Monumental Basketball announced the hire Friday, saying Katherine Evans would oversee its research department, supporting the Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the G League’s Capital City Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming. Her new title is vice president of research and information systems. “Dr. Evans is an exceptional talent with a true passion for the game of basketball and is widely respected within the league and academic circles,” said Sashi Brown, Monumental Basketball’s chief planning and operations officer. “She brings innovative approaches and perspectives and will be a great leader of our research department, which is charged with identifying competitive advantages for all of our athletes and our athlete care and performance team.”
Throughout the season, Simmons has stated his case and defended his belief that he’s the best defender in the NBA. His teammates have agreed, and so has his head coach. Now, Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks joins the club after seeing Simmons defend in the 2021 NBA Playoffs for the last five games. “I don’t know if he’s gonna get Defensive Player of the Year, but I think he’s Defensive Player of the Year,” Brooks said following Washington’s Game 5 loss against the Sixers on Wednesday night. “Not too many guys can guard one through five. He can guard one through five. There are some guys that can guard one position and do it well, but there is only a handful of guys that can do it like he does.”
This brings us to the conundrum facing Rick Carlisle and the Mavs: Doncic has shown that he’s a significantly better closer when he doesn’t have to throw fastballs for the full nine innings. But the Mavericks might not have anyone else ready in the bullpen. Doncic is in the midst of the third most heliocentric playoff series of the tracking data era; only Russell Westbrook in the first round in 2017 (69.9!) and the second round in 2016 (61.1) have had higher total usage rates than Doncic’s 60.3 percent rate so far. It should be noted that Westbrook’s Thunder lost both of those series.