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Friday, December 02, 2011

NBA THREAD DECEMBER: POST-LOCKOUT

With the lockout over, I estimate that there may be more than 10-12 Primates who want to talk about the NBA, and with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: fractional reserve banking, and Tim Tebow.

robinred Posted: December 02, 2011 at 12:26 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1601. robinred Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:18 AM (#4022510)
Utah has assembled a core of young guys that cover the positions and will get a couple of more in the next lottery. I don't know what kind of team they will be, but they are headed in a definite direction. They also have two guys in Harris and Millsap that they may be able to move over the next couple of years if they want. Hollinger sees them as a coming power. I am not sure, but they would be interesting to follow.

LAKERS' PREVIEW, 2011-12, COURTESY OF MR. KOBE BRYANT:

“It’s not really going to heal,” Bryant conceded. “I mean, it’s gone. The ligament is gone. So there’s nothing I can do about it. But I’ve dealt with so many hand injuries. It should be all right.”

"Direction? I don't know what the hell the direction is, to be honest with you."

"There's no explanation. I mean, you don't just give Lamar to the Mavericks."

___

My own contributions:

Ebanks is the best option they have at the 3. MWP is overweight and moves like an arthritic triceretops. Barnes looks out of sync after the knee surgery. We will see if Brown recognizes this. I think he will.

Blake is the best option they have at the 1. He said he thought he could do better playing in a more conventional system, and I think he's right ("better" meaning "better than Derek Fisher, but still not good"). We will see if Brown gives him the majority of the minutes.

I would rather they use Andrew Goudelock as a spot player/floor spacer than Kapono. We will see what Brown thinks.

Their record could be anywhere from about 25-41 to about 42-24 depending on what happens with Kobe's wrist, Brown's coaching, Bynum's annual injury, and of course, Dwight Howard. Safe bet is in the 30s in Ws, fifth-sixth seed. If I had to bet, I would put the Clippers, with Generalissimo Paul (Lakers had 21 TOs last night; Clippers had 6) running the show, ahead of them. Bynum's (deserved) suspension will hurt the record--they are likely to start off 1-4 or even 0-5. Bumpy ride.
   1602. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: December 23, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#4022700)
Hayes signed with Sac for his original deal... plus another million on top of it.
   1603. GregD Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#4022710)
Hayes signed with Sac for his original deal... plus another million on top of it.
Isn't that a strange outcome? What's the extra million for? An apology? A promise not to sue the team's medical staff?
   1604. smileyy Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#4022712)
Salary floor insurance? Maybe they're confident enough in his health now, but weren't before?
   1605. King Mekong Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#4022716)
"arthritic triceratops" - My favorite quote/image of the thread. Hands down.

The only thing that is holding the spurs back this year is health. Same as last year. That and Zach Randolph/ Marc Gasol.

Spurs are very weak up front but super deep in the back. Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done there (barring a trade with the frontcourt rich/backcourt poor Jazz).

A more realistic (but still unlikely) scenario, is that Tiago Splitter is much better in his second year and the spurs defense improves considerably while the offense stays at the high plateau.

That and Kawhi Leonard goes gangbusters as a more offensively proficient version of Luc Richard Mba Mboute. (did I spell that right? close: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute). He's the only player on the spurs that I can really go all Steagles on right now. (I'm holding out hope for (Big Game) James Anderson)
   1606. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#4022717)
A promise not to sue the team's medical staff?

I wouldn't think so. I don't see grounds for a suit and Hayes and the team seem to have gotten along well through the process so it seems like everything was handled reasonably. My understanding is that there is something "odd" with his heart, it's just not as dangerous as the Kings thought it might be. Of course, I've already been wrong on this one so take all that with a big grain of salt.

It could be as simple as Hayes's agent getting a couple of calls after the initial deal was announced saying "we would probably have beat that offer." And once the heart issue was cleared up, and he was an attractive free agent again, he was able to get a little more money.

It is a bit odd. But I'm happy for Hayes- what a rollercoaster of a week. It's easy to lose sight of the impact these contracts have on the individuals who get them. Had his test come out a little differently, his future, and that of his family, would have been a lot different. Even if his heart never became a problem.
   1607. Jimmy P Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#4022720)
Isn't that a strange outcome? What's the extra million for? An apology? A promise not to sue the team's medical staff?

The market changed in the past week. Dalembert's not available, and Brook Lopez and Darrel Arthur got hurt.
   1608. GregD Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#4022726)
It is a bit odd. But I'm happy for Hayes- what a rollercoaster of a week. It's easy to lose sight of the impact these contracts have on the individuals who get them. Had his test come out a little differently, his future, and that of his family, would have been a lot different. Even if his heart never became a problem.
I'm thrilled for him. He's one of my favorite players, has been since he was at UK. Huge heart. And going from a total of $8.2 million in career earnings to over $30 million is a big deal! Don't begrudge him a penny, just have never seen a cycle of events like this, with a team voiding a contract then a week later signing the guy to a bigger contract. Has that ever happened before?
   1609. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#4022736)
He's the only player on the spurs that I can really go all Steagles on right now. (I'm holding out hope for (Big Game) James Anderson)
by all means, go right ahead--i'm a huge fan of both players. i mean, i'm very happy to have turner and vucevic out of the last two drafts, but leonard and anderson were two of the other players i was really a fan of.
   1610. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#4022748)
Could someone explain how NBA League Pass works? Does every subscriber choose 5 teams or is that just a particular option?

I found a chart of the number of national TV appearances for each team this season, which should be helpful in deciding which teams to follow:

BOS 31
LAL 29
MIA 27
NYK 27
CHI 26
DAL 26
OKC 24
ORL 24
LAC 23
POR 18
GSW 17
PHO 16
DEN 14
SAS 14
ATL 13
UTA 12
MEM 10
NOR 9
PHI 9
SAC 9
HOU 7
MIN 6
WAS 6
MIL 5
CHA 4
IND 4
NJN 4
DET 2
CLE 1
TOR 1

If I'm interpreting this correctly, anyone who can already watch games on ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBATV would gain access to an additional 65 games by choosing Toronto for League Pass, compared to just 35 extra games by choosing Boston. In this respect, the T-Wolves, as the team with the fewest national TV appearances in the West, look like an excellent value pick. Also, every Eastern Conference team that wasn't a top-6 seed in the playoffs has single-digit TV appearances this year. The bottom 7 teams are all in the East, including the scrappy, competitive Pacers and the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets.
   1611. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#4022757)
"arthritic triceratops" - My favorite quote/image of the thread. Hands down.

This.
   1612. King Mekong Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:27 PM (#4022762)
by all means, go right ahead--i'm a huge fan of both players. i mean, i'm very happy to have turner and vucevic out of the last two drafts, but leonard and anderson were two of the other players i was really a fan of.


I don't know if it was you, but I think someone compared James Anderson to a slightly less athletic James Harden. Or something to that effect.

So if Kawhi Leonard is in the better luc richard mold, and anderson can do the bearded shuffle that is two good rotation pieces going forward.
   1613. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 23, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#4022780)
Bynum and CV had a game lopped off their suspensions. (to reflect shorter season)
   1614. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 23, 2011 at 10:30 PM (#4022806)
ESPN's predictions for who comes out of the eastern conference
ESPN's predictions for who comes out of the western conference:


among the 60 independent choices from these 30 analysts, 53 chose either the heat or the bombers. and not a single one of the others chose the sixers.
   1615. robinred Posted: December 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM (#4022814)
I spelled 'triceratops' incorrectly--hit the e by mistake instead of the a and didn't read it back.

@ Dandy

You can pay $109 for the five-team thing or $169 for all teams. I am trying broadband this year. You are correct about the national TV issue, based on what I know. I am getting the Lakers anyway since I have ditched cable TV. I have an email with a link to launch the player in my computer, but my understanding is that you can't activate it until the season starts. I am planning to choose Golden State, Sacramento, and Memphis, in part due to the access issue that you note. Other guys probably know more. I would choose Toronto if I lived in the Eastern or Central time zone, but based on my work schedule/where I live, I need to choose more teams in the Pacific time zone.
   1616. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:06 AM (#4022830)
You got 2 of 30 to pick you to win the div (and 1 of 4 bpro guys) - baby steps, dude.
   1617. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:31 AM (#4022839)
You got 2 of 30 to pick you to win the div (and 1 of 4 bpro guys) - baby steps, dude.
yeah, i'm not exactly gonna party in the streets over 3/34 people choosing the sixers to win the division


also, in vegas, the over/under for sixers wins this year is apparently 36.5. the last time the sixers finished a season even a game above .500 was 2004/2005.
   1618. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 24, 2011 at 02:21 AM (#4022879)
David Locke: The LA Lakers just announced they will start Devin Ebanks and Josh McRoberts for X-Mas day - likely same for Jazz on 27th - Lakes third game about 1 hour ago

   1619. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 24, 2011 at 02:30 AM (#4022885)
Man, this season's gonna suck.
   1620. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 24, 2011 at 04:42 AM (#4022902)
Watching Baylor/West Virginia. A Miles Simon sighting! (He is the color guy.)

Simon will always be the prototypical college scorer with no NBA role to me.
   1621. puck Posted: December 24, 2011 at 06:39 AM (#4022923)
It's wild the season is about to start. That's not very many practices, and some guys just signed. Pretty much everybody must still be working themselves into game shape, right?
   1622. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 24, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#4023114)
Art Garcia: OKC Thunder officially waive Nate Robinson. Roster down to 15. about 12 minutes ago

David Locke: Al Jefferson "I've got to make my teammates better. I've been guy with good #'s on bad team, I want to be guy with ok #'s on good team" about 34 minutes ago
   1623. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 24, 2011 at 11:28 PM (#4023158)
Ronald Tillery: Sources confirm @Adrian Wojnarowski report that Griz have traded Greivis Vasquez to New Orleans for Quincy Pondexter. about 14 minutes ago
   1624. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 25, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#4023273)
jared jeffries just hit an 18 foot jump shot.
   1625. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 25, 2011 at 06:36 PM (#4023275)
happy season!

um, never made my predictions. admittedly, this is not well thought out - and may include slight tweaking:

east: chi, mia, phi, bos, nyk, ind, orl, mil || atl, njn, det, tor, cle, was, cha
west: okc, lac, sas, dal, den, por, lal, mem || hou, min, uta, noh, pho, gsw, sac

playoffs (for entertainment purposes only):
chi over mil, mia over orl, ind over phi, bos over nyk ... chi over bos, mia over ind, mia over chi
okc over mem, lac over lal, por over sas, den over dal ... okc over den, lac over por, okc over lac
mia over okc

my pick of philly for the division is a function of the schedule as much as anything - i see 3 thru 7 in the east as being close in talent (the sixers would rank behind both bos and nyk in a regular season scenario). indiana is a lesser version of philly. hedging a bit with orlando - what they do with howard makes a huge difference.
in the west, i had a tough time separating 2 through 6. it's not that i'm that keen on the clippers - i just have issues with the other clubs. wouldn't be surprised to see min or hou grab a playoff spot - wouldn't be surprised if the lakers were quite a bit worse or better.

should be a weird, fun year.
   1626. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 25, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#4023283)
Does anyone want to go to the Knicks championship parade with me?
   1627. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 25, 2011 at 07:03 PM (#4023287)
hedging a bit with orlando - what they do with howard makes a huge difference.
i don't think it does. they look like a terrible team.

and the knicks are looking quite a bit better than i was expecting. i did not think they would be this fluid this quickly at both ends of the floor.
   1628. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 25, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#4023299)
that's a bit more like the knicks team i was expecting. turning the ball over, getting caught flatfooted in transition, struggling to initiate the offense.
   1629. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: December 25, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#4023301)
That was a jaw-dropping pass.
   1630. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: December 25, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#4023307)
Good to see Joey Crawford's still an #######.
   1631. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 25, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#4023312)
Joey Crawford is a piece of ####.
   1632. smileyy Posted: December 25, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#4023313)
I have no idea if I'm rooting for the Knicks or Celtics here. Tie, maybe?
   1633. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 25, 2011 at 08:54 PM (#4023316)
KG is a class act.
   1634. smileyy Posted: December 25, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#4023317)
If Carmelo could actually turn into an elite player, I'd find that really interesting.
   1635. smileyy Posted: December 25, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#4023321)
Love the implicit jab at LeBron when the announcers were talking about Nowitzki: "When things got tough in Dallas, he didn't run away..."

Not that Cleveland could ever spend like Dallas. And not that fault LeBron James for his choices. Just found it funny.
   1636. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 25, 2011 at 09:36 PM (#4023326)
the heat might be kind of good. like sixers good.
   1637. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 25, 2011 at 09:46 PM (#4023327)
also, was that ryan gomes in that NBA commercial? did someone lose a bet or something?
   1638. smileyy Posted: December 25, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#4023328)
Well, he's no Iguodala, but I could see this James guy make his way into the MVP discussion.
   1639. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 25, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#4023334)
Well, he's no Iguodala, but I could see this James guy make his way into the MVP discussion.


Yeah, it'll be interesting to watch these guys fight for second place behind Thaddeus Young.
   1640. smileyy Posted: December 25, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#4023336)
Thaddeus for MVP, that's right. I mean, with all 5 starters on the All-NBA team, its hard to keep track of who's "most valuable".
   1641. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 25, 2011 at 10:24 PM (#4023338)
Oh wow, that James touch pass to Wade for the dunk was... sick.
   1642. smileyy Posted: December 25, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#4023339)
The two shots he's hit after backing his man halfway down are a small sample size, but if that's a consistent part of his game, yikes!
   1643. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 25, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#4023340)
Also, missed the early game but it looks like Shumpert hurt his knee, blowing the RoY race wide open.
   1644. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 25, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#4023345)
Thaddeus for MVP, that's right. I mean, with all 5 starters on the All-NBA team, its hard to keep track of who's "most valuable".
wow. and i thought i was the only one who was optimistic about spencer hawes coming out of the preseason.


i'm not really looking forward to chicago-LA, or orlando-OKC, but i'm strangely intrigued by golden state-LAC.
   1645. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 25, 2011 at 11:38 PM (#4023350)
Also, missed the early game but it looks like Shumpert hurt his knee, blowing the RoY race wide open.

It was a crushing blow to the campaign, but he may be able to recover. Today he showed the talent for the ALMOST spectacular play. He will take the time off to learn how to finish and once that happens...sky's the limit.
   1646. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 26, 2011 at 12:10 AM (#4023351)
i think i'm developing a weird fascination with troy murphy's nose.
   1647. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 26, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#4023352)
i think i'm developing a weird fascination with troy murphy's nose.


I'm with you there. The guy looks uglier every year, it's really remarkable.
   1648. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 26, 2011 at 12:25 AM (#4023354)
Luol Deng's hair.
   1649. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2011 at 12:29 AM (#4023355)
Just back from my first NBA game in two years -- watched the Mavs raise the banner over LeBron.

Though LeBron's team went up 35 points and blew the doors off the Mavs before the Mavs made the final score respectable.

Dirk and Odom didn't play well at all. Odom's debut was comically bad before being ejected.
   1650. smileyy Posted: December 26, 2011 at 12:51 AM (#4023359)
I feel like the Heat could run teams out of the gym for 3 quarters but not have the bench to coast as much as they want on the 4th quarter.
   1651. andrewberg Posted: December 26, 2011 at 12:51 AM (#4023360)
The thing about the sixers is that they're so balanced, any of their top 8 could win the the MVP in a given season.

Tomorrow would be a good day to get value on Dallas to win the west (Vegas wise).

Also, beating Boston without pierce at home by two is kind of a must, but at least the crowd was outstanding.
   1652. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 26, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#4023368)
Luol Deng's hair.


Yeah.

The players aren't nearly as out of shape as I expected but their hair is so much worse. Norris Cole lost the flat-top? That makes me sad.
   1653. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: December 26, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#4023374)
This is the most pathetic display of shooting I've ever seen in my life.
   1654. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 26, 2011 at 01:49 AM (#4023376)
How can someone who is otherwise so fundamentally sound as Pau Gasol be so horrible at free throw shooting?
   1655. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 26, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#4023377)
Yeah, this season's gonna suck.
   1656. robinred Posted: December 26, 2011 at 02:14 AM (#4023378)
Brown did all three things I wanted to see: Ebanks at the 3, Blake getting most of the minutes at the 1, Goudelock getting spot minutes (looked bad a couple of times, but hit two threes).

As far as Kobe's terrible finish, today will obviously be orgasmic for the Haters, and there will be more days like that. But for me the takeaway is that he needs to play off the ball more. Doesn't mean he can't still shoot all the time, but they need to get him the ball off curls, etc. On that last play they should have run a play for him, rather than just handing him the ball. He is 33 now, not 28. I have said many times that his hands and fingers, rather than his knees, will be the thing that drags his career down, and I saw nothing today that makes me think otherwise. Brown has made other personnel adjustments quickly; that one will be harder.
   1657. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 26, 2011 at 02:22 AM (#4023380)
Wasn't paying close attention to LAL-CHI but from what I could tell Ebanks and Blake were both impressive. If those guys can play well then the LAL should be much better off than I thought. DAL looked every bit as bad as I expected though. ("Bad" being a relative term)
   1658. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 26, 2011 at 02:31 AM (#4023381)
Both Perkins and Big Baby have slimmed down a lot. Maybe Boston needs to hire a nutritionist.
   1659. andrewberg Posted: December 26, 2011 at 02:36 AM (#4023382)
Robin- I don't think Kobe was that bad at the end. If the options are what they were, you double him and pau then use the fifth guy on whoever has the ball. He played well most of the game and his wrist looked bad. Of course, i've always said I kinda like mediocre team Kobe.
   1660. robinred Posted: December 26, 2011 at 03:25 AM (#4023389)
Well, he threw the ball away and then got packed on the last play. But in fairness, Pau and McRoberts bricking the FTs was just as important. I thought Bryant played a pretty good game, but he lost the ball 3 or 4 times just because of the hand/wrist issues. That will continue.

The point was more that I think Brown should alter the plays down the stretch, rather than iso-ing (Henry Abbott is a genius). For example, they got a key bucket late when they set up Gasol on the block and Kobe did a quick dive down the lane. Need more action like that, and less dribbling. Kobe still has the great footwork/body control, but his handle is a problem.

Also, the Bulls cranked it up on D late--that was a big part of it.

Blake and Ebanks are far from impressive, but they are better than the alternatives. Ebanks played a calm, smart, low-usage game for a young guy, and has pretty quick feet, and Blake is quicker than Fisher.

Have not seen anything today that makes me think OKC and MIA are not the class of the NBA. But the Bulls will play better.
   1661. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 26, 2011 at 04:14 AM (#4023395)
Glen Davis's facial hair is epically bad.
   1662. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 26, 2011 at 05:30 AM (#4023407)
the clippers frontcourt right now is brian cook, ryan gomes, and randy foye. that does not seem like it will be a productive combination.
   1663. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 26, 2011 at 06:37 AM (#4023425)
so, golden state is doing the hack-a-shaq thing to deanrdre jordan...with 3 minutes left...in the third quarter.

that seems like a rather interesting strategy.
   1664. madvillain Posted: December 26, 2011 at 07:10 AM (#4023432)
Classic Chicago under thibs victory. Play like ass for most the 2nd half then rely on smothering defense and Rose to carry the day. Not much to take away from the game imo, just move on.

Rondo, and I hate to praise the guy, looks to have found a mediocre jumpshot and improved his ft shooting. He could be primed for a huge year as he ascends and the big 3 decline.

Miami was a machine and Dallas is a shell of themselves without Chandler and Barea.
Regular season doesn't mean a thing for the Heat tho.

Monta Ellis is a bum. The Clippers look disorganized. Go figure with VDN leading them.
   1665. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 26, 2011 at 07:12 AM (#4023434)
Chris Paul is a good basketball player.
   1666. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: December 26, 2011 at 07:59 AM (#4023443)
the clippers frontcourt right now is brian cook, ryan gomes, and randy foye. that does not seem like it will be a productive combination.

Are you kidding? Didn't you see Gomes throw that pinpoint alley-oop pass to Josh Smith for a transition dunk? He's a budding star in this league.

Speaking of backup frontcourt players, Brandon Bass had an outstanding game despite the loss. That Big Baby sign-and-trade may save the Celtics this year. Today's stat comparison:

Bass: 9-13 fg, 20 pts, 11 reb in 28 min
Davis: 3-9 fg, 6 pts, 5 reb in 19 min

so, golden state is doing the hack-a-shaq thing to deanrdre jordan

If DeAndre Jordan continues to block one shot for every free throw he misses (8 of each tonight), I don't think the Clippers will be too upset about it.
   1667. robinred Posted: December 26, 2011 at 08:50 AM (#4023450)
Of course, i've always said I kinda like mediocre team Kobe.

Gilbert, Cuban, and Stern feel the exact same way.
   1668. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 26, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#4023530)
i hoped you'd make that joke.
   1669. Fourth True Outcome Posted: December 26, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#4023537)
Rondo...could be primed for a huge year as he ascends and the big 3 decline.


This was the genesis of my (mostly-joking) MVP prediction. He went off for the first 10ish games of last season, and if he can sustain that level of aggressive play with an even slightly-improved jumper, and he'll have to with the big 3 being a year older, he'll have a monster year. I think this is the year he has to take a leap, and I think there's a decent chance he actually does so.

Brandon Bass was also huge. The Baby/Bass trade was a mistake for Orlando from the day it happened (unless Dwight loves Baby so much he doesn't leave, but that seems crazy), but having him to come off the bench and be dependable for the C's in a way Baby couldn't will be enormous.

As much as it would have been nice to see the Celtics win that game, it's pretty heartening to see them push a Knicks team that looked better than I thought it would that hard while Pavlovic provided pretty much zero value in Paul Pierce's stead. If he could have given them anything, offensively or in slowing down Melo, the game might have finished differently. If they can keep their key players from wearing down, and with their shallow depth that's an enormous if, I like how they look for this season.

More broadly and less homer-centric, other thoughts from yesterday's glut of roundball:
-OKC and Miami made pretty loud statements, which isn't surprising given how strong the consensus was here about them being the class of their respective conferences. The improved post play of the Heat should terrify the rest of the league, and this is the year the cat named James Harden (or Manu Ginobli Jr) is let out of the bag.
-The Lakers looked less out of sorts than I expected, and their D was pretty good. I wasn't expecting them to look so good against a Bulls team that was pretty much the same + Rip.
-Big Baby's goatee is hilarious, like he's trying to look like a western movie villain.
-I don't like the guy anyway, but if Billups keeps taking the most shots on that Clippers team, I'm going to really hate him this season. I hope CP3 puts him in his place soon.
-Judging by the "Wired" segments, Mark Jackson coaches like a preacher. I expect the Warriors will be about the same as last year, maybe with Biedrins playing a bit better, but his presence will make things a bit funnier for me.
   1670. Fourth True Outcome Posted: December 26, 2011 at 10:32 PM (#4023651)
Just saw that DeAndre Jordan had a block rate of a touch over 20% last night. He blocked fully a fifth of Warriors shot attempts when he was on the floor. The man's skillset is limited, but loud.
   1671. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: December 27, 2011 at 12:29 AM (#4023690)
The NBA won't penalize Kevin Garnett for what happened after the Knicks game yesterday. Didn't KG choke a #####? We're OK with that now?
   1672. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 27, 2011 at 12:56 AM (#4023699)
It's his intensity and his passion. He's so intense! And so passionate! And intense!
   1673. PJ Martinez Posted: December 27, 2011 at 01:12 AM (#4023703)
It's his intensity and his passion. He's so intense! And so passionate! And intense!

I don't think Garnett has many non-Celtics-fan defenders at this point. If that "league source" is indeed correct, I'm surprised he's not at least getting fined (although "choke" is a bit of an overstatement -- he shoved him in the throat; not cool, obviously, but the contact probably lasted about half a second). I would not have been surprised (or upset, as a Celtics fan) by a one-game suspension.
   1674. smileyy Posted: December 27, 2011 at 01:15 AM (#4023706)
More of a neck-shove than a choke. If Kevin Garnett chokes a *($)# that *($)# will know it.
   1675. PJ Martinez Posted: December 27, 2011 at 02:22 AM (#4023719)
Here's a very generous (and probably over-thought) interpretation of the excessive amount of Billups in the Clip's opener from Bethlehem Shoals:

http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2011/12/opening-night-the-chauncey-billups-conspiracy-theory.html

P.S. My interpretation? Billups wants to get his. Paul took it in stride, at least in this game. Del Negro didn't do anything about it either way. But it was not an encouraging sight.
   1676. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:07 AM (#4023732)
I just watched Kendrick Perkins perfectly run a fast break and deliver the alley-oop to Kevin Durant.
   1677. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#4023747)
Boy, the Mavs are not good out of the box.
   1678. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:04 AM (#4023751)
The Mavs have no defense for anyone with an ability to put the ball on the floor.

Ricky Rubio's passing is brilliant.
   1679. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:08 AM (#4023753)
I'm listening to the OKC-Wolves game, the MN radio feed. Rubio must be something, because their radio guy nearly busted his voice box on the bounce pass to Williams for a dunk.
   1680. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:24 AM (#4023757)
I've fallen in love with Rubio. Really glad I put MIN on my League Pass.
   1681. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:31 AM (#4023758)
And he's on the floor during closing time.
   1682. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:55 AM (#4023767)
lamarcus aldridge is a hell of a player.
   1683. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 27, 2011 at 05:00 AM (#4023770)
i don't know about anyone else, but i find it absolutely exhilarating when there are 4 defensive three second violations called in the span of a quarter.
   1684. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 27, 2011 at 05:24 AM (#4023780)
i have no idea how the sixers are still in this game. they're shooting like ####, they're turning the ball over, they're giving up a ton of offense boards. but still, they're down just 4 coming out of halftime.

to this point, the best player on the floor (for the sixers) has been spencer hawes. seriously. in 20 minutes, he has 10 rebounds and 6 assists.

jrue holiday has been pretty terrible.



still, it's great to have the NBA back. hopefully the 2nd half won't suck as badly as the first.
   1685. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:10 AM (#4023803)
that was...not good.

portland is a hell of a team. camby, aldridge, and wallace are pretty fierce on both ends of the floor, and mathews, batum, and crawford put the game away* with their shooting early in the 4th quarter. the sixers got close a few times, but they never really got a chance to get the go-ahead bucket. they trimmed portland's lead to 2 or 3, but everytime they got that close, POR would hit a shot, make a big play, and in 20 seconds, they'd be back up 7.

that arena was jumping, and if the crowds in the next 4 games (PHX, UTA, GSW, and NOH) have anywhere near that kind of atmosphere, this team is gonna be drained going into january.


anyway, spencer hawes finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds, and 9 assists. when the game was a game, he was the best player on the floor (for the sixers).

jrue holiday had about as bad a game as is possible for a PG. 13 points, 2 assists, 6 turnovers, and he fouled out in the 4th quarter.


otherwise, the sixers had 7 players score in double figures, but i'm thinking that's slightly less impressive when you notice that all 7 players had at least 27 minutes on the court.


and probably the worst thing out of this was that the team played as hard and as tough a game as possible in the first game of a 5 game road west coast trip, and they did it with a rotation of just 8 players. they got down big in the first quarter, and they spent a ton of energy trying to claw their way back to even.


oh, and another pretty shitty thing in the stat sheet is that the team once again killed itself with turnovers and deficiencies on the defensive glass. i believe those are two of the so-called four factors (along with eFG% and FT/FGA), and if both areas aren't shored up, this will probably be a very frustrating season.
   1686. The District Attorney Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:52 AM (#4023805)
Addendum to my earlier Kim Jong-un post. Pretty obvious where the son got his fanship from...
By most accounts, Kim [Jong-il] is a totalitarian despot who is hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons to gain diplomatic leverage against the rest of the planet and who may or may not sell that technology to raise cash for his impoverished nation. But he also is an avid basketball fan, experts on North Korea say, so much so that he is said to have regulation courts at most of his palaces plus a video library of practically every game Michael Jordan ever played for the Bulls...

in October 2000, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright became the first senior-level U.S. government official to visit Kim in North Korea.

Their talks lasted two days, and before leaving, Albright presented the 5-foot-3 Kim a gift – an authentic NBA basketball autographed by Michael Jordan...

Chinese media have reported that the country even developed its own scoring system, with three points for a dunk, four points for a three-pointer that does not touch the rim and eight points for a basket scored in the final three seconds. Miss a free throw, and it's minus one.
   1687. andrewberg Posted: December 27, 2011 at 09:34 AM (#4023811)
Rubio- as good as advertised. We didn't steal this one, but the seeds are planted.
   1688. Morph Posted: December 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM (#4023812)
Chances Carmelo competes for MVP?
   1689. robinred Posted: December 27, 2011 at 10:21 AM (#4023813)
i hoped you'd make that joke.


It wasn't really a joke.

Maloof Brothers pounding their chests (literally), Wolves' fans talking smack about Rubio one game into his career, Kevin Arnovitz starting a new blog called "Lob City Ledger", Lakers and Mavs a combined 0-4. A new era is indeed dawning to determine who will emerge from the West to challenge the 76ers.

(Although the Spurs did beat the Grizzlies).
   1690. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 27, 2011 at 10:54 AM (#4023815)
It's game 1 and... Andray Blatche is already acting out.
   1691. jmurph Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#4023829)
When the Bulls offense isn't working, as it wasn't last night, their style of play is downright unwatchable. I say this as a fan of a team (Boston) that is basically unwatchable when their offense IS working.

On a more interesting note, on the WGN feed of the Bulls-Warriors game you could hear Mark Jackson and Tom Thibodeau clearly throughout the entire game. Thiboadeau was directing (well, mostly failing to direct) Boozer's defensive movements all night. "Carlos! Carlos!" It was funny.
   1692. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#4023842)
Chances Carmelo competes for MVP?

I don't see how this can happen. Any viable Melo-MVP narrative would require the Knicks finishing no lower than 3rd and having that 3rd place finish be reasonably close to the second place finisher from MIA-CHI. (I'm leaving PHI out of the analysis just for brevity)
   1693. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#4023852)
Chances Carmelo competes for MVP?

I don't see how this can happen. Any viable Melo-MVP narrative would require the Knicks finishing no lower than 3rd and having that 3rd place finish be reasonably close to the second place finisher from MIA-CHI. (I'm leaving PHI out of the analysis just for brevity)


But what if Carmelo's game is brought to another level this season because of the pick and roll?!
   1694. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#4023856)
[1693] Yeah, I saw that earlier and while Melo has looked very good in the PnR through 3 games, I still don’t think the Knicks’ record will be good/surprising enough that he gets the MVP. It is very hard for me to picture it going to anyone other than Durant or Paul at the moment.
   1695. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#4023857)
Team captain Andray Blatche, you mean.

Jeremy Lin to NYK on waivers.
   1696. Jimmy P Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#4023874)
The NBA won't penalize Kevin Garnett for what happened after the Knicks game yesterday. Didn't KG choke a #####? We're OK with that now?


I think the NBA's just happy that he challenged an American player. And not a white bench warmer either. He's making some progress and I think the NBA is taking that into account.
   1697. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 27, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#4023878)
When the Bulls offense isn't working, as it wasn't last night, their style of play is downright unwatchable. I say this as a fan of a team (Boston) that is basically unwatchable when their offense IS working.

It also wasn't working for a large stretch of the game against the Lakers. It's been somewhat disappointing to see the offense this pathetic right out of the gate. I know Rip's only been with the team a week or so, but he isn't playing that many minutes yet. Last year the bench was known for being a defensive force that struggled to score, but they've been even worse offensively this year. It doesn't help that Thibs prefers to play all 5 bench players together for long stretches. The Bulls have been sloppy - last night I last track of how many turnovers were the result of a guy just dribbling the ball either off his own foot or into the defender's leg. I'm not sure how great of a defensive team the Lakers are minus Odom/Bynum, but the W's are undoubtedly a bad defensive team (no matter how many cliches Jackson can make in the huddle) and they just stifled the Bulls. The W's are athletic up and down the roster, so they're trapping and recovery was more than the Bulls could handle. Rose has been surprisingly non-aggressive - partly that's the trapping, but also he's not forcing as much so far - and when he's not that involved the Bulls just look...old and slow. Outside of Rose, they're not a very athletic team, and that's been painfully obvious so far (not that I'm saying that will prevent them from being good, it's just hard to watch). I will say this, Deng has been as good as his mohawk is terrible.

On a more interesting note, on the WGN feed of the Bulls-Warriors game you could hear Mark Jackson and Tom Thibodeau clearly throughout the entire game. Thiboadeau was directing (well, mostly failing to direct) Boozer's defensive movements all night. "Carlos! Carlos!" It was funny.

I've just about had it with Boozer as a fan. That one fast break when he was the only one between Curry and the basket and Boozer was yelling for help as he just spun in place and let Curry go past him. You could see how disgusted Noah was with him when he got the ball to inbound it. Boozer isn't providing much offensively - and hasn't yet as a Bull - and actively hurts their defense.
   1698. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#4023896)
Jeremy Lin to NYK on waivers.

Since Glen Grunwald took over as interim GM I haven't really had a problem with any moves the Knicks have made. What a strange feeling of...contentment and trust. No doubt something horrible will soon happen.
   1699. andrewberg Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#4023903)
They're lulling you into submission before bringing starbury back across the pacific.
   1700. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#4023905)
They're lulling you into submission before bringing starbury back across the pacific.

They? His name is Isiah flippin' Thomas.
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