- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “I think Miami’s moves have absolutely lit a fire under players all around the NBA, and more specifically ones in Orlando. Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, [J.J.] Redick and others have already pointed out that every summer drill and track session is done with Miami in mind. It’s absolutely on this season between the Magic and the Heat. Those four regular-season games will be emotionally charged and likely tune-ups for the Eastern Conference Finals. One more thought to consider: Orlando’s two strongest positions (center with Dwight Howard and point guard with [Jameer] Nelson) are Miami’s two weakest spots. At the end of the day, Miami will still be stuck using Joel Anthony against Howard and Mario Chalmers against Nelson. That could be just enough of an advantage for the Magic to nullify Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and James.“
- Color me skeptical about that last comment.
- A look back at Dwight Howard’s time spent in India: “It took the Summer of 2010 for the NBA to once again to make its massive presence felt on the Indian shores, and that presence came in the form name of Dwight Howard. Suddenly, ‘Superman’ became sort of the flavor of the month amongst the basketball circles in India, and for a country full of many, many flavors and masalas, he came in as a hell of a big deal. Dwight was in India from August 10-14, sandwiching his visit here between a couple of visits to East Asian countries like China and Taiwan. Although the popularity of the NBA popularity in India still has a long way to go to match those other countries, it has been growing rapidly in recent years. [...] Over the past few days, Howard has brought his message of the joys of basketball to India, visiting Bangalore and New Delhi in his tour. India is a country that sorely lacks modern sport infrastructure and facilities, but Howard said that this shouldn’t deter young players from working on improving their athletic ability.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy on the Miami Heat: “If I look at what the Bulls did winning 72 games and I look at the Heat roster, I am going to tell you that the Heat roster is better than any roster that Michael Jordan played with the Bulls. I don’t think that people predicting them breaking the win total and being in the 70s and the whole thing, I don’t think those are expectations that are out of line based on their roster… Dwyane Wade is certainly, in my opinion anyway, as good as he was, is better than Scottie Pippen. Chris Bosh is better than Toni Kukoc. Mike Miller is every bit as good a shooter as (John) Paxson or (Steve) Kerr or anybody they put there. Plus, he’s 6′8″. If you start going down the list, I don’t think there is any question that the roster the Heat have is as talented a roster if not more so as any roster there has ever been in the NBA.”
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk thinks Van Gundy is engaging in reverse psychology.
- Where will Chris Paul play in 2013? Orlando could be a possibility: “Naturally, Paul wants to play with a dominant center, and a PG-C tandem of Paul and Dwight Howard would be devastating, perhaps one of the best in league history — just look at what Paul accomplished with Tyson Chandler as his big man in New Orleans. The Hornets are doing all they can to keep Paul happy, but if he still wants out, they’ll have to listen to offers eventually unless they want a disgruntled face of the franchise. The Magic might be able to deliver the best deal out there, a package starting with All-Stars Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter, who has essentially just one year of guaranteed money left on his contract.”
- Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference takes a look at which offensive rate stats are the most consistent when players change roles on a team. Paine looks at True Shooting Percentage, assist percentage, turnover percentage, free throw rate, and offensive rebound percentage. Here’s what he found: “As far as the correlations themselves go, offensive rebounding % and assist rate seem to be almost completely independent of a player’s role — i.e., if a player has a good assist rate at 15% possession usage, you can basically expect that to be retained even at 25% possession usage, etc. Perhaps it is because those two stats measure tendency as much as ability, although there’s certainly skill being captured in each as well. True shooting % is easily the least consistent stat when a player changes roles, which seems to back up the concept of skill curves. When a player has a high TS% and a low possession %, it may be that his efficiency is inflated by taking relatively easy shots, attempts that comprise a smaller proportion of his shot selection when he is asked to increase his usage. Along the same lines, turnover rate was the 2nd-least consistent offensive rate stat when changing roles, suggesting that not only is shooting % dependent on the player’s usage, but the ability to avoid turnovers is as well. Finally, free throw rate was in the middle of the pack in terms of correlations.”
- Can intangibles be quantified? Drew Cannon of Basketball Prospectus searches for an answer.