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Sunday, May 03, 2009

NBA Playoffs Thread

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA Playoffs, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: the Duke Lacrosse case and Pavement’s discography.

rr Posted: May 03, 2009 at 06:34 PM | 21164 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Gamingboy Posted: May 03, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3162261)
I actually almost cared with that Bulls-Celtics series.

Then I realized that A) Baseball was on and B) it was still the NBA.
   2. neck Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:13 PM (#3162304)
I can't bring myself to watch the NBA, either. But I can't figure out why. Is it:

1. the meaningless regular season?
2. the boring one-on-one isolation?
3. the way too long games?
4. the way too long final two minutes (time out after time out)?

I've thought about this at length because I want to like the NBA. Help me out here.
   3. hscs Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:18 PM (#3162307)
Did anyone else think Nicene Creedence Edition could have done without multiple recordings of "And Then.... (The Hexx)"?
   4. Tripon Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:19 PM (#3162309)

1. the meaningless regular season?
2. the boring one-on-one isolation?
3. the way too long games?
4. the way too long final two minutes (time out after time out)?


Everything but rule 4 can be applied to baseball.
   5. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:21 PM (#3162313)
Thanks for this.
   6. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:23 PM (#3162317)
Everything but rule 4 can be applied to baseball.

Pitching change after pitching change to maximize a platoon matchup?

MLB doesn't have a totally meaningless season in that there are still very good teams (or at least teams as good as those who make it into the playoffs) that don't finish the season as either a division winner or wild card. The NBA takes any team that's even remotely good and gives them a chance to compete for the championship.
   7. OPS+ Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:23 PM (#3162319)
I find that the many scores make it boring for me. In baseball a leadoff homerun could be the game winning run but if you watch a basketball that you know that the first 60 points or so can't possibly be the winning run.
   8. neck Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:28 PM (#3162329)
Everything but rule 4 can be applied to baseball.


Disagree. I'll grant you #3, but MLB has the most meaningful reg. season in prof. sports (if you look at it in terms of % of teams that make the playoffs). And I don't know how you think #2 can be applied to baseball.
   9. Tripon Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:33 PM (#3162339)
Number 2 is when a team brings in a LOOGY to take care of a lefty and then pulls him, most times this amounts to nothing. Also, the baseball season is meaningless to a lot of times by August who have no chance of making the playoffs.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:38 PM (#3162343)
but MLB has the most meaningful reg. season in prof. sports


Sure, but then you can argue that because of the length of the regular season that each game is of such comparatively little value. And I'm sure you will find fans that say "the first 5 months are meaningless, wake me up in September." They would be just as correct as OPS+ when he says that the first 60 points of a basketball game aren't worth paying attention to.

Basically what we learned here is that one cannot prove by logic that one sport is less interesting than another.
   11. Guapo Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:53 PM (#3162363)
Let's go Caps!
   12. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:57 PM (#3162367)
What I like about basketball is that it offers exceptional athletes the best opportunity for expressing their own creativity. Every single player on the court has a unique style. The express themselves in the medium of athleticism. Great players, your LeBrons and Kobes, are marvels to watch, and because they can take the ball every time they can also bend the game to their will. Lesser but more eccentric players, your Rasheed Wallaces and Vlade Divacs, can be equally compelling. But most players have a court personality and their interactions are, to me, hugely enjoyable.

Soccer is the other sport where the genius of superlative individuals is perhaps the most important factor in the game.

Football players are so beholden to the coach's scheme, and so hidden by their body armor, that they don't have the same opportunity. Ditto baseball players, who are constricted by the rules of the game. How often would you say that a baseball player plays creatively? For a position player it only happens during unusual fielding or baserunning opportunities. Pitchers are a strong exception, which is one of the best points of the game. Watching a pitcher with outstanding ability and intelligence dominate a game is a similar experience to watching LeBron dominate.
   13. hscs Posted: May 03, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3162393)
The NBA takes any team that's even remotely good and gives them a chance to compete for the championship.

Not since the first round of the playoffs went from a 5 to a 7 game series.
   14. Alex_Lewis Posted: May 03, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3162453)
I love the NBA. After MLB, it's my favorite sport to watch. The athletes are outstanding. The plays are exciting. Of all the basketball in the world, the NBA playoffs is the most gratifying to witness... Unless the refs screw it up. That's the only thing that bothers me about watching the pros, and it's a major hurdle. I can think of few things better than a pair of well-constructed teams, allowed to play the game the way it is meant to be played, battling for a championship. Those Celtics-Bulls games were a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

All of that said, nothing tops a prize fight (a legitimate one) for the volume of entertainment. Sure, it's a little barbaric. Sure, most of the fights are a mismatch or rigged. Even though Hatton was done in two rounds and well below the ability of Pacquaio as a fighter, their confrontation caused my heart to beat faster than any ballgame I witnessed on Saturday...
   15. Rich Rifkin I Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:16 PM (#3162539)
Even though Game 7 was not very good -- once Boston got on a roll in the second quarter, it was clear to me Chicago didn't have enough to come back and they never again had a lead -- I'm willing to state that the BOS-CHI first round series was the best first-round series I can recall. It's funny, then, that the ATL-MIA series, in the same conference at the same time, was perhaps the worst first round series I've ever watched that went the full 7 games. Not only were all 7 games blowouts, but they were not close because the losing teams were playing bad basketball.

My belief is that Atlanta has a lot more talent than Miami and thus never should have been blown off the court by the Heat in any game. I don't know why Atlanta appears to not give 100% effort each game. Maybe it's the personalities on that team? Maybe it's an ineffective head coach? Maybe I'm wrong and they are trying their best? I don't think the talent on Boston (with Powe and Garnett out) is any better than the talent on Atlanta. Yet the Celtics (appear to me) to always give 100%. I'm not sure if that is due to Doc Rivers being a good coach. (I think he's good.*) Or if it's just have guys like Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce, who have the character to always give a great effort?

*It's an imperfect analogy, but since Boston won the title last year, I've thought of Rivers as the NBA's version of Joe Torre. Both were very good players, but not quite Hall of Fame. Both were good broadcasters. Both went into coaching and either failed or didn't win enough to keep their jobs. And then both got breaks to take hold of a club loaded with talent and won championship(s), making most people's views of them as coaches change from "nothing special" to "one of the best."
   16. Rich Rifkin I Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:20 PM (#3162544)
Even though Hatton was done in two rounds and well below the ability of Pacquaio as a fighter, their confrontation caused my heart to beat faster than any ballgame I witnessed on Saturday...
When I hear horse racing fans say, "the Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports, I have to wonder if they've ever seen a great round of a prize fight? To me (as an admitted barbarian, albeit a conflicted one), nothing rouses me more than to see two men exchange brutal punches back and forth at the climax of a boxing match. It doesn't have to be the best fighters. The average round in a Gatti-Ward fight bests almost any horse race, save when I have some money on a horse coming on from behind.
   17. Alex_Lewis Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:24 PM (#3162546)
Interesting point comparing the Hawks to the Celtics, Rich. The essential difference, I think, is defense. Defense is a talent as much as offense. We'll boil that down to Rajon Rondo and Mike Bibby. It's all between them. Rondo is an excellent defender. Bibby is hideous. You can extend that throughout the entire Boston team. Is there a plus defender on the Hawks?

I also like the comparison between Doc Rivers and Joe Torre. They would appear to be persona managers. 'We're okay, let's get out there and do this thing.' They aren't so good on the X's and O's, but they know how to motivate. They do this by expressing their character. Vinny Del Negro, for example, would appear to be pretty decent in drawing up a play (though he is miserable in using the clock and getting his players on the floor), but is totally pathetic at convincing his players to live in the moment.
   18. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:25 PM (#3162547)
The NBA takes any team that's even remotely good and gives them a chance to compete for the championship.
The '08 Warriors and '09 Suns say hi.
   19. Rich Rifkin I Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3162550)
Bibby is hideous.
As a Kings fan, I cannot disagree. He does, however, look better on defense with hair. What Bibby brought to the game, when he first joined the Kings (esp. in contrast to Jason Williams, another bad defender, for whom he was traded) was smart shot selection. What fell apart, as he continued on with the Kings, was that he started taking worse and worse shots, and his FG% continually declined. That gave me no reason to complain when he was traded.

Bibby's FG% as a King, starting with his second season in Sacramento:

2002-03: .470
2003-04: .450
2004-05: .443
2005-06: .432
2006-07: .404

Mike was only 28 years old when the Kings sent him to Atlanta. So it's hard to argue his decline was due to age. I'm sure having worse teammates played a part. But (from my perspective sitting up in the cheap seats at ARCO), it looked as if he had simply lost his ability to take good shots. He could still make mid-range jumpers when he was open; or even a 3 pointer in rhythm. But he added to his array a lot of long jump shots with a man in his face and that killed his value as a King.
   20. Alex_Lewis Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:30 PM (#3162551)
The average round in a Gatti-Ward fight bests almost any horse race, save when I have some money on a horse coming on from behind.


Marquez v Vazquez... 'Nuff said. I watched the Gatti-Ward fights live. Astonishing. Nothing compares.
   21. Alex_Lewis Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:31 PM (#3162552)
As a Kings fan, I cannot disagree. He does, however, look better on defense with hair.


And we thought Jason Williams was bad...
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:35 PM (#3162555)
When I hear horse racing fans say, "the Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports,

Actual racehorsing fans do not say this nor do they believe it. It's a marketing mantra by the folks in the media.

I cut you some slack when you were doing your Sheriff Bull Connor routine. But spare me the diminishing of horseracing. You really do read as ignorant.

Please look elsewhere..............
   23. Rich Rifkin I Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:37 PM (#3162557)
Marquez v Vazquez...
Those guys are superior talents. I used Ward-Gatti to make my point that you don't need the very best fighters to have a very exciting fight.
   24. Alex_Lewis Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:44 PM (#3162562)
I like Bibby as a scorer and I root for him as a Hawk. He did make one of the most exciting shots in Kings' (this punctuation always confounds me) history. His defense has always been miserable. I cannot think of a guard that he has defended successfully. Strong man, good athlete, slow feet. It happens on occasion.

I like you rolling out the Gatti-Ward... But no one seems to talk about Marquez-Vazquez, for whatever reason. Those guys were insane. 'NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE,' as Kevin Harlan would say. A remarkable and slightly horrifying display.
   25. tshipman Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:48 PM (#3162565)
Let's talk about specific matchups for the coming series and give it a breakdown:

Cavs vs. Hawks:
Pretty big mis-match. Hawks probably put Josh Smith on LBJ, or use Joe Johnson and Mo Evans for stretches to give him different looks. On offense, I'd expect the Cavs to use a fair amount of penetration by James and Mo Evans. Atlanta has poor defenders in Bibby at the point, and a truly terrible bench. The Cavs will rely on J. Johnson and Bibby to create for them. Cavs will probably pull ahead in the second quarter when Atlanta has to play their bench. This is a very easy matchup for Cavs. Cavs in 4.

Celtics vs. Magic:
An interesting series. A lot of people like the Celtics in this series, but I don't really see that, to be honest.
Magic on offense: As usual, throw it down to D. Howard in the post, kick it out for open 3's. The Celtics on defense are using Perkins, Davis and Scalabrine. Two of those players can't really guard Howard effectively. If Perkins gets in early foul trouble, it'll be very difficult for Boston to win.
Celtics on offense: The Chicago series relied on penetration by Rondo. That penetration will be a lot less effective this series. You can force Rondo baseline. Pierce will likely be guarded by Rashard Lewis and Turkoglu on the block. Both players give up quickness, but have a height advantage.
I would see Orlando in 6. The Celtics would probably have to win in 7.
   26. Rich Rifkin I Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:49 PM (#3162568)
I cut you some slack when you were doing your Sheriff Bull Connor routine.
What?!
   27. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:50 PM (#3162572)
Rich:

The thread that somehow vanished after you linked sufficient material to generate the Internet equivalent of a lynch mob...............
   28. Rich Rifkin I Posted: May 03, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3162583)
I know who Bull Connor was. I don't understand what he has to do with me.

On an unrelated side note, I learned something interesting about Bull Connor in The Temple Bombing by Melissa Fay Greene. It regards the investigation and response to an attempted terrorist act by neo-Nazis in Alabama against Temple Beth-El in Birmingham (which is not The Temple that is the focus of the book and actually was bombed by neo-Nazis).
   29. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 03, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3162586)
Rich:

You posted some links about Milton Bradley that about 103 posters found extremely offensive. Hence my reference.

I will stop now. This discussion will likely only instigate more back and forth of a useless nature.
   30. tshipman Posted: May 03, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3162587)
In the West:

Denver vs. Mavs
A fairly balanced matchup of two flawed teams.
Denver on offense: Denver is a very schizophrenic team because of its hit or miss bench play. When JR Smith can't miss, they're ridiculously difficult. When he's a head case, they're eminently beatable. Denver initiates the offense through Billups and Anthony. Billups off of screen and rolls and flex plays, Anthony off iso post ups and drives. J. Kidd can actually defend Billups fairly well, but who guards Anthony? Howard? Apparently in the first game, Nene just abused Erika Dampier on the block (Didn't see it).
Mavs on Offense: Mavs are a lot more consistent in what they try to do. Nowitzki and Kidd drive the offense when the first unit is on the floor. Nowitzki mainly plays at the pinch-post in isolation sets. Kenyon Martin looks like he's going to be the primary defender on Nowitzki, which is a good matchup for Denver. Terry comes off the bench and provides the scoring when Nowitzki goes out.
Adjustments for G2: the Mavs need to make Nene a non-factor or they're going to lose every game in this series. I'd expect to see the quick double to take the ball out of Nene's hands when they go to him on the block. I would expect the Nuggets to win in 6.

Lakers vs. Rockets (I am a Lakers fan so be forewarned)
Probably the second most one-sided matchup in this round.
Rockets on Offense: the Rockets like to start out with Yao in the post, getting position or drifting out to the pinch-post for cuts for the guards. Rockets will likely try to keep Aaron Brooks involved again, as they have a significant quickness advantage there. Lakers will probably sandwich Yao, like most teams do, playing Bynum or Gasol behind him and bringing the double quickly with the wings. Artest will play on the block, mostly being guarded by Ariza.
Lakers on Offense: Lakers will try, like most teams, to pull Yao out of the middle by posting Gasol at the high post, or driving at the hoop with Odom. Kobe will work against Battier and Artest. Lakers will look to run, to tire Yao, and to force tempo. Basically, the whole series should be able to be seen like this: if Kobe has a bad game (poor shooting percentage), the Lakers are vulnerable and won't be able to run as much. If Kobe shoots well, I would imagine it would be very difficult for the Rockets to win.
Lakers in 5 would be my prediction.
   31. Mister High Standards Posted: May 03, 2009 at 11:37 PM (#3162606)
Unless you have a rooting interst in one of the teams, I don't see why you watch the NBA playoffs and not the NHL playoffs.
   32. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 04, 2009 at 12:55 AM (#3162646)
An aversion to facial hair?
   33. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:01 AM (#3162648)
Go Lakers!!!!!!!
   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3162652)
Hockey is boring?
   35. akrasian Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:11 AM (#3162653)
with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: the Duke Lacrosse case and Pavement’s discography.

Little known fact. The Duke lacrosse players were having the stripper dance to Pavement, and that's what led to the brouhaha.
   36. hscs Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:19 AM (#3162656)
I don't see why you watch the NBA playoffs and not the NHL playoffs.

I don't get the Outdoor Life Network? No FoxTrax?

For the record, I appreciate all sports. I'm not sure what the benefit of not watching the NBA or NHL playoffs is.
   37. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:21 AM (#3162657)
Little known fact. The Duke lacrosse players were having the stripper dance to Pavement, and that's what led to the brouhaha.


We Dance, No Life Singed Her, Carrot Rope?? :)

I was hoping at the end of the Bulls-Celtics series that the crowd would give both teams a standing ovation - it was an amazing two weeks that series - I was not that upset over the Game 6 loss as it added more glory to an amazing series that will go down as one of the all time greats. I can't see the Celtics picking themselves up for this unless KG comes back (wishful thinking)- but as pointed out before - they never seem to quit.

It seems though all roads are pointing towards Cavs- Lakers though.
   38. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:26 AM (#3162660)
Reasonable assessments, tshipman - though I say LA in 6, not 5. Houston is easy to underrate.
   39. Obama Bomaye Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:31 AM (#3162662)
The NBA takes any team that's even remotely good and gives them a chance to compete for the championship.
--------------
The '08 Warriors and '09 Suns say hi.


The Western Conf has just been a bear for the last several years. Part of why it's not really been fair to knock certain teams for never getting out of the 1st round, or never getting to the finals, or whatevr. You can win 52 games -- very good team -- and still not have homecourt advantage.


I watched the playoffs a lot more last season than I had in many years. Players who really impressed me last year:

Pau Gasol - What a versatile offensive player
David West - Didn't seem to ever miss an 18-footer
Paul Pierce - I picked him out as a star the 1st time I ever saw him play as a college freshman. But I wasn't sure how he was as a pro. I had the impression he was kind of a scorer and not much more.

I haven't yet watched much of this year's playoffs.
   40. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:37 AM (#3162664)
Kenyon Martin looks like he's going to be the primary defender on Nowitzki, which is a good matchup for Denver.

Going into the series I would've disagreed, and nothing from tonight changes that. I've always thought of Martin as being overrated, especially defensively. Nowitzki will be able to shoot over Martin easily, and I don't see Kenyon dogging Nowitzki to the point where Dirk is getting the ball in bad spots. I agree that nobody can really stop Carmelo. Should be a good series. I'll say Dallas in 7 but wouldn't be surprised either way.

Lakers vs. Rockets (I am a Lakers fan so be forewarned)
Probably the second most one-sided matchup in this round.


Probably, but Houston is more than the sum of its parts and is a tough match up for anyone. If Yao is hitting his shots, like in Game 1 at Portland, he creates a lot of offense by drawing the double team. And hasn't Battier historically defended Kobe respectibly?
   41. Rich Rifkin I Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:52 AM (#3162718)
You posted some links about Milton Bradley that about 103 posters found extremely offensive.
I would be extremely offended that you think I am a "Bull Connor" if it was not so completely stupid, if that's what you are calling me. I'm 6'2". I'm as much a petite midget as I am a "Bull Connor."
   42. Marcel Posted: May 04, 2009 at 05:08 AM (#3162756)
tshipman -

You missed the most important factor in the Celtic/Magic matchup. Pierce is simply too tired. Normally he can take over a game almost as effectively as Kobe if he thinks that's what his team needs. The C's aren't going too far if he can't pull out a few of those games since I really doubt Ray has any more 50 point games in him.
   43. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 05:46 AM (#3162772)
Probably, but Houston is more than the sum of its parts and is a tough match up for anyone. If Yao is hitting his shots, like in Game 1 at Portland, he creates a lot of offense by drawing the double team. And hasn't Battier historically defended Kobe respectibly?


Yes, very well. Unfortunately for Battier, Michael Lewis wrote a much passed around NYT article about it. That pissed Kobe off to the extent that he has torched the Rockets so far this year. Kobe is a very, very weird player in a number of ways, but one of them is that he plays horribly when he's angry at the world in general, but magnificently when he's angry at someone in specific. Artest also pissed off Kobe. I wish I had a better citation, but here's the last game of the season series: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2009031110. Basically, as Yao goes, so go the Rockets. Portland lost because they didn't follow the blueprint to beating the Rockets, i.e. double Yao, make him pass, push him out of his spots and watch Houston brick shots. It's worked for the last 6 years.

You missed the most important factor in the Celtic/Magic matchup. Pierce is simply too tired. Normally he can take over a game almost as effectively as Kobe if he thinks that's what his team needs. The C's aren't going too far if he can't pull out a few of those games since I really doubt Ray has any more 50 point games in him.

Yeah, I think that's true too. I think their much bigger issue is the potential of Brian Scalabrine guarding Dwight Howard for 20+ minutes a night. Why is he in pro basketball?
   44. Rich Rifkin I Posted: May 04, 2009 at 06:21 AM (#3162780)
Artest also pissed off Kobe.
Artest (in the very same Craig Sager interview) also pissed off Charles Barkley. In response, Barkley has challenged Artest to a combo rap-golf-eating contest.
   45. Marcel Posted: May 04, 2009 at 08:08 AM (#3162792)
I think their much bigger issue is the potential of Brian Scalabrine guarding Dwight Howard for 20+ minutes a night. Why is he in pro basketball?

Because he's generally so ineffective that opposing teams don't bother guarding him so he usually gets one or two open looks from beyond the arc? It's either that or because Boston fans like having an Irish dude on the team.
   46. Alex_Lewis Posted: May 04, 2009 at 11:00 AM (#3162798)
It's all about momentum. If Scalabrine does anything right, it's the equivalent of a Kevin Garnett doing ten thousand things right.
   47. Alex_Lewis Posted: May 04, 2009 at 11:09 AM (#3162801)
I also loved that bit where Artest said that Brandon Roy was the best player he'd ever guarded... Naturally, reporters asked the following: 'What about Kobe?' Artest repeated his answer. This can only work out for the best!

I recollect Artest talking mad trash to Kobe during a close game and receiving three jumpers in the grill as payment for his effort...
   48. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:26 PM (#3162845)
Not at all NBA, but it's basketball and may interest some here: German League success story.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3162853)
The NBA takes any team that's even remotely good and gives them a chance to compete for the championship.
The '08 Warriors and '09 Suns say hi.


And a tip of the cap from the 2006 Cardinals, the two time champion Florida Marlins, the 1988 Dodgers, the 1987 Twins, and a whole slew of other baseball teams, who did more than just compete.
   50. jmurph Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:59 PM (#3162870)
Yeah, I think that's true too. I think their much bigger issue is the potential of Brian Scalabrine guarding Dwight Howard for 20+ minutes a night. Why is he in pro basketball?


You're right that Scalabrine can't guard Howard, but it's going to take a freakish occurence or three for that to happen for 20+ minutes a night.

One other thing- the Magic are either ineffective at getting Howard shots, or they don't try very hard to do so. Including shot attempts that led to free throws, he was getting < 20 shots per game in the first round with duds like Dalembert guarding him.

(Also, not to defend Scalabrine's lack of skills, but he's typically the 9th or 10th man on this team. He's only getting bigger minutes now because Powe is out, in addition to the obvious absence of Garnett.)
   51. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 04, 2009 at 02:03 PM (#3162875)
As a Celt's fan, I hope Scal pulls a Brian Doyle this month and next.
   52. The Essex Snead Posted: May 04, 2009 at 02:26 PM (#3162904)
(Also, not to defend Scalabrine's lack of skills, but he's typically the 9th or 10th man on this team. He's only getting bigger minutes now because Powe is out, in addition to the obvious absence of Garnett.)

Don't forget Mikki Moore's complete ineptitude -- if he wasn't such an awkward foul-prone fundamentally-unsound offensively-challenged stiff, MM would be soaking up Scal's minutes like a crouton in onion soup. At least Scal knows the defensive schemes and occasionally hits from downtown.
   53. jmurph Posted: May 04, 2009 at 02:35 PM (#3162913)
Don't forget Mikki Moore's complete ineptitude


Oh, no kidding. I was excited about that pickup for about 11 seconds, until I saw him play. Wasn't be briefly good at some point in his career? (Checking...) The answer is yes, but VERY briefly. As in one year, when he averaged 10 and 5 for New Jersey.
   54. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: May 04, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3162927)
The reasons I can't watch basketball -

(1) There's really no reason to watch the first 3/4ths of the game. Scoring is so commonplace, there's nothing really special about watching the two teams trade baskets. The game doesn't get interesting until the end, at which time -

(2) The end of the game moves at a snail's pace, because of the endless string of fouls and time outs. The last two minutes of the game usually takes about 45 minutes to play out.

One thing I've always wondered - why doesn't the NBA change the rule on fouls so that the team fouled has the option of either taking the shots or taking the ball out of bounds? That would stop the endless fouling of players at the end of games.
   55. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: May 04, 2009 at 02:53 PM (#3162937)
Moore was useful before that (NJ) as well, he just couldn't find the right match for his skills. A KPASTer, if you will - we're just seeing his decline phase.
   56. jmurph Posted: May 04, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3162940)
I'm not going to do too much to try to convince you (I like basketball, so I don't really get why others wouldn't. Ditto for baseball. Now, being passionate about football, that seems ridiculous). I will, however, concede that there are far too many timeouts. I also think this is frequently detrimental to the team, but coaches are simply control freaks; just about every coach in the NBA is guilty of overmanaging, comparable to someone like Tony LaRussa. They can't imagine a successful series of events unfolding without their immediate direction. There are many instances where teams would be better off executing a play, particularly last-second plays, without calling a timeout; the timeout just ends up giving the other team the chance to make subsitutions, plan their defensive strategy, etc.
   57. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3162942)
You're right that Scalabrine can't guard Howard, but it's going to take a freakish occurence or three for that to happen for 20+ minutes a night.

Not really. With Powe out, the Celtics bigs are Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins and Scalabrine. Miki Moore is that bad that they're playing Scalabrine over him.
Perkins averaged 3.3 fouls per 29.6 minutes for a rate of 0.111 fouls per minute.
Davis averaged 3.03 fouls per 21.5 minutes for a rate of 0.141 fouls per minute.
In 40 minutes, you could expect Perk to pick up between 4 and 5 fouls.

They've also been starting together in the frontcourt. In the Orlando games, I'd expect for Perkins to get in some foul trouble.

The thing with Howard, like Barkley noted on Inside, is that if he goes off, I mean if he gets ridiculous, he goes for 35 and 22. He's not Shaq, who gets 40+. If Howard wants to take the next step in his evolution as a player, it should be in this series, where he needs to realize that none of those guys on the C's can guard him. If Perkins isn't on him, he needs to demand the ball and go to the rim with authority. Davis is too small, and Scalabrine is too terrible. The gameplan for Orlando should be to try to get Perkins in foul trouble as quickly and as often as possible. Especially since Doc is very conservative with players in foul trouble.
   58. The Essex Snead Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3162945)
The one good thing that Moore can do against the Magic is serve as a foul sponge, even if he'll average a foul per minute. What I'm most worried about is Kendrick Perkins' shoulder -- near the end of Game 7 against the Bulls, Brad Miller came down hard on Perk's shoulder, which was operated on during the off-season, and a similar incident earlier in the year caused him to miss a handful of games -- he was favoring it a bit after the contact, tho i don't know if it's serious. If he's limited by it at all, tho, Howard should be able to clown the Celtics at will. And if Perk actually has to miss any time, then it's ORL in a cakewalk.
   59. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3162950)
Here's a thread specifically set up to talk about basketball, and we get people posting in the thread saying they don't like basketball. SO DON'T POST IN IT AND LET THE BASKETBALL FANS TALK ABOUT BASKETBALL. This happens in EVERY basketball thread.

---

Vinny Del Negro, for example, would appear to be pretty decent in drawing up a play (though he is miserable in using the clock and getting his players on the floor), but is totally pathetic at convincing his players to live in the moment.


I can't disagree strongly enough with this. He's TERRIBLE is drawing up plays (how many chances did the Bulls have at drawing up gamewinning play and failed; every time they failed in this series), TERRIBLE at allocating playing time, TERRIBLE at exploiting matchups or forcing matchup advantages, TERRIBLE at clock management, and TERRIBLE at defensive planning. The only reason the Bulls won 41 games this year was their talent. VDN's biggest asset this season was that he wasn't Scott Skiles. As far as I can tell, the players do like him. But they underachieved. Too many games during the regular season were like Game 3, and quite honestly, game 3 reflects terribly on Vinny. So does the 2nd quarter of game 7. Outside of that TERRIBLE quarter, the Bulls outplayed the Celtics in game 7. Nothing Vinny did worked, and overreliance on the small lineup (while facing a team with NO DEPTH at the 4/5 positions) cost them the game and the series. The Bulls could have won this series in 5 games; then again, the Celtics could have won it in 4. I don't think Doc had a great coaching series either.
   60. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3162952)
I also think this is frequently detrimental to the team, but coaches are simply control freaks; just about every coach in the NBA is guilty of overmanaging, comparable to someone like Tony LaRussa. They can't imagine a successful series of events unfolding without their immediate direction. There are many instances where teams would be better off executing a play, particularly last-second plays, without calling a timeout; the timeout just ends up giving the other team the chance to make subsitutions, plan their defensive strategy, etc.


This actually happens more in college than the NBA. But why wouldn't a coach try to sub offense/defense at the end of a game to get the best matchup? Why wouldn't a coach call a TO to move the ball to halfcourt? Why wouldn't a manager bring in the best reliever depending on the matchup? Sure, they can go too far, but they're giving the team the best chance at winning.
   61. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:13 PM (#3162954)
SO DON'T POST IN IT AND LET THE BASKETBALL FANS TALK ABOUT BASKETBALL.

Talking about what you don't like about basketball is talking about basketball. People talk about what they don't like about baseball here all the time.
   62. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3162956)
He's TERRIBLE is drawing up plays (how many chances did the Bulls have at drawing up gamewinning play and failed; every time they failed in this series), TERRIBLE at allocating playing time, TERRIBLE at exploiting matchups or forcing matchup advantages, TERRIBLE at clock management, and TERRIBLE at defensive planning.


Couldn't agree more. VDN is pretty much a terrible, terrible coach right now. (Doc is pretty damn mediocre, too). That said, most of the stuff with being a really good coach is at the margins. Things like subbing correctly for Offense/Defense at the end of games, knowing opponent tendencies and having a defensive identity of the Pick and roll. If people want to see a very well executed coaching series, they should check out the Rockets/Lakers series. Adelman is a pro's pro. Watch how prepared the Rockets will be at the end of games in terms of the offense/defense substitutions.

Talking about what you don't like about basketball is talking about basketball. People talk about what they don't like about baseball here all the time.

You must be fun at parties. "This music is terrible! I don't understand why anyone would listen to this!"
   63. andrewberg Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:17 PM (#3162962)
I watched game 7 with some Bulls fans from Chicago and grilled them for the entire second quarter on why Del Negro got hired over the other, abundantly more qualified candidates (at least D'Antoni and Carlisle). They said the FO didn't want to pay D'Antoni and that Paxson is still tight with Kerr and the SA FO, which led him to hiring Del Negro as his cheapy alternative. All told, I would say the decision worked out fairly well, even though he sucks.
   64. andrewberg Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:19 PM (#3162964)
If people want to see a very well executed coaching series, they should check out the Rockets/Lakers series. Adelman is a pro's pro. Watch how prepared the Rockets will be at the end of games in terms of the offense/defense substitutions.


Ok, so Adelman is good, but what possible evidence is there that what's-his-name coaching the Lakers is any good?
   65. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:21 PM (#3162965)
You must be fun at parties. "This music is terrible! I don't understand why anyone would listen to this!"

That's sort of an oversimplification. If people were in here just adding noise - "basketball sux!" - that would be one thing. If people were trying to hijack the thread to talk about something other than baskeball, that would be another. But I don't see the problem with a legitimate converstation about the pluses and minuses of a sport - that doesn't seem out of place in this thread.
   66. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:22 PM (#3162967)
I watched game 7 with some Bulls fans from Chicago and grilled them for the entire second quarter on why Del Negro got hired over the other, abundantly more qualified candidates (at least D'Antoni and Carlisle). They said the FO didn't want to pay D'Antoni and that Paxson is still tight with Kerr and the SA FO, which led him to hiring Del Negro as his cheapy alternative. All told, I would say the decision worked out fairly well, even though he sucks.

He was hired because he's cheap. They're still on the hook for Skiles' last extension, and Reinsdorf didn't want to pay 2 coaches a lot of money. Also, Jerry f'ed up the D'Antoni process by dragging his feet on making an offer. He likely wouldn't have matched the Knicks offer, but there were rumors at the time that D'Antoni prefered the Bulls job over the Knicks (and that was before the Bulls won the lottery and had Rose fall into their laps). Paxson recommended hiring D'Antoni after one interview, but Jerry insisted on personally interviewing him twice and didn't make an offer either time. After the Knicks made an offer, D'Antoni called Reinsdorf giving him a chance to make an offer. He never did. Another hangup was Jerry's insistance on choosing the assistant coaches, which basically meant hiring Jerry's guys. Jerry is loyal to a fault, because there's no reason Pete Meyers should still be on the staff. And it's also why Doug Collins was the next option after D'Antoni. The Bulls never really considered Rick Carlisle, and I think he agreed to coach the Mavs pretty quickly. Vinny took a team that was very solid defensively, and turned them into the worse defensive team to make the playoffs. He sped up the offense, which made the numbers look better but a lot of the real improvement was the change in personnel (getting Rose, and exchangin Nocinoi for Salmons and Miller).
   67. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:27 PM (#3162971)
Ok, so Adelman is good, but what possible evidence is there that what's-his-name coaching the Lakers is any good?


This is pretty obviously a joke, but this Laker team is pretty much the easiest team to coach in the playoffs. They don't really have any specialists. They can do some different things with matchups, but most of those are at the backup point guard position (Farmar to run the break, S. Brown for defense).

At the end of games, it's Fisher, Bryant, Ariza, Gasol and either Odom or Bynum. If you want a sign of how well coached the Lakers are, I'd look at their strategy for handling Yao and their control of the pace of the game. The second unit is going to push the tempo quite a bit. One thing I'm interested in is when they bring the double on Yao. The last game, they brought the double as soon as he put the ball on the floor, and from his blind side with a wing or guard. Portland brought the double from the other big on the floor, and Scola just killed them. Most likely it'll be Kobe coming off Battier to bring the double.

I can't emphasize enough what a terrible job Portland did in that series from a coaching standpoint. Single covering Yao in g1? What a stupid move.
   68. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:27 PM (#3162973)
MLB doesn't have a totally meaningless season in that there are still very good teams (or at least teams as good as those who make it into the playoffs) that don't finish the season as either a division winner or wild card. The NBA takes any team that's even remotely good and gives them a chance to compete for the championship.

It actually seems like more mediocre teams make the World Series than the NBA Finals IMO. The NBA tends to be dominated by dynasties. Just twice since 1982 have teams seeded #4 or lower made the NBA finals - the 1995 Rockets and the 1999 Knicks. And Jolly Old St. Nick cites several examples of pretty mediocre baseball teams making and even winning the World Series. Maybe the NBA gives more teams chances, but more mediocre teams don't actually compete for the championship than baseball.

There is also a rumor than the NBA is considering in the future a playoff seeding format that would allow the higher seeds to pick their opponents, rather than have them assigned based on record. So that would be an additional advantage to top seeds, to pick opponents based on matchup (so the 2007 Mavs could avoid a run and gun team like the Warriors in the first round, for example)

Here's a thread specifically set up to talk about basketball, and we get people posting in the thread saying they don't like basketball. SO DON'T POST IN IT AND LET THE BASKETBALL FANS TALK ABOUT BASKETBALL. This happens in EVERY basketball thread.

I've never understood this. The same applies to soccer and NASCAR and perhaps to a lesser extent baseball. People just love to tell you how much they hate those sports. I really started watching MLS and picking up the NBA again almost out of spite because so many people told me they hated those sports.
   69. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3162977)
That's sort of an oversimplification. If people were in here just adding noise - "basketball sux!" - that would be one thing. If people were trying to hijack the thread to talk about something other than baskeball, that would be another. But I don't see the problem with a legitimate converstation about the pluses and minuses of a sport - that doesn't seem out of place in this thread.


All you're doing is adding noise. You ARE hijacking the thread to talk about something other than basketball. You want to talk about yourself and your misconceptions. I'm not interested in what you think, because you don't know about or like hoops. I'd rather talk about hoops than some #######'s opinion that I'm not going to change.
   70. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:35 PM (#3162983)
There is also a rumor than the NBA is considering in the future a playoff seeding format that would allow the higher seeds to pick their opponents, rather than have them assigned based on record. So that would be an additional advantage to top seeds, to pick opponents based on matchup (so the 2007 Mavs could avoid a run and gun team like the Warriors in the first round, for example)


I don't think it's a rumor as much as a pipe dream of some writers with some time on their hands. I don't think it'll ever happen, and actually I don't understand the logic. It comes up anytime there's an upset (like the only 2 times a 1 has lost to an 8), and there's been some suggestions for it in the NHL as well (since we had another 1/8 upset this year). It's an overreaction to a non-existant problem.
   71. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3162989)
I'm not interested in what you think, because you don't know about or like hoops.

Then don't respond. It's really that simple. There have been lots of threads around here that have gone in directions that I don't like - c'est la vie.

I've got nothing against basketball per se. There are things about it that I personally don't like, but I get why others do.

I'm serious about the suggestion about allowing fouled teams to take the ball out of bounds rather than take the shots if they want. It seems like such a simple change, and it would improve the flow of the end of the game so much. Is there a reason they haven't instituted this that I'm missing?
   72. andrewberg Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3162993)
This is pretty obviously a joke, but this Laker team is pretty much the easiest team to coach in the playoffs. They don't really have any specialists. They can do some different things with matchups, but most of those are at the backup point guard position (Farmar to run the break, S. Brown for defense).


I feel like this argument is one more in the long line of "yes...but" points in Phil's career. Yes, the Lakers are probably the easiest team to coach, but that ease is partially due to his creation, and he has executed it in such a way to minimize the weaknesses they have. He gets some credit for helping Kobe evolve into a team player who can keep Gasol productive and happy, and his offense allows for his multiple good passers to mask the fact that their PGs have gotten old in a hurry. He's even changed on the fly to use Brown as a cutter instead of Farmar, who has forgotten how to shoot 3's. Getting Vujacic shooting well again makes a big difference, and he started showing signs of life in the first round.

I can't emphasize enough what a terrible job Portland did in that series from a coaching standpoint. Single covering Yao in g1? What a stupid move.


Yeah, and the ineffectiveness on D was compounded by the fact that they lose their only 2 rebounders to foul trouble. Much is made of the Pryz/Oden combo on the glass, but they are going to get more rebounds than most bigs because their PF likes to play 15 feet from the basket, and never bangs with anyone. I will be interested to see what the Lakers do on Yao, because they do not strike me as a great help defense team. If they put Bynum on Yao and make Odom or Kobe flash the help, either Battier or Artest will have to make some jump shots. We will see if that happens, but I'm not optimistic.
   73. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:53 PM (#3163007)
I'm serious about the suggestion about allowing fouled teams to take the ball out of bounds rather than take the shots if they want. It seems like such a simple change, and it would improve the flow of the end of the game so much. Is there a reason they haven't instituted this that I'm missing?


No one would do it. It's a terrible idea because teams would always take the shots over inbounding the ball. The number one thing that teams that are ahead want to avoid is a turnover, because it's the most costly to your chances to winning. Two shots is a positive outcome, not a negative one. No one would decide to inbound the ball. If they made this rule change there would be zero impact.

I will be interested to see what the Lakers do on Yao, because they do not strike me as a great help defense team. If they put Bynum on Yao and make Odom or Kobe flash the help, either Battier or Artest will have to make some jump shots. We will see if that happens, but I'm not optimistic.

Lakers actually help pretty well. Some of them do at least. I would think they'll double with Battier's man pretty much whenever Battier's on the floor, since they absolutely don't respect his shot. You don't want to double with a big because of Scola. Scola's actually really good at sneaking to the hoop, or setting up for a 15 footer.

The whole thing with defending Yao is to not let him get his deep position he likes. He's a really big guy, so this is hard to do. Most teams tend to do this in two ways: run whenever Yao's on the court, since Yao gets tired during games; front Yao with a second big if he does get deep post position to force Yao to re-post.
   74. Buddha Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:54 PM (#3163011)
Oooh! A basketball thread! I always maintain that BTF is at its most interesting when people aren't talking about baseball.

1) I find it puzzling that people who like baseball complain about how slow moving other sports are. There is no sport that moves as slow as baseball. Vive la difference.

2) I echo the comments about boxing. There's nothing as exciting as a big fight (although there can be little as boring as a bad fight). Vasquez-Marquez was incredible. Also, the recent Taylor-Froch fight was great.

Marquez-Mayweather? Could be interesting if one of them decides to attack. Mayweather gets the decision because they need him to win to set up Mayweather-Paquiao for all the gold in the world.

3) If the Bulls had a decent coach, they would have beaten the Celtics in 6 or less. Vinny is terrible. It took him 3 games to figure out that he might want to conserve a time-out for the end of the game. 3 games to figure out that he MIGHT want to double team Paul Pierce, or at least make him go left. And he never figured out that he might want to foul a player when he's up 3 with seconds left on the clock rather than have Ray Allen launch a three.

4) Cavs in 5. Celtics in 7 (the Magic are paper tigers). Nuggets in 6. Lakers in 5.
   75. jmurph Posted: May 04, 2009 at 03:59 PM (#3163019)
I think this Lakers-Houston match-up is much closer than a lot of people think. I still expect the Lakers to win in 6, but I also expect tight games. I like Yao and Scola vs the Lakers big men; I only hope (but sadly, don't expect) for Adelman to go to Yao more.
   76. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3163021)
It's a terrible idea because teams would always take the shots over inbounding the ball. The number one thing that teams that are ahead want to avoid is a turnover, because it's the most costly to your chances to winning.

That's a good point - it's just that the most frustrating thing (to me, at least) is that if the game is close and late, it seems that as soon as someone from the team that's ahead touches the ball, he gets grabbed and pushed, just to stop the clock. I totally get why that happens, and I agree that, as constituted, it's a good strategy. It just seems counter to the spirit of the game.
   77. jmurph Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3163025)
4) Cavs in 5.


I don't see any way the Cavs lose a game vs Atlanta. That team is supremely motivated right now. They are clearly the favorite to win it all, and I'm not sure the Lakers or even a healthy Celtics squad could take more than 2 from them.
   78. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3163029)
If the Bulls had a decent coach, they would have beaten the Celtics in 6 or less. Vinny is terrible. It took him 3 games to figure out that he might want to conserve a time-out for the end of the game. 3 games to figure out that he MIGHT want to double team Paul Pierce, or at least make him go left. And he never figured out that he might want to foul a player when he's up 3 with seconds left on the clock rather than have Ray Allen launch a three.


And he never figured out how to take advantage of the thin front line of the Celtics. The entire season, the Bulls switch defensively on EVERY screen. It constantly creates mismatches, and it helps lead to easy points in the paint and offensive rebounds for the other team. Not once did he go away from that "strategy".

That thin front line is why I think the Magic will take care of the Celtics, and rather easily. People have been calling the Magic paper tigers since the start of the season, but they're a terrible matchup for the Celtics right now. Even with KG out, a Celtics team operating at full strength (minus KG) should have beaten the Bulls. Alston is a much, much better defender than Rose so Rondo is going to have a much tougher series and that'll cause the Celtics offense to struggle because Rondo created a ridiculous number of easy shots due to his penetration. Pierce looks washed up. He's slow, he can't be counted on to create his own shot consistently (and even though neither Hedo or Lewis are great defenders, they're at least taller than Pierce so he won't get easy shots over them like he did on the Bulls combo of Salmons/Hinrich, but then again, they both made him work hard the majority of the series), and he's starting to develop quite the turnover problem. Allen could have a big series, it hurts the Magic to have Lee out (another young body to chase Allen around and to make Allen move on defense). Perkins is going to struggle with foul problems and that potential shoulder problem. Davis can't guard Howard, and will struggle to follow either Lewis or Hedo around the perimeter. The Magic are a better shooting team than the Bulls as well, so the Celtics won't be able to take advantage of as many missed wide open shots.

Lakers and Cavs should both cruise into the conference finals. Denver should win, but I see that as the only potential great series this round.
   79. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3163031)
KPASTer? Is this a basketball blogosphere term akin to LOOGy?
   80. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3163035)
I don't see any way the Cavs lose a game vs Atlanta. That team is supremely motivated right now. They are clearly the favorite to win it all, and I'm not sure the Lakers or even a healthy Celtics squad could take more than 2 from them.

If Marvin Williams' wrist heals, I could see the Hawks stealing either Game 3 or 4 in Atlanta though it still wouldn't be probable that Atlanta extends the series beyond four games. Without Williams the Hawks have no one who can even pretend to slow LeBron James.
   81. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3163044)
I think this Lakers-Houston match-up is much closer than a lot of people think. I still expect the Lakers to win in 6, but I also expect tight games. I like Yao and Scola vs the Lakers big men; I only hope (but sadly, don't expect) for Adelman to go to Yao more.


Lakers won all four games this year, the ones in LA by 20 points on average and the ones in Houston by 5.5 points on average. Houston's leading scorer in the last game was Von Wafer. The Lakers cheered when Houston took out Portland, imo. The last game, LA won by more than 15 with no Odom and no Bynum. I really don't think this series is that close.

I don't see any way the Cavs lose a game vs Atlanta. That team is supremely motivated right now. They are clearly the favorite to win it all, and I'm not sure the Lakers or even a healthy Celtics squad could take more than 2 from them.


I just put 5 to be conservative. I think the only real question in this series is if it goes to 5 games. I could see Atlanta winning a game, at home, when LeBron has an off night and no one from the Cavs steps up. That's about it, though.

I respectfully disagree on the Cav's chances. I think the Lakers (who beat the Cavs twice, only team to beat Cleveland in Cleveland) have around 1 chance in three to beat the Cavs in a 7 game series.
How to beat Cleveland:
1. Make LeBron a shooter. LBJ is most dangerous when cutting to the basket. He's also incredibly, incredibly difficult to make not drive to the hoop. A perimeter double team makes him give it up. It's too late to double when he's inside 20 feet. You must make LBJ catch the ball around the three point line.
2. Close out on shooters. If Cleveland's shooters have a good game, you're done.
3. Prevent the Offensive rebound. Varejao and Ilgauskas are dangerous offensive rebounders. Either box out very well, or commit to running the ball relentlessly to make them think twice about it.
   82. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3163051)
It's nice to have a thread about something besides newspapers. Thanks, rr.
   83. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3163075)
KPASTer - Ken Phelps All-Star. Moore spent a lot of time in the minors... Not aware of the basketball equivalent term (though I could make one up, I guess).
   84. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:39 PM (#3163077)
1. Make LeBron a shooter. LBJ is most dangerous when cutting to the basket. He's also incredibly, incredibly difficult to make not drive to the hoop. A perimeter double team makes him give it up. It's too late to double when he's inside 20 feet. You must make LBJ catch the ball around the three point line.
2. Close out on shooters. If Cleveland's shooters have a good game, you're done.
3. Prevent the Offensive rebound. Varejao and Ilgauskas are dangerous offensive rebounders. Either box out very well, or commit to running the ball relentlessly to make them think twice about it.


Marvin Williams could occasionally make the first happen. The other two are generally beyond the Hawks' capabilities. Which isn't to say they're not fair points you make.
   85. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:42 PM (#3163080)
Cavs in 5, Magic in 7, Lakers in 6, Nuggets in 5

Cavs over Magic in 6, Lakers over Nuggs in 5

Cavs over Lakers in 7 (wishful thinking actually, my head says Lakers, but my heart says Cavs)
   86. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:42 PM (#3163081)
Marvin Williams could occasionally make the first happen. The other two are generally beyond the Hawks' capabilities. Which isn't to say they're not fair points you make.


Btw, the best thing for the Cavs potentially is if they lose in the Finals this year, I would think LBJ develops a post game in the summer.

If he does that, it's just over for the rest of the league for the next 5 years. Just call off the season and recognize the inevitable. LeBron with a post-game would do disgusting things to the game of basketball.
   87. Buddha Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:43 PM (#3163084)
The Celtics have one thing that the Magic don't have: balls.

Maybe I'm a little jaded from watching the Pistons beyotch slap the Magic every year, but it seems to me that the Magic have a lot of players who perform when the chips aren't down, but when the stuff hits the fan, they're nowhere to be found. They talk a great game, I won't hold my breath to see them win a game seven on the road in Boston. Heck, a bad Philly team took them to six.

I wouldn't write off Paul Pierce just yet. He's looked slow and out of it before and turned it on when he needed to do so. And who is going to guard him? Turkoglu and his bad ankle? Lewis? Ha!

And I look for Rondo to complete his acension into being a top player by completely schooling Rafer Alston. The Magic's problem is still their point guards, and Alston doesn't solve that (and neither did Jameer Nelson).
   88. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:43 PM (#3163086)
I was supposed to guess Ken Phelps from that acronym? I don't know if he was ever that good in the NBA, but Kevin Ollie spent a bunch of time in the CBA.
   89. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:48 PM (#3163099)
Re: the Bulls, I'll pose this question to those who can speak more intelligently on the subject:

I've never really taken to Ben Gordon. While he impresses me more and more every year with his offense, I just think he gives up so much on the defensive end, mainly because of his height but also because if he expended more effort defensively it might hurt his offense. I should note that I'm (more or less) completely ignorant of the more advanced statistics regarding BG and am just going off of observation.

So I guess my questions are -- do the stats fit or go against my observation that BG gives a lot of his offense back on the defensive end and, if so, can the Bulls really afford to trudge ahead with not one but two poor defensive guards (from reading the thread and other places I take it that Rose didn't have a particularly stellar defensive year although there's a chance that that's just a fluke -- he's obviously quite athletic so the poor defense may not hold true going forward)?

I've never understood this. The same applies to soccer and NASCAR and perhaps to a lesser extent baseball. People just love to tell you how much they hate those sports. I really started watching MLS and picking up the NBA again almost out of spite because so many people told me they hated those sports.

I've found that talking about why certain sports are good/bad or better/worse usually denigrate into pissing matches. Just a week or two ago I had an acquaintance over who wasn't particularly fond of baseball, saying that it was too slow, boring and not 'team-oriented' enough. Of course, what he sees as "slow and boring" I see as having a nice rhythm. Similarly, what he sees as not "team-oriented enough", I see as the great one-on-one battle between pitcher and hitter.

Each of the five sports I watch (hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball and football) each offer something different that I'm drawn to, although I have to admit I've drifted away from football in the past couple years...
   90. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:48 PM (#3163100)
And I look for Rondo to complete his acension into being a top player by completely schooling Rafer Alston. The Magic's problem is still their point guards, and Alston doesn't solve that (and neither did Jameer Nelson).

Alston, unlike Derrick Rose, can actually defend. Rose plays matador defense (Hi, Walt Clyde Frazier.)

If he does that, it's just over for the rest of the league for the next 5 years. Just call off the season and recognize the inevitable. LeBron with a post-game would do disgusting things to the game of basketball.

There was some interview or something where he said he dislikes the post because it's boring. That said, from my subjective viewing it does seem that he has done a better job of integrating a post game with his little post up turn around jumper from the baseline. Don't remember seeing him do it as consistently in years past as he has this year. It's crazy how much better he has gotten this year. Shooting better, defending better, and his ball-handling has improved to the point where he really could pull a Magic and just run the point for the whole (though he kind of sort of does that already anyway.)
   91. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:52 PM (#3163105)
There was some interview or something where he said he dislikes the post because it's boring. That said, from my subjective viewing it does seem that he has done a better job of integrating a post game with his little post up turn around jumper from the baseline. Don't remember seeing him do it as consistently in years past as he has this year. It's crazy how much better he has gotten this year. Shooting better, defending better, and his ball-handling has improved to the point where he really could pull a Magic and just run the point for the whole (though he kind of sort of does that already anyway.)

He's improved but so has Mike Brown or whoever Mike Brown has leaned upon to make Cleveland's halfcourt offense more fluid and sensible. Some of that credit should also go to Mo Williams and Delonte West, of course, and the too often taken for granted Ilgauskas.
   92. Repoz Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3163106)
Seeing that Daryl Morey is a Primate/lurker.

Go Rockets!
   93. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3163107)
Each of the five sports I watch (hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball and football) each offer something different that I'm drawn to, although I have to admit I've drifted away from football in the past couple years...

Wow, I couldn't imagine having the time to follow five sports. I don't even pay attention to the one as much as I used to...
   94. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:54 PM (#3163110)
Maybe I'm a little jaded from watching the Pistons beyotch slap the Magic every year, but it seems to me that the Magic have a lot of players who perform when the chips aren't down, but when the stuff hits the fan, they're nowhere to be found. They talk a great game, I won't hold my breath to see them win a game seven on the road in Boston. Heck, a bad Philly team took them to six.

Yes, you're jaded. The Magic have more talent, more size, and better coaching than the Bulls. That, and they're also young and will be much more rested than the Celtics. It took everything Boston had to get out of that series, and even though Orlando didn't have a great series, it was a lot easier than the Celtics'.

Unless Pierce all of a sudden turns back into the player he was during the Finals last year, they're ######. He turned into that guy for a couple quarters during the Bulls series (like the first quarter of game 3, and the 4th/OT in game 5), but couldn't sustain that for an entire game. Salmons isn't that good defensively, and Hinrich is 5 inches shorter and 40 pounds smaller yet they contained Pierce for long stretches. Pierce did most of his damage, damn near all of it, on jumpers right over those guys. Those jumpers will be harder when it's Lewis or Hedo in front of him.

And you're really underestimating how good Alston is defensively, and the HUGE gap between Rose and Alston. Rondo is still a good player, but his numbers are going to be much closer to his season totals than the ridiculous numbers he put up against Rose.
   95. jmurph Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:55 PM (#3163111)
I've never really taken to Ben Gordon. While he impresses me more and more every year with his offense, I just think he gives up so much on the defensive end, mainly because of his height but also because if he expended more effort defensively it might hurt his offense. I should note that I'm (more or less) completely ignorant of the more advanced statistics regarding BG and am just going off of observation.

So I guess my questions are -- do the stats fit or go against my observation that BG gives a lot of his offense back on the defensive end and, if so, can the Bulls really afford to trudge ahead with not one but two poor defensive guards (from reading the thread and other places I take it that Rose didn't have a particularly stellar defensive year although there's a chance that that's just a fluke -- he's obviously quite athletic so the poor defense may not hold true going forward)?


I actually like to watch him play, but no team is winning with Gordon as the number one scoring option. There is a place for these kinds of guys- JR Smith, Bobby Jackson when he was good (though he was a better defender), Vinnie Johnson in the 80s, etc.- guys that can come off the bench and provide some offense. The problem with Gordon, though, is that he combines Allen Iverson's shot selection with no other real skills, making him not very valuable. I'm tempted to say someone is going to overpay him this summer (I believe he's an unrestricted FA), but I actually think most smart teams understand his limitations.

Rose will be fine on defense. What is he- 20? He's freakishly athletic and competitive as hell. He'll figure it out.
   96. Backlasher Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:56 PM (#3163113)
because it's the most costly to your chances to winning. Two shots is a positive outcome, not a negative one. No one would decide to inbound the ball. If they made this rule change there would be zero impact.

I'm not so sure. It greatly would depend on who is fouled as for whether there is a positive or negative outcome. For about 90% of NBA players, you would take the free throws, because your offensive efficiency is not going to be much better than 50%. However, for the guys who have the abysmal free throw rates (e.g. Chris Dudley). It would make sense to take the ball out of bounds. A new possession could be worth more than two Dudley free throws.

The break even point is going to be somewhere south of old Shaq. Consequently, old Shaq might get more BLT minutes. If the Shaqs get more BLT minutes there might be even more poor shooting bigs hitting the NBA. In essence, it would be like that Moneycrap, wherein you start incenting a negative outcome and you get a bunch of the negative outcomes.

Houston's leading scorer in the last game was Von Wafer

Who was that? Moses, do you know this guy? He must have meant Luther Head or Dee Brown or something.
   97. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3163114)
I've never really taken to Ben Gordon. While he impresses me more and more every year with his offense, I just think he gives up so much on the defensive end, mainly because of his height but also because if he expended more effort defensively it might hurt his offense. I should note that I'm (more or less) completely ignorant of the more advanced statistics regarding BG and am just going off of observation.

So I guess my questions are -- do the stats fit or go against my observation that BG gives a lot of his offense back on the defensive end and, if so, can the Bulls really afford to trudge ahead with not one but two poor defensive guards (from reading the thread and other places I take it that Rose didn't have a particularly stellar defensive year although there's a chance that that's just a fluke -- he's obviously quite athletic so the poor defense may not hold true going forward)?


Gordon is a poor defender and has been pretty much his whole career. Here's a link to some advanced stats. Gordon is a productive offensive player who turns every shooting guard who plays against him into an above average player. He's still useful. Lots of teams have a guy like him who comes off the bench and provides offense with the second unit.

Rose is a first year player out of Memphis. Calipari is somewhat known for not really requiring his stars to focus a ton on defense, so it's not surprising that he's a poor defender. He is athletic and seems to have good lateral quickness, so he could definitely develop into a good defender, he's just not one right now.
   98. Backlasher Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3163115)
don't know if he was ever that good in the NBA, but Kevin Ollie spent a bunch of time in the CBA.

He is like tendinitis and Eric Snow. He always seems to be lingering around.
   99. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3163116)
I was supposed to guess Ken Phelps from that acronym?

I've seen others use it on this site - I thought it may have crossed into our parlance. Sorry.
I don't know if he was ever that good in the NBA, but Kevin Ollie spent a bunch of time in the CBA.

Ollie's actually played more minutes than Moore in their NBA careers. This may be my bias talking, but I never liked Ollie much. Moore probably could have spent a few years as a rotation player earlier in his career had he ended up in the right system - conversely, Ollie has played more than a man of his limited talents should've.
   100. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:59 PM (#3163118)
Every time I see Von Wafer's name, I think of you, Backlasher...
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