John Wilmes - Basketball Analysis

The End Of The Embiid-Simmons Sixers Mess

by John Wilmes

Jun 21, 2021 3:01 PM

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 »

Tags: Philadelphia Sixers, NBA

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The Strange, Gnarly Range Of Bucks Vs. Nets

by John Wilmes

Jun 16, 2021 8:32 AM

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 »

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

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The Sixers, The Hawks, And The Stuff Of A Potential Classic

by John Wilmes

Jun 7, 2021 11:14 AM

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 »

Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA

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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 »
LeBron And The Art Of Self-Mythology

by John Wilmes

Fully 36 years old and nursing a high ankle sprain, LeBron James is into year two of his elder title contention phase with the Lakers, and his tendency to grandly narrativize everything he accomplishes has kicked into as high of a gear as we've ever seen from a player. Read more »
The NBA's New Play-In Class Structure, And Who's Feeling It

by John Wilmes

The eight-team play-in zone is all of the following: extra competitive padding, extra competitive pressure, confusing, ephemeral, purgatorial, and a new benchmark for ascendancy. Read more »
Lakers Dread Versus Lakers Reality In 2021

by John Wilmes

The Lakers will either be the most spontaneous, sensationally improvised championship team of all time- or, more likely, a monster that is not actually under anyone's bed. Read more »
Steph, Zion, And What The NBA's Play-In Needs To Succeed

by John Wilmes

A do-or-die game easily billed as "Steph vs. Zion" is on the table, here- and if that happens, it could easily be enough of a cultural success for the league to validate whatever other junk occurred along the way. Read more »
The Reshuffling Bulls, And Their Fans' Search For Coherence

by John Wilmes

Because Bulls fans have become so literate in losing, and are so removed from success, it is hard for them to see the seeds of something better. Read more »
Kevin Durant, Philip Roth, And Letting The Haters Rule Your Life

by John Wilmes

The parallel discussions on Kevin Durant and Philip Roth are a testament to how fixated our culture is on men who are equal parts broken and brilliant. That neither have ever learned how to let anything go can be frightening to perceive. Read more »
Aaron Gordon, The Latest Trade Machine Savior

by John Wilmes

Aaron Gordon could move soon, but what we have, overall, is a vast disparity between the imagination and desires of roster construction possibilities and the realities of them. Read more »
The Reinvention Of James Harden

by John Wilmes

James Harden has dispensed with the stale algorithms with the Nets so quickly and so dramatically that few seem to have had time to notice it yet. He is expanding the game beautifully rather than bending its corners into distended statistical peninsulas. Read more »
The Suns, And Chris Paul's Endgame

by John Wilmes

What the Suns do in the playoffs will likely be the beginning of Chris Paul's true endgame, his quest to be remembered any differently. Read more »
Utah Is Trying To Break Basketball

by John Wilmes

Utah's system is reliable and, save for a few instances of especially inspired passing, as predictable as the math it tends toward. Safe money lies with teams who play above-average defense while also maximizing three-point volume and efficiency. Read more »
The Variables And Struggles Of An NBA Playing Through COVID

by John Wilmes

The COVID inflicted NBA season has been a sloppier, more austere, less predictable and ideal product than the one that we're used to. Hopefully the experience shows the league ways to do things better afterwards than they were done before. Read more »
The NBA's Renewed Team-Building Imagination

by John Wilmes

Unlike the peak of the Warriors' era, the emerging championship contenders of today seem not to be bent in any consistent direction. It is time, instead, to build different kinds of flying that make the sport a more marvelous stew of style. Read more »
Shaq, Chuck, And Their Beloved Anti-Analysis

by John Wilmes

Neither Shaq or Charles is a true analyst, but that much more rare thing: they are entertainers. That is what they're paid for, and also the basis for a steady team in a media field that's in constant turnover elsewhere. Read more »
Harden, Durant, And The Pursuit Of What Was Lost

by John Wilmes

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 »
On LaMelo Ball, Who May One Day Impress Himself

by John Wilmes

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 »
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