John Wilmes - Basketball Analysis

What Chris Paul Can't Do

by John Wilmes

May 19, 2022 8:09 AM

Whether you're one of Chris Paul's eager critics, or someone with enough of a tolerance for sorrow to keep riding the roller coaster with him more hopefully, there's no questioning that, even if this sadly mythical loss isn't a proper send-off, it could act as a fitting, sourly poetic bookend to his career. Read more »

Tags: Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns, NBA

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James Harden's Battle Between Experience And Decay

by John Wilmes

May 9, 2022 1:11 PM

James Harden finally looked like a man whose experience has enriched him, rather than ran him ragged, and gave everyone with the fear of being too washed up something to model themselves after. Read more »

Tags: James Harden, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA

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The Warriors And Grizzlies Fight For The Future

by John Wilmes

May 5, 2022 12:10 PM

Memphis seems destined to figure heavily in the future either way, but the grizzled three-time champions are not prepared to concede the present after spending the past couple of seasons licking wounds and rebuilding around their core. Read more »

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA

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The Finished Bulls, Rising Bucks, And Ready Celtics

by John Wilmes

Is Chicago willing to give up some of what it does well, and any of the people who currently define them, to beef up where they're sallow to compete with the jumbo teams in Milwaukee and Boston? Read more »
Can The Suns Stop The Pelicans From History?

by John Wilmes

The No. 9 seed Pelicans, largely microwaved at the end of the season through trades and rapid youth project improvements, wouldn't be here without the new format, but now they look like a team that should've belonged in it all along. Read more »
The Wolves' Shining Moment, And A Potential Future For The NBA

by John Wilmes

Adam Silver and the NBA would likely prefer to take what happened in Minneapolis and bottle, mass-produce, and sell it as their mini version Read more »
The Impending Divorce Of The Still Excellent Jazz

by John Wilmes

Utah's division of labor has worked pretty well on paper, but the human toll is increasingly seen, and the basketball ecosystem in Salt Lake City appears to be crumbling despite still functioning at a very high level. Read more »
The Sheer Lovability Of Jose Alvarado

by John Wilmes

Jose Alvarado's measurable impact on the floor may be only marginally positive for the Pelicans, but his presence signifies something more important, which is that good, unexpected basketball things can actually happen in New Orleans. Read more »
The Bulls Are Back To Earth

by John Wilmes

The Bulls have reached a point in the season in which they are clearly undersized, battered, and visibly very tired. Read more »
The Nets, And Kevin Durant's Quest For Weirder Glory

by John Wilmes

Winning big on the heels of such a sloppy season would, in some ways, be the ultimate validation of Kevin Durant's unusual sensibility, and the very public struggle he has had with his fame and with the paradox of choice granted to him by how coveted his talents are. Read more »
Everyone Loves Dunking On Rudy Gobert

by John Wilmes

Rarely, if ever, has a player ever been as good as Rudy Gobert and so disliked at the same time. Read more »
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 »