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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
  Tags: general

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   2001. Maxwn Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4029260)
Grizz pulled it out in a close one in Minny. They really needed this one. I just hope that they can hang around .500 or so for six weeks and then Z-Bo can be back earlyish.
   2002. madvillain Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4029266)
Rose took a hard garbage time foul and despite staying in the game and knocking down the free throws apparently is scheduled for an x-ray after the game. ####. Why the hell he was even in the game is beyond me. Thibs is a great coach but his playing the starters in garbage time has to stop.
   2003. steagles Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4029280)
salvaged a hell of a win tonight in NOH. team was down 14 in the 2nd quarter and came back to win by 8.

jrue holiday was the player of the game. he had some daggers from beyond the arc, and his 14 4th quarter points were easily the difference in the game. 23 points, 8 assists, 0 turnovers. this is the jrue holiday i was talking about before the season.

turner was pretty good too. 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists on 8/12 shooting.

elton brand had his best game of the season with 12 and 12.

hawes had 17 and 7 with 4 blocks.


iguodala had a pretty awful game. 6 points on 2/10 shooting and 2/4 from the FT line. 0/4 from beyond the arc. 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 3 steals, but also 3 turnovers.



they're getting absolutely nothing from jodie meeks right now. i know that DC is enamoured with having the best bench in the league, but i think we're at the point where turner needs to get the nod. the first unit has gotten run out of the gym to start 4 of the first 5 games, and there's no way the second unit can keep bailing them out. maybe falling behind is just a road thing, but they've spent a ton of energy through these first 5 games, and i don't see how they can be capable of going through an entire season in the fashion they've gone through this road trip.


things i'd like to see:
-evan turner in the starting lineup. it's just time.

-zone defense. when the team has struggled in the early going, it's usually because of dribble penetration by the opposing guards. i don't know that zoning up will solve that issue, but it would at least put some extra bodies in the paint, and that would hopefully make things just a bit harder for the eric gordons of the world.



anyway, 3-2 on a west coast road trip. coming into the day, there were only 4 teams with a winning record on the road (on the whole, NBA teams are 26-53--coming into today--on the road), and i'm pretty satisfied with the sixers now being the 5th (even if it's not 5-0, there was really only 1 bad loss on the trip, and even that was to a team in its home opener).

   2004. steagles Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4029284)
oh, and there's one more thing.


when the sixers have a team in the penalty towards the end of a quarter, i think it's a necessity to have williams, holiday, turner, young, and brand on the court. you've gotta feast on the opponent when you have them in that situation, and you just can't do it with hawes and iguodala bricking every other FT. get to the line, convert at the line, slow the game down, and you can really create separation in the last 2 minutes.
   2005. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4029309)
Was at the Knick game tonight...

-Iman Shumpert was, easily, the best player in a Knick uniform today. I love me some Iman, but...that's not a good thing. I don't expect Shumpert to always shoot as well as he did tonight, but as I said before the game, he brings the threat of penetration and it makes our entire offense run so much smoother. Shumpert also had a great defensive game, I don't know what the word is on his injury situation but hopefully he's ok.

-I never want to see Landry Fields again.

-Boris Diaw's eyes lit up every time he saw STAT guarding him, and with good reason. I hate to say this about anyone, but man...STAT is just a stupid, stupid, stupid defensive player. At one point in the 3rd quarter, the Bobcats were trying to run a Diaw-Augustin PnR and STAT managed to set an illegal ####### screen on Toney Douglas, allowing Augustin to go right down the middle for an uncontested layup.

-I feel terrible for Toney Douglas. He's missing shots that I have faith he can and will make (other than a couple unconscionable off the dribble jumpers that he has no business taking) but the crowd took out its frustration on him since D'antoni was subbing him for Shump. I think guys can/should be booed if they're not trying but Toney looks every bit like he's giving it his all and I'm not going to blame him for the organization miscasting him.

-Melo is just never going to try on defense ever and I suppose I should learn to accept but I really ####### hate him. So ####### much.

All that said, I think the team's problems are fixable. Toney Douglas should play the 2 on offense and the 1 on defense. Shumpert (if healthy and until Davis comes back) needs to start with Douglas. You can/have to start with Melo and STAT, but...as much as possible I'd like to see STAT play with the scrubs while trying to maximize Melo and Chandler's time on the court together. Douglas should NEVER be the primary ballhandler, he should always be paired with either Melo, Shumpert or Davis working as primary ballhandler and him being the offensive 2. Not sure what the defensive numbers on Melo as a smallball 4 as, but given the lethargy with which he approaches all action on the perimeter (and opponents' ability to rain down 3s when he's in the game), I 'd like to see him in lineups at the 4 with Balkman at the 3.
   2006. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4029367)
-Melo is just never going to try on defense ever and I suppose I should learn to accept but I really ####### hate him. So ####### much.


He'll play defense when he wants, which isn't very often. He'll rebound when he wants, which is more often but still not enough. He stops the ball so much that you have to make him your #1 offensive option and he isn't a good enough player to win with in that role.

George Karl didn't think much of his effort either. The thought that D'Antoni will get fired because of him, and he'll mouth off to the papers about how the change was necessary and that it was Mike D'Antoni's fault rather than Carmelo Anthony's, is ####### nauseating.

   2007. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4029370)
[2006] I agree with you, but I don't think D'antoni is blameless in this mess either. He's tossed some really...interesting...lineups on the floor at times. The switch on every screen defense (which I'm pretty sure I've ranted about on this thread for 3 years now) isn't getting any better either.
   2008. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4029374)
[2006] I agree with you, but I don't think D'antoni is blameless in this mess either. He's tossed some really...interesting...lineups on the floor at times. The switch on every screen defense (which I'm pretty sure I've ranted about on this thread for 3 years now) isn't getting any better either.

He's not a world-beater or an elite coach, but he is a good coach who's had some success. It's not the precise identity of the coach, but more the idea that Carmelo ####### Anthony gets to come here, play like ####, and still be able to blame the coach and get him fired that nauseates.
   2009. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4029377)
The switch on every screen defense (which I'm pretty sure I've ranted about on this thread for 3 years now) isn't getting any better either.


Someone probably said this before during a rant (maybe even me), but it would be interesting to try to quantify the benefit that this tactic provides via conserving energy. Same thing with a zone defense, which I'm pretty sure has come up on this thread but I'm too lazy to search for. Has anyone ever tried to do this? Would be hard to control for some stuff but intuitively you'd think there would be some benefit to defenses that expend less energy. There also might be a bit of a compensation from switching because in some cases you may be able to turn the mismatch back on your opponents in transition.

Probably small in comparison to your larger observation, to be sure.
   2010. sunnyday2 Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4029391)
Somebody mentioned Mmphis over Minny. Tough loss for the Wolves. Down 18-3 and 20-5, they came back to lead 68-63 with 5:00 to go, then gave up a 13-0 run and never caught up, though they had a shot tie at 1 bor 2 seconds to go. The Wolves rotation:

C- Milicic, Randolph, Love down the stretch (B. Miller out)
PF- Love, Tolliver, D. Williams
SF- Beasley,
SG- W. Johnson, Barea was getting more minutes including at crunch time, Ellington
PG- Ridnour, Rubio gets more minutes including crunch time


Last night Beas, Wes and Ellington shot 6-25 with 13 points.

Ergo, I'd like to see the Wolves pkg up Beas and a guard vot named Rubio or Barea in return for a reliable scorer. Any comments to that? Who could they get?
   2011. Conor Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4029394)
-I feel terrible for Toney Douglas. He's missing shots that I have faith he can and will make (other than a couple unconscionable off the dribble jumpers that he has no business taking) but the crowd took out its frustration on him since D'antoni was subbing him for Shump. I think guys can/should be booed if they're not trying but Toney looks every bit like he's giving it his all and I'm not going to blame him for the organization miscasting him.


I do feel bad, but I have to admit i let out a boo at that one jumper he took in transition. It was when they were making a run, I think in the third quarter, he has a semi fast break, comes down and takes a 16 footer or something with no one to rebound. Really a terrible terrible shot.

Stat had one of the worst individual defense efforts I've ever seen last night. Boris Diaw was going by him. Boris Diaw! Dude was 12-15 from the field! It also seemed like the few times the Knicks made some effort on D, Gerald Henderson would stick a tough jumper at the end of the clock. Henderson and Diaw were 22-28 and made 4 3 pointers.
   2012. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4029406)
I do feel bad, but I have to admit i let out a boo at that one jumper he took in transition. It was when they were making a run, I think in the third quarter, he has a semi fast break, comes down and takes a 16 footer or something with no one to rebound. Really a terrible terrible shot.

That was one of the shots I had in mind. Just a terrible decision.

Gerald Henderson would stick a tough jumper at the end of the clock.

Yeah, that was pretty annoying.

but it would be interesting to try to quantify the benefit that this tactic provides via conserving energy. Same thing with a zone defense, which I'm pretty sure has come up on this thread but I'm too lazy to search for. Has anyone ever tried to do this? Would be hard to control for some stuff but intuitively you'd think there would be some benefit to defenses that expend less energy. There also might be a bit of a compensation from switching because in some cases you may be able to turn the mismatch back on your opponents in transition.

*Puts on armchair psychologist hat* I think it breeds a culture of laziness. Defense is effort. I think a GOOD zone defense requires effort and discipline so I think that can be looked at as clearly different from what the Knicks under D'antoni do. Can't remember if you're a Knicks fan, but the next time you watch a Knick game, keep your eye on Melo on defensive possessions and look at how quickly he calls for the switch. In addition, look what happens on screen plays where his man sets a pick and then pops out to the 3 point line (hint: When it comes to creating wide open 3s against the Knicks 60% of the time this works every time). Can't remember whether it was in one of the game reports or a comment thread somewhere but you can really see the difference in defensive acumen between the various Knick players. Shump kept after his man around a few screens last night and was able to create a few turnovers by calling off the switch. Toney can be good on D in spurts as well (though I hate his PnR strategy of running into the screen and attempting to bait the ref into an offensive foul, which actually worked for once last night during a particularly good defensive sequence from him).

EDIT: By the way, with all the Melo-bashing I do regarding his defense, I feel like it's only fair to point that he's played brilliantly on the other side. Since coming to the Knicks, his offense has been better than ever and has actually lived up to its previous billing. I do wish I had access to Synergy or something else though because I'd really like to know at what point does bad defense outweigh good offense as far as him and STAT.
   2013. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4029421)
Ergo, I'd like to see the Wolves pkg up Beas and a guard vot named Rubio or Barea in return for a reliable scorer. Any comments to that? Who could they get?

Landry Fields for Luke Ridnour.
   2014. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4029422)
I'm assuming from context that STAT is Amare Staudemire (sp). Does the nickname imply that he puts up gaudy looking "triple crown type" stats a la Juan Gonzalez or Joe Carter?
   2015. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4029430)
I'm assuming from context that STAT is Amare Staudemire (sp). Does the nickname imply that he puts up gaudy looking "triple crown type" stats a la Juan Gonzalez or Joe Carter?

I think it was a self-appointed nickname. Standing Tall And Talented.
   2016. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4029443)
Thanks, NJ. Nothing worse than self-appointed nicknames, is there?
   2017. Conor Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4029463)
Toney can be good on D in spurts as well (though I hate his PnR strategy of running into the screen and attempting to bait the ref into an offensive foul, which actually worked for once last night during a particularly good defensive sequence from him).


That was the one he got in the back court, right? It seemed to me like that was a late whistle; the ref only decided to call it because Tony was totally laid out on the court. I could be wrong, but that's what it seemed like to me. Douglas seems to think he should pick up every PG at the half court line no matter what.

EDIT: By the way, with all the Melo-bashing I do regarding his defense, I feel like it's only fair to point that he's played brilliantly on the other side. Since coming to the Knicks, his offense has been better than ever and has actually lived up to its previous billing. I do wish I had access to Synergy or something else though because I'd really like to know at what point does bad defense outweigh good offense as far as him and STAT.


Definitely true, his true shooting was 57.5, which was a career high (partial season, granted) and it's close to 60% this year. Samples are small, but he's done great on offense since coming here. But him and Stat, man they are so bad on D. I feel bad for Chandler, it seems like he has to cover for 3 defensive lapses on every possession.
   2018. andrewberg Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4029483)
Last night Beas, Wes and Ellington shot 6-25 with 13 points.


When the game finally ended, my only solace was that the loss was mostly on Beasley for taking 16 shots, seemingly turning it over a dozen times, and never guarding anyone. He's atrocious. I am done defending him and I'd rather just cut him. I don't think there is any value to rehabilitate.

Landry Fields for Luke Ridnour.


I still like this trade. Ridnour has played well and even meshed with Rubio when they're in together. Still, Fields would fix the defensive matchup problems that creates and would fit nicely in a lineup with Rubio where he can make plays off the pass. Probably don't need his rebounding, but still solid.

Other Wolves notes:
-The color guy said that they need to get Darko to start dunking instead of getting fouled on missed layups and suggested a money incentive, and the play by play guy goes, "More money? You think the money he's getting now isn't inspiring him?" Pretty good stuff. Still, Darko has played fairly well this year. He has been active on defense and and has rebounded really well, especially when Love is off the court. It always seems like he's juuuuuust missing a couple of shots that would really help, but I'm starting to accept that they won't start falling either.

-Another good comment later in the game was that Wes Johnson would be well-served in this group to focus his development on one-on-one defense and shooting threes. The announcer actually said that he shouldn't worry if his PER is only 10 or 11 if he can do what Bruce Bowen or Shane Battier did in their primes. Pretty good suggestion, if he's capable.

Finally, Georgetown got another impressive win last night. Came back from down 17 to win 73-70 over a very game Marquette squad. Marquette always gives Georgetown trouble because they are so tenacious offensively they end up getting to the rim and to the line. This year, a couple of freshmen have flipped the script on what have been the team's biggest weaknesses since Green and Hibbert left. First, they have fewer long offensive droughts because Porter (and Jason Clark) are more willing to improvise when the offensive set isn't producing the perfect shot. Second, their atrocious defensive rebounding is now pretty good because Porter is a beast. And in this game, Greg Whittington guarded Johnson-Odom for a lot of the second half and kept him out of the lane really well. We are now up to 6 games in which this team has played better than I thought they could going into the year. Very enjoyable.
   2019. Conor Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4029500)
As a Syracuse fan, I'm a little worried about Georgetown this year. They have really come out of nowhere. Luckily, they need to come to the dome.
Porter has kinda come out of nowhere also, not unlike their team. Didn't I read the guy didn't even play AAU ball or something? Might be part of the reason he is a little under the radar.
   2020. The Essex Snead Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4029517)
[2018] Beasley is Beasley, but the team also went 12-for-22 from the free thrown line (prior to the foul-line foot-fault at the end). If they hit 3 more of those, they might / probably win that game.
   2021. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4029541)
I was at the Temple-Duke game last night. Rockin' house, close to 50% Duke fans; over 20K in Wachovia Center. Duke kept bringing in sons of former NBA players*** and white 6'11' McDonalds All-Americans while Temple played mostly very hard-nosed kids from the Philly area. Temple got a couple calls/no-calls late that helped them keep their lead. Duke got one or two calls early. Duke players didn't up their intensity** to match Temple's until there was about 5 minutes left; Temple's too tough to play that way and didn't fold under the pressure. It's a shame that the Owls are down 2 of their top 6 players; they would be very nasty if they were deeper.

If the Plumlees got the ball in the paint, Temple couldn't stop them with their 6'7" and 6'6" forwards. But Duke hardly got off any intermediate or long-range shot uncontested. Rivers and Curry kept driving into the paint but mostly couldn't figure out what to do once they got there. (Having the Temple guy right on their hips had something to do with it). The fans all rushed the floor after the game. The announcer made a week attempt to ask the fans to vacate the floor, then gave up.

** Not that Duke didn't play hard but Temple was playing like their lives were at stake.
*** I assume that the kid named Dawkins was Johnnie's kid.
   2022. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 05, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4029600)
Just saw video of Chandler Parsons dunking over Blake Griffin's back on a put back and staring him down. Not a bad start to a second-rounder's career.
   2023. steagles Posted: January 05, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4029610)
on the whole, NBA teams are 26-53--coming into today--on the road
i'm still pretty astounded by this. after last night's games, teams are 29-63 on the road. only 4 teams (miami, chicago, OKC, and PHI) have winning records on the road, compared to 11 teams (LAL, SAS, DAL, UT, DET, GSW, HOU, MIL, MIN, SAC, WAS) that are still winless.

on the flip side, there are 6 teams (CHA, NOH, NYK, PHX, NJN, WAS) that have a losing record at home, compared to 11 teams (CHI, IND, ATL, POR, DEN, ORL, BOS, SAS, UT, HOU, MIL) that have yet to lose on their home court.


most years, there's a noticeable home court advantage, but this is fairly ridiculous.


re:temple-duke, i was more focused on the sixers for the second half, but from what i saw, moore, wyatt, and fernandez completely ran rough-shod over the weaker, less physical dook guards.
   2024. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 05, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4029641)
Cousins 1, Westphal 0.

@KBergCBS: The Kings have sent out a new release that they have fired coach Paul Westphal.
   2025. andrewberg Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4029667)
Porter has kinda come out of nowhere also, not unlike their team. Didn't I read the guy didn't even play AAU ball or something? Might be part of the reason he is a little under the radar.


You're right that he didn't play AAU ball. He's from rural Missouri, and I heard a story that his dad played in college with one of Georgetown's assistants (or something close to that), which put him on their radar when he was a soph or junior. Then he won Mr. Basketball in Missouri (I am trying to popularize the Mr. _____ name for other things. NFL MVP? Nay, Mr. NFL) and went from unranked by ESPN's recruiting service to a top 30 national prospect. Supposedly Georgetown was in on him years before anyone else showed interest, and he's really a dynamic player. He has really quick hops, positions himself wonderfully for rebounds, and has soft hands. His shooting is so-so, but not a weakness, and it's clearly still developing. He is also very aggressive on offense, increasingly in close/late situations, so I think he could become a really excellent college player.
   2026. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4029699)
I feel better about the Wolves "missing out" on Cousins every day. Maybe he will end up worth the headache, maybe.

I can't think of many complete headcases that ended up worth it. Rodman is the first that springs to mind, but I am sure there are others (but not as many as those that were NOT worth the hassle).
   2027. smileyy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4029703)
The Temple win over Duke just depresses me even more w.r.t. what has happened to Xavier since the fight at the end of the Cincinnati game. They've lost 5 of their last 6, including losses to Hawaii and La Salle that should never have happened. I'm trying to understand how a team that looked at a minimum to be a top-20 team before has turned into what we see on the court. I suspect the answer is a confluence of all of these possibilities, some being more prominent than others:

* The physical defense they previously were allowed to play now draws whistles.
* The frontcourt isn't as good as expected, and is regressing
* The players have lost their "edge" -- I could especially see losing motivation for having been suspended (in part) for behavior that the school was tolerating, if not encouraging, up to that point.
   2028. smileyy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4029711)
[2027] Z-Bo, depending if you think he is/will be worth it for Memphis.

Big men also get a while to redeem themselves. I'm sure a lot of the stigma around Tyson Chandler was the associated stink of Kwame Brown and Eddy Curry, but it was maybe 6 or 7 years into his career that anyone talking about him being a key asset.

Not that I'm saying Chandler was (or wasn't) a knucklehead. Maybe more that knuckleheadedness is associated more with underperformance, than saying/doing stupid things.
   2029. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4029712)
I feel better about the Wolves "missing out" on Cousins every day. Maybe he will end up worth the headache, maybe.

Wesley Johnson is terrible though.
   2030. Jimmy P Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4029720)
I can't think of many complete headcases that ended up worth it. Rodman is the first that springs to mind, but I am sure there are others

But the cost of Rodman to the Pistons was low. Wasn't he a 2nd rounder? Sure, they never won it all in San Antonio, but he performed and never destroyed the team.

[2027] Z-Bo, depending if you think he is/will be worth it for Memphis.

They're his fourth team, though.

Which is usually what happens when the headcases pan out. They go somewhere else and then pan out. If they do at all.

Wesley Johnson is terrible though.

Paul George and Greg Monroe look really good in that class.
   2031. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4029729)
Wesley Johnson is terrible though.


I think terrible overstates it. Cromulent as a starter is his upside perhaps, but I think he is a useful part off the bench. Not a good return I admit, but it looks like Cousins may be a Derrick Coleman (SP?) sized talent/headache combo meal. Perhaps I would feel differently if they had drafted him (like I wanted, BTW).
   2032. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4029739)
I think terrible overstates it.

Is he a great defender? Otherwise, a career PER of 9.9 looks pretty terrible to me.
   2033. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4029774)
#2032, well I guess we aren't far apart (since my upside is OK starter), but a) I hadn't known his PER was quite that bad and b) I think he has the youth/tools/makeup to get better and c) I can't claim to know enough to say he is a great defender, but to my eye he looks at least OK.
   2034. Maxwn Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4029778)
Personally, I am pretty underwhelmed with the evidence for Demarcus Cousins as a team-killing headcase myself. I am also pretty underwhelmed with the idea that the Kings fired Westphal to appease Cousins. Maybe its all true, but Westphal seems to have earned his firing on the court as far as I can tell. So has Geoff Petrie for that matter.
   2035. Conor Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4029781)
Wes Johnson is already 24, that's not ridiculously old, but I'm not sure how much more upside he really has. As I said before, I'm an SU fan, I was pretty amazed a wing player who had little ability to utilize the dribble effectively in college was a top 5 pick in the NBA draft.
   2036. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4029811)
Fun/interesting Adande piece on the Lakers racial makeup.

Rick Reilly piece on Satan's unrepentant gunning. Money quote:
Yes, but Kobe, stats show that the Lakers are 29-4 when rising star center Andrew Bynum scores 20 points. Shouldn't it be a high priority for you to--

--"That's great. How many of those shots come from me kicking it to him for good looks when I'm being doubled?"


Obviously, I'm not a Laker fan, but the way Satan repeatedly refers to Bynum and Gasol in on the record interviews in this belittling manner, as if they aren't great players in their own right, it really bothers me.
   2037. rr Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4029865)
After the Rockets game, Kobe talked to Dave McMenamin about Bynum:

"We all know the amount of talent that he has and he's really worked on it," Bryant said after Bynum finished with 21 points, 22 rebounds and three blocked shots against Houston in registering the first 20-20 game of his career.
"The thing that I like about him is that he has an engine inside of him and he wants to do well, he wants to dominate. He has ambition to be great. I think that's the biggest positive about him aside from all the physical attributes."


Bryant got--and deserved--heavy criticism after the Denver game, and I was right there leading the pack, here and elsewhere. But his monstrous USG (39) this year comes with some caveats:

1. Odom and Shannon Brown are gone. Brown's USG last year was 22.2; Odom's was his highest in several years, as Blake never shot, after replacing Farmar
2. Bynum missed the first four games.
3. The Lakers are playing a new system, and are doing so without a true playmaking PG or a backup 2. Kobe is playing heavy minutes and is handling the ball all the time. Buss and Kupchak, you might recall, did make an attempt to add a ball-handling PG and IIRC actually completed such a trade. Not sure what happened there.

Yes, he shot 29 times in the Houston game, but most of those were better looks--more action in the midrange area, more action in the post, and he hit 14 of them. Bynum by his own admission was "gassed" in the 4th quarter. Bryant also had eight assists and six boards. He did this in an NBA game, at the age of 33, playing with about seven fingers total and with a jacked-up wrist on his shooting hand.

I observed at another site today that the main problem with talking Kobe these days is that many, many people, even now, after five titles and his legacy pretty much locked in, still talk about Kobe more like he is a politician rather than a jock, with all the biases and emotions thereof. This leads to people holding fiercely to untenable positions (he is the GOAT; he is a team-killing punk) as well as letting us know they want him to fail and whining about the refs (stubbyc in 1954) or quoting an assclown like Rick Reilly to tell us that that his "unrepentant gunning" and nasty quotes "bother" them. Bias-by-omission is a classic move in political rhetoric.

Bryant of course brings some of this on himself. If he could just do the aw-shucks thing and say Jordan was better and apologize when he shoots too much, people might drop it. He never will, though--that is not who he is. Bryant seems to be a lot like Barry Bonds, and if The Mamba were a pol, he'd be Richard Nixon. Any observant Lakers fan--the K Bros are good examples--knew there was no way in hell Kobe would back away in public. But people's and the media's need to react to that got old a long time ago.

So, looking at the Denver game, I, and many Lakers fans, really got on his shitt about it, and rightly so. But it was one game, and there are several other issues (LeVeto, the system, roster construction) that are playing into this.

The interesting issues to look at going forward are whether Bynum can stay on the floor and keep playing this well, whether if he gets all the extra shots people think he needs, he can maintain this efficiency; whether Kobe will be smart enough to get his shots the ways he needs to--curls, screens, bounce-and-pops at the elbow; and on the blocks, whether Brown and Messina will be able to get some action late in games that forces teams to deal with Bryant, as well as Gasol and Bynum; and, of course, whether the Lakers are involved in some big trade and/or use the TPE to add a guard.

What won't be all that interesting is what guys like Bill Simmons and Rick Reilly have to say about Kobe's personality.

   2038. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4029872)
or quoting an ######## like Rick Reilly to tell us that that his "unrepentant gunning" and nasty quotes "bother" them. Bias-by-omission is a classic move in political rhetoric.

I think Rick Reilly is a clown, but I shared the link because the quote was the latest in a series of quotes/soundbites I had seen/heard from either Kobe or Mike Brown this past week or so that amounted (IMO) to Kobe having free reign to do what he wants because he's superior to Bynum and Gasol. I don't have a problem with them THINKING that, I just didn't get the need for them to say that. I also never saw the quote you posted, which was Kobe being complementary of Bynum's game and if I had seen that I probably wouldn't have posted the Reilly thing. Though, as you said, the visibility of such a quote is probably related to the general coverage of Kobe.
   2039. madvillain Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4029914)
Personally, I am pretty underwhelmed with the evidence for Demarcus Cousins as a team-killing headcase myself. I am also pretty underwhelmed with the idea that the Kings fired Westphal to appease Cousins. Maybe its all true, but Westphal seems to have earned his firing on the court as far as I can tell. So has Geoff Petrie for that matter.


I agree. The real problem with Cousins, from what I've seen and read, is just a poor work ethic. He doesn't seem to take criticism well and that's a big part of it. Lots of players come into the league immature and then turn out just fine -- Tyson Chandler was an absolute slacker during his time in Chicago, but turned into one of the hardest workers in the league by the middle of his career.

I think most of us can attest to great personal growth from age 20 to say 25.

Cousins has plenty of time. But with the coach already fired, he's running out of excuses.
   2040. Jimmy P Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4029926)
The real problem with Cousins, from what I've seen and read, is just a poor work ethic. He doesn't seem to take criticism well and that's a big part of it. Lots of players come into the league immature and then turn out just fine -- Tyson Chandler was an absolute slacker during his time in Chicago, but turned into one of the hardest workers in the league by the middle of his career.

It's not just a poor work ethic and immaturity. It's how he reacts. He's not a little immature, he's about 10-15 years immature. He pouts, he sulks, he throws temper tantrums. If a coach can't even correct him in practice because it'll hurt his feelings and make him sulk, is there any hope?

Chandler may have been a slacker, but he was never immature. Sure, he acted like a high school kid, which is what he was. But he didn't throw temper tantrums or sulk.

And, if this were only an issue now, I'd lean more toward Westphal being the problem. Cousins had these issues in high school, he had them at UK, he's having them now. The one common factor in all those situation...
   2041. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4029935)
As you may recall, the Kings actually hired Cousins' high school coach. I assume he's still with the team. It doesn't really seem to have helped with DMC though.
   2042. steagles Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4029969)
samuel dalembert got kind of fat.

i mean, he's getting up there in age, and the lockout probably did him no favors, but for a while, he was really one of the best athletes in the league. he didn't have the basketball skills to flash it very often, but he really had all-world ability.
   2043. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4030004)
My understanding is that Cousins' issue isn't so much the work ethic (witness his coming to camp in much better shape this year), but his emotional makeup. This is also not to say that he's a bad guy - I don't have the impression that he is - but that he might at best always be very hard to wrangle/discipline/calm down/etc...

As for with the trouble with he and Westphal - I saw reports claiming that Westphal had been advised by people outside the org (media, other coaches, etc...)to let up on Cousing, that he'd been after him too hard. Don't know if that's revisionism or not - but I'm bettingthat that was a contributing factor to that failed relationship.
   2044. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4030009)
Rival execs are dubious that a Nets package centered around the injured Brook Lopez and first-round picks will be enough to entice Orlando. In that case, the Nets' bid to get a third team involved will be crucial to their efforts to add the one player who could persuade Deron Williams to embrace the organization and the move to Brooklyn. But with Williams' body language already suffering during the Nets' 1-6 start, observers say to be on the lookout for D-Will to soon lose his will to stay in New Jersey long enough to make it to the New York City boroughs.

"I don't think he feels it there," said a person who knows Williams and his tendencies well. "I could see him saying, 'I've got all the money. I can go back to Dallas. That's my home.' I don't see any spunk in his game right now. He's going through the motions."

This is where the Magic's nightmare scenario intersects with doomsday for the Nets. If the Magic elect not to trade Howard -- thus showing their fan base that they did everything in their power to keep him and he still wouldn't stay -- or trade him somewhere besides New Jersey, the Nets would be sunk. Having given up Derrick Favors, two first-round picks and Devin Harris for Williams, the Nets would be devastated if Williams passed up the money for a chance to return home to Dallas -- something those who know Williams say the headstrong point guard might just be bold enough to do.

Throw into the mix that with a couple of moves -- amnestying Brendan Haywood and buying out Lamar Odom -- the Mavs would have room for both Williams and Howard, and this cruel game of musical chairs could bring two franchises to their knees.

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/16737029/postups-how-will-the-howard-saga-end

   2045. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4030022)
Spurs up 26 on the Mavs at half (Mavs shooting 28% from the field with no threes and have forced only two turns). This would be a good time for John Hollinger to call Mike Fisher...
   2046. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4030055)
Spurs shot 34% from two, made 7 less free throws and were outrebounded by 10. Won by 22, as they committed 7 less turns (15 to 8) and, oh, hit 15 more threes (16-33, compared to 1-19). Mavs starters combined for 24 points.

ATL/MIA going to OT on a buzzer three by Bosh. Heat have neither Wade nor LBJ tonight.
   2047. smileyy Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4030061)
Huh. Atlants is certainly playing to Miami's quality.

Edit: Mario Chalmers and the Heat just added a new exemplar to the encyclopedia entry for "Really bad 'last shot' play."
   2048. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4030074)
Rooting for triple OT. And amazed Ivan Johnson and Terrel Harris are out there (not that they haven't earned it).
   2049. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4030077)
going by pbp, it looks like iso joe + battier = 3ot.
   2050. tshipman Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4030087)
Remember how good Chris Bosh is when he's the first option on a team? Poor Chris Bosh.
   2051. andrewberg Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:25 AM (#4030093)
Ivan johnson was aggressive and good tonight. Weird body, though.

Chalmers is much better with the ball in his hand, but the heat aren't.

Gary Neal played well tonight. He's no Manu. Might keep them afloat anyway with the depth. I love splitter and Anderson. Anderson does so many clever things.

I read on hoops hype that gs is pushing for Howard even without a contract. Seems like a real longshot unless Orlando is confident he leaves and the picks become really good.
   2052. Into the Void Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4030107)
I read on hoops hype that gs is pushing for Howard even without a contract. Seems like a real longshot unless Orlando is confident he leaves and the picks become really good.


As I emailed a friend after I read that- apparently the new ownership is insane. What on earth makes them think they can convince Howard to stay? That he once made some off-hand remark about wanting to play with Monta Ellis? He's already stated where he wants to go. With the Warriors (assuming they trade Curry plus other young parts), he will be on a much worse team than he's currently on. And I'm not sure how much it plays a part in it, but somehow I doubt the Bay Area would jibe with his uber-Christianity.
   2053. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4030114)
Eh - he's had a kid out of wedlock, been in an ad for a videogame and done work to promote literacy. So, stick him in a 826 Valencia fundraiser or two and you've covered most of region, right?

Ivan, fwiw, led the D-League in PER last year. Discipline stuff kept him out of the NBA 'til now (he's been banned from the KBL (Korea), got kicked off the Oregon team and bounced around schools, etc...)
   2054. andrewberg Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:54 AM (#4030119)
I heard a lot about Dwight's religion in his first year or two, but very little since then. Does he still not drink? Has he ever missed practice for church? What is funnier, AC Green as an NBA virgin or if Dwight became a born again NBA virgin?
   2055. smileyy Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4030120)
[2054] Was Dwight the one who said, after he was drafted, that he wanted to get the NBA to put a crucifix on the ball? Or was that some other evangelical player
   2056. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:09 AM (#4030125)
Probably - that's the sort of thing he might have said, yeah.

He's still pretty religious (afaik), though having a kid and subsequent public custody battle sullied his image a bit.

***

This is unfair, but Kobe has missed more shots (10) than the rest of the Laker starters combined (9).
   2057. tshipman Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4030129)
This is unfair, but Kobe has missed more shots (10) than the rest of the Laker starters combined (9).


Not actually true at the end of the game. Kobe was also 13-24. Lakers lost because they went 0-11 from three and only forced 4 turnovers from Portland. 4 turnovers seems like it probably has a fair bit of luck involved given the league average is something like 13-14 per game (Portland was league average coming into the game).

Bynum had another good game.

Don't know what to make of the Lakers at this point--haven't won a game on the road, seem to have only three good players, not a fan of the coaching situation. Could be worse, could be the Mavs.
   2058. andrewberg Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:27 AM (#4030130)
From what I saw, Kobe played ok, maybe even well considering how well Wallace was playing on defense. Nobody well get on his ass for shooting 13-24, or at least they shouldn't. On the other hand, 0-11 on threes? They need to get on that. Blake, Kobe, Murphy, and Kapono would seemingly create some makes, but this has been an ongoing problem.

As far as Portland goes, I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but has a team ever won a title with a best player who wasn't better than LA? Even if Big E was overrated, nobody would compare LA to him, right? DJ? Billups?

Shaq and C-Webb just did an instructional on post position in the TNT studio, and when Shaq hooked C-Webb's arm, he yelled "Ref! Foul! Dick Bavetta!" That's high comedy.
   2059. Into the Void Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4030132)
Eh - he's had a kid out of wedlock, been in an ad for a videogame and done work to promote literacy. So, stick him in a 826 Valencia fundraiser or two and you've covered most of region, right?


Sure, and after that he can walk over and tour the SF Armory...
   2060. Squash Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:31 AM (#4030142)
I think Rick Reilly is a clown

Reilly is the worst kind of idiot, the idiot who doesn't realize he's an idiot (kind of like how Skip Bayless is the worst kind of racist - actually that's not true, there are worse racists) but I can't help but think the Lakers situation is going to get very ugly over the next 18 months. We're on our way to another Kobe/Shaq mess.

He's still pretty religious (afaik), though having a kid and subsequent public custody battle sullied his image a bit.

Howard has calmed way way down on the evangelical tip since he's gotten out of high school. Which makes sense given all the crazy #### he's likely been exposed to since then. He's probably a more well-rounded person these days, even if he seems miserable. The guy needs a change of scenery, though it will devastate Orlando.
   2061. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4030170)
Shaq and C-Webb just did an instructional on post position in the TNT studio, and when Shaq hooked C-Webb's arm, he yelled "Ref! Foul! Dick Bavetta!" That's high comedy.

Fell asleep last night, so thanks for pointing this out.
   2062. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4030374)
I read on hoops hype that gs is pushing for Howard even without a contract. Seems like a real longshot unless Orlando is confident he leaves and the picks become really good.

That article said the Warriors would be willing to risk him leaving money on the table to sign elsewhere. They can't trade their 2012 pick, so the first pick they can move is 2014. Curry, that pick, and filler isn't better than the NJ offer, IMO. I think the Magic could get a better deal than that from another rental team (especially since the Warriors probably can't absorb Hedo's deal also). The interesting part there was the mention of the Warriors wanting a downtown SF stadium. I hadn't heard that before, is this a new thing? It makes some sense, but does that alienate a good portion of their current fan base?

Rooting for triple OT. And amazed Ivan Johnson and Terrel Harris are out there (not that they haven't earned it).

If that choke job to the Bulls the other night wasn't enough to convince people the Hawks aren't anything special (yet again), last night's loss should do it. They didn't have a game the day before, and no Wade and no LeBron (plus it was game 2 of a back to back for Miami, and game 4 in 5 nights for them), and at home. That's an inexcusable loss. During halftime, Webber was all over Bosh saying he's a big 3 so the Heat should still win. Which was crazy, because I was thinking to myself that Horford should be better than him, but that got me to wondering - is that true? Horford hasn't really taken that next step I thought he would - he's efficient, but he disappears too often.

---

ESPNSteinLine: Hornets announce that swelling in right knee will cause Eric Gordon to sit out additional 2-to-3 weeks after missing last five games
   2063. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4030381)
KCJHoop: Remember how DRose kept saying, "I'm good" even as he struggled to dress in Detroit? He's playing Friday in Orlando. #Bulls


He's only missed 6 games, but as KC Johnson also pointed out, 4 of those were after a hard foul by Howard. Wonder if between this current thing and that history, he stays outside the lane tonight.

Ryan Anderson is a terrible matchup for the Bulls. Last year, the Bulls played the let Dwight get his strategy, and used up tons of fouls on D12. Kurt Thomas is gone, and he was the best at that. Asik played D12 ok, but he's still significantly weaker. Noah constantly embarrasses himself, Boozer HA!, and Taj looks like a midget next to him. My point is, Andersen (guarded by Boozer) and Howard (guarded by anyone) should both have huge game tonight.
   2064. Into the Void Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4030424)
The interesting part there was the mention of the Warriors wanting a downtown SF stadium. I hadn't heard that before, is this a new thing? It makes some sense, but does that alienate a good portion of their current fan base?


It's always been talked about but the new ownership seems pretty serious about it. It would actually go right next to AT&T park. I don't think it would alienate too many people because it would be a great (and convenient) location: http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-12-09/news/30494171_1_oracle-arena-warriors-arena-plans
   2065. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4030438)
Cool, thanks.
   2066. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4030442)
@JoshuaBRobbins: SVG says Quentin Rich has something akin to a chemical burn on his foot from trying to self-treat an injured ankle. . .
@JoshuaBRobbins: . . . Quentin apparently used Icy Hot, then dipped his foot in cold water, SVG said.


That's funny.
   2067. andrewberg Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4030465)
Could have been much worse than an ankle.
   2068. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4030536)
Oh - I totally wasn't criticizing Kobe... the second and third parts of that bit got caught off (part 2: he had as many turns as the rest of the starting lineup combined - 4 each at that point in the game; part 3: he was actually playing well - their problems were the bench, threes, and d).

I consider Horford better than Bosh - but his skills are more complementary than Bosh's (team d, passing, etc...). IMO.
   2069. steagles Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4030557)
[GS] can't trade their 2012 pick
there's actually a really good story behind that.

   2070. Jimmy P Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4030619)
As far as Portland goes, I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but has a team ever won a title with a best player who wasn't better than LA? Even if Big E was overrated, nobody would compare LA to him, right? DJ? Billups?

Right now, I'd think Aldridge is easily playing on the same level that Rasheed and Billups were when the Pistons won. You'd have to think the 79 Sonics and 75 Warriors didn't have someone much better than him either.

I was watching them the last few games, and read what Zach Lowe wrote a few days ago, and I think the question needs to be asked: "Are the Blazers legit contenders?" As of right now, I'd say yes. They have a PF playing crazy good, another All-Star level guy playing great D and being a mad man, depth at guard and center.

Everyone's been going crazy about Denver since the Melo trade, but Portland's the exact same team only better.

Times are starting to get real exciting here in Rip City
   2071. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4030645)
Everyone's been going crazy about Denver since the Melo trade, but Portland's the exact same team only better.

Same how? Better how?
   2072. Jimmy P Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4030657)
Same how? Better how?


Dominant post player. A lot of depth. Play solid D and run the other teams.

I think the Blazers are better, in just about every spot. LA is better than Nene. Wallace is better than the 2nd best guy on Denver. The guard rotations are either Crawford, Felton, Wes Matthews, and Batum or Andre Miller, Rudy, Ty Lawson, Afflalo, and you can probably throw Gallo and Corey Brewer in there. Lawson and Afflalo are both really good, but is Afflalo better than Matthews? Lawson's better than Felton, but that much better, especially with how well Felton's playing? Crawford's better than the next best guy on Denver's list.

The big issue with Portland is how long can the old man front line hold up. Camby and Thomas are old and have to play all year because LA can't match up and defend dominant post players.
   2073. Davo Dozier Posted: January 06, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4030711)
Spencer Hawes is the second best player on my fantasy team.
   2074. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4030726)
Spencer Hawes is the second best player on my fantasy team.

He's the best player on a probable 1 seed. You shouldn't be surprised.

I think the Blazers are better, in just about every spot. LA is better than Nene. Wallace is better than the 2nd best guy on Denver. The guard rotations are either Crawford, Felton, Wes Matthews, and Batum or Andre Miller, Rudy, Ty Lawson, Afflalo, and you can probably throw Gallo and Corey Brewer in there. Lawson and Afflalo are both really good, but is Afflalo better than Matthews? Lawson's better than Felton, but that much better, especially with how well Felton's playing? Crawford's better than the next best guy on Denver's list.

I think the gap between the Nuggets wings and Blazers wings is greater than the gap between the Blazers front court and Nuggets front court. I could be wrong, but as someone who has had to watch a lot of Felton and Crawford over the years, I think you're overrating those guys in particular.
   2075. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: January 06, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4030729)
[Otto Porter's] shooting is so-so, but not a weakness,

He's been canning the mid-range jumpers in the last few games. He doesn't have the best-looking stroke and he's not yet effective from three, but it wouldn't be fair to rest of the nation if he were already.
   2076. rr Posted: January 06, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4030770)
NJ,

I was a little dickish there. Sorry. I got grumpy about Reilly because the piece was basically a riff on the Simmers schtick; Kobe, perhaps to amuse himself, as he does with Simers, played along. Here is Kobe addressing Reilly in the piece on the subject of Kobe's ticking career clock and the day he leaves the game:

"I shouldn't have a problem. I'll be fine. That day will come, though. The key is not to let [expletives] like you see it when it gets here. I'm just gonna get out before you even notice a thing."


Wonder what Kobe called him...

DK,

Kobe played very poorly on D in the Portland game,as did many Lakers.

OTOH, here are some basic shooting numbers from the game:

Bryant, Gasol, Bynum: 29/50 FG
Everybody else: 8/29
Blake and the 3 small forwards: 5/22

Kobe was 0/4 on 3s, and he really should not take more than 1 or 2 a game. Blake was 0/5, though, and he needs to hit at about 39-40% from the arc to be useful. He is at 30.6% for the year. It may be that lack of a playmaker makes thier looks from the arc less clean.

That is pretty much the team in a nutshell. Fisher went 2/2 but had his usual problems. Kobe as we all know has his faults, but he is seldom the main problem. He was the problem in Denver and got called out. Since then, he has been getting the ball in better spots and converting. Synergy numbers show he is vastly more effective in non-iso situations, as I suggested yesterday and as one would expect. Kobe is the team's best 1, best 2, and best 3. He is too old and banged-up for that to work.

The Lakers have the same basic problems that they had last year: lack of 3P shooting, lack of speed/ups, inadequate play at the 1 and inconsistent at best play at the 3. That might be OK if Kobe were 28 and Pau were 26. As it is, they are what you see. One note on Bryant I have not seen mentioned much: His AST rate at the moment is 33.0, which would be by far a career high. His TOV rate at the moment is 14.2, which would be right on a career high. That is new system + no major PG upgrade.

Squash,

I think things may well get ugly for the Lakers, but Bynum as you know isn't Shaq, either in terms of skills or demeanor. Bynum so far this year hs 11 TOs and 2 ASTs. He is very deliberate and ponderous offensively and does not have good court vision. He makes up for that because he is huge, has some good fundamentals and is well-coordinated. Adding it up, I may be wrong, but I don't think a Bryant/Bynum explosion will be the big issue with this team.

Howard:

I commented on that the other day: all his "wish list" teams have issues, which is why GS is throwing their hats in the ring. It is hard to say what will happen. Even with the extra money in play, it is hard for me to picture Howard signing on long-term with GS. Maybe Williams will try to "Melo" his way to Orlando, or he and Howard will agree to wait and try to play for Cuban with Nowitzki.
   2077. andrewberg Posted: January 06, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4030799)
Spencer Hawes is the second best player on my fantasy team.


When the comments were down for a while, I was SURE this was someone ending the thread to open a January one. Hawes would fit right in with the Mahinmis and the Mozgovs who have ended previous threads.

I think the gap between the Nuggets wings and Blazers wings is greater than the gap between the Blazers front court and Nuggets front court


I think Jimmy is underrating Ty Lawson. Even if you don't see him as a cut above Felton and Crawford, it isn't really fair to just throw him in as another backcourt guy. Also, Gallo hasn't been a star this year, but he can and should be better than just another perimeter forward. Don't forget about Chandler, too, who is a RFA in March.

I really do like Portland and I think I may have underrated them before the year. At the same time, they're more of a solid, balanced rotation, where as Denver's strength is just throwing waves of differently talented athletes at you until something works. It's not really fair to them to do that line by line style of analysis because they have so many different permutations.
   2078. Jimmy P Posted: January 06, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4030804)
The Basketball Jones has moved to Grantland. At least for podcasts
   2079. Jimmy P Posted: January 06, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4030815)
I think Jimmy is underrating Ty Lawson. Even if you don't see him as a cut above Felton and Crawford, it isn't really fair to just throw him in as another backcourt guy

Hey, Ty Lawson's better than Felton. But he's not that much better. We're not talking the difference between Felton and Deron Williams. Lawson's good, but he's not an All-Star, and I don't think he'll ever be one. Felton's not that much worse than him.

Gallonari's the same. He's good, but he's not an All-Star level player.

There's lots of negatives on Jamal Crawford. There's one thing that he gives the Blazers (and he'd give the Nuggets, too) - he can create his own shot. That has value. Having a guard that you know can get you points when you need them is a big thing. I'm not sure that Denver has that guy.

I think the gap between the Nuggets wings and Blazers wings is greater than the gap between the Blazers front court and Nuggets front court

And here I think you're underrating Wallace.
   2080. tshipman Posted: January 06, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4030865)
Hey, Ty Lawson's better than Felton. But he's not that much better. We're not talking the difference between Felton and Deron Williams. Lawson's good, but he's not an All-Star, and I don't think he'll ever be one. Felton's not that much worse than him.


I really disagree on Ty Lawson. I think he's an allstar right now.
   2081. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4030867)
Hey, Ty Lawson's better than Felton. But he's not that much better. We're not talking the difference between Felton and Deron Williams. Lawson's good, but he's not an All-Star, and I don't think he'll ever be one. Felton's not that much worse than him.

Ray Felton is an average at best PG. I'm pretty sure Ty Lawson is an All Star level PG right now.

EDIT: Coke to tshipman.
   2082. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4030894)
Knicks started the game getting destroyed by the Wizards then D'antoni sat Douglas, brought in Shumpert and the defense improved tremendously and the Knicks got back in it.
   2083. Into the Void Posted: January 06, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4030902)
Just had a thought- how about replacing the dunk contest at the All-Star game with a game of one on one between a couple of the league's stars? Start with a classic like J.J. Redick vs. Kyle Korver.
   2084. rr Posted: January 06, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4030905)
Just got home, checking net before workout...apparently Indiana leads Boston 33-25 at HALFTIME. And Houston only scored 25 in the first half at OKC. ESPN box score says Pacers are shooting 13/40 and Celtics are shooting 9/36. Houston actually scored 32 by the half, it says now.

   2085. rr Posted: January 06, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4030908)
how about replacing the dunk contest at the All-Star game with a game of one on one between a couple of the league's stars


Maybe a tournament--here's my final four:

Louis Williams vs. Jrue Holiday
Iman Shumpert vs. Ricky Rubio
   2086. tshipman Posted: January 06, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4030915)
Just got home, checking net before workout...apparently Indiana leads Boston 33-25 at HALFTIME. And Houston only scored 25 in the first half at OKC. ESPN box score says Pacers are shooting 13/40 and Celtics are shooting 9/36. Houston actually scored 32 by the half, it says now.


Houston is not playing Kyle Lowry (for the express purposes of messing with my fantasy team apparently)
   2087. steagles Posted: January 06, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4030929)
sixers won by 23. detroit shot 36% and were 0/10 from beyond the arc. the sixers kind of had an off night from the field and shot 45%.

hawes with 16 and 14, plus 4 assists and 2 blocks.

jodie meeks had a 17 point 4th quarter. the sixers kept an arms-length lead for most of the game, but they really pulled away when meeks went nuts from beyond the arc in the 4th quarter.

jrue had 9 assists, against 2 turnovers. only 5 points, though.

brand and iguodala combined for just 9 points and 8 rebounds in about 30 minutes of run, but they also put up 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 5 steals. iguodala had a really awful stretch in the 2nd quarter where he turned the ball over 4 times in about 3 minutes. he's just not a very smart player.

turner, young, and williams combined for 40 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 assists.

eurogoon went 3/3 in garbage time.

best player on the floor: spencer hawes.


i believe this is the first of 7 games in 9 days. only 2 of these games are on the road, and neither will require an airplane, so hopefully this will be an opportunity to create some separation in the standings.
   2088. madvillain Posted: January 06, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4030950)
Bulls toy with Orlando and win easily in the end. It's almost surreal watching Chicago right now. It's an unusual feeling as a fan to not worry. This Bulls team is so good I'm ready to just fast forward to the ECF. With Rose and Thibs and Deng and Noah and Boozer and all those waves of defenders, I think they are ready to take on the Heat and give them a run for their money. Not saying they are the favs, just that I feel confident after watching the first 8 games, in which they annihilated a brutal schedule to the tune of 7-1 and a 12 point differential -- that they are going to give Miami a challenge.

Rose didn't even play that great, and he's clearly bothered a bit by his various minor injuries (elbow, wrist), but anytime you can put up a 21-10-8-2-1 line on 19 shots and 4tos in a win I'm not going to complain.

Howard is Howard but he's a one man show right now. They are getting nothing from Jameer and Turkyglue, and guys like Baby and Duhon are just zeros out on the court, not guys you can win with if they are playing big minutes.

One of the problems with Howard is that he simply can't be relied on at the end of games as your primary scorer. Clearly he needs to be paired with an elite wing scorer. Jeez, Derrick Rose and the Bulls make a little too much sense, huh Dwight?

I feel, and I could easily be wrong, that Howard doesn't want to go to Chicago because it will never be his team. In LA, Kobe is gone in a year or two, in BK, he's a bigger star than Williams.
   2089. steagles Posted: January 07, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4030979)
It's an unusual feeling as a fan to not worry.
welcome to life as a sixers fan. :)


   2090. steagles Posted: January 07, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4030983)
One of the problems with Howard is that he simply can't be relied on at the end of games as your primary scorer. Clearly he needs to be paired with an elite wing scorer. Jeez, Derrick Rose and the Bulls make a little too much sense, huh Dwight?
also, i'm just wondering, what kind of a deal would you envision for dwight howard? noah would be the center of it, i'm guessing, but is there anything else you could offer that's of actual value?
   2091. smileyy Posted: January 07, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4031001)
I'm watching the POR/PHX game. Wow. Some of the NBA is brutal this year.

The NBA better hope for fabulous playoffs (which I think they could get, after the first round). But I look around the NBA and I see so many teams who are as bad or worse than they were next year. And I see a lot of teams that used to be worth watching that just aren't anymore.

As a fairly team-neutral fan, I'm not sure many teams are worth watching outside of MIA, CHI and OKC.
   2092. steagles Posted: January 07, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4031015)
As a fairly team-neutral fan, I'm not sure many teams are worth watching outside of MIA, CHI and OKC.
*shakes head*


three quotes of the night:

from sixers color guy malik rose during the sixers run in the 4th quarter:
"i'm channeling my inner negrodamus"

from sixers post game analyst and amateur racial biologist john nash, referring to spencer hawes:
"sometimes it takes bigger white guys a little longer to mature"

and from columnist bob cooney on twitter:
BobCooney76: Sixers fans: "Loooou" for Williams, "Jruuue" for Holiday, "Vuuuch" for Vucevic. What's that they saying for iguodala? Oh, never mind
   2093. smileyy Posted: January 07, 2012 at 01:44 AM (#4031018)
I should actually watch a Sixers game before I make that declaration, huh?

And I'm sure POR usually looks better than this, but PHX looks mediocre, and they're running POR out of the gym.

_I_ was saying "Booo-dala"...
   2094. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 07, 2012 at 04:18 AM (#4031041)
also, i'm just wondering, what kind of a deal would you envision for dwight howard? noah would be the center of it, i'm guessing, but is there anything else you could offer that's of actual value?

I don't know if the Bulls could realistically compete with an offer like Turner, Brand, and Vucevic for Howard, but for a non-Sixers team they have a decent collection of assets: Asik ($1.9M this year, can't be offered a particularly large contract as an RFA due to an obscure rule), Taj Gibson (2/$3.4M), Deng (3/$40M), three fairly-paid rotation guys whose contracts are non-guaranteed next year (Brewer, Korver, and CJ Watson), rookie Jimmy Butler (check out the 37.3 PER in very limited minutes!), Nikola Mirotic (Euroleague MVP for December), Charlotte's protected 1st rounder, and any of their own draft picks.

The simplest trade that might work for both teams is Noah and Deng for Howard and Turkoglu. If rumors are true that the Magic are looking for current talent to keep them competitive, this is probably their best possibility other than Bynum and Gasol. They'd save a few million dollars this year, shed a bad contract, and receive two 26-year-old, top-50 players. However, if Howard didn't commit to signing long-term, the Bulls wouldn't make that offer. Even if Howard claimed he would stay, the Bulls still might not do it, given their extreme reliance on Deng and the possibility of Howard changing his mind before he could sign a new max deal. Another option would be Noah, Asik/Taj, one or two of the soon-to-be non-guaranteed trio, and some combination of picks and the 2011 draftees for Howard and unfavorable contracts. That's still contingent on Howard wanting to play in Chicago, and by all accounts Chicago is not where he wants to be.
   2095. rr Posted: January 07, 2012 at 04:52 AM (#4031043)
Houston is not playing Kyle Lowry (for the express purposes of messing with my fantasy team apparently)


Maybe a female ref threw a basketball at his torso.

Lowry has an outside shot at the ASG if he keeps playing like he has been.

The first Bulls/76ers game will make a nice thread. Presumably Howard will have come to his senses by then, changed shoe companies, and signed a long-term deal with the Bulls.
   2096. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 07, 2012 at 05:04 AM (#4031045)
The first Bulls/76ers game will make a nice thread. Presumably Howard will have come to his senses by then, changed shoe companies, and signed a long-term deal with the Bulls.


If this does come to pass, the matchup of the two best centers in the league will certainly be fun to watch.
   2097. JuanGone..except1game Posted: January 07, 2012 at 06:00 AM (#4031048)
I don't know if the Bulls could realistically compete with an offer like Turner, Brand, and Vucevic for Howard, but for a non-Sixers team they have a decent collection of assets:


Unfortunately, the scuttlebutt (love that word) is that Howard's contract with Adidas is up this year to coincide with his NBA deal. Adidas's top 2 athletes are Howard....and Rose. Adidas would clearly value Howard a ton less if he went to CHI, which is why you haven't heard them rumored and you have heard LA and NJ/NY. Basketball wise, CHI looks like a good choice but economically its just about his worst choice other than going to a smaller market team.
   2098. steagles Posted: January 07, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4031091)
so...

the sixers are now 3rd in both PPG and opponent's PPG. they are 2nd in O-rating, and 3rd in D-rating. they are 3rd in FG% and 2nd in opponent's FG%. they are 3rd in eFG% and 1st (#### you thibideau) in opponent's eFG%.


   2099. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 07, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4031107)
Jimmy, care to comment on Portland now? :)

I wouldn't completely agree with Matt about last night's Bulls/Magic game. The Bulls started really slow, but stormed back and got a 16 point lead. The Magic cut it to 2 in the 4th, during one of the Bulls' offensive dry stretches (as is their habit so far this year; this one can't be blame completely on the bench as it was mostly with the starters on the floor and Korver and Lucas* played great). I was most definitely thinking "Oh, here we go again." Of course, the Bulls have pulled out all of those games (save the GS one, which they were out of from the opening tip). This schedule is crazy though, they've only played 2 of 8 at home (and are in Atlanta tonight), and they have a 9 game road trip coming up 1/29-2/12 (circle your calendars, the first CHI/PHI matchup is in Philly on 2/1). That makes it feel like they'll only play at home in March and April.

I have to give steagles some credit on Hawes, he's been legitimately great so far. Of course, you were higher on the rookie stiff than the veteran stiff.

*What a surprise he's been this week. With Watson out (he was on the bench in a sling last night, I think the Bulls are underselling the severity of that injury), he's actually been perfectly cromulent as the backup PG. He's making his 3's, he's moving the offense, and he's not getting burned on defense as badly as you'd expect a 5'2" guy would be. Rose has been able to sit a few extra minutes each game because of that. I don't want to see him on the court in the playoffs still, but I no longer hate him as much as I hate the other worthless scrub on the team (I'm looking at you Worthless Mamba).
   2100. tshipman Posted: January 07, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4031115)
SEO jewelry sellers? How bizarre.

Btw--seems like a big key to doing well in the NBA this year is to have a great bench.
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