Who should win the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery?

Karl-Anthony Towns

It is that time of year again. The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery will be held tonight. Who deserves to win it?

I like to imagine a world in which the draft order is determined by Davometrics – my balanced consideration of each franchise’s fan base, history, location, ownership, front office, existing talent and any other miscellaneous factors that I consider relevant.

I want the best young prospects (such as Karl-Anthony Towns, pictured above) to have the chance to develop in the best possible basketball environment: in front of sold-out crowds of educated, passionate fans who will appreciate watching them develop; for owners who are financially committed to surrounding them with the necessary talent; preferably in a large, thriving metropolis that offers a superior quality of life and great marketing opportunities.

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Hassanity: The emergence of Miami’s Hassan Whiteside

Hassan Whiteside was a second round pick in the 2010 Draft who played 19 nondescript games over the first four years of his career and bounced around from Sacramento to the D-League by way of Memphis, Lebanon and China.

Now, he is breaking out as the Miami Heat’s back-up center and quickly becoming one of my favorite players in the league.

Over Miami’s last four games, he has put up 14.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 77.1% shooting in 24.0 minutes off the bench. Not coincidentally, the Heat have won three of the four.

What exactly is going on?

Quite simply, they are a completely different team with him on the floor.

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The greatness of Dirk Nowitzki and his place in NBA history

This week, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki passed Moses Malone to become the seventh-leading scorer in NBA history. His rise up the all-time scoring charts is a testament to his incredibly diverse scoring ability and his longevity. Let us pay proper respect to his greatness and consider where he ranks among the all-time best at his position.

Dirk’s offensive abilities are well known to anyone reading this blog.

The best-shooting big man we have ever seen, at seven feet tall he is able to get his shot off over any defender – be it a face-up jumper or his patented fall-away off one leg. He is the only player 6’10” or above to make at least 1,500 threes. He is a master of head-fakes to get his defender off-balance, and he is comfortable taking smaller opponents in the post and finishing with either hand at the rim. He is a great teammate and is excellent at seeing the floor and passing out of the double-team.

He has aged well and he has adjusted seamlessly to shooting a few less shots per game than he used to, something past-their-prime superstars normally struggle with. Remarkably, he is still the cornerstone of a contender today at age 36, powering a Mavs offense which, built on shooting and floor spacing, is truly assembled in his image. Not coincidentally, it is the most efficient in the NBA.

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My 2015 NBA All-Star ballot

With a quarter of the regular season in the books, NBA All-Star balloting began in earnest yesterday.

Of course I took the first available opportunity to vote for my ten most deserving starters – three frontcourt players and two guards from each conference:

Western Conference

FC: Anthony Davis (New Orleans)

25.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.9 BPG, 32.9 PER, 10-11 record

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LeBron’s hair: Has James fixed his hairline?

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Whilst browsing photos from the launch event for LeBron James’ latest signature shoe, it hit me: LeBron looks different. On closer inspection, it has become clear that he has magically re-established his hairline.

For years, LeBron’s hair has been receding.

It was already thinning around the temples as a rookie back in 2003:

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As the years went on, he strategically placed his headband further and further up his forehead to cover his rapidly retreating hairline.

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1994 NBA Draft revisited: Kidd, Hill, Big Dog & Co.

The ’93 Draft, which was revisited here last week, was deemed “not great” by esteemed readers of the blog. 1994 was certainly worse, producing no MVPs, just five All-Stars, and a No. 1 pick whose career was underwhelming.

However, it did yield one of the all-time greats at his position (Jason Kidd), one of the original “next Michael Jordan” candidates (Grant Hill), the largest ever rookie contract (Glenn Robinson), and the first ever $100 million player (Juwan Howard).

Here are the top 10 picks, retrospectively re-ordered to reflect each player’s NBA accomplishments:

1) Jason Kidd (picked No. 2 by Dallas)

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1,391 games, 36.0 minutes, 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 40.0% FGs, 17.9 PER.

Best season: 2002/03 – 80 games, 18.7 points, 8.9 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 41.4% FGs, 22.2 PER, 49-33 record, All-NBA 2nd team.

Most memorable moment: 30-point, 10-assist performance in Game 3 of the ’02 Finals.

Kidd was the best point guard of his generation and is an easy choice for No. 1 here, even if he did inexplicably die his hair blonde, assault his ex-wife, and get traded twice during his prime.

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NBA Finals, Game 5: screenshot diary and analysis

With the Spurs up 3-1 hoping to finish the job unlike last year and the Heat just hoping to survive to play another game, a Game 5 screenshot recap is a must.

Pre-game

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This girl’s name is Colbie Caillat apparently. She delivers the best national anthem rendition of the series so far.

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This lad just outplayed the best player in the world twice on his own home floor. Will he continue his incredible post-Game 2 play?

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Mario Chalmers’ Finals disappearance

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Mario Chalmers has disappeared.

The Heat’s starting point guard is averaging 3.5 points and 27.8% shooting through the first four games of the NBA Finals. He has more fouls (12) than points (10) and nearly as many turnovers (8) as assists (9). He has been thoroughly outplayed by not just Tony Parker, but Patty Mills too. His slump pre-dates the Finals; he has not scored double figures in 13 games.

Prior to this season Chalmers had developed a well-earned reputation for being a gamer, someone who could be relied upon in the postseason. He had become that valuable asset on any winning team: the role player unafraid of the big moment, the unsung fourth wheel who picks up the slack when called upon.

He was the Heat’s second-leading scorer in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, dropped 25 points in Game 4 of the 2012 Finals (the “Mario mother*cking Chalmers!” game) and at Kansas hit the biggest shot of the 2008 NCAA national title game.

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