Friday, June 1, 2012

Your Annotated Smartphone Bathroom Reader (Ed. 1)

Who called the Thunder blowing out the Spurs by 20? Anybody? I expected to write a post after tonight’s game responding to my earlier assertion that Scott Brooks hasn’t proved that he is a good coach, but really that would just be a waste of my time at this point. The Thunder winning by 20 points doesn’t prove that Scott Brooks is a good coach, but the way they won does. They won by denying the Spurs access to the paint. Tony Parker as 6-12, but with only 4 assists against 5 turnovers. Daniel Green, Gary Neal and Manu Ginobli combined to go 5-19, and the entire Spurs team only shot 15 free throws. Denying the Spurs the paint AND avoiding fouls? That’s good coaching.

Instead of the same article about the Thunder defense that you could read on any other blog this morning, we are testing out a new feature. The Diss Presents: Your Annotated Smartphone Bathroom Reader (Ed. 1)

Tom Beller
The New Yorker

The New Yorker? Yes, The New Yorker. Beller presents a fine piece of expository sports journalism in this in-depth look into the history and importance of Latrell Sprewell, who disappeared from the public eye after falling out of the league in 2005. It not only delves into the mythical aspects of Spree, but also what he meant for the Knicks in the early 2000s. If you only know Sprewell from “I have a family to feed…” take the ten minutes to learn about the man.

"Spurs Evolve into Offensive Force"
Jack McCallum
Sports Illustrated

McCallum's analysis challenges the notion that the Spurs rise to offensive dominance happened in a relatively short period of time, and instead argues that "the seeds for their offense [sic] emergence [had] been in place for a decade." While McCallum's analysis has been shared by many, this piece is useful because it provides a short but comprehensive counter-narrative to the prevailing notion that the Spurs were a "boring" team.

"The House That Christian Ponder Built"
Steve Marsh

An NFL article in an NBA blog? Yah sure, you betcha. Arena politics are front-and-center in a number of NBA (and former NBA) metropolises, including Sacramento and Seattle. Marsh's piece should be required reading for both those attempting to understand the tricky politics around approving and funding stadiums with public tax dollars, and those who spent time amongst the Lutherans in Minnesota. Doncha know?

"The Amar'e Moment"
Percey Davis
The Classical

Percey Davis delivers an excellent myopic into Amar'e Stoudemire's brief but busy career with the New York Knickerbockers. Not only does it provide an excellent historical narrative of the Knicks team-building "plans" since the dawn of the Dolan era, but it also examines Amar'e's transformation into "Antonio [McDyess] 2.0" as a power forward who failed in New York due to "defective parts", a large salary and meteoric expectations. A great read for Knicks fans and those who seek to understand the complicated dynamics of Superteams.

Photos: J.R. Smith Went Bike Riding in NYC With His Twitter Followers at 3AM
I am a GM

So this piece isn’t as heavy or intellectual as the ones above—who says we can’t have a little fun here? Athletes are harshly criticized when they do anything that suggests that they might be regular humans and don’t want to workout 24/7, so it’s nice to see J.R. Smith giving those critics the old two-finger salute. He’s a 26 year old man living in one of the biggest cities in the world and won’t play a competitive basketball game for five months, let him have some fun.

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