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Monday, October 01, 2012

NBA Monthly Thread, October 2012

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: making fun of sportswriters and immigration reform.

Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:16 AM | 882 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Spivey Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4261726)
I don't see how you can say Denver would be the least likely champion ever. The season hasn't really started yet. Betting on them is a projection that they're going to improve in a lot of ways. If they're a mid 50s win team, then they're not really any worse than Dallas or the Pistons that both won it fairly recently. Anyways, my point is I agree that usually the top 3 or 4 teams are the only ones who have a meaningful shot most years. The point is we aren't 100% who those teams are yet. I also think the West is much more wide open over the last couple of years than people give it credit for being.
   202. Booey Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4261735)
I think I'm gonna flip the Bulls and Nets on my original rankings from #103.

My work here is done.


Heh. Yeah, I'd forgotten that Rose missed some time during the season last year too and that the Bulls still played well without him. I think a Rose-less Bulls would struggle to make the playoffs in the west, but this is the east. They'll hold tough.

how do you figure? if you're moving the bulls to 2 and the nets to 7, that's still the same first round matchup. and if you think teams 2-7 are interchangeable, then again, how do you figure the bulls are a lock?


Maybe saying "for sure" was a bit strong, but I do think HC will make a difference, plus my original prediction of them losing to the Nets was based on the assumption that Rose won't be anywhere near 100%. I had conceded a few posts later that if he is, Chicago would beat Brooklyn even without HC. With HC, it's even more likely.

Hey, I put your Sixers into the 2nd round. Be grateful. ;-)
   203. andrewberg Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4261738)
Spivey, I think that goes back to the idea that once something happens in sports, the usual revisionist narrative is that it was always destined to happen that way.

Not much would have had to change for the last three champions to be Boston, Miami, and OKC in that order, but if we acknowledge that a lot of happenstance went in to the end results, then we can't preach about the lessons we learned from Kobe's leadership, Dirk's resolve, or Lebron's dedication. In a way, those myths are the lifeblood of sports.

Of course, if Denver wins, we will find a narrative that makes it seem inevitable that they were going to win all along. As of now, that story has not been constructed, so it does not seem possible. For those past champs, like 05 Detroit, the story about teamwork, defense, and cohesion came together as they were winning and after the games were done, but we treat it as if it was axiomaitc from Game 1 of that season. If Denver wins, we will impose their story back to now and pretend it was always there.
   204. Booey Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4261740)
The reason you would bet a longshot to win a title is not to cash that ticket but to give a hedge on their earlier playoff games. Say you have $100 on MIN at 75-1 to win the title and they make the playoffs. Now say they are matched up with SA in round one, who is -200 to win the series. You can bet $1000 on SA to win $1500 at those odds (a $400 profit on the total $1100 you have bet). If MIN wins, you still have that $7500 ticket in your back pocket. You can keep doing that round after round as long as your cumulative bet does not go over the $7500 you stand to win if the Wolves win the Finals.

Ah, gotcha. I'm not much of a gambler. I don't really know many of the details.
   205. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4261748)
I don't see how you can say Denver would be the least likely champion ever.

Name one high scoring, mediocre defensive team without a superstar that has ever won an NBA title.

Not that it couldn't happen, but a team like Denver winning the title would be unprecedented.
   206. Booey Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4261750)
If they're a mid 50s win team, then they're not really any worse than Dallas or the Pistons that both won it fairly recently.

True, but those are the exact two once a decade type "darkhorse" champions that I was referring to. 2004 and 2011 are the only years when I've been following the NBA that the champ wouldn't have been in my top 4 preseason picks. So I'd rather play the odds and stick with the top 3 or 4 teams that look most likely again. If I'm horribly wrong once a decade, I can live with that. Especially cuz it's a somewhat pleasant surprise during the rare times when we see an unexpected champion.
   207. Booey Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4261763)
And Dallas even had a top 10 superstar. The only reason they were such a surprise is because they had underachieved in the playoffs the previous few seasons. It wouldn't have been a surprise at all if they had won the title in 2006 or 2007 with teams that were just as good as their title team.
   208. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4261780)
Name one high scoring, mediocre defensive team without a superstar that has ever won an NBA title.

Ah, but if the Nuggets were to actually win the title, odds are it is because their defense improved from mediocre to good/great.
   209. rr Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4261806)
Since I don't gamble, maybe I don't really get what odds mean, but to me 20-1 is pretty long. Anyway, I think Denver's winning would go something like this:

1. Iguodala really helps the team D by working opposing wings, which in turn helps Gallinari.
2. McGee develops into a good player playing in a better culture and for a better coach, which also helps the D.
3. Lawson and Gallinari improve a bit and lead the O.
4. The Lakers' core is too physically infirm; Mike Brown can't handle the egos and runs Nash into the ground. Many in the blogospshere intelligentsia would add "Kobe destroys the team with his selfishness" but as I have said I see that possibility as a very, very minor issue. I will own up if proven wrong.
5. Duncan and Ginobili show their age more, and the SA role players are not as good as they were a year ago.
6. The Clippers' question marks mostly turn up with negative answers.
AND/OR
7. Somebody else beats OKC.

Denver's beating OKC would likely mean that Hollinger was right, and Denver had HCA in that hypothetical, and that Iguodala gave Durant a lot of trouble. And, of course, even if all that happened, they would likely still be dealing with trying to slay the LeBrontosaurus in the Finals.

The odds of all that happening are pretty long--but I think they are better than 66-1.


   210. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4261813)
Hollinger:

EAST
1. MIA 64-18
2. IND 52-30
3. BOS 48-34

WEST
1. SAS 60-22
2. DEN 59-23
3. OKC 58-24
   211. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4261842)
Fair enough rr - I still don't see it myself, but I do agree that's what it would take.
   212. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4261857)
[211] The reason I don't think the DEN is thaaaaaaaaat outlandish is because, and I may be alone on this, I only see LAL and OKC as true contenders in the West. So, for an upset in the West to happen you just have to be seeded in such a way that those two face off before one of them would face you and then you get lucky against the remaining team.
   213. kpelton Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4261871)
Spivey, I think that goes back to the idea that once something happens in sports, the usual revisionist narrative is that it was always destined to happen that way.

So much this, which also goes back to the Chicago discussion last page. I always have to remind myself how good they were on offense last season.
   214. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4261951)
I only see LAL and OKC as true contenders in the West. So, for an upset in the West to happen you just have to be seeded in such a way that those two face off before one of them would face you and then you get lucky against the remaining team.

And then get lucky again against Miami.
   215. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4261955)
[214] Point taken. For some reason, I keep thinking of it as just getting to the Finals.
   216. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4261961)
   217. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4261972)
EAST:

1. MIA
2. CHI
3. BOS
4. IND
5. BKN
6. PHI
7. NY
8. ATL

I'm happy to continue my tradition of not predicting Milwaukee to make the playoffs. I think the top 4 are pretty set, IMO, but the bottom 4 could finish any order 5-8 and I don't think any would upset any of the top 4 regardless of matchup. I don't really see a surprise playoff team possibility, so I guess I'll be shocked if one of those 8 miss the playoffs.

WEST:
1. OKC
2. SA
3. LAL
4. DEN
5. LAC
6. MEM
7. MIN
8. DAL

Sorry, Booey. Utah could definitely beat out both Minny and Dallas, and I think GS has a sliver of a chance if Bogut and Curry are healthy all year (but they won't be).

MIA over IND, CHI over BOS; MIA over CHI
OKC over DEN, LAL over SA; LAL over OKC
LAL over MIA

MVP: Durant (it's his turn; I said that last year too, but no way LeBron gets his 4th MVP in 5 years)
ROY: Davis
COY: Thibs (Bulls are the team on my list higher than the general consensus, he could have easily won it last year too).
   218. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4262009)
I think the top 4 are pretty set, IMO, but the bottom 4 could finish any order 5-8 and I don't think any would upset any of the top 4 regardless of matchup.

I will leave my mother's basement if IND, as presently constructed, was able to beat NYK in a series. If you can guard Hibbert one on one, IND just isn't that good and Chandler can. Of course, I'm also a huge Paul George fan and hoping he breaks out, which if it happens, alters my previous statement.

I think the top 4 are pretty set

This is interesting to me because, as others have said, I can see BOS-CHI-IND-NYK-PHI finishing in just about any order. I'm curious why you see separation there. I'm extremely curious why you have BKN up at 5.
   219. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4262020)
I'm starting to wonder if I've underrated the Bulls a little. Don't think they will be as good as last year in the regular season, but I'm going to increase my win total for them to 51. I, too, had forgotten how good they were last year offensively. I still don't trust them to do anything more than (maybe) make the Conference Finals, though.
   220. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4262040)
I will leave my mother's basement if IND, as presently constructed, was able to beat NYK in a series.

Big words coming from a fan of a team that's lost 34 of its last 35* playoff games.
:-)
*rough estimate
   221. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4262046)
I will leave my mother's basement if IND, as presently constructed, was able to beat NYK in a series. If you can guard Hibbert one on one, IND just isn't that good and Chandler can. Of course, I'm also a huge Paul George fan and hoping he breaks out, which if it happens, alters my previous statement.

Yes, you and I are co-pilots on the Paul George bandwagon. Really though, it comes down to this - why should I expect NY to be better than last year and why should I expect Indiana to be worse? Because Indiana was quite a bit better last year, IMO. I don't think that Chandler locking down Hibbert is enough of a matchup advantage to counter that. I don't recall seeing their games last year though

This is interesting to me because, as others have said, I can see BOS-CHI-IND-NYK-PHI finishing in just about any order. I'm curious why you see separation there. I'm extremely curious why you have BKN up at 5.

I see 3 tiers in the East: Miami, then CHI/BOS/IND and then BKN/PHI/NYK/ATL. I kinda like the way the Nets fit together, even though they do have some major gaps. I really don't like the Knicks guard situation at all and still don't see how the pieces are going to work for them; IOW, I expect a step back offensively from last season. As for Philly, I think there's going to be an adjustment period, and I don't see why the Collins problems from last season will just be gone. They're going to miss Iggy a lot more than they realize, and I'm skeptical of Bynum in that situation. They do have the highest upside of those bottom 4 teams though. I really don't see a whole lot of separation between BKN/NY/PHI though, so that's why I could see any of them in any order there.
   222. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4262054)
Yes, you and I are co-pilots on the Paul George bandwagon. Really though, it comes down to this - why should I expect NY to be better than last year and why should I expect Indiana to be worse? Because Indiana was quite a bit better last year, IMO. I don't think that Chandler locking down Hibbert is enough of a matchup advantage to counter that. I don't recall seeing their games last year though

Back to back nights in March the Knicks beat IND by 15 (home) and 14 (Away). They then lost to IND in April (in IND) by 8 in a game where they were up by 15 in the fourth quarter before all hell broke loose.
   223. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4262069)
I really don't like the Knicks guard situation at all and still don't see how the pieces are going to work for them; IOW, I expect a step back offensively from last season.

The Knicks were 17th in offense last year. I can't stand Ray Felton and have little affection for Jason Kidd, but I think it's reasonable to expect that they will contribute more than last year 940 minutes of Linsanity and 1808 minutes of explosive diarrhea (Douglas, Davis and Bibby).

I kinda like the way the Nets fit together, even though they do have some major gaps.

I like the way the Nets fit together offensively, but they're a likely bottom 7 or so defense. That sounds like a fun, but ultimately .500ish team to me.

I guess our biggest difference is that I see the best case scenario for the Nets as a 7 or 8 seed.
   224. Booey Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4262074)
I'm starting to wonder if I've underrated the Bulls a little.

You are a very persuasive man, Moses Taylor...
   225. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4262076)
Big words coming from a fan of a team that's lost 34 of its last 35* playoff games.
:-)
*rough estimate


Hey...I'm not sure what to call myself, but "fan" seems strong for someone who hates his team's ownership and much of its fanbase/players as much as I do. Or, maybe that is the mark of fandom.
   226. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4262082)
Hey...I'm not sure what to call myself, but "fan" seems strong for someone who hates his team's ownership and much of its fanbase/players as much as I do. Or, maybe that is the mark of fandom.

Actually, you just perfectly defined "Knicks Fan".
   227. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4262089)
The Knicks were 17th in offense last year. I can't stand Ray Felton and have little affection for Jason Kidd, but I think it's reasonable to expect that they will contribute more than last year 940 minutes of Linsanity and 1808 minutes of explosive diarrhea (Douglas, Davis and Bibby).

Right, and I think that the sum total of Linsanity/explosive diarrhea will be better than whatever this year will be (projectile vomiting?). I think the Knicks will be a bottom third offensive team.

I like the way the Nets fit together offensively, but they're a likely bottom 7 or so defense.

I guess that is possible, I don't see it as that bad but you could be right.
   228. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4262104)
EAST:

1. MIA
2. BOS
3. IND
4. CHI
5. BKN
6. PHI
7. ATL
8. NY

WEST:

1. OKC
2. LAL
3. SA
4. DEN
5. MIN
6. LAC
7. MEM
8. UTAH

MIA over BOS
LAL over OKC
MIA over LAL
   229. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4262132)
Right, and I think that the sum total of Linsanity/explosive diarrhea will be better than whatever this year will be (projectile vomiting?). I think the Knicks will be a bottom third offensive team.

Just to be clear, Jeron Biblas averaged 41.6 minutes per game while shooting .375 from the field (14.9 FGA/g), .287 from 3 (5.5 3FGA/g), .787 (3.6 FTA/g) from the line with 7.7 assists and 4.2 turnovers per game. You don't think Felton-Kidd can exceed that? (Obviously this is ignoring synergistic/intangible PG benefits)

EDIT: I guess that is possible, I don't see it as that bad but you could be right.

They were 29th last year and I don't think Joe Johnson or a full season of Brook Lopez is going to make much of a dent there.
   230. rr Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4262141)
Spivey, I think that goes back to the idea that once something happens in sports, the usual revisionist narrative is that it was always destined to happen that way.


This is a good point and I would add that the revisionism also takes another form, in that people will say that "X changed" once the old narrative is rendered obsolete by on-court results (Kobe learned to trust his teammates more; Dirk and LeBron found the Killer Instinct that they had lacked).

As I have said a few times, mostly when talking about Simmons, I do think there is quite often a grain, or a few grains, of truth in his psychological narratives of star players' title arcs. But I also think that such factors are very, very, small. Kobe IMO was pretty much the same guy in 2004, 2007, and 2009--I think the circumstances changed a lot more than he did, and I would also guess that that is true in the other cases as well.
   231. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4262155)
Just to be clear, Jeron Biblas averaged 41.6 minutes per game while shooting .375 from the field (14.9 FGA/g), .287 from 3 (5.5 3FGA/g), .787 (3.6 FTA/g) from the line with 7.7 assists and 4.2 turnovers per game. You don't think Felton-Kidd can exceed that? (Obviously this is ignoring synergistic/intangible PG benefits)

The per 36 averages for Jamond Feltidd last year was 38.5 FG% (9.6 FGA/g), 33 from 3 (4.8 3FGA/g), 79.6 FT (1.5 FTA/g) and 7.2 ast and 2.7TO. Looks pretty damn close to me, but older and stylistically worse and without the dizzying heights of Linsanity.
   232. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4262160)
Per 36 in 2011-12 (ignoring pace and other stuff; I'm at work):

Jeron Biblas: 13.5/3.8/6.7 w/3.6 TO, 1.8 STL and 38/29/79 shooting.
Jamond Kelton: 10.8/3.8/7.2 w/2.8 TO, 1.8 STL and 39/33/80 shooting.

So, I guess that's a marginal improvement in efficiency, assuming Kidd holds serve another year. It's mostly kind of depressing, though.

(Edit: one of those mini-cans of coke to Moses)
   233. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4262176)
The per 36 averages for Jamond Feltidd last year was 38.5 FG% (9.6 FGA/g), 33 from 3 (4.8 3FGA/g), 79.6 FT (1.5 FTA/g) and 7.2 ast and 2.7TO. Looks pretty damn close to me, but older and stylistically worse and without the dizzying heights of Linsanity.

Going for a walk, guys, talk to you later.
   234. andrewberg Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4262177)
Don't do it, NJ! There's lots to live for! Like, uhhhhhh, Amare's back might not be as bad this year!?
   235. Conor Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4262179)
Time to put my Knicks fanboy hat on!!!

Knicks had a +3.2 point differential last year, Indiana was +3.3. That's just one measure, but I think the Knicks were closer to Indy than the 6 games they finished behind them in the standings (which obviously projects to larger over 82 games).

It really did take the Knicks a while to figure out their rotation. Lin was great when he played, but the Knicks still got pretty crappy PG play overall because of how bad the other guys were. (Seriously Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby might have been dead last year for all I know). I see that this is addressed above; I don't think Felton and Kidd will be a huge upgrade, and it's possible that they may not be an upgrade at all, but despite losing Lin's good numbers, the Knicks may not give that much up at PG. Melo missed time, played other games hurt, and ended up with the lowest true shooting% of his career since his second year in the league. I think he'll be better. Probably not a lot better, but better than last year.

The big negative would be that Chandler was very durable last year, and he's been a guy who has battled injuries before. Camby is a better backup 5 than what they had last year, but he's not close to the player Chandler is.

The Knicks had a projected record of 45-37 last year, but a pythag of 51-31. I'm looking (hoping?) for them to be closer to the 51 than the 45 next year.
   236. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4262220)
Don't do it, NJ! There's lots to live for! Like, uhhhhhh, Amare's back might not be as bad this year!?

Something something Hakeem?
   237. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4262232)
Knicks reality check: I typically don't get excited about jerry-rigged geezer teams and the 2012-13 Knicks are no exception. They're kind of a decent team, but no threat to anyone. Nothing's really changed -- Melo and Stat still don't work together, Melo's still an overrated hog, JR Smith's worthless, etc. The owner/front office structure is bizarre and Isiah lies in wait, his cronies already in place as head coach and general manager. Why they decided to become history's oldest NBA team, after being young and primed at the 2010 trade deadline -- a basketball year and a quarter ago -- is a complete mystery. (*)

The board underrates D-Will pretty dramatically.

People of a gambling bent should be sprinting to the ATMs to drop wagers on Denver at 66-1.

(*) Kind of. Most or all of it is likely Isiah's doing.
   238. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4262250)
Oh, yeah -- the Jeremy Lin no-match decision borders on psychotic. No functional front office does such a thing, letting a young asset who's signed a meh offer sheet walk for nothing. Winning basketball games is not the owner's primary motivation and it's hard enough to win NBA games when you're competent and driven to win.
   239. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 10, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4262290)
Does anyone else think that LeBron is going to have a significantly better year than he has ever had before? He's in his prime with arguably the most talented team he's ever been on. There's no question who "The Man" in Miami as there may have been the past two years. He's more comfortable in the post where he could be unstoppable. No pressure regarding winning a championship. I know this is a lot of armchair psychology and I am wondering if anyone else was thinking that way.
   240. Conor Posted: October 10, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4262318)
Does anyone else think that LeBron is going to have a significantly better year than he has ever had before? He's in his prime with arguably the most talented team he's ever been on. There's no question who "The Man" in Miami as there may have been the past two years. He's more comfortable in the post where he could be unstoppable. No pressure regarding winning a championship. I know this is a lot of armchair psychology and I am wondering if anyone else was thinking that way.


I hear what you're saying, but I'm going to say no if only because i can't imagine a guy having a significantly better season than Lebron has the past couple of years.
   241. madvillain Posted: October 10, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4262345)
Does anyone else think that LeBron is going to have a significantly better year than he has ever had before? He's in his prime with arguably the most talented team he's ever been on. There's no question who "The Man" in Miami as there may have been the past two years. He's more comfortable in the post where he could be unstoppable. No pressure regarding winning a championship. I know this is a lot of armchair psychology and I am wondering if anyone else was thinking that way.


If we use Jordan's career arc, and I think it's useful, you might see his PER and WS/48 numbers decline slightly as he conserves energy for the playoffs. I've said it again and again that I never thought we'd see a player as good as Jordan, but Lebron has come along and changed all that. Is his career, to this point, as good as Jordan's body of work? No. Is there a point 8 years from now where it could be, or even surpass it? I'd put the odds at about 50/50, which is just insane to me that he even has a chance.

On the flipside, this could be the year Wade really declines and Lebron has to turn into Cavs Lebron again. That wouldn't be good for his longevity or the team's success. Jordan and Lebron have proven no matter how transcendent the talent of one player, you still need a superstar side kick.
   242. andrewberg Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4262545)
Bosh is still better than any cavs teammate.
   243. Spivey Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4262599)
West
1. OKC
2. LAL
3. SAS
4. MEM
5. DEN
6. LAC
7. DAL
8. PHX

East
1. MIA
2. IND
3. BOS
4. CHI
5. PHI
6. ATL
7. NYK
8. NJN

OKC over MEM, SAS over LAL
OKC over SAS

MIA over CHI, BOS over IND
MIA over BOS

MIA over OKC

MVP: LeBron
ROY: Anthony Davis
COY: Vogel

   244. andrewberg Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4262963)
For all of those with doubts about the wolves, I think tonight's thrashing of the pacers (in Fargo!) settled every possible question.
   245. rr Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4262990)
I like this whole "talking trash based on exhibition games" thing; like I said, it is a new one for me.

Unfortunately, the Lakers are headed for 0-2, so I can't join in.
   246. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:36 AM (#4263196)
Just to be clear, Jeron Biblas averaged 41.6 minutes per game while shooting .375 from the field (14.9 FGA/g), .287 from 3 (5.5 3FGA/g), .787 (3.6 FTA/g) from the line with 7.7 assists and 4.2 turnovers per game. You don't think Felton-Kidd can exceed that? (Obviously this is ignoring synergistic/intangible PG benefits)


I think one problem here is the classic trap -- (almost) every team looks better on paper pre-season than they did the previous season, because injuries mostly haven't happened yet. Even if Felton-Kidd beat that, there are likely to be some games missed to injury and someone else is gonna have to play, and that guy is probably going to be replacement level. I'm not really sure where replacement level PG is but my wild guess is that it's below Jeron Biblas (probably someone here has a better idea).
   247. RollingWave Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:34 AM (#4263199)
Lin salvaged what was essentially a disastor situation for the Knicks more or less last year, Felton / Kidd would need to stay quite healthy (along with Melo) for the Knicks to even really match last year. let alone do much better. I think the Knicks are a ehhh upside team now with a pretty big potential to disappoint.
   248. kpelton Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4263527)
Even if Felton-Kidd beat that, there are likely to be some games missed to injury and someone else is gonna have to play, and that guy is probably going to be replacement level.

Based on European stats, I have their third PG, Pablo Prigioni, rated ahead of Raymond Felton. Prigioni is ancient too, but he can play.
   249. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4263539)
Lin salvaged what was essentially a disastor situation for the Knicks more or less last year, Felton / Kidd would need to stay quite healthy (along with Melo) for the Knicks to even really match last year. let alone do much better. I think the Knicks are a ehhh upside team now with a pretty big potential to disappoint.


Being disappointed by the Knicks is like being disappointed when your smack-addict cousin ends up back on the streets. At some point, you're so deadened to it that it doesn't evoke emotion any more, it just is.
   250. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4263820)
Hollinger:

EAST
1. MIA 64-18
2. IND 52-30
3. BOS 48-34
4. BRK 47-35

WEST
1. SAS 60-22
2. DEN 59-23
3. OKC 58-24
4. LAL 53-29
   251. rr Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4263834)
Recall what I said about Nets' fans being next on Hollinger's Tweak List:

johnhollinger John Hollinger
Major upset brewing: so far comments section on Nets preview is seriously out-LOLing Laker comments
   252. rr Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4263869)
As to the projections, I think the Lakers will win about 55 games, so 53-29 is reasonable, although I am not convinced that the bench will be as bad as Hollinger apparently thinks it will. Given the structure of the team, I will be fully in "I hope they are healthy for the playoffs and then they can take their chances" mode and will try to take the grind of the 82-game schedule as it comes.

I need to study the Brooklyn roster in more detail, but it strikes me that they appear to be a good offensive team with serious defensive issues. I agree with Hollinger's placement of Indiana at 2 in the East, and as I said before, I don't think Miami will win 64 games although like everyone else, I am 99.9% sure they will be top seed. Only a serious injury to James would prevent that IMO.

I think I would pick OKC to have the best record in the West.
   253. Booey Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4263883)
#252 - Sounds like you're about ready to post your complete predictions, right rr? :-)
   254. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4263887)
I wonder how NJ's walk is going.
   255. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4263921)
I haven't run the numbers yet, but I don't think Brooklyn's D will be as bad as many do. Wallace and Johnson are solid, Williams should improve a lot, and Humphries is better than he looks. So - problematic, but not awful.

LA's bench is pretty bad... especially if you buy that Jamison doesn't guard anybody (also - look at the collapse in his numbers the last two years), nor does Hill (which I don't hear people talk about much), the PGs are terrible (I am betting on a dead cat bounce from Blake, though), there's no wings beyond Meeks to speak of (unless you think Ebanks is a poor man's Ariza or that Earl Clark will stop being Earl Clark)...

Now, that starting lineup, on the other hand... besides, they should be able to find someone to add to the bench as time goes on.
   256. jmurph Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4263992)
Now, that starting lineup, on the other hand.


I have no doubt that I'll eventually be able to summon the hatred (I mean, it's the Lakers), but I have to admit I'm legitimately excited to see Nash/Kobe/Howard in action.
   257. steagles Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4264010)
fun with numbers:


basketball reference now has player projections for the 2013 season. these are the projected 3P% for players who were on last year's 76ers team:
evan turner - .274
lavoy allen - .358
spencer hawes - .290
elton brand - .308


combined, elton brand and lavoy allen had one 3PA this past season, and yet they are still projected to be better 3 point shooters than evan turner.




LA's bench is pretty bad... especially if you buy that Jamison doesn't guard anybody (also - look at the collapse in his numbers the last two years), nor does Hill (which I don't hear people talk about much), the PGs are terrible (I am betting on a dead cat bounce from Blake, though), there's no wings beyond Meeks to speak of (unless you think Ebanks is a poor man's Ariza or that Earl Clark will stop being Earl Clark)...
i'm actually a fan of earl clark. he's a pretty awful player by measure of counting stats, but he's a decent rebounder and shot blocker, and he's a very long, very athletic forward who can be very disruptive when he's at his best.
   258. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4264063)
That disruptiveness does not show up in his opponents' stats or plus/minus figures.

Put another way - here's a wholesale ripoff of Hollinger's Clark profile (insider). I wouldn't do it, but I doubt this prevents too many page hits / subscriptions:

Clark looks like he could be an NBA defender, but he's having trouble converting his potential into results. At times he looked fantastic and he had some great blocks, but in between the highlights there just weren't enough results. Every indicator is strongly negative: Synergy rated him the third-worst defender in the league with at least 200 plays defended, opposing power forwards rang up a 17.3 PER against him according to 82games.com and the Magic gave up 4.1 more points per 100 possessions with him on the court.

One might suspect this is partly a Dwight Howard effect -- Clark almost never played with Howard -- but checking on NBA.com's advanced stats tool, Clark actually made Howard's on-court numbers worse. Subjectively, I'd say Clark is better than his numbers -- he was fourth among power forwards in blocks per minute -- but it strains logic to argue he was particularly good last season.

And if he can't defend, he can't play, because the dude is just brutal offensively. Clark shot 27.0 percent outside the basket area, and that's where most of his shots came from. Among power forwards, he was in the bottom three in 2-point percentage, field goal percentage, TS% and PER. He also had one of the worst turnover ratios at his position.


Rebounding numbers aren't that good either.

I've argued for Simple Rating as a decent starting place for player evaluation (it, like everything, is flawed, but I digress).
Clark: 3 seasons, 1406 minutes, simple rating -8.7

Sub-replacement level.

****

Not that he's one of my least favorite players in the world or anything. Though he is. :)
   259. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4264069)
Random, I had no idea Bayless developed a 3 point shot while in Toronto. Makes me feel a tiny bit better about Memphis than I did initially.
   260. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4264114)
The book on him had been (as I understood) that he should be better from three than his numbers showed. So, I bet that was a bit fluky, but that he'll be solid from deep going forward.
[/2cents]

***

I find the method used to generate bb-ref's projections kind of useless, personally.
   261. Spivey Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4264186)
Earl Clark is a guy I thought would develop at the NBA level, but apparently hasn't. He certainly isn't the first kind of player like that to not make it.
   262. Manny Coon Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4264189)
I haven't run the numbers yet, but I don't think Brooklyn's D will be as bad as many do. Wallace and Johnson are solid, Williams should improve a lot, and Humphries is better than he looks. So - problematic, but not awful.

LA's bench is pretty bad... especially if you buy that Jamison doesn't guard anybody (also - look at the collapse in his numbers the last two years), nor does Hill (which I don't hear people talk about much), the PGs are terrible (I am betting on a dead cat bounce from Blake, though), there's no wings beyond Meeks to speak of (unless you think Ebanks is a poor man's Ariza or that Earl Clark will stop being Earl Clark)...

Now, that starting lineup, on the other hand... besides, they should be able to find someone to add to the bench as time goes on.


I think Duhon can be a good backup for the Lakers. I think he's a legit very good defender and doesn't make many mistakes. He can't score at all but that shouldn't be a big deal given the offensive talent on the team. With guys like Hill or Jamison it will be important they are out there with one of Gasol or Howard and not each other to help cover for some of their weaknesses. With the Lakers bench it's important that it is managed in way that they rotated in with the starters, not all thrown out there at once.
   263. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4264313)
Duhon's actually been really turnover prone relative to his usage rate the last two years. He's a plus defender, yes, but that's literally all he brings to the table (on the court). You can find dudes in the D-League that could better fill that role.
   264. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4264324)
I think Duhon can be a good backup for the Lakers. I think he's a legit very good defender and doesn't make many mistakes.

I laughed uproariously and my co-workers asked me what was going on.
   265. Manny Coon Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4264359)
I didn't realize his turnover rates were quite so bad the last few years, 10/11 was a pretty small size though. Part his high turnover percentage might be his really low usage for a PG, he likely handles the ball a lot more usage gives him credit for. The +/- part of his simple rating wasn't bad last year though, only a little below average. I don't think his defense is really easily replaceable at the D-League level.
   266. andrewberg Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4264556)
Part his high turnover percentage might be his really low usage for a PG, he likely handles the ball a lot more usage gives him credit for


That's not particularly good either. If he has the ball in his hands a lot, you want him to do things that show up in the box score other than turn it over.
   267. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4264559)
That's not particularly good either. If he has the ball in his hands a lot, you want him to do things that show up in the box score other than turn it over.

Holding your dribble for a long time just doesn't show up in traditional stats.
   268. madvillain Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4264607)
Chris Duhon makes DWTDD look like Steve Nash.
   269. Manny Coon Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4264669)
That's not particularly good either. If he has the ball in his hands a lot, you want him to do things that show up in the box score other than turn it over.


I never said he was a good offensive player, just he could have value for his defense, because the Lakers don't really need offense. The Lakers would still have a good offense if he just dribbled up the court, dumped it to Kobe and stood around the rest of the possession. The Lakers are a unique situation where they can probably get away with using a guy like that, which is basically what Fisher used to do. Is Duhon really going to single-handedly drag down the offense if both Kobe and one of Howard or Gasol are out there with him?

Holding your dribble for a long time just doesn't show up in traditional stats.


Neither does defense, which is where he gets most of his value.
   270. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4264719)
Different kinds of defenders than duhon, but...
Marcus banks is pretty good at pressuring the ball and, despite his Marcus banksness, is a better option in many other respects.
You could go with stefhon Hannah, who's no pure playmaker, but probably a better shooter than duhon and also can rack up steals. D league def POTY.
There's a bunch of other options who are better players, but don't have an argument on d - guys who can control tempo like Courtney fortson, be playmakers like will conroy, stick jumpers like Blake ahearn...
   271. rr Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4264753)
I actually think that Blake, not Duhon, will be the backup at the 1, assuming that Blake's foot is OK. As to Ebanks, he did not do very well last year, but I still think that he can be a rotation player and play 15 MPG at a competent level. He will show that I am either right or wrong this year.

I have never been a Jamison fan (I was pretty critical of Cleveland's getting him back in 2010) and no, he can't guard anyone. But I think used with Howard as a stretch 4, his shooting will help. Meeks is OK and is an upgrade over last year, when they literally had no backup 2.

Hill's back issue and how it plays out will affect the bench quite a bit. He is probably the team's best bench player.
   272. madvillain Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4264768)
Neither does defense, which is where he gets most of his value.


Most coaches and advanced stats guys will tell you perimeter defense is pretty much worthless, other than defending the arc there just isn't much you can do with the handcheck rules how they are. What is Duhon going to do to stop any quick PG from getting into the lane? Not much.

Duhon is a worthless player except as a human victory cigar.
   273. rr Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4264794)
#252 - Sounds like you're about ready to post your complete predictions, right rr? :-)

Not until after I read BaskPro 2K12.
   274. Manny Coon Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4265112)
Different kinds of defenders than duhon, but...
Marcus banks is pretty good at pressuring the ball and, despite his Marcus banksness, is a better option in many other respects.
You could go with stefhon Hannah, who's no pure playmaker, but probably a better shooter than duhon and also can rack up steals. D league def POTY.
There's a bunch of other options who are better players, but don't have an argument on d - guys who can control tempo like Courtney fortson, be playmakers like will conroy, stick jumpers like Blake ahearn...


Banks is probably a worse offensive player on a team like the Lakers though, because those extra shots he takes are likely less efficient that could expected from the rest of Lakers. Hannah hasn't done anything at the NBA level, he might be able to perform at the next level, maybe not. Those other guys are pretty poor defenders and wouldn't really help the Lakers offense in any significant way.

Most coaches and advanced stats guys will tell you perimeter defense is pretty much worthless


I've never heard anything like this and it seems like a real stretch. There are rotations to make, passing lanes to defend and effectively using your help if you are going to get beat. Was Bruce Bowen basically a worthless player? Was Popovich stupid to use him?

Most advanced stats that include a significant +/- defensive component rate Duhon much higher than ones that use just box score stats and that is on teams where his skill set probably wouldn't fit as well as the Lakers; what is Kobe's ability that makes him superstar if not to score in volume to compensate for lower usage players.
   275. Spivey Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4265253)
Duhon was a shitty offensive player at Duke. He's now a 30 year old "point guard".
   276. kpelton Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4265490)
RE: 272/274 I have come to believe is that it is now impossible to keep point guards from penetrating. The best you can do is have a bigger defender who can use their length to switch the pick-and-roll or make plays from behind, which is why we see so many wings defending point guards these days.

The most important aspect of this theory is that most teams' fans underrate their point guard defensively because all they ever see is the PG getting beat again and again.
   277. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4265562)
Agreed that Duhon looks better when you add defense or +/-, but he still looks bad.

What Duhon has done at the NBA level is demonstrate that he no longer deserves to be there. He once did, now he doesn't. No shame there.

As for D league types, I was trying to name really marginal types. What about Sundiata Gaines - not a great shooter (nor is Duhon), but better or as good at almost everything else? Anyone could have had him for minimum wage this offseason (iirc, his guarantee is 25K).

   278. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4266051)
Hollinger:

EAST
1. MIA 64-18
2. IND 52-30
3. BOS 48-34
4. BRK 47-35
5. PHI 46-36

WEST
1. SAS 60-22
2. DEN 59-23
3. OKC 58-24
4. LAL 53-29
5. MEM 50-32
   279. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4266053)
Oh, Boozer:

So let me get this trifecta of a disaster straight....

1: Carlos Boozer switched to work out with his kid's trainer.

2: The trainer used youtube to scout him.

3: His kid's trainer decided to work on fundamentals with Boozer.

No offense to the process but doesn't this sound like a guy in way over his head? It reads to me like Boozer found some guy who can't work on anything except fundamentals because he has little to no training experience with NBA athletes.

The fact that he's using youtube to break down Carlos's game scares the crap out of me. We couldn't get some NBA game film for the man?
   280. Quaker Posted: October 12, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4266207)
Wait, so using the gambling system outlined above, Denver @ 66 to 1 to win the Finals is basically free money, right? The only way you could lose is if they don't make the playoffs?
   281. Quaker Posted: October 12, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4266226)
Actually, couldn't you get ###### if Denver loses in like WCF or the Finals? You'd be out money from two rounds plus vig. Seems like you'd have to double your bet each round.
   282. JJ1986 Posted: October 12, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4266236)
Let's say you bet $100. If the other team is -200 each round, you can bet $400 on the other team in the first round (profit $100 if you win), $1200 the second round (profit $100 if you win) and now you're up to $3600 for the third round. It'd be way more than $6600 in the finals. And the odds against OKC or LAL or MIA might even be longer.

Just to hedge even money, it'd be $200, $600, $1800, $5400, so you get $600 if the Nuggets win and nothing otherwise.
   283. andrewberg Posted: October 12, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4266243)
Let's say you bet $100. If the other team is -200 each round, you can bet $400 on the other team in the first round (profit $100 if you win), $1200 the second round (profit $100 if you win) and now you're up to $3600 for the third round. It'd be way more than $6600 in the finals. And the odds against OKC or LAL or MIA might even be longer.


There are two practicalities that hedge that problem. First, longshot teams don't usually get that deep into the playoffs. You're probably hoping for them to lose in the first round, and that will happen more often than not. Second, if the team keeps advancing, the sharps will be onto them and the odds won't stay -200. It would more like -150 or -125 later into the playoffs. I don't know off the top of my head what the longest odds have been in recent CF history (probably CLE-ORL or PHX-LAL), but I doubt they went over 200.

It's not foolproof, but if you are really confident in a longshot to make the postseason, it can work pretty well.
   284. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 12, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4266286)
Just to hedge even money, it'd be $200, $600, $1800, $5400, so you get $600 if the Nuggets win and nothing otherwise.


This isn't right, if the odds are even money it's 2, 4, 8, 16.
   285. JJ1986 Posted: October 12, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4266295)
This isn't right, if the odds are even money it's 2, 4, 8, 16.


Sorry, didn't mean series odds were even. I meant if you wanted the hedge to be even against what you'd laid down.
   286. steagles Posted: October 13, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4267864)
so, i haven't yet commented on thursday night's preseason opener. so, now i will.


jrue holiday went 12/14 from the floor, putting up 27 points in 20 minutes. so that's a pretty good night

on the other hand. evan turner shot 2/12 from the floor, so, that's not. turner ended up with 4 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 turnovers.

a few other good things:
..the guards coming off the bench had a hell of a night. maalik wayns had 6, 7, and 6 assists with just 1 turnover. and nick young put up 22 points on 7/14 shooting.
..as a team, the sixers shot 9/18 from beyond the arc, with jrue holiday, nick young, and dorell wright each going 3/4.
..as a team, the sixers shot 17/20 from the FT line, with nick young and maalik wayns leading the way at 5/6 and 4/4 respectively.

and then, on the downside:
..kwame brown, spencer hawes, and thaddeus yonug combined for just 11 rebounds in 60 minutes. the team as a whole was outrebounded by 6.
..hawes, richardson, and evan turner combined to go 5/26. considering that's 3/5 of the team's starting lineup, they really need to do a better job.
,,oh, and doug collins said prior to the game that noone was going to get more 24 mintues of playing time, and turner, lavoy allen, and nick yonug all played 30+.


on the whole, because andrew bynum wasn't playing, there's not a whole lot to be taken away from the game, but there were more than a few positives.
   287. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4267991)
Watched a couple of minutes of Bulls/Cavs last night. Bulls defense should still be pretty damn good this year, of course. The offense on the other hand, ugh. With the bench, they were running all sort of curls and stuff to spring Belinelli for open shots, you know, the stuff they used to do for Korver. Yikes. He's not in the same league as a shooter and his release looks so slow in comparison.
   288. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4268054)
Haberstroh tweeted a link to a site I've been meaning to recommend for awhile: Gothic Ginobili
Most recent post is about James Joyce and Derrick Rose.
   289. Conor Posted: October 13, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4268064)
Has anyone seen the new episode of Open Court on NBA tv yet? The topic was top big men; the two Shaq came up with were Bynum and Brook Lopez, and didn't mention Dwight because he is a "new style big man" which apparently disqualifies you from being the best big man in the league. To me, he came off so poorly trying to defend his point and he clearly has problems with Dwight.


Of all the guys on the show, Shaq clearly brings the least to the table, IMO at least.
   290. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4268066)
Well, as much as I've occasionally ragged on Korver, his shot is a tough act to follow.
But Marco never really lived up to what it seemed he might become...

Another ex-Bull is James Johnson (segue?) and, like taj Gibson, he's turned into a better player than I expected. No real point in mentioning that, not sure if he's got a path to a starting job given Sacramento's need for a jump shooter (though being a rare combo forward who's better at the three / a plus defender does) - but thought I'd give him some props...
   291. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4268068)
289 - no, but his comments got nat'l attention / derision.
   292. rr Posted: October 13, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4268089)
289 - no, but his comments got nat'l attention / derision.


Howard, talking to some LA media types, said that Shaq needs to "let it go." That got a lot of play in LA; not sure how much it got elsewhere. Phil Jackson, in TweakMeister mode, said "there is a lot to" Shaq's comments.

Chicago takes on the mighty Wolves on NBATV tonight; my interest in the baseball playoffs took a bit of a nosedive when the Reds, Nats, and Orioles all went down, so I may try to check it out.
   293. andrewberg Posted: October 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4269407)
Ditto, robin. I watched boxing and college football last night but monitored the wolves. I guess love slept wrong on his arm and didn't play. Ridnour got his first action off of his bad back, so that's reassuring- would hate to rely too much on Barea. Pek had 16 boards. That guy is awesome.
   294. rr Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4269443)
Minnesota will be definitely be one of my League Pass teams this year; otherwise, when I post on this thread, I will be like a guy who is late to a dinner party and misses half the conversation.
   295. Booey Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4269460)
Friday night:

Jazz - 97
Thunder - 81

Saturday night:

Jazz - 99
Lakers - 86


Since the Thunder and Lakers both figure to be 60 win teams, there is no rational explanation other than that the Jazz will win 70+ and take home the title with ease. :-)
   296. steagles Posted: October 14, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4269788)
today in terrible sixers blogging, this guy actually gets paid to write this:

They wanted the newest thing - the analytic - that guy who would go all Billy Beane on the organization, pop some numbers into equations that only a small minority of basketball people believe in, and spit out a world champion.

This is apparently the plan in Houston, where general manager Daryl Morey - widely regarded as the Dalai Lama of hoops analytics - continues to orchestrate what looks like an unchecked tail-chasing mission that has been going on ever since he was named general manager there five years ago.

Morey, who inherited a 52-win team in 2007, is the poster boy for reasons not to position an analytic as the basketball-operations rubber stamp, and further proof that the Sixers, still looking to add an analytic in a significantly smaller role, made the right decision in hiring DiLeo rather than the next would-be boy genius.


just for fun, these are the players who averaged 10 minutes per game for the rockets in 2006-07:
rafer alston
shane battier
tracy mcgrady
yao ming
luther head
juwan howard
chuck hayes
bonzi wells
dikembe mutombo
kirk snider


of those players, alston, howard, wells, and mutombo were all 30+ years old, with mutombo being 40. also, snider was complete trash. and chuck hayes and luther head, who were 23 and 24 years old respectively, well, houston got about as much as could be expected out of them.

mcgrady, who was only 27 years old, had only one more year in him as a top 20 player, and ming, who was 26, had just two. in those years, houston finished with 55 and 53 wins.


coming out of that 53 win season, morey had added ron artest, luis scola, aaron brooks, kyle lowry, and carl landry to a roster than already had ming, mcgrady, alston, hayes, and shane battier.


when morey took over the rockets, yao ming was the 3rd best player in the NBA, by measure of PER, and tracy mcgrady was 13th. two years later, he lost both of those players to catastrophic injuries, and yet, he managed to keep the rockets over .500 in each of the next 3 years. i'd say that's a hell of a feat for a general manager.
   297. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4269932)
I read that too.
I think there are fair reasons to quibble with the Rockets' moves, if you're so inclined. That has nothing to do with this poorly written, poorly argued, and ill (at best) thought out piece.
   298. smileyy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4270098)
I assume the Rockets are making money. If you're putting a marketable product on the floor while making money, there's a very reasonable definition of success. They even have the benefit of missing the playoffs in a tough West, and landing in the lottery, where they could have landed a franchise-changing player. They didn't, but that's the price of lottery tickets.
   299. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 14, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4270108)
Friday night:

Jazz - 97
Thunder - 81

Saturday night:

Jazz - 99
Lakers - 86


Since the Thunder and Lakers both figure to be 60 win teams, there is no rational explanation other than that the Jazz will win 70+ and take home the title with ease. :-)


I haven't watched any of the games, but it sounds like the Jazz are trying to play at a much faster pace this year. Should be fun to watch at least.
   300. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4270832)
Haberstroh tweeted a link to a site I've been meaning to recommend for awhile: Gothic Ginobili

Yes, good site.
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