Chris Grant and his Poker Face: What to Expect from the Cavaliers on Draft Night

Chris Grant likes to keep things close to the vest.

Since taking over as General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers in June of 2010, Grant has been one of the top executives at creating smokescreens and pushing the NBA rumor mill into a speculative frenzy.

His Cavaliers have made four different first round selections under his control: none in 2010, two top-five picks in 2011, and then two more top-25 selections in 2012. Each of the last two drafts have been punctuated by an out-of-nowhere selection fourth overall—Tristan Thompson in 2011 and Dion Waiters in 2012—that left draft pundits scratching their heads. Read the rest of this entry

Analyzing ESPN’s Future Power Rankings

Last Thursday, ESPN released the ninth edition of their NBA Future Power Rankings, ranking each of the league’s 30 teams projection for future success based on roster talent and potential, management, salary cap flexibility, market appeal, and draft positioning.

To no one’s surprise, teams such as the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder top the list, leading the league in the all-important player category. The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, two franchises on the upswing, came in at third and fifth in the rankings, respectively, propelled by the potential of their young stars. Read the rest of this entry

Popovich Tree Grows: Budenholzer Gets Hawks Job

Yesterday, the Atlanta Hawks announced Mike Budenholzer as their new head coach.  Budenholzer previously was an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, where he’s been since 1994.  Budenholzer, an Arizona native, started as a video coordinator before making his way up the ranks to Greg Popovich’s number one assistant in 2007.  A graduate of Pomona College, where he lettered in basketball and golf, Budenholzer is just another member of Popvich’s staff that has made the transition from assistant to head coach.  The following head coaches have also spent time as an assistant under  Popovich.

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Losing to Win: Playing the Odds at the NBA Draft Lottery

With the NBA Conference Semifinals getting underway this week, most of the league’s attention is focused on the professional version of college basketball’s “Final Four” as we inch closer towards crowning the 2013 NBA champion. But for 14 teams stuck watching the playoffs at home since mid-April, the biggest prize of the offseason will be determined by a random set of 1000 ping-pong balls in a private room in New York City this evening.

The Orlando Magic—fresh off their first season of the post-Dwight Howard era—have a 25 % chance of landing the top pick in this year’s draft after finishing the season with a 20-62 record. The Magic outlasted the lowly Charlotte Bobcats for the worst record in the league this season, as their one extra win “cost” them a 19.9 % chance of securing the number one overall selection come June 27. Read the rest of this entry

Analyzing the NBA’s Most “Loyal” Fans

Early last month, the consulting firm Brand Keys released their 21st annual Sports Fan Loyalty Index, ranking each of the NBA’s 30 teams from best to worst in terms of fan loyalty. Each franchise’s fan loyalty was determined by four emotional factors: pure entertainment, authenticity, fan bonding, and tradition. Read the rest of this entry

Rookie Race: The Final Edition

Now that the 2012-13 NBA regular season has finally come to a close it is finally time to revisit the progress of this year’s rookie class and see how they stack up against one another. After a way too early look at potential rookie of the year candidates and another midseason check-in, the time has come to finally crown this season’s top new player.

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APM Rankings: Week 20 (NBA)

Adjusted Power Margin (APM) considers how NBA teams perform against their strength of schedules and is the best reflector of overall performance.  Teams are rewarded for playing well against stronger teams and punished for playing poorly against weaker teams.

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