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Thursday Bolts – 9.22.16

Thursday Bolts – 9.22.16

Chris Ballard of SI.com with a great profile of Robert Swift: “Every heroin addict’s story is


different, but in at least one regard they’re all the same. No one sets out to be a junkie. Swift is sure he can control it, snorting the drug only once a week at first so he won’t get hooked, and then just as a way to counterbalance the rush and jitters from the meth and cocaine he’s begun taking. And he never shoots up. Too dangerous. His chosen trio of drugs acts in synergy to produce both a glorious, sustained high—and a greatly increased risk of fatal overdose. The heroin acts as a sedative, as do the beers Swift is still pounding, bringing his breathing rate perilously low during his stupors.”

Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com: “Then an interesting thing happened: Coaches stopped explicitly resting players. Perhaps fearing league-office sanctions, the DNP-Rest practice plummeted to 19 in 2012-13, dropping to a quarter of what it was in 2011-12, the lockout-shortened season that featured numerous back-to-back-to-backs. Ever since that 2012-13 season, though, the practice of sitting healthy players has become commonplace, rising 668 percent over the next three seasons. The champion Cleveland Cavaliers were among six teams in the NBA whose healthy scratches rose into the double-digits during the 2015-16 seasons. In 2014-15, there had been only two such teams: the Spurs and the Hawks, led by Pop disciple Mike Budenholzer.”

Erik Horne: “Presti is high on the shooting of Alex Abrines, but also said there will be an assimilation process for the 23-year-old Spaniard. Anthony Morrow shoots the 3 well but struggles to defend. Kyle Singler is a question mark after a 30 percent season from 3-point range. So, where does the shooting come from? The Thunder was 17th in the league in 3-point field goal percentage last season and lost three of its four best 3-point shooters in the offseason.”

This is pretty big: “The league announced deals with Sportradar and Second Spectrum on Thursday that it says will expand the distribution of statistics and data across the globe. Sportradar will distribute statistics for the NBA, WNBA and the D-League to people in more than 80 countries. In addition, the NBA will switch from SportVu to Second Spectrum for player tracking information. Second Spectrum will spend this season installing tracking cameras in every arena in the league. It can provide highly detailed data on player movement, including how much ground they cover, where they touch the ball most and the ability to guard the pick-and-roll.”

KD talks about Russ.

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com previews the West: “Hmm. Someone seems to be missing from last year’s squad. Who could that be? Oh, yes, Randy Foye left in free agency to join the Nets. Foye brought veteran know-how and floor awareness, and had a calming influence. Also gone is Dion Waiters, who gave the Thunder a second ball-handler and playmaker on the bench unit. Serge Ibaka was traded for Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova. So, to recap, that’s Ibaka, Foye and Waiters, all gone. Oh, that’s right, they also lost Kevin Durant, arguably the second-best player in the entire NBA. That’s probably going to mean they’re worse this season.”