Pro baller Deonte Burton - The Basketball Movement

With a year of pro ball under his belt, Deonte Burton is poised to make a splash at the NBA Summer League this year.

The Basketball Movement's Deonte Burton is already working out at the OKC Thunder training facilities preparing for Summer League. Playing for the Thunder's team will get him plenty of exposure as he looks to advance his professional basketball career. 

Burton played his college ball at Marquette and Iowa State. He played last year for Wonju DB Promy of the Korean Basketball League.

Burton was the Big 12 newcomer of the year in 2016 when he tranferred to Iowa State, despite having to wait out multiple games per NCAA policy. By his senior season, he was second-team all big 12, and clearly ready for the next level.

Honestly this whole article could be highlight videos. From high school to Korea - the big shots, blocks, and dunks haven't stopped coming. Burton is going to make sure that they do not stop any time soon either.

Playing professional basketball

When asked to compare the Big 12 to playing overseas in Korea, Burton said "It's really apples and oranges". The style of basketball may be very different, but he notes that the discipline and competitive style from college helped translate to any variant of pro basketball.

I went from playing 30 games to playing 60. You have to really take care of your body and work on the little things. Things like stretching everyday that you didn’t really worry about in college.
— Deonte Burton on his pro experience

Burton explained that though he was playing more games, conditioning was similar because it's a two way street. "The more games you play, the better shape you'll be in" Deonte said.

Deonte said that this has been his first time overseas for more than a year. He says that it has been a fantastic experience and he has learned a lot about Korean culture and about himself. Wonju is a very traditional South Korean town that has allowed him to learn a lot about Eastern culture.

Deonte Burton and Rob Yanders - Milwaukee guys

When asked how Deonte got hooked up with Robert and The Basketball Movement, he threw it way back. He said his older brother and Robert were great friends growing up in Milwaukee. The connection remained and Rob remained great example for Burton on and off the court.

 He discussed how Robert has been helping him with the mental side of the game.

That part of the game is really big. I’m physically gifted, but so are other people at this level. Discipline and hard work separates everyone.
— Deonte Burton

Shooting has been the biggest focus for Deonte this Summer. He is already a solid shooter, but he said that you must constantly improve because every league requires you to be able to shoot the ball.

Focusing on a well-rounded offensive game is what he would like to demonstrate in the Summer League; defense, his improved shooting, and whole offensive repertoire.

His workouts with OKC this offseason he calls well-balanced, but overall similar to what he's been through many times before. The NBA Summer League tips of in early July, so Deonte Burton is ready to show the world what he can do. His goal?

"Dominate Summer League"

We believe he can. The games will be televised between ESPN and NBA TV, so remember to tune in!

DaShaun Stark - The Basketball Movement

An athletic 6'5", DaShaun Stark is working with The Basketball Movement to prepare for the pro-scene.

Friendly and articulate with a humble confidence, DeShaun Stark is poised for basketball at the professional level.

Originally from the area, DaShaun Stark moved to Arkansas around age 10, where he went on to play high school ball. Many from Southwest Missouri may recognize DaShaun Stark from his freshman and sophomore seasons as a Drury Panther (2013-2015).

After red-shirting a year back down south for the Arkansas Razorbacks, Stark got much more run his senior year for William Woods University. Stark shot nearly 50 percent from the field that year, also using his length to grab boards, disrupt opposing players, and now - draw attention on the pro-scene.

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Asked what us next for him in his career - Stark says that improving is his number one priority. 

I have to keep improving and just get in front of some teams in the G-League. From there I can keep rising.

One of the experiences that Strark draws on the most is his time at Arkansas. He says that his eyes were opened to the level of basketball he was capable of playing. He also cites his first collegiate game - an exhibition at Duke - for igniting his passion for continuing to play the game.

Stark's time with The Basketball Movement

Playing on his Step-Father's team back in 8th grade, DaShaun recalls going up against a Robert Yanders-led squad. He said the Rob liked his game, approached him, and made the connection.

DaShaun said that he has become a much better player mentally since putting in work with The Basketball Movement. Rob's experiences have been really applicable to his circumstances and mindset. He is also striving to transition into more of a point guard role, so Rob is working with him to improve his handles and shot from deep.

The further you go in a basketball career, the harder it is on your body. Stark had a standout point that he has been learning about: water.

I’ve never been big on water or just hydration in general, so that’s been a big change. The little things day-to-day have become more important - what to eat and especially what not to eat.

DaShaun is very appreciative of his time with Robert Yanders. He says that The Basketball Movement has helped his game "tremendously". Professionalism, routine, and specifically catered curriculum are a few of the highlights that Stark pointed out to us.

Rob has been a great basketball influence for many years.

When asked about his ceiling, Stark said that his mindframe is that he has no ceiling. "Sky's the limit." After seeing his game and committment, we believe him.

Happy Father's Day from The Basketball Movement!

At the core of The Basketball Movement, family (blood or not) drives everyone to be their best.

Your Father may have put up your first goal, driven you to practice, or even coached you. Today is a great reminder to thank your dad - or whoever filled that role in your life.

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In my a sit-down interview with The Movement's Founder, Rob Yanders, I learned that fatherhood played a big role in his business. The desire to be the best for his own son propels Robert and his team of trainers to be the best they can for the boys, girls, men, and women that walk through the doors of The Basketball Movement.

I have a son. I selfishly also want my son to grow up around other leaders and be led in the right direction in this community.
— Rob Yanders

Not everyone has a desirable father-son or father-daughter relationship. For almost everyone though, there are people in their life that have stepped up and been a great example. Today is certainly for those individuals as well.

I (@WilHarrington) am set to become a dad in seven or so weeks. I am excited at the opportunity to draw on the experiences I've had with my Father, who was also my basketball and baseball coach. I intend to also draw on examples set by Robert and other strong father figures I've been able to be around in my life.

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The Basketball Movement is a fraternity for basketball lovers and its doors are open to you and yours. Mentorship and excellent role models abound here and we invite you to become a part of it.

Happy Father's Day from The Basketball Movement!

Using size to your advantage

Basketball players come in many shapes and sizes. Each of these various sizes can be used to a player's advantage.

For a long time, basketball was closed off to only the biggest individuals at its highest levels. Throwing it into the post to let your bruiser back his/her way to the cup was the most effective form of offense. Times have changed.

The game itself has evolved, as has our understanding of what it takes to win. Foul-calling and the three pointer have been a pair of equalizers in addition to the knowledge of what it takes to succeed at smaller sizes.

It still certainly helps to be big, but now more than ever, smaller players have opportunities to compete as well.

Guards can use skill and speed

Perimeter players can be light and/or on the shorter side, while still achieving success. A great shot can go a long way in the sport of basketball. Ball-handling and passing as well. A taller player may be able to get a better view of the floor, but being lower to the ground often means improved ball-handling prowess and bounce pass options.

There are numerous examples of shorter players experiencing great success at all levels of the game. The Basketball Movement's Rob Yanders played professionally with grit and savvy rather than overpowering opponents with strength and size - though quickness and toughness helped too.

Post players aren't going anywhere

Just because it is easier to be an undersized baller does not mean that post-play is out the door. A surplus of height, or even extra (managed) weight/muscle are always an intimidating factor on the court.

The taller you are, the closer you are to the rim. Offense and defense both become a bit easier with height. The top rim-protectors have always been tall with an above-everage wingspan.

Even if you are on the bigger side, but height isn't part of the equation, there are ways to succeed. The bigger you are, the more you will be able to impose your will on smaller players.

Not too big, but not too small?

You can definitely work with this too. Being somewhere in between means that you may be able to matchup with multiple positions.

A well-rounded skill set will help you to use your size on the perimeter or hang with the bigs down low.

The Basketball Movement is the ideal place to maximize your potential and learn to take advantage of your stature - no matter what that may be. Contact us to schedule some time into your Summer to step up your game with our great coaches and facility!

Golden State Warriors: 2018 NBA Champions

The Golden State Warriors are back-to-back NBA Champions, with Kevin Durant winning his second Finals MVP award.

There was little doubt coming into these Finals that the Golden State Warriors were a better team than the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Dubs swept the Cavs, celebrating their victory after game four in Cleveland last night.

Kevin Durant was a monster in the Finals averaging 29 points, 11 boards, 7.5 assists, and 2.3 blocks while shooting 53 percent from the field. His game three propelled his selection for the award, as he shouldered the load in the victory with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggling with their shots.

Former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala provided a spark off the bench in his two games back from injury. For the Playoffs, Steph Curry average 25 per game, Thompson about 20, and Durant 29. Draymond Green nearly average a Playoff triple-double with (approximately) a 11/11/8 line to go with 2 steals and 1.5 blocks.

The is Head Coach Steve Kerr's third championship coaching after winning five as a player.

The Cavaliers' side of things

In this series, LeBron James averaged 34/8.5/10 to go with a steal and a block while shooting 53 percent from the field and 84 percent from the stripe.

Interestingly, LeBron had a brace on his shooting hand in his last interview. Reports say that he injured it punching something after the frustrating game one loss. If true, this is a very disappointing move by James. Emotion cannot come before team success.

The extent of the injury is unknown, but it is tough to deny how banged up he was. The apparent hand injury, a few pokes in the eye, an ankle tweak, and the most minutes played in the NBA this season takes their toll.

Kevin Love was the only other Cavalier to average double-digit points in the series, averaging 19 and 11. The rest of the Cavs either were not used properly or just, well, stunk.

End of an interesting NBA season

It was assumed by most that the winner from the Western Conference would handle any team out of the East. The Warriors and Houston Rockets were on a different level than any other teams this year.

A fourth installment of Warriors vs. Cavaliers was not what many fans might have wished for. Really though, that just shows how spoiled we are by today's stars. The Finals gave us one of the best teams of all-time facing off against one of the best players of all-time.

This season was filled with interesting new squad compilations and a new crop of future stars. The NBA is still going very, very strong.

Now begins the offseason. The draft, free agency (that includes LeBron James), Olympics prep, and then Summer League await. Stay tuned to The Basketball Movement for all of the continued coverage!

All stats from BasketballReference.com

Leadership from all positions

When we think of leaders in basketball we often think of point guards or top-scorers. Leaders can actually come from any position.

Inspiration can come from a lot of places. When your team is tired, a fiery speech from a coach or a commanding shout from a teammate can ignite a flame that helps everyone push through. Leaders keep heads from hanging when you're down and egos humble when you're up.

There are a lot of great examples of leaders in today's game from Gregg Popovich and Mike Krzyzewski to Chris Paul and Al Horford.

The Basketball Movement has its own great leader in Founder and Coach, Rob Yanders.

Leadership can be vocal or even just by example. Not every player has the personality to be a vocal leader for their team, even if they're the best players (example: Kawhi Leonard).

Leadership does not always come from the top

If the top player for a team is not up for being vocal, that role needs to fall to someone else. Communication is a very important part of basketball - on fastbreaks, offense, and especially on defense.

The top vocal leader on your team may even come off of the bench. Players that are engaged and helpful from the bench are much better for a team than players who quietly wait to enter the game.

The best way to be a leader - no-matter your role the team - is to lead by example. If you are a player that does not give up on plays, is always pushing the pace, and defends tenaciously, you are constantly setting a good example for your teammates. That is called leadership.

Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players.
— Larry Bird

You may be the last player to come off the bench at the end of the game. If you play hard and scrape your way back into the game, you can inspire others to follow.

Leadership is incredibly important in basketball as well as other aspects of life. Remember that you can be a leader by working as hard as possible and setting an example for others to follow, no-matter your position or role.

 

The NBA 2K19 cover athlete has been announced

As an athlete, there are opportunities to earn numerous awards. One unofficial accolade is making it on the cover of a video game.

Over the years, it has become difficult to deny that NBA 2K games have lapped the NBA Live series. 2K is the ultimate video game basketball experience, especially with the lack of a NCAA title, NBA Street, or NBA Jam in recent years.

Congratulations to LeBron James for being selected to grace to cover of the next game, NBA 2K19.

James has been on the cover once before - on NBA 2K14 when he was with the Miami Heat. Kevin Durant has also been on twice (2013, 2015), along with Michael Jordan (2011-2012). Allen Iverson was on the first four covers from 2000-2004.

LeBron's age 33 seasons has already proved to be one of his personal best, though his team is currently on the ropes in the NBA Finals.

The cover is different than usual, taking a lot from LeBron's personal brand and the material he often writes on his shoes before games.

When you aren't getting work in with The Basketball Movement, the 2K series is a fun distraction and way to learn about some of the best players in the world. They even have plenty of throwback teams so you can play as some of the greats.

To see the real deal, LeBron and Co. will be back in action Wednesday (6/5/18) for game 3 of the NBA Finals. The game starts at 8:00 PM (CT) on ABC.

NBA Finals game two tonight - Can the Cavaliers rally?

After an extremely tough loss in game one, Cleveland will have to dig deep to get back in these Finals.

Few individuals believed at any point that the Cleveland Cavaliers could win these NBA Finals. An electric 51/8/8 performance by LeBron James had every appearance of being enough to pull off a game one upset. It was not meant to be.

The final sequence of regulation could not have gone much worse than it did for Cleveland. They got a good free throw shooter to the line, but he missed the second attempt. An offensive rebound by JR Smith was wasted as well as he dribbled away pointlessly, unaware of the score.

Understandably deflated, the Cavs got drubbed in overtime by the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

Already underdogs, a game one victory on the road could have turned the tables in this series. Instead, the Warriors get another home game tonight, up 1-0 in the series.

Mentality will be paramount for both teams in game two

For the Warriors, it may be easy to relax a bit after stealing back the game one victory. They need to maintain a "killer" mentality and keep their feet on the gas to try and put away the Finals as quickly as possible.

They had better, because they are still playing LeBron after all.

Cleveland probably hung their heads for a while after the tough loss. If that is still going on, they had better snap out of it. A lot of that starts with their leader, LeBron James. He said that game one was one of the toughest losses of his career.

It’s one of the toughest losses I’ve had in my career as well because of everything that kind of went on with the game and the way we played. It was a tough 24 hours not only for Hill and for myself but for our whole ballclub because we put ourselves in a great position to be successful.
— LeBron James

James is one of the most scrutinized players of our generation, constantly being compared to the greats. For the sake of his legacy, he must rally his troops and get them into the same position they were in in game one. Maybe this time, there will be a different outcome.

The game will be nationally televised tonight at 7:00 PM (CT) on ABC. Tune in for more great basketball.

Keeping your head in the game

Knowing and understanding various situations in the game of basketball can be the difference between winning and losing.

There is a lot that goes into understanding the sport of basketball. There is more to it than putting the ball in the hoop. Coaching and experience are two very important pieces involved in this understanding.

The Basketball Movement can help to further a player's knowledge about many aspects of the sport. The nuances of ball-handling, shooting, and how to conduct yourself are a few examples.

Game-time situations come at you fast. Sometimes it is in those instances that you learn the most, whether you get it right or especially if you get it wrong.

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
— Michael Jordon

Even the most experienced can still falter

For all of your coaching, practice, and game-experience, you will still make mistakes. Overplaying passing lanes, trying too hard to thread a pass into the post, the list of possibilities is very long.

A player must keep track of what they can control. Always being aware of the time on the game clock (or shot clock), how many fouls you have, and the score are simple, yet important facets of the game.

Even a grizzled NBA veteran like JR Smith can still make basic mistakes. Don't be a JR Smith.

Keep your head in the game and control as much of what happens as you can. Mistakes will happen; the best players often average the most turnovers.

Don't sweat the small stuff, but also do not assume that you will make the correct decisions at all times. Take deep breaths, analyze as much of each situation as time will allow, and play the game.

To continue taking your game to the next level get in touch with us here at The Basketball Movement.

2018 NBA Finals schedule

A pair of familiar teams are set to face off with the NBA Finals schedule set.

For the fourth consecutive season, the NBA Finals will feature the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. Part IV will likely appeal to Golden State and LeBron James fans, but many would agree that a shake-up might have been nice.

The Warriors are overwhelming favorites after they dispatched the Chris Paul-less Houston Rockets in game seven to win the Western Conference Finals.

The most that fans can hope for is a competitive series. The Cavaliers will go just as far as the greatness of LeBron James can take them against Golden State's four All-Stars.

Note: 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala has been ruled out for game one with a leg contusion for Golden State. Kevin Love is doubtful for the Cavaliers with a concussion.

***Edit: Kevin Love has since been cleared to play in game one per a Cavaliers' statement.

Opinion time! I (@WilHarrington) would be very surprised to see this series go the distance. I predict that the Cavs will take game three or four at home. That means that Golden State will celebrate on their home floor after game five. We shall see!

NBA Finals schedule

Per NBA.com

Game 1: Thu, May 31: Cavaliers at Warriors, 8 p.m. CT, ABC
Game 2: Sun, June 3: Cavaliers at Warriors, 7 p.m. CT, ABC
Game 3: Wed, June 6: Warriors at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. CT, ABC
Game 4: Fri, June 8: Warriors at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. CT, ABC
*Game 5: Mon, June 11: Cavaliers at Warriors, 8 p.m. CT, ABC
*Game 6: Thu, June 14: Warriors at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. CT, ABC
*Game 7: Sun, June 17: Cavaliers at Warriors, 7 p.m. CT, ABC

* - If Necessary

The NBA Finals are the pinnacle of the greatest basketball league in the world. Stay on top of it right here at The Basketball Movement.

TBM: Applying basketball lessons to life

Basketball can teach you a lot. Carry the discipline and team-mentality with you in all aspects of life.

The Basketball Movement and the sport itself can teach you many things. The Movement focuses on skill development, conditioning, and team training. It also focuses on "soft skills" such as leadership, speaking, film analysis, marketing, and exposure.

All of these things are centered around the wonderful sport of basketball. However, the skills that you acquire can be applied off the court as well as on.

Focus, discipline, and competitiveness can benefit you in practice or in a game. What about after the buzzer sounds? The same skills are necessary for the most important parts of your life such as education, employment, and interpersonal relationships.

The discipline applied in practice needs to be applied to homework. Then, the locked-in focus of a game can be mirrored in test or quiz situations. At work, leadership and the ability to communicate effectively are paramount. Tough boss? No problem; you have probably already had a tough coach.

Follow your passion at The Basketball Movement

Hard work seems much easier when it is focused on something your passionate about. Think of the tough classes at school or projects at work as running lines/conditioning for basketball. There will always be parts that you don't like, but they are necessary to get a well-rounded finished product.

None of this is to say that you have to go through life with your nose to the grindstone 24/7. Never forget to have fun! Basketball is a blast to play, school is one of the most fun times of your life, and working means being able to fund some of your favorite things.

One of the best places that you can go to establish great habits and a winning mentality is The Basketball Movement.

Rob Yanders and his team of coaches have a passion, not just for basketball, but for developing excellent people with every opportunity to succeed. For an example of the impact The Movement can have, check here for a testimonial. For more on The Basketball Movement, check here.

If you are ready to contact us immediately, check here! It is always a good time to work on your game and a winning mentality for life. Let your friends at The Basketball Movement help propel you or your player to the top!

NBA Conference Finals will feature two game sevens

Basketball fans are in for a treat as both the Western and Eastern Conference Finals go to game seven.

The NBA regular season has 82 games and each playoff series is best of seven. There has been a lot of basketball played, but it all comes down to one game for the four remaining teams to stay alive.

Last night, the Houston Rockets held their own in Golden State through the first half despite the loss of Chris Paul to injury. The Warriors turned it on in the 3rd quarter and wound up winning easily. Chris Paul's availability for game seven in Houston has been reported as doubtful at best.

In the East, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have come to life. Turnovers by the young Boston Celtic squad and dominant performances by King James have now led to the game seven showdown in Boston.

When and what to watch for

The Cavs and Celtics face off tonight at 7:30 Central time in the Celtics gym. The Cavaliers appear to have to momentum, as Boston has not looked as sharp in the last few contests.

The defensive and offensive sets that Coach Brad Stevens and the Celtics blitzed the Cavs with early in the series are becoming more predictable. It is difficult to argue the LeBron is a great basketball mind, capable of adjusting to any strategy given a little time.

A win for Cleveland would be LeBron's eighth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. The Celtics have not made it since the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett/Ray Allen big three.

Game seven of the Western Conference Finals will be tomorrow night at 8:00 PM Central time in Houston.

The Rockets will have home court advantage, but with Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson all looking sharp in game six, it could be a tall task. If Chris Paul cannot go, it will take a herculian effort from James Harden and the Rockets to advance.

Game sevens are as good as it gets for sports fans. These will both be must-see games, so make sure that you do not miss the action!

 

SLAM All-American high school teams announced

SLAM's All-American selections are often a great indicator of high school players that are destined to make a splash.

The 2018 SLAM high school All-American teams for boys and girls have been announced. The names are certainly familiar to fans of top-tier high school ball.

Names from recent teams can still be seen playing today such as: Anthony Davis, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Bradley Beal, Andrew Wiggins, DeJounte Murray, Julius Randle, the list goes on.

Below is the tweet by SLAM showing the 2018 boy's squad:

Incredibly, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish are all heading to Duke next year. One-and-dones or no, Mike Krzyzewski will be very happy with this new crop of players.

Darius Garland is headed to Vanderbilt and Bol Bol (7'2", son of Manute Bol) is going to Oregon.

Don't forget the ladies!

Below is the tweet from SLAM showing the girl's 2018 All-American squad. 

NaLyssa Smith and Aquira DeCosta have both committed to Baylor University. SLAM lists Smith at 6'2", but reports that she has been dunking since 15!

Christyn Williams is the only UConn-bound star. Charli Collier is staying in her home state to play for the Texas Longhorns and Destanni Henderson is heading to South Carolina.

These are all players to keep a very close eye on as their careers progress. The basketball talent pipeline in the U.S. and all over the world is improving all the time. Stay on top of the movement here with us!

Luka Doncic leads team to Euroleague title

The Euroleague is considered by many to be the second-best basketball league in the world. Draft prospect Luka Doncic just owned it.

Luka Doncic is 19 years old, but has been a Euroleague pro since 2014. Doncic just led Real Madrid to a Euroleague title, winning Final Four MVP honors along the way. He is also locked in as an early first round NBA draft pick.

Even though he is only the age of a one-and-done NCAA star, Doncic enters the draft as one of the most decorated European stars the NBA has had in a long time.

At around 6'6", Luka Doncic plays his game a lot like the Philidelphia 76ers star, Ben Simmons. He is an excellent ball-handler and distributor. He is however a more willing shooter than Rookie of the Year hopeful Simmons.

Scouts do not believe that Doncic will ever be the fastest or strongest player on the court, but his basketball I.Q. and workable athleticism should be more than enough to develop him into a team-leader.

How high will Doncic be selected?

An argument could be made that the Phoenix Suns will take Luka with the first overall pick. The Suns recently hired Igor Kokoskov as their head coach, who coached Doncic on the Slovenian national team in the Olympics.

If the Suns opt instead for big man Deandre Ayton, as many assume they will, he will likely fall to Sacremento, who selects second. Interestingly, it has been reported that if the Kings do not select him, the next two teams would pass also, as they are eyeing different needs.

If he falls to the team picking fifth, which is Dallas, the Mavericks would probably be very pleased. They currently have the greatest European player of all time on their roster, so Doncic would be quite the consolation prize.

Doncic has had a statement or two recently about a wait-and-see type of approach to playing next year in Europe. That has likely startled some teams around the NBA that were planning to use an early pick to get him.

We will see what the future holds for Luka Doncic. He is an exciting prospect that seems destined to make a splash no-matter what happens.

For more on the draft, keep checking in with The Basketball Movement. For more on our own Robert Yanders' journey as a pro in Europe, click here.

NCAA considering tournament expansion

The NCAA has received a proposal suggesting the big tournament be expanded from 68 to 72 teams.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is going to present legislation to the NCAA that will attempt to add four additional teams to the tournament next year. This according to Commissioner, John Swofford after the league's Spring meeting.

The proposal was endorsed by the men's basketball coaches. They believe an expansion to the NCAA tournament would mean more postseason opportunities for universities across the country.

One of the main issues that they are trying to address is the geographical problem that currently exists. The example used was west coast teams having to travel all the way to Dayton, Ohio. More teams and a new distribution of areas in the nation could cut down on quick travel turnarounds.

Another issue is one that comes up every year: teams that probably should be in, but don't quite make it. They noted that 68 of 351 Division-I teams make it. 72 would bring that figure up to 20%, still much lower than say, football bowl games.

Will this happen?

It is difficult to say. The ACC's proposal makes some valid arguments for the expansion. A growing field would also mean more opportunity for mid-majors to make it in.

On the other hand, 68 is already a lot. The NIT and others already serve to provide post-season play for many teams. Comparing the tournament to football bowl games is a tough argument too, because at the end of the day, the bowl is only one game.

Geographical restructuring makes a lot of sense. The expansion of the tournament is an interesting concept, but maybe not one the NCAA will put in place next season.

Other topics Swofford mentioned from their discussions is and expansion of three-point line distance, lane-widening, and shot clock tweaks.

To stay on top of NCAA basketball Movement, keep checking back with The Basketball Movement.

Finalists for NBA season awards are set

Now already a few games into the Conference Finals, the NBA has revealed the finalists for their regular season awards.

Who will be named the 2017-18 NBA MVP? Rookie of the year? There are some fresh faces on these short lists for the NBA's prestigious accolades.

Below are the top-3 players in each category as selected by the NBA:

Kia NBA Most Valuable Player

  • Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  • James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Kia NBA Rookie of the Year

  • Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
  • Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Kia NBA Sixth Man Award

  • Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets
  • Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors
  • Lou Williams, LA Clippers

Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year

  • Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  • Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Kia NBA Most Improved Player

  • Clint Capela, Houston Rockets
  • Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets
  • Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers

NBA Coach of the Year

  • Dwane Casey, Toronto Raptors
  • Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz
  • Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Predicting winners - A few opinions

James Harden is the favorite to win MVP and has been all season. Stepping back, LeBron James is likely the only reason his team made the playoffs. Houston might have gotten in without Harden. Tough call, but Harden was the best player on the best team this season.

 This seems like a good year to split Rookie of the Year honors. Mitchell and Simmons have both been spectacular. Really, the whole rookie class has been great.

Lou Williams has sixth man sown up. Shoutout though to former Missouri Valley Conference player, Fred VanVleet - the unofficial captain off the bench for the best second unit in the league.

The Jazz had a surprisingly good year. That is because of their defense, which was centered around Rudy Gobert, your DPY. Most improved is tough between Oladipo and Capela. Another toss up, but Oladipo will likely win.

For coach of the year, it certainly seems like Brad Stevens should take it, though all those listed were great. Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, and Brett Brown deserve shoutouts as well.

Winners will be announced Monday, June 25. Did the NBA leave anyone off? Who do you think will win the awards? Let us know in the comments below!

 

NBA 2018 draft lottery order revealed

The Phoenix Suns are set to select first in the 2018 draft. Who will they take?

In the NBA draft, the first 14 picks are determined by their lottery system. Phoenix had about a 25 percent chance to come away with the top pick in this year's draft. The odds held true for them, while there were a couple of variances in the order.

Statistically, Memphis had an excellent chance at picking second or at least third. It was the Sacramento Kings that lucked into the second spot, however. The Atlanta Hawks also moved up, sliding into third by luck of the draw.

Memphis joins Dallas as the two "losers" of the lottery that were bumped down further than expected, though both retain top-5 selections. The draft order is below:

1: Phoenix Suns
2: Sacramento Kings
3: Atlanta Hawks
4: Memphis Grizzlies
5: Dallas Mavericks
6: Orlando Magic
7: Chicago Bulls
8: Cleveland Cavaliers (via Brooklyn Nets)
9: New York Knicks
10: Philadelphia 76ers (via L.A. Lakers)
11: Charlotte Hornets
12: L.A. Clippers (via Detroit Pistons)
13: L.A. Clippers
14: Denver Nuggets

Top basketball prospects in the world will be selected

This year's draft class looks strong, though it will have a tough act to follow after the dominant display by last year's crop of rookies.

The Phoenix Suns are expected to take Deandre Ayton from Arizona to fill there need for a reliable big man. However, their hiring of head coach Igor Kokoskov could suggest that they take European standout Luka Doncic. Kokoskov coached Doncic for the Slovenian national team.

Ayton's size and skill versus Doncic's savvy and athleticism will be an interesting comparison in this draft and likely years to come. The Kings will likely be thrilled to select the whichever player Phoenix leaves on the board.

Potential abounds for all of the remaining teams in the form of Duke's Marvin Bagley, Texas' Mo Bamba, OU's Trae Young, and more.

The draft is scheduled for June 21st. The Basketball Movement will continue to track the draft and it's prospects, so keep it locked right here.

Home court advantage

Whether you have it or you don't, it is tough to deny the existence of home court advantage in basketball.

We just saw it in the first game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals - we see it in grade school hoops; home court advantage helps in our sport.

Whether your fanbase is big or small, there is something to be said for the extra adrenaline that comes from preforming in front of your fans. Nothing builds confidence quite like a crowd going crazy when you hit a shot. The intensity really does seem to ramp up when the crowd chants "DEFENSE" as you prepare to make a stop.

Even if the parents/biggest fans travel well on the road, the crowd is almost never quite like it is when you play in your team's home gym.

The kind of energy brought on by playing on your home court is one that players must learn to harness. The extra energy and adrenaline is a great thing, but playing the right way and remaining focused on your own strengths are still what will pull you through.

For every home team, there is an away squad.

Okay, okay, this is pretty obvious. Still, it is worth pointing out that focus is important at home, but even more important on the road.

When you travel to another team's gym, they will get all of the above benefits. When the home team is on a role and all of the energy in the gym shifts to them, it can be intimidating as a visiting player.

Many of the same tips that apply at home still apply on the road. Laser focus on your role and your strengths become even more important. Road teams can get the same adrenaline, but in different ways. There is nothing quite like quieting a raucous crowd with a big block or by draining a timely three-ball.

Keeping your head up and focusing on the task at hand can be tough in a hostile gym, but it is often the key to stealing a win on the road.

No home team?

This time of year in particular, AAU games, various Summer tournaments, etc. means that both teams are playing in unfamiliar territory.

In a way, this produces some very pure basketball. No home court advantage means that there is a level playing field. Little crowd noise means that you can hear a few shouting coaches, every bounce of the ball, and sneakers squeaking as players drive all over the court.

Sweat and skill determines such games, meaning it is a great time to test your mettle.

Make The Basketball Movement your home court by reaching out to us here!

 

 

Highs and lows of coaching on display in the NBA

It has been an interesting few weeks for coaches in the NBA - Some shouldering blame and others receiving high praise.

Toronto Raptors Head Coach, Dwane Casey just received the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award as voted on by head coaches around the league. A day or two later, he was fired. Wait, what?

Casey's Raptors had the second-best record in the league this season (ahead of the Warriors) and the number one seed in the East. However, for the third consecutive season, they were knocked out by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Yes, LeBron is one of the premier athletes in the world and one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. Still, a clean sweep did not look good for the Raps. Toronto needed some kind of shake-up to try and get over this LeBron-shaped hump that seems to keep them from reaching their potential.

Still, a pretty wild end to Dwane Casey's 7-year tenure with the Raptors. His dismissal after sustained success in Toronto exemplifies the volatility of the head coach position. Unfortunately it seems to serve as a scapegoat for many organizations year after year.

The highs of coaching - Brad Stevens

Coaches may receive a lot of the blame when things go wrong, as Dwane Casey did. Unfortunately they do not always get the praise when things are finally going right, because that is simply their expectation.

Furthering the example of volatility in coaching - Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics is receiving very high praise for what his young squad is accomplishing.

To start the Celtics season, they lost Gordon Hayward (Stevens' old player in his Butler days) to a gruesome ankle injury in their first game. They made the playoffs anyway, but lost All-Star Kyrie Irving to an injury before they started.

As a coach I think that’s one of the things we have to exude: the ability to move on regardless of the result.
— Brad Stevens

Despite all this, they have moved on to the Eastern Conference finals, with their coach receiving much of the credit for guiding their very young team. Steven is deserving, but too often coaches are treated as lesser parts of their teams. It is always good to see good coaches recognized.

Around the league

The good news for Dwane Casey is that he will have a long list of teams that will be interested in his services. Other top coaches this year such as Stevens, Gregg Popovich, and Mike D'Antoni will be recognized and given the opportunity to stay with their squads.

76ers coach Brett Brown has garnered a lot of recognition for finally having a successful year after many organized seasons of tanking. Upon losing to the Celtics in the playoffs, he said a few days later that he believed the team needed help. ESPN jumped on him like crazy for making such a comment even though they agreed.

Life as a coach is tough.

David Fizdale has been named the head coach of the New York Knicks, Sixers assistant Lloyd Peirce was named as coach of the Atlanta Hawks, and the New Orleans Hornets hired Spurs assistant James Borrego.

Job security is a fickle thing at the pro level, but hey, the paychecks are pretty nice. A lot of these highs and lows of coaching apply all the way down to coaching kids. It can be very rewarding but also pretty tough. Coaches, hang in there. Players and parents, take it easy on 'em. They are doing a tough job the best they can.