In this installment of The Backdoor Cut, we'll 
do our first player spotlight, talk about the 
Sixers, and have fun in Overreaction Theater.

Welcome to the newest edition of The Backdoor Cut. We nearly had our first sponsor, but I felt a little shady taking money from the Chicago Bulls training staff. It just wouldn’t be good for longevity.

Player Spotlight

Coming into the ’14-’15 season, Lebron James was a pretty heavy favorite for league MVP. Having won four MVPs already, he’s clearly got the game for it. But coming home to Cleveland provided a excellent storyline that media voters could get behind. Now with the trouble the Cavs seem to be mired in, Kevin Durant still yet to play, and no clear next runner up there exists a void for some lesser known excellent players to vie for the league’s MVP trophy.

One of the players getting a lot of that early hype is Marc Gasol. The younger Gasol has been an effective player for years, but really showed his value last season after coming back from injury and leading the Grizzlies on a late season charge. So far this year, Gasol has been a big part of a team that looks poised to make a run towards the NBA Finals. The Grizzlies hold the best record in the NBA. Memphis has been pretty good for a few years but it’s still somewhat odd to think of a team synonymous with losing now being a Western Conference power.

Gasol has an increased usage percentage (basically how many possessions end with that player), now nearly twenty six percent. The Grizzlies have been a powerhouse defensively but have struggled to score at times. Gasol is now averaging 20.2 points per game, almost a six point per game increase. He’s also grabbing another board per game and attempting three more free throws. He’s a fantastic foul shooter, especially among big men. All of this is before we even mention this is the same defensive floor general who took home the Defensive Player of the Year award just two seasons ago. Marc Gasol makes a difference on both ends of the floor. If he stays healthy, the Memphis Grizzlies are title contenders.

Overreaction Theater
  • The New York Knicks will win the NBA draft’s top selection in the lottery. They’re at four wins right now. Only Detroit, Philly, and the Lakers have less wins at this point in the season. They’ve had a few games looking good but are generally just terrible. Plus, lottery conspiracy theorists will love that top pick going to a Phil Jackson led team.
  • Stan Van Gundy will not be employed by Detroit next season. He came in with a good pedigree and sympathy from that whole Dwightmare. But he’s now been given near total control and he’s not getting results. Brandon Jennings is already vocal about his dislike for his role on the team. Stan and his brother can maybe call some games together next year.
The 76ers Weekly Dispatch

The Philadelphia 76ers could do something pretty special this year. Being the one team that may be the exception to the rule on whether the best collegiate team could beat the worst professional team in their respective sport, it opens up the hope for a cool number. Philly could amass 76 losses. We’re all rooting for this, right? I mean, it’ll be awesome. Plus it’ll be a bit of NBA trivia that’s almost as memorable as Wilt’s single game scoring record. Here, we’ll talk about Philly’s weekly and total progress towards that awesome goal.

For the week: Monday, November 24 2014 Portland Trail Blazers, loss. Wednesday, November 26 2014 Brooklyn Nets, loss. Saturday, November 29 2014 Dallas Mavericks, loss.

Season total: 0-16.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving week and didn’t get any black eyes on Black Friday. Have any thoughts on the blog, posts you’d want to see, want to vent about your team? Leave a comment below.


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