HOUSTON, TX – APRIL 24 : James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets passes the ball against the Utah Jazz during Game Five of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or
Utah staved off elimination Monday night with a victory over a Houston team that went cold when it mattered most, but they still face an impossible task. For three quarters, it didn’t matter that the Utah Jazz were the team that came out with more urgency, more intensity, and far more like the one down
At the end of a first quarter in which his MVP candidate failed to hit a field goal and Utah’s presumptive DPOY finally showed up with four blocks, Houston coach Mike D’Antoni was asked what his team needed to change about their shot selection. “Nothin.” Arrogant? Maybe a little. Correct? Absolutely. On cue, Gerald Green
After another Rockets blowout over the Jazz, the biggest question now is whether this will even be a competitive series before Utah bows out. Playing the Houston Rockets right now is like swimming in shark infested waters after someone’s dumped a bucket of chum all over you. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
The Jazz had become a trendy upset pick but the Rockets made clear in Game 1 that they’ll have their work cut out for them. The greatest downside of the first round of these NBA playoffs is that one of Houston or Utah – the two most dominant teams in the entire league since the
Last year in this space, we introduced a metric called Wins Above Age-Derived Expectation, or WAADE. It measures exactly what it sounds like: how many more wins an NBA team actually gets than you would have expected them to based on their minutes-weighted age. In introducing the metric, we highlighted several teams that stood out
Previewing the first-round series between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz with shot charts, assist maps, offensive style charts and expected win probabilities. Shot charts James Harden has shot a truly unprecedented number of step back 3-pointers this year — approximately one out of every three in the entire NBA was taken by Harden. He
Last year, this writer started his tenure with Basketball Insiders writing about who had the best case for Coach of the Year. One year later, we’re revisiting the same discussion. This time, with an entirely new slate of candidates. The Coach of the Year Award produces one of the most fascinating races in the NBA
There’s a reason why “Unorthodox” is the operative word here. There were several big winners from the trade deadline. Philadelphia got the perfect and relatively young scorer in Tobias Harris to put next to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Toronto added an experienced, jack-of-all-trades center in Marc Gasol to cement their status as a contender.
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 05: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder gestures against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center on December 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Saints to bring back Teddy Bridgewater: Grade, reaction, analysis by Brad Berreman Green Bay Packers sign
Donovan Mitchell appears poised for greatness after his breakout rookie season with the Utah Jazz. Just under 14 months ago, the Utah Jazz traded Trey Lyles for the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, with which they selected Donovan Mitchell. The Denver Nuggets, their partner in the trade, must be absolutely sick when
For the past few years, the death of rivalries has been an endlessly recycled talking point. The idea is that NBA players are too friendly and it’s diluted the league’s competitive spirit. It’s also absurd. NBA rivalries are as intense as they’ve ever been and this week at The Step Back, we’re celebrating the rivalries
Joe Ingles is not the Utah Jazz’s best player on either end of the floor. Rudy Gobert, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, has that end covered. Donovan Mitchell, who nearly won Rookie of the Year, is the team’s offensive engine. Ingles is not the team’s best perimeter defender, nor its best rebounder and
Last year’s battle for Rookie of the Year was one of the more contentious in recent history. Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell battled for the honor with many questioning whether or not Simmons counted as a “true” rookie since he had sat out what would have been his first season due to injury. Simmons ended
The Utah Jazz’s second-half surge is not necessarily a reprise of last season’s stunning playoff push. Quin Snyder isn’t interested in looking backward. “This whole season, I think we’ve tried to get away from the whole idea of déjà vu,” he told reporters after a recent game against Golden State. The resemblance between this season
The NBA has always been a playground for budding trendsetters — or, in other words, whichever teams can adapt best from year-to-year, embracing their strengths and addressing their weaknesses emerge on the other side even better. While the powerhouse franchises like the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets haven’t seen too much variation
Back by the popular demand of pretty much only myself, it’s the second annual edition of Around the NBA in 15 Trades. We’re taking all 30 teams in the lead up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline and finding a happy middle ground for prosperous barterdom. Portland and Utah have become two staples of the Western
The Deadline Should Be Fun The February 7th, 2019 NBA Trade Deadline is just around the corner, and given the number of high profile names said to be available, it could make this one of the more interesting deadlines to watch. Historically, there are usually 10 to 14 deadline transactions per year, with most of
As we approach the trade deadline this season, rumors, speculation, and reports will begin to circulate on social media. Some may be grounded, others may be purely opinion-based. Regardless of what comes up, there is always one guarantee: Trades will be made. Whether teams are trying to improve their roster before the playoffs, mix up
Ever since he came into this league, Brandon Ingram has had ginormous and arguably unfair expectations. Being selected second overall in what was believed to be a two-man draft is one thing. Being selected by one of the league’s most storied franchises along with that is another. Those two combined is sure to generate a
NBA players love their pets and the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert wants you to know it’s okay if that pet happens to be a cat. Cats are great, and so is the NBA. On the rare occasions those two things intersect, I am overjoyed. Today is one of those rare occasions as Vivint Smart Home,
The atmosphere is buzzing. On one side of the court, bleachers are almost to capacity with roughly 1,200 people in attendance. The other side has been cleared out to welcome multiple bounce houses for the children. It’s Pirate Night. There are foam swords and pirate hats galore. This is the NBA G-League. The Salt Lake
In the NBA, tough decisions must be made. Sometimes it’s a front office deciding to go in another direction with a trade or release. Other times, it’s a coach having to pull a guy out of the active rotation. Most of the time, however, it’s a player figuring out the next move to benefit his
In most American professional sports, divisions — the grouping of regionally similar teams for the common goal of producing storylines and rivalries that drive narratives and cash flow — have some meaning. In the NFL, for example, division champions, the team who wins the most games that season amongst the grouping of four teams, are
ESPN announced its NBA Christmas Day schedule Wednesday, lined with marquee teams and signature stars. Here’s what you should make your priority among the mistletoe and hot chocolate this winter. 5. Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks The NBA, by scheduling this match for its vaunted Christmas-Day slate, is establishing a Mendoza Line of Knicks
Were it up to the Memphis Grizzlies and the Utah Jazz, the NBA’s swell in scoring and pace would have left them alone. Alas, the offensive boom has rippled across the entire league, touching even teams that would prefer to slow the game down, grind out offense and force their opponents to do the same.
The annual race for Rookie of the Year is a typically contested competition and, so far, the 2018-19 season appears to be no different. Between the instantly-sensational Luka Dončić, the beastly Deandre Ayton and electric Jaren Jackson Jr., it’ll likely be up for grabs once award season rolls around in the springtime. Yet, for some
Is there any word that excites fans more about an individual player than “potential?” Hardly anyone comes into this league a finished product. With rare exceptions like Tyreke Evans and Michael Carter-Williams, almost every player that makes it in the NBA gets better after their rookie season. Some young players need more time than others.
Trade season is fast approaching and rumors are running rampant across in the NBA. Just in the past month, we’ve had three trades executed, including two blockbuster moves that will surely make an impact on the association, regarding this year and in the future. The chatter is about to heat up, even more, this weekend.
When the Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Pistons back in January, the motives were obvious for both sides. For Los Angeles, they knew that with the roster as it was, they weren’t going anywhere with Blake leading the way. While Blake was capable of putting up good numbers on a nightly basis, the roster