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ESPN The Magazine 01.05.15

ESPN The Magazine is for the NEXT generation of sports fans who want to stay on top of the athletes, teams, topics and upcoming events in their own sports world. The Magazine celebrates not only sports, but the cultures and lifestyles that are an integral part of them - all with ESPN's unique personality and authority.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
ESPN Magazine LLC
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IN THIS ISSUE

access_time4 min.
the numbers

If there’s one lesson that has made its way from analytic spreadsheets to NBA courts, it’s that shot location matters. But it turns out that when you shoot can be as important as where you shoot from. And this season, one team is riding that insight to playoff contention—and is a lot of fun to watch besides. Since last season, every arena in the NBA has had SportVU optical-recognition technology in its catwalks, generating a slew of new player-tracking statistics that you can find, for free, on NBA.com. And among all the data, one split really leaps out: It’s typically far better to shoot off the pass than to shoot off the dribble. When a player has the ball for two seconds or less, doesn’t dribble and takes a jump shot…

access_time1 min.
zoom

WHO Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles safety and owner of Rock Avenue Bow Ties WHAT Trying on some of the company’s new additions WHEN Nov. 18, 2014, 1:56 p.m. ET WHERE Commonwealth Proper, Philadelphia “I own somewhere between 50 and 100 bow ties now, but there was once a time I could only find patterns that were not my style—plaid or stripes. I complained to my wife, and she told me to make my own. In 2013, I bought a sewing machine, opened a bottle of wine one night and Googled ‘how to make a bow tie.’ It took me four tries, and it quickly became apparent that I needed to hire a manufacturer to sew them for me. My first bow tie included ostrich skin, and then I made a velvet one. We currently sell online, from $45 to…

access_time3 min.
how slow can you go?

UNLV assistant coach Stacey Augmon squeezed into a folding chair at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Nov. 22 and watched his team score 57 points on 65 possessions against Temple—and win by seven. By contrast, in Augmon’s final season as a small forward for UNLV in 1990-91, a year after his team won the national championship, the Runnin’ Rebels scored 117 points on six occasions. “I really don’t know,” he says of the reason his alma mater is turning into the Ploddin’ Rebels. All he knows is that the trend is growing nationally, despite last year’s rule changes to improve the flow of offense. And while it’s tough to peg the cause, the fan-unfriendly effect is clear: Slow teams win. Here’s why. 1 A LONG DECLINE Since KenPom.com began collecting data in 2001-02,…

access_time2 min.
putting the d in harden

WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON WITH JAMES HARDEN? You’ve seen the GIFs, the YouTube clips, the Twitter LOLs. We all know it: Harden stinks at defense. But this season, believe it or not, the Rockets’ shooting guard leads the league in defensive win shares, meaning he’s contributed more wins on D than any other NBA player. Whaaa? Our thoughts exactly. Let us seek metric enlightenment … THEORY 1: IT’S THE X’S AND O’ Regardless of whether Harden’s improvement is cause or effect, there’s no question the Rockets are far better on defense: After ranking 13th in points allowed per 100 possessions last season (106.3), Houston ranks second this season (100.1, through Dec. 14). A main reason? “We’ve changed how we pressure off the ball,” says GM Daryl Morey. “‘No middle’ is the…

access_time4 min.
that’s deep, man

1 AT FIRST GLANCE “The first thing you’re looking at: What’s the relationship between the WR and the DB? If he’s even or on top, you feel good about the throw. You just have to hold the safety. If [the WR] is getting squeezed, then you’re not going that way. You’re looking for him to be in a position where he’s giving you a little bit of room for error on the sideline.” 2 READ AND REACT “When I’m out there, you just have to react. That’s why you work on those throws. When you’re in the moment, you can’t think to yourself, ‘How do I get this to go 47 yards and be two yards inside the sideline?’ You just have to listen to your body and remember what the elements are…

access_time2 min.
technique

How does three-time-defending winter X Games Ski SuperPipe champion David Wise stay on top? Two ways: by stealing the show with his double cork 1260, and by capping almost every run with this trademark alley-oop flat spin 540. “I like ending with it,” says the 24-year-old native of Reno, Nevada. “But I always try to change up my run so I’m not getting stagnant.” Since December 2013, the Sochi gold medal winner has added style and control to his 540 with an octograb: holding the tip of one ski and the tail of the other. Here’s a closer look at Wise’s twist to a classic trick heading into Aspen (Jan. 22-25). — DEREK TAYLOR 1 “Usually the trick before this has been a double cork 1260, and I end up carrying…

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