John Wilmes - Basketball Analysis

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 »
The Bulls Are, In Fact, Back?

by John Wilmes

This is not a team built for development, but to win. Not to win a title, per se, but certainly to win more games than it loses, and for a good number of those victories to leave an attractive stamp on the broader basketball imagination. Read more »
The Lagging Understanding Of Giannis Antetokounmpo's Dominance

by John Wilmes

When it comes to yeoman vernacular, though, the culture is simply lost when they try to put words to Giannis. Too often, they are loudly and proudly wrong. Read more »
The Scourge Of 'Ratings' In NBA Discussion

by John Wilmes

The next time you encounter anyone mentioning the ratings of the NBA Finals as a means of pouring fake concrete beneath their flimsy cultural-critical structures, you should understand what is happening before you to be less coherent. Read more »
The Suns' Precision Vs. The Bucks' Bravura

by John Wilmes

Death by a million cuts has always been the driving philosophy of Chris Paul's angular, probing game, and in the Suns he has the ultimate armada of like-minded blades. Read more »
The End Of The Embiid-Simmons Sixers Mess

by John Wilmes

Imagination has failed for this weird epoch of the Sixers, if they can be said to have ever attempted it in earnest. More accurately, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Tobias Harris are a logjam that no one ever tried very hard to solve. Read more »
The Strange, Gnarly Range Of Bucks Vs. Nets

by John Wilmes

The ultimate messy series at the end of a chaotic, pandemic-wrecked season of basketball, Brooklyn vs. Milwaukee is a gnarly feast of weirdnesses difficult to digest, and even harder to explain. Read more »
The Sixers, The Hawks, And The Stuff Of A Potential Classic

by John Wilmes

In Game 1, we saw both the extreme benefits of Philadelphia's strategy of kaiju-like paint monster trio of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris, and the ways in which Trae Young can solve its long-limbed riddles. Read more »
The Trial Of Ben Simmons

by John Wilmes

Ben Simmons might have to barrel to the basket more regularly; what the highlight-seeking, unwashed masses want from him, in this case, might overlap perfectly with what his team needs to win. Read more »
The Lovely Chaos Of The Memphis Grizzlies

by John Wilmes

The Grizzlies do not carry themselves, or play the game with small market energy. They are, rather, a team that understands both the fluidity and the brutality of basketball, and the emotional rhythms that tend to shape 48 minutes. Read more »