Before the season, Basketball Insiders pinpointed five statistics that could be worth watching in the 2019-20 season. These statistics each helped tell the story of last season and could be vital in determining the standings of the current campaign. A month into the season, here’s an update on how those five statistics, and the impact
The injuries are beginning to mount and NBA teams up and down the standings are looking for fill-in production. Who is being asked to step up? If there is anything that has defined the early portion of the 2019-20 NBA season, it’s injuries. We began the year knowing Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson would likely
In the season’s early going, a familiar cast of characters has emerged in the race for Defensive Player of the Year. In a league increasingly reliant on versatility and the implementation of pace and space, though, some new candidates have emerged, as other, position-less defenders have a greater opportunity than ever to force their way
We are now officially one week into this NBA season and so far, so good. With the Hamptons Five disbanded, we believed that this was the most parity in the history of the NBA. The season may still be young, but this newfound competitiveness has definitely shown itself. We have some standouts, of course, and,
Danny Ainge is a gambler, only not in the typical sense. Yes, Ainge does, on occasion, deal with money. It’s just part of the job. But, more so than cash, Ainge is often one to gamble on players, whether they are his own or on some other roster. For better or worse, the Boston Celtics
The NBA is a star-driven league and, as always, it’s almost impossible to win without one. But as important as they are, you still need role players to fill the gaps in-between. To wit, you need an X-Factor, a player that can elevate his game either as a complement or when the stars are struggling.
We just saw James Harden and Russell Westbrook‘s first game together as Rockets teammates. What did we learn? Not that much, actually. Of all the major transactions made this offseason, none seemed to carry as much combined potential risk and reward as the Houston Rockets’ trade for Russell Westbrook. Harden and Westbrook are two of
Daryl Morey’s tweet heard ’round the world sparked international upheaval, spanning the issues of geopolitical diplomacy, censorship, human rights and, of course, basketball. Before delving into the controversy itself, here’s a brief background of the why and the what: Since June, protests have run rampant in Hong Kong, gradually becoming more violent over time. The
Not too long ago, the Southwest Division was filled to the brim with title contenders and certain playoff teams. Only the Houston Rockets remain in those major categories as turnover has left the rest of the division balancing contention with rebuilding. That has the clear byproduct of introducing a bevy of new players into contributing
“Twin Towers” used to be a term of endearment in the NBA. Back in the old days, if you had two dominant seven-footers in your frontcourt, that was considered to be an advantage on the court. Duos like Hakeem Olajuwon/Ralph Sampson and Tim Duncan/David Robinson put their teams on the map. It seems like forever
In the ultra-competitive Western Conference, multiple playoff bids may be determined by presently unexpected or unproven players. Every game matters, particularly as franchises begin counting up the wins and losses headed into the springtime. Superstars can carry a roster, but it’s the breakout that helps them rise above their ceilings. Whether it be through renewed
Nate McMillan almost made it seem like the Indiana Pacers’ hand was forced. With Domantas Sabonis eligible for an extension until late October or entering restricted free agency next summer, it was crucial for the Pacers to prove that he’s a part of their long-term plans. Coming off a breakout season that cemented him as
The offseason is finally done. Training camp is officially underway. The 2019-2020 NBA season is mere weeks away from starting. As usual, we’ve all been waiting a long time for this moment. And why shouldn’t we? There are so many exciting storylines to tune into this season. The league’s new-found parity. The new LA teams.
With 4.2 seconds left in a tied Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Marc Gasol inbounded the ball to Kawhi Leonard. Leonard caught the ball at the top key and was promptly met by Ben Simmons, who shadowed Leonard as he made a move to his right and headed toward the wing. When Leonard
Forget how the Houston Rockets are going to fit on the court, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and P.J. Tucker are going to be rocking heat all season. After Russell Westbrook got traded to the Houston Rockets this offseason naturally everyone’s mind went to “how will he and James Harden coexist?” Which, sure that’s a major
As they seek a championship, the Houston Rockets are switching things up. Don’t worry about fit, they have talent and chaos on their side. Winners win not in spite of chaos but by embracing it. The Golden State Warriors strategically induced positionless chaos to build a mini-dynasty. The Toronto Raptors opportunistically took advantage of chaos
In just under two months, 30 NBA teams will kick off the journey that is the 2019-20 NBA season. There will be a myriad of storylines and statistical trends that flesh out as the season chugs along. Some of these trends can be predicted based on last season, while others could be a result of
When evaluating a team’s offseason, it can take a while to complete. Between going over what happened last season, what they did this summer and predicting what lies ahead – it’s quite the exercise. You could almost call it a process. Oh hey, speaking of processes, the next team up in this series? The Philadelphia
The following three-part story stars Russell Westbrook and James Harden. In the story, they will find a basketball. The story is based on Jon Klassen’s three books I Want My Hat Back, This is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat. They are brilliant children’s books. This is probably less so. Part one: Russell Westbrook and
It is the middle ground between prime and retirement, between IQ and adaptability, and it lies between when the shot doesn’t fall as much and when a guy can’t jump as high as he used to. This is the dimension of aging stardom. It is basically when a star enters the NBA equivalent of which
Entering their fifth season together with brand new contract extensions, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will continue to torch defenses as arguably the most dynamic starting backcourt duo in the NBA. The Portland Trail Blazers’ All-Star-caliber pairing scarily knows each other’s tendencies. When one is having an off night, the other will pick it up.
James Harden and Russell Westbrook are not the same kind of ball-dominant force. Will this pairing of dynamic opposites work for the Houston Rockets? If you don’t think about it too long, you could be fooled into believing that the recently reunited Russell Westbrook and James Harden play a similar style of basketball. Both have
With the NBA Summer League concluded and the brunt of free agency completed, the doldrums of the offseason are here. The FIBA World Cup, Drew League, BIG 3 and The Basketball Tournament and other events are currently taking over the scene until the association fires back up in late September. Last week, Basketball Insiders started
To maximize their talents together, James Harden and Russell Westbrook must evolve in Houston. Just two years ago, the Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul and launched into a full-scale championship pursuit. They came incredibly close in 2018 before Paul’s right hamstring gave out in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, leaving James Harden
The Houston Rockets came into the season with high expectations, and that led to some understandable frustration after an early playoff exit. Chris Paul and James Harden are both All-Star level players who haven’t won a championship, and with that comes pressure as they both grow older and their window to claim a title closes.
PORTLAND, OR – APRIL 23: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game Five of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or
After trading for Russell Westbrook, the Houston Rockets and James Harden are going to have their work cut out for them on defense. In the wake of the shocking, seismic trade that saw the Oklahoma City Thunder send Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul, two first-round picks, and two pick
The NBA’s Western Conference has a lot of potential contenders that will be integrating new pieces, and that means one thing: Someone’s gonna be disappointing! The last 40 days have completely overhauled the landscape of the NBA, and specifically the NBA’s Western Conference. Kevin Durant’s Achilles and Klay Thompson’s ACL took the Golden State Warriors
From referee bias to illegitimate MVP votes to careless reporting, the Rockets are fed up with the entire NBA. Maybe it’s time for them to think about leaving? What does Roxit mean? Roxit is used as shorthand by those within the Houston Rockets organization who believe the franchise is often undervalued or overlooked by the
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 2: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball against the Toronto Raptors during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 2, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user