Summary of “Zach Lowe on the Boston Celtics’ toughness”

Brett Brown, the Philadelphia 76ers head coach, is fond of saying, “The pass is king.” As the Boston Celtics extended to a 3-0 lead against Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference semifinals, making seemingly every big play, some Celtics staffers began whispering their own version: “Toughness is king.”
Stevens had been annoyed by Boston’s approach to Game 3 of its first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, and he wanted his team to play each possession with urgency.
Nurturing such a strong culture while returning only four players from last season’s team is an enormous challenge.
Gather enough tough players and it can have an exponential effect on a team’s collective toughness.
Ainge picks the players, but Stevens is the arbiter of playing time.
In evaluating players, both during games and in film sessions, Stevens is careful with language, according to coaches, players and team higher-ups.
“Honestly, it’s kind of like listening to players blame themselves. He’s like a player. He never whines about the players, just himself.”
Even private kvetching about players among coaches and front-office staff can undo a team.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Watch Out-the Warriors Are Fully Operational”

Curry is the team’s point guard, but the Warriors are autonomous in ways that don’t necessitate placing the burden of creation on any one player.
Their pick-and-rolls are subterranean, initiated before either of the two players in the two-man game have the ball-and even then, the two-man game quickly expands back out to three, or four, or five.
For five weeks, the Warriors harbored a phantom limb, tracing the outline of Curry’s impact on their on-court dynamics.
Tier 3 is Steve Kerr’s throw-shit-against-the-wall-and-hope-it-sticks long view: Even in a tightly contested game against a frenetic Pelicans team, the Warriors head coach was still experimenting with lineups he’d never played before in the regular season, simply because he could.
The ceiling the Warriors approach with Curry in the fold is what affords them the luxury of Kerr’s endless data mining instead of just playing the hits, and the ability to zig on their own zags from previous seasons.
By capitalizing on Curry’s otherworldly gravitational pull, the Warriors have been able to trot out lineups that wouldn’t make sense on any other team while giving them as much defensive flexibility as possible.
The Rondo zealots have come out in full force this postseason in praise of their idol, lauding the ways in which he can coolly dismantle an offense and play mind games without so much as furrowing his brow.
Game 2 on Tuesday wasn’t the first time Curry had a statement game in his return from an MCL injury-he dropped 40 points on the Blazers almost exactly two years ago, but by Game 7 of the NBA Finals that year, the cumulative damage of playing on a knee that wasn’t precisely 100 percent was enough to change Golden State’s storybook season.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths”

It might never have been built, or at least Cave wouldn’t have built it, had it not been for his boss, Michelle McKenna-Doyle, CIO of the NFL. When McKenna-Doyle was hired, she observed that a number of her people were struggling, but not because they weren’t talented – because they weren’t in roles suited to their strengths.
Experts have long encouraged people to “Play to their strengths.” And why wouldn’t we want to flex our strongest muscle? But based on my observations, this is easier said than done.
Notice these moments: They can point to strengths that you underrate in yourself but are valuable to others.
When people bring up new ideas, you can ask them, Will this leverage what you do well? Are you doing work that draws on your strengths? Are we taking on projects that make the most of your strengths?
Brett Gerstenblatt, VP and creative director at CVS, has his team take a personality assessment, then post their top five strengths on their desk.
Brett wants people to wear their strengths like a badge.
As with McKenna-Doyle, building a team that can play to their strengths begins with analysis.
Then you can measure new ideas, new products, and new projects against these collective superpowers, asking: Are we playing to our strengths? When people feel strong, they are willing to venture into new territory, to play where others are not, and to consider ideas for which there isn’t yet a market.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Reaching Peak Meeting Efficiency”

Peak Meeting FunctionThe thing is that most people say they don’t want to have meetings.
Most say “Oh that meeting could have been handled with an email or slack message”.
First, everything you are meeting about is relative to these factors and you’re not revisiting them every time you talk.
The first step in having any meeting is deciding who participates.
For the vast majority of meetings this will be either manager meeting with reports or peers across disciplines.
No matter what functional area of a company is represented, the role of process and values play a critical role in the meeting process.
I skipped a lot of meetings and at the same time was given a lot of grief for spending too much time meeting with the team.
Described earlier is the “Without” meeting, which I think on any project the most important execution-oriented meeting.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Who Is Entering the NBA Trade Zone?”

Kawhi Leonard Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wants Leonard kept away from the team, according to Peter Vecsey’s sources.
The latest rumor is that the reports of Leonard’s mangled rehabilitation and the team forcing an early comeback were a ploy by Kawhi’s camp so Leonard would have an out to join another franchise.
The franchise is a non-topic without Leonard.
C.J. McCollum After a strong end to the regular season, these playoffs were supposed to be different for the Blazers.
“The opportunity to potentially have [Russell] Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams,” he said Wednesday, “All three of those guys in their prime years, is extremely exciting for us.”
Multiple reports have already surfaced that George is “Gone” and wants to be Playoff P somewhere else.
If George goes, Billy Donovan will have a similar issue on his hands as he did during Westbrook’s MVP season: Russ will be the only star on the team.
So the past season of disappointment with Wiggins might not be enough for the team to alter its course.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the 2018 Draft Proved That the Modern NFL Doesn’t Exist”

Soon after being selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2018 draft, Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson revealed that he wishes he had been alive to watch Barry Sanders play.
Since the draft began, running backs are the second-most-popular first-overall pick, but that pick hasn’t happened in 23 years.
The league is at a crossroads when it comes to how teams understand player value, draft strategy, scouting methods, and, well, basically everything else.
There is no coherent modern NFL. In a league where passing has ruled the past decade, five running backs went in the top 40 picks-including one selection by the New England Patriots, the consensus smartest team in the league.
According to Pro-Football-Reference’s career-value metric, Stewart is the fifth-best running back from the 2008 draft class.
Allen’s selection came five picks after the Giants took Barkley, a great running back whose pass catching will make him a threat in the NFL. He’s also the third running back taken in the top five in the past three years, and my guess is the first two teams who made those picks wish they could have them back.
Not so with running backs: Barkley, as ESPN’s Bill Barnwell points out, will have the most guaranteed money of any back in the league.
It’s about not auctioning off the pick to a quarterback-needy team and instead trying to get Barkley a few picks later.

The orginal article.

Summary of “3 Ways Senior Leaders Create a Toxic Culture”

Whether presiding over the entire company, a function, a region, or a business unit, the people at the top of an organization have a disproportionate level of influence over those they lead. Those further down in the organization look to their leaders for cues on what’s acceptable, and the team’s habits – both good and bad – will be emulated.
At their best, leadership teams synchronize their organizations into cohesive powerhouses.
The implications for an organization whose leadership team is poorly focused are serious: Wasted resources, wasted effort, and widespread confusion become the norm.
Leaders that made the cut had to distinguish themselves among their peers to get the “Big jobs.” But a team of excessively individualistic leaders vying for resources, status, influence, and, most often, their boss’s job, can fracture the organization beneath them.
The difference in performance is profound: Among the high-performing teams, employee engagement averaged 87%, while among lower-performing teams it dropped to 45%. Speaking negatively behind one another’s backs, withholding honest perspectives, or pocket vetoing decisions after they are made should be unacceptable.
Leadership teams should have written norms that they won’t engage in these behaviors, and they should share those norms with the rest of the organization, asking others to hold them accountable.
I’ve seen the best leadership teams handcraft these behavioral norms themselves, publish them to the rest of the organization, and regularly assess performance against them.
If a video camera captured your leadership team in action for a full day, how would you feel about that video being used as training for the rest of the organization? Serving on a leadership team should be viewed as a privilege.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 2018 NFL Draft Awards”

It’s been a long three days: A bevy of trades have gone down, 256 picks have come and gone, and the action-packed 2018 NFL draft is in the books.
Then L.A.’s brass decided to build strength on strength by taking defenders with its first four picks of the draft.
The team’s 2018 draft followed the same narrative.
The Taking the Guy Who Fits Your Prototype 40 Picks Too Early Award: Terrell Edmunds, Steelers After missing out on Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, their reported first-round target, the Steelers used the 28th overall pick to fill another position of need.
Pittsburgh picked up yet another talented receiver by choosing Oklahoma State’s James Washington with the 60th overall pick.
Never satisfied, Belichick then traded another eight times over the three-day event, picking up an extra selection this year to go with second- and third-round picks in 2019.
The Fine, We’ll Pick Lamar Jackson but Only If We Can Load Up on Tight Ends Award: Baltimore Ravens When I asked Ringer colleague and Ravens fan Mallory Rubin what she thought of her team’s draft haul, she said: “The Lamar Jackson pick is so good I honestly don’t care about anything else.”
Anyway, everything worked out fine-the Ravens secured one of the most exciting players in the draft and the potential future face of their franchise by trading the Eagles for the 32nd pick and grabbing their man.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Lessons From the First Round of the NBA Playoffs”

LeBron-led teams had never played in a Game 7 in the first round; they’d swept five consecutive first-round opponents, and before this month had a 48-7 all-time record in opening series.
James gives Cleveland a chance, but he is also a 33-year-old coming off seven straight Finals appearances who just played a full 82-game regular season for the first time in his career.
Various NBA teams aggressively trapped pick-and-rolls to take the ball out of the hands of superstars in the first round of the postseason, which has been a fascinating trend to watch.
Even if Prunty were to have shortened the rotation to only eight players, it’d still have included either underdeveloped young players without a playoff-ready skill set or overpaid veterans who don’t quite fit around Antetokounmpo.
It’s Time for Wall and Russ to Switch Things Up “I put the pressure on myself because I am that franchise guy. I am the guy that has to be the leader of the team, that has to get everybody better, make everybody better on my team,” John Wall told reporters a day after the Wizards were eliminated in the first round by the Raptors.
The Wizards are at their best when both the ball and players are moving; there was something to the “Everybody eats” Wizards playing without Wall, but it was obviously unsustainable since the Wall-less team lacked the star power necessary for long-term success.
“So it’s something I really have to think about, if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball.”
Since contracts guarantee by July 1 for most players, Indiana will need to backchannel with agents to gauge interest in players.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Sixers’ Moment Has Arrived”

Meek never got to celebrate with the team he scored, but his cause became something bigger than a Tom Brady fumble in February.
Members of the Sixers’ roster and ownership group visited him in jail.
Meek rang the Sixers’ prop Liberty Bell as the in-arena PA announced to the crowd that the rapper was supported by Sixers owners Josh Harris and Rubin and longtime fan Kevin Hart.
If the Sixers weren’t ready for the game before, they were now.
For weeks, people have been coming up to me - friends, trolls, troll-friends - congratulating me on the Sixers.
The Heat could not hang with the Sixers, so Miami tried to get into a fight with them.
There is a version of this Sixers team that might have wilted in the face of Miami’s professional fouling and streaky shooting.
Throughout the second half of the season, the Sixers made fish chum of the league’s worst squads.

The orginal article.