Author: Brett Pollakoff

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NBA to track five ‘hustle stats’ at 2015 Summer League in Las Vegas


The amount of information in the form of statistics that is available to the casual NBA fan is staggering, if not downright impressive.

An afternoon can easily be wasted poring over the data available at, and yet, the league is piloting an attempt to add to its already impressive portfolio of numbers.

From the official release:

This year at Samsung NBA Summer League 2015, the league will be tracking five “hustle stats.”  These statistics will be tracked in an attempt to quantify how a player’s effort and intensity, factors we know are important to team success but traditionally have not been formally tracked, affect the outcome of a game.  They will be distributed in-game to team personnel, media and broadcasters. Additionally, we’ll also pilot the idea of handing out advanced box scores in-game during NBA Summer League as well.

The five categories of new information that will be immediately available are as follows:

2-Point FG Contested (C2FGA) – Defensive players will be assigned a 2-point FG Contested if they make their presence felt by raising a hand to contest a shot inside the three-point line prior to the release of the ball without fouling or blocking the shot attempt.  A 2-Point FG Contested will still be awarded even if the offensive player makes the shot, another player also contests the shot (leading to both players being assigned a 2-Point FG Contested), or the ball is never actually released from the shooter’s hands due to the contest (provided the offensive player demonstrated a clear intent to shoot as opposed to simply pump faking).

3-Point FG Contested (C3FGA) – The same rules of a 2-Point Field Goal Contested apply to a 3-Point Field Goal Contested, except the Field Goal Attempt must be outside the three-point line.

Deflection (DEFL) – A defensive player shall be assigned a deflection upon redirecting the intended flight of the basketball through intentional physical contact on any non-field goal attempt.  A deflection is separate from a steal, and does not require either control of the basketball or a change in possession.  A kick ball also results in the defending player being awarded a deflection.

Loose-Ball Recovered (LBR) – A player shall be assigned a Loose-Ball Recovered upon gaining sole possession of a live “50/50” ball not controlled by either team.  A loose-ball recovery can occur after a deflection, a block, a field goal attempt, or any other situation in which players must exert effort to gain possession of a live ball not directly in their individually controlled area (i.e. the ball does not come directly towards them or the recovery is contested).  A loose ball recovery that leads to a jump ball results in half a Loose-Ball Recovered for both players involved in the jump.

Charge (CHRG DR) – The defensive player shall be assigned a Charge Drawn if the offensive player dribbling the basketball charges into an opponent that has established a legal guarding position.  This occurrence will be directly called by an official on the floor.

The only one here I don’t like is the “charge drawn” tally, because I would rather see players attempt to play actual defense than try to position themselves to take charges.

(And no, running to a spot where you think the player with the ball will end up, setting up shop and then getting steamrolled by said player does not qualify as playing defense.)

Overall, more information is better in terms of player evaluation. As long as these numbers aren’t used in a vacuum irresponsibly to make inscrutable arguments, they’ll be a welcome addition to the already encyclopedic volume of available intelligence.

Report: Wes Matthews gets a significantly better deal now that DeAndre Jordan has spurned Mavericks

New York Knicks v Portland Trail Blazers

The DeAndre Jordan saga played out publicly and hilariously on Wednesday, with players from both sides tweeting ridiculous things as the Clippers descended on Jordan’s Houston home to finalize his commitment, while the Mavericks were simply shut out.

Once Jordan’s decision was crystallized, Dallas turned to its other free agent commitment in Wes Matthews, who ended up being rewarded for his loyalty throughout the process.

David Aldridge of

With DeAndre Jordan going back to the Clippers, Wes Matthews’s deal with Dallas goes from 4/$57M to a max deal: 4 years, $70M, per source.

That would have happened if Jordan had initially opted 2 stay in L.A. Matthews took less in order 4 Jordan to come. That changed, obviously.

With Jordan out of the picture, it would have been easy for the Mavericks to similarly renege on their agreement with Matthews, while choosing to enter a full-fledged rebuild instead.

But as bad it was for Jordan to do so, it would have been even more devastating to the credibility of the Dallas franchise.

Mark Cuban and the Mavericks went in the opposite direction, and committed more money to Matthews than was previously agreed upon. That’s money well-spent, because it will undoubtedly go a long way with future free agents who consider Dallas as a potential destination.

Lakers trade with Pacers for Roy Hibbert now official

Minnesota Timberwolves v Indiana Pacers

The Lakers had a verbal agreement to acquire Roy Hibbert from the Pacers in the early days of free agency, but as we saw on Wednesday with DeAndre Jordan and the circus that played out between the Mavericks and the Clippers, deals like this are ultimately meaningless until the paperwork is signed.

L.A. and Indiana completed the deal on Thursday, and announced it via official release.

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired center Roy Hibbert in a trade with the Indiana Pacers, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. In exchange the Pacers will receive a future second round pick.

“We’re happy to add a veteran big man to the roster,” said Kupchak. “Roy is a proven All-Star center that will help improve our front line. In addition he is a consummate professional and we look forward to having him on the team.”

Hibbert is in the final year of his contract, and for a Lakers team that missed out on guys like LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, adding the former Pacers big man as a plan B while giving up basically nothing in return was a more than acceptable option.

The Lakers also formally announced the signings of Lou Williams and Brandon Bass, along with Anthony Brown, who was the 34th overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.

Players ‘mobilizing’ to go meet DeAndre Jordan, tweet emojis so you know it’s real

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers

DeAndre Jordan is having second thoughts about his verbal commitment to join the Mavericks in free agency, and has scheduled a meeting with the Clippers in Houston which will give them one last chance to convince him to stay.

The Mavericks, too, are expected to meet with Jordan, with Mark Cuban heading to Houston to try to seal the deal.

As the details of this meeting began to emerge, things quickly gained traction on Twitter, and became all kinds of hilarious.

Chandler Parsons was instrumental in recruiting Jordan all along, so it wasn’t surprising to see him announce his intentions to travel by plane to be a part of the conversation.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that J.J. Redick, who was extremely harsh in his criticism of the Clippers for letting Jordan get away, lives in nearby Austin, Texas, and had been “mobilized” to attend the proceedings.

Blake Griffin, who has a strong sense of humor and rarely misses out on a comedic opportunity, quickly joined in on the emoji madness.

Chris Paul, fresh off a vacation which included a banana boat ride with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, brought it all to an appropriately ridiculous conclusion.

Except it wasn’t the conclusion — the jokes just keep rolling in. Paul Pierce wanted in on the act, but the best part is that the 37-year-old didn’t use an emoji; he took a picture of one instead.

Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson jumped in …

as did the Golden State Warriors …

as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This may actually be the greatest day in NBA history.

Report: Mavericks believe they are ‘legitimate contenders’ to land Kevin Durant in free agency next summer

Kevin Durant

By the time Kevin Durant becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer, he will have played eight of his nine NBA seasons in Oklahoma City.

While Durant claims to love the community and consistently says all the right things, the reality is that there are plenty of bigger cities available to play in that can provide a far more interesting lifestyle.

Washington, Los Angeles and New York were always viewed as realistic alternatives, should Durant in fact be interested in making a change. And now we have a new team to add to what is likely going to become an increasingly long list.

Chris Mannix of

A byproduct of Dallas’s off-season haul: I’m told the Mavs now believe they are legitimate contenders in next summer’s Kevin Durant sweepstakes. Quite the turnaround in Big D.

That “haul” is in question at the moment, with DeAndre Jordan waffling on his decision to join the Mavericks, and taking a final meeting with the Clippers as he considers his options.

But setting all of that aside, it’s way too early to try to figure out which teams may or may not be a desirable destination for Durant. He may simply remain in Oklahoma City, especially if the Thunder were to win a title next season.

If we’re making a list now, Washington seems like the only place Durant would realistically consider. It would allow him to leave the Thunder without taking a hit to his image, because he could spin the same “going home” narrative that LeBron James was successful in pulling off during his return to Cleveland last summer.

But again, it’s far too soon to go down this road, despite this recent declaration that’s coming out of Dallas.