Matt Johnson

Melbourne born and raised. My hobbies over the years have included dunk contests on the 8 foot rim in Paul Vido's backyard, skipping uni to play pickup from dawn til dusk and a short-lived career as a point guard with a broken jumpshot.

More recently, Paul and I ran a moderately successful operation over at The Baseline Leaner which covered the NBA and NBL. You can now find us in The Locker Room @ Downtown - continuing our mission to provide the world with unique basketball content and generally behaving strangely.

Follow me on Twitter @32MJ32

From The Glasshouse to The Show

From The Glasshouse to The Show

Watching a “coaching tree” grow over time is interesting for a couple reasons – it’s fascinating to see just how far the branches will extend and, moreover, how the school of thought they (likely) share will affect the league. Pat Riley’s tree includes the Van Gundy brothers and Erik Spoelstra, all of whom design 7-12 potential defensive schemes for their… Read more →

International Dunk War

International Dunk War

July 17, 1999 San Juan, Puerto Rico Olympic Qualifying Tournament Argentina vs. USA Result: 103-72, USA win by 31 points. Everything went according to script. Everything except this: Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan fell victim to an emphatic baseline dunk from 19 year-old Andres Nocioni. The play was promptly dubbed an Argentine basketball highlight “to last a generation”. The repercussions, however, were yet to… Read more →

Thon Maker - In Good Company

Thon Maker – In Good Company

Yesterday, ESPN’s “smart guy” affiliate FiveThirtyEight released the short documentary Signals about analyst and trainer Justin Zormelo. The profile of Zormelo’s unique blend of talents – he’s a data wiz and skills coach – is interesting enough in itself, not to mention his roles on several NBA clubs and as KD’s personal trainer during his MVP year. The huge bonus for Aussie fans… Read more →

Young Bloods

Young Bloods

The pipeline has never been wider. In 2015, Australia sends more kids to college than ever before. Like all young ballers, our countrymen in the NCAA harbour NBA dreams, but the reality is that just 60 draft spots exist each season and few college graduates catch on as free agents. Most of our rising talent seeks work outside The Association. Over… Read more →

The Executives: Part 2

The Executives: Part 2

Yesterday’s breakdown covered the bottom of the first round; generally where GMs aim to find a rotation big, backup point guard or knockdown shooter who can’t guard anyone. There’s an understanding that the five-star prospects will be gone and the goal is to find useful, but probably flawed, contributors. Today? The business end. For proof of how important it is to make effective… Read more →

The Executives: Part 1

The Executives: Part 1

In a few days’ time, the lives of many of the world’s best young players will change irrevocably. Tom Hersz has done a masterful job profiling them and predicting which hat they’ll each be wearing at Draft’s end. It’s also the biggest night of the year for the men at the controls: 30 (well, as we’ll get to, 28) General Managers hold the… Read more →

LeBron vs History

LeBron vs History

We write about LeBron a lot on this website. Every website writes about LeBron a lot. There’s thousands of keystrokes dedicated to him every day. They go way past his play – to his personality, his relationships, and how he handles himself in almost every situation. Two days after The Finals wrapped, the analysis has moved from “LeBron: The Player,” to “LeBron: The Person.” Does… Read more →

Playoff LeBron

Playoff LeBron

LeBron’s 2015 post-season run has ended any reasonable doubt of his ability to deliver on the big stage. The final act – the crowning of a champion – is oddly inconsequential to how he’ll be graded. Regardless of who hoists the trophy, and whether the series goes 6 or 7, he’s played at a level few have ever reached. As… Read more →

Redemption Sessions

Redemption Sessions

You don’t end up on 8 teams in 8 years if you’re one of the more valuable players in the league. That said, you don’t end up on 8 teams in 8 years without some value, either. The scouting report on Ramon Sessions hasn’t changed much since he debuted with the Bucks in 2007. He entered the league as a lightning fast… Read more →