Court Vision: How rookies view each other
• Entertaining stuff, as always, from this year’s rookie survey, in which 36 members of the rookie class voted their peers for various superlatives. Among the notables: Boston’s Kelly Olynyk tied with Orlando’s Victor Oladipo as the rookie likely to have the best NBA career; Detroit’s Tony Mitchell won most athletic honors in a landslide; and Dallas’ Ricky Ledo received votes for most overlooked (T-1st), best defender and best playmaker despite not playing a minute of college basketball.
• To put in perspective how much these things matter, flip back to this 2007-08 rookie survey, unearthed by Alex Dewey. Four of the players who registered in the top five for “best shooter” are no longer in the league. Nick Young received a vote as the rookie who would play the most All-Star games. Alando Tucker and D.J. Strawberry received votes as Rookie of the Year favorites. Glen Davis received a vote as the top playmaker among rookies. The baffling decisions go on and on.
No, long term, it won’t be. But we, the ones who were part of it, will remember it because there can’t be such a thin line between frustration and ecstasy. It wouldn’t be logical. You try to find solace in that. But those that weren’t there, those looking at a history of the results of the finals won’t remember it. They’ll see we were as good as Seattle or Utah were when they lost to the Chicago Bulls.
• A closer look at the fundamental relationship between effective field goal percentage and offensive efficiency.
• Examining the basis for Bradley Beal’s potential stardom.
• More crucial Olynyk content, courtesy of ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg:
• Ethan Sherwood Strauss had a fascinating, lengthy conversation with former Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. They touched on, among many things, the relationship between NBA teams and the media. Here was Van Gundy’s take on that relationship:
The media’s job is different than ours. Let’s put it this way: The media can certainly be a challenge. You’re out looking for stories. And that’s your job. And for a lot of people, maybe not a lot, but for a few people, the easiest way is to look for the negative.
The whole world has different challenges now with the 24-hour news cycle and just the volume of stuff that’s out there. And everybody has to get out there. So you’ve got all these people now, because it’s online 24 hours, if I want to get noticed, I got to have something different. And so the beat reporter writes his story and the team played well and blah blah blah. Well, I can’t write that same story now. Nobody’s going to read it.
So every angle is going to be covered. Every angle. That’s not just in sports. That’s in everything. It certainly presents a challenge, but I don’t think that that’s something you can blame on the media. I think coaches sometimes look at the media as the enemy. I don’t think that’s fair. It’s going to be like any profession. Ninety-nine percent of the people are going to work hard and just try to do a good job. And you’re going to find that 1 percent that lacks integrity, will trump up stories, won’t be honest, but there’s so few of them. I never wanted to look at the media as an enemy, I never wanted my players to look at the media as an enemy.
• It can be tempting to contend that all rebuilding teams should marginalize veterans for the sake of developing prospects, but Dave Dulberg of Valley of the Suns reminds us that veterans can be assets for lottery teams all the same.
• Tony Wroten — who was traded from Memphis to Philadelphia last week — is an incredible athlete, but he was blocked on 21 percent of his shots at the rim last season. The Mikan Drill’s Joshua Riddell explains why.
• A cold statistical look at the Knicks projects some regression to the mean for both New York’s shooters and Tyson Chandler. The result? A projected 47 wins, seven fewer than the 54-win total the Knicks notched last season.
• I loved this examination of the cliché that Allen Iverson was the best player, “pound for pound,” in NBA history. The sports world has a tendency to invent such titles for very good players that no one knows quite what to do with. Iverson was a good scorer but not the most efficient, and so the basketball world turned its attention instead to what made him unique: His diminutive size. It made Iverson’s play that much more amazing and dramatic, though the notion that he was an all-time pound-for-pound great is pretty thoroughly debunked in this piece.