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Jul 15 / King Kaufman

Shoutouts: Silva’s KO loss, Shanahan’s RBs, NBA winners and losers

Here are this week’s Shoutouts, some pieces Bleacher Report’s Quality Editors found to be a cut above.

Jack Slack broke down Chris Weidman’s stunning knockout of Anderson Silva at UFC 162, delivering an advanced lecture on Silva’s pet strategies of leaning back from the waist to avoid strikes and rolling with punches.

Slack referenced both boxing and karate as he explained why Silva’s dangerous tactics have worked for so long: because MMA fighters are so predictable in their combinations, rarely doubling or tripling up with either hand like boxers tend to do. Silva has been able to roll with those right-left-right or left-right-left combinations in a way that never would have worked in a boxing ring. Weidman doubled up with his right hand, and it finished Silva:

As the second, short right hand came (with nothing on it), Anderson pulled back just as he normally does for the left hook, leaving him with nowhere to go, bent over backward and unable to move his feet as Weidman’s left hook sailed in.

The thing which most people won’t understand is the importance of the powerless backhand in the middle of the combination … Had Weidman not gotten Silva to pull his head back with the slappy second right hand, the left hook would have sailed right past by an inch or two, and we would all still be talking about Silva’s reflexes.

Now that Mike Shanahan has taken his trick of finding 1,000-yard running backs late in the draft from Denver to Washington, it looks like he hasn’t just been lucky all those years. Brad Gagnon asked, “Does Shanahan see something we’re all missing?” and then proceeded to show how Shanahan does it, with charts and play diagrams, in his piece headlined How Does Mike Shanahan Always Churn Out RB Success?

Gagnon does a great job of using quotes to add to his analysis, rather than simply to back up what he’s saying.

And D.J. Foster’s look at the Early Winners and Losers of 2013 NBA Free Agency is a well-written slideshow.

The best thing about it? Foster makes it clear by the end of each slide why the team in question is a winner or loser, and does so without citing a single per-game average.