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Saturday, February 17, 2018

OT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, none of whom can be bothered to curate their own thread to avoid detracting from what this site is really about:  eliminationist rhetoric and precognition.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 17, 2018 at 02:09 AM | 6537 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1101. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 27, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5644005)
This is what I thought might be the fatal flaw in Hinkie's approach: I wondered whether the habits he seemed to be inculcating would ultimately undo the team, if they'd fail to develop players who might have succeeded elsewhere. Drafting players who didn't fit with the personnel on hand also seemed in line with this lack of concern for development, and the flameouts of Noel and Okafor seemed to bolster this case against him.

But Simmons and Embiid and Saric and McConnell and Covington now appear to be demonstrating that that concern was overblown -- they're getting a lot out of themselves and each other. And Hinkie is rightly getting a lot of credit now for putting the team together.

there are only 3 sixers left from when hinkie resigned, and one of them (richaun holmes) seems likely to be gone this summer.

   1102. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 27, 2018 at 10:56 PM (#5644048)
playing around with the capulator again. this is easier to pull off if CLE is willing to sign and trade lebron, but even if they aren't, it should still be possible:

draft shai gilgeous-alexander at #10
draft and stash 3-5 other picks
trade jerryd bayless, furkan korkmaz, richaun holmes to XXX for 2022 top 55 protected 2nd round pick
sign lebron for the max.
sign jonah bolden (2017 2nd round pick) into cap space
resign amir johnson, marco belinelli, ersan ilyasova for the vet minimum
sign lucas nogueira to the room MLE


PG: simmons -- fultz / mcconnell
SG: covington -- belinelli / gilgeous-alexander
SF: lebron -- anderson
PF: saric -- ilyasova / bolden
C: embiid -- nogueira / amir


that team has the top end talent to compete for a title, and it has the depth to make it through 82 games.

it has versatile defenders, a bunch of shooters and they can keep 2 or 3 playmakers on the court at all times.

the bench is experienced, but nogueira, bolden, gilgeous-alexander and fultz add a ton of developmental upside.

they have 4 NBA all-defense candidates in the starting lineup, plus some good and/or interesting defenders coming off the bench.

even if fultz doesn't find his shot, they'd have lebron, covington, saric, ilyasova and belinelli, plus embiid, to spread the floor.


if embiid stays healthy, that team wins 65+ games next year.
   1103. Internet Commenter Posted: March 27, 2018 at 11:21 PM (#5644051)
I guess the thing that's missing for me is that "The Process" misidentified that losing a lot gave the best chance of obtaining championship caliber talent.

If you look at the teams who actually have succeeded, they have not followed this process. Championship teams mainly succeed by nailing multiple drafts in a row and having those players develop in a complementary manner, then supplementing that core with veteran talent.

None of the top three teams this year drafted at the very top of the round for their talent. Curry was 7th overall (and the third PG chosen). Harden was obtained via trade. Capela was drafted 25th. DeRozan was 9th. Lowry was a trade. Poeltl was 9th overall.

What the best teams have in common is getting good players in the draft every year--not necessarily getting the best player of the draft.

More draft picks and higher draft picks give a team a better chance at nailing those drafts, though. What does it matter if everyone in your FO tells you that KAT is the best player available when he's already gone by the time you pick? The core of "The Process" is about stacking the deck as much as possible in your favor so you can be the team that takes Simmons. It's great that Houston snagged Capela so late, but they'd swap him for the guy taken third that year in a heartbeat.
   1104. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 12:23 AM (#5644061)
PHI and CLE are now tied in the loss column for the 3-seed.

they play one more time head to head in philly when CLE will be on the 2nd night of a back to back.

the next 6 games for both teams:
CLE: @CHA (b2b), NOP, DAL, TOR, WAS, @PHI (b2b)
PHI: NYK, @ATL, @CHA, BRK, @DET (b2b), CLE


i think the sixers have this one.
   1105. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 01:21 AM (#5644067)
@Dcorrigan50
Ben Simmons tells KAT he has “plenty of time” to play PUBG with him because he plays the Hawks tomorrow
pic.twitter.com/A5hAg8Gc78


ben simmons going full stiggles
   1106. JC in DC Posted: March 28, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5644193)
What do you guys make of this take on the Spurs? Thesis: like most teams, the Spurs have really been about superstar talent more than Pop's special sauce.
   1107. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 28, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5644221)
What do you guys make of this take on the Spurs? Thesis: like most teams, the Spurs have really been about superstar talent more than Pop's special sauce.

I think that's mostly true. I'll take a look this afternoon. I think the points I'd make in response off hand would be:

1. This season. I don't think this is a 47-50 win team, but they're probably gonna end up there.
2. How does Kawhi develop on another team?
3. There was a 3-4 year run at the beginning of this decade when I think Duncan had fallen off, Kawhi wasn't great yet, and Parker may have been their best or at least most important player. They won a title and went to another one. Now, I think there were a lot of things that went into that, and some of it is the Spurs have always gotten good role players because their a contender and players to take lower than market value contracts. I don't know if that should be called "Pop magic", specifically.
   1108. JC in DC Posted: March 28, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5644275)
I agree. I think part of it is mentioned by the author, and that's Duncan's buy-in. Even as he was declining as a player, his buy-in helped Pop continue to preach "team" and ball-movement. It didn't hurt that arguably the two best players (Ginobili and Parker) grew up in context of player and ball movement and then under Pop's and Duncan's tutelage.
   1109. Booey Posted: March 28, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5644313)
The Spurs have definitely had their share of stars during their run, and that can't be ignored. However, they did win a title during their transition period after Duncan was no longer a superstar but before Kawhi became one. In fact, the 2014 Spurs are just one of 3 teams in the modern NBA (1980-present) to win a championship without a top 10 (by MVP voting) player, and the first since the Bad Boy Pistons:

2014 Spurs - Duncan and Parker tied for 12th in MVP voting.
1990 Pistons - Thomas and Dumars tied for 13th.
1989 Pistons - Thomas and Dumars tied for 17th.

Hell, only a handful of other teams even won a title without a top 5 player (and most of them barely missed):

2017 Warriors - Curry 6th, Durant 9th
2011 Mavs - Dirk 6th
2006 Heat - Wade 6th
2004 Pistons - B. Wallace 7th
1982 Lakers - Magic 8th, Kareem 10th
   1110. jmurph Posted: March 28, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5644320)
I think it was underrated at the time that Duncan was still a top 15-20 overall player through literally his 2nd to last season, mainly due to his defense. And yet in the 2 years after his retirement, they somehow finished 1st and (are on pace to finish) 3rd in team defense. And that 3rd is with Kawhi missing almost the entire season. So yeah I'm still going with Pop is a wizard.
   1111. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 28, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5644338)
In basketball talent is and will always be king, but ....

On the margins the organization makes a huge difference, and the lead dog in the organization that is the Spurs is Pop. He got Duncan to buy in (and kept Duncan happy all those years before), he found and used all those middling and lower players. It seems like every player that goes to the Spurs gets better and every one that leaves gets worse (yes there are a couple exceptions), that is more than talent.

Players drafted in low spots by the Spurs seem to be spun into gold way more often than in most franchises. The Spurs were leaders in non-US players (especially Europe) and leaders in resting players during the season, and the whole league has followed along in both cases. There is never any chaos or drama from the Spurs organization.

But what is most amazing about the Spurs is they always get the most out of their talent, even ignoring everything else. Pop is willing to completely and utterly switch up the emphasis of his team on defense and offense to fit what his players need. He has not had a "Spurs way" of playing over the years, it changes and evolves according to his players and whatever it takes to win games.

I am sure there are plenty of other personnel that should get credit, but as I said Pop is the lead dog and so he gets most of the credit for the huge number of things that always seem to go right (or not go wrong) year after year after year. Yes they have had great talent, and they have kept it happy and used it effectively every year, while constantly managing to bring in new talent. None of that just happens and it is apart from the basketball talent they have had.
   1112. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: March 28, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5644347)
I think it was underrated at the time that Duncan was still a top 15-20 overall player through literally his 2nd to last season, mainly due to his defense. And yet in the 2 years after his retirement, they somehow finished 1st and (are on pace to finish) 3rd in team defense. And that 3rd is with Kawhi missing almost the entire season. So yeah I'm still going with Pop is a wizard.

Agreed.
   1113. Booey Posted: March 28, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5644349)
I think jmurph's point in 1110 is a good one. The Spurs defense never drops off, even when they lose DPOY candidates (first Robinson, then Duncan, now Leonard). That's gotta mean something.

Other coaches with a defensive reputation (like Thibs) can't always get their players to buy into the idea of team defense the way Pops seems to be able to do year in and year out, regardless of personnel.
   1114. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 28, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5644424)
Other coaches with a defensive reputation (like Thibs) can't always get their players to buy into the idea of team defense the way Pops seems to be able to do year in and year out, regardless of personnel.


I think one of the hallmarks of a truly great coach is the ability to put players in a position where their job is to do what they're good at and they have to do as few things they aren't good at as possible. It's simple when you say it, but clearly doing it year in and year out for different rosters with different compositions is anything but. (Pop and Bill Belichick are the only two coaches I can easily think of who have done this in a large sample size. It's also no coincidence that they're the two of the few coaches to succeed in also managing their roster.) You can get players to paper over deficiencies with effort to some degree (I think this is one of the hallmarks of Thibs, for instance) but that is an imperfect solution that vanishes if players stop buying in or wear out.

I think Pop is a wizard, and I think his wizardry is the synergy of building a roster that fits together and coaching those players to do what they're good at in a cohesive way.
   1115. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: March 28, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5644445)
I think one of the hallmarks of a truly great coach is the ability to put players in a position where their job is to do what they're good at and they have to do as few things they aren't good at as possible.

This is the hallmark of a good manager of people, really.
   1116. maccoach57 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5644447)
I think Popovich is obviously a great coach and a great leader, and as noted puts players in position to succeed. But I think it is equally obvious that elite talent is far more important than coaching in the NBA. As I have said before, I think most coaches and orgs right now are generally at least competent, so the differences are on the margins. Going 43-32 without Leonard by running the O through Aldridge while also keeping the team 3rd in DRTG shows that Popovich is clearly making an impact. But then you look at the 76ers, who have the same coach who was 75-253 going into this year.

   1117. JC in DC Posted: March 28, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5644494)
Agree with 1116.
   1118. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 28, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5644532)
Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers 12:30 PM - Mar 28, 2018
MEDICAL UPDATE: Isaiah Thomas will undergo arthroscopic surgery to his right hip tomorrow, it was announced today.

An update will be provided following the completion of the surgery.


I feel pretty bad for him, honestly.
   1119. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 28, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5644537)
Hey Moses, what's the verdict on LaVine's short stint this year (apparently his season might be over)? It's probably hard to evaluate him given the surrounding cast and the fact that he was coming back from the ACL injury, but did you see anything you liked?

Way late on this (thanks to my annual spring training trip), but I don't have a good answer anyway. He was pretty worse across the board compared to last year (save FTr) and ends the year with the same exact PER. He still oozes athleticism, so it's great to see it's possible to still be athletic after a knee injury (something us Bulls fans aren't that familiar with). The team really is such a mess, I don't know how harshly to judge him. On one hand, coming back after that injury and playing at a similar level on a worse team is probably a positive, and while he's still young he's not *that* young anymore relatively speaking. He might just be what he is - a guy with poor defensive instincts and a less that full appreciation of team basketball.

I've seen references that that Bulls 3 young guys (him, Dunn, Markkanen) all play worse when the 3 of them are together so there might also be a fit problem. The Bulls also have a contract problem with him, but I'm not sure exactly who wants to pay big to poach him away. What's a reasonable deal for him this offseason? If the Bulls luck into a top 3 pick, it'll probably be easier for them to play hard ball with him.
   1120. JC in DC Posted: March 28, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5644538)
I was just about to post about that, Moses, but along these lines: a few pages ago (or more, I forget!) I mused about Curry's health and where he is in the life-cycle of a bball player. Put simply, he's probably never going to be the same player he was, and it's just a question of (I'm musing) how close he can get, and how long he can sustain being that close. IT is declining much more quickly. Who knows what his future is, but just a short while ago he was in the picture as a possible MVP, and now he's not a starter, and soon, he may be looking for a job. The cycle for these guys is so short, which is why I support all pro athletes cashing in as much as they can for as long as they can. With everyone biting off pieces of their income, even the most savvy will face a long, long life of qualitatively different levels of income.

I feel a little for IT, too. Total warrior, total loyalist who learned fast the sport is just a business, and loyalty offered will probably not be loyalty rewarded.
   1121. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 28, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5644539)
It fascinates me, and I think it tells you a lot about why Popovich has been so successful, that he will still tell anyone who asks that he hates what the three pointer has done to basketball, and yet he was one of the pioneers of one of the modern three-centric offense (and defense).

Other coaches with a defensive reputation (like Thibs) can't always get their players to buy into the idea of team defense the way Pops seems to be able to do year in and year out, regardless of personnel.


To be fair, I don't think Popovich would have the likes of Andrew Wiggins on his team if he could help it. Part of leadership wizardry is knowing who is and isn't teachable. I'm out on Thibs but I also do not blame him at all for Wiggins' absolute lack of giving a #### when he doesn't have the ball.
   1122. jmurph Posted: March 28, 2018 at 05:29 PM (#5644542)
Thanks Moses, I had actually forgotten that I asked that, so no worries on the late answer.

------------

Definitely feel bad for Isaiah, too. I hope someone gives him one of those silly 1 year, $14million+ deals to meet the minimum salary and he goes off and earns a big, longer payday.
   1123. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5644560)
Definitely feel bad for Isaiah, too. I hope someone gives him one of those silly 1 year, $14million+ deals to meet the minimum salary and he goes off and earns a big, longer payday.
noone has that kind of money to spend this year.

IT is even kind of screwed when it comes to a sign and trade since the lakers don't want to take on salary, and they'll need to renounce his bird rights to sign 2 max/near-max free agents (paul george and...uh...demarcus cousins?).


maybe orlando would pay him for 1 year? maybe new orleans? maybe chicago?
   1124. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 28, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5644565)
Depending on what LaVine gets, I could see the Bulls taking a stab at him after inevitably striking out on all impact FAs. I'm sure the Bulls will go into the offseason with a goal of getting back to the playoffs next year; whether that's doable or not is debatable.
   1125. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 06:43 PM (#5644581)
trade machine: who says no?

PHI: cole aldrich, jonas jerebko
MIN: alec burks, jerryd bayless, 2018 PHI 1st round pick
UTA: gorgui dieng, richaun holmes, timothe luwawu-caberrot

   1126. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5644585)
Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright is one slick dude. There is not a single hair out of place on his handsome head. He looks like a guy playing Pat Riley in a made-for-TV movie. He looks like the rich husband who becomes a suspect in a Law & Order episode. He looks like a lawyer who owns a boat.
of, ffs.
If I were a fan of one of the other Final Four teams, I would object to Wright’s perfectly tailored suits and finely cobbled loafers.
ugh.
To help level the playing field, I’ve gone through Getty’s archives to find the five most unflattering photos of the otherwise unflappable Wright.

now, i'm intrigued.

   1127. Booey Posted: March 28, 2018 at 06:54 PM (#5644589)
#1125 - Why would the Jazz be willing to take on Dieng's contract?
   1128. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 07:20 PM (#5644598)
#1125 - Why would the Jazz be willing to take on Dieng's contract?

he's mobile, a good defender, good on the glass, can space the floor a bit, plays the 4 and 5.

dieng basically replaces favors, if favors leaves as a free agent.


and luwawu and holmes are pretty decent lottery tickets.

also, it's utah. cap management only matters so much when noone good is willing to take your money.
   1129. Booey Posted: March 28, 2018 at 07:24 PM (#5644601)
also, it's utah. cap management only matters so much when noone good is willing to take your money.


Agreed, but I'm confident they can at least get a better deal than Dieng. Hell, I'd rather they just plug Jerebko into Favors slot for a third of the price if D-Faves bolts (and I don't think it's a guarantee that he will. I'm much less sure of it than I was with Hayward, at any rate).
   1130. smileyy Posted: March 28, 2018 at 07:33 PM (#5644606)
[1126] Yeah that article was taking the piss of the idea that that's all people talk about w.r.t. Wright.
   1131. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 28, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5644629)
I thought Dieng's contract had positive value around this time last year, but then it started becoming apparent teams weren't going to have much left collectively. He really fell apart this year too.

Kind of a bummer, I really liked him.
   1132. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 08:39 PM (#5644636)
I thought Dieng's contract had positive value around this time last year, but then it started becoming apparent teams weren't going to have much left collectively. He really fell apart this year too.

Kind of a bummer, I really liked him.
he's a lot older than i thought he was when i posted the idea. i thought he was still 24/25, but...nope.
[1126] Yeah that article was taking the piss of the idea that that's all people talk about w.r.t. Wright.

i think it was more of a direct dig at wright, but at least it wasn't "jay wright's 5 best suits (#4 will make you buy new underwear)"


the refs for this sixers/knicks game are ####### awful.
   1133. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5644641)
Agreed, but I'm confident they can at least get a better deal than Dieng. Hell, I'd rather they just plug Jerebko into Favors slot for a third of the price if D-Faves bolts (and I don't think it's a guarantee that he will. I'm much less sure of it than I was with Hayward, at any rate).

the non-taxpayer MLE is 4/37. how much more than that will it take for him to choose to live in utah?
   1134. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: March 28, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5644648)
The Spurs have definitely had their share of stars during their run, and that can't be ignored. However, they did win a title during their transition period after Duncan was no longer a superstar but before Kawhi became one. In fact, the 2014 Spurs are just one of 3 teams in the modern NBA (1980-present) to win a championship without a top 10 (by MVP voting) player, and the first since the Bad Boy Pistons

That team was incredible. No one played even 30 mpg, and all their best players missed bunches of games. They played the season as if they would be satisfied finishing 8th, yet somehow led the West with 62 wins. And then at times in the playoffs played the most perfect basketball the world has ever seen.

Tim Duncan led the team with 2158 minutes in the regular season, 102nd most in the league. I don't know how to search this, but could that be the fewest ever to lead any team, let alone a playoff team, let alone a champion? (Baseball-Ref's PI has an option to "Find teams with players matching criteria," so one could search for teams with fewest players to reach at least 2000 minutes. But Basketball-Ref's PI does not appear to have an equivalent function.)

(Someone will probably quickly show how wrong I am. But I am finding it hard to imagine in an 82-game season, outside a team with a midseason trade of its best player(s).)
   1135. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: March 28, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5644656)
There is never any chaos or drama from the Spurs organization.
ahem
   1136. PJ Martinez Posted: March 28, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5644660)
"The @sixers have won 8 straight for the first time in 15 years"
   1137. Booey Posted: March 28, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5644665)
the non-taxpayer MLE is 4/37. how much more than that will it take for him to choose to live in utah?


AFAIK Favors has never said anything bad about living here. Almost 30 years of fandom has convinced me that no one relevant will ever want to come here to begin with, but I don't automatically assume that everyone who's already here hates it and wants to leave ASAP.
   1138. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: March 28, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5644674)
On the Spurs... yeah, it's a star driven league, but in addition to the 2014 data point, all indications show that (a) the Spurs have developed stars far better than most teams, and (b) stars are necessary but not sufficient. See the careers of big stars like Anthony Davis and Chris Paul, to say nothing of a huge second tier of players like Griffin, Carmelo, Butler, Cousins, Marc Gasol, Lillard, Aldridge, all of whom have combined for a total of if I'm not mistaken 2 conference finals, which resulted in two losses in 10 total games (Gasol losing to the Spurs in 4 and Carmelo losing to the Lakers in 6), and that's just off the top of my head and with current players. So you need top-10 guys for sure, but you also need to figure out how to structure things around them and/or develop second tier stars.
   1139. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 11:18 PM (#5644679)
"The @sixers have won 8 straight for the first time in 15 years"
considering the upcoming schedule, they should get to 12 straight wins, but embiid's concussion makes that a lot harder, and a lot less important.
   1140. maccoach57 Posted: March 28, 2018 at 11:22 PM (#5644682)
I don't think the Spurs really "developed" Duncan and Robinson, and they were fortunate to land them. The other keys were drafting Ginobili and Parker, and as noted they were and probably still are ahead of the curve on international players. Another key is the kind of guys Duncan and Robinson are, at least in public. Compare them to Shaq and Kobe, even to James and Jordan.

As to Leonard--there is no way to know to what extent they "developed" him or they just saw it. Either way, they deserve credit.

Popovich is obviously great at working with role players.

   1141. jmurph Posted: March 29, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5644814)
Tom Haberstroh @tomhaberstroh
Karl-Anthony Towns is shooting .545/.438/.853 on the season. If he made one more free throw a week, he'd be a 50/40/90 club member at the center position by age-22.

Seems pretty good.
   1142. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 29, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5644876)
And so far, KAT has not missed a single game in his career. Also pretty good.
   1143. jmurph Posted: March 29, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5644881)
That 3pt% is just insane. And he's taking 4.9 a game!
   1144. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5644906)
Towns went bananas on Atlanta last night (56/15, on 19/32, 6/8 from 3 (!)). There is no excuse for him not getting all the shots.
   1145. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5644925)
Checking Towns' stats after last night's explosion...I was shocked to see how low his usage rate is. That has to be infuriating.
   1146. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5644929)

Checking Towns' stats after last night's explosion...I was shocked to see how low his usage rate is. That has to be infuriating.

It is maddening.
   1147. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5644939)
Tim Duncan led the team with 2158 minutes in the regular season, 102nd most in the league. I don't know how to search this, but could that be the fewest ever to lead any team, let alone a playoff team, let alone a champion? (Baseball-Ref's PI has an option to "Find teams with players matching criteria," so one could search for teams with fewest players to reach at least 2000 minutes. But Basketball-Ref's PI does not appear to have an equivalent function.)


Probably the fewest to lead a playoff team, but I bet it's beaten by some bad teams that cycle through players or trade everybody midseason. Like the 1996-97 Mavericks.
   1148. jmurph Posted: March 29, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5645064)
Kind of hilarious: if Boston goes 5-2 over their remaining 7 games, they'll beat what looked like a completely ridiculous preseason over-under of 56.5. With Hayward missing 81.8 games and Kyrie missing 22.

Their schedule is reasonably tough, so I'm guessing they'll just miss out:

Toronto
@Milwaukee
@Toronto
Chicago
Atlanta
@Washington
Brooklyn (a game which Boston should obviously throw)
   1149. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 29, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5645122)
And so far, KAT has not missed a single game in his career. Also pretty good.


Don't worry, Thibs is working on that.
   1150. aberg Posted: March 29, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5645128)
Towns went bananas on Atlanta last night (56/15, on 19/32, 6/8 from 3 (!)). There is no excuse for him not getting all the shots.


I was irate when the Wolves lost to Memphis on Monday, even though a lot of it had to do with crazy hot 3pt shooting by tshipman the Grizzlies. It was reassuring that KAT apparently felt upset by that result, too, and responded with his best game.

The biggest problem I have with the usage is Crawford taking shots. I said at the time that I would've preferred if they spent that money on CJ Miles (he was apparently open to it at the time and held on for a long time to see if they could work out the money to sign him). I feel even more strongly about that now. I think they would have 3-4 more wins with Miles in place of Crawford.

The fact that Towns is still only 22 makes me very happy. He's 2 years younger than Embiid and Jokic, to whom he is often compared.
   1151. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 29, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5645137)
coincidence?
1105. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: March 28, 2018 at 01:21 AM (#5644067)
@Dcorrigan50
Ben Simmons tells KAT he has “plenty of time” to play PUBG with him because he plays the Hawks tomorrow
pic.twitter.com/A5hAg8Gc78

ben simmons going full stiggles
1144. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5644906)
Towns went bananas on Atlanta last night (56/15, on 19/32, 6/8 from 3 (!)
). There is no excuse for him not getting all the shots.
   1152. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 29, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5645196)
I was irate when the Wolves lost to Memphis on Monday, even though a lot of it had to do with crazy hot 3pt shooting by tshipman the Grizzlies


Seriously, Charlotte blows out the Grizz by 61, then Memphis turns around to beat Minnesota and Portland. I grew strangely attached to Memphis during one of the BTF Mock Drafts, and I am really hoping they land a great player in this year's lottery.
   1153. jmurph Posted: March 29, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5645204)
Yeeeeessss:
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Yahoo Sports story: McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley decommits at Syracuse, becomes first top high school prospect to choose turning professional in the NBA G League.
   1154. aberg Posted: March 29, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5645240)
Seriously, Charlotte blows out the Grizz by 61, then Memphis turns around to beat Minnesota and Portland. I grew strangely attached to Memphis during one of the BTF Mock Drafts, and I am really hoping they land a great player in this year's lottery.


I feel like they're destined to draft Bagley and he will immediately be exactly the same as the prime version of Zach Randolph.
   1155. aberg Posted: March 29, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5645241)
Yeeeeessss:
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Yahoo Sports story: McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley decommits at Syracuse, becomes first top high school prospect to choose turning professional in the NBA G League.


I always say that my favorite day of the year is when Syracuse gets knocked out of the tournament. But combining opening day with Syracuse losing their biggest recruit might just top that!
   1156. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 29, 2018 at 05:22 PM (#5645259)
#FML
Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
Sense is Joel Embiid's absence from #Sixers lineup likely to extend beyond this two game road trip, I'm told. Full extent of his injuries, and expected recovery, is still being determined. Embiid suffered a facial contusion in a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz last night.

   1157. aberg Posted: March 29, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5645273)
#FML
Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
Sense is Joel Embiid's absence from #Sixers lineup likely to extend beyond this two game road trip, I'm told. Full extent of his injuries, and expected recovery, is still being determined. Embiid suffered a facial contusion in a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz last night.


Obviously, you'd rather have him fully healthy than hurt in any way. At the same time:
1. The postseason impact isn't that big. It looks like you were getting Indy in the 4/5 series either way.
2. It's not a leg/foot injury.
3. Embiid has almost tripled last season's minutes total. Might not hurt to give him some time to let his body recover before the playoffs.

In sum, I don't think anyone's L is F'd.
   1158. SteveF Posted: March 29, 2018 at 06:32 PM (#5645284)
STIGGLES could almost taste that second round match-up against a wounded Boston or the #7 and Philly going all the way to the ECF! Alas, it's probably not meant to be.
   1159. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 29, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5645312)
Joel Embiid will be sidelined for at least the 76ers’ next two games because of what the team is calling a facial contusion. However, Embiid might have suffered a fracture to the orbital bone of his left eye, sources said Thursday, adding that his eye looked kind of caved.


Ugh.
   1160. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: March 29, 2018 at 07:54 PM (#5645319)
Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Brutal to hear that @JoelEmbiid has not only been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol but also that he will need surgery to repair an orbital fracture

Ugh is right.
   1161. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5645324)
Someone pretend to be a doctor and tell me if this means he's out for the playoffs.

Philadelphia has the 5th best SRS in the NBA, fwiw.
   1162. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5645329)
Jon Johnson @jonjohnsonwip
On average, recovery from orbital fracture is roughly three weeks, depending on severity(which we do not currently know). #Embiid

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
No timetable has been provided at this time.
   1163. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:15 PM (#5645330)
ESPN reported orbital fracture AND concussion. Ugh.
   1164. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:22 PM (#5645332)
And people were talking about how Markelle Fultz wouldn't make an impact this year!

Seriously, this sucks. Hope he can come back for the playoffs. The good news is that this doesn't seem like an injury that would have a lasting effect once he's able to return.
   1165. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5645336)
Is it safe for Fultz to be in Philly right now? Ya little ####. Just pretty much ended my fantasy season too. Good job.
   1166. PJ Martinez Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:41 PM (#5645340)
I haven't seen the play. Did Fultz do something wrong, or was it just a fluke collision?

Edit: I just watched the play, but my question stands.
   1167. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:41 PM (#5645341)
STIGGLES could almost taste that second round match-up against a wounded Boston or the #7 and Philly going all the way to the ECF! Alas, it's probably not meant to be.

there's still a decent chance the sixers can take the 3-seed, imo.

they'll need to finish a game ahead of IND/CLE because of the tiebreaker (division title), but they're already a game ahead of IND and they'll be a game ahead of CLE if they beat them head to head. the rest of the schedule favors the sixers pretty significantly.


beat ATL/DAL/BRK/ATL; take 1 from DET/CHA/MIL; beat CLE head-to head. that gets them 50 wins. that still might not be enough, but it would give them a chance.
   1168. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:48 PM (#5645346)
I haven't seen the play. Did Fultz do something wrong, or was it just a fluke collision?

embiid fumbled a give and go/dribble hand off, leaned in to pick it up and broke his own face on fultz's (bad) shoulder.


   1169. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5645347)
We're at about 60% STIGGLES and rising, folks.
   1170. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5645349)
I haven't seen the play. Did Fultz do something wrong, or was it just a fluke collision?


I think it was a "fluke" the same way McGee falling into Curry's knee was a "fluke" in that it was needless movement (perhaps not reckless) that caused it. Bad luck sure but how about knowing where you are relative to your team mates on the court...Fultz was completely lost looking at the ball and didn't realize he was about to run into a 7-1 260 lb person. Come on, you're a pro athlete.

embiid fumbled a give and go/dribble hand off, leaned in to pick it up and broke his own face on fultz's (bad) shoulder.


On the replay, side angle, you can see that Fultz is way too damn eager and just runs right into him. Again bad luck but have some athletic coordination. You're a pro.
   1171. tshipman Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5645350)
the East is just wide open in the first round. Never been better to be a low seed Eastern Conference team.

The 8 seed gets to face a team who has been synonymous with choking in the playoffs.
The 7 & 6 seeds get to face a team without their best player.
The 5 team gets to face a team that is seemingly allergic to transition defense.
   1172. PJ Martinez Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:53 PM (#5645352)
The seventh seed gets to face a team without its two best players, and its sixth man, and its 9th or 10th man. (Also 3/4 seeding still seems up in the air.)
   1173. tshipman Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:59 PM (#5645355)
(Also 3/4 seeding still seems up in the air.)


Yeah, just didn't want to get into caveats. I dunno, all the Eastern teams have giant question marks.

If they reseeded the playoffs this year to be East vs. West, I don't know that the East teams would be favored in more than one series.
   1174. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 29, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5645369)
The 7 & 6 seeds get to face a team without their best player.
if the NBA uses the same playoff schedule as last year, embiid can be back for game 3 in the first round if he's only out for 3 weeks.
We're at about 60% STIGGLES and rising, folks.


i don't want to undersell the importance of embiid, so i'll just say that the sixers are not a one-man team.

even if the sixers get stuck with the 5 seed, and even if embiid misses the whole first round, they'll still have a 20-30% chance of beating IND.
   1175. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: March 30, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5645401)
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm more optimistic than stiggles about the Sixers. I saw that they are a couple points above average with Simmons and no Embiid post-ASB, and more to the point I just don't really think Indiana is any good. I'd bet heavily on Oladipo being a fluke year rather than a Leap and suspect they're outkicking their true talent level by quite a bit (and probably getting lucky, they are +120 points overall on the season or so which is not statistically different from zero over several thousand possessions). I'd call it about 50-50 for Sixers without Embiid versus Pacers.
   1176. tshipman Posted: March 30, 2018 at 12:26 AM (#5645406)
(and probably getting lucky, they are +120 points overall on the season or so which is not statistically different from zero over several thousand possessions)


There's a big difference between +120 and 0 over the course of a season.
   1177. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: March 30, 2018 at 12:39 AM (#5645408)
There's a big difference between +120 and 0 over the course of a season.


Not really. ~13000 possessions for Indy so far (both sides), variance is about 1 point (squared) per possession, adds up to a st dev of +/- 115ish points back of the envelope. About 30% of the league is gonna be off by 120 points or more from their true talent just due to variance and I'd bet on the Pacers being one of the overachievers. (This doesn't even take into account variance caused by things like facing opponents when their best players happen to be injured, or other things like that which affect more than a single possession at a time.)
   1178. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 30, 2018 at 12:53 AM (#5645412)
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm more optimistic than stiggles about the Sixers. I saw that they are a couple points above average with Simmons and no Embiid post-ASB, and more to the point I just don't really think Indiana is any good. I'd bet heavily on Oladipo being a fluke year rather than a Leap and suspect they're outkicking their true talent level by quite a bit (and probably getting lucky, they are +120 points overall on the season or so which is not statistically different from zero over several thousand possessions). I'd call it about 50-50 for Sixers without Embiid versus Pacers.

both PHI and IND are 20-9 in their last 29 games.

PHI: 113 Ortg / 107 Drtg
IND: 109 Ortg / 106 Drtg

offensive four factors
eFG%: 5th / 20th
TOV%: 16th / 4th
ORB%: 4th / 9th
FT/FGA: 8th / 24th

defensive four factors:
eFG%: 3rd / 12th
TOV%: 29th / 1st
ORB%: 12th / 27th
FT/FGA: 24th / 18th

i think the sixers have a fairly notable advantage, but IND is pretty decent, and their biggest strength, forcing turnovers, could cause the sixers some havoc.

re: oladipo
he's shooting under 30% from beyond the arc in his last 35 games and his TS% is down to 51% over his last 18 games. that could be either fatigue or regression. i like way he plays, so i hope he's just fatigued from trying to carry the pacers offense on his back.
   1179. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 30, 2018 at 12:57 AM (#5645414)
Not really. ~13000 possessions for Indy so far (both sides), variance is about 1 point (squared) per possession, adds up to a st dev of +/- 115ish points back of the envelope. About 30% of the league is gonna be off by 120 points or more from their true talent just due to variance and I'd bet on the Pacers being one of the overachievers. (This doesn't even take into account variance caused by things like facing opponents when their best players happen to be injured, or other things like that which affect more than a single possession at a time.)
no, i'm not salty about this at all.
   1180. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: March 30, 2018 at 01:17 AM (#5645416)
player rank, by BPM:
4.1 / 4.2 (simmons / oladipo)
2.8 / 2.2 (embiid / collison)
2.2 / 1.6 (covington / young)
1.8 / 1.1 (saric / turner)
-.2 / -.6 (redick / bogdonavic)

PHI bench: 2.7, -.8, -1.1, -1.8 (amir, mcconnell, ilyasova, belinelli)
IND bench: -.3, -.8, -1.9 (sabonis, joseph, lance)

player rank, by PER:
23 / 22.5 (embiid / oladipo)
19.4 / 18.8 (simmons / collison)
16.3 / 17.5 (saric / turner)
15.2 / 14.7 (redick / young)
12.7 / 13.9 (covington / bogdanovic)

PHI bench: 14.5, 12.5, 12.2, 12 (amir, belinelli, ilyasova, mcconnell)
IND bench: 17.4, 12.7, 11.2 (sabonis, lance, joseph)


BPM gives the sixers a narrow, but persistent, advantage.
PER sees the matchup pretty even.
   1181. PJ Martinez Posted: March 30, 2018 at 06:24 AM (#5645424)
I wonder if Embiid's injury opens the door for Gobert to win defensive player of the year. My sense is 1) Embiid is the frontrunner, and 2) the only argument against Gobert is games played. Embiid has played in 63 games; if Gobert plays in all of Utah's remaining games, he'll finish with 56. Voters could turn to a third candidate who's missed less time, but I'm not sure there's a strong enough consensus on who that would be (Paul George?).
   1182. stevegamer Posted: March 30, 2018 at 06:39 AM (#5645425)
I thought Embiid was going to turn up with an orbital fracture immediately upon seeing it, and seeing my fiance shudder upon seeing the replay. She's a former collegiate softball player that took a ball right on the eye. Her recover took 4-6 weeks, but not with NBA level doctors, and that was the end of her playing softball.

Luckily Fultz's shoulder wasn't moving softball speed, but he's a bit more massive. Sadly, the two people I know who've had orbital fractures still get migraines and/or bad headaches to this day often. Not too much blurred vision for one of them.

I hope he makes as full a recovery as he can, but I think the Sixers should expect no Embiid unless they get to the Conference finals.
   1183. jmurph Posted: March 30, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5645457)
I missed the reason why we're using 29 games for Philly as the reference point, but anyway in that time (by my count) they're 6-8 against likely playoff teams. So A. I'm not sure why that 29 game stretch is so important and B. it's not that impressive? It includes 3 wins against the Knicks, 2 wins (and a loss!) against Brooklyn, 2 against Orlando, 3 against Charlotte. There's some good wins sprinkled in, too: Cleveland, the Wolves, the Pelicans, etc., but I don't feel like we normally place this much emphasis on an odd, selective stretch of games.
   1184. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 30, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5645465)
There's some good wins sprinkled in, too: Cleveland, the Wolves, the Pelicans, etc., but I don't feel like we normally place this much emphasis on an odd, selective stretch of games.


As a Wolves fan who had the misfortune to watch the Wolves lose to the hapless Grizz I am going to question just how good a win, any win, against the Wolves is. Not that I am still bitter or anything, nope not at all.
   1185. Booey Posted: March 30, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5645469)
I wonder if Embiid's injury opens the door for Gobert to win defensive player of the year. My sense is 1) Embiid is the frontrunner, and 2) the only argument against Gobert is games played. Embiid has played in 63 games; if Gobert plays in all of Utah's remaining games, he'll finish with 56. Voters could turn to a third candidate who's missed less time, but I'm not sure there's a strong enough consensus on who that would be (Paul George?).


The Brow?
   1186. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 30, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5645501)
I think I'd give Anthony Davis the DPOY. He's played 20 more games and 4 more minutes per game.

Gobert I think is less deserving, and also will win one eventually, I think. Though, if I was the sole voter, he'd have probably won last year.
   1187. jmurph Posted: March 30, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5645506)
2 Ways & 10 Days @2Ways10Days
Iowa Wolves head coach Scott Roth calls 18-year olds playing in the G League "disastrous"

This is a weird attitude for someone whose job is to coach 19 year olds.
   1188. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 30, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5645511)
I'm pretty sure Davis is going to get the DPOY, yeah.

I hope he makes as full a recovery as he can, but I think the Sixers should expect no Embiid unless they get to the Conference finals.


Which without Embiid, they won't. Without him they're probably going down in the first round. I don't think we'll see him again this year.

Seems weird to say, and I'm echoing what was said earlier, but at least it wasn't a foot/leg injury and he can rest all summer.
   1189. jmurph Posted: March 30, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5645597)
I was (correctly for once!) optimistic about Embiid's health entering the season, so I'm gonna say he comes back quickly wearing a mask and will be entirely fine. It's his year.

Then next year he returns to the regularly scheduled program of recurring catastrophic injuries.
   1190. jmurph Posted: March 30, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5645600)
This is incredible.
Ben Falk @bencfalk
Last year, the Sixers had the point differential of a 51 win team with Joel Embiid on the court and a 19 win team with him off, and we wondered if that was a fluke.

This year?
On court: 68 win team
Off court: 28 win team
   1191. Booey Posted: March 30, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5645649)
The first round is going to be devoid of some serious star power this year: Curry, Embiid, Hayward, Irving, Cousins. Butler? Kawhi? Wall? Are the rest of the Warriors Big 4 going to be fully healthy?
   1192. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 30, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5645763)
OK, I have to admit I was wrong. Not totally, but still. This NBA season has been very entertaining from a playoffs standpoint. Much of that is because of GSW injuries, but still the whole thing is fascinating - heck playoff seeding is still up in the air and the regular season is almost over.

I would LOVE to see a Raptors vs. Rockets final and be totally and completely wrong about my predictions.
   1193. jmurph Posted: March 30, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5645780)
OK, I have to admit I was wrong. Not totally, but still. This NBA season has been very entertaining from a playoffs standpoint. Much of that is because of GSW injuries, but still the whole thing is fascinating - heck playoff seeding is still up in the air and the regular season is almost over.

I was thinking about this, too, in the context of the various season previews in the media, too. The general consensus before the year is that the outcome was as preordained as ever before in the history of the league, and man does it not feel that way right now.
   1194. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: March 30, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5645804)
Depending on how the WC seeding plays out, GSW could get seriously tested in Round 1.
   1195. jmurph Posted: March 30, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5645808)
Depending on how the WC seeding plays out, GSW could get seriously tested in Round 1.

Yeah I imagine the Rockets and Warriors are both hoping Utah faces the other or gets to 6.
   1196. Booey Posted: March 30, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5645820)
I was thinking about this, too, in the context of the various season previews in the media, too. The general consensus before the year is that the outcome was as preordained as ever before in the history of the league, and man does it not feel that way right now.


Eh, IIRC there was more talk of the season being a foregone conclusion (by myself and others) last year than there was this year (and we ended up being 100% correct about last season). This season the Warriors were merely heavy favorites* rather than "locks". While no one predicted the Rockets to win 65+ games (I actually doubt I'd ever predict anyone to win 65+ games, unless - like the Warriors - they'd already shown they could do it a couple times), they DID win 56 last year (3rd in the NBA), and then added another top 10 player. They were supposed to be really damn good. I think almost everyone had them in the WCF.

The Raptors record is a bit more surprising IMO, but I'm still not convinced yet that they're really much different than the 2014 Pacers (56-26), 2015 Hawks (60-22), or 2016 Raptors (56-26), who were more regular season (and conference aided) illusions than true contenders (I know, the advanced stats probably disagree). Someone has to make it out of the East by default, and with the Celtics injuries and the Cavs injuries and dysfunction, Toronto seems like the best of a somewhat uninspiring bunch.

Don't get me wrong - the 3-10 jumble in the West and the 3-6 jumble in the East has been fun and should make the first 2 rounds more entertaining than many (including me) would have guessed. So that's something (seriously; not being sarcastic). But I don't think the title is really up for grabs any more than the naysayers expected it to be. If the Warriors are healthy, it'll be them and the Rockets in the WCF and the winner will take home the title. If they're not, Houston will win without a serious challenge. I think we've really been forced to lower our expectations if a whopping two(!) title contenders feels like a refreshing breath of parity and unpredictability.

* And of course, any comments about foregone conclusions - or even heavy favorites - always begin with the caveat, "Barring catastrophic injury...". If Curry is out, that certainly qualifies (and that's even assuming that KD, Klay, and Dray will all be 100%, which also seems up in the air).

Edit: sorry for being a downer. ;-)
   1197. Booey Posted: March 30, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5645826)
Yeah I imagine the Rockets and Warriors are both hoping Utah faces the other or gets to 6.


I suspect the Warriors are thinking this (their 2 biggest losses of the season are to the Jazz, and the biggest - the 30 pointer - came while they were mostly healthy). But the Rockets have Utah's number this year; they swept the season series and none of the games were even that close. I doubt they fear the Jazz.

Edit: As a fan, I really, really don't want to play the Rockets. Anyone else is fine. I'll be almost as disappointed if the Jazz finish 8th as I would if they missed the playoffs entirely.
   1198. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 30, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5645830)
With no Curry I think Utah does have a slim chance against Golden State, but I also suspect any well-coached and good defensive team will have no trouble with Utah's offense in a 7-game series. Snyder's system gets the most out of the offensive talent the Jazz have, but I don't think it will hold up to intense scouting and preparation.
   1199. Booey Posted: March 30, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5645839)
Note - I don't think the Jazz would beat even a Curry-less Warriors team. But I don't think they'd get swept like last year, either. I DO think they'd get swept by Houston.
   1200. PJ Martinez Posted: March 30, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5645842)
What's nice, in my view, is that the drama in terms of the title is *not* totally because of injuries. The results of the regular season suggest that a healthy Houston could beat a healthy Golden State in seven games and a healthy Toronto could beat a heathy Cleveland. We'll see, obviously, but there are real, non-asterisked threats to those two teams, who seemed absolutely fated to meet again (and may still, of course).
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