John Wilmes - Basketball Analysis

The Ad Hoc Bulls Are Still Back

by John Wilmes

Billy Donovan and the Bulls have consistently become a whole much stronger than the sum of its parts, regardless of the setbacks that have soiled them. Read more »
The Nets, Sixers, And Whether To Cut A Bomb Wire Together

by John Wilmes

Any way you look at it, this possible swap of James Harden and Ben Simmons involves an unusual mix of both potential and risk. It could undo either franchise, but also lead either to a championship. Read more »
The Indignity Of Russell Westbrook

by John Wilmes

Russell Westbrook is a fading hero struggling to move onto a new story, a man out of time and out of scene- seemingly trapped in his own replaying movie, one that everybody else has already stopped watching. Read more »
The New Bulls Are Still In Prelude Mode

by John Wilmes

Exactly halfway through this remarkably tempestuous season, the Bulls have shown resourcefulness, resolve, and evolution ample enough to suggest that they could rise to the title contender level with time. Read more »
LeBron James Is Still Amazing

by John Wilmes

LeBron James' improbably persistent excellence is the undertold story of the Lakers this season, and it's hard to blame the broader basketball public for not being super interested. Read more »
The Sixers, Standing Between Purgatory And Sleeping Gianthood

by John Wilmes

Maybe the 76ers don't actually need a second co-star; maybe Joel Embiid is a different kind of freak, so much a bulldozer that everything around him can just be a really nice shovel. Read more »
No Longer The Leastern Conference

by John Wilmes

For now, the Eastern Conference is promising and entertaining while the West is depressing and underwhelming. Read more »
Chris Paul Is Finally Understood

by John Wilmes

On his fifth team, in his 17th season, the man who may be his sport's greatest commander of all time has fatefully found his greatest love: a potent battleship crew that is willing to do everything just his way. Read more »
Can The Kings Ever Learn To Fly?

by John Wilmes

Most of the roster has now seen coaching and front office turnover take place in their time in Sacramento, and everyone is aware of how long it's been since the team was relevant. In this context, it's hard to instill comfort, and easy to lose it. Read more »
The Atlanta Hawks Are Coming Of Age (Again)

by John Wilmes

Everyone in the league watched Atlanta's unlikely run last postseason, and everyone now has more of a working idea of how to deal with them. The problem-solving standard has shifted permanently upwards for Atlanta, because now everyone is much more motivated to be their problem. Read more »
The Overdue Recognition Of DeMar DeRozan

by John Wilmes

DeMar DeRozan wasn't LeBron and he wasn't Kawhi, and he also wasn't Tim Duncan when he reached the Spurs. He quietly improved nonetheless and turned into one of the most overlooked playmakers in the NBA. Read more »
Concern Strolling: Celtics, Blazers In Rough Transitions

by John Wilmes

The Blazers and Celtics brought in new coaches to address questions that we may see to be more existential and personnel-based than strategic or cultural. Sometimes you're just putting a new face on the same disappointment, and sometimes that disappointment ossifies, and then morphs into something worse. Read more »
The Bulls, Knicks And The Return To History

by John Wilmes

Atop a tapestry of overlapping mythologies, the Bulls and Knicks treated the basketball world to a highly romantic slobberknocker. Both franchises are now finally on the right side of mediocrity, after a several-year stretch during which the two teams were the biggest losers in all of the NBA. Read more »
Tiny Sample Survey: Bulls, Sixers, Lakers, Nets

by John Wilmes

In the spirit of rationality, let's take a look at the first several days of the NBA season without overindulging any of the still very limited footage we have at our disposal. Read more »
The Hellish Purgatory Of The Philadelphia 76ers

by John Wilmes

Joel Embiid has won a turf war against Ben Simmons because he's improved a bit more and definitely in easily noticeable ways. Embiid also won over the people in power within the Sixers, as well as the fans and the media. Read more »
The Brooklyn Nets, Our Weirdest Contenders Yet

by John Wilmes

As the Nets enter the 21-22 season as overwhelming title favorites, my question is simple: has a team ever been this good and this weird at the same time? Read more »
The 2022 Lakers And Nets, And One Ring To Rule Them All

by John Wilmes

As the NBA transitions to a new era, a Lakers-Nets Finals could function as the capstone to a certain era of stars; one last hurrah for everyone old enough to remember when David Stern was still their commissioner. This would be a Super Bowl of sorts- a collision of legacies too rich to miss, too hyped-up to possibly escape. Read more »
Damian Lillard, Ballad Man At A Crossroads

by John Wilmes

The repetitive nature of the Blazers' failures seems to be grating on Damian Lillard. Will he remain content to pour all his power into a cyclical ballad about how the little guys can never be amazing enough to overcome the big boy advantages elsewhere? Read more »
The Real Malice Of The Palace

by John Wilmes

The media cycle that followed the Malice at the Palace did not correlate with the reality in the arena that night, aside from the magical one that racists are always manufacturing on the fly. Read more »
Ben Simmons, Klutch, And LeBron's Legacy Of Cultural Resentment

by John Wilmes

Ben Simmons, despite boasting many spectacular qualities as a player, is not close to LeBron James, but his experience as a public figure does share important common ground. Read more »