What to Watch For in the NBA Finals

For all the talk this season about conference imbalance in the NBA and the inequity of its playoff structure, things seemed to have worked out just fine. Measured by point differential, we’ve ended up with the best teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences in the finals, and fans everywhere get the chance to watch a rarity in pro basketball: an NBA Finals rematch.Who’s going to win? The old adage is that defense wins championships, but this matchup is all about the offenses.The San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat have had the two best offenses in these playoffs and, surprisingly, both have been more efficient than they were in the regular season. Their offensive systems are different, but they have the same basic goal: Create good shots. With that in mind, here are some things to watch for:Spurs movementIn April, a study by two members of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective found that, after controlling for time of possession, the Spurs’ offense had more movement and more passing than any other offense in the league, and by a wide margin. Indeed, according to the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking Statistics, the Spurs’ offense has featured more movement during the playoffs than the other three conference finalists.Movement Per Minute of PossessionPassing and ball movement are not perfect proxies for offensive effectiveness, but in the Spurs’ case, they are symptomatic of an offense that is working well. San Antonio doesn’t have any player as individually brilliant as Miami’s LeBron James to consistently pull good shots out of thin air, so the Spurs rely on their collaborative system. The distance traveled is of particular importance. On average, the five players on the floor for the Spurs cumulatively travel nearly 500 feet farther per minute of possession than the players for the Heat. That’s 500 extra feet of screening, rolling and cutting, searching for seams in the defense and open space on the perimeter.The Heat’s defense plays at a frenetic pace, aggressively trapping pick-and-roll ball-handlers and flying around the perimeter in a series of rotations to cover shooters. It can be devastating when done well, but the Spurs are uniquely suited to turn this aggression against the Heat.Shot selectionWhile a key indicator of the Spurs’ offensive health is the movement and passing they use to create shots, the key for the Heat is simply the location of their shots.The Heat spent most of the past two weeks burying the Pacers with 3-pointers. These outside shots buoy Miami’s offensive efficiency, but the Heat’s 3-point shooting is also a reflection of how easily James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat’s other ball-handlers get into the lane and collapse the opponent’s defense.In his NBA Finals’ preview at Grantland, Zach Lowe pointed out some of the methods the Spurs used to defend the Heat in last year’s playoffs, and how they resulted in a slew of mid-range jump shots. If we look at the breakdown of the Heat’s true shot attempts (which includes field goal attempts and trips to the free-throw line) we can see just how far last year’s pattern was from what the Heat have just done.Miami Heat Shot SelectionFor the Heat, 3-point attempts are tied to their ability to get inside the defense. James, Wade, Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers were able to get into the lane with ease against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, and the result was that nearly 30 percent of Miami’s true shot attempts in that series were 3-pointers (which they made at an obscene 40.8 percent clip).In last year’s finals, however, by walling off the paint and offering up mid-range jump shots to the Heat, the Spurs were able to keep them away from the rim, off the free-throw line and inside the 3-point line. The Heat will surely have some adjustments ready this year, and we should be able to tell a lot about how they are working just by looking at the locations of their shots.LineupsThe offensive systems each team employs to create good shots revolve around lineups. The Heat would prefer to play small, arraying three and sometimes four shooters around James. The Pacers were loathe to change gears and try to match up with them, but the Spurs may be more willing. They have more depth than any of the teams the Heat have played in these playoffs, and San Antonio is much more comfortable using that depth in a variety of arrangements.A big issue in last season’s finals’ matchup was the way the Heat’s small lineups forced the Spurs to separate Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan. The Spurs used that pairing for about 20 percent of their regular-season minutes, then just over 11 percent in the finals. But Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich has been more aggressive this season about experimenting with different lineups.It is tricky to parse statistics for the Spurs between big and small lineups because of the big and small skill set of Boris Diaw. When he’s playing power forward for the Spurs, the “big” or “small” nature of the lineup depends on the matchups and what he’s being asked to do. But having him on the floor allows the Spurs to have their cake and eat it, too.Back to the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking Statistics: Diaw was third on the team in touches per game, at 49.2, during the regular season. While Diaw is capable of scoring in a variety of ways, he averaged just 9.1 points per game because his role in the Spurs’ offense often called for him to be a facilitator. He averaged 38.9 passes per game; about 79 percent of his touches involved moving the ball to another player. This usually worked out well for the Spurs, as Diaw is among the best big man passers in the game. His assists created an additional 6.7 points per game for the Spurs during the regular season.In the Spurs’ Game 6 victory to close out the Oklahoma City Thunder, Diaw saw a lot of extra touches by virtue of playing some extra minutes, but it was what he did with those touches that made the difference.The Boris Diaw StoryIn Game 6, Diaw’s touches accumulated nearly 50 percent more points for the Spurs than they did during the regular season or in the series to this point. This increased output from Diaw was needed, with the Spurs struggling to hit 3-pointers and Tony Parker sitting out the second half with an ankle injury.Diaw’s ability to shift between big and small defensive assignments, and scoring and facilitating roles on offense, may allow the Spurs to sidestep a lot of the matchup land mines the Heat have waiting for them.MarginsThese teams are incredibly talented, well-coached and, ultimately, evenly matched. Each has a series of counters available for every obvious advantage the other will try to exploit. That’s why this series will be won at the margins and in the minutiae. Little things — the Spurs forcing the Heat to make one extra defensive rotation, the Heat getting the ball to a 3-point shooter instead of settling for a seemingly open jump shot around the free-throw line, and the tiny in-game matchups that shift the rotations — will be the deciding battles. read more

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Police Manpower Audit coming says Dames

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, June 14, 2017 – Nassau – No more blame game when it comes to curtailing crime says the new Minister for National Security, Marvin Dames as he introduced the idea of civilians taking on jobs within the Police Force. A   week ago today, the Minister Dames met with the Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade in a session designed to hear of the short term strategies of the Police.  Minister Dames said he needed to hear from the lead Police officers, their plan for the abatement of crime.   The meeting unveiled what the nation is already seeing evidence of,  “a strategy-driven patrol initiative, where it will utilize existing and new technology to identify crime trends and shifting patterns on a sustained basis to direct its patrols.”   However, if this initiative falls short of its targets, Dames said other ideas will move in and one coming and certain move is a manpower audit.  “Our government has indicated that it will undertake a comprehensive manpower audit to determine the most effective establishment of the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” he said.  The Minister admitted that it is unclear what the Police Force needs to be fully outfitted with the team required but was more confident in his House of Assembly budget contribution when he said, “If we are going to deliver professional and uninterrupted policing services throughout our nation, we must first determine 1) whether we have the adequate numbers of officers to provide the service to our customers; and 2) if yes, then where are they and are they being utilized to perform the tasks that they have been mandated to perform.”  This consideration by the FNM Administration may mean more civilians working for the Force in areas where trained Police agents are not needed. #MagneticMediaNews#policemanpowerauditcoming Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #policemanpowerauditcoming Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

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US District Court Judge Del Mar gun shows can continue for now

first_img June 19, 2019 US District Court Judge: Del Mar gun shows can continue for now SAN DIEGO ( KUSI ) – A federal judge ruled that gun shows can continue at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, at least for now, as the court considers a lawsuit against a state agency’s decision to effectively suspend the shows, the California Rifle and Pistol Association announced Wednesday.U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo issued a preliminary injunction on Monday, ruling that the state must allow gun shows at the fairgrounds to continue while the court rules on the legality of the suspension. As such, guns shows like the Crossroads of the West will be allowed to reserve dates and hold shows at the fairgrounds for the first time since last December.The state’s 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors, which oversees the Del Mar Fairgrounds, voted last September to temporarily ban the sale of guns and ammunition at the fairgrounds until state legislators could iron out concerns about on-site purchases.The vote effectively suspended gun shows at the fairgrounds after Jan. 1, prompting the CRPA to file suit against the state of California. The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation are also supporting the CRPA in its grievance.“We’re thankful Judge Bencivengo sees the constitutional problem with banning these safe, perfectly legal events and is allowing the show to go on while we continue to fight,” said Tiffany Cheuvront, attorney for the CRPA and B&L Productions, which runs the Crossroads of the West gun show. “We’re confident that as this case progresses, law-abiding Americans’ civil rights will not be unjustly violated and that we will prevail.”The San Diego County Gun Owners political action committee also praised the ruling and argued there is “nothing reasonable” about ending gun shows at the fairgrounds.“It is unconscionable that a very few people would use the force of government to discriminate against fellow San Diegans simply because they dislike them for exercising their rights,” said Michael Schwarz, executive director of San Diego County Gun Owners. “The injunction shows that the judge agrees there is a valid and important case to be made on behalf of California gun owners.”Gun control activist groups like Never Again California, a group of Del Mar residents and the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas and Solana Beach called for an end to gun shows at the fairgrounds last year in response to mass shootings and instances of gun violence around the country.State officials also came out against hosting gun shows at the fairgrounds and state-owned land in general, including Gov. Gavin Newsom and Assembly members Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and Tasha Boerner-Horvath, D-Encinitas.In February, Gloria and Boerner-Horvath introduced Assembly Bill 893, which would ban the sale of guns and ammunition at the fairgrounds wholesale beginning in 2021. The Assembly approved the bill by a 48-16 vote in April and it’s now being vetted in the state Senate. However, the court’s eventual ruling on CRPA’s case may put the bill’s future in jeopardy.While Boerner-Horvath’s office had no immediate comment on the ruling, Gloria insisted AB 893 will continue moving through the state legislature.“This injunction ignores the will of residents in the communities around the Del Mar Fairgrounds who have stated unequivocally that they do not want guns or ammunition sold on this public, state-owned property,” Gloria said. “We will continue to persist with our legislation to prohibit gun and ammunition sales on the fairgrounds and I hope the Del Mar Fair Board chooses to appeal this misguided decision.”The case is expected to continue into the fall, according to Cheuvront. If the Senate passes AB 893 and Newsom signs the bill into law prior to the case’s completion, the gun show organizers would likely file a second lawsuit to have the ban struck down. Posted: June 19, 2019 KUSI Newsroom center_img Updated: 4:35 PM KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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