John Wilmes - Basketball Analysis

Harden, Durant, And The Pursuit Of What Was Lost

by John Wilmes

Jan 21, 2021 2:35 PM

A singular mix of past and present, of talent and narrative, the new Brooklyn Nets are an entity too dense for one moment, and will require years of observation and unpacking to comprehend. Read more »

Tags: Brooklyn Nets, NBA

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On LaMelo Ball, Who May One Day Impress Himself

by John Wilmes

Jan 11, 2021 4:52 PM

What we can see already is that LaMelo Ball is a player with a newness that matters, and that is in all likelihood bound to matter more and more. Read more »

Tags: LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets, NBA

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Steph, Draymond And The Warriors' Search For New Basketball Meaning

by John Wilmes

Jan 4, 2021 3:21 PM

It's a hazy era for the Warriors: the post-Rome effort to make something more lasting, which necessarily requires Stephen Curry and Draymond Green to prove themselves as under-utilized players who were capable of much more through their years with Klay, Durant and Iguodala. Read more »

Tags: Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, NBA

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Kevin Durant's Sweet Journey Back To The Top

by John Wilmes

With all the narrative baggage buried, though maybe not super deeply, Kevin Durant is now playing basketball in Brooklyn with a boldly visible love for it again. Read more »
What's Better Than Championships? Joakim Noah

by John Wilmes

In Joakim Noah, those of us in Chicago watching the game for a kind of insurgent anti-Goliath defiance found our ultimate hero. Read more »
The Small Market Energy Of Free Agency Panic

by John Wilmes

Despite historical evidence to the contrary, some argue this strain of superstar liberation is novel and it's here to obliterate the league. Read more »
The Early Ascension Of The Nuggets

by John Wilmes

The flip-side of the Clippers' epic demise is the joyful rise of one of the league's youngest, most unique teams. Read more »
The NBA's Actual Narrative Crisis

by John Wilmes

As the NBA's culture has evolved into one that favors a language that's half-meme-talk and half-financial-analysis, perhaps its gatekeepers should consider the appeals it once made to the millions who tuned in to watch the old stuff, but can't bother with the new. Read more »
The Rockets Are Testing The Limits Of Small Ball

by John Wilmes

Small ball is moving toward a new gimmick-driven paradigm, inspired by a misinterpretation of what made those Warriors so great. It's a rising style, and one that's more than ripe for a new counter-exploitation. Read more »
ZIon Williamson And The NBA's Potent Escapism

by John Wilmes

Zion Williamson is the star the NBA is most relying upon as it returns to television with the pandemic still raging, peddling a stranger, more austere version of the product its audience is used to. Read more »
Basketball's Grandest Ballad: The Utah Jazz

by John Wilmes

Averaged out over a fifteen-year period, the contributions of Karl Malone and John Stockton were greater than anyone else's, but at no point during that time were they good enough to beat everyone. Read more »
On Michael Jordan, LeBron James, And Time Machines

by John Wilmes

With the nation on lockdown during a pandemic, turning somewhere nostalgic with "The Last Dance" for their sports fix, this plague of cognitive dissonance is thriving more than it ever has. Read more »
The Long Path To Michael Jordan's Humanity

by John Wilmes

Jordaniacs galore have dived gleefully into the cracks of his veneer, reveling in the hidden humanity of the man with the perfect smile and the unparalleled on-court artistry, presented to them for so long as not-real. Read more »
Pat Riley Will Never Die

by John Wilmes

Gone are Justise Winslow, Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and anyone else with a conspicuous gap between potential and performance. Remade in Jimmy Butler's self-maximizing fashion, rich with diamond-in-the-rough upstarts and over-achievers, this team would be a fitting sendoff crew for Pat Riley, if he were capable of quitting. Read more »
The DeRozan-To-Kawhi Heart Transplant

by John Wilmes

The mark of Kawhi Leonard's spirit on the Raptors' Finals run is unmistakable. They are no longer any more prone to mental or spiritual lapses than any other title fighter; in fact, they are noticeably allergic to the psycho-emotional flights. Read more »
The NBA's Four Exceedingly Disparate Semifinals

by John Wilmes

The Bucks and Celtics finally playing serious basketball, the Kawhi Leonard avalanche, auditing Warriors-Rockets and the hardwood candy of Nuggets-Blazers. Read more »
Late Season NBA Flotsam And The Giannis Who Could Redeem It

by John Wilmes

The past several weeks of NBA basketball have been scantly watchable, and it's primarily because of structural issues wrought by businessmen. Read more »
The Modern NBA Hegemony Of The Three-Pointer

by John Wilmes

The standards for player effectiveness have shifted so remarkably that entire typologies of the game are fading from existence during this stylistic hegemony. Read more »
How LeBron Made Winning Harder For Himself While Improving Life For The Stars

by John Wilmes

In freeing himself from old concepts about franchise loyalty and how you're allowed to move around the league, LeBron James has forged his own kind of kingdom that other ad-campaign-worthy stars see and want for themselves. Read more »
Anime Hayward And The New Bounds Of #Content

by John Wilmes

Anime Hayward is a fiction borne from a culture so over-producing and so neurotic about what it is, and who it is, that his stenciled visage feels all but inevitable. Read more »