Westbrook Has 30.0+ PER In Four Of Seven Months Since Third Surgery

Feb 25, 2015 12:44 PM

With Derrick Rose undergoing another surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee, Russell Westbrook has been referenced as a reason for optimism.

Westbrook underwent three surgeries following his torn meniscus suffered during the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Westbrook has inarguably been one of the NBA's best players since the third surgery from December of 2013. Westbrook had a PER of 24.6 while playing all 82 games during the 12-13 season.

PER by Month

November 2013: 16.8

December 2013: 24.7

(third surgery)

February 2014: 24.8

March 2014: 30.9

April 2014: 31.3

Playoffs 2014: 28.6

December 2014: 30.0

January 2015: 19.9

February 2015: 35.0

Rose's production has been consistently down from his MVP levels since returning from a torn ACL. 


PER: 23.6/15.9

TS%: .550/.496

AST%: 38.6/29.8

FTr: .348/.224

Dunks Per Game: 0.39/0.09

(Westbrook: 0.52 in 12-13/0.77 in 14-15)

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Demps: Key To Pelicans' Philosophy Is To Build Core Around Anthony Davis

Feb 24, 2015 10:43 AM

The New Orleans Pelicans' odds of reaching the playoffs continue to fade.

General manager Dell Demps sees reaching the playoffs as an important step in the maturation process of a young team.

“We’ve got a group we’re growing together to get better,” Demps said. “The key to our philosophy is to have a core built around Anthony Davis.

“That builds continuity.”

Demps has been reluctant to deal away any core players and has instead worked on shuffling the end of the roster.

Ted Lewis/The Advocate

Tags: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Rajon Rondo Works With Dirk's Shot Doctor
Rajon Rondo worked with Holger Geschwindner recently.

Eddie Sefko/Dallas Morning News

Source: Thunder Don't Make Decisions Based On Whether Durant, Westbrook Will Approve
The Thunder aggressively remade their supporting cast via trades this season, acquiring Dion Waiters, Enes Kanter, D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler and Steve Novak.

David Aldridge/

Kupchak Has 'Same Authority' As Lakers' GM He Had Under Dr. Buss
Mitch Kupchak refuted the notion from Magic Johnson that his authority has been taken away with Jim Buss' ascent in the Lakers' front office.

Bill Oram/Orange County Register

Hinkie: I Believe In Optionality, We Won't Bat 1,000 With Draft Picks
Sam Hinkie helped explain his strategy in trading away Michael Carter-Williams and K.J. McDaniels for draft picks.

Tom Moore/Calkins Media

Westbrook, Durant Have No Desire To Be Consulted On Thunder Trade Decisions
Russell Westbrook said he and Kevin Durant feel no need to be consulted at the trade deadline by the Thunder front office.

Anthony Slater/Oklahoman

Sam Hinkie: Important We Continue To Be Aggressive In Ways We Build Roster
The 76ers picked up additional draft assets in exchange for two of their most productive young players.

RealGM Staff Report

Westbrook Fully Believes In Benefits Of Durant Partnership
Russell Westbrook prefers having Kevin Durant as his running mate rather than being the unquestioned top player.

Dan Patrick Show (via Dan Devine/Yahoo! Sports)

Warriors, Cavs Favored By Oddsmakers To Win 2015 Title
The Warriors are 12-5 favorites, followed by the Cavaliers at 3-1.

David Purdum/ESPN

Myers: Warriors' Decision To Extend Stephen Curry Was Difficult
Stephen Curry has one of the NBA's most team-friendly contracts, but his four-year, $44 million deal in 2012 was a hard decision at the time for the Warriors.

Tim Kawakami/San Jose Mercury News

Kevin Durant Rants About Media Following Question On Scott Brooks
Kevin Durant was later asked what kinds of questions he'd prefer the media to focus on.

Royce Young/ESPN

Best Efficiency Differential Team Has Won 10 Of Past 24 Titles
The Warriors have the NBA's best efficiency differential at +11.0.

RealGM Staff Report

LeBron Has Led NBA In PER Post-ASG Every Season Since 2009
LeBron James' pre-All-Star break PER streak dated back to 06-07, but was ended last season when Kevin Durant had a PER of 31.1 to his 29.1.

RealGM Staff Report

Warriors, Hawks, Blazers In Top-10 On Both Offense, Defense
Fourteen other teams are in the top-10 in either offensive or defensive efficiency.

Christopher Reina/RealGM

LeBron Admits Tweet Was Reference To Kevin Love
LeBron James' Tweet about fitting in was a reference to Kevin Love.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Chris Bosh: Things Are Slipping Away From Us
The Heat now are seven games under .500.

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel

Kobe Hoping For 'Rebirth' Similar To Spurs
Kobe Bryant had a 17.4 PER in 35 games in 14-15.

Kevin Ding/Bleacher Report

Cavs Allow Less Than 93 Points Per 100 Poss. With Mozgov, LeBron Combo
When Timofey Mozgov is on the floor with LeBron James, the Cavaliers have allowed fewer than 93 points per 100 possessions over 215 minutes.

John Schuhmann/

Phil Jackson Skeptical Current Offensive Trends Will Win Out
The Knicks have struggled this season with a roster that is not nearly talented enough to run the triangle offense.

Harvey Araton/New York Times

Kevin Love Continuing To Struggle On Offense
All seven of Kevin Love's shots were in the first quarter.

Chris Haynes/Cleveland Plain Dealer