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The NBA Title Picture Looks As Crowded As Ever

The NBA Title Picture Looks As Crowded As Ever

Filed under:With all due respect to the Lakers, the 2021 championship race appears as close as it was heading into last season, even after last week’s frenzy of transactionsThe last week of NBA activity has been so frenzied, with the draft and trades and the floodgates of free agency, that it’s easy to miss the league’s rich forest for its trees. Individual players move, and individual rosters change, but not much has changed from . If anything, this season’s title race appears even more wide open.The obvious place to start when analyzing contenders’ recent improvements is Staples Center,...

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Zach Kram
6d ago
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Trading for Myles Turner Could Be the Answer for Any Team Looking to Level Up

Trading for Myles Turner Could Be the Answer for Any Team Looking to Level Up

Filed under:The center’s 3-and-D skill set has been underutilized in Indiana, but it’d be a great fit for a contender like Boston or an upstart like New OrleansMyles Turner isn’t even the best center on his own team anymore. That much is clear after the 2019-20 season, when Domantas Sabonis elevated to an All-Star level while Turner suffered a sprained ankle early and never quite found his groove upon returning. If the Pacers actualize the long-held belief that they’d need to trade one of their bigs, Turner is now the only candidate to leave.But despite this hierarchical reduction, Turner...

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Zach Kram
Nov 20
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There’s Never Been a Better Time to Go Undrafted

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Go Undrafted

LeBron James was half of the NBA’s most effective two-man combination in the 2019-20 season. This fact surprises no one: He is, after all, the world’s best player.More surprising, however, is the other half of that duo. When James shared the court with Alex Caruso, who went undrafted in 2016, the Lakers outscored their opponents by 18.6 points per 100 possessions, out of 864 two-man combinations that played at least 400 minutes. in LeBron’s long and storied career—not fellow no. 1 picks, not future Hall of Famers—has formed such an efficient pair.And in the Finals, it was Caruso’s insertion...

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Zach Kram
Nov 16
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The Top 5 Teams of the Past Decade

The Top 5 Teams of the Past Decade

Filed under:Ranking the most dominant single seasons over the past 10 years. (Don’t worry, we limited ourselves to one Warriors team to make it interesting.)Basketball is (maybe, hopefully) on the horizon. To help reintegrate us to a life of Giannis hammer dunks, James Harden dribbling for 24 seconds, and 76ers fans yelling at you for some reason, we’re rolling out . All rankings were voted on by The Ringer staff unless noted. For this list, each franchise could be chosen only once.Record: 65-17Net rating: 8.4Finish: Lost in Western Conference finalsThe 2017-18 Warriors weren’t as superb as...

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Zach Kram
Jun 18
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The NBA’s Biggest Playoff Underperformers and Overperformers of the Past Three Decades

The NBA’s Biggest Playoff Underperformers and Overperformers of the Past Three Decades

Filed under:Should the Big Three Heat have won more than two titles? We used our new metric to find out which teams exceeded postseason expectations … and which fell short.On Monday, detailing a new metric, expected titles, to help measure how teams and players over- or underperform expectations in the playoffs, given factors such as team quality, opponent quality, and playoff series structure. In that piece, we examined conclusions for individual players throughout their careers. Today, we switch to a team-centric view.RelatedFor a full methodological explanation, check out Monday’s piece....

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Zach Kram
May 13
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How Many Titles Should Michael Jordan Have Won?

How Many Titles Should Michael Jordan Have Won?

Filed under:Anyone can count Michael Jordan’s rings, but how many championships should he have won? We introduce two new metrics to determine which NBA stars exceeded their title expectations.A ring is a ring, and every NBA championship should be treasured—but not all title paths are created equal. The 1996-97 Bulls needed to beat the 44-win Bullets, 56-win Hawks, 61-win Heat, and 64-win Jazz in a row; 40 years earlier, the Celtics and rookie Bill Russell received a bye to the conference finals, then beat the 38-34 Syracuse Nationals and 34-38 St. Louis Hawks to win the franchise’s first...

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Zach Kram
May 11
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