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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.

rr Posted: December 02, 2011 at 12:26 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1901. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4026546)
Good win for the Knicks here are New Year's Eve, guess I won't have to throw feces onto the court from the rafters of the Garden quite yet.
   1902. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 01, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4026607)
I consider the Heat more talented than the Bulls, but this is a compressed, short season - that should give Chicago a relative advantage in the regular season.
   1903. steagles Posted: January 01, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4026622)
the sixers are top 10 in FG% (48%), opponent's FG% (41%), eFG% (.529), opponent's eFG% (.442), o-rating (109), d-rating (98), and 3FG% (43%).

aside from the 3 point shooting, all of that is pretty much exactly what i was expecting coming into the season.


still, 2-2 is a disappointment. i suppose it shouldn't be that much of a disappointment considering road teams are just 21-35 so far this season. there's usually a pretty big home/road split anyway in the NBA, and my guess would be that the condensed schedule is probably only going to exacerbate that. but they really should have beaten the jazz.
   1904. PJ Martinez Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4026836)
Celtics Hub crunches the early numbers (rebound rate, eFG%, etc) on Boston and concludes:

There are no sea changes from last year in any of the stats besides overall offensive and defensive efficiency, which suggests that those rankings will eventually switch [right now Boston ranks high offensively and low defensively] and the C’s will prove themselves one of the best defensive teams in the league and a middling offensive team.

If that’s the case, Boston simply doesn’t belong in any intellectually honest conversation about championship contenders. However, if the offense manages to hang around the top-10 in the league, with a smart tweak or two from Danny Ainge, the C’s could prove a nasty little dark horse come playoff time.

Sounds about right.
   1905. rr Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4026852)
Kings' Paul Westphal issues statement that DeMarcus Cousins has demanded a trade, sent home for tonight's game -


Via NBA Twitter

A few of us including me said last year that Westphal is the wrong guy for that group--too laid-back.

I would think that Washington and Houston would kick the tires on this.
   1906. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4026861)
A few of us including me said last year that Westphal is the wrong guy for that group--too laid-back.


I think this is backwards. Cousins is the wrong guy for that group. I know chemistry is overrated but that team is just ###### in that department, no matter who is the coach.

I would think that Washington and Houston would kick the tires on this.


Of course put him with Andray Blatche and they might set some records for bad chemistry.
   1907. rr Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4026867)
Cousins is the wrong guy for that group.


Westphal is known as a players' coach kind of guy; he was very popular with the Barkley Suns, or at least with Barkley--used to let Barkley skip practice, etc. He did a pretty good job with that team. The Kings OTOH would appear to need a hardass type. Westphal's statement indicates that Cousins has been getting away with stuff for awhile.

As far as Cousins, you can say he's not worth it if you want. Since we are not around the team every day, neither one of us knows. He may go the way of Benoit Benjamin or even Chris Washburn; we'll see. But he is a 6'11 21-year-old with a lot of talent. Those guys are far harder to find than guys like Paul Westphal are.
   1908. rr Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:11 AM (#4026895)
Adding to the Kings: they clearly have a roster construction problms, as their record-low assist numbers show. The decisions to extend Thornton and draft Fredette were both questionable. That is also in part a coaching issue, though. Some of that is on the players, but it seems that Westphal is not getting through. It may be that no one could, but that is not generally how the NBA rolls. You try someone else.
   1909. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4026912)
Cousins' agent has denied that he ever made a trade request. Some are reporting (sorry, saw it on twitter and I don't remember where) him yelling "Trade me!" at Westphal in the middle of an argument with Westphal last night. If that's the story here, Westphal may have been right to have him stay home from tonight's game, but his statement to the press is irresponsible and I would imagine hard to come back from in terms of coach/player relationship. I'm with rr that the Kings should think about replacing Westphal before they trade Cousins like they would have to right now.
   1910. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:58 AM (#4026964)
What is happening in Chicago?

Nice win for Minnesota. Tuned in to see the 4th quarter. Rubio was solid, I really like watching true 1s like him and Nash and Paul go to work.
   1911. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:04 AM (#4026969)
jeremy pargo is leading the grizz in shots (2-for-13) and they're down 40. glad to see he doesn't fall far from the tree.
   1912. Charley Root of All Evil Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:04 AM (#4026970)
AS: Randolph got hurt early and the Grizz have no offense without him. (Also, Hamilton was scratched and Brewer got his minutes, meaning that the Bulls have been running their max-defense lineup much of the game.) Memphis has looked terrible--I know they're not this bad ordinarily but they're just a mess tonight.
   1913. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:14 AM (#4026979)
Thanks for the updates. Seeing a team with 38 points halfway through the 3rd was a bit surprising.
   1914. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:17 AM (#4026980)
on cousins: i'm mostly with robinred (well, i think extending buckets was fine, creates an asset) on the kings and think westphal (who i, uh, don't not like) shouldn't have been their coach this year - but i don't think cousins (the player, the commodity, or the person) is necessarily worth going to bat for here. do you real want this guy to get his way, to show the other players that that's the system they're in?

on a theoretical dc move - it would be part of a blatche swap, i'd presume - headache transfer - see if new scenery helps either.
   1915. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:27 AM (#4026992)
End of the 1st quarter, Clips ball. Mo Williams dribbles the clock down to 6 seconds then passes to Foye who bricks a contested 3 -- didn't try to drive, no screens, nothing. Shouldn't you, you know, run a play here? VDN's lucked out here in that most of the time he has a PG on the floor very capable of directing traffic on his own but it's really hard to see this guy succeeding as a coach come playoff time. Limited intellectual capital and all.
   1916. andrewberg Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:05 AM (#4027022)
Beasley jammed a finger late today and it looked like the trainer was popping it back in, then Beasley looked at it and the mic picked him up saying "oh ####, that's my bone!" Gross and weird. Hopefully not serious.
   1917. rr Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:07 AM (#4027028)
Westphal has had trouble before; Hollinger tweaked him in a Tweet.
Cousins isn't Magic Johnson, so I agree he may not be a guy you can the coach for, but I still don't think Westphal is the right guy there, and Cousins is more important than Westphal. May suck on an ethical level, but it is what it is.

Thornton's pretty good, but the problem is that neither he nor Evans creates much for other guys, nor does Fredette. It's an issue.

Also, I should say that Kobe tonight did exactly what many of his critics have always accused him of, so the Abbott/kevin/BL/Simmons/Matt Moore et al style shots at him, (not the RAPIST stuff, but the HE HURTS THE TEAM stuff) often wrong and/or overstated over the years, were, tonight at least, accurate, and fans in internet Lakerland are all over him. The Lakers might not have won the game tonight in any case, but they did need to work it to Bynum more. That is on Kobe--he was stubborn and dumb in this game.

One issue with the Brown/Messina O is that Kobe is not getting much time on the box. Bynum and Gasol of course need to be down there, but Brown is a little overboard on the MWP leader of the second unit from the low blocks deal. I would like to see Gasol operating from the high post with Kobe on the block as an occasional set, if for no other reason than to keep Kobe from jacking 3s. Ebanks has gotten two straight DNP-CDs now, and I think that is a mistake. Ebanks is nothing special, but he is a young guy with a little talent who plays pretty smart and has good legs. The Lakers need guys like that.

Rubio apparently did the old schoolyard thing and completed a pass for an assist by throwing it between Dirk's legs, according to a text I received from an NBAgeek buddy. Will have to look for that on highlights packages on-line.
   1918. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:11 AM (#4027030)
Thornton's pretty good, but the problem is that neither he nor Evans creates much for other guys, nor does Fredette. It's an issue.

Oh, no question (and I consider Evans a two). I start by not drafting Fredette.

Westphal has had trouble before; Hollinger tweaked him in a Tweet.
Cousins isn't Magic Johnson, so I agree he may not be a guy you can the coach for, but I still don't think Westphal is the right guy there, and Cousins is more important than Westphal. May suck on an ethical level, but it is what it is.

I don't disagree but... if you do that, what do you have organizationally/culturally? I'm not talking ethics...
   1919. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:21 AM (#4027042)
Rubio apparently did the old schoolyard thing and completed a pass for an assist by throwing it between Dirk's legs, according to a text I received from an NBAgeek buddy. Will have to look for that on highlights packages on-line.

I tried that once - nailed the defender right in the pelotas.

Just trivia, but: tonight Lil'B and Tyreke played 72 min, scored 52, and had 6 assists between them. Won by 16.
   1920. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:28 AM (#4027048)
4 assists combined. Jimmer had 5 by himself in 21 minutes!

Yeah, certainly I'm not claiming that you get rid of Cousins and everything's fine. The comments about the poor roster construction are pretty much dead-on (why the hell is John Salmons on this team?!). Really, I would say they need to blow it up and start over, but they're likely to be bad enough that this will just happen by chance and they have the whole stadium/relocation stuff going on. Ladies and gentlemen, your NBA Oakland A's!
   1921. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:33 AM (#4027057)
Meant 4 - thanks!
And, no question, the roster construction is nutty.
   1922. smileyy Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:47 AM (#4027068)
There's something to be said for collecting 2nd and 3rd and 4th pieces that don't gel together at all, while remaining bad enough to take a shot at getting a #1 piece. Its not like getting to the point of mediocrity will help the Kings.
   1923. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:55 AM (#4027076)
This is called the Timberwolf gambit.
   1924. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 02, 2012 at 06:00 AM (#4027079)
What would you do if you ran the Kings and were handed their roster right now? Assume that the stadium thing is a nonfactor and ignore this latest soap opera for a second -- from a purely basketball standpoint.

I'm looking to trade Tyreke. I'm not sure what a good fit would be. If Orlando still had Brandon Bass I think he'd be a reasonable return with a pick or two -- I think Tyreke would fit pretty well in Orlando -- or maybe to Indiana for Psycho T and picks. (As you might be able to tell, I'm pretty low on Evans and don't necessarily think you could get anything blue-chip for him). Talk to teams about Cousins and see what the market is, but no point in trading him for peanuts. See if you can get Goran Dragic from Houston -- someone who can shoot the 3 and play the 1. If not, try Jimmer out in that position.

I don't know that you can really work miracles here, but if you get rid of Evans, some of the roster issues are alleviated somewhat. You can play Jimmer with Buckets, I'm not totally convinced you can play Tyreke with him and I like Buckets better than Evans.

EDIT: Yeah, it's certainly possible that there is a chance of getting stuck in purgatory with this approach.
   1925. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 02, 2012 at 06:05 AM (#4027083)
I tried that once - nailed the defender right in the pelotas.


Gerald Wallace ran a different version of that play on Caron Butler tonight.
   1926. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 06:41 AM (#4027091)
I was more mortified than Gerald. And, presumably, more eventually punched in the face.

I think Evans gets you more than anybody else on that roster.

OT: Good Lord, Amazon discounted a lot of, um, e-albums to $5.
   1927. akrasian Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:03 AM (#4027096)
Good Lord, Amazon discounted a lot of, um, e-albums to $5.

They do that every month. As well as give an Android app a day away for free. And have an mp3 album heavily discounted for less than $5 everyday. IIRC I paid 99 cents for The Book Of Mormon Original Cast Album, for instance. They do it so you check their site everyday.
   1928. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:06 AM (#4027098)
I know - I look for the daily deal.
It looks like tens of thousands of them this time.
   1929. Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4027120)
Test.
   1930. Spivey Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4027125)
Quack.
   1931. andrewberg Posted: January 02, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4027193)
Pop has been playing Timmy and splitter together to force adelman to keep Darko on the floor. Seems smart to me but splitter isn't scoring on love and the wolves are shooting their way to a 35-25 lead.

red rocket is looking svelte. Just drove for a nice layup.
   1932. andrewberg Posted: January 02, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4027198)
The spurs are so much more disciplined and organized than anyone else MN has played. They're going to steal games with that this year. They might give some away to rest but they'll steal some too.

Wolves now going with Rubio and the pfs- Williams, Beasley, Johnson, toliver.
   1933. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4027288)
So, did no one watch the Hawks take down the Heat tonight?
   1934. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:48 AM (#4027432)
Was watching the Fiesta Bowl, but the only people flipping over the Hawks beating Miami today are people with an out-of-control bias towards Georgia/Atlanta teams.
   1935. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 03, 2012 at 06:54 AM (#4027446)
Nonsense. I'm sure somewhere out there there's a Heat fan who wants to stab Josh Smith in the neck.
   1936. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4027485)
Was watching the Fiesta Bowl, but the only people flipping over the Hawks beating Miami today are people with an out-of-control bias towards Georgia/Atlanta teams.


So, if I'm reading you correctly, winning only means something if it supports your previously established narrative?

Nonsense. I'm sure somewhere out there there's a Heat fan who wants to stab Josh Smith in the neck.


I have that trademarked. I'll sue. And by sue, I mean tie you down and make you watch while I flay your children alive.
   1937. steagles Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4027543)
I have that trademarked. I'll sue. And by sue, I mean tie you down and make you watch while I flay your children alive.
sounds kinky. do you travel to philadelphia?
   1938. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4027585)
sounds kinky. do you travel to philadelphia?


Actually, I travel to Philly *next week.* Will be in the downtown area (I think) M-Th. In case anyone wants to test out their neck guards in person. I could probably swing a dinner one night...
   1939. Jimmy P Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4027597)
Cousins is the wrong guy for that group.

Totally agree. Who didn't see this coming? It's too bad the Kings couldn't get something for him before he torpedoed all his value.
   1940. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4027637)
I could say that I don't think it's sufficient to say "they have a new coach" and call it a day, either. If there is a complete and systematic explanation of both (a) how the Bulls improved their defense and (b) why that improvement is entirely sustainable, I'd be fascinated to see it. I think we're all working from a position of relative ignorance - though admittedly you've surely watched more Bulls games than I have - and when I don't have the level of expert knowledge and analysis to discard regression to the mean as a null hypothesis, I'd still bet on regression.

And my pet peeve is when people use regression to the mean as a reason without exploring the why's and the how's. Here's the Bulls DRtgs and rank (per NBA-Ref) for the last 8 years (Luol Deng's career) with comments/context:

10-11: 100.3/2 (Thibs)
09-10: 105.3/11
08-09: 108.7/18 (VDN's first year; Rose rookie)
07-08: 107.2/14 (Skiles out as coach in Dec; Boylan takes over a mess and they miss the playoffs; Noah rookie)
06-07: 99.6/1 (signed Ben Wallace before the season)
05-06: 103.4/7
04-05: 100.3/2 (Deng rookie year, Skiles coach)

Seeing it laid out like that, I'm not sure there's any significant conclusions to be drawn. Since 04-05, the roster has completely turned over except for Deng (who has been a solid defender the whole tenure). There's a drop in D once Skiles leaves, and then an immediate improvement under Thibs. Now, possible reasons for the D to regress that I see besides regression to the mean this season include more minutes for Boozer (if he doesn't miss the same time as last year), wear and tear or age on Deng (although only 26, he has been an injury risk in the past and plays tons of minutes), losing Thomas and Bogans (both solid defenders) and fatigue/schedule concerns. Reasons I think it can at least maintain, but possibly improve include more minutes for Noah (again, if doesn't miss same injury time as last year), more minutes and improvement/learning for Asik (he barely played early in the year, and is getting consistent minutes so far this year), improvement/learning from Rose (he openly discussed the coaching differences between VDN and Thibs and admitted to not being concerned as much about D his first 2 year) and fatigue/scheduling issues for the other team (I guess also chemistry/2nd year in a new defensive system).

AS: Randolph got hurt early and the Grizz have no offense without him. (Also, Hamilton was scratched and Brewer got his minutes, meaning that the Bulls have been running their max-defense lineup much of the game.) Memphis has looked terrible--I know they're not this bad ordinarily but they're just a mess tonight.

It was heading to blowout territory before Randolph got hurt - I think it was 25-12 Chicago when he left. The Grizz sort of just packed it up and Pargo kept chucking it after that.

still, 2-2 is a disappointment.

It's a long way from that 9-0 start you promised.

(As you might be able to tell, I'm pretty low on Evans and don't necessarily think you could get anything blue-chip for him

You would make a terrible GM. He clearly has more value than that to the league, so if you went around offering him for table scraps you'd get run out of town immediately (unless you are Otis Smith).

---

Ginobli broke his left hand last night. That's a tough injury for them.
   1941. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4027662)
I forgot to mention, but a couple of follow-ups on that article hinting Adidas might not want Rose and Howard on the same team in Chicago:

-A quote from John Paxson that can be interpreted as confirmation of that (if you read it that way): "Sometimes, at least what you hear from agents, it doesn't have anything to do with basketball. It has more to do with marketing and whatnot. Those are the things you don't have under control when an agent gets involved and doesn't even want to talk to you." He obviously didn't name Howard (or any specific player).
-In Marc Stein's Weekend Dime, he had this comment: One industry source insisted to ESPN.com this week that Rose's new shoe deal with adidas will easily crack nine figures and could legitimately approach the $250 million range -- as in $25 million annually over a 10-year span -- in what is known in the shoe game as a "lifetime" deal. How can the reigning MVP possibly command those kind of dollars as a shoe endorser? Here's how: Rose, as it was explained to me, is adidas' only counter to Kobe Bryant in China. I'm told Rose already outsells LeBron James there. If those numbers are true, I can see how Adidas would want to protect that any way they can (whether or not keeping Howard out of Chicago does that is debatable, of course).

   1942. andrewberg Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4027667)
Moses- one thing I would add about the defensive ratings: I think you could probably argue that what happened between Skiles' first year and his second year is something between "regression to the mean" and the human tendency to not give every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears year after year. I think we have seen many instances of teams who establish themselves as defensive powers, then fall back slightly, some due to age, some due to continued effort, some due to small personnel turning over. I can see how someone would just look at the number (out of context, as you note) and say that they're regressing to the mean. For instance, you could look at that second Skiles year and apply that tag, but it is probably more accurate to say that Skiles, as has been his tendency supported by player reports an anecdotes, burns guys out and they can't stay at the same level year after year. In Milwaukee, Skiles' teams went from 15th to 2nd to 4th. Is going from 2nd to 4th regression to the mean? Or is it adding Maggette and Gooden? Or is it him grating on the team? Lots of possibilities, but I think that to some extent the contextual factors are what explains the statistical phenomenon.
   1943. steagles Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4027684)
still, 2-2 is a disappointment.


It's a long way from that 9-0 start you promised.
as i said, their performance has been almost exactly what i was expecting. they're getting less than i expected from holiday (who i thought was going to have a breakout year--it's only 4 games in to the season, so it may still very well come) and young, but they've gotten an absolute ton of production from hawes, iguodala, and williams.

they deserved to lose the POR game, but i don't think i was alone in underrating POR coming into the season. they look really good.

the utah game was an abortion, and there's no excuse for having lost it.


but still, look at their team page on bask-ref. 3rd in O-rating, 7th in D-rating, 2nd in FG%, 4th in opponent's FG%, 2nd in eFG%, 3rd in opponent's eFG%, and 3rd in their version of simple rating system.

it's not yet reflected in the standings, but this has been a very good start for them. hopefully they get stronger throughout the year as other teams get worn down by a comparative lack of depth, but at least for now, they really have been almost as good as i've been saying they were.
   1944. steagles Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4027718)
deepsixer3: Doug Collins: "at some point and time I'm going to take a peak at Nick and Spencer out there together."


<3

(although, i'm fairly sure the phrase is "point in time", and i'm also fairly sure that there's no "c" in nikola. i really do not like this new beatwriter)

   1945. Jimmy P Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4027723)
One industry source insisted to ESPN.com this week that Rose's new shoe deal with adidas will easily crack nine figures and could legitimately approach the $250 million range -- as in $25 million annually over a 10-year span -- in what is known in the shoe game as a "lifetime" deal.

I do like Rose's comments on this. Basically something to the point of being really good at basketball takes care of all the marketing. It's nice to see a guy know that his "brand" is winning and let it take care of itself.
   1946. akrasian Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4027761)
Wouldn't it help his brand to have Dwight Howard on the team, making it more likely that he wins some NBA titles? It might reduce Howard's brand a little - but if the goal is international marketing I'd think it would be a win overall for Adidas.
   1947. rr Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4027864)
Howard did have the funny Olympics pic covering up his shoes...but I am not buying the Adidas thing. There are many reasons Howard might not want to play in Chicago.

I still think Howard wanted to play with Paul and now wants to play with Williams. Based on stuff I have read, including Orlando-based stuff, DeVos wants to keep the team as a Top 4 seed, and thinks he can do that with a Gasol/Bynum package and might well take that for Howard and Turkoglu. The Nets have Williams, but they don't have two big guys to deal like that. Additionally, Buss has reportedly said that he doesn't want to trade Gasol and Bynum for Howard. So, Howard is still in Orlando.

This dynamic, if true, works in favor of Cuban getting Howard and Williams together in Dallas through FA. In the meantime, Smith I assume is trying to get a perimeter player to pair with Howard that perhaps might induce Howard to stay.
   1948. steagles Posted: January 03, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4027952)
from one of the blogs in my RSS:


The Sixers will not be one of the teams putting their hat in the DMC ring, because of a host of reasons you already know (Collins and chemistry being the main ones) but I'm of the opinion that they should. Here's why.

DeMarcus Cousins is, simply, one of the best big man prospects in the NBA today.


i think that's the main reason i'd actually argue against the sixers making a move for him. he's not one of the best big men, he's just one of the best prospects. people talk about him being a headcase, but that's not the only thing that's holding him back. his shot selection is horrendous, he gives away a massive amount of turnovers, and he fouls way too often.

he needs to get better at those things, but that's where the headcase issues come in. i don't really see it as being likely that he will work hard enough at improving those deficiencies for him to truly be a dominant player.

as is, he's a useful piece (you gotta love the rebounding rate, and he converts a decent amount of his FTs). but if that's all he's going to be, you're probably better off without him.
   1949. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4028298)
Good god, is the Chicago offense blowing hot ass.
   1950. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4028345)
Are the Bulls and Hawks using actual peach baskets?
   1951. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4028355)
A lot of the media coverage I've seen on Westphal/DMC has been pro-Cousins, in part because DeMarcus has made a lot of improvements in his body and seems to be doing things to improve his game. (Westphal also hasn't done a great job of relating to players this stint in Sacramento - remember the flack he caught over benching Hawes two years back?)

Also, his big problems - shot selection, turnovers, and fouls - are the sorts of things that you can most expect a young guy to improve going forward - sins of commission, if you will. There's no guarantee that that'll happen, mind you (and I don't think all of it will), but I can totally see why people dream on him.
   1952. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4028374)
I'm thinking there's a non-zero chance Bynum murders Satan at halftime.
   1953. rr Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4028375)
Bynum with a 12/14...at halftime. Kobe is 5/14 from the floor--jacked up a 3 early in the shot clock on the Lakers' last possession.

Heard on Lakers' radio feed, with the TV guy/comic George Lopez on the air:

John Ireland: What do you think of the new look Lakers, George?
Lopez: I don't know if I'm looking at the Lakers or the Iowa Caucus.
   1954. rr Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4028377)
1952,

It has been better this game; the last 3 was a mistake. Mychal Thompson got on Kobe about it on the radio feed. Bynum's PER entering play tonight is 36.1.
   1955. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4028379)
When you include turnovers and FTs, Kobe has generated 15 points using 18 possessions. Bynum has generated 12 points using 14 possessions.

(I haven't watched the game at all, but thought that was worth noting.)
   1956. stubbyc Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4028381)
Kobe would be a lot worse from the floor if the officials would stop bailing him out. A couple of the foul calls on Courtney Lee were ludicrous. There also seems to be a concerted effort to not call traveling on Kobe no matter how obvious he makes it. 4 steps without a dribble is traveling no?
   1957. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4028383)
For those who didn't catch this but might care, B-Pro released a free-to-all supplement to their annual, for the 18 guys who made rosters but not the book. That Ayon guy I was asking about - his #s (not a huge sample) translated really, really well. Bit surprised in the dropoff from Stiemsma's 10-11 projection to his one for 11-12 - wonder if that was from age, including GS's 4 d-league games this year , change in how d-league numbers translate, or some kind of inclusion of last year's numbers (guessing not this one).
   1958. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4028389)
Bynum has looked absolutely fantastic every time I've seen him play this year (granted, that's like 3 games)
   1959. rr Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:41 AM (#4028425)
Bynum's deal has a team option next year, so he is pretty motivated this year and is entering his prime (he is 24). I also said before the season that I thought he (like Steve Blake) would do better under Brown than under Jackson--as did many people.

Bynum has, incidentally, only played three games this year. Small sample, but he has been outstanding thus far.
   1960. kpelton Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:41 AM (#4028426)
I think what happened on Stiemsma must have been that last year's numbers somehow didn't incorporate the three-point adjustment I added last year. The block translation changed for the worse, but basically the difference is largely in his overall win percentage and not his component stats.
   1961. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4028491)
Thanks Kevin - for both the supplement and the explanation.
   1962. Jimmy P Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4028569)
Primer Retweet:

Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

Trade, on course to be completed Wednesday, would send Speights to Grizz, Xavier Henry to Hornets and furnish Philly with two future picks


   1963. JJ1986 Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4028589)
I think that's a steal for Philly.
   1964. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4028599)
Heading to the Knicks game tonight and really hoping they don’t put forth an embarrassing effort. I’m cautiously optimistic because Shumpert is supposed to play tonight and while the numbers from his first game aren’t pretty, that was the game in which our offense looked its best. With Shumpert and Baron Davis out the Knicks don’t have anyone that’s a real threat to penetrate, other than Melo, and as a result what is supposed to be a PnR/Drive and Kick offense turns into a bunch of guys watching Melo laboriously go through Iso after Iso.

Other random thoughts from the past few days of action

-I was all for the compressed schedule and then at some point I realized I had watched a Nuggets and/or Heat game something like 12 times in the past 5 days. At the same time I also realized that scores around the league looked like the NBA had switched to 20 minute halves. Needless to say, quality of play REALLY seems to be off. Haven’t checked the numbers but, from watching the Knicks/Nuggets/Heat/OKC it seems 3 point shooting must be down.

-Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to watch him on a day to day basis, but Chandler’s defensive style has either changed or perhaps I was mislead by the numbers. Looking at his stats, I expected a great team defender who plays conservatively on that end but knows when/where to be to get the stop. So far this year he has pretty regularly gone after blocks and steals recklessly. Maybe it’s a function of how bad the team is defensively or his new contract or whatever, but as much foul trouble as he’s been in…it should probably be worse but the refs have given him some leeway in his hacking and whacking.

-Gallinari has no confidence in his shot right now. He seems to be exactly the kind of guy that lets these things get in his head and after a terrible start shooting things have gotten to the point where he passed out of a wide open 3 down the stretch in Denver’s last game. One of the “funny” things about Gallo being on a team with Al Harrington again is that you just wish Gallo played with Harrington’s confidence. No matter how poorly he’s shooting, Harrington seems certain that the next even slightly open shot is definitely going in. On the plus side, the ability to drive and pick up fouls he developed last year seems to be intact.

-Andre Miller has to be one of the more underrated and unorthodox players of the past two decades, right?
   1965. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4028600)
I think that's a steal for Philly.

But how does it affect their pursuit of the 1 seed?
   1966. Jimmy P Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4028601)
I think that's a steal for Philly.


Matters what kind of picks they are. If they're the second round picks that are just throw-ins, then it's not.

Edit: And Stein is saying they're second rounders. Not sure that really does anything, positive or negative, for Philly
   1967. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4028615)
Hmmm - I did not know that Henry (who I liked coming out of college) had that rough of a rookie year.
   1968. Maxwn Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4028644)
Hmmm - I did not know that Henry (who I liked coming out of college) had that rough of a rookie year.

He's had a couple of poorly-timed injuries. I like the deal for New Orleans, he's the kind of guy they should be getting, especially if you can do it for nothing. Still really young and might pan out down the line.

I don't really care if the Grizzlies trade him though because he hasn't shown much yet, has been hurt quite a bit, and has very little chance of cracking the rotation this year even once he gets healthy. I don't know much about Speights, but he's got to be better than Josh Davis, I would imagine. If this goes through, I must give them credit for passably addressing the depth at the big spots, without panic-trading O.J. Mayo.

Of course, the depth still sucks until Randolph gets back. They say it's just a bruised MCL and he is just day-to-day, but I'll feel a lot better once he's actually back in the lineup.
   1969. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4028666)
Steagles will tell you more, but..
Speights gives empty production - but it's still production. He can score (nice midrange j), decent rebounder, black hole on offense, not much on D. Foul prone, seems unmotivated.
Useful backup five.

That Philly found him out of shape, etc... doesn't look great, mind you.
   1970. steagles Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4028671)
I think that's a steal for Philly.
Edit: And Stein is saying they're second rounders. Not sure that really does anything, positive or negative, for Philly
i think it's a great deal for all 3 teams (assuming one of the draft picks is coming from memphis). the sixers are really way too laden with forwards, and trading speights for draft picks would open up a roster spot for them to bring in a guard--which is important so that our 21 year old PG doesn't crack his knee on the hardwood with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter of a game the team leads by 20.

as i said few pages back, i wouldn't trade speights for a second rounder...but for two, i'd drive him to the airport. it's not so much that the picks are insanely valuable, so much as, having a surplus of them will give the sixers some ammunition if they get to the point where they're actually in position to compete for a title.


one thing i think people might be missing about speights is that he's really pretty much exactly a clone of zach randolph. if he gets his minutes, he's gonna put up 20/10 on ~50% shooting. he really can do that in his sleep. what's held him back (to this point, at least) is mediocre conditioning, poor effort on the defensive end of the floor, and a shortage of adderall.


those things probably aren't going to change in memphis, but at least with speights he's only passively deficient, as opposed to demarcus cousins, who seems to be aggressively antagonistic.

Speights gives empty production - but it's still production.
i wouldn't completely disagree with that, but memphis's system is really built around someone (zach randolph) who's production almost exactly mirrors speights' own. speights going to memphis is really the absolute best thing that could happen to him.
   1971. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4028676)
i agree - this makes sense all the way around.
   1972. Conor Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4028701)
-Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to watch him on a day to day basis, but Chandler’s defensive style has either changed or perhaps I was mislead by the numbers. Looking at his stats, I expected a great team defender who plays conservatively on that end but knows when/where to be to get the stop. So far this year he has pretty regularly gone after blocks and steals recklessly. Maybe it’s a function of how bad the team is defensively or his new contract or whatever, but as much foul trouble as he’s been in…it should probably be worse but the refs have given him some leeway in his hacking and whacking.


Definitely agree with this. Maybe he thinks he needs to cover for the rest of the team, but he has made some stupid plays. The third foul he picked up against Sacramento was idiotic.

I will also be going to the Knicks game tonight; they are 1-0 when I go, and 1-3 otherwise. I'll see if I can get them another W tonight.
   1973. andrewberg Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4028751)
I was all for the compressed schedule and then at some point I realized I had watched a Nuggets and/or Heat game something like 12 times in the past 5 days. At the same time I also realized that scores around the league looked like the NBA had switched to 20 minute halves. Needless to say, quality of play REALLY seems to be off. Haven’t checked the numbers but, from watching the Knicks/Nuggets/Heat/OKC it seems 3 point shooting must be down.


Statistically, it seems very true. PPG is down from 99.6 to 94.9, which is a huge change from one year to the next. Still, we have no idea how to allocate responsibility to the short camp, the compressed schedule, lots of player movement, the long layoff, or even random variance. Shooting has seemed bad to me, too (other then that Wolves, obviously, who are stone cold assassins). Threes have gone from 35.8% to 33.8% and 2s from 45.9% to 44.1%. Even free throws have gone from 76.3% to 74.5%. Shaq retires, and league free throw shooting gets worse? Kidding, of course.

The anecdotes have supported the stats, at least for me. There are a few notable examples of guys shooting well (Lebron getting to the rim, Love making every three, Bynum standing under the hoop and making everything), but from game to game, you see so many bricks. I have to think that is rustiness as much as tired legs. Last night I watched Houston look like a pretty poor rec league team in the fourth quarter. They had open shots, covered shots, shots off the dribble, free throws, layups, putbacks, threes- nothing was even close. They even airballed wide open looks. And this was not a back to back or anything. It was horrid. I hope that teams shake the rustiness and get back to executing the way they can.

-Gallinari has no confidence in his shot right now.


I have seen the same thing and I agree. Blowing that layup only makes things worse. Again, I hope he snaps out of it or shoots his way out of it because he is a fun guy to watch when clicking on all cylinders. Maybe it will help some that Denver's fan base seems more, um, supportive than NY's. He should get Tebow to bless him.

will give the sixers some ammunition if they get to the point where they're actually in position to compete for a title.


I can't wait to see your enthusiasm for the team when they reach the point where you think of them as contenders.

   1974. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4028764)
zach randolph is out 2 months.
   1975. Maxwn Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4028766)
And now the Commercial Appeal is reporting that Z-Bo's injury is more serious than it initially appeared and he may be out for 2 months. So that's fun.
   1976. steagles Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4028787)
I can't wait to see your enthusiasm for the team when they reach the point where you think of them as contenders.
you never checked out the game chatters during last year's phillies run, did you? it'll resemble something like that.


and if i haven't said it before, i think they can beat the heat in a 7 game series, i think they can beat the bulls, celtics, and knicks. but i don't think they can yet beat all of them back to back to back in a single run.

   1977. steagles Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4028798)
here's a pretty cool blog post on deandre jordan's defense on lamarcus aldridge.
   1978. rr Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4028814)
and if i haven't said it before, i think they can beat the heat in a 7 game series,


Look, we are all clear on the fact that we are looking at a 76ers/Wolves Finals. But until then, try to let the fans of lesser teams enjoy the journey, as Phil used to say.
   1979. rr Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4028817)
I said before the season that Memphis could be very good--if things went right. They clearly haven't.
   1980. Jimmy P Posted: January 04, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4029006)
I watched the Bulls on NBA TV last night. Moses is right, Stacey King is terrible. I feel sorry that you have to listen to him all the time, Chicago people.
   1981. The Essex Snead Posted: January 04, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4029010)
Beep beep.
   1982. madvillain Posted: January 04, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4029022)
I watched the Bulls on NBA TV last night. Moses is right, Stacey King is terrible. I feel sorry that you have to listen to him all the time, Chicago people.


I don't mind King. He's a hype man and he has some decent catchphrases. Neil Funk however deserves a special place in broadcaster hell. He's petty, vindictive and senile. A horrible combination. If you put a decent play by play guy with King (hello, Swirsky) King would come off quite a bit better. Half the time King is just trying to politely brush off Funk's inane critiques of the other team.

____________

As for the game, defense and Derrick Rose saved it. Rose always does whatever the Bulls need to win, which sounds cliched, but with a defense that good it allows him to pick and choose when he wants to try and take over scoring wise. Last night he did just enough in the 4th quarter, including 3 huge threes during a 20-4 Chicago run and coming away with 4 points with under 90 seconds to go (2 made layups one missed floater), and one huge distraction on the last play (everyone went with Rose, leaving Deng uncovered on the inbounds for the game winning layup).
   1983. andrewberg Posted: January 04, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4029023)
Look, we are all clear on the fact that we are looking at a 76ers/Wolves Finals. But until then, try to let the fans of lesser teams enjoy the journey, as Phil used to say.


It's funny that you think the Wolves aren't going to be promoted out of this silly little league by then.

I watched the Bulls on NBA TV last night. Moses is right, Stacey King is terrible. I feel sorry that you have to listen to him all the time, Chicago people.


I had that game on last night and my girlfriend, who was in the room but not watching, said, "why are the announcers cheering for one team?"
   1984. andrewberg Posted: January 04, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4029035)
Pruiti has a really good rookie ranking/analysis piece up at Grantland today. It features a breakdown of Rubio's scoring efficiency, Cole's ability to read defenses at a high level, and Marson Brooks's efficient iso game, plus others.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7420125/nba-rookie-rankings-week-1
   1985. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4029039)
I was going to come in here and gloat again, but then they blew a 19 point lead and took away my fun. Bastards.
   1986. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 04, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4029107)
I was going to come in here and gloat again, but then they blew a 19 point lead and took away my fun.
If the season goes well, they'll take away your fun in the semis. If they go bad, they'll take away your fun in the first round. Almost everyone has a new storyline for the season except Atlanta.
   1987. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 04, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4029114)
Almost everyone has a new storyline for the season except Atlanta.


But what about (the ghost of) T-Mac!?
   1988. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4029131)
I guess. After his 4th quarter explosion against Miami, I made sure to try and catch some T-Mac highlights from last night… only there weren't any. It's hard to watch T-Mac play now, going from an all-timer down to Scalabrine territory.
   1989. JC in DC Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4029136)
I am really really growing to hate Carmelo Anthony.
   1990. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4029150)
Is it just me, or are the forums not working?
   1991. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4029192)
I watched the Bulls on NBA TV last night. Moses is right, Stacey King is terrible. I feel sorry that you have to listen to him all the time, Chicago people.

It's embarrassing. During a game last night, when the Bulls are just terrible, it's infuriating to hear them criticize the Hawks for taking terrible shots and how all the Bulls have to do is keep pushing and everything will be fine even though the Bulls are down by double digits. Of course, they were right last night, but that's another story.

I don't mind King. He's a hype man and he has some decent catchphrases. Neil Funk however deserves a special place in broadcaster hell. He's petty, vindictive and senile. A horrible combination. If you put a decent play by play guy with King (hello, Swirsky) King would come off quite a bit better. Half the time King is just trying to politely brush off Funk's inane critiques of the other team.

Uh, no. I'm gonna disagree. You are a Sox fan, so maybe Hawk is your reference point, but he's just as bad. He is not covering for Funk, he's right there with him with his head up his own ass. Some of the catchphrases sometimes aren't that annoying, but overall they're both a joke and an embarrassment for the organization. Thing is, Funk is a radio guy and was decent there, pairing him with King made him worse and didn't improve Stacey at all.

Last night he did just enough in the 4th quarter, including 3 huge threes during a 20-4 Chicago run and coming away with 4 points with under 90 seconds to go (2 made layups one missed floater), and one huge distraction on the last play (everyone went with Rose, leaving Deng uncovered on the inbounds for the game winning layup).

That game winner was a beautiful play. It was funny seeing the twitterverse explode with "wow a play, not an iso" tweets. Of course, after the game Thibs said Rose was still the first option there and the Bulls had just run an iso for Rose the game winning play attempt before.

It's hard to watch T-Mac play now, going from an all-timer down to Scalabrine territory.

The Bulls let Korver guard him last night straight up, and T-Mac couldn't do anything about it.

---

There's maybe 7,000 people in Detroit tonight for the Bulls/Pistons game. Rip's first game back, close rival, and nothing. What a depressing state for the franchise. Then I flip over to NBA TV and see the Wiz getting creamed again. I had some hopes for them this year, but they look like the worst team in the league.
   1992. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4029195)
Speaking of players that are shells of their former selves, Ben Wallace is a shell of a shell of his former self...
   1993. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4029208)
I am really really growing to hate Carmelo Anthony.

They never should have made that trade. Two-plus years of patience, then when they needed to be patient for two more months, Dolan just couldn't do it. But he's a loser and an incompetent, so no great surprise.

   1994. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4029216)
D'Antoni's seat has to be getting pretty warm.

Heat destroying the Pacers, Wade isn't playing. Was it Whitlock that said the Pacers had the best bet at beating the Heat?

Holy ####, Carlos Boozer just made a nice defensive play.
   1995. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4029224)
Bulls are up 18 with less than 3 mins left, and Thibs has all the Bulls starters on the floor (tonight is game 2 of a back to back). He has no grasp of this season's schedule it appears.

EDIT: 16pts, 2min, coming off a TO. No subs. Ridiculous. This is going to be an issue some point this year. I believe Rose and Deng have played the entire 2nd half (both did the same last night, too).

EDIT 2: Rose and Noah sit with 1:12 left.
   1996. Into the Void Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4029227)
It's embarrassing. During a game last night, when the Bulls are just terrible, it's infuriating to hear them criticize the Hawks for taking terrible shots and how all the Bulls have to do is keep pushing and everything will be fine even though the Bulls are down by double digits. Of course, they were right last night, but that's another story.


My favorite moment last night was when he began to whine "The refs keep calling all these fouls and are disrupting the flow of the game!" Yes Stacey, the refs should just ignore obvious fouls so D-Rose can keep pushing the pace...
   1997. Maxwn Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4029231)
Man, I hope Mareese Speights is in ####### shape. Not sure what is worse, playing Josh Davis at the 4 or playing Sam Young at the 4.

This T-wolves-Grizz game is just some offensive futility all around, although Rubio is pretty impressive. Sometimes seems to get a little too cute, but he's got 10 assists and the vision is as advertised.
   1998. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4029235)
Watching Wolves v Grizzlies, the whole tempo of the game changed when Rubio is on the floor. The offense is light years better (some of that is just aesthetics I admit, but much is real) and even the defense (or at least interest in it) seems to change a bit. And of course the crowd changed as well.

Has there ever been a pick as high as Williams so completely under the radar? The only thing close is Sean Elliot to San Antonio with the #3 in 1989.
   1999. Maxwn Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4029243)
Watching Wolves v Grizzlies, the whole tempo of the game changed when Rubio is on the floor. The offense is light years better (some of that is just aesthetics I admit, but much is real)

I agree with this part completely.

and even the defense (or at least interest in it) seems to change a bit.

I'm not sure if this has much to do with Rubio but is instead because his time on the court coincides quite a bit with the Grizzlies bench, which a bit of an offensive disaster right now. I've actually been reasonably happy with the Grizz starters on offense tonight, but I don't think Lionel knows how to handle his bench minutes with the short roster at the moment. Rubio himself hasn't impressed me much on defense.
   2000. Maxwn Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4029257)
Flip.
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