The NBA season is about to start, so this week’s three publications to read are...
Henry Abbott, TrueHoop
What’s it about? Investigative reports, hardcore analysis, and informed insight from TrueHoop founder Henry Abbott, David Thorpe (ex-ESPN), and Judy Goodwin.
Worth reading: “TrueHoop projections: Players set to explode”
Key line: “If we did a sober analysis of typical historical trends, who would you expect to improve most? Twenty-one-year-old guard Trae Young, who can score like the wind but hasn’t been able to play effective defense? Or 23-year-old Ben Simmons who can basically do everything except shoot?”
Henry’s credits: Award-winning basketball writer, formerly of ESPN (which acquired the first version of TrueHoop).
Kelly Dwyer, The Second Arrangement
What’s it about? Deep dives, digressions, and jokes about the NBA, its teams, and occasionally Steely Dan.
Worth reading: “The 1999 Bulls weren’t going to go 50-0”
Key line: “Phil Jackson needed a break, he had been at this mill for a decade by 1999 and, like most others associated with the Bulls during the final three-peat, Phil was keen to be known for something beyond acting as Michael Jordan’s co-worker.”
Kelly’s credits: NBATalk.com, Sports Illustrated, and Ball Don’t Lie (Yahoo Sports); plus, Substack’s second-ever publisher.
Jordan Sperber, Hoop Vision
What’s it about? Detailed data-driven analysis of college basketball from a coach’s perspective, including audio and video.
Worth reading: “Is experience over-rated?”
Key line: “Nearly every preseason Top 25 list comes with a line for ‘key returners’ and a line for ‘key losses.’ The person generating the list uses intuition to determine – given those returners and losses – what to expect from that team in the next season. That process usually leans far heavier toward art than science. But thanks to Bart Torvik’s self-titled website and its list of returning minutes for every team, we can take a slightly more data-driven approach.”
Jordan’s credits: Former Division I college basketball analytics and video specialist, host of Solving Basketball podcast.