Basketball Intelligence For 5/20/23


MIA 111, BOS 105

Celtics need to be the bear
Jay King, The Athletic

The Celtics did not fail late in the fourth quarter because Williams challenged Butler. They collapsed because nobody else stood up and fought back. As Butler took control of the final minutes, the Boston offense shrank into nothing. The Heat blasted the Celtics with physical and mental toughness. Trailing by three points with about one minute left, Boston gave up three offensive boards on a single possession. With their season potentially spinning away, the Celtics forced a Butler miss but could not secure the rebound. Bam Adebayo grabbed it and slammed it home, all but burying Boston.

If the Celtics can’t handle Butler at his snarling, attacking best, they never had a chance to win this series. They weren’t going to escape the Heat simply by shying away from him and hoping he would stay silent

5 takeaways from Heat’s crushing Game 2 victory
John Schuhmann, NBA.com

5 Takeaways
Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald

Celtics keep digging themselves a deeper hole
Jared Weiss, The Athletic

10 Takeaways
Keith Smith, Celtics Blog

The Heat trait that has carried them to a 2-0 Series Lead
Sherrod Blakely, Half Court Hoops

The Celtics needed to prove they were better than the Heat. Instead, they wilted
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe

The Celtics’ biggest issues surfaced at the worst time
Adam Himmelsbach, Boston Globe

5 Takeaways
Brady Hawk, 5 Reasons Sports

Miami takes over, Celtics fade down the stretch
John Karalis, Boston Sports Journal

Why is Jimmy Butler so good in the playoffs?
Ben Taylor, Thinking Basketball

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Game 2 : How Jamal Murray’s fourth quarter was the difference
Tony Jones, The Athletic

Is LeBron James fatigued? His mileage continues to increase, and the ramifications could be unfolding
Shaun Powell, NBA.com

What makes Jokic so great?
Jeff Zillgitt, USA Today

Olivier-Maxence Prosper: Scouting Report
Adam Spinella, The Box And One

Which prospects at NBA Draft Combine helped themselves the most?
John Hollinger, The Athletic

Draft Combine: 6 standouts who helped their draft stock the most
Krysten Peek, Yahoo Sports

7 standout prospects from the Combine
Luke Akinsola, NBA.com

Draft Combine Recap and NBA Draft Buzz
Rafael Barlowe, NBA Big Board

Combine winners, losers
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports

Draft Combine rumblings: What will Hornets do at No. 2? Will Blazers trade No. 3?
John Hollinger, The Athletic

Mock Draft 4.0
Cody Taylor, USA Today

Emoni Bates Shows ‘Glimpses Of Talent’ At Combine As Draft Range Remains In Flux
Adam Zagoria, Forbes

Meet Bilal Coulibaly
Pascal Giberne, SLAM

First-round mock draft
Pat Heery, Yardbarker

HOU: Q & A: Ime Udoka
Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle

PHO: Jock Landale enters restricted free agency on a playoff high
Ayush G, The Pick And Roll

SAC: Unlikely MVP story: how Sasha Vezenkov almost left Olympiacos before his rise
Donatas Urbonas, BasketNews

“The biggest thing was coaching,” former Olympiacos center Augustine Rubit told BasketNews.

“From the first day the coach arrived at Olympiacos, his main focus was ball movement. Quick passes and closeouts. Shot fake and closeout. That alone fits Sasha’s game so well. It took away all the hero ball and made it more about the team,” Rubit shared about Bartzokas’ philosophy.

“Sasha fits a lot into my basketball philosophy,”  Olympiacos coach Bartzokas affirmed to BasketNews. “He doesn’t overdribble on creating his shot. He can play together. He excels in a team that passes the ball, where everyone is moving. I think this philosophy perfectly suits his game. It helped him find confidence.”

“I’ve actually enjoyed playing with Sasha,” Rubit continued. “The way he moves off the ball and makes it easier for you. He will make those extra passes. Seeing what he was doing out there, I definitely didn’t know he would be MVP or play as well as he did last year. But I definitely saw that he had something in his game. The way Bartzokas coaches and practices brings out the best in him.”

SAS: Brian Wright earns praise as low-key architect of Spurs’ rebuild
Tom Orsborn, Express News

FROM THE ARCHIVES: 4 Years Ago Today

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