Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus has announced his All-Defensive first team, and some of the selections may surprise you. Except for Dwight Howard. That one you probably should’ve gotten. Using factors like dMult, adjusted plus/minus, team defensive rating, defensive WARP, and his own lyin’ eyes, Pelton has assembled a fairly comprehensive look at who the best defenders in the league were this season.
Meanwhile, former Hawks and Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry – still respected in many circles, despite using “African” pejoratively to describe Luol Deng – is working in New Orleans’ front office.
You can see where this is going…
Don’t look for Danny Ferry, currently an advisor to the front office, to take over in any shakeup, sources say.
I’m skeptical. Nobody wants to acknowledge an internal coup before it’s executed. Doing so would create a terrible workplace environment until it happens or if it doesn’t.
The Pelicans’ ownership situation makes this a little more tricky. There’s an apparent desire in New Orleans to win quickly for an aging Benson, and that directive has limited Demps’ flexibility.
Still, Demps’ plans have mostly busted. Eventually, he’ll run out of chances to try new ones.
If that happens soon, when the Pelicans search for a replacement, Ferry will be right there with an impressive record building up Atlanta and no stains that make him unhirable to New Orleans. Would the Pelicans, who thought enough of him to hire him once already, really not consider promoting him?
Indiana players and coaches were tearing up after OG Anunoby got hurt.
Unfortunately, their fears about the lottery prospect were founded.
Indiana Hoosiers sophomore forward OG Anunoby will undergo right knee surgery and miss the rest of the NCAA season, sources told The Vertical.
The 6-foot-8 small forward is a versatile defender. He has grown as a shooter, and there’s hope he could become a 3-and-D player – or, given his athleticism, maybe more.
Anunoby wasn’t in the top tier of prospects in a loaded 2017 NBA draft, but he was headed toward the lottery, maybe even the top 10. How he recovers from this injury will factor significantly into his draft stock now.
On the bright side, this is less opportunity for scouts to pick apart his raw offense (though it’s also less opportunity for Anunoby to develop).
But perhaps the game would’ve had a different outcome with correct officiating down the stretch.
Curry (DAL) clamps the arm of Lopez (CHI) and affects his ability to retrieve the rebound.
A correct call would’ve put Dallas in the penalty and sent Lopez – who has made 66% of his free throws this season and and 76% for his career – to the line for two attempts.
Instead, not only was Lopez denied his free throws, he committed a frustration foul on Dirk Nowitzki – who grabbed the rebound with help of Curry – moments later. Nowitzki converted one of two free throws.
We’ll never know how the rest of the game would’ve played out after a correct call, but a swing of 1-to-3 points is pretty big in a one-point game.
Jaylen Brown entered the NBA as a highly touted prospect, the No. 3 pick by the Celtics last year.
Jonathon Simmons paid a $150 fee to try out for the Spurs’ D-League team before eventually climbing to the NBA.
Their very-different paths could cross during All-Star weekend in the dunk contest.
Brown said he has been invited, though he hasn’t made up his mind:
Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News:
Both would be worthy candidates. Between the two, I’d favor Brown, but it’ll be interesting to see the rest of the field.
Just what can Brown and Simmons do?