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Court Vision

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• Kirk Goldsberry has been using optical data to map the spots from which players like to shoot on the floor — all the way down to the square foot level and smaller. The charts are beautiful and provide a window into each player’s sweet spots. His charts on LeBron James over the last few seasons demonstrate how James’s shot selection has evolved. Great stuff.

• As I wrote in my immediate postgame recap of Game 5, the Heat destroyed the Thunder defense with a combination of newly refined approaches (mostly James’ post-up game) and classic sets they’ve been running since nearly the first game James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh played together. Sebastian Pruiti, writing at Grantland, went to the film to detail the devastating effectiveness of one of those classic Miami sets — a play built around screening action in the corners. Pruiti wonders how any opponent could defend this kind of fast-moving motion-style offense when all three stars are committed to playing with vigor and pursuing every counter. And it’s hard. But watch these clips, and you’ll see some glaring Thunder mistakes, including late rotations, miscommunication on potential switches, etc. This play is very difficult to defend, but the first step for Oklahoma City is to learn to play better defense. It will come.

• Scott Raab, the author of a very angry book about LeBron James, reacts to LeBron winning a title.

I endorse every single word of this Kevin Arnovitz essay on the side benefits of LeBron winning a title.

• The NBA’s micro-movies from every Finals game have been great. Here’s the Game 5 movie. Stick around until the end to see a fun cameo from Shane Battier and a great shot of Chris Bosh wearing silly glasses.

• Bethlehem Shoals, writing at GQ, on LeBron James and “About damn time!”

Tom Ziller of SB Nation on the redemption of Chris Bosh, one that really shouldn’t have even been necessary. Bosh had a killer Finals. I’m not sure if he has ever played better help defense, even if Oklahoma City’s non-threatening (as scorers) big men allowed him to rove more aggressively than he could have against other teams. Bosh wasn’t ever in peak form offensively, but the spacing, passing and pick-and-roll skills that he provided were crucial. A great series.

Reflecting on James’ appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated a decade ago, as a high school junior. The highlighted quote from Danny Ainge remains a show-stopper.

• Mark Haubner of The Painted Area on the way that LeBron James’ performances over the last two games of the Finals echoed — in stylistic terms — one of Haubner’s favorite single-game performances ever.

• Shane Battier, shooting video of the Heat’s party on Thursday night in Miami.

More photos from Miami’s locker room celebration. Look! It’s Worldwide Wes!

• An examination of how the Heat found their optimal formula, particularly on offense, and how to build a team to compete against them in the future. Good thoughts.

J.R. Smith has filed an arbitration claim against the team he formerly played for in China during the lockout. This is ugly.

NBA teams’ process for background checks on potential draft picks.

The pressure is on new GM Bob Myers in Golden State.

• Brian Windhorst has been covering James for years, in Ohio and now in Miami. Here’s his take on James’ evolution, complete with insights from a who’s who of NBA coaches — including a telling quote from Paul Silas, once James’ head coach in Cleveland.

  • Published On 4:52pm, Jun 22, 2012
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