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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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   601. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4285705)
I had a somewhat long post eaten. Tidbits:

People forget how young Harden is - 23 (younger than Lin or Asik). His game has some yellow flags (I'm not sure how he'll respond to being a #1 option or playing heavy minutes) - but he's more than 125% of Martin. More efficient, able to serve as a secondary facilitator, decent defender with demonstrated ability to improve.
I'm not sure how much of this is the preseason talking, but I like the Asik deal more every day - there's some parallels with Ben Wallace's big break here.
How's Lin's knee? Think he'll be good but it may be a year off.

Wonder if OKC does this deal in a world where LAL didn't have their big offseason? Think they did get fair value - Martin is still solid (though a bad defender - do you platoon him and Thabo?), but what consolation is that?

That '04 bench sounds quite a bit better than the current one to me (mind you, that's in large part because I'm way down on Antawn and Hill as defenders - I may be wrong on the latter). At least Meeks should be a nice fit.
   602. Into the Void Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4285707)
Houston is supposedly set to offer Harden 4 years/$60 million. At best he is a #2 option right? Which seems like quite a risk when there is no #1 option in place...
   603. nick swisher hygiene Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4285710)
I keep remembering how Harden looked offensively in last year's finals: he looks different, and I'm not sure this trade gets made. or is that crazy talk?
   604. steagles Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4285711)
Houston is supposedly set to offer Harden 4 years/$60 million. At best he is a #2 option right? Which seems like quite a risk when there is no #1 option in place...
he shot 49/39/85 in a league where the average was 45/35/75. his usage was only slightly above average, but i think there's a good amount of room for him to increase his usage without losing his efficiency.
   605. andrewberg Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4285714)
I'd say he's a #1 option. He is one of the top 30 offensive players, creators, and probably overall players. I suppose you could make up a narrower definition, but the tag doesn't change who he is. He's certainly the best rocket since Yao and Tmac stopped being stars.
   606. Into the Void Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4285716)
I'd say he's a #1 option. He is one of the top 30 offensive players, creators, and probably overall players.


Maybe, but how much of that is dependent on spending a decent amount of time on the floor with Durant and Westbrook, when he effectively becomes a distributor and the #3 scoring option? He's only the #1 scoring option on a bad (lower third tier) team, in my opinion.
   607. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4285718)
That '04 bench sounds quite a bit better than the current one to me


Not seeing it. You are right about Jamison's defense; as I have said througout the thread, I have never been a fan of his, but I think he can fill a limited role on this team. But Rush, Medvedenko, rookie Cook, old Fox, old Russell, ancient Grant, young Walton--that is a dreadful group of players, and Devean George wasn't very good, either. These guys were exposed for all to see when Karl Malone went down in the Finals. Grant wasn't available at that point, either.

Defense in general is an issue on the current roster; they will be depending on outscoring opponents and on Howard to carry a lot of guys with defensive issues, including Nash and Bryant. This is yet another reason that so much hinges on Mike Brown and why the focus on him will be so intense. Brown has said he is a defensive coach, and he has talked a lot about his ability to coach defense. Whether he is able to

a) Craft a decent defense around Howard
b) Create rotations that neither overexpose the backup guys nor overwork the core guys while mixing the skills effectively

will play a huge role in how good the Lakers are this year. Health will ultimately be more important (Bryant is questionable for Tuesday, although I think everyone on the planet expects him to play) but Brown's coaching will be a big deal this year.
   608. tshipman Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4285720)
Weird trade. Harden is better than Martin and Lamb, but two firsts is a lot. But on the other hand, they might now be mediocre firsts.

I think it's a good deal for Houston. It would make me upset if I were an OKC fan.
   609. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4285722)
TS/EFG 2011-12

HARDEN .605/.509
MARTIN .554/.486

Martin's 10/11 numbers were about where Harden's were last year; that was his age 27 season. Martin turns 30 in February. Maybe Presti figures Martin's numbers will jump back up with Durant and Westbrook around.

Harden, as DK noted, is 23. Sam Presti is smarter than I am, but if I were an OKC fan, I think I would rather they amnestied Perkins if that is what it took to keep Harden. I haven't looked at this in detail yet, but at this point I agree with berg, and I would add that if my team is squarely in the title hunt, I probably don't want them giving up the best guy in a deal--especially when that guy is 23 years old. Depth and picks are nice, but at the same time, you pretty much want to get as many players in or near the Top 30 in the league as you can. Daryl Morey has been trying to get one ever since Yao Ming retired.
   610. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4285725)
Wonder if OKC does this deal in a world where LAL didn't have their big offseason?


Good question, but I think OKC's view on that should be "F the Lakers."

I agree that they got decent value--but moving Harden seems to me like something you do when you don't think you can go all the way, not when you have a young team that just lost to James and Wade in the Finals.
   611. smileyy Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4285727)
I think this is one of those lose-lose trades. I just got less excited about OKC. If I'm their fans, I'm seeing them valuing profits over winning.
   612. Into the Void Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4285737)
If I'm their fans, I'm seeing them valuing profits over winning.


It could be not wanting to go over the salary cap, or it could be that with their current salary situation they feel they could get someone close to Harden's value for a significantly lower price, either in Martin or some young player in the near future. Or the hunch that a large part of Harden's value may be based on being surrounded by Durant and Westbrook.
   613. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4285739)
One first will be mediocre, the other won't. The second rounder may as well be considered a low 1st, in my mind. (Especially if there's an Asik or Pekovic type this year.)

Harden might be a really good #1 - his "macro #s" suggest that he can. I'm just not sure how well he'll shoot when defenses are geared to stop him, think he's more vulnerable here than one might think.

I do think it's interesting that OKC was willing to pay close to max, but not max itself.

**

Part of my issue with the Lakers bench is that's mostly composed of guys I flat out don't want on my roster in any capacity - pretty much everyone but Meeks, Hill, and Jamison. And I'm not sure about Jamison for a team without Howard behind him (high usage, low efficiency, no d - that's a poor man's Blatche* ... uh, before you talk intangibles). Put another way, George and Russell were better than Ebanks or Clark, etc... Slava might top Hill - it depends on how you feel about the latter's defense (only a few months ago, Houston was desperate to dump him remember). Meeks is a solid bench dude, though I'm not sure he can do anything besides catch and shoot (albeit really well). Hill/Meeks/Jamison all might realistically be better than any bench guy was in '94 - that does say something.

I retract "quite a bit better" - not convinced that '94 wasn't better though.






* okay - that maaaay have been hyperbole
   614. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4285742)
EDIT... When I said @601:
Think [OKC] did get fair value [for Harden]...

I mean - if they *had* to trade him. I'd rather have Harden.
   615. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:02 AM (#4285746)
If I'm their fans, I'm seeing them valuing profits over winning.


Well, Hollinger alluded to that--mentioned CHI, DAL, and now OKC in relation to the CBA. But I think Presti decided that he wants Perkins around to mess with D12 since Howard is in Los Angeles now, and that the picks, Martin, and Lamb pretty much make up for Harden. Harden is obviously a far, far better player than Perkins is in a vacuum, but Presti may feel that Perkins (and Sefolosha) are more important in terms of matching up with LA.

Slava might top Hill


I don't think so, based either on the numbers or on the eyeball test. You seem to think Hill is Bill Murray in Space Jam or something, and given how much Morey moves guys around, I am not that concerned with Houston being "desperate to get rid of him." The biggest problem with Hill at the moment is that he has a herniated disk and isn't actually playing.

As to Devean George, he was starting on the 2004 team, and in any case, there is not yet conclusive evidence that he was actually better than Devin Ebanks. To be as good as Devean George, Ebanks will have to be "pretty bad" and "around replacement level." WRT Jamison, basically, the Lakers have switched from Bynum and Murphy/McRoberts to Howard/Jamison.

Lakers fans at the moment are most concerned about Steve Blake, who, as expected, will open the season as the backup 1. I was never a Blake fan and didn't like the signing to begin with, and would prefer that they had say, a guy like Sundiata Gaines (some people are saying that the Lakers should try to add Delonte West if he is really available) so that would be my top worry.

Finally, Sacre is probably going to make the 12-man and may actually open the season in the rotation if Hill is not ready.
   616. steagles Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4285747)
Meeks is a solid bench dude, though I'm not sure he can do anything besides catch and shoot (albeit really well).
meeks was maddeningly inconsistent as a shooter last year. there were so, so many situations where he was wide open, in rhythm, behind the 3P line with a chance to blow the roof off of the FU center, and of those shots, he probably bricked about 3 out of every 4 (just checking the shot finder on bask-ref, he was 7/30 from beyond the arc when the sixers were trailing by 8 or fewer points in the 2nd half/overtime. and if you tweak that a little you'll find that he was 0/9 from beyond the arc in the last 8 minutes of the 4th quarter/overtime when the game was +/- 5 points. those are kind of cherrypicked, but also very reflective of what i remember from meeks).

the good news is, i would not at all be surprised if those shots start falling for him, and he winds up shooting 50% from beyond the arc this season. he has that kind of talent, and if he'd have just hit the shots he should have hit, he probably could've done that last year.
   617. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:09 AM (#4285748)
As to Meeks, the Lakers last year literally had no backup 2. The backup 2 out of the gate was Jason Kapono, and Ebanks, Barnes, Fisher, and Blake all played that role with the expected degrees of success. That doesn't mean that Meeks is good, but as I have said, I can see him functioning adequately as a floor spacer in a lineup with Howard and Nash. Also, if Ebanks is as inept as DK seems to think he is, then Kobe can slide down to the 3 sometimes, as he did when Walton was the only backup for TAFKARA and Phil wanted to play Shannon Brown 20 minutes a game.
   618. KJOK Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4285751)
Toronto and Dallas picks, is the word: Harden, Aldrich, Cook, Hayward = K.Martin, Lamb, those 2 firsts

OKC is really the only team I follow, but I don't see how this is all that bad for them. Sure you'd rather have Harden stay all things considered, but he wouldn't take the team's offer, so this is probably better than paying himn too much, and being stuck with no flexibility on the payroll. OKC already had more talent than they could keep on this year's roster, so Aldrich, Cook, and Hayward are really not much of a loss.

I predict they'll still be plenty good, and wouldn't be suprised if there was another trade either now or during the season to strengthen the team for the playoff run.

   619. PJ Martinez Posted: October 28, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4285778)
I predict they'll still be plenty good, and wouldn't be suprised if there was another trade either now or during the season to strengthen the team for the playoff run.

That's an interesting possibility I haven't seen anyone raise yet. What if they use Lamb and/or picks to grab someone in-season? Any ideas as to who that someone could be? Josh Smith?

As for the picks: Isn't it possible that Toronto and Dallas both miss the playoffs this year? Six teams had better records than the Mavs last year, and Utah was tied with them. Houston, NO, and Utah have all improved; if Minnesota gets its players back quickly enough, it could threaten for the playoffs, too. Maybe GSW if those guys can stay healthy. It's not out of the question that Dallas ends up a lottery team.
   620. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4285799)
I predict they'll still be plenty good


That isn't in any dispute; the question is whether trading Harden moves them closer to the title. Being "good" isn't what it's about for Oklahoma City anymore. They will almost certainly be good for the duration of Durant's and Westbrook's deals. As far as trading the assets for another guy, unless they can move them for a Top-10 guy, it would probably be a lateral move.

Presti hasn't really made any big mistakes (maybe Fisher, but having a better backup 1 would not have changed the results of the 2012 Finals) and has made many fine moves, so he deserves the BOTD here. Maybe Harden isn't as good as he appears to be; maybe Lamb will be as good as some people think he will and as I said, maybe Perkins and Sefolosha actually matter more against the revamped Lakers than Harden would have. Or maybe this was just about $.

One thing I look at when a big trade is made is what the fans of the teams the trading teams are trying to beat think of it. There is obviously a lot of noise and bias in those reactions, but I think it tells you something, and IMO most Lakers and Spurs fans (along with Clippers, Nuggets and Grizzlies et al fans) probably like their chances against OKC more now that OKC has traded Harden.
   621. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4285801)
Isn't it possible that Toronto and Dallas both miss the playoffs this year?


Sure, but, for example, SCHOENE (and some guys here) has them each finishing 9th. As someone said upthread, these picks are not likely to be particularly high ones. Both of those teams appear on paper to be competitive, middle-of-the-pack squads.
   622. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4285802)
Speaking of SCHOENE, it has Houston at 21-61 and dead last in the West. But, well, Harden, Lin and Asik and all those forwards...might not be a bad team.
   623. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4285805)
Correction: Hill did play against Sacramento.
   624. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4285813)
Here's the draft protection (from realgm.com) on those picks:
2013 first round draft pick from Dallas
Dallas' own 2013 first round draft pick to Houston via the L.A. Lakers ( top 20 protected in 2013, top 20 protected in 2014, top 20 protected in 2015, top 20 protected in 2016, top 20 protected in 2017 and unprotected in the 2018 Draft). [Dallas - L.A. Lakers, 12/11/2011 and then Houston-L.A. Lakers 3/15/2012]

2013 first round draft pick from Toronto
Toronto's own 2013 1st round pick to Houston (Top-3 Protected and 15-30 Protected in the 2013 Draft, top-2 protected and 15-30 protected in 2014, top-2 protected and 15-30 protected in 2015, top-1 Protected and 15-30 protected in 2016, top-1 protected and 15-30 Protected in 2017 and unprotected in the 2018 Draft. [Houston-Toronto, 7/11/2012]

2013 second round draft pick from Charlotte
Charlotte's own 2013 2nd round pick to Houston via Oklahoma City and Boston. [Charlotte - Oklahoma City, 12/19/2011 and then Boston-Oklahoma City, 6/26/2012 and then Boston-Houston-Portland, 7/20/2012]


I read Hollinger's take on the deal and agree wholeheartedly on the OKC piece and am 90% as confident on the Houston side. (My issue - I'm not sure that HOU will be as attractive a FA destination as he suggests - but it could be.)

Slava/Hill: Through the first 4 years of his career, Slava posted a 13.5 PER / .091 WS/48. To date, Hill has a 14.2 / .095. Slava's rep on D was bad (and understandably so - slow feet, foul prone, not great at help), but IIRC his on-ball metrics and +/- were actually pretty decent. Hill is athletic and can block shots, but opposing players have crushed him over his career (he's a little under tall like Medvedenko, but also understrong), he's equally foul prone, and his +/- isn't so good. Now, we know that Slava imploded after that and that Hill has a higher ceiling than Medvedenko ever had - I wouldn't be shocked if Hill turned into an average ballplayer (no small feat). But, it's no lock that he's better than Slava. [Hmmm... do think I'm engaging in a bit of devil's advocacy here.]
It's not being moved that made Houston desperate to get rid of him - it's his specific use in the Fisher deal that suggests it.

George/Ebanks: Yes. I'll put it this way - if I have to choose between Ebanks (who's only 23 - there is a chance he turns into a poor man's Ariza) and, say, Derrick Brown (who's floating around looking for a job), I take Brown every time.

Mentioning Gaines is just baiting me, sir. (I like Gaines.)
   625. PJ Martinez Posted: October 28, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4285814)
As far as trading the assets for another guy, unless they can move them for a Top-10 guy, it would probably be a lateral move.

That assumes that they're trading *all* the assets for another guy, which hardly seems likely. If you hold onto Martin and trade some of the other assets (Lamb, a pick, some salary to make it work) for Smith, e.g., isn't Martin + Smith > Harden?
   626. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4285823)
That's not getting you Smith anyway.
   627. Spivey Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4285831)
Came here to read thoughts on the Harden trade. The more I'm thinking about it, the more I'm liking it for OKC. In the playoffs Westbrook and Durant are going to be playing 40+ minutes, so having another creator is less necessary. This said, Harden is quite a bit better than Martin. But Martin does a pretty good job of replacing the parts of Harden the team needs (mainly, a solid shooter that isn't Durant). And I think the picks are pretty important. They're pretty much all locked up on salary and getting what could be pretty good draft picks gives them the opportunity to get good, cheap players on the way up to fill the team around Durant and Westbrook. I think this is the main part of the trade, though I could be wrong. To then turn around and deal the picks doesn't seem to make any sense - if they were going to do that, they shouldn't have traded Harden for them in the first place.
   628. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4285845)
James Harden is quite possibly my favorite NBA player, so this trade makes me a little sad in that he'll be on national TV less often, although this means I'm more likely to buy League Pass, so kudos to David Stern for allowing this trade.

That said, I don't think this is a bad deal for OKC. Obviously it makes them a bit worse for this year, but I don't know that it reduces their expected # of championships over the next 7 years. Kevin Martin is going to be a lot more valuable where he's heading than he has been before; he's miscast as a focal point of an offense, which is what he has needed to be in his career to date. The one problem I see is the picks -- when was the last time a contender managed to seamlessly work in and develop a mid-1R type of talent seamlessly? You can grab role players into a contender via the draft, guys like DeJuan Blair or Norris Cole or Omer Asik, but a contender simply doesn't have the playing time to allow such a guy to show whether he's a hero or a zero.

I may be the last Cole Aldrich defender on the planet, but I think he could be an NBA player. He's maybe an example of this -- OKC has no playing time for him to find out, which makes guys/picks like that simply not as valuable to them. I guess you can try to flip them for a Ray Allen or something.
   629. Spivey Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4285852)
I think the issue with Aldrich is that he provides what pretty much everyone that was higher on the depth chart provided, which is defense and no real cohesive offense. I do think he'll stick around in the league.

I think you raise an interesting point, but I think that's a failing of the coach if they can't find time to grow players. There's a lot of minutes out there, especially for a team like OKC that's an absolute lock to be a 50+ win team for every year over the next 8 unless Durant or Westbrook gets hurt. That's even if they are working these other guys in.
   630. PJ Martinez Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4285858)
That's not getting you Smith anyway.

If the Hawks do trade Smith (not a given, I don't think), what do you expect them to get for him? He's on the last year of his current deal.
   631. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4285874)
Hill's PER was 13.1 two years ago; last year it was 15.1 when Houston finally got his foul stench off their roster. He posted a 19.3 with the Lakers; Pelton, commenting on him in BaskPro, said that he "played to his strengths" with the Lakers, and "ought to continue doing that." Hill's DRB% spiked last year; we will see if he can hold that ground. Pelton said that Hill tried to do too much on O in Houston; that shouldn't be an issue in LA. Hill just turned 25 a couple of months ago and is moving into a stable role on a good team, where he will not be asked to do that much.

As to the Fisher deal, IIRC that was a get-a-pick-for-an-expiring thing for Morey, more than wanting Hill out of his line of sight, but perhaps I am wrong.

WRT Ebanks, the question is whether he can play adequate D/low usage/high eff O and avoid making a lot of mistakes in 12-15 MPG stints. Maybe he can't, but I don't think that has been established yet. As to Derrick Brown, that's fine, but you do tend to develop strong attachments to fringe guys who catch your eye in some way. Kupchak drafted Ebanks, and as I have said many times, Kupchak has had trouble with the back end of the roster. You can make a case that the Lakers should have cut Ebanks and kept Barnes in that job, but I think the jury is still out.

Blake, however, is an issue. The one thing that he has going for him is that he still has a decent stroke from 3, and as an old guy with a guaranteed deal, will be looking to fill his role rather than trying to impress people to get a better contract someplace else (this was always one of Jordan Farmar's problems dealing with Phil). But I have always thought that the Lakers wanted Blake based on images ("heady white guy", played on a National Champion in college) rather than on what he does.

   632. andrewberg Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4285921)
They're pretty much all locked up on salary and getting what could be pretty good draft picks gives them the opportunity to get good, cheap players on the way up to fill the team around Durant and Westbrook


I see what you're saying, and I do not think you or the other people defending OKC are crazy, but I just think it is not enough to overcome trading someone as good as Harden is when you don't have to. The NBA is all about maximizing the talent of the 5 guys you get to play at a given time- one player has so much more of an impact than in any other sport that it almost never makes sense to willfully trade someone who is an All-Star type. Yes, they got a lot of young players and future picks, but you get those resources hoping they develop into something like Harden. Bird in hand. Trying to precisely start and stop the rookie contract clock for each guy is never going to work out. No team bats 1.000 on lottery picks (Presti drafted Jeff Green).

Also, fit is important, but it is a distant second to talent, and it isn't like Harden had trouble staying on the court with Westbrook and Durant. I think several people are unfairly discounting Harden because he had a bad 5 game stretch at the end of the year against the best perimeter defense in the league (it is kind of funny that Houston is now built around Lin and Harden who both fell to pieces against Miami).

Best case scenario, Martin's efficiency bounces back somewhat this year, Lamb develops into what people hope he can be, and you end up with 75% of what you had with Harden in the first place. I would have signed Harden, amnestied Perkins, and traded Maynor for the best asset available. That avoids the tax hell and keeps the star-level player that they identified and developed.
   633. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4285925)
In LA for the week and was headed out to a party with my gf's coworkers when the Harden news broke. So, I got yelled at for being on my phone all party last, but holy ####. I like this deal for both sides. I think Martin will be able to approximate the biggest thing Harden brings to the table (shooting efficiency) and I always thought Harden was a terrible defender (not sure what the metrics say) so I don't see why people care that Martin can't guard anyone either. There's also the fact that I've been absolutely head over heels in love with Jeremy Lamb for quite some time now and for OKC to pick him up as well as a few solid draft picks...if you have to trade Harden to maintain flexibility, this was a great way to do. This also becomes the 334th trade in the last few months where the team trading the best player got more than the Magic did for Howard, but I digress...


From the Houston side, you now have a Lin-Harden backcourt, and pray that the metrics are correct on them, pray that Asik and one of your 79 3/4s works out and voila, contender.
   634. JJ1986 Posted: October 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4285929)
when was the last time a contender managed to seamlessly work in and develop a mid-1R type of talent seamlessly?


Kawhi Leonard last year
   635. tshipman Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4285933)
I see what you're saying, and I do not think you or the other people defending OKC are crazy, but I just think it is not enough to overcome trading someone as good as Harden is when you don't have to. The NBA is all about maximizing the talent of the 5 guys you get to play at a given time- one player has so much more of an impact than in any other sport that it almost never makes sense to willfully trade someone who is an All-Star type. Yes, they got a lot of young players and future picks, but you get those resources hoping they develop into something like Harden. Bird in hand. Trying to precisely start and stop the rookie contract clock for each guy is never going to work out. No team bats 1.000 on lottery picks (Presti drafted Jeff Green).


Yup, I agree. Also, from Houston's POV, the deal actually has good upside. There's a chance that Harden, freed from Durant/Westbrook and still young at 23, gets better by adding more usage and keeping the efficiency.

I think the OKC deal was a bad deal. Anytime you find yourself saying, "We have to trade Harden to keep Kendrick Perkins," you're thinking about things the wrong way.
   636. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4285972)
Tshipman - I agree if we're only talking basketball reasons. Don't know ownership would accept that.
Hill - small sample size for hill w la. If u want to credit him w that high per then note the oppo per of 25.6
I do develop attachments to certain fringe guys like brown, but only mentioned him because I know he has other fans here / came up recently. Ebanks looks like a solid defender who can help on the boards. He's probably useless on O. You can do better.
Aldrich - think he's a solid backup, but I've a long history of overrating big men from Kansas.
   637. Spivey Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4285980)
I think Perkins had somewhat become unnecessary. Not just because Howard was in the other league. But also because Howard and Bynum weren't on the best teams in the league. But with Howard in conference, and on the Lakers, and probably there for a while I agree with OKC thinking they need him. He also seemed healthy and relatively spry in the playoffs. I think that him not being 100% is a factor in why his regular season numbers the last couple of years has been so bad.
   638. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4285983)
If I'm Presti, I go the season with Harden and bank on another deep playoff run. But I am not Presti, and so I think the Thunder's playoff expectancy goes from the NBA Finals/WC finals range ton WC finals/WC semis.
   639. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4285988)
After my rant in the summer at Bill Simmons about making no effort to pronounce European names right, I feel that he is actively taunting me in his recent two-part podcast. As Joe House repeatedly marvels and says "You're going to be on TV soon! You need to learn these names!" he continues talking about Nikola Vusavik and Mirza Teletovik. Then the one name he thinks he has mastered turns out to be "Omer Aseech". That name HAS a K on the end! It's the ONLY one where you should pronounce it as a K! Where are you getting this stuff from? I thought you watched games on TV every day, do you never pay attention at all to the announcers?

And how do you turn "Valanciunas" into "Valansuenas"? Try sounding it out first. Even if you're going to ignore the actual pronunciation you could put the letters in the right order.

Or the hunch that a large part of Harden's value may be based on being surrounded by Durant and Westbrook.

Sounds like a lose-lose deal then?
   640. PJ Martinez Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4285990)
Isn't it possible that Presti couldn't amnesty Perkins because the owners don't want to pay a guy who's not playing for them? Amestying a player takes him off the cap but it doesn't take him off the salary rolls. I agree it's probably what they should have done, but the owners might not have given Presti that option.

The more interesting question, it seems to me, is whether he should have chosen Ibaka over Harden.
   641. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 28, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4285992)
Houston is doing a textbook rebuild, which is harder than it should be in the NBA because teams often don't have the patience to go through the process or the stones to even start.

When Doc Rivers was in Orlando, he told the media bout the Knicks, "You can't rebuild at the Garden." He was adamant about it. But is that really true? Dolan is too stupid and impetuous to stick to a plan, let alone plan a rebuild - but would the NY fans be so opposed to it? (Not saying at the moment, just in theory.)
   642. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4286009)
If you're HOU, are you now angling to get one of the 2 ATL bigs or maybe Milsap/Jefferson?
   643. tshipman Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4286021)
If you're HOU, are you now angling to get one of the 2 ATL bigs or maybe Milsap/Jefferson?


You can't really play Jefferson with Asik--too slow on the perimeter. I would think they would target someone like the ATL bigs, but I don't think they're available (I could be wrong). Scola would have actually been a pretty good fit. I think they would be in the market for a spacing/stretch 4.
   644. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4286022)
HOU isn't really going textbook, are they? Textbook is to tank - they're avoiding that.
   645. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4286030)
I don't know what the ATL bigs will cost or who ferry wants to keep. Smith is both underrated and a candidate for collapse - not sure what happens there.
Millsap seems likely to go from Utah - but not sure that he's young enough for Morey, given his height and lack of d.
   646. andrewberg Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4286033)
PJ, you're right, but whether the motivation is thrift or incompetence, I think moving back when you're so very close is shameful.
   647. steagles Posted: October 28, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4286038)
You can't really play Jefferson with Asik--too slow on the perimeter. I would think they would target someone like the ATL bigs, but I don't think they're available (I could be wrong). Scola would have actually been a pretty good fit. I think they would be in the market for a spacing/stretch 4.
i wonder if new orleans will make ryan anderson available if they can't mesh him and anthony davis.
   648. The District Attorney Posted: October 28, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4286049)
The more interesting question, it seems to me, is whether he should have chosen Ibaka over Harden.
Yeah, if we can assume that they couldn't have kept all four guys merely by getting rid of Perkins (which seems like an absolute no-brainer if it were an option), then this becomes the issue.

Even granted that there's obviously less duplication of value if you pair Ibaka up with Durant/Westbrook as opposed to Harden, I still don't see it...

When Doc Rivers was in Orlando, he told the media bout the Knicks, "You can't rebuild at the Garden." He was adamant about it. But is that really true? Dolan is too stupid and impetuous to stick to a plan, let alone plan a rebuild - but would the NY fans be so opposed to it? (Not saying at the moment, just in theory.)
It would have beat the hell out of sucking and not rebuilding, which is what they did.
   649. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4286075)
Hill - small sample size for hill w la. If u want to credit him w that high per then note the oppo per of 25.6


And if you want to compare him unfavorably to Slava Medvedenko, then note that Hill's PER went up with the Lakers.

Wasn't making big claims for the 19.3--just pointing out that on the new team, in the new role, he did better. As far as the D issues, I will watch for that, but that is as you concede a small sample size, though, and I have not seen a bunch of people saying that Hill is transcendently awful on that side of the ball. Hill had a 15.1--league average--in Houston.

As to Ebanks, perhaps. But the payroll is over 100M as it is, so the Lakers are going to be able to "do better" at almost any spot after the big 4. The question is whether Ebanks will be adequate to that role. Basically, you and Hollinger are arguing that the Lakers' bench is historically bad, a collection of guys who can't get out of their own way and will kill the team. I am not yet convinced that is the case, with the caveat that Mike Brown has not shown much skill in stabilizing rotations and developing/utilizing bench guys. So we will see.
   650. andrewberg Posted: October 28, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4286131)
It would have beat the hell out of sucking and not rebuilding, which is what they did.


Nice.
   651. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4286151)
Simmons, Oct 11:

Is there some wealthy maniac out there who would pay 30 percent over that Forbes sticker price without blinking? The short answer: YES! That's why the NBA owners were so disingenuous during the lockout — they were crying poverty, and meanwhile, they had a waiting list for new owners! And we fell for it! Never again. That's why I think Oklahoma City's owners are full of an entire sewage system of ####. Let's just say it wouldn't be the first time. So don't settle for less than what you're worth, James Harden. They're playing possum. They will cave. You will get paid. Let the dynastendery begin.
   652. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4286157)
DK

I was snippy in 649. Sorry.
   653. andrewberg Posted: October 28, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4286163)
For the record, I think Harden handled the situation perfectly and I hope he does well in Houston. I'm going to make them a LP team this year. Think I'll go MN, MIA, LAC, HOU, IND. That last spot is up for grabs.
   654. tshipman Posted: October 28, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4286168)
Is there some wealthy maniac out there who would pay 30 percent over that Forbes sticker price without blinking? The short answer: YES! That's why the NBA owners were so disingenuous during the lockout — they were crying poverty, and meanwhile, they had a waiting list for new owners! And we fell for it! Never again. That's why I think Oklahoma City's owners are full of an entire sewage system of ####. Let's just say it wouldn't be the first time. So don't settle for less than what you're worth, James Harden. They're playing possum. They will cave. You will get paid. Let the dynastendery begin.


Who the #### is "We" there for Simmons? He fell for it, like a hack, because David Stern showed up on his podcast and Darryl Morey is his friend. He got bought off with access.
   655. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 28, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4286177)
MN, MIA, LAC, HOU, IND

HOU, DEN, NOH, CLE, UTA/POR/TOR for me.

Who the #### is "We" there for Simmons? He fell for it, like a hack, because David Stern showed up on his podcast and Darryl Morey is his friend. He got bought off with access.

He tries to represent the common fan and I think most fans fell for it, as is usually the case in all disputes between players and owners.
   656. steagles Posted: October 28, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4286179)
For the record, I think Harden handled the situation perfectly and I hope he does well in Houston. I'm going to make them a LP team this year. Think I'll go MN, MIA, LAC, HOU, IND. That last spot is up for grabs.
IND is probably going to be a soulcrushingly boring team. slow pace, a ton of fouls, and a ton of guys who play beneath the rim. i'm with you on MIN and HOU, but my other 5 teams would be SAC (cousins, robinson, and johnson could be a really good frontcourt, and thornton, thomas, tyreke, and jimmer have massive scoring ability in the backcourt), TOR (starting lineup of valanciunas-bargnani-fields/derozan/ross/kleiza-lowry. i'm not sold on their wings, but they should have someone who's decent there, and i love the way the other 3 starters play. plus, jose calderon is a personal favorite of mine), and SAS (with my other 4 teams being MIN, HOU, SAC, and TOR, i figure there should be at least one team who's guaranteed to be decent)

   657. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4286217)
BaskPro:

Harden played without (Durant) for 526 minutes. He averaged 16.6 points per 40 minutes with Durant, and a whopping 34.7 points without him. His true shooting percentage was also better without Durant, jumping from .641 to .686.


Caveats: A lot of that time was likely against 2nd units; the piece calls Harden a No.2 due to his D. Piece is very bullish on trade for HOU, though.
   658. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4286220)
MN, MIA, LAC, HOU, IND.


I have to be more Pacific Time Zone-focused than that. I am thinking:

GS POR DEN HOU MIN
   659. andrewberg Posted: October 28, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4286229)
I'm looking at the LP options and it appears that "League Pass Mobile" allows you to watch all the gams on a mobile device (last year this included my iPad) for $50- much better than LP broadband. Does anyone see any tricks or is that a great deal?
   660. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 28, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4286296)
robinred: you were snippy?

indiana's gone double hansbrough - ben made the team.
   661. Tripon Posted: October 28, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4286332)
If you're in the basketball fantasy league, we're drafting at 6PM, PST.
   662. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: October 28, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4286390)
I haven't seen anyone else raise this point yet, but who else did OKC talk to? This trade sure happened fast, could they have gotten even more if they had more suitors? Put me in the camp that would say they'd have been better off playing out the year with him and dealing him next offseason if they had to. I do think the return isn't bad, but I still say Houston won. If a couple of those rookies hit for them, I could see them competing for the 8 seed. I think I picked the Lakers to win the West/title, and I think this deal makes that more likely.

---

SAC (cousins, robinson, and johnson could be a really good frontcourt, and thornton, thomas, tyreke, and jimmer have massive scoring ability in the backcourt)

I think the Kings are the least interesting team to me this season this side of Charlotte - and even then, I'm much more interested in MKG than anyone on Sac.

---

Bulls are Gibson are about $2mil/year off in their negotiations, supposedly. That seems like a lot, but we'll see.
   663. smileyy Posted: October 28, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4286470)
So, I *($#ed up in the BBTF Lounge League and ended up registering two teams. If anyone would like to run "Who Will Sex Biyombo" let me know and we can figure out how to work out management.
   664. rr Posted: October 28, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4286510)
Have had some time to read BaskPro, and have read the Eastern Conference previews. A few thoughts:

BP, Hollinger and the group here all seem to see the East the same way: Miami, and then the same knot of teams behind them 2-8. BP has Atlanta seeded 2 at 49-33 and Indiana seeded 8 at 43-39. Between them are New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Brooklyn. I am neither smart enough, nor really all that interested in, trying to figure out what order these teams will finish in, but I do have some opinions. BP pointed out that the SCHOENE metric is a bit at odds with the subjective view of Indiana, and I am in agreement with the subjective view. I think George will get a little better, and I think Hill will as well. I think Augustin and DK favorite Ian Mahinmi will help a little off the bench, and I think Vogel is a pretty good coach. West and Granger may drop off a little, but I think that Indiana's lack of a huge weak spot/balance will serve them well over the 82-game schedule. I see them more as the 49-33 #2 seed.

I think Brooklyn will be in trouble in about two years; the CBA restricts teams over the tax line from doing much, and I see them as being overcommitted to this group. But in spite of the rim protection issues, I think Brooklyn will have a pretty good team this year. Johnson is overpaid and Williams is a bit overrated by the MSM, but the former is still good and the latter is very good. Wallace probably has another year or two of effectiveness left, and Lopez and Humphries, while I don't really like either of them, each do some things very well. I think the buzz around the new digs may give the Nets a little boost as well, and I see them as a 3 or 4 seed.

But, I think that Philadelphia, Chicago, or Boston would have a better shot at scaring Miami in a seven-game than Indiana or Brooklyn would. The caveats about the first two teams are obvious: Bynum and Rose. Boston, even with all the new faces, is Boston and as long as Garnett is Garnett, you take them seriously.

That leaves New York and Atlanta. Subjectively, I don't like the New York team. They are much deeper than the Lakers, but they have old guys, Stoudemire has physical questions, and they don't have the Lakers' ceiling. I think they will go about 45-37. Atlanta has an unusual roster, and there are some things to like about it. But I don't like them over 82 as much as I like Indiana, and I don't see them bothering Miami.

As to the rest, I think Washington will be a bit better than BP has them (25-57) and while I think Toronto will be much improved, I think they will 35-37 games rather than 40.
   665. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4286698)
Fun draft. Didn't realize until now that I have the CP3-Griffin two-man game.
   666. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4286713)
Who Will Sex Biyombo, for those who are interested in playing, has...

Pos
Players
Action
Opp
Status
% Started
MPG
FGA
FGM
FTA
FTM
PTS
OREB
DREB
AST
ST
BLK
TO
PF
Fan Pts
PG
Kyle Lowry
(Tor - PG)
91% 32:09 513 210 198 171 670 38 176 310 73 14 130 133 580.10
PG
Brandon Knight
(Det - PG,SG)
60% 32:17 769 319 137 104 847 33 178 251 49 10 171 154 498.70
SG
Wesley Matthews
(Por - SG,SF)
83% 33:42 763 314 171 147 904 56 168 113 96 15 73 148 628.90
SG
Arron Afflalo
(Orl - SG)
75% 33:40 699 329 247 197 943 40 157 149 36 13 85 134 651.20
G
Jason Kidd
(NY - PG)
17% 28:47 273 99 28 22 299 15 183 264 82 10 91 83 360.10
SF
Wes Johnson
(Pho - SG,SF)
1% 22:37 397 158 34 24 393 24 153 59 35 48 60 115 240.90
SF
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
(Mil - SF,PF)
0% 23:28 261 133 103 66 333 77 150 29 40 22 39 93 287.10
PF
LaMarcus Aldridge
(Por - PF,C)
97% 36:16 943 483 274 223 1191 150 292 134 51 45 111 153 900.40
PF
Pau Gasol
(LAL - PF,C)
97% 37:21 917 459 261 204 1129 183 495 238 37 88 142 127 996.90
F
Bismack Biyombo
(Cha - PF,C)
14% 23:04 278 129 143 69 327 113 255 27 20 115 71 145 300.40
C
Tyson Chandler
(NY - C)
89% 33:16 355 241 315 217 699 212 400 56 56 89 102 186 757.20
C
Samuel Dalembert
(Mil - C)
55% 22:16 395 200 113 90 490 158 298 33 37 111 82 162 475.30
Util
Vince Carter
(Dal - SG)
5% 25:18 542 223 115 95 615 32 173 139 56 25 84 134 424.30
Util
Antawn Jamison
(LAL - PF)
20% 33:03 1044 421 271 185 1118 123 285 131 51 43 90 164 710.00
Util
Matt Bonner
(SA - PF)
1% 20:27 350 154 21 16 429 29 185 61 15 21 14 68 350.60
BN
Ekpe Udoh
(Mil - PF,C)
3% 21:12 295 127 114 86 340 100 154 57 40 102 53 174 318.00
BN
Delonte West
(Dal - PG,SG)
1% 24:04 360 166 70 62 421 13 88 139 58 11 76 67 327.90
BN
Tyrus Thomas
(Cha - PF,C)
1% 18:46 327 120 83 63 304 49 151 35 36 60 53 144 186.60
   667. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4286727)
In the meanwhile, I locked the team because my first choice of a dispersal draft is not an option.

If no one wants it, we could just let it go as an undead team.
   668. smileyy Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4286799)
Thanks for handling my *($# up, Gold Star. I suppose an ad hoc dispersal drafts via trades accepted in some sort of draft order, but that might be too much work.
   669. Tripon Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4286825)
So I uh, drafted 3 injured players. I'm an idiot.
   670. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4286867)
Thanks for handling my *($# up, Gold Star. I suppose an ad hoc dispersal drafts via trades accepted in some sort of draft order, but that might be too much work.
All it takes is everyone's participation.

Draft order would be... reverse order of picks? (I drafted 4th, FWIW.)
   671. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4286892)
More I think about it, more I'm inclined to let it go zombie.
   672. steagles Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4286929)
Who Will Sex Biyombo, for those who are interested in playing, has...
ew. jason kidd, mbah amoute, wes johnson, vince carter, and delonte west? that is an awful core of wings.
   673. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 28, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4286952)
I won't deny that.
   674. Tripon Posted: October 29, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4287016)
Most of the teams are like that in this league. We were digging the bottom of the barrel at the end
   675. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: October 29, 2012 at 03:39 AM (#4287120)
Draft order would be... reverse order of picks
As the 16th pick of 16, I am totally in favor of this scheme.
   676. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: October 29, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4287220)
That team is awful.

I'll take it if no one else wants it.
   677. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4287244)
I'll take it if no one else wants it.
Seriously? You're a brave fellow.

BBTF-mail me your addy, and I'll transfer it over.
   678. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4287246)
We were digging the bottom of the barrel at the end
Hey! I got Aaron Brooks and Marreese Speights in Rounds 16-17!
   679. Tripon Posted: October 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4287249)
I know. I wanted them both, and you right before me. :(
   680. Jimmy P Posted: October 29, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4287399)
Tripon, is the league still open for teams? I may be able to get two guys
   681. Tripon Posted: October 29, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4287501)
Yeah, it should still be open. Were currently at eight, so a ten team league would be even better.
   682. JJ1986 Posted: October 29, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4287683)
If I don't make the draft tonight it's because the power has started flickering and I don't know if I can draft on my phone.
   683. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4287709)
Harden sounds like a fun guy:
RT @RocketsJCF Harden wastes no time setting tone: tells teammates to tuck in shirts & go to work to start practice; runs sprints w/ losing teams in drills
   684. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4287716)
Tripon, how many teams so far? Had such a good draft last night, I could go for another...
   685. smileyy Posted: October 29, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4287721)
[683] Redass transitions can be hard on everyone involved, I think. Might take OKC a little time to realize what they're missing from Harden, and how much he was contributing to team culture (his attitude seems like an OKC team thing).

And Harden will find out how much pull he has with his new teammates (a lot, I'm guessing, by management fiat), and how that affects those new teammates.
   686. Tripon Posted: October 29, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4287791)
684. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4287716)
Tripon, how many teams so far? Had such a good draft last night, I could go for another...



I set the max at 12, and we're still at 8 teams. Posted below is the info. Right now its by week to week matchup.

URL is: http://basketball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/tblabb

League ID is: 80319

And Password is: TBLABB

We draft at 7PM PST, so about 2 hours from now of this post.
   687. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4287795)
Thanks. I'm in.

Interesting scoring settings - where'd you get them?
   688. Tripon Posted: October 29, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4287801)
I made up the system myself.
   689. Tripon Posted: October 29, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4287824)
edit: I mainly wanted to reward scoring in some way. Only negatives I have is -0.5 for turnovers. I wish there was some more defensive stats outside of blocking and rebounding, but I think the stats as is will reflect what is happening in the games.
   690. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4287845)
Gotcha.

Huh. Yahoo says the draft is set for 7 p.m. MST but I misread that as MDT and so raced home from work.
   691. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 29, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4287849)
Blazers:
“It's just a natural thing [to compare players of the same race],” Leonard said. “Because most people say when you think about white guys in the NBA, they're more likely going to be able to shoot, not be very athletic, and not jump high.

“And when people think of African Americans, they think they're athletic and can jump. I get it, but I can do a lot more dunks than most white 7-foot guys can ever do.”
   692. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 29, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4287861)
RT @Chris_Broussard Amare Stoudemire to miss at least 1st 6 weeks of season with knee injury, according to league sources. Knicks expected to announce tomorrow
   693. andrewberg Posted: October 29, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4287883)
There's one way to get amare out of the starting lineup.
   694. Tripon Posted: October 29, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4287889)
How bad are the Knicks going to be this year?
   695. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 29, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4287910)
Need 1 more for the fantasy league.
   696. Conor Posted: October 29, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4287920)
How bad are the Knicks going to be this year?


I was thinking them for 48 wins or so before any injury news. This might hurt a few games, but then again, if it puts Melo at the four for longer stretches of time, it might not. Amare was pretty bad for the first few months of the season last year.
   697. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 29, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4287922)
RT @johnhollinger Speaks volumes that losing Amare for 6 wks had little impact on my Knicks forecast. If anything may force them into better use of Melo at PF
   698. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4288014)
I think it's now obvious Phoenix letting Amare walk was the right move.

Also, Bill Simmons called this a couple of years ago - D'Antoni, trying to save his job, runs Amare into the ground; knee pain ensues.
   699. PJ Martinez Posted: October 29, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4288018)
Yeah, I'm not sure if Amare is really even a net positive for the Knicks at this point. Granted, I am relatively down on that team in general, and Amare in particular. Almost every time I watch him he is playing terrible defense.

Listening to Zach Lowe on the Simmons podcast, both are referring to Harden as a "top 20" guy in the league, and I've heard that elsewhere, too. Is that really true? Seems high. Top 30, maybe. But top 20?
   700. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4288055)
Listening to Zach Lowe on the Simmons podcast, both are referring to Harden as a "top 20" guy in the league, and I've heard that elsewhere, too. Is that really true? Seems high. Top 30, maybe. But top 20?

FWIW, he finished 26th on #NBARank and 29th on CBS' rankings.
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