“This is the best moment of my life.” — Cole Anthony, NBA Draft Night (2020)

Potential, versatility, and wingspan are in the air. Echoes of Kevin Garnett screaming ‘anything is possible’ can be heard ringing from Boston’s half-court leprechaun to the logo that Lillard pulls up from in Portland. Fans’ fantasies of finding future franchise saviors have only just begun. The NBA’s Draft Lottery night is officially less than a week away!

No one big board truly speaks for everyone; each team’s needs, views, and decision-makers differ. In reality, every person looks at each prospect slightly differently; the idea of “consensus” at a certain point can be used against you. …


Three Pointers from Beyond The RK

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Talent comes first; teams win championships. NBA Teams can range from a collection of individual stars to a larger group of people who share a common goal and work together to achieve it. Shaq and Charles call the non-stars on these teams, “The Others”. There’s more positive-impact role players in the NBA than there are stars, a VIP club only big enough for thirty or so people. …


The Modern State of the Orlando Magic

“I certainly believe by 2030, we will have won at least one championship,” Magic CEO Alex Martins prophesied, “and I say, ‘at least.’ I firmly believe we’re going to get there, and once you get there, you can come back.”

(Orlando Sentinel, May 2016)

  • Apr 13, 2017
    Rob Hennigan is released of his duties as Orlando Magic General Manager.
  • May 23, 2017
    Jeff Weltman and John Hammond are hired as Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations and General Manager, respectively.
  • June 22, 2017
    The Orlando Magic select Jonathan Isaac with the 6th overall pick.

So let it be written…

Jonathan Isaac Fan Art by Owen Fasolas

With…


Three Pointers from Beyond The RK

Let’s cut to the chase: LaMelo Ball is a basketball savant. Already one of the slickest dimers in the league, the 6'8" point-guard is on a superstar trajectory. Between playmakers like Jokic, LeBron, CP3, Luka, Harden, and Trae, the NBA is loaded with elite table-setters; few, if any, share the feel, vision, and cajones to try the most outlandish possible pass on what feels like every play. With his defensive energy, suddenly efficient long-ball, and apparent team-first mindset, LaMelo has quickly put his critics to rest. …


Three Pointers from Beyond The RK

Will The Real Unicorn please stand up?

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

JJJ
Triple J
Trey J
Trip

For the love of the basketball gods, can we pick a nickname for Jaren Jackson Jr., who might as well swipe Kristaps Porzingis’ nickname while he’s not using it. Last season, Jaren flashed his two-way process as the rightful heir to “The Unicorn” throne: the near-seven-foot sniper made 39.4% of his threes on a high-volume 6.5 threes per game, swatting 1.6 shots per game on the other end, tied for the 11th-best blocks per game rate in the league. Jackson’s 54.9% dFG% was tied for the 15th-best rate among players contesting over five shots…


Three Pointers from Beyond The RK

There may be no player as polarizing to sports fans as Russell Westbrook. The sequence of Westbrook rebounding, going coast-to-coast, and gliding to the rim or stopping on a dime for the elbow pull-up jumper has been a Russ staple since he entered the league. Hardcore basketball fans notice the postseason shortcomings, putrid perimeter shooting, and questionable decision-making, while general sports fans might only see the five-year trend of thirty-point triple doubles. …


Three Pointers from Beyond The RK

De’Anthony Melton, cheesin’

De’Anthony is Melton his opponents into smithereens every time he steps onto the hardwood. Melton is making the most of his measly twenty minutes per game, doing everything but mopping the floors for Memphis. Every impact metric agrees with the eye test; De’Anthony is killing his role as a two-way rotation player in a backup role. Melton has the highest positive change in box plus minus in the NBA from last season, raising his BPM from -0.2 to 4.6. He ranks 26th in the NBA in EPM (+3.3), via Dunks and Threes, and he ranks 61st in the league in…


An interesting glimpse into the early career similarities of George Gervin, Kevin Durant, and Julius Erving


Three Pointers from Beyond The RK

Poku

Aleksej Pokusevski is the most tantalizing bad player in the NBA. Pokusevski hoops with a level of self-belief ranging somewhere between the confidence of Patrick Mahomes and the bravado of Jameis Winston; there’s a chance of something magical happening on any given play. Poku thrives in the unknown; he lives in the chaos. He doesn’t lose games; he learns lessons. Mishaps aren’t mistakes as much as miscalculated missile launches. Even when he isn’t in the game, he considers himself a threat to a score.


Joe Ingles is Utah’s sixth Jazzman of the year, sorry Jordan Clarkson; Khem Birch is a bonafide backup center who WANTS the title for most boring yet effective NBA player; and Giannis Antetokoumnpo’s third-straight MVP-caliber season.

Joe Ingles has been by far one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA this season. He might have the athleticism of an oversized middle school gym teacher, but the 6'8" point-forward is one of the few players in the league who can score efficiently at all three levels, and especially as a jump shooter. Overall in the half court, Ingles is scoring…

beyond the RK

EMAIL: BeyondTheRK@gmail.com TWITTER: @BeyondTheRK (Orlando Magic and NBA Data Visualizations, words, and film)

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