The Cavs declined to say whether or not former coach David Blatt — who was fired in January — or former center Anderson Varejao (traded in February) were getting rings. But Gilbert is obviously in a mood to be inclusive. Varejao, who played for the Warriors against the Cavs in the Finals, told reporters out West the Cavs had offered him a ring. Anderson, who played for Cleveland from 2004-16, said he was unsure if he would accept.
The winning team at the hackathon examined the behavior of clubs in the regular season versus the playoffs, and whether any benefited from resorting to “hero ball.” The team, comprised of Alex Wainger and Zac Robertson from Columbia University, Ella Kuzmenko from NYU and William Robbins from Pace University, found that changing a team’s brand of basketball and decreasing overall passing and increasing the overall number of dribbles on offense resulted in fewer points per possession. For finishing in first, the four received an open invitation to play pickup at Terminal 23, free tickets to an NBA game, a $800 NBA Store gift card and lunch with league staff. In second place was Chris Packard from Stanford University and Senthil Natarajan from Rice University, two writers from Nylon Calculus. Their analysis focused on assessing the defensive versatility and analyzing how players defend against different types of scorers. “With positional versatility valued more than ever, we felt it would be cool to develop a tool to quantify players like Draymond Green who could capably defend multiple positions,” Senthil said.
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“I haven’t really thought about it like that,” Curry said of Durant’s arrival, “because that would kind of cheat my process. I have the same mentality. I don’t really think about any other expectations. I want to get better. I want to be better than I was last year. That’s going to be the same, regardless if KD was here or not. You would think there is a blessing with pressure or whatever, but that’s not how I can think, because I’ve got to still do my job and do it at a high level for us to be as great as we want to be.”