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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 11/15

Basketball Insiders looks at some articles from last week in case you missed any the first time around.

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Anointing Stephen Curry

By Moke Hamilton

As he sat in his locker before tip-off in a grey, sleeveless t-shirt, the 24-year-old discussed game strategy with a pair of rookies while the media only seemed half-heartedly interested in how his team would adjust. As a result of David Lee’s role in an altercation with Roy Hibbert a few nights earlier, he was suspended for the team’s only appearance at Madison Square Garden that season, so the Warriors were shorthanded.

The 24-year-old Stephen Curry, then, flanked by those rookies—Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes—took matters into his own hands and responded with what is still the greatest scoring performance in his career and one of the greatest that the building has ever seen.

Three years after witnessing this scoring outburst, we now know that the historic night for Curry was no aberration. And today, I wonder at what point he will be universally accepted amongst the class of greatest scorers that the game has ever seen.

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Rose Isn’t Getting Traded… For Now

By Joel Brigham

Last week on SportsCenter, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst commented that “the Derrick Rose breakup with the Chicago Bulls has begun,” which sent the blogosphere and Twitterverse into a tizzy about the future of the team’s oft-injured former MVP.

There are, of course, a couple of different ways to interpret a comment like that. Based on the sheer volume of Twitter questions inquiring about the best trade destination for Rose, it looks like fans believe the end of this marriage is coming rather soon.

The reality, however, is that it likely isn’t. That isn’t to say that Rose might not eventually play for another team, but the beginning of the end is by no means the actual end, and right now the Bulls have almost nothing to gain by seriously exploring a swap.

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Dewayne Dedmon Making Most of Opportunity

By Cody Taylor

One of the most surprising stories of this young 2015-16 season has been the success of the Orlando Magic. Through the team’s first seven games, the group has earned a 3-4 record. Although they have already lost four games, the team might be better than their record indicates.

They’ve been alive in the final minutes of each game against teams that finished above .500 last season. In fact, the Magic have lost by a combined 14 points in those four losses. They went toe to toe with the Oklahoma City Thunder before falling in double-overtime, and lost by five points two nights later in overtime against the Chicago Bulls. Had a couple of plays gone in their favor, the Magic could be flirting with an undefeated record.

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God Shammgod Crossing Over to Coaching

By Alex Kennedy

God Shammgod is most known for his memorable name and the flashy crossover that he created as a college freshman with the Providence Friars. After all, there aren’t many players who have an iconic move named after them. To this day, “the Shammgod” dribble is used in NBA games by point guards like Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving in an effort to fly past defenders (often in humiliating fashion).

However, there’s much more to the 39-year-old, whose professional playing career spanned 20 seasons. Now, Shammgod is making a name for himself with a different kind of move: The former point guard is crossing over to coaching, as he currently serves as a graduate assistant under Ed Cooley at Providence.

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Are The Expectations On Russell Too High?

By Steve Kyler

The worst part of sports is dealing with the unrealistic bar that gets set from hype and expectations – not only from fans but from the media.

For Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, not only is he dealing with the massive expectations that come from being the second overall draft pick, he will forever be compared to the players that were drafted after him that, as of now, are adapting and adjusting to the NBA at a faster rate.

Factor in the burden of being the future of the NBA’s biggest franchise and there is an expectation that very few players could meet.

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Amir Johnson is One of the NBA’s Most Creative Minds

By Jessica Camerato

The tattoos scrawled across Amir Johnson’s 6’9 frame are only a glimpse into the creativity that is constantly churning inside the NBA big man. Johnson has more to share than rebounds and baskets. He has found an outlet to do so on the Internet.

Johnson’s journey into becoming a social media personality began five years ago. He wanted to come up with a way to make his fans laugh and launched the AmirTV YouTube channel in April of 2010. Johnson had read comments on Twitter that people thought he resembled Andre 3000. In response, he created a video dressed as the artist performing the song, “Roses.”

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Contract-Year Players to Watch

By Lang Greene

When talking with players who are faced with free agency, most will play it coy when discussing their uncertain future. The majority of guys refuse to publicly admit that a looming free agency is even a minuscule distraction or that it impacts any aspect of their game.

But history is littered with plenty of examples of guys who struggle in any given season when free agency is hanging in the balance over their heads. On the other hand, there are some players who thrive under the pressure and put together some of their best work because that big pay day is dangling right in front of them.

Today we’ll take a look at 15 players who are headed to free agency next summer and how they’ve performed over the first two weeks of the season:

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A Primer on the NBA’s Plus-Minus Statistics

By Ben Dowsett

Modern basketball analysis contains a plethora of advanced statistics and metrics to help us better understand and parse what’s going on out there on the floor. We can go beyond simple measures like points, rebounds and assists to contextualize the game more effectively – from metrics like true shooting percentage that help track the value of shots to advances like SportVU data that help us dig into the granular level of every pass, shot and rebound.

Growing in popularity within the analytics community over the last several years has been another metric: Plus-minus. The term sounds simple enough, but what exactly is it? Let’s break it down in simple terms even the casual fan can understand.

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The Tantalizing Potential of Kristaps Porzingis

By Tommy Beer

A cynic might reasonably assert that Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t proven anything yet. He’s played relatively limited minutes in just nine games in his brief NBA career. He’s yet to score more than 16 points in any one contest. His team, the New York Knicks, sit one game below .500 at 4-5.

Many pundits have scoffed at how so many Knicks fans have fallen head-over-heels so quickly for this rookie from Latvia.

Yet, such skeptics might be missing the point.

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Lakers Believe in D’Angelo Russell

By Jesse Blancarte

Entering this season, fans and analysts had a wide range of expectations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Some people predicted they could contend for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race, others predicted they wouldn’t win more than 20 games. That’s what can happen when a team enters a season with a young core of players, a crop of free agent additions and a revered but aging superstar who can no longer produce at an elite level in what is likely his last season in the NBA.

There are competing interests here and so far the process has not played itself out as well as Lakers fans had hoped. For head coach Byron Scott, the main interest is winning games. The Lakers have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, and as we’ve seen in recent years, the turnover rate for coaches can be pretty high. As for the fans, their focus is also on winning games, but more importantly they want to see D’Angelo Russell, the second overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, develop and prove that he can become a franchise player.

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Kyle Cape-Lindelin is based out of Portland, OR covering the NBA while being one of the newsline editors and contributor to "Out of Bounds."

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