John Wilmes - Basketball Analysis

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

by John Wilmes

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 »
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 »
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