29 Sep

The Thunder Werent Built For The Modern NBA

LeBron JamesSFCleveland136.3+1.4 Manu GinobiliSGSan Antonio5739.2+1.1 PJ TuckerSFPhoenix/Toronto3535.7+1.4 2016-17203726 Khris MiddletonSGMilwaukee3943.3+1.1 Jimmy ButlerSFChicago3036.7+2.2 Danny GreenSGSan Antonio4637.9+2.0 2013-14153039 James Ennis IIISFMemphis5037.2+1.4 Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder washed out of the playoffs Tuesday night in a 105-99 Game 5 loss, the last sigh of a frustrating 4-1 series loss to the Houston Rockets. The game followed a familiar script, with the Thunder rushing out to an early lead as Westbrook put a good and thorough thumping on the Rockets defense. But as the game wore on, Westbrook began to tire, the Houston defense began to tighten, and the OKC bench hemorrhaged an enormous number of points. As the Rockets pulled away, the Thunder had no means to make up that ground, because the Thunder cannot shoot.Oklahoma City’s glaring lack of shooting is nothing new. The team shot just 31.1 percent from 3 in the series, and that’s humiliating, sure, but it’s also not too far off of the Thunder’s regular season average of 32.7. Westbrook himself threw up brick after brick, going 13 for 49 from 3 (26.5 percent), many in the desperate fourth-quarter scrums that always seem to wrap up Oklahoma City’s games. But this paucity of reliable shooters isn’t simply because Kevin Durant left town over the summer and the team traded Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo; it’s the result of a yearslong failure of the Thunder to find perimeter players who fit the modern NBA landscape.For as long as there’s been an NBA analytics movement, the 3-and-D wing player has been one of the atomic units of the mathematically sound game. The role of perimeter defender and long-range specialist isn’t necessarily new. In the generation before Shane Battier was beatified by Michael Lewis in The New York Times Magazine, Bruce Bowen, Rick Fox and Doug Christie were manning the position, and before them, guys such as the Showtime Lakers’ Michael Cooper or the Bad Boy Pistons’ Joe Dumars filled the role. But now the 3-and-D guy is more in focus than ever. Which is why it might be a surprise that there are still relatively few players who fit the description.Over the last four seasons, the number of players who qualify1These cutoffs are somewhat arbitrary — they’re only meant to broadly capture the essence of the role — but if anything they stand to underestimate the number of players with the skills to perform roles other than 3-and-D. That’s because there’s a theoretically limitless number of players who fit the 3-and-D description, while rebound rate and assist rate are limited by the number of opportunities for a team, so the thresholds wouldn’t pick up a good rebounder like Steven Adams who yields rebounds to Westbrook, or a point guard such as the Spurs’ Patty Mills, who shares time with distributors like Kyle Anderson and Manu Ginobili. as a 3-and-D (hitting a breakeven 33 percent of their 3s and a defensive Real Plus/Minus of at least 12While playing at least 15 minutes per game in 20 or more games.) has lagged far behind the number of players who fit other traditional roles, such as the rebounding, defensive big man3Defensive RPM of at least 1 and a defensive rebounding percentage of at least 20 or the playmaking point guard.4Offensive RPM of at least 0 and an assist percentage of at least 20. Andre IguodalaSFGolden State936.2+1.8 The Thunder have had a lot more success finding big men — rebounding defenders like Steven Adams, or players to clean the offensive boards, like Enes Kanter — but such players are far more common than a prototypical 3-and-D guy, and even if they weren’t, a surplus of rebounding isn’t as viable as a surplus of shooting.Yet while there isn’t an abundance of shooter-defenders, they also aren’t impossible to find for a team that knows where to look. Yes, some like Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant and LeBron James are simply good at everything. And some, like Portland’s Al-Farouq Aminu, are lottery picks who end up as just role players. But the vast majority of the players who turn out to be 3-and-D studs come from the late-first or second round of the draft, meaning every team has a chance at drafting and developing them. Here are the 20 players who fit the bill this season: Luke BabbittSFMiami1641.4+1.2 Number of NBA players in key roles, by season Solomon HillSFNew Orleans2334.8+1.5 Rudy GaySFSacramento837.2+2.0 2015-16114728 DeMarre CarrollSFToronto2734.1+1.0 Al-Farouq AminuSFPortland833.0+3.2 The NBA’s 3-and-D wings, 2016-17 Jae CrowderSFBoston3439.8+1.4 Since the Thunder allowed Thabo Sefolosha to leave via sign-and-trade in 2014, the Thunder have struggled to find perimeter role players who can both shoot from distance and hold their own on defense. This season, Oladipo has taken on Ibaka and Durant’s spacing responsibilities (and beginning next year, much of their salary cap space) while being a worse shooter than either. In past seasons, the Thunder’s meek supporting cast could be somewhat attributed to the luxury of having Durant and Ibaka — both excellent spot-up shooters — which let the Thunder fill out the roster with more specialized (or, to put it less generously, more limited) players thanks to Durant and Westbrook’s versatility. But even that strategy eventually reached its limits late in games, when the Thunder offense would grind down to Durant holding the ball, surrounded by questionable-at-best shooters. And this season the issues have only intensified: The Thunder placed their man on the table above, sure, but only after replacing one of the best players in the league with a baseline role player.That’s because the few shooters the team has come up with in recent years have all been uniformly bad defenders. Teams can get away with having mediocre defenders who can shoot — think Kevin Love and Channing Frye on the Cavs — but not apocalyptically bad ones. In 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Thunder filled that role with Anthony Morrow, who was the functional counterweight to Andre Roberson, a superb defender who might as well be shooting with his eyes closed. Morrow shot 38.7 from 3 in 2015-16 for the Thunder but was one of the worst defenders in the league, with a defensive RPM of -3.05. This season’s Morrow is Alex Abrines, a 23-year-old out of Spain who shot 38.1 percent from 3 and made the opposing offense 4.3 points better when he was on the court. The maxim might be that a player only needs one elite skill to be useful to an NBA team, but the corollary is that he can’t be among the worst in the league at everything else to be useful to a playoff contender.These specific deficiencies showed themselves during those late-game panics against the Rockets. The Oklahoma City bench units have been lambasted for their startlingly bad numbers without Westbrook, and the shooters’ inability to play defense is a big reason why. The defense gave up 117.1 points per 100 possessions (-12.1 net) when Abrines shared the floor with Westbrook, and a shocking 147.1 points per 100 (-42.1) when he was paired with Jerami Grant, one of the Thunder’s other sort-of shooters off the bench.It’s clear that the Thunder roster cannot persist in its current state, and in the first season after losing a player like Durant, certain allowances ought to be made for holes in the team’s roster. But the persistent lack of shooting in Oklahoma City, and the persistent rostering of one-dimensional players in a league run by multidimensional lineups, is reason enough to question whether the problems facing the Thunder are ones the team is capable of overcoming. Data includes regular season games only. 3-and-D players hit 33 percent of their 3s and a defensive Real Plus/Minus of at least 1. Rebounding bigs had a defensive RPM of at least 1 and a defensive rebounding percentage of at least 20. Playmaker point guards had an offensive RPM of at least 0 and an assist percentage of at least 20.Sources: NBA.com, basketball-reference.com Kevin DurantSFGolden State237.5+1.4 NAMEPOSITIONTEAMDRAFT #3 POINT %DEFENSIVE REAL +/- Robert CovingtonSFPhiladelphia—33.3%+4.3 Trevor ArizaSFHouston4334.4+1.3 Victor OladipoSGOklahoma City236.1+1.6 SEASON3-AND-DREBOUNDING BIGPLAYMAKER PG Thabo SefoloshaSFAtlanta1334.2+2.4 2014-15184235 Patrick BeverleySGHouston4238.2+1.6 Data includes regular-season games only.Sources: basketball-reference.com, nba.com read more

17 Sep

Three Canadian Institutions Announces Extension on Scholarships

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 21 Nov 2014 – Mount Royal University, Royal Roads University and TELUQ University are the three institutions where scholarships are being offered for further studies in Canada. The Governor’s Office has issued notice to announce that the deadline for application for scholarships through Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) has been extended to Monday December 1st, 2014. Students or potential students wanting to achieve a certification in medical terminology or a Graduate Certificate in Destination Development or a take part in a short course in Wildlife Management, should apply. Could be seen as good or bad… but for these studies, you will not have to leave home; these are a part of the Canadian Viral University Scholarship Project. I have published the link to apply … follow me on Twitter @DeeCaribbean. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Canada offers help in financial services sector to TCI Working Group Related Items:canada, department of foreign affairs and international trade, destination development, graduate certificate, mount royal university, Royal Roads University and TELUQ University, wiildlife management Recommended for you PanAm Junior Games countdown on Ex-Govt Consultant ordered to leave TCIlast_img read more

11 Sep

POLICE LOG for March 20 Homeless Camp Found Under Bridge Bad Crash

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights of the Wilmington Police Log for Wednesday, March 20, 2019:A 2-vehicle crash with airbag deployment took place in front of McDonald’s. Child was in one of the vehicles. No injuries. Both vehicles towed. (7:20am)Police received report of a homeless camp underneath the Richmond Street bridge. Police confirmed small camp in the Middlesex Canal culvert. DPW notified to clean area. (11:43am)A Hopkins Street caller reported a Social Security scam phone call. (12:41pm)A walk-in party reported malicious damage to their vehicle on Ring Avenue. (12:58pm)Teacher at North Intermediate School requested patrol call after non-students continued to play football in the parking lot around staff vehicles despite several staff members asking them not to. Police moved to the kids to the field. (3:22pm)MBTA transit police called about a male party walking down the tracks from Andover spotted by the State Police Airwing. Police unable to locate on their tracks. (5:39pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 22: Evicted Tenant Leaves Behind Cat; Driver Issued Summons; Kids Playing Ding Dong DitchIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 20: Wilmington Man Arrested; Car vs. Tree; Concession Stand VandalizedIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 28: Graffiti At Town Park; Delivery Driver Falsely Accused Of Theft; Road RageIn “Police Log”last_img read more

10 Sep

Oculus Quest may have its first killer app with Beat Saber

first_img Tags Share your voice Game Developers Conference Comment Game Developers Conference Now playing: Watch this: Apr 30 • Facebook’s new Oculus Rift S vs. Oculus Quest: Which VR headset is for you? reading • Oculus Quest may have its first killer app with Beat Saber Oculus What will it take for people to want to put Facebook’s upcoming portable VR headset, the Oculus Quest, on their face? A killer app would help. Beat Saber seems like a good start. Beat Saber is one of the smash hits of the virtual gaming world, relatively speaking. The musical fitness game is one of CNET’s favorite VR games for good reason: it’s addictive, active and wonderfully tuned. It’s even an arcade game. It’s also going to be a launch game for the Oculus Quest when it arrives later this spring, Facebook revealed on Monday.The Oculus Quest is a fully wireless, standalone VR system that allows full six degrees of freedom (6DoF) room motion. That’s a perfect pairing for the arm swinging of Beat Saber. My early experiences with the Quest were promising, and it seems to be aiming for a Nintendo Switch-like gaming focus at launch. As to how well it works on a mobile system? We’ll follow up when we can. Meanwhile, check out the trailer below. Oculus Quest is a full-motion, self-contained VR headset… 16 Photos Oculus Quest virtual reality headset revealed See All • Mar 21 • Google Stadia puts Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC gaming on notice 1 Apr 30 • How to preorder Oculus Quest and Rift S right now Video Games Wearable Tech 1:34 Mar 21 • Intel intros 9th-gen Core H mobile CPUs, Graphics Command Center Oculus Virtual Reality Facebooklast_img read more

5 Sep

Vivo employees vandalise premises clash with security personnel after layoffs

first_imgVivo India under fire for sacking employeesFacebook/VivoIndiaChinese smartphone manufacturing firm Vivo has come under fire after it sacked about 20 employees on Tuesday, July 25. Following the layoffs, over 100 employees gathered at the brand’s Greater Noida manufacturing plant and protested against the company and even clashed with its security personnel.The employees of the organisation said that those sacked were not given prior notice and had no alternate jobs to fall back on. The employees were reportedly told to wind up after lunch as there was not enough work for them. There were also rumours that the firm was gearing up to lay off more number of employees after which the tensions are said to have escalated.”Believing the information, the employees stopped their work, and started gathering inside the premises. They soon started raising slogans against the company management. The officials tried to pacify them but they did not listen,” the Times of India quoted an official as saying.The protesting employees are said to have vandalised the Greater Noida office premises and broke some equipment. Some of them are also said to have stolen mobile phones. The Greater Noida police then had to step in and control the protest and six persons were arrested. The police are also going through the CCTV footages to identify others.”The police team conducted a search at the company premises and arrested six persons. The accused were produced in court and sent to judicial custody,” Nishank Sharma, CO II, Greater Noida, told the daily.Post the clash, the Vivo office remained closed on Wednesday, and the officials said that they were assessing the damage and carrying out maintenance and repair work.Meanwhile, speaking of the layoffs, Vivo India said that they were in tune with the company’s business decision. “We look at staffing the right size in various divisions to improve productivity. The layoff is in line with this business decision,” Vivo India told International Business Times India.  Vivo is here with on-screen fingerprint scanner smartphoneInternational Business Times, India | Kukil Bora”We have strictly adhered to the rules and regulations and the contract, and are taking all the right measures to ensure a peaceful transition keeping their best interests in consideration.”Vivo has been doing well for itself in India. Apart from making a mark in the mobile phone market with an array of devices, it recently extended the title sponsorship contract with the Indian Premier League (IPL) by five years and has also acquired the rights of becoming the title sponsors of the Pro-Kabaddi League for five years. The deal is valued at Rs 300 crore.last_img read more

5 Sep

Prince Harrys inadvertent diss towards brother William Duke of Sussex makes insulting

first_imgPrince Harry and Dr. Jane GoodallThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex Official Instagram (sussexroyal)Meghan Markle’s Vogue issue seems to be more trouble than it was worth. Reportedly, Prince Harry appeared to make a “tactless” jibe directed at Prince William and Kate Middleton in Meghan Markle’s Vogue edition amid an ongoing alleged feud between the royal couples, a commentator claimed.There have been reports of an alleged feud brewing between the couples Cambridge and Sussex. And Prince Harry’s comments in the September issue of Vogue may have only added fuel to the fire. In the interview with Dr. Jane Goodall featured in the issue, Prince Harry stated that he won’t be having more than two children as he is thinking about the environment. Now, it is known that Harry’s elder brother Prince William has three children.Prince Harry’s comments may be construed as a dig at Prince William’s Family planning, maybe even his disregard for the environment.  Meghan MarkleThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex Official Instagram (sussexroyal)Prince Harry said: “I think, weirdly, because of the people that I’ve met and the places that I’ve been fortunate enough to go to, I’ve always had a connection and love for nature…..I view it differently now, without question.”He added: “I’ve always wanted to try and ensure that, even before having a child and hoping to have children…”He went on to say that he plans to have a maximum of two children. Now, the brothers have been growing apart for a while now. But they have always supported each other and refrained from snide remarks. Not that Prince Harry’s remarks are snide, far from it, in fact. But the public could see it as a lack of unity between the two Royal couples. We hope that Prince Harry and Prince William are able to put aside their differences and work together.last_img read more