Basketball Wiretap

Klay Thompson Requested Meeting With Steve Kerr On Warriors' Offense In December

Jun 12, 2018 11:45 AM

Klay Thompson requested a private meeting with Steve Kerr about the state of the Warriors' offense in December.

Golden State's offense lost some of its rhythm following an injury that month to Stephen Curry.

Thompson has typically been the lowest maintenance of the Warriors' stars.

Thompson left the meeting satisfied. 

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

PER Leader In Each NBA Finals Since 1991

Jun 9, 2018 11:18 AM

The NBA Finals MVP has often also been the player to have the highest PER in the series, but there have been a number of years during the Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James era where that hasn't been the case.

- Finals MVP in parentheses 

1991: Michael Jordan: 34.1 (Michael Jordan)

1992: Michael Jordan: 27.1 (Michael Jordan)

1993: Michael Jordan: 31.7 (Michael Jordan)

1994: Hakeem Olajuwon: 25.6 (Hakeem Olajuwon)

1995: Hakeem Olajuwon: 25.7 (Hakeem Olajuwon)

1996: Shawn Kemp: 27.5 (Michael Jordan)

1997: Michael Jordan: 29.3 (Michael Jordan)

1998: Michael Jordan: 28.7 (Michael Jordan)

1999: Tim Duncan: 28.0 (Tim Duncan)

2000: Shaquille O’Neal: 36.6 (Shaquille O’Neal)

2001: Shaquille O’Neal: 33.8 (Shaquille O’Neal)

2002: Shaquille O’Neal: 38.5 (Shaquille O’Neal)

2003: Tim Duncan: 30.4 (Tim Duncan)

2004: Chauncey Billups: 29.3 (Chauncey Billups)

2005: Chauncey Billups: 24.4 (Tim Duncan)

2006: Dwyane Wade: 30.5 (Dwyane Wade)

2007: Tony Parker: 25.4 (Tony Parker)

2008: Ray Allen: 20.6 (Paul Pierce)

2009: Kobe Bryant: 28.7 (Kobe Bryant)

2010: Pau Gasol: 25.3 (Kobe Bryant)

2011: Dwyane Wade: 32.6 (Dirk Nowitzki)

2012: Mike Miller: 33.7 (LeBron James)

2013: LeBron James: 29.2 (LeBron James)

2014: LeBron James: 32.6 (Kawhi Leonard)

2015: LeBron James: 27.5 (Andre Iguodala)

2016: LeBron James: 33.4 (LeBron James)

2017: Kevin Durant: 32.6 (Kevin Durant)

2018: Kevin Durant: 31.1 (Kevin Durant)

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

Cavs To Give Minutes To Rodney Hood In Game 3

Jun 5, 2018 12:43 PM

The Cleveland Cavaliers will give minutes to Rodney Hood in Game 3 of The Finals.

Hood has fallen out of the Cavaliers' rotation during the playoffs.

Hood is one of the Cavaliers' best individual scorers and also has the length to defend multiple positions on defense in their switching scheme.

Hood will be a restricted free agent this offseason.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Rodney Hood, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

Jeff Bzdelik: Defending Warriors Like Being In Boat With Three Holes In Bottom But Two Pegs

Jun 5, 2018 12:11 PM

The Rockets had a basic rule for defending Stephen Curry in which they didn't allow anyone to help onto him when Clint Capela was matched up against him on a switch. The Rockets were prepared to live with Curry converting contested layups because open three-pointers would kill them, according to Jeff Bzdelik.

"It's like you're in a boat with three holes in the bottom," Bzdelik says of defending Golden State, "and you only have two pegs to plug them. You just have to keep moving the pegs around."

The Rockets practiced how and when to help off Golden State's non-shooters and had rules for specific situations.

The Cavaliers are attempting to follow a similar strategy but with inferior personnel.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

LeBron James PER In Finals By Year

Jun 4, 2018 5:32 PM

LeBron James has generally been incrementally better in The Finals as his career has progressed, beginning in 2007 at the age of 22.

2007: 13.4
2011: 17.1
2012: 29.7
2013: 29.2
2014: 32.6
2015: 27.5
2016: 33.4
2017: 30.7
2018: 37.0

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

NBA Sees No Correlation Between 82-Game Schedule, Increased Injury Risk

Jun 1, 2018 3:32 PM

During his press conference before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Adam Silver was asked about whether the league might consider reducing the 82-game schedule to avoid injuries.

"In terms of the 82-game season and injuries, just a few of the examples you gave," said Silver. "Obviously, Kawhi Leonard hardly played this season. It’s an injury from last year. I don’t really know much about his injury other than he played very few games this year, so it’s hard to tie that injury to an 82-game season. Of course, Kristaps Porzingis was lost fairly early in the season, so it’s also hard to tie that to the length of the season.

"So what our data shows right now, it’s a little bit like driving. Of course, if you drive more miles, you’re more likely to get into an accident. So if you play 82 games instead of 62 games, of course you play more basketball and you’re more likely to get injured.

"But we’re not finding, with all the analytics we’re doing, a correlation between the 70th game you play necessarily making it your — becoming more injury-prone than you are in the 30th game.

"As I said before, where we do see a correlation is lack of rest. That’s why we added a week to the schedule. We’ve dramatically reduced back-to-backs and other things we’ve done to create more space in our schedule.

"82 isn’t a magic number. And there is, of course, a financial component for the league and the players of playing a full 82-game season. But we continue to look at other ideas. Whether we have a midseason tournament and reduce the number of games in the regular season, that’s something we could look at. I think our playoff format is working pretty well.

"But life changes, society changes, entertainment options are constantly changing as well. So we’ll continue to look at it from a business standpoint.

"But I do mean this most importantly, and we talk to the Players Association a lot about this, if we had any data, hard data suggesting that a season that was 75 games or 72 games instead of 82 games would reduce injuries other than just playing fewer games, we’d be taking a hard look at shortening our season. We just don’t have that data right now."

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, NBA Injury, NBA CBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Steve Kerr Thought Warriors Had Breakthrough In Game 5 Loss

May 27, 2018 11:19 AM

Steve Kerr entered Game 6 confident of the Warriors' chances due to things he saw his team figure out in their Game 5 loss.

“No, I truly felt something coming,” Kerr said. “I thought we had a breakthrough last game, a couple things offensively. Nothing I want to mention. But I thought we had a couple breakthroughs that were going to lead to this game.

“What I didn’t see coming was the horrific defense we started the game with. Oh my God, we let (Trevor) Ariza get wide open. I made a mistake — at one point I was yelling to David West while play was going on, he looked over at me, (James) Harden hit a 3.

“We were out of sorts. All of us — players and the coaching staff — I thought. Early on, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. But we just stuck with it. Our guys were great. I just think getting it to 10 at halftime was a really big deal. Because 10 for us is nothing. It’s a couple possessions. Especially here. And sure enough, 8-0 run to start the third quarter, we’re right back in it.”

The Warriors again began to move the ball, cut and screen while getting out in transition.

“Yeah, we’ve been trying to get back to being us all series,” Kerr said. “I think Houston has done a great job of defending us, switching everything. They’ve built a great roster to do what they’re doing. They’ve got size and strength at every position. Sometimes, you kind of have to figure it out in terms of the ball movement.

“A lot of this stuff is different for us, because of the switching 1 through 5. So I think we’ve been trying to get more and more movement and mix in the KD isos against the mismatches. Tonight, obviously, we did a better job of finding the balance.”

Tim Kawakami/The Athletic

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

Mike D'Antoni Regrets Not Having Steve Nash Score More

May 22, 2018 10:21 AM

Mike D'Antoni believes the Phoenix Suns would have been even better during his tenure had he not been so determined to have Steve Nash play the role of a traditional point guard.

With James Harden and Chris Paul playing more isolation basketball with the Houston Rockets, we are seeing the evolution of D'Antoni's process.

"Oh, without a doubt, I screwed that up," D'Antoni said. "Nash was a purist. Steve's a Hall of Fame point guard. He was unbelievably good. I just think instead of averaging 15 or 16 [points], he could have averaged 30 for us. He was that good of a shooter, and I don't think it would have screwed the team up."

Nash averaged 12.4 field goal attempts and 4.1 3-point attempts per game during his four seasons with D'Antoni. 

"If they even give a hint of going under [the screen], just whap it," D'Antoni said. 

"We know better now," Nash said. "The math's been validated, and I think that's why point guards are so aggressive. It makes sense. We stuck to our traditional values, and that allowed me to stick to my personality, whereas I should have come further and further out of my personality.

"Yeah, I should have probably shot the ball 20 times a game. It probably would have made a lot more sense, but at the time, we weren't ready for that league-wide. Everyone was telling us that you can't win shooting all those 3s, and now we realize that we didn't shoot enough, especially when we were playing small. So, yeah, I think Mike's right. I regret it, too.

"But it really wasn't my personality and the culture of the game wasn't ready for that. So it was like a bridge too far, so to speak, at the time."

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Steve Kerr Now Understands He Has To 'Let Draymond Be Draymond'

May 21, 2018 2:01 PM

Steve Kerr and Draymond Green have had their share of run-ins during their four seasons working together. Kerr has taken a different approach this season.

“This year, we’ve even moved beyond that,” Kerr said, “to where I think we fully understand each other. And I understand you’ve gotta let Draymond be Draymond. In the end, it works. So I’ve got to give him the leash that he needs to turn it over and take  some shots.

“That’s fine, because in the end, the guy wins. He just wins. And he competes. One of the reasons he wins is because his emotional intensity is at a certain level. … So I couldn’t get too frustrated. I had to live through some nights where he didn’t have his full energy, was taking some bad shots and turning it over. As long as I was reminding myself that we’re getting the real Draymond in the playoffs.”

Marcus Thompson II/The Athletic

Tags: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ