On The NBA Beat

Attentively bringing the National Basketball Association to you

Tag: Tobias Harris

Bulls, Grizzlies Slide as Minny’s Momentum Continues (Power Rankings: March 15, 2017 Edition)

Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls halted their five-game losing streak by defeating Charlotte Monday night (Jacob Gaertner/Creative Commons).

A particularly tumultuous period sees the Warriors and Cavaliers dropping to their lowest positions of the season. Meanwhile, every other team has moved up or down at least one spot except for the Clippers and Hawks, who remained at No. 8 and 12, respectively. A handful of sub-.500 squads are recognized for their strong recent play, as the Grizzlies and Bulls are punished for their sluggish performances over the past two weeks. One final fun fact: Last edition, Chicago came in at No. 15, a full 10 spots ahead of the Hornets. This time around, Chicago clings to a single-spot lead over Charlotte after edging the Hornets Monday night.

Biggest Jumps: Milwaukee Bucks (+6), Minnesota Timberwolves (+5), Washington Wizards (+4)

Biggest Falls: Chicago Bulls (-6), Memphis Grizzlies (-5), Dallas Mavericks (-4), Indiana Pacers (-4), Toronto Raptors, (-4) Continue reading

Dan Feldman: Pistons’ Andre Drummond Is a “Work in Progress”

Feldman calls Drummond the best Piston since Chauncey Billups but recognizes that there are still improvements to be made (Keith Allison/Flickr).

Subscribe on iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

Last time Dan Feldman of NBC Sports’ Pro Basketball Talk joined the podcast, he detailed the Pistons’ inconsistency. Again, a season later, Feldman breaks down the team’s streakiness and many other salient issues, including Stan Van Gundy’s unique brand of leadership, Reggie Jackson’s improving play, and why star center Andre Drummond can, at times, be so frustrating to watch. Here are some excerpts to get your engine revving:

1:50-1:58: During the recent 3-9 skid: “The entire difference almost was defensively. They went from defending like, give or take, the best team in the league to defending like the worst team in the league.”

7:55-8:27: “One thing that is helping [Tobias Harris] is that when you start the game, the Pistons want to get touches for Reggie Jackson. They want to get Marcus Morris involved. They’re running more plays for KCP. They’re running more plays for Andre Drummond. They’ve got to get all these guys involved… When [Tobias Harris] comes off the bench, it’s his turn to get involved. There’s no ambiguity of, ‘Hey is it my turn or is it somebody else’s turn?’ When he comes in, it’s his turn; he can get going and get into a rhythm. He’s a talented player and a good scorer and when he’s the focal point, that’s something that works for him.”

Continue reading

Hawks Grounded, While Giannis and the Bucks Soar (Power Rankings: Dec. 9, 2016 Edition)

The Hawks earned a 13-spot demotion by struggling mightily after storming out of the gates with a 9-2 start (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

Due to stellar play from the Rockets, Jazz, Thunder and Celtics, the red-hot Grizzlies actually dropped a couple slots. The panel was indeed impressed by Memphis’ ability to win five of its last six games without Mike Conley Jr. on the court; it’s just those other teams were deemed to be even better. On the other side of the coin, the Hawks have been dreadful for nearly three weeks now and are paying for it by falling precipitously in this edition. Their 13-place drop on our list may be awfully difficult for teams to “beat” in future rankings.

Biggest Jumps: Milwaukee Bucks (+8), Orlando Magic (+7), Oklahoma City Thunder (+6)

Biggest Drops: Atlanta Hawks (-13), Chicago Bulls (-10), Denver Nuggets (-9), New Orleans Pelicans (-7), Los Angeles Lakers (-7)

Continue reading

Dan Feldman Gives Pistons a “Coin-Flip Chance” to Make Playoffs

At only 22, Andre Drummond has become a dominant force in the NBA. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

At only 22, Andre Drummond has already become a dominant force in the NBA (Keith Allison/Flickr).

Subscribe on iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

Hovering just around .500, the Detroit Pistons are probably the streakiest team in the NBA this season, amassing long winning and losing streaks alike. However, for all the team’s inconsistency, Detroit remains in the thick of the playoff race. Dan Feldman of NBC Sports’ Pro Basketball Talk joins the show to dissect Andre Drummond’s historic dominance, Detroit’s team-building strategy under Stan Van Gundy, Reggie Jackson’s continual growth and so much more. Choice excerpts are below:

4:25-6:00 On Andre Drummond’s free-throw shooting and where he fits in the modern NBA:

“I think a lot of fans get worked up on, ‘How could you give a max contract to a guy who makes 40 percent of his free throws?’ I just think it’s just nitpicking one thing because it’s so easy to diagnose… It’s so much harder to assess the other things he does well that I think the free-throw shooting has taken an outsized part of assessing his game… But it’s so helpful to have one guy you can run the pick and roll with, who can finish at the rim, who can defend the rim. He really fits as this modern center if you have the pieces around him. He’s definitely someone you can build around.”

7:15-8:05 On the short- and long-term effects of acquiring Tobias Harris at the trade deadline:

“It’ll take some adjustments to make him an ideal fit in this system. He’s going to have to become a better 3-point shooter, and I think he can. He’s been somebody who’s been streaky. But I think once there’s a comfort level… in the long run, this could really work… It was probably the biggest steal of the trade deadline week.”
Continue reading

The Buzz About Charlotte and Deadline Deals and Duds

Tobias Harris (right) and Kris Humphries (left) are two players who found themselves on new teams after last week's trade deadline. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

Tobias Harris (right) and Kris Humphries (left) are two players who found themselves on new teams after last week’s trade deadline (Keith Allison/Flickr).

Subscribe on iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

Following the interview with Doug Branson earlier in the week, Aaron and Loren continue the discussion about the surging Charlotte Hornets who have outperformed expectations and won nine of their last 12 games. They further discuss how the team has shown such a drastic increase in both 3-point attempts and percentage, but also look into the factors that have led to them having the largest disparity between home and road winning percentages among projected playoff teams.

In the second segment, the co-hosts look into some of the biggest deals that went down before last week’s trade deadline. All of the big names stayed put, but smaller moves like Channing Frye to Cleveland and Jeff Green to the Clippers could have an impact on how the rest of the season and the playoffs play out for those teams. (Editor’s note: we discuss a trade sending Donatas Motiejunas to the Detroit Pistons. Since recording, that trade has been voided because of the Motiejunas’ back issues mentioned in the episode.)

Music: “Who Likes to Party” by Kevin MacLeod

Zach Oliver: The Magic “Just Lock Up” in Close Games Down the Stretch

Zach Oliver (left) helping former Magic player Glen Davis (right) with his tie, earning the nickname "Bowtie Killa."

Zach Oliver (left) helping former Magic player Glen Davis (right) with his tie, earning the nickname “Bowtie Killa.”

Subscribe on iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

After a promising 19-13 start under new head coach Scott Skiles, the Orlando Magic have fallen on very hard times this calendar year, dropping 11 of 12 contests. A stagnant offense has especially plagued this incredibly young team. Amid such horrible January struggles, Zach Oliver of SB Nation’s Orlando Pinstriped Post drops by to help explain the Magic’s current woes as well as to provide insight on the team’s wealth of young talent.

Sexy sound bites can be found excerpted below:

4:30-4:45: “A lot of people were a little bit lower on the Skiles hiring than I was because, you know, Skiles is going to come in, he’s going to coach them for a couple years, he’s going to whip them into shape, but then he’s going to lose the locker room and they’ll have to make a change. But at the same time, that’s exactly what this team needed.”

5:33-6:23: “The thing that troubles me the most… is that they just lock up. They move the ball exceptionally well in the first two and a half, three quarters, getting quality looks, and then in the fourth quarter, guys just tense up and try to do it all on their own. To be honest, they really don’t have that guy that they can give the ball to in iso and say, ‘Here, we need a bucket go score.’ So that’s the biggest issue with them. Their defense is still an issue, especially late in games. Nik Vucevic, whom I think has done a better job in certain areas, still can’t protect the rim and the Magic guards have been unable to keep anybody in front of them.”

Continue reading

© 2017 On The NBA Beat

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑