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Kevin Love, Team Building and Thinking Basketball

Why the full-court press to bring Kevin Love to Portland just might work, plus listener questions and an interview with Ben Taylor about his book, Thinking Basketball.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

On this week’s Blazer’s Edge podcast Tara and Dan answer listener questions about the upcoming season: will Kevin Love be a Trail Blazer before the season is over? How might the perimeter defense change with the new players on the team? What do we think the big man rotation will look like?

Then Tara talks to Ben Taylor of Thinking Basketball about how our brains process the massive amount of data that a basketball game produces. They discuss moves the Trail Blazers made this off season, how Hassan Whiteside fits in, a bigger role for Zach Collins, what to watch for with new combinations and what we can learn from historical comparisons of players.

All of this and more on the latest Blazers Edge podcast.

Download the episode


1:00 WNBA talk: Brittney Griner is good at catching passes over the top and their refs make a huge blunder.

Listener questions

3:00 Sir Wheezy (@WheezySir) When will K-love officially be named a blazer? What will the blazers likely have to give up to make the inevitable happen?

14:00 Rip Village (@RipVillage) How does Stotts evolve his defensive scheme featuring 0 perimeter defenders?

20:30 Nolan (@Lifesizedgiants) What is the big man rotation going to look like? How much Pau can we expect before the return of @bosnianbeast27? Who fills that small ball 4 roll defensively for us?

27:00 Madame Occassia (@madoccassia) Will the Blazers issue a field guide so we know who everybody is?

31:00 John Purrett (@JohnPurrett) Thoughts on the NBA banning Nija-headbands?

36:00 Adam Elizarraga (@Jestatom) Now or before the season starts, I’d like to see your predictions for the top 8 teams in predicted seed order from both east and west. And what’s a realistic trade deadline deal would you like to see POR make assuming Nurk is healthy?

Interview with Ben Taylor (@elgee35)

45:00 Start off by giving us a little bit about your background and what led up to writing Thinking Basketball?

49:00 What is Thinking Basketball about?

51:30 What are heuristics and biases and how do they affect the way we understand basketball?

55:00 Scoring blindness: Our assumption that whoever scored the most points is responsible for winning the game.

57:00 How do you evaluate players like Devon Booker who is such a high scorer on a bad team? Are his skills portable?

1:00:30 Thoughts on some of Portland’s moves this summer.

1:02:00 How do you think Collins will work as the replacement for Al-Farouq Aminu? Depends on what he can bring to the game when he doesn’t have the ball.

1:05:00 How has Portland been built to have players with multiple skill sets? Players who can take turns and compliment each other can be more than the sum of their parts.

1:09:00 The book came out in 2016. Has there been anything new in the league since you wrote it that you would like to revisit or explore? Another way to ask that would be are you working on a second edition or would you consider writing an update? Would have liked to have done more work on spacing and movement.

1:15 Why are historical player comparisons interesting?

Follow us on Twitter @blazersedge @DMarang @tcbbiggs

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