Prospects Ranked: My friend Justin at Liberty Ballers ranked the NBA prospects. I would have ranked Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle ahead of Australian prospect Dante Exum myself. I especially like Gordon. He's not much of an offensive player yet but his defense is excellent. I guess it all depends on where you qualify defense while the offense needs work.
Fail: Derrick Williams made an ass out of himself with this epic dunk fail in a Kings blowout against the Chicago Bulls.
Lebron's Disappearing Defense: In Zach Lowe's weekly column he talked about Lebron's disappearing defense this season. While Lowe thinks, correctly I believe, it will even out in the playoffs he has noticed that Lebron isn't defending dribble drives like he used to with evidence being that Thunder game last week. I would contend that Lebron has worn down. He's played approximately 300 games the past three seasons including playing for the Olympic team. That's a lot of wear and tear and could be showing this season.
Mike Woodson Could Be Fired Within the Next 2 Weeks: Eye of Basketball brings us the news that New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson could be fired by the February 20th trading deadline or sooner. While you can't blame all the Knicks problems on Woodson, he certainly hasn't helped himself with some of his coaching decisions this year.
EPV: "EPV" stands for "expected possession value" and Kirk Goldsberry at Grantland has the full details on the new technology and data being used in the NBA. Basically if you can estimate the EPV of any moment during a game, you can quantify the performance in more sophisticated ways. Everything can be valued from passes to turnovers to double-teams. Here's a visualization of a play involving the San Antonio Spurs.
LeMarcus Aldridge Willing To Stay in Portland: Ken Berger has a story today about LeMarcus Aldridge willing to sign a long-term extension with the Portland Trailblazers. If Aldridge signs a long term deal, that would be a huge coup for the Blazers because that would solidify a good team for a long time.
Why is Al Jefferson Dominating in the Paint?: If you would have told me that a combination of Josh McRoberts and Anthony Tolliver is the reason why Al Jefferson has dominated lately, I'd say you're full of shit. But that combo is exactly the reason why Jefferson has dominated and The Point Forward has all the details for you.
The Best of the Week: A look at the best games of the upcoming week.
Friday, February 7th, Portland at Indiana: Not the greatest week for basketball but this game is a must watch. Portland has cooled off since their blistering start but they're still 3rd in the Western Conference. Going to be great watching them trying to score on Indiana.
Saturday, February 8th, Golden State at Phoenix: Both of these teams right now have the same exact record. Golden State has the stars while Phoenix had the depth. These two teams would be a great first round matchup.
Tuesday, February 11th, Miami at Phoenix: I believe the Suns will get their wings clipped by the Heat in this game but I thought the same thing about their matchups against Indiana and Phoenix beat them twice.
Wednesday, February 12th, Miami at Golden State: Miami wants revenge from earlier this season and I believe they'll get it.