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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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   301. GregD Posted: October 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4270837)
flip
   302. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4271061)
Hollinger

EAST
1. MIA 64-18
2. IND 52-30
3. BOS 48-34
4. BRK 47-35
5. PHI 46-36
6. ATL 45-37

WEST
1. SAS 60-22
2. DEN 59-23
3. OKC 58-24
4. LAL 53-29
5. MEM 50-32
6. LAC 47-35
   303. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4271182)
Dolan's boys going in for the kill:
RT @AlTrautwig: Rockets coaches: Jeremy Lin needs to work harder http://fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/340832#.UHtZSCracpY.twitter … That didn’t take very long.
   304. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4271200)
I am still not seeing Brooklyn. I get the feeling that all their projections are based on extremely optimistic assumptions about the underlying pieces. I went back to read Hollinger's preview to see his case for them winning 47 games, and it was basically that they are a top 5 offense, so if they can get better than a bottom 5 defense that they were last year, they will be an above-average team.

There are sevearl assumptions within that summary that I question:

1. Are their pieces, when healthy, a top 5 offense? Even if we are very optimistic about all 5 starters being near full strength and Watson, Brooks, Teletovic filling out the rotation, I question whether that is near the top of the league. I would say that Miami, LAL, LAC, Denver, OKC, and San Antonio would be presumptively more efficient on offense. I could also see a case being made for Chicago (based on development last year), Utah, Memphis, or even Minnesota/Toronto/Milwaukee if things really break right. Just on the macro-level, they have one likely star (Williams), two guys who are above average for their position (BroLo and JoJo), and two guys who are basically average (Humphries and Wallace). Lots of midrange, not much 3-point shooting, and not great at getting to the line. That looks like a "good" offense if everything goes right.

2. Why are we assuming that Deron Williams automatically returns to his peak? He has been inconsistent and unhealthy for going on two years. It is a convenient excuse to say that he was playing with bad teammates and put forth less than max effort, but it seems just as likely that he peaked with a legendary coach and some good offensive teammates in Utah and is past his prime a little earlier than the average player. If he was really the great player he once was, I suspect that he would have been that in the Olympics, too.

3. Why are we assuming even decent health? Brook Lopez has been hurt a lot and has suffered the type of injuries that tend to come back. His backup is Reggie Evans and nothing else. Wallace has had injuries adding up. Williams, as I said, has had lots of little injuries. They are probably more injury prone than most teams and not well-equipped to deal with the injuries.

4. Why is defensive improvement a given? I know from watching the Wolves that effort means a lot on defense for a bad team. Just being good can motivate guys to play much better defense, but there is a ceiling to that. Lopez and Humphries are not help defenders or shot blockers. In fact, they are both pretty lead-footed. With 3 old perimeter guys, that is going to be a consistent problem. I do not think they have the pieces to ever be a good defense.

5. I am not sure his math works out. I could be wrong, but I would rather have an elite defense with a poor offense than the other way around. It anecdotally seems like the best defenses are usually good to very good teams and there are plenty of good offenses that lose lots of games due to poor defense (like the Warriors, every year, ever). Just saying "5th best offense + 20th best defense = winner!" seems wrong.
   305. Booey Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4271262)
I am still not seeing Brooklyn.


Can't speak for Hollinger, but in my predictions it wasn't that I actually think they'll gel, stay healthy, and be good - it's mainly just that most of the Eastern Conference sucks something fierce and SOMEONE has to fill out those playoff spots by default. Almost all of the eastern teams have major holes in their rosters that makes them less than contenders, so BKN is as good (or bad) of a pick as anyone.
   306. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4271293)
Almost all of the eastern teams have major holes in their rosters that makes them less than contenders, so BKN is as good (or bad) of a pick as anyone.


Granted. Still, I took Milwaukee to finish 1-2 games ahead of them for the 8 seed. Hollinger has them at 47 wins. While 8-9 wins is probably at the outer reaches of the margin of error on squishy things like bench production, chemistry, effort, and health, it is still a pretty huge difference.

Simply put, I think Milwaukee has more good players and a better coach.
   307. kpelton Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4271319)
It anecdotally seems like the best defenses are usually good to very good teams and there are plenty of good offenses that lose lots of games due to poor defense (like the Warriors, every year, ever). Just saying "5th best offense + 20th best defense = winner!" seems wrong.

Unless the rankings are really screwy, pretty much by definition a team with the 5th-best offense and the 20th-best defense will be better than .500. The Warriors last had a top-10 offense in 2007-08, when they won ... 48 games.
   308. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4271384)
Simply put, I think Milwaukee has more good players and a better coach.
they have a lot of players who do the same things. ellis and jennings are both high volume, low efficiency scorers. dalembert, sanders, henson, and udoh are all defensively-gifted, but obscenely unskilled big men. and then on the wings, you have ilyasova -- who had a great season last year, but hasn't done much of anything else in the NBA -- mike dunleavy, tobias harris, luc richard mbah a moute, and doron lamb, who are all decent, but not exactly good. and then joel przybilla -- who will be lucky to play 200 minutes this year -- drew gooden, and beno udrih, who are solid veterans, but not much more.


i want to like them, but when i look at them, what i see is a collection of guards who can't play defense, and a collection of big men who can't play offense. i would just be very surprised if everything came together for them and they finished the season with a record that's anything more than a game or two above .500.
   309. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4271402)
i want to like them, but when i look at them, what i see is a collection of guards who can't play defense, and a collection of big men who can't play offense. i would just be very surprised if everything came together for them and they finished the season with a record that's anything more than a game or two above .500.


Given today's NBA, I would rather have that combination that the inverse (Guards who can't play offense and Bigs who can't play defense), which is what BK has.
   310. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4271404)
Tune later this week for my irrational ramblings about why I think Dallas is also overrated.
   311. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4271423)
I agree with andrewberg on BK, MIL and DAL. I would add that BK actually does have guards with offensive talent (Williams and Brooks).

EDIT: But the bigs who can't play defense thing is just a massive problem.

EDIT 2: Unrelated, but it gives me such joy to see that the Knicks have yet to appear in Hollinger's projected standings.
   312. smileyy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4271426)
(BroLo and JoJo)


This alone was worth the price of admission.
   313. smileyy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4271434)
[304] FWIW, the Utah Jazz last year had the 6th best offense, and 19th best defense (by ORTG and DRTG).
   314. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4271441)
Simply put, I think Milwaukee has more good players and a better coach.

As the thread's resident Bucks-hater, I came to disagree. But I think steagles made my point for me in 308. I've never liked Jennings and while I do like Ellis some, the two of them together actually makes me like them both less. If money wasn't an issue, I take at least 3 Nets before I get to Ellis. I predicted Skiles's flameout last season, but there's no way he last the full year there; he'll be gone by the All Star Break. Also, what NJ said in 311 is true - give me BKN's backcourt every day and twice on Sunday over Milwaukee.
   315. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 15, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4271450)
ISTM that even ignoring skill correlation, ORTG and DRTG should each help out the other one. If you have a better ORTG this probably means fewer turnovers (and missed shots) which means fewer transition opportunities on defense. Similarly a good defense generally forces turnovers which help your offense. This is probably responsible for some amount of the lack of these true outliers. Like, even if the Warriors do have a good offense skill wise, the fact that they are always taking the ball out of the basket puts them at a disadvantage ratings wise. Obviously I am just talking out of my ass and could easily be very wrong (I guess one way to look at this would be to look at transition PPP and halfcourt PPP separately).

EDIT - I am also down on the Bucks. I wouldn't be surprised if the Nets went 50-32 and I wouldn't be surprised if they went 35-47. Very interested to see what ends up happening with the new combos for BKN and LAL, along with the perpetually who-knows Wolves.
   316. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4271494)
(BroLo and JoJo)


This alone was worth the price of admission.


They like to eat FroYo and RoLos to show their YoLo Mojo.
   317. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4271548)
I was overstating my case to make a point when I said that BK doesn't have offensive guards. Clearly, D-Will is the best guard on either BK or MIL, and JoJo has plenty of offensive game too. Nonetheless, I think the Nets would be better with a front court of Dalembert and Ilyasova than Humphries and Lopez. They need someone who can spread the court and someone who can play athletic defense.

I understand that Milwaukee has big flaws. I am picking them to win about 40-42 games. I am not really a fan of how Monta Ellis plays, and I understand that there is some redundancy between having two backcourt guys whose main strength is being able to get a bad shot late in the clock with no assistance. Still, I think the pieces will fit together for them better than they will for BK. If you have ball-pounding guards, it is good ot have supporting players who can catch and shoot. Dunleavy and Ilyasova are both solid at that. Dalembert does not need the ball, and he fits reasonably well with their gambling backcourt (he's no Tyson Chandler or Dwight Howard, but you can do worse on a budget). Mbah a Moute is probably the best wing defender on either team. Udrih is the platonic form of a backup PG. Drew Gooden can play in a big man rotation. On both ends, they will be better than BKN in the 6 feet around the basket, as Jerry West likes to say.

If both teams stay perfectly healthy, I think BKN will finish ahead of Milwaukee, but I think they are less injury prone and better equipped to deal with injuries. That will help them avoid the cliff.

I can also imagine a world in which the Raptors surprise and finish ahead of BKN. Not wild about their wings, though.
   318. tshipman Posted: October 15, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4271569)
Jennings is a pretty good defender, I think.

I can also imagine a world in which the Raptors surprise and finish ahead of BKN. Not wild about their wings, though.


Yeah, I can definitely picture the Raps being decent next year. The East is weird because teams 2-12 are mostly a crapshoot between 35 and 50 wins.
   319. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4271745)
Unless the rankings are really screwy, pretty much by definition a team with the 5th-best offense and the 20th-best defense will be better than .500. The Warriors last had a top-10 offense in 2007-08, when they won ... 48 games.


I know that the claim I made there is mostly indefensible. The ordinal rankings are subject to heavy variance, but there isn't really a reason to routinely expect that.

I still would rather have a team that is only good at defense than one that is only good at offense. I suspect it is because any idiot can look at ts% or pure point rating and get a pretty good idea of whether someone can play on offense but parsing out true defensive contributions still involves about as much art as science.
   320. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 15, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4271857)
so, this is the first time i've seen the sixers in action this year. they're leading boston by 34 (!!!) midway through the 4th quarter, and while that's a good thing - a very good thing -- there have been two things that really annoyed me:

1, spencer hawes being completely unwilling to attack the rim on offense. seeing him short-arm layups inside the charge circle gets really old, really quick.

and 2, the guards, specifically jrue holiday and evan turner, absolutely have to stop trying to feed rolling big men with low bounce passes. with the size that the sixers have in the frontcourt -- even tonight, without andrew bynum and kwame brown, the sixers have 3 guys who measure 6-10+ in hawes, lavoy allen and arnett moultrie -- whoever is handling the ball really has to make a point of throwing their entry passes to the rim. since this is a baseball site, i'll compare this to when a pitcher runs to cover first base and the first baseman throws the ball at his thigh instead of at his eye. it's just really, really hard for the big man to make a play when he's moving and the ball comes in at his feet.


on the other hand, things i really, really liked seeing tonight:

1, 17 points for spencer hawes, 15 for thaddeus young, and 11 for lavoy allen. i know boston is playing without garnett, but that's some really good production from guys who aren't your best big man.

2, maalik wayns and nick young have combined to go 8/16 from the floor while scoring 23 points. i was very concerned about losing lou williams, but with young and wayns looking as good as they have, that concern is fading very quickly. in addition to the scoring, wayns and young have combined for 5 rebounds, 10 assists, a steal and a block.

3, just look at the assists tonight. wayns - 8, holiday - 6, hawes, wright - 4, turner - 3, allen, richardson, young - 2. as a team, the sixers have a 29-10 assist:turnover ratio.

4, as a team, the sixers are 6/14 from 3 and 15/19 from the FT line.

5, the depth is still there. wayns has been a revelation to this point in camp, but on the wings, the sixers have turner, richardson, young and wright. and at forward, the sixers have hawes, allen, young, brown, moultrie and bynum.


and, not really belonging in either category, evan turner had his best game of the preseason, putting up 10, 4, 3 assists, and 3 steals while shooting 5/10 from the floor in 25 minutes. also notable was that turner seemed to be favoring his right knee at various points in the game. that could be something to watch throughout the rest of the preseason.


also, at various points throughout last season, doug collins said that spencer hawes, thaddeus young, lavoy allen, and nik vucevic were the best, or at least the hottest, forwards on the roster, and in the very same breath, he also said that they all played better coming off the bench. my biggest fear right now is that he'll get the same idea in his head about andrew bynum.
   321. smileyy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4271979)
I think all of the Sixers should come off the bench.

Edit: Not saying they're not NBA starting material, just that the idea that all of your players are better coming off the bench is pretty funny.
   322. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: October 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4272017)
On Philly... It's preseason.

Also, welcome to the Sleep Train, Sacramento!
   323. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4272044)
Edit: Not saying they're not NBA starting material, just that the idea that all of your players are better coming off the bench is pretty funny.
one man's funny is another man's scary.

seriously though, that's basically been the operating principle of this team in the doug collins era.
On Philly... It's preseason.
well, would you rather win by 30, or lose by 30? it may not be game 7 of the NBA finals, but winning is better than the alternative.
   324. JJ1986 Posted: October 15, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4272059)
I only watched the game for about 15 minutes, but my primary takeaway was that Jeff Green did not look good. He was passive on both ends.
   325. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: October 15, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4272140)
####, the Celtics don't try half the time during the regular season so how little are they trying in the preseason? Can they give negative effort - like helping the sixers score or something?
   326. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 07:31 AM (#4272229)
Bulls fans, did Asik always have an affinity for bounce passes on the interior? Haven't watched too much of the preseason, but when I have Omer seems way too into doing that, which is problematic for a couple reasons.
   327. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: October 16, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4272254)
Indeed, what's up with Asik? He had five assists (and a bunch of turnovers) the other day - that's a few weeks worth of passing for that guy, isn't it?

Philly/preseason: Ok, admittedly I singled out you/your team, but I'm wary of putting too much stock in preseason tea leaf reading for anybody.

Delonte has been suspended by the Mavs, likely for a recent post-game tantrum.
   328. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4272273)
Other quick preseason notes:

-My love of Jeremy Lamb is starting to scare me, but whenever I see him play I just like everything he does.

-I had forgotten how beautifully the Spurs move the ball. I jumped out of my seat at the sight of Timmy getting the ball with his back to the basket on the left block, Asik (I think) closing out on him, just nonchalantly tossing a no look behind the head laser for an easy bucket.

-I would be shocked if the Mavs make the playoffs
   329. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: October 16, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4272292)
Bulls fans, did Asik always have an affinity for bounce passes on the interior?

Yes. I think he can see the play developing, but is a second too slow on the pass usually.
   330. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4272304)
Yes. I think he can see the play developing, but is a second too slow on the pass usually.

RDF because this is exactly what happened. Second big was cutting and he went the bounce pass route and it went over the second big's right shoulder because he had moved from the spot Asik was passing to.
   331. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4272362)
Hollinger

EAST
1. MIA 64-18
2. IND 52-30
3. BOS 48-34
4. BRK 47-35
5. PHI 46-36
6. ATL 45-37
7. NYK 45-37

WEST
1. SAS 60-22
2. DEN 59-23
3. OKC 58-24
4. LAL 53-29
5. MEM 50-32
6. LAC 47-35
7. MIN 45-37
   332. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4272412)
I have some major beef with Hollinger now, but I'm going to have to wait and see the reasoning why the Bulls have tumbled so far. Because I just don't see it, short of Boozer and Noah both missing half the season with Rose.
   333. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4272529)
   334. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4272678)
ESPN the Mag on Melo:
D'Antoni was an assistant coach on the Olympic team. His role? Design the offense. Let that sink in for a moment: Team USA's offense, the one in which Anthony set a single-game U.S. Olympic record with 37 points, was precisely the point-guard- dominated, fast-twitch scheme D'Antoni ran -- and Anthony rebelled against -- in New York.

"It's the ultimate irony of this whole thing," the source says. "Carmelo was at his best and most efficient running that offense. It couldn't be more obvious to him, and he couldn't be more oblivious to it."
   335. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4272707)
Halfway through Zach Lowe's podcast with Simmons and Lowe makes a good point I had not considered. I, along with lots of other people, killed Melo for the soundbite a couple weeks back where he said he'd rather not play too much of the 4 this season even though that's the position where he can be a superstar. Lowe pointed out that that may actually be Melo being a good teammate because if he says the opposite he's publicly claiming Stoudemire's job.
   336. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4272711)
Did a little mini-study - probably been done elsehwere but I haven't seen it. Might be interesting to some of you, given the conversation about Brooklyn last page.

Took team records, playoff finish, and regular season ORtg/DRtg for every team for since 1997-98. Adjust ORtg and DRtg by the league average for that year so that all years were on the same relative scale.
Playoff finish was scored as follows: 0 for missing, 1 for losing in 1st round, 2 for losing in 2nd round, 3 for losing in CF, 4 for losing in Finals, 5 for Champion

Linear correlation to regular season WPct:
ORtg .718
DRtg .733

Linear correlation to playoff finish:
ORtg .483
DRtg .627

   337. smileyy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4272726)
I have some major beef with Hollinger now, but I'm going to have to wait and see the reasoning why the Bulls have tumbled so far.


If I had to pick against them -- I'm not sure I would, but this would be my argument -- is that they're on the razor's edge with team composition, that they play team defense greater than the sum of their parts, and that some of the personnel changes they've made put that team defense at risk. Combined with the Derrick Rose thing, of course.
   338. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4272734)
   339. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4272752)
Whoa...I completely missed this past week's Smush Parker-Kobe Bryant beef.
Not only did he make them feel unwelcome, but over the years Kobe has joyfully attacked lesser teammates and treated fellow Lakers stars like rivals instead of allies. There's the Smush smear campaign, the recent clowning of Jodie Meeks, and the way Kobe mocked DJ Mbenga's English4 on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the 2010 championship. Kobe also drove Shaq out of town and, in the midst of Kobe's 2003 rape trial, outed Shaq's marital infidelities. Kobe has publicly questioned nearly every basketball decision-gone-wrong that Pau Gasol has made in a Lakers jersey, including making last year's "Pau's got to be more assertive" speech after the Lakers fell into a 3-1 series hole against the Thunder.
   340. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4272767)
Carmelo Anthony is nowhere near good enough to be a member of the "VIP Club within the VIP Club" noted in the ESPN The Mag piece.
   341. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4272773)
[340] Not sure if you read the entire article, but that's the implicit conclusion.
   342. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4272779)
From the CBS News article:

It summarizes why the Dolan-led Knicks will never win a championship. It’s always about everything except the basketball. It’s about the show, glitz and glamour, and not about winning. As great a venue as the Garden is, whenever basketball is played the Knicks end up being a disappointment: just like their dopey Tip-Off Event. If this was any signal of what the season is going to be like, Knicks fans are in for another long one.

Correct in every particular.
   343. smileyy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4272813)
[333] The only part I find terrible is the multiple rings.
   344. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4272885)
New Bask Pro annual is available.
   345. kpelton Posted: October 16, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4272892)
That link goes to last year's version. This year's is here:
http://www.basketballprospectus.com/products/pbp2012/
   346. Booey Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4273657)
Jazz - 114
Lakers - 80


In LA. More indisputable, ironclad proof that winning the title is a foregone conclusion for the Jazz this season.

Kobe sure looked good in the 3rd though.
   347. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4274028)
Hollinger

EAST
1. MIA 64-18
2. IND 52-30
3. BOS 48-34
4. BRK 47-35
5. PHI 46-36
6. ATL 45-37
7. NYK 45-37
8. CHI 43-49

WEST
1. SAS 60-22
2. DEN 59-23
3. OKC 58-24
4. LAL 53-29
5. MEM 50-32
6. LAC 47-35
7. MIN 45-37
8. UTH 44-38
   348. andrewberg Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4274060)
Yup, he also has Dallas behind Utah and Sota. Before I read his reasoning, I want to give the summary of why I think Dallas is slightly below those two teams goiing into the season. It seems like the party line is that Dirk is a superstar and they put a bunch of decent players around him, but it relies extremely heavily on Dirk, and probably overrates some of the guys around him.

First, Dirk is tremendous, but probably we probably got a little too excited during his championship run. He is not Larry Bird and he is getting older. He is already having knee problems. I think it is foolish to think that he will play 82 games with the heavy load that he has carried in the past.

Even if he does, I do not think the rest of the players around him are good enough to make the team as good as it has been in the past. Shawn Marion is getting older, Delonte West played above his head last year, JET is gone, Kidd is gone, Mahinmi is gone, Beaubois is already hurt. None of those guys is individually that great, but they did not replace them with stars either. Collison is not much of a playmaker and ended up getting bench for George Hill last year. Orange Juice Mayonaise is coming off of some serious stagnation. Chris Kaman is just not an efficient player by any measure. I do not think they upgraded at any of those positions, the players they retained are all older, and they are not likely to be healthier. Take away the chemistry they developed over time and the fact that they had an advantage in a camp-less season as a team who know one another, and I think they will be slightly worse. That brings them to .500 or so.
   349. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4274453)
Not a good start for the Wolves

Without Love or Rubio, that's a pretty lousy team. It appears as though they're going to have an uphill battle to make the playoffs now.
   350. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4274469)
[348]Well...I guess DAL does make it now. Or...GS?
   351. andrewberg Posted: October 17, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4274479)
This is from an email I sent this morning:

I said last week to bet on the Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals, and Giants because I was cheering against all 4 of them. Of course they all won and now I am uninterested in the rest of the postseason. I guess it is still fun to watch the Yankees collapse. UW lost to USC, QPR still isn't winning in the EPL, and of course I have spread my curse to NDSU. Sorry about that. I am holding out hope that the Wolves are going to be so good that it balances this bad luck all out at once.


That is what I get for being cautiously optimistic.
   352. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: October 17, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4274490)
Like I said before, if GS is healthy (Bogut and Curry), they could make the playoffs on their own. They won't be, so even with the Love injury, I don't know if they're a serious threat for the 8th seed.

berg, what about Brand? I definitely think you're mostly right, but not everything you listed there is going to be as bad as you make it sound. How many games do you expect Dirk to miss - he's pretty consistently played most of the games? I'd say Mayo is a breakout candidate - not sure I'm going to predict it will happen, but sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery and Dallas is as good of a place as any for him. Not sure they'll miss Kidd at all, I'll take bad Collison (who is guaranteed to suck) over him any day.
   353. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 17, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4274516)
Like I said before, if GS is healthy (Bogut and Curry), they could make the playoffs on their own. They won't be, so even with the Love injury, I don't know if they're a serious threat for the 8th seed.
have you ever seen the movie "unbreakable"? well, golden state is kind of like that, except they're samuel jackson, and not bruce willis.


did anyone watch the 30 for 30 last night?
   354. andrewberg Posted: October 17, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4274521)
If Brand plays a lot of minutes instead of Kaman, I think that will help Dallas quite a bit. I actually like watching Kaman, he is just a borderline useless player with how poorly he converts possessions to points given his size. I do not know if Mahinmi/Wright were playing at their true level or above it last year, but if Brand is just sucking up those minutes, he is not a several win upgrade. Mayo breaking out is definitely possible, I just have not seen any evidence to make me expect it.

I am not assuming that Dirk will miss a certain number of games, but he is already talking about taking it slow to avoid surgery that has been presented as an option. Between that and him now being in his mid-30s, I think there are a lot of reasons for concern.
   355. andrewberg Posted: October 17, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4274549)
Bright spots left:

-I first heard 4-6 weeks. If that ends up being the timeframe, he might miss only like 5-6 games. That would not be a death knell.
-Derrick Williams can play his more natural position. He does not have to launch as many long 2s and might build up some trade value or improve his confidence.
-With Roy seemingly healthy to start the season, the team is at less of a playmaking deficit than they were when Love was hurt last year.
-The early schedule is not too bad. If they can tread water, getting him back will be a big bump.
-There are possibly things in life more important than basketball.
-Maybe Kirilenko can slide over and play some 4 and let Adelman experiment with some small ball.
-Pekovic appears to be totally healthy.
   356. Booey Posted: October 17, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4274552)
Sucks about the Wolves. After the Jazz, they were probably the team I was most looking forward to seeing this season. I'm still curious to see how much Roy and especially AK have left in their tanks, but it's just not the same team without Love and Rubio.
   357. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 17, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4274604)
FWIW, even with the injury, our Mr. Pelton says the Wolves still project to 52 wins in his system.

Celtics signed Barbosa. That works nicely as depth, IMO, but doesn't move the needle much.
   358. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 17, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4274638)
Celtics signed Barbosa. That works nicely as depth, IMO, but doesn't move the needle.
their backcourt is insanely undersized now. rondo is 6'1, bradley 6'2, terry 6'2, barbosa 6'3. courtney lee is 6'5, but he's also a rail thin 6'5.

i'm sure the sixers aren't their biggest concern, but they're running out jrue holiday (6'3), jason richardson (6'6), nick yonug (6'6), and evan turner (6'7). and then brooklyn has deron williams (6'3), marshon brooks (6'5), and joe johnson (6'8). miami has dwayne wade (6'4) and ray allen (6'5), and mike miller (6'8). indiana has george hill (6'3), gerald gree (6'6), and paul george (6'10).


considering danny ainge's interest in phrenology, i'm sure the guys in the celtics backcourt have exceptionally large craniums, but otherwise, they are at a pretty significant physical disadvantage compared to their immediate rivals.
   359. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 17, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4274707)
i'm sure the guys in the celtics backcourt have exceptionally large craniums, but otherwise, they are at a pretty significant physical disadvantage compared to their immediate rivals.


Doc has been talking about sometimes using Pierce and Jeff Green as the wings in a big set sometimes, and I think it's exactly for this issue. I'm skeptical that it would work well against any team with a reasonably quick 2 guard, but it does seem that he is getting preemptively creative for when the defensive ability of the Celtics backcourt players (Terry and Barbosa excluded) isn't enough to check an opponent's size.
   360. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: October 17, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4274732)
Delonte West's indefinite suspension from the Mavs is over after one day.

West spoke about the meeting at this morning's shootaround.

"We're on the same page," West said. "We're a real family over here.

"Uncle Ricky handled the situation. We went and had a talk and we went right back to the bar-b-cue."
   361. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 17, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4274810)
Delonte West's indefinite suspension from the Mavs is over after one day.
indefinite doesn't mean forever, it just means undefined.
Doc has been talking about sometimes using Pierce and Jeff Green as the wings in a big set sometimes, and I think it's exactly for this issue. I'm skeptical that it would work well against any team with a reasonably quick 2 guard, but it does seem that he is getting preemptively creative for when the defensive ability of the Celtics backcourt players (Terry and Barbosa excluded) isn't enough to check an opponent's size.
wow. of all the players mentioned in 358, i think the only player who is a worse athlete than both green and pierce is mike miller.
   362. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 17, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4274819)
i think the only player who is a worse athlete than both green and pierce is mike miller.


I am by no means sold on Jeff Green, either at the price the C's paid or as a medium-to-long term rotation player, but I don't think a lack of athleticism is his problem at all.
   363. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 17, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4274863)
sixers had a 30-3 run in the 2nd quarter against cleveland. they're up by 32 right now late in the 3rd quarter.
   364. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 17, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4274879)
:(

Cheering for the wolves gives me sad. Oh well I hope the thoughts that the injury is not serious and does not crush the season are true.
   365. robinred Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4274966)
Just downloaded the 12/13 BaskPro PDF.
   366. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4274969)
i've been reading it off and on all day myself.
   367. robinred Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4274974)
SCHOENE:

Minnesota 56-26 (3)
Lakers 55-27(4)

A couple of years ago, SCHOENE had the Kings and the Lakers in a dead heat for the 8th spot IIRC, both around 43-45 wins, and I think it had the Lakers around 35 wins last year (their PYTH record was 36-30).

That said, if I had to pick a win total, I would pick 55 as well.

--

Love's injury is unfortunate, but it is clearly not a season-killer. If we take a more pessimistic guess on games missed than berg did and say Love misses about 15 games, if Minnesota is 5-10 or 6-9, that is not a huge deal.

With both Love and Rubio out, this means Roy needs to be effective out of the gate.
   368. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4274994)
sixers had a 30-3 run in the 2nd quarter against cleveland. they're up by 32 right now late in the 3rd quarter.
32 was the highpoint. cleveland clawed that back to 14 by the final whistle.

there are always a lot of positives to point to when you lay a beating like that, but there are 3 in particular that i want to highlight.

1, the sixers had 31 assists on 44 made field goals. i could be wrong, but that seems like an extremely good percentage. and beyond just the raw total, there were 5 sixers who had at least 4 assists, with spencer hawes leading the way with 7. the other 4 sixers were jrue holiday, evan turner, dorell wright, and maalik wayns.

2, nick young and maalik wayns combined to score 38 points on 14/22 shooting, including a combined 5/9 from beyond the arc. the sixers have played 4 games this preseason, and young and wayns have averaged a combined 32 PPG coming off the bench. now, i know their minutes will likely decline when the season starts, but having lost lou williams, it's fairly comforting to know they've still got that kind of scoring punch available.

3,
Tom Moore @tmoorepburbs about 1 hour ago
Collins: If Bynum can't play to start season, would probably start Thad Young and Lavoy.'




and then, on then downside, evan turner's line from tonight: 8 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, on 3/8 shooting. that is...not good.
   369. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4275016)
I'm ready for the season to start.
   370. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4275017)
Definitely ready.
   371. robinred Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4275036)
Just read the BaskPro Laker section; it is well-done. Solid criticism, picks up on things the MSM and anti-Kobe obsessives miss (like the Lakers' inability to force TOs--lowest OPP TO % in the league history last year. I talked about this several times last year) and is realistic about the bench (a weak spot, but probably better than last year and has some guys who seem on paper to complement the core four).

Also on the money about Kobe: talks about his issues on D (often overlooked in the endless breakdowns of his shot selection on the one hand and the endless talk of his place in history on the other) and also suggests something that I agree with, which is that his USG will drop organically, (as I have put it), with the new teammates.

One thing to watch may be MWP. There is a lot of talk out of camp about how he has lost weight, is moving better, etc. This may just be "best shape of his life" BS; we'll see. BaskPro is pretty negative about his ability to help the team, but the fanbase and the media guys around the team seem to think he will play better on D this year. Obviously, skepticism, given his age, is the way to go there, but I will watch him carefully in the first few games.

BTW, neither Howard nor Bynum has played a single minute yet.
   372. smileyy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:56 AM (#4275044)
Jay Caspian Kang on...uh...the HOF case for Antawn Jamison

I guess HOVG guys in the NBA are different than the HOVG guys in MLB, because of USG%. I'm not sure what the parallel would be on a baseball team? A #1 or #2 hitter who hits a lot of singles, but doesn't walk at all, so he looks valuable, but really isn't?
   373. Tripon Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:08 AM (#4275055)
Is there anybody doing a fantasy league this year?
   374. Tripon Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:16 AM (#4275056)
smileyy, but Ichiro really is valuable?
   375. outl13r Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4275130)
I'm ready for the season to start.


My buddy played pickup games a couple of times this summer with Jeremy Evans. He said Evans did stuff like this "once or twice a game- mainly when the game was on the line."
   376. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4275155)
Tom Moore @tmoorepburbs about 1 hour ago
Collins: If Bynum can't play to start season, would probably start Thad Young and Lavoy.'


Only the STEAGS could point to his team's missing their best player to start the season and somehow spin it into a positive.
   377. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4275164)
Only the STEAGS could point to his team's missing their best player to start the season and somehow spin it into a positive.
need i remind you that, before bynum was acquired, the two projected starters at forward for the sixers were kwame brown and spencer hawes?


i mean, i like those guys more than probably about 98% of NBA fans, but, yeah, i am quite happy that the nod now appears to be going to thad and lavoy, rather than kwame and hawesome.
   378. Booey Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4275248)
My buddy played pickup games a couple of times this summer with Jeremy Evans. He said Evans did stuff like this "once or twice a game- mainly when the game was on the line."


The link is blocked while I'm at work so I won't be able to look at it until I get home. Is it a wicked cool dunk? I've been sending out mental pleas to the Jazz to give Evans more PT for two years now.
   379. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4275316)
Delonte West's indefinite suspension from the Mavs is over after one day.

indefinite doesn't mean forever, it just means undefined.


And water is wet; what's your point? I just think it's funny they bothered announcing it as indefinite and then it gets straightened out the next day. Also, it was really just an excuse to post West's quote.

I'm ready for the season to start.

Turiaf gets burned on both ends, and he got off the ground a total of about 6 inches on the shot and block attempt combined.

Definitely ready.

That 3d "sign" the Raptors have under the basket is freaking me out.

On a related note, it appears youtube is no longer blocked for me at work...
   380. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4275321)
Hollinger

EAST
1. MIA 64-18
2. IND 52-30
3. BOS 48-34
4. BRK 47-35
5. PHI 46-36
6. ATL 45-37
7. NYK 45-37
8. CHI 43-49
9. MIL 38-44

WEST
1. SAS 60-22
2. DEN 59-23
3. OKC 58-24
4. LAL 53-29
5. MEM 50-32
6. LAC 47-35
7. MIN 44-38 (Lovejusted)
8. UTH 44-38
9. DAL 43-39
   381. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4275324)
   382. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4275328)
Is it a wicked cool dunk?

Wicked cool block of Turiaf showcasing Evans' freakish wingspan followed by wicked cool dunk on Turiaf showcasing Evans' freakish athleticism, immediately followed by wicked cool near force of a turnover showcasing Evans' freakish grit/hustle/will to get back on D.
   383. Booey Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4275368)
Wicked cool block of Turiaf showcasing Evans' freakish wingspan followed by wicked cool dunk on Turiaf showcasing Evans' freakish athleticism, immediately followed by wicked cool near force of a turnover showcasing Evans' freakish grit/hustle/will to get back on D.


Aw, man. Stupid job blocking websites and making me actually do my job instead...

Yeah, Evans definitely needs more PT this year.
   384. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4275395)
I understand why people think Evans would be exposed in anything other a very specific role, that all he can do is jump ... but I still see that as a skill that could be leveraged further. Same w Haddadi and bigness in Memphis.
   385. Jimmy P Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4275461)
ESPN officially announces pregame show of Magic, Jalen Rose, Wilbon, and Simmons. My biggest worry is way too much ass-kissing by Wilbon and Simmons. Wilbon's king of the athlete suck-ups, I wonder if Simmons will contradict anything the two ex-players say.

SVG was supposed to be on the show, but The Big Lead says that after his appearance on a podcast with LeBetard, Stern called ESPN and told them to not put SVG on tv.
   386. andrewberg Posted: October 18, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4275501)
Rose is good. I listen to his podcast sometimes and he is not afraid to call guys out. I do not see him on TV very often, but he seems much more buttoned-down on air, so I am hoping he is more comfortable and entertaining on the show.

I also listened to that SVG podcast and it seemed like he was trying to stay out of trouble, but his brother dragged him in anyway. He agreed with some controversial things Jeff said, but I don't think he said anything controversial on his own.
   387. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4275575)
SVG was supposed to be on the show, but The Big Lead says that after his appearance on a podcast with LeBetard, Stern called ESPN and told them to not put SVG on tv.
i'm sure i'm the only person who watches it, but i love lebatard's show on ESPN. being a wrestling fan, i tend to be very cognizant of the line between friendly ribbing and resentful sneering, and lebatard's show, in contrast to almost every other talking head show on ESPN (around the horn, PTI, sportsnation, numbers never lie, etc.) stays firmly on the right side of that line.

ESPN officially announces pregame show of Magic, Jalen Rose, Wilbon, and Simmons.
i really have no interest in listening to any of those guys talk.
   388. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4275590)
ESPN officially announces pregame show of Magic, Jalen Rose, Wilbon, and Simmons.

2 outta 4, not bad.
   389. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4275626)
wicked cool dunk on Turiaf showcasing Evans' freakish athleticism


It's been like twelve hours and my mind has not unboggled itself. He controls the ball just a couple of feet past half court, takes a single dribble and then dunks. That is not reasonable.
   390. jmurph Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4275702)
ESPN officially announces pregame show of Magic, Jalen Rose, Wilbon, and Simmons.


Rose and Wilbon are great on TV, I think. I'm still generally pro-Simmons, but he has not been very good on PTI when he's guest-hosted, so I'm pretty skeptical he'll be great at this. Magic is Magic: super likable, which is good enough. I thought Jon Barry had been doing well, I wonder why they got rid of him?
   391. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4275719)
Rose and Wilbon are great on TV, I think. I'm still generally pro-Simmons, but he has not been very good on PTI when he's guest-hosted, so I'm pretty skeptical he'll be great at this. Magic is Magic: super likable, which is good enough. I thought Jon Barry had been doing well, I wonder why they got rid of him?

Magic, Jon Barry and Wilbon are all terrible.
   392. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4275725)
I liked Jon Barry the player (also liked Brent and Drew) but not as an analyst.
   393. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4275732)
Magic is likable, yes, but he's generally been lousy on that show, IMO.

To quote @netw3rk from Twitter, "paraphrasing" Magic during last year's finals:

"Dizzizzamehh oowhassawinna chamionchip!"

(I don't know, it made me laugh.)

   394. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4275733)
I liked the odd ways Jon Barry would punctuate his points with his hands, but not the points themselves.
   395. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4275742)
[393, 394] Netw3rk's Magic transcripts were the best part of Magic being on TV. I can't remember whether he was also the same guy who did the Jon Barry hand motion stuff, but regardless, that was also the best part of Jon Barry being on tv.
   396. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4275781)
I do think Simmons and Rose will be an improvement, in that they'll hopefully bring some levity and a somewhat different attitude to the proceedings - it's also tough for them no matter what considering that they have basically no chance of approaching the heights of the TNT team. I'm cautiously optimistic they can go from, say, a C- to a B- or B. We'll see, though.
   397. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4275797)
[395] I'm pretty sure it was Netw3rk. That guy is an internet treasure.
   398. madvillain Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4276096)
Rose is good. I listen to his podcast sometimes and he is not afraid to call guys out. I do not see him on TV very often, but he seems much more buttoned-down on air, so I am hoping he is more comfortable and entertaining on the show.


I'm biased as a Michigan fan that was 8 when the Fab 5 blew into town, but Jalen is a good analyst and as you mentioned, he'll actually critique with a bit of venom, unlike Magic and Barry.

Wilbon and Simmons whatever. Wilbon is just a vanilla ass-kisser and Simmons' ability to write about sports and pop culture (I dunno, he's an OK writer, nobody would mistake him for Hemingway but for 21st century pop journalism it's solid) does not translate at all to TV. They put his voice though millions of dollars' worth of sound processing and it still sounds horrible, that's sorta a big stumbling block for me, and I guess many others.


Bulls fans, did Asik always have an affinity for bounce passes on the interior? Haven't watched too much of the preseason, but when I have Omer seems way too into doing that, which is problematic for a couple reasons.


answered well upstream, but get ready for his hands of stone and inability to convert what should be easy dunks. He moves in slow motion on offense but is actually quite lateral and rangy on defense, quite the contrast when you see him out there. If he was a solid offensive player he'd be damn near a star, but he's pretty much useless and he gets winded incredibly easy.
   399. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4276108)
I still think he's worth the money Houston paid him.

In weird int'l news: Romain Sato arrested in Slovenia for having a fake passport, not allowed to play in his upcoming Euroleague game.
   400. madvillain Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4276119)
I still think he's worth the money Houston paid him.


I agree, I'm glad Chicago didn't match though, JR being what he is, the money is best spent elsewhere. Asik is the type of rangy, defensive minded big man that's critical in today's NBA.
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