Here is your roundup of today's Loud Links:
Simmons posted this yesterday and we wanted to at least make mention of it here. I'm still thinking about his post, so hopefully I'll have more thoughts to come later on.
Young spends some time analyzing Simmons' post (above) and comes to the conclusion that there aren't a lot of compelling reasons for OKC to let James Harden walk, but there is a compelling case to be made to wait until he becomes a restricted free agent in order to do it. Wouldn't that be an interesting strategy - a gentleman's handshake between Presti & Harden that they would have him play on his current salary this year and then promise him the max next year.
Reggie Jackson talks about his improvement during the offseason. While I still prefer Eric Maynor in the backup role, there is no question that Jackson has a much higher ceiling.
A worthwhile comparison, to be sure. If we were using more modern day comparisons, I'd probably go with a combination of Allen Iverson for Westbrook's pure fearlessness and gravitas and combine it with LeBron James' physical freakiness.
Our very own resident smart guy Rohan revisits one of his differential metrics and notes that only two teams last season had an average point differential greater than 6. Those two teams met in the Finals.
This post folds in nicely with Rohan's above. It is not that older teams can't do it, it's that with the diminished average point differential it becomes more and more difficult because the margin for error shrinks.
Here is a nifty chart that breaks down where the best producers have typically come from across all 5 positions. Surprisingly, it is not the shooting guard.
Are you interested in the statistical analysis that goes into the new model for prediction? Here's a map on how to do it.
I like this analysis. Sometimes the biggest key in shutting down a prolific scorer like Westbrook or Durant is not to block their shots, but to force them into shots that they are not quite as comfortable taking.
First world problems for NBA stars.