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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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   701. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4288061)
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.

Meh. I'm not so sure about this theory. Amar'e's knees were ticking time bombs from the jump. I think it takes a leap to say D'Antoni having him play 36.8 MPG (not completely out of line with his established playing time) is necessarily what lead to this. He was fine that entire season until he hurt his back doing a trick dunk in warmups against the Celtics in the playoffs. Then last year he's fine (Added weight and all) until the bulging disc in the back issue crops. Then the fire extinguisher. Then this year an actual knee problem crops up.
   702. PJ Martinez Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4288159)
Opening night! Predictions for the BOS/MIA game?

Here are Marc Stein's pre-season power rankings, which look a little nutty (SAS #2? OKC #5?).
   703. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4288186)
To answer a question I had last page:

@RicBucher
OKC's Sam Presti didn't canvass league for best deal (so says a GM). Presumably didn't want rumor firestorm. Jazz did same w/DWill.


Interesting. Not saying he was right or wrong, but I do wonder if OKC could have gotten a better deal.

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.


I can't speak for them, but I have no problem predicting/thinking/assuming he'll be a top 20 guy this year for sure. With more minutes he probably was last year (depending on how you rate his defense, I guess).
   704. Conor Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4288189)
Amare was much better in the last month or so of the season, but on the whole, he finished the year with a 54% true shooting and his normal brand of awful defense, which on the whole, wasn't all that valuable. (I feel like he is one of the more clueless defenders out there. A guy with his physical skills shouldn't be such a bad defender, but he seems to have no concept of what he is supposed to do defensively. I will never forget the game last year where Boris Diaw shot 12-15, the majority of which came when being covered by Amare. Truly one of the terrible defensive performances of all time).

The Knicks did play better last year when Melo was at the four (I believe I saw a stat somewhere that the Knicks were outscored with both Melo/Amare on the court last year). Obviously the best solution would have been just to bring Amare off the bench, but we'll see what the deal is whenever he comes back. I'm just not totally sure who they play at the 3; Brewer I guess but you'd like a little more shooting out there.

I didn't realize the season started tonight; I'm pretty pumped now. I wonder if the Knicks-Nets game on Thursday gets postponed.
   705. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4288195)
Der K's picks:

EASTMIA BOS PHI IND BKN CHI ATL NYK MIL TOR CLE DET WAS ORL CHA
WEST
LAL OKC SAS DEN LAC MIN MEM UTA DAL POR GSW NWO HOU SAC PHO 

I'm not sure what to make out of the top of the west - you could reorder 1-4 in any number of ways and I'd likely agree. Same for 3-8 in the east - basically, I find my picks kind of useless this year.

MVP: LBJ
MIP: Asik
ROTY: Lillard. Torn b/w he and the superior Davis.

NBA finals: MIA over LAL
   706. Jimmy P Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4288217)
Interesting. Not saying he was right or wrong, but I do wonder if OKC could have gotten a better deal.


I wouldn't think so. Two firsts, a decent rookie prospect, and a good veteran on an expiring is a nice haul. It's more than Orlando got for Howard.
   707. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4288224)
I wouldn't think so. Two firsts, a decent rookie prospect, and a good veteran on an expiring is a nice haul. It's more than Orlando got for Howard.

The Howard deal is a terrible comp for any trade, it was that bad. If nothing else, maybe they could have gotten more from Houston if they had to bid against other teams. In his article on the deal, Lowe speculates other teams were involved, but doesn't get into specifics (outside of showing how GS's previous mistakes likely kept them out of the running).
   708. JJ1986 Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4288234)
Picks:

EAST

1. Miami
2. Boston
3. Indiana
4. Brooklyn
5. Atlanta
6. Philadelphia
7. Chicago
8. Toronto

MIA, BOS, IND and ATL in 1st round
MIA and BOS
MIA

WEST

1. LAL
2. DEN
3. OKC
4. LAC
5. SAS
6. MEM
7. MIN
8. UTA

LAL, DEN, OKC and SAS
LAL and OKC
LAL

Heat over Lakers in 5
   709. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4288246)
Woah, Eddy Curry is going to start for the Mavs tonight against the Lakers. I know it's because of injuries, but still. Woah.
   710. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4288257)
RT @Pacers: Forward @dgranger33 has continued soreness in his left knee and will be out indefinitely
   711. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4288271)
Woah, Eddy Curry is going to start for the Mavs tonight against the Lakers. I know it's because of injuries, but still. Woah.


Step 1: Get a ring.
Step 2: Win back a starting job.
Step 3: Buy all the food? Triumphant return to the Knicks? China?
   712. rr Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4288272)
I agree with DK that my picks are pretty useless this year. Looking at the West, I would have picked OKC prior to the Harden deal. Now, I think if one believes that the stars' bodies will hold together, having read up on the West, I would go with the Lakers. But I am not sure that the Lakers' whole mix will work. I could see them having a very disappointing regular season but then making major noise in the playoffs, like Boston in 2010.

I think the Harden deal may open the door for another team to move in there--San Antonio and Denver being the most likely candidates.

I like what Minnesota has done, but I am not seeing them as a 55-win team now like some projection systems are. I do think they will make the playoffs.

As to the deal, OKC got a nice haul for Harden; I am simply opposed to the trade on principle, since I do not believe that it moves them closer to the championship and probably moves them further away from it short-term.
   713. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4288301)
I like what Minnesota has done, but I am not seeing them as a 55-win team now like some projection systems are. I do think they will make the playoffs.


It is tough to sell 50 wins with Love missing time and the persistent uncertainty about Rubio and Roy. Games that Love misses don't become automatic L's, and the slate is surprisingly easy, but it's not like they're going to go 12-3 without him.

Jalen Rose guaranteed on his podcast this week that Love would not finish his contract in Minnesota. I bawled instantly.
   714. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4288305)
San Antonio matches up better with LA's size. If they play a front line of Duncan and Splitter, that might be one of the better matchups for the Gasol-Howard combo. Parker certainly isn't going to be easy for either Nash or Bryant to guard, and Ginobili does a good job getting into the lane as well. We may have collectively written off SA after they got bulldozed by OKC at the end of that series, but if OKC takes a step back, RR might be onto something about them being primed to step into the open door.
   715. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4288313)

It is tough to sell 50 wins with Love missing time and the persistent uncertainty about Rubio and Roy. Games that Love misses don't become automatic L's, and the slate is surprisingly easy, but it's not like they're going to go 12-3 without him.


On Simmons' over/under podcast, they had the biggest difference between the stathead projection systems and his picks on Minnesota. I think Simmons said he expected something like 38-39 wins, IIRC, and made fun of ESPN the Magazine picking them to finish as the 4 seed. FWTW (not much).
   716. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4288317)
On Simmons' over/under podcast, they had the biggest difference between the stathead projection systems and his picks on Minnesota. I think Simmons said he ex`pected something like 38-39 wins, IIRC, and made fun of ESPN the Magazine picking them to finish as the 4 seed. FWTW (not much).


Yeah, I listened to that. He did not give much explanation for his opinion. I know that we're talking about a big leap, but the team that was on pace for so few wins last year was largely made up of bench players who are no longer there. They were solid with their core relatively healthy early in the year, and they have made big improvements to that group (even though that is just going from morbidly hilariously bad to decent at some positions).
   717. Booey Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4288319)
Jalen Rose guaranteed on his podcast this week that Love would not finish his contract in Minnesota. I bawled instantly.


They'd better get really good, really fast then...
   718. rr Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4288325)
the slate is surprisingly easy,


I haven't looked at it, but I think there will be very few automatic Ws in the West. NO has Davis, Gordon and Anderson now; HOU just added Harden, although according to BASKPro, they still project as the worst team (26 wins as opposed to 21). The other teams people have in the lottery are not bereft of talent.

IMO the NBA is entering a period in which we will see very few 60-win teams--more parity.
   719. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4288328)
Can someone explain why Houston projects so poorly?

This may be crazy, but I think Cleveland has a shot at the playoffs.
   720. rr Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4288338)
Can someone explain why Houston projects so poorly?


Lin and Asik are media/stathead and League Pass darlings and can do some things very, very well, but they both have limitations. HOU has a lot of young forwards who look OK, but no one who looks like a true foundational player.

Also, someone has to be the worst team. SAC has Cousins and Evans, POR has Aldridge. GS has Curry and Bogut. NO should be better and may be much better. BaskPro has PHX at 28-54, so HOU might project better than they will in some systems.
   721. jmurph Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4288347)
This may be crazy, but I think Cleveland has a shot at the playoffs.


It's not that crazy. Some marginally terrible team like Cleveland, the Wiz, or Toronto is going to either come very close to the 8 seed or actually make the 8 seed.
   722. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4288368)
Can someone explain why Houston projects so poorly?

Probably has a lot to do with how the projection systems handle rookies. FWIW, Hollinger has them at 37 wins post-Harden.
   723. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4288391)
I haven't looked at it, but I think there will be very few automatic Ws in the West. NO has Davis, Gordon and Anderson now; HOU just added Harden, although according to BASKPro, they still project as the worst team (26 wins as opposed to 21). The other teams people have in the lottery are not bereft of talent.


I think Sacramento is the leader so far for worst team in the west, mostly out of mismatches with their talented players and overall dysfunction. You could convince me that Phoenix (no defense, relying on Beasley) or Portland (they could fall off of a cliff if Aldridge gets hurt, probably the worst depth north of LA) has a shot to displace them. Among others, the Wolves play Sacto twice, Toronto, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Dirk-less Dallas, and Orlando in the first month.

This may be crazy, but I think Cleveland has a shot at the playoffs.


They're pretty bad after Irving. I guess a reasonable person could be way more optimistic about Thompson and Waiters than I am, but I don't think they're very close to .500.
   724. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4288398)
Suns project to be awful, among the West's worst. Weird thing is, I like the assets they've collected. Gortat is a B-plus center with only two affordable years left on his contract. Dudley is a fine sixth man/glue guy with a bargain of a deal ($17MM over 4). Scola can't be traded until next summer, but he comes very cheap ($9MM over 2, in 2013-14 and 14-15). Morris and Marshall are good chips to fill out bigger trades, and as sweeteners the Suns have all those picks (in '13, three 1st-rounders and two second-rounders; two first-rounders in '15).
   725. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4288420)
Lin and Asik are media/stathead and League Pass darlings and can do some things very, very well, but they both have limitations. HOU has a lot of young forwards who look OK, but no one who looks like a true foundational player.


Sure -- but 21 _projected_ wins pre-Harden trade is epically bad -- projections rightfully regress to the mean. And if they are stathead darlings, well, aren't the statheads the ones making the projections? I'm not saying they should be projected into the playoffs or anything but how could this team with some legitimately good players and plenty of upside be projected for only 21 wins? That seems crazy to me.

They're pretty bad after Irving. I guess a reasonable person could be way more optimistic about Thompson and Waiters than I am, but I don't think they're very close to .500.


I think I am mostly basing this on: a surprisingly decent, pretty young team with a guy with superstar potential. I do have a soft spot for Thompson.
   726. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4288426)
I had Houston, Sacramento, and Phoenix in a clump of sadness.
The issue with Houston is: who's an average or better NBA player on this team besides Harden and probably Asik (who can't score) / Lin (unproven / turnover prone / not a good defender)? Maybe Parsons? Then a lot of maybes and nos.

*IF* everything breaks right for Minnesota, man, that's an interesting team. Pekovic/Love/Kirilenko/Roy/Rubio - backed up by Stiemsma/Williams/Budinger/Shved/Ridnour and Barea and Cunningham. And with a good coach in Adelman.
So... I guess they're due for more injuries.
   727. rr Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4288440)
stathead darlings


Statheads like them, particularly Asik--but that doesn't mean that they are foundational players. Prior to the Harden deal, those two guys were probably Houston's two best players and as DK points out again, they both have serious limitations. It is sort of as if you had Ben Wallace and the 12th-15th or so best PG as your two best guys--those guys are pretty good, but if your team is those two and a bunch of young guys and rookies in a tough conference, you are going to lose a lot. Maybe not 61 games, but a lot. That's why Morey wanted Harden.

Another way to look at it: prior to the Harden deal, which team in the West was demonstrably worse than Houston? BaskPro--and they like Morey and thought getting Harden was smart--still has them as the worst team in the West.
   728. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4288467)
"Foundational" is the new "elite."
   729. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4288473)
BaskPro--and they like Morey and thought getting Harden was smart--still has them as the worst team in the West

I think we should do a better job separating what (I assume are) unbiased projection systems say/show and what the analysts who employ/rely on those systems say.
   730. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4288502)
Ty Lawson re-ups with Denver for four years. He just said so via Twitter.
   731. kpelton Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4288504)
One interesting thing is that if you just add up the projected WARP for the Rockets, it comes out about the same as Hollinger--37.4 wins, I think. So there are some questions about how the pieces fit together, and then a fair amount of SCHOENE's skepticism is that it has no way to account for Asik's defensive impact.

But I would definitely say encouragement about the Rockets' direction is more about 2-3 years down the road than this year.
   732. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4288609)
Kevin, whenever I see you posting here, it takes all my self-control to keep from accosting you like a wild-eyed vagrant and demanding you tell me happy things about the Suns' rebuilding project.
   733. Jimmy P Posted: October 30, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4288619)
Kevin, whenever I see you posting here, it takes all my self-control to keep from accosting you like a wild-eyed vagrant and demanding you tell me happy things about the Suns' rebuilding project.


They have former #2 and #4 overall picks in the draft.
   734. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4288621)
They have former #2 and #4 overall picks in the draft.
(stink-eye)
   735. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4288636)
Kevin, whenever I see you posting here, it takes all my self-control to keep from accosting you like a wild-eyed vagrant and demanding you tell me happy things about the Suns' rebuilding project.


Don't worry, I can tell you from experience that when you finally realize that your franchise player isn't going to push you over the top and you mercy trade him to a contender for 25 cents on the dollar, the rebuilding project only takes about 6 years to start showing any progress.

Lawson- seems like a good deal for both sides, maybe slightly favoring the team. They're paying him a little more than what the market for an almost AS PG is, but that premium can be seen as a payment toward his possible further development. If he gets much better at all, he could look like a very good deal. It seems like teams often pay more of a premium for potential, although that may not be true at PG as much as it is with big men.
   736. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4288642)
RT ?@KBergCBS Knicks announce that Amar'e Stoudemire will undergo "left knee debridement" and miss 6-8 weeks.
   737. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4288646)
Debridement? Is that like a divorce?
   738. Booey Posted: October 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4288685)
Don't worry, I can tell you from experience that when you finally realize that your franchise player isn't going to push you over the top and you mercy trade him to a contender for 25 cents on the dollar, the rebuilding project only takes about 6 years to start showing any progress.


For your sake and for the sake of all other long suffering Wolves fans, I hope you're talking about Garnett and not predicting Love's future.
   739. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4288706)
Comparable PG contracts to Lawson's 4 years, $48M:

Rondo- 5 years, $55m. Generally seen as a good deal. New CBA makes Lawson's shorter. $1m per year more likely offset by longer commitment.

Deron Williams- 5 years, $98m. Higher profile, superior reputation, but probably not wildly better than Lawson over next 4 years at twice the price.

Rose- 5 years, $94m. Clearly superior player when healthy.

Stuckey- 3 years, $25.5m. Inferior player, not a bad deal.

Lin- 3 years, $25m. If he stays healthy, that is probably a bargain.

G. Hill- 5 years, $40m. Cheaper AAV than Lawson, but Lawson is already better and healthier with chance to improve. Probably used as a comp in negotiations.

Paul- 4 years, $63m. Older contract (in last year). Not a very comparable player.

Conley- 5 years, $40m. Same deal as Hill, probably a slightly better player. I'd prefer Lawson, but Conley's D makes it close.

Westbrook- 5 years, $79m. Same evaluation as Rose. Even a better deal.

Jameer Nelson- 3 years, $25m. Stuckey/Lin contract. I'll take Lin again.

Dragic- 4 years, $30m. Still want to see him as starter for full season. Seems like a good contract for team.

Parker- 4 years, $50m. Roughly similar player but without chance to improve at time he signed.

Lowry- 4 years, $23m. Signed before breakout.



I would say Parker is the closest comp and Lawson is slightly cheaper and younger at time of deal.

   740. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4288722)
Also, this happened today:
RT @cavsdan Due to bad weather, tonight's opening Cavs game tipoff has been delayed from 7:12 PM to 7:13 PM.Gives you another minute to get to your seat
   741. smileyy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4288728)
[737] "Divorcing himself from tissue" sounds a lot better than "Scraping #### out of his knee"
   742. rr Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4288742)

I think we should do a better job separating what (I assume are) unbiased projection systems say/show and what the analysts who employ/rely on those systems say.


When those guys say "I think the system may be wrong here" I have done that, and I did in fact note that Pelton did say, in the BaskPro Boston essay, that SCHOENE has been off at times on older teams.

Also, you need to remember WRT Hollinger and Pelton that about 95% of what they write is behind paywalls. Quoting extensively is out of the question. The point of the comment was that it is quite possible to simultaneously

a) Like what Houston is doing.
b) Think they are going to lose a hell of a lot games this year.

Also, I am not sure it is possible to design a totally "unbiased" projection system (this has been a big thing on the politics thread WRT Nate Silver and 538).


   743. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4288797)
The point of the comment was that it is quite possible to simultaneously

a) Like what Houston is doing.
b) Think they are going to lose a hell of a lot games this year.
Pretty much where I am with the Suns.
   744. JJ1986 Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4288807)
What exactly is the point of Jeff Green if not to match up with LeBron?
   745. Spivey Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4288812)
Well we're about 10 minutes into the first game of the season. I'm starting to wonder if Bosh is going to be the second best player on Miami this year.
   746. Spivey Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4288813)
What exactly is the point of Jeff Green if not to match up with LeBron?


To flip out and have heart issues.
   747. kpelton Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4288858)
I think the one thing I want to avoid is people getting the impression that any optimism about Houston is due to the desire to see Morey succeed as an analytical GM (and past foreword author). The Harden trade was a much better result than I anticipated when writing the essay for the book.

The other thing I'd point out in the spirit of this discussion is that I only write half the chapters, and Bradford and I don't always agree about where SCHOENE might be wrong. For example, he seems to buy SCHOENE on the Nuggets a little more than I do.
   748. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4288865)
Jeebus. Even in Shaq and Sir Charles's hands, the Galaxy Note looks enormous.
   749. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4288866)
Is it me, or does Wade look a half-step slow?

And also, I hate being on the east coast for sports. West coast games starting at 10 p.m.? Are you serious? TURRIBLE.
   750. Spivey Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4288868)
That's some hard hitting analysis about the Galaxy S Note 2.
   751. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4288935)
So LA's second unit is gasol, hill, Blake, Meeks, and Jamison at the 3? That seems like an indictment of the bench and the coach.
   752. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4288949)
We already knew it was an indictment of the bench, but the entire 2011-2012 season is turning out be an indictment of the the coach as well.
   753. nick swisher hygiene Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4288955)
damn, the Simmons Harden trade column is as close to straight-up angry as I've ever read him--this is a man who has just lost a beloved narrative......
   754. andrewberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4288961)
Dallas shouldn't be called the mavs, they should be the no D-long 2s.
   755. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4288965)
The numbers say the Lakers are efficient, but to my eyes, they look kind of lost. There's a lot of pointing going on, guys not where they're supposed to be on the floor, guys looking for help a lot. MWP looks pretty terrible. A lot of first-game-of-the-season blahs against a Mavs team that doesn't even have Dirk.
   756. andrewberg Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4288976)
It is extremely strange that the Lakers' offensive strategy seems to be to make sure Dwight is at least 12' from the basket when he catches the ball and to make sure Steve Nash never has to dribble. Gasol looks great reading the defense in the high post, and I'm sure Kobe doesn't mind having a little bit less creating on his shoulders on every play, but would it kill them to run a single PNR with Nash/Howard or Nash/Gasol?
   757. steagles Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4288986)
Since everything must always revolve around the sixers, I'm just here to say that despite having no power/internet, I will definitely find a way to troll this thread when the sizers blazeout denzer tonight.

Go sizzlers, we goin' sixers


;)
   758. Yardape Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4288987)
Mike Brown just lamented that Eddie Curry physically dominated the Lakers in the third quarter. I can't think of anything else to say.
   759. smileyy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4288991)
Shouldn't the Lakers have Nash be their offensive coordinator?
   760. andrewberg Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4288993)
Shouldn't the Lakers have Nash be their offensive coordinator?


You must be forgetting Mike "Let's just let Lebron go 1 on 5" Brown and Eddie "Forget fast breaks, Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala need to be in a midrange shooting offense" Jordan.
   761. andrewberg Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4288994)
There it was- Howard screens for Nash who kicks it to Gasol. Paul misses the jumper, but Howard dunks back the rebound. Not so complicated.

The Lakers are so frustrated that I am wondering when Bynum will show up to clothesline someone.
   762. rr Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4288998)
Bynum will be back with the Lakers at about the same time Minnesota gets healthy and contends for a title.
   763. tshipman Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4288999)
I cannot believe that the Lakers are going to lose to a Dallas team whose leading players are Darren Collison and Brandon Wright.
   764. andrewberg Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4289001)
Bynum will be back with the Lakers at about the same time Minnesota gets healthy and contends for a title.


We're operating in different realities here. I am just hoping for a playoff berth.
   765. steagles Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4289002)
Ffs robin

Isn't it enough that you have Howard and gasoline? Now you need to take Bujumbura too?
   766. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4289007)
Either STEAGLES is drunk or his account has been taken over, because that capitalization is not the STEAGLES I know.
   767. rr Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4289010)
Isn't it enough that you have Howard and gasoline?


Doesn't appear to be at this point; they just lost to Dallas with Nowitzki out. In the preseason, I pointed out that a lot of internet guys, including Hollinger, were talking about "Kobe needing to adjust" but they didn't talk about Nash, assuming that he would require no adjustment period, etc. Kobe was 11/14 in this game. And, of course, I talked a lot about defense.

So, yes, they need to run more PnR and let Nash be Nash more.

   768. JuanGone..except1game Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4289013)
All is lost. Let's hope the Lakers can avoid the lottery.
   769. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:33 AM (#4289015)
Either STEAGLES is drunk or his account has been taken over, because that capitalization is not the STEAGLES I know.


I like the new phone autocorrect STEAGLES, though the question is, why is STEAGLES' phone autocorrecting to words with caps?
   770. smileyy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:33 AM (#4289016)
Nash doesn't need to adjust. The team needs to adjust to Nash. If you can't run an offense with Nash or (a few years ago) Jason Kidd, you're doing something wrong.
   771. rr Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4289019)
Nash doesn't need to adjust. The team needs to adjust to Nash.


Yes and no. Nash isn't always going to be as ball-dominant as he was and his USG will go down, and he needs to do better than 3/9 while Collison goes 8/12 in any case, no matter how dumb Mike Brown may be.

But, yes, like I said, and everybody else said, they need to play more to Nash's strengths, starting by running more PnR and, again, using him with Howard when Bryant and Gasol rest. I said a couple of weeks ago that I had doubts about Nash in the Princeton offense.
   772. rr Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:07 AM (#4289024)
Also, Howard was a little off--not quite there yet.
   773. smileyy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 03:15 AM (#4289033)
Yeah, if you're not going to play to Nash's strengths, why have him? I wonder if the Lakers might look like the '11 Heat for a while.
   774. thok Posted: October 31, 2012 at 04:15 AM (#4289038)
Bryant didn't shoot any free throws. That's somewhat ominous given his typical number prior to this season. (If Howard's present effectively moves some of the Lakers' interior game from Bryant to Howard in a way that Howard steals some of Kobe's free throws, that's going to make the Lakers offense less efficient, given that Bryant is a good free throw shooter and Howard is not.)
   775. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: October 31, 2012 at 05:18 AM (#4289044)
In a vacuum, you absolutely want Kobe taking free throws over Howard. For that matter, you want Nash taking them over everyone. But it's not a vacuum, and I would need a lot of evidence before I accepted that Howard's taking up too much room down low for Kobe to operate, given how Dwight is both smaller and more nimble than Bynum, the man he's replacing. I would chalk Kobe's lack of free throws to random variance and to a somewhat disjointed new offensive system, in that order, rather than any sort of Howard/Bryant zero-sum game.
   776. thok Posted: October 31, 2012 at 07:16 AM (#4289059)
I'm not going to make a final judgement on anything after one game. I'm just noticing a factor that we should keep an eye on.
   777. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4289095)
In non-Laker news...Kyrie was soooooo good last night, you guys. So was Varejao. If you are CLE what do you do with Varejao? And, which contending team could most use Varejao?
   778. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4289147)
If you are CLE what do you do with Varejao? And, which contending team could most use Varejao?

I think he's good to have for the Cavs for now. He's not making that much ($8.3mil this year, $9mil next, then an unguaranteed $9.7mil - $4mil guaranteed). I think there's probably monetary reasons for the Cavs to aim for the playoffs (not sure how what their season ticket base/attendance looks like for this year*), and those odds are better with him than with the likely asset they'd get. However, they need to get another star to pair with Irving, and the most likely way is getting lucky in the lottery (and I don't think Thompson or Waiters are going to be stars). But I'm not sure which contender - even loosely using that term - would have the right deal to get him. He'd look good in Brooklyn especially.

*Last night appears it was a sellout, they averaged a hair under 16k/game last season and over 20k/game the first year post-LeBron.
   779. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4289155)
Would the Lakers be the team with the largest range of possibilities in terms of ceiling and floor. I mean, I'm sure we can all imagine them winning a championship with the roster, but what's their worst-case-scenario?
   780. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4289179)
Would the Lakers be the team with the largest range of possibilities in terms of ceiling and floor. I mean, I'm sure we can all imagine them winning a championship with the roster, but what's their worst-case-scenario?

Worst case is probably a first round loss, maybe as the 3 or 4 seed, to a team like the Grizzlies or Clippers (just from a location standpoint, losing to the Clips might be worse). I don't see any way they miss the playoffs, and it's hard to see them falling below the 4 seed.

   781. Booey Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4289186)
Would the Lakers be the team with the largest range of possibilities in terms of ceiling and floor. I mean, I'm sure we can all imagine them winning a championship with the roster, but what's their worst-case-scenario?


I'd say no. I think their absolute worst possible scenario is 50 wins and a 2nd round exit (see 2003, 2011, 2012). They just have too much talent in their starting lineup to drop any further than that, IMO.

I'd probably put Minnesota as the team with the largest range of possibilities. I could see them winning 50 if they stay healthy and their gambles (Roy, AK) have something left in the tank. I could also see them LOSING 50 if none of the above happens.
   782. jmurph Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4289200)
Are you guys saying worst case sans injuries? Because obviously LA's real worst case is much lower than 50 wins and/or the 3rd/4th seed. Howard's injuries linger, Nash is limited by injuries, Kobe's body suddenly realizes it has a bajillion miles on it, etc. I don't think those things are likely, but their core probably has greater injury risk than Miami's, right? Or Denver's? Or a lot of other teams?
   783. JuanGone..except1game Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4289205)
I'm not going to make a final judgement on anything after one game. I'm just noticing a factor that we should keep an eye on.


I tried to use some levity to speak to people's perspective but I guess its not working. It's one game. People forget that the Heattles started out 9-7 with people wondering if it would ever work because Lebron and Wade are alpha dogs and their coach sucked, etc., etc. I still think the Lakers need a lot of work, but ONE GAME.
   784. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4289210)
The Lakers new personnel and newish offense (non-triangle) could add to their woes.

I have no idea where the Celtics are going to end up, either. Garnett going down could leave them short, literally and figuratively. And who the heck is Courtney Lee? Well, he's their new starting 2 guard!
   785. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4289219)
it's one game and nothing that should be that big of a surprise - we've been talking about this possibility for months. check back in in a month.

782 - yes

783 - pelton mentioned something i was thinking of in that boston could use another rim protector behind garnett.
now, as for lee - i think he's overrated - but he's hardly an unknown or unrespected commodity.
   786. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4289221)
?@CharleeRedz13 It's not even takin a chance...I'm not comin to yr team riddin a motorcycle... High Q player/person ..low cost...great influence on young P. Defend and play all 3 guard spots...complete player...can be a scorer if asked can be whatever a team needs do to wide verity of skill set..Only ask for communication about when checks come up missin or short...other than that...let's win some games and have fun while we doin it! And yea..this is my resamay...Coach....?, let's go..take me a day or two to figure offense and a few mins to figure out defense...!! My rates..are league minimum...non garentee...cause Iknow that by time I get there u see what I'm about..what I bring everyday... Iim not worried about what the next man has on his plate...if he has a steak and patatoe..kool...I'm fine with my popeyes .... As a man in this world..all I ask is u look me in my eyes...and say yes/no red/blue...I don't understand grey/mabey...
   787. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4289223)
And who the heck is Courtney Lee? Well, he's their new starting 2 guard!

Uhhhh, Courtney Lee is pretty good.
   788. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4289232)
there's a number of teams that i think should look into west - you may not want him around for two, three years - but on a n-g, min contract - if your locker room can handle him...
besides, he can defend all three guard spots.
   789. Jimmy P Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4289233)
I'd probably put Minnesota as the team with the largest range of possibilities.

Golden St, too. Bogut and Curry could play and help them make the playoffs, or they could be picking top 5 again.
   790. Jimmy P Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4289236)
Steph Curry just tweeted that he signed a 4 year extension
   791. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4289238)
4/44
   792. Jimmy P Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4289240)
Shocker: Monty Williams says Eric Gordon is out indefinitely with a knee injury
   793. andrewberg Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4289273)
besides, he can defend all three guard spots.



He struggles when you match him up with a 4-guard.
   794. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4289284)
Are you guys saying worst case sans injuries? Because obviously LA's real worst case is much lower than 50 wins and/or the 3rd/4th seed. Howard's injuries linger, Nash is limited by injuries, Kobe's body suddenly realizes it has a bajillion miles on it, etc. I don't think those things are likely, but their core probably has greater injury risk than Miami's, right? Or Denver's? Or a lot of other teams?


This was my thinking. We clearly see the ceiling, but they are an old team with an awful bench and high injury-risk.
   795. Jimmy P Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4289286)
high injury-risk.

Really? You've got a center in his athletic prime (yes, he had surgery, but he seems ok now). You've got a power forward who's played a full season 3 of the last 4 years. A point guard that never misses games. I think high is overselling it. They have injury risk, but not more than most teams.
   796. cmd600 Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4289291)
777 & 778 - The Cavs should have moved Varejao before he got hurt last year. The best case scenario is he leads them to an 8 seed and a sweep at the hands of the Heat in the first round this year. Down the road you've got two years to contend with a guy who is on the wrong side of 30, whose game is about throwing himself around recklessly, and has missed significant time each of the last two years. Sounds like some long odds you're gambling on. Move him for draft picks, even if its likely to just be some role player, finding a shooter to come off the bench in Irving's prime is better than ruining your lottery chances right now.

And the best deal I heard, which is admittedly a longshot rumor, was the rest of their draft (24, 33, 34, which they used to get #17) and Varejao for Golden State's #7. I have to believe there was no way the Cavs would pass up a chance to get the upside of Barnes or Drummond though.
   797. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4289296)
Abrams on Hollins:
"I don't know why you are complaining, Josh," Hollins says. "You guys have shot 30 free throws."6

"It was a good defensive play," Smith replies. "He forced it. You were a good defensive player, weren't you?"

"Yeah, but you guys have already shot 30 free throws," Hollins says.

"I haven't shot one," Smith says.

"That's because you're shooting jumpers," Hollins needles back.
   798. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4289322)
[797] Great article on a great coach. Thanks for the link.
   799. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4289338)
I'm not much of an NBA fan, and I know this has been talked about at great length on this thread, but the Celtics seem a deeply unlikable group of players. Treating Ray Allen as some kind of villain because he had the audacity to sign with the Heat after he lost his starting job in Boston?
   800. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4289343)
the Celtics seem a deeply unlikable group of players


I love many of the Celtics, like KG, because they bring everything to the game. I never feel cheated by their effort. And no I am not a big Celtics fan, but as a fan when I am paying good money I want them to give their all and they do. I want tough defense and everything else effort brings. WOuld I want to be best buds with them? Nope, so if that is what you mean then I guess so.
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