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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 11/22

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

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Timofey Mozgov’s Rising Star

By Moke Hamilton

Some big men—like Greg Monroe, Jonas Valanciunas, Andre Drummond and Nerlens Noel—enter the National Basketball Association with fanfare and flashing lights galore.

And others—like Timofey Mozgov—seem to fly in under the radar, quietly and in stealth.

During the 2010 NBA Finals, back when Kobe Bryant was doing his best to defeat the Boston Celtics and get one for his thumb, the balance of NBA front offices were trying to determine where prospects like Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley and Greivis Vasquez would land.

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Future is Bright for Winless 76ers

By Alex Kennedy

With the NBA season just several weeks old, it may seem ridiculous to be looking ahead to the 2016 NBA Draft. But when discussing the tanking Philadelphia 76ers, it’s never too early to start discussing draft prospects, especially since this year is extremely important to Philly’s rebuilding effort.

That’s because the Sixers could have two of the top four picks in the 2016 NBA Draft – and four first-round picks total – if everything goes Philadelphia’s way this season. They currently have their own pick, the Los Angeles Lakers’ selection (which is top-three protected), the Miami HEAT’s selection (which is top 10 protected) and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s selection (which is top 15 protected).

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Don’t Overlook the Indiana Pacers

By Joel Brigham

Ten games into the NBA season, most of the chatter is about the league’s most pleasant surprises and most disappointing debuts. But while everybody is humming about how historically significant these Golden State Warriors are or what brutal bummers the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets have been, there are a handful of teams quietly jumping off to respectable starts, with the Indiana Pacers perhaps serving as the quietest of the league’s early successes.

Currently the sixth-best team in the Eastern Conference in terms of record, the Pacers entered this season facing a mountain of uncertainty, not only because the team bid farewell to David West and Roy Hibbert over the offseason, but also because Paul George was returning for his first full season since that nasty leg break and was expected to play at the four consistently for the first time in his career.

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Tristan Spurlock Finding Success Overseas

By Cody Taylor

Some of the most interesting stories heard around the NBA often involve undrafted players or those that are signed to non-guaranteed contracts. It often takes a combination of luck and determination for these fringe players to land in a perfect situation and ultimately stick on an NBA roster.

For these players, there is no road map on how to get into the NBA. Many of these players are often unsure of which path to take to get into the league. Some players opt to stay closer to home and attempt to earn a call-up to the NBA through the D-League, while others take the more lucrative route by playing overseas in Europe, China or elsewhere.

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Breaking Down the NBA’s PER Metric

By Ben Dowsett

Welcome to the second installment of our basic analytics primer here at Basketball Insiders, where our goal is to give a general education on many of the simplest and most common “advanced” metrics used by statisticians in the modern NBA. Last week, we covered the various forms of plus-minus metrics, from raw on-court numbers to much more advanced figures with high-level mathematics involved.

This week, we move on to one of the first and most initially progressive metrics on the scene: PER. Let’s get right to it.

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Are The Magic Still One Piece Away?

By Steve Kyler

If you have been watching the Orlando Magic this season, there are a few things that jump off the page: the team is much improved over last year in how they play and prepare for games and as much as things are progressing, to really be elite the Magic still seem one player away.

The lack of a clearly defined franchise player has put the Magic in a precarious situation because not only do they have a roster full of promise, they also have some looming free agency decisions that could shape how aggressive the Magic stay the course with the core they have.

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Deron Williams, Mavs Look to Stay Healthy with Hot Yoga

By Jessica Camerato

Off days during the NBA season are an opportunity to relax and regroup after a grueling game. Dallas Mavericks point guard Deron Williams has found a new place to do that. He steps away from the basketball court and into a place of rejuvenation: a yoga studio.

Williams first tried yoga three years ago. Last season he became more consistent, motivated by former Brooklyn Nets teammate Joe Johnson, who Williams says does hot yoga nearly daily. The realization of this interest was important to Williams. He has been sidelined by injuries throughout his 11-year career, and at 31 years old wants to combat the effects of wear and tear.

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How Do Warriors Stack Up to ’96 Bulls?

By Lang Greene

The Golden State Warriors won 67 regular season games during the 2014-15 campaign and continued their dominance by winning the championship this past June. Through 13 games of the 2015-16 season, the Warriors remain undefeated and it’s becoming clearer by the second this team isn’t a fluke or a one-hit wonder.

The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won an NBA record 72 regular season games. The team was led by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.  The Warriors’ top players aren’t on the same level as the Bulls’ unit, but to be fair Golden State’s guys have a lot more basketball left in their young legs.

While there’s still a lot of basketball left to be played, it’s not too early to start comparing the two units.

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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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