How many of the Celtics' "Big 4" need to produce in order for the Celtics to be successful? Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus breaks down the Celtics' postseason results by examining single game scores for Garnett, Allen, Pierce and Rondo and measuring those results per 48 minutes: " In 14 of the team's 20 playoff games, two or more members of the Big Four have been above average. In those games, the Celtics have been tough to beat, going 11-3."
Lakers fans have a complicated relationship with Derek Fisher. Fisher has provided them with some of their fondest postseason memories, but many of those same fans also see point guard as the spot on the floor where the Lakers are most vulnerable due to Fisher's age and streaky shooting. Jeff Skibiski of Forum Blue & Gold offers his paean to Fisher.
Neil Paine of Basketball Reference wonders how often a championship team's "alpha dog" goes on to win Finals MVP.
Although he has a lot of work to do this summer, Phoenix Suns general manager Steve Kerr has enjoyed as much vindication this postseason than any player or executive in the NBA.
Grant Hill thinks that swapping Jared Dudley for ESPN's J.A. Adande as the Suns' sixth man would be a potential disaster.
Tom Ziller exquisitely digs into "Pacific Rims," Harper's assistant editor Rafe Bartholomew's exploration of basketball in the Philippines: "So much of the idiosyncratic image of Filipino basketball madness stems from the physical limitations of both the Filipino people (whose men, on average, stand shorter than Earl Boykins) and the challenges posed by the archipelago's sweltering climate. There's also the dedication to the art of the sport, which disconnects with our American vision of the game's aesthetic value stemming from the dunk, a task made more difficult in the Philippines due to the aforementioned height issue. Filipino players have instead translated the dunk into their language, creating the trick lay-up. And this type of cultural touchstone -- not the lay-up itself, but its creation myth -- gets at just what makes basketball in the Philippines so special: the kids in flip-flops in the barrios and the McDonald's All-Americans in the arena are all connected through this unique basketball mythology created here."
Embracing (or rejecting) advanced analytics means that sometimes a player's quantitative value defies what the human eye sees. Such is the case with Spurs big man Matt Bonner.
Drafting for "need" isn't as simple as filling one of five positions on the court. Teams also have to be mindful of how a specific draftee's skill set would dovetail with their existing roster. The New Jersey Nets might be choosing between two talented young big men -- Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins. Both have enormous potential, but whose talents would best complement Brook Lopez?
Jay Aych of The Painted Area is picking Barca to sweep the ACB Finals: "... Barcelona is nearly flawless, one of the best units Europe has ever seen."
Jeff Pendergraph: Bowled over by The Brady Bunch Movie.