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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 | 5010 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   2501. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: April 24, 2018 at 08:40 AM (#5658877)
Anyway about the Wolves ... sigh. Totally predictable, but did it have to be such a complete beat down? Really?

I am just disgusted by the thought of Rose on this team next year.
   2502. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: April 24, 2018 at 08:58 AM (#5658878)
Wolves seem less than the sum of their parts because should be able to get a very good team out of Towns+Butler+whatever. Can't be fun being a fan of them! Going to ding them in my year-end fan happiness rankings.

My favorite Philadelphia posts are the really, really long ones because I instantly know to scroll through it without reading any of it.
   2503. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5658882)
2502 goes for the Thunder as well: Billy Donovan has to be gone, right?
   2504. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:30 AM (#5658895)
I am just disgusted by the thought of Rose on this team next year.


Thibs future is a real topic here in MN. I suspect much of it is media blather, but two straight disappointing years with obvious flaws fans (and media) can obsess about combined with a not terribly media/fan friendly persona and the bloom is definitely off the rose (so to speak). I suspect Thibs gets one more year and then he will be out (which sounds crazy given how loyal ownership has been to bad front office personnel, but that is my sense).

Fortunately for Thibs/Wolves the state is more concerned right now with the Wild meltdown, firing of that GM, and that is taking heat off of the Wolves.
   2505. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5658898)
Do people in Minnesota really view this as a disappointing year, given their appearance in the playoffs? I would think that many fans see this as progress and that Thibs therefore has some leash.
   2506. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5658919)
A lot of people were pretty upset with the Bulls when they canned Thibs. Locally, it was pretty well received, but nationally it was a pretty big talking point. The fact that Hoiberg wasn't a clear upgrade made it moreso. But the Bulls had quit on him, so they really had no choice.

I'd be shocked if he were fired this year. Usually when you have a guy with dual roles, he'll lose one first and rarely both at the same time, and definitely not this early in his tenure. He's also getting paid a ton of money, I'm sure that has to figure in to the decision as well.
   2507. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5658920)
Another final point about last night, and it relates to a conversation from the prior page about the physicality of these games: yes, they are physical. But generally it's usually one team (Miami, OKC last night) raising that level, even pushing the boundaries, because it suits them. The refs have got to see that and stop issuing the cop-out double technical, of the sort they called last night on Gobert and Felton. Gobert did nothing, absolutely nothing, and got that stupid "double T" with Felton, who did everything in that play at least. To be honest, I would have been fine with no T on Felton, either, but to call one on Gobert was crazy and lazy and stupid.
   2508. jmurph Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5658939)
To me, the most interesting thing from last night is Westbrook. Would you want him on your team? I really am drawn to his personality. I mean, he's off, no doubt about it, but god, he cares. And he gives so much. And he's so damn loyal. But he needs a Larry Brown or Pat Riley, or someone like them: with the authority and experience to harness his talent. He's been given a flyer for too long and it's hurting him and of course, his team.

100% no, I would not want Westbrook on my team. He wasn't just actively bad last night, he lost his damn mind. Should have fouled out but the refs didn't call him literally throwing Rubio out of the way to chase an offensive rebound when he already had 5 fouls. He "euro fouled"/put a cheapie on Crowder leading to him getting tossed for basically nothing, he went after Gobert leading to the double technical mentioned upthread. He was an overly emotional crazy person, but in the worst kind of fake competitive way, because they were down by like 20 and had no chance of coming back.

Also, you're gonna let Ricky ####### Rubio get into your head? Seriously?
   2509. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5658942)
Do people in Minnesota really view this as a disappointing year, given their appearance in the playoffs? I would think that many fans see this as progress and that Thibs therefore has some leash.


It is kind of tricky actually. On one hand yeah made the playoffs for the first time in forever, but on the other I have never seen a honeymoon wear off faster. It doesn't help any that Thibs has a meh media/fan presence (especially after Flip, who was a bit of a rock star in that arena) and has moved to quickly put his stamp on the team (Butler, Teague, Gibson, Rose).

Everyone knows he has basically complete control of the team and with the veteran presence (see above) people don't seem to be willing to cut him any slack*. Expectations were high high and like I said it would be a surprise to have Thibs fired I really get the sense they better deliver next year in spades or it could get ugly fast. Especially if KAT or Butler grumble.

To get back to your actual question though, I think it was and is seen as a successful year, but there are some big question marks, and they are the same question marks from when Thibs was hired (minutes, injuries, young players - looking at you Wiggins - not getting better,reliance on veterans/his guys) are still out there.

* Large minutes, Butler injury, and failure of Wiggins to progress (and Dieng regressing) are not doing him any favors.
   2510. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5658943)
On stiggles: like the personality, hate hate hate long copy-paste posts.

On the Process: I am similar to NJ in [2498]. I think calling Process lovers "rational" is totally backwards -- if anything they are TOO rational, and the Hinkie haters seem more driven by social and emotional considerations (I would accept \"####### hedge fund bros who destroyed the economy and now are destroying my favorite sport" as a criticism of Hinkie's approach and crew for sure, but that is not a rational argument). The Process is a very simple syllogism:

1. Championships are the only thing that matter in the NBA.
2. The best way for a team starting from scratch to get to a championship is through the draft.
3. The Sixers are de facto starting from scratch.
4. The best way to build a championship through the draft is to have as high draft picks as possible.
5. The best way to have as high draft picks as possible is to lose as many games as possible.

It is all very rational. Now, there are a number of objections to The Process along the way. Working backwards:

Statement 5 -- This seems trivially true.

Statement 4 -- This seems trivially true.

Statement 3 -- Room for discussion here. The team Hinkie inherited had Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young, Swaggy P, Evan Turner, and they drafted Michael Carter-Williams in their first draft (I am not sure how much Hinkie, who had only just started, had to do with that). However, I would argue that in retrospect, despite Jrue's breakout series, this was not the core of a championship team even with some late-lottery draftees added to it and the Sixers were in the hole on future draft picks as well. I think Hinkie wins on this count, but you could argue.

Statement 2 -- You could argue that the best way is to become decent and then lure high-powered free agents. I have some sympathy for this; it's basically the Heatles' story. It's not out of the question that Jrue could have become Dwyane Wade and then lured Anthony Davis to Philly to play with him, or something like that. I think on balance this is a tough path, but then again very few teams win a championship at all or are legit contenders, so maybe it is higher probability. Given that Hinkie's path did work though in the end, I think Hinkie also wins here.

Statement 1 -- This seems to me to be the crux of the matter. IF you think that the whole point of running an NBA team is to win championships, which is a very rational viewpoint, then this works. If not, there is a fundamental philosophical difference, but these are matters of taste and ethics, not rationality. I think there are basically three schools of objections to this.

Counterargument 1a: The point of running an NBA team is to provide an entertaining, competitive product for your fans, and Hinkie failed to do this for years. This is reasonable but I would call it an emotional argument, not a rational one.
Counterargument 1b: NBA teams have a responsibility to deliver decent teams to the rest of the NBA. This is where the \"####### hedge fund" thing comes in: who cares if your competitors / fellow NBA teams suffer because of your actions, your job is to maximize return for your team. This is to me the crux of the matter, but it should be called out that this is a moral objection, not a rational one.
Counterargument 1c: The point of running an NBA team is to maximize total wins, not championships. I don't find this argument particularly compelling, and I think it's the rarest of the above, but I could see someone doing so, and preferring the way the Horcats run things to the way the 76ers do.

The other school of objection to Hinkie is that he is retroactively getting credit for the Sixers becoming good even though his part of it was a failure. We will never know if Hinkie would have pulled the trigger on this year's evolution and done things like sign Redick and Belinelli -- if he could have nailed the moves when the clock turned to "supplement your core with the right supporting cast". This is reasonable but it's not a ding on him, it's just we don't know.

Another argument levied against Hinkie (which falls into Statement 2 territory) is that you will build a losing culture through tanking and then never be able to upgrade it to a winning one when you try to flip the switch. This season would seem to thoroughly invalidate that particular argument. Another related thing both Hinkie and Colangelo have seemingly done well is keeping Brett Brown, which seems to be paying off as well.
   2511. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5658945)
Also, you're gonna let Ricky ####### Rubio get into your head? Seriously?



Isiah Thomas, Sam Mitchell, and Richard Jefferson discussed this and were great. Isiah said pledging to shut down Rubio while Donovan M is the star would've been like telling Chuck Daly, "Coach, don't worry, I got BJ Armstrong."
   2512. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5658946)
Coaching and assembling a team are orthogonal skills, and it's lunacy to expect one person to be able to be good at both. I am unsurprised by Thib's failures, and I am deeply bearish on the team's future.

Thibs as coach has done nothing to quiet his doubters (KAT's usage, the minutes, the rotations, the malpractice with young players), and hasn't delivered on the promise (a false one IMO) of an innovative and aggressive defense. And Thibs as POBO has been at least as disappointing a failure. Yes, Gibson has played well, but that is still a bad signing, given the roster composition. And his "bench" is a catastrophe.
   2513. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5658958)
I went to bed before the OKC game even started, but my god, it sounds like it hit all the right buttons for me. 1) Westbrook making it all about him vs Rubio 2) FOUR fouls on Westbrook in the first half 3) Melo being awful 4) Westbrook whining in the post game about how it wasn't all about him vs Rubio.


Westbrook's personal vendetta against Rubio was just weird, and considering that his overly aggressive D on him led to four fouls in the first half, it seemed like a really poor strategy. I mean, why make shutting down a role player your primary focus? It's not like Rubio is Utah's best player or their go-to scoring option in most games. They're perfectly capable of winning when he doesn't go off for 20+; they did it many times during the season. If you really want to focus on shutting down a role player, how about you stop letting Ingles shoot wide open 3's? He's hit 5 a piece in each of the last 2 games. Or hell - crazy idea, I know - but why not focus on shutting down the Jazz's actual stars? Cut off the driving lanes for Mitchell, pull Gobert out of the paint, whatever. But making Rubio your #1 priority is just ill advised.

And Snyder is coaching the crap out of Billy Donovan. The Thunder seem to have no idea what to do against the Jazz defense. They're not making the extra pass to find the open guy, they're not making cuts. It seems that "the Big 3" just take turns running iso plays on almost every possession. They're just not efficient enough shooters to win that way (the series, I mean; obviously they did win game 1 doing that).
   2514. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5658976)
JC, tried to edit my 2513 to give you a hypothetical coke for your 2511, but it was too late. So, coke.
   2515. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5658981)
To me, the most interesting thing from last night is Westbrook. Would you want him on your team? I really am drawn to his personality. I mean, he's off, no doubt about it, but god, he cares. And he gives so much. And he's so damn loyal. But he needs a Larry Brown or Pat Riley, or someone like them: with the authority and experience to harness his talent. He's been given a flyer for too long and it's hurting him and of course, his team.

I like the idea here. Who's the modern equivalent of Brown or Riley, since neither are going to coach again? Spo?
   2516. Quaker Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5658984)
I said on a Jazz forum I thought this series would look like the last time they lost the last game of the season to miss out on home court & then played Melo's team in the first round. That year, the Jazz lost Games 1 & 5 but won the series in 6 vs Denver. The Nuggets also didn't do a great job of keeping their composure in that matchup. I think Okur was injured in that series; hopefully nothing bad happens to Gobert.

I also read that, according to 538's Elo formula, this is the Jazz's highest rating since 1998. I was modestly surprised they never hit this level w/the Deron-Boozer-AK core. They were really, really good the second half of 07-08.
   2517. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5658992)
I like the idea here. Who's the modern equivalent of Brown or Riley, since neither are going to coach again? Spo?



I tried to answer the question myself. First, I tried to think of a contemporary analogue: iow, a black former player with a similar pedigree. Nate McMillan? Probably not. Kidd? Probably not. Clearly not Lue. Mark Jackson? No way. This won't happen, but a guy I think imaginatively could do it, and could point to success with guards and would have some credibility is ... Jay Wright.
   2518. jmurph Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5658997)
I also read that, according to 538's Elo formula, this is the Jazz's highest rating since 1998.

I seriously think Utah will give Houston a series, they're a really good team.
   2519. jmurph Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5659000)
Westbrook is going to turn 30 a couple weeks into next season- his 11th in the league. I think this is just who he is.
   2520. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5659015)
On the one hand, yes. I don't think it would be about changing him as a player per se, as much as smoothing out some of the rough edges and better fitting him into a team framework. Or just the ability to reign him in on a night like last night.

The reason why Riley is such a good suggestion is the track record, and the way players revere him.
   2521. aberg Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5659022)
I like the idea here. Who's the modern equivalent of Brown or Riley, since neither are going to coach again? Spo?


Guys that come to mind for me: Carlisle, Doc, Kerr. Obviously not easy to get.
   2522. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5659025)
I said on a Jazz forum I thought this series would look like the last time they lost the last game of the season to miss out on home court & then played Melo's team in the first round. That year, the Jazz lost Games 1 & 5 but won the series in 6 vs Denver.


I was reminded of that series too. It's weird, but starting on the road in a 4/5 match up has actually been great for the Jazz historically. Assuming they don't suffer an epic meltdown against OKC, they'll now be 8-1 as the 5th seed* (lost in 1986, then won in 1988, 1991, 1994, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2017, and 2018), and 0-3 as the 4th seed (lost in 1987, 1990, 2001). Maybe I should stop rooting for homecourt when it looks like they're going to be locked into one of those two seeds...

* Technically they were the 4th seed in 2007 and 2008 since they won their division, but the 5th seed had the better record and thus HC, so the Jazz were really the 5th seed for all intents and purposes.

I also read that, according to 538's Elo formula, this is the Jazz's highest rating since 1998. I was modestly surprised they never hit this level w/the Deron-Boozer-AK core. They were really, really good the second half of 07-08.


Yeah, I remember that after starting out 16-16, the 2008 Jazz went 38-12 (.760) following the Korver trade. Still, the 32-7 (.821) run that the current Jazz are on is even better. The last game of the season against Portland and game 1 vs OKC was the first time Utah lost back to back games since January.
   2523. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5659028)
I seriously think Utah will give Houston a series, they're a really good team.


I've tried to be cautiously optimistic, but I'm starting to believe that too.
   2524. aberg Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5659030)
Coaching and assembling a team are orthogonal skills, and it's lunacy to expect one person to be able to be good at both. I am unsurprised by Thib's failures, and I am deeply bearish on the team's future.

I’m not a Pollyanna about what comes next, but I think you’re skewing overly negative on every one of these issues and ignoring the positives. Most of these criticisms would have sounded off base 24 hours ago, so you’re basically saying that one of the most potent offenses ever going absolutely bonkers for a quarter undermines his entire tenure.

KAT's usage
Kat’s usage was destined to go down when the acquired another All-Star player, regardless of coaching. While his usage went down, his TS went up, and his defense really turned a corner as the year went along. I think this year was a clear forward step for the team’s most valuable asset. The first two playoff games are an argument against that progress, but he bounced back nicely over games 3-4 in the way that you would want to see a young player adapt in his first playoff series.

the minutes
Towns, Butler, and Wiggins all played fewer MPG than last year (and that’s Butler coming from another coach). Those 3 ranked 13, 2, and 9 in the league in MPG, and other teams have as many or more guys clustered near the top, like OKC, POR, MIL. I wouldn’t call it a strength, but I don’t think it’s as dire as often described.
In 7 combined seasons, Towns and Wiggins have missed one (1) game combined. Neither one has missed a game under Thibs.

the rotations
This seems like an outgrowth of the minute issue. He removed Shabazz from the rotation when it was time, incorporated MGH, preserved minutes for Tyus all year, increased Belly’s playing time when he got hot. The only real problem I have is that Crawford entered and stayed in the rotation. He was garbage at everything all year and I desperately hope he isn’t back next year. Spending the MLE on him instead of CJ Miles (who supposedly wanted to sign with the Wolves for that amount) was a disaster with a lasting impact.

the malpractice with young players
I don’t see that one. Maybe we could have seen a cameo by one of the GL guys at some point. He got more out of Belly than anyone else has. Tyus continued to grow. Wiggins is wildly frustrating, but it seems like he has started to understand how to play team defense. Dieng was correctly usurped by Taj. If there’s something I’m missing, let me know.

Other positives:
-I wanted them to sign someone like Pat Patterson instead of Taj, but Taj was one of their best and most consistent players.
-Rose turned into a really positive force. He plucked him off the scrap heap for free, which was good evaluation, and he got something out of him after he looked washed up for several other coaches, which is good coaching.
-I’m not as fatalistic about the defense as you. If Crawford is gone and Butler is healthy, it’s an average defense. Even with Crawford, they were ~20th when Butler got hurt. I saw really progress from Wiggins and Towns during the year, which would help push that up if it carries over. I hope we don’t see the 3 PG lineups ever again, though.
-We were all very worried about the offense due to lack of shooting going into the year and they finished 4th. That’s excellent! He found another way to skin the cat outside of the prevailing trends and it was based on his players’ strengths. That’s really good coaching.
-They went from 31 to 47 wins.
   2525. aberg Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5659037)
I seriously think Utah will give Houston a series, they're a really good team.


I've tried to be cautiously optimistic, but I'm starting to believe that too.


This Utah team reminds me a lot of the best Grit n Grind Memphis teams. They force other teams into a style they're not comfortable playing. They play a slower pace than usual, rebound really well, and have length at every position that makes every shot difficult. That trades off a bit at the other end, but guys like Rubio and Mitchell can at least create OK shots for others or themselves, respectively.

The other side of that coin is that Memphis always eventually ran into a team that could tip the balance with enough offensive skill- even against their elite defense- that their offense couldn't keep up. I think Houston will probably tip the balance far enough, especially with their shooting.
   2526. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5659039)
Good post, berg. There's definitely room for criticism, but big picture it still should feel like a positive year for MIN. I also do understand the concern about where the next step comes from, and reasons to worry about continued development.
   2527. jmurph Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5659042)
The other side of that coin is that Memphis always eventually ran into a team that could tip the balance with enough offensive skill- even against their elite defense- that their offense couldn't keep up. I think Houston will probably tip the balance far enough, especially with their shooting.

Yeah Houston are the clear and heavy favorite, no question. I just think there's a non-zero chance Utah pushes it to 7, or even pulls off the upset. They're probably the third best team in the West at the moment.

--------------
On Houston-Minnesota: even though Houston had that monstrous 3rd quarter and made it a laugher, it shouldn't be lost that the first half featured some really high quality moments from both teams. I got sucked in for a few minutes thinking the Wolves might even it up.
   2528. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5659043)
To make everyone unhappy.
4%.

i was trying to find something yesterday, and i wound up falling down the google hole. i didn't post that stuff to annoy anyone specifically in this thread (4%), i posted it because it's really interesting if you can get past whatever visceral reaction you have to "the process".

hinkie was honest from the start about what he saw here (a huge challenge), and what he was going to do about it (the process).

he was clear in stating his goal (contend for championships).

despite his national reputation, he was very open and engaging when he was in front of a microphone. i suspect the reason he stayed away from the media as much as possible is because he didn't trust himself to not let the wrong piece of information slip.




i also think it's interesting to look back at the way things were reported. specifically reporting that the sixers are hiring brett brown a month and a half before it happens, and reporting on colangelo's hiring as the end of hinkie and a precursor to colangelo moving his large adult son moving into the attic.
I didn't realize full STIGGLES meant making enemies out of everyone else on the thread.
given my relentless optimism during the dregs of the process, you can't feign surprise at my relentless optimism now that things are actually going well.
   2529. aberg Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5659049)
I also do understand the concern about where the next step comes from, and reasons to worry about continued development.


Yes, this is a totally fair question. I guess the answers would be: further defensive improvement from KAT (which I think is likely, but moderate impact), better health for Butler (open question), elimination of Crawford's minutes (likely), Wiggins becoming more efficient offensively (probably not very likely) or consistent defensively (better bet). Maybe they can sign a better bench player to help with depth.

Even if that never gets them to "true" contention, it's not hard to see a 50-55 win season or two in there. And that's great! This team has won two playoff series in 30 years. I'd be over the moon for a title, but I'm just loving watching my team in the playoffs again. It's sports; it's entertainment. I'm entertained.
   2530. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5659065)
The other side of that coin is that Memphis always eventually ran into a team that could tip the balance with enough offensive skill- even against their elite defense- that their offense couldn't keep up. I think Houston will probably tip the balance far enough, especially with their shooting.


Oh I still think the Rockets will win, I just think there's a pretty good chance the Jazz might take it to 6 now rather than losing in 4 or 5. They're probably just as likely to go 7 as they are of getting swept.

One of Utah's greatest strengths is shutting down the paint and forcing teams to beat them with mid-range j's. OKC doesn't shoot well enough from the outside to beat the Jazz with jumpers. Houston does.

   2531. KronicFatigue Posted: April 24, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5659084)
#2510 is an excellent post.

Counterargument 1b: NBA teams have a responsibility to deliver decent teams to the rest of the NBA.


I think it's the NBA that owes the league (and league wide fans, and even fans of a specific team) to ensure an entertaining product. At the end of the day, sports are entertainment first, second, and third. The Sixers have the luxury of being selfish in their goals, and have every right to push rules to their unintended consequences. The NBA has the responsibility to mitigate the damage by adjusting the rules accordingly.

The four-corners offense created a need for the shot clock. Hack-a-Shaq might warrant a rule change eventually. I was upset when the league came down on the Spurs for resting players, until I forced myself to remember that sports are all smoke and mirrors carnival acts at the end of the day. I believe "tanking" is an extreme enough negative experience that warrants league intervention. But so far, it hasn't.

   2532. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5659089)
2502 goes for the Thunder as well: Billy Donovan has to be gone, right?


I have no idea how to evaluate Donovan because he's obviously had some talented players. Not wrecking the team is a low bar, but one that plenty of other college-to-NBA coaches have not cleared. The bottom line for Donovan is that he's hit the mark for results (61% winning percentage in a tough conference) and process (very little team drama in his three years).
   2533. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5659094)
I think it's the NBA that owes the league (and league wide fans, and even fans of a specific team) to ensure an entertaining product. At the end of the day, sports are entertainment first, second, and third. The Sixers have the luxury of being selfish in their goals, and have every right to push rules to their unintended consequences. The NBA has the responsibility to mitigate the damage by adjusting the rules accordingly.

The four-corners offense created a need for the shot clock. Hack-a-Shaq might warrant a rule change eventually. I was upset when the league came down on the Spurs for resting players, until I forced myself to remember that sports are all smoke and mirrors carnival acts at the end of the day. I believe "tanking" is an extreme enough negative experience that warrants league intervention. But so far, it hasn't.
i think that's fair, and i think the league wanted to do something, but their visceral disgust with the sixers prevented them from finding a solution that wasn't purely punitive.

they tried to change the draft in midstream to spite the sixers, and enough other owners/GMs realized the changes would hurt them that they nixxed it.


my preferred solution is to add a rule that teams can't win the lottery two years in a row, or draft in the top 5 three years in a row. that gets to the heart of what people hated about hinkie, without completely screwing over the more traditionally bad teams.

it would have prevented the sixers from drafting okafor in 2015 (since they won the lottery in 2014 and drafted embiid), though it would not have prevented them from drafting embiid (since that was year 1) or simmons (because they couldn't have won the lottery and goten okafor in 2015) or fultz (since that was a pick swap).

   2534. jmurph Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5659095)
goes for the Thunder as well: Billy Donovan has to be gone, right?

Yeah I'm with Votto, I actually strongly disagree with this. The fact is Carmelo isn't any good, it's still a weird roster with no real bench, and at this point I think we've seen enough to conclude that Westbrook is a challenging player to build around. They finished 4th and look likely to lose to a better team in the playoffs, just like last year. I have no idea if Donovan is a good coach, but I haven't seen anything to indicate he's a bad one, or has somehow screwed things up.
   2535. KronicFatigue Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5659100)
my preferred solution is to add a rule that teams can't win the lottery two years in a row, or draft in the top 5 three years in a row. that gets to the heart of what people hated about hinkie, without completely screwing over the more traditionally bad teams.


I like that. I haven't thought my solution out too far, but I like the idea of awarding "draft dollars" based on record, that teams can then bid, auction style, on guys coming into the draft. So, if you tank too hard, nobody will want to play for you (or you'll have to over pay). Teams can then "draft" on need, instead of being forced to take the best player available.

In a perfect world, these dollars could accumulate year to year, so if a team is set, they can bank them for when they need to rebuild.
   2536. PJ Martinez Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5659136)
1. Championships are the only thing that matter in the NBA.
Given that Hinkie's path did work though in the end

I think that Hinkie did a very good job. But if the Process is premised on the idea that championships are what matter, that job, for the moment, is decidedly incomplete.
   2537. Eddo Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5659151)
it would have prevented the sixers from drafting okafor in 2015 (since they won the lottery in 2014 and drafted embiid), though it would not have prevented them from drafting embiid (since that was year 1) or simmons (because they couldn't have won the lottery and goten okafor in 2015) or fultz (since that was a pick swap).

I like your solution, but I don't follow this.

Embiid was drafted third in 2014, so they still could have drafted Okafor (also third) in 2015. They would have lost out on Simmons, since they had drafted in the top five the previous two years. (I assume they would merely be bumped to sixth by your rule, which I would be on board with.)
   2538. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5659158)
my preferred solution is to add a rule that teams can't win the lottery two years in a row, or draft in the top 5 three years in a row. that gets to the heart of what people hated about hinkie, without completely screwing over the more traditionally bad teams.


I've mentioned this before, but in my simulated baseball league draft positioning is based on number of years since you last made the playoffs (with some lottery-type randomness and tiebreakers thrown in). This to me has always seemed like a good solution: there is no incentive to tank individual games for teams that aren't making the playoffs anyway, and it rewards long-suffering franchises (ruling out a Tim Duncan-type situation). It does provide some incentive to tank out of the lower reaches of the playoffs especially if you haven't been there in a while, but my guess is that'd be at least somewhat offset by the human tendency to be more impatient the longer you've been losing.
   2539. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5659165)
I’m not a Pollyanna about what comes next, but I think you’re skewing overly negative on every one of these issues and ignoring the positives.

This is entirely fair, but dammit, if the Wolves win 47 and make the playoffs, what the hell else am I supposed to ##### about?

   2540. aberg Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5659168)
what the hell else am I supposed to ##### about?


The Twins playing the Yankees? That's an oldie but goodie.
   2541. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5659172)
I think that Hinkie did a very good job. But if the Process is premised on the idea that championships are what matter, that job, for the moment, is decidedly incomplete.
when hinkie was hired, his stated goal was "contend for championships".

this might be a few weeks premature, and future injuries are still a threat, but the sixers are there. the sixers, as is, are a legitimate championship contender.
Embiid was drafted third in 2014, so they still could have drafted Okafor (also third) in 2015. They would have lost out on Simmons, since they had drafted in the top five the previous two years. (I assume they would merely be bumped to sixth by your rule, which I would be on board with.)
i got myself mixed up.

i wrote "can't pick top 5 three years in a row", but i meant to write "can't pick top 5 more than three years in a row", and now, i'm not sure which one i like more.

and by "win the lottery", i included picks 2 and 3, because they're also selected by ping pong balls.

and yes, teams that can't pick in the top 5 would get bumped to 6 (or wherever else they belong), and teams that can't win the lottery would get bumped to 4, instead.
   2542. Eddo Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5659193)
i got myself mixed up.

i wrote "can't pick top 5 three years in a row", but i meant to write "can't pick top 5 more than three years in a row", and now, i'm not sure which one i like more.

and by "win the lottery", i included picks 2 and 3, because they're also selected by ping pong balls.

and yes, teams that can't pick in the top 5 would get bumped to 6 (or wherever else they belong), and teams that can't win the lottery would get bumped to 4, instead.

Thanks for clarifying.

I think I like your way a lot, actually; can't pick top three two years in a row, can't pick top five four years in a row.

EDIT: I might make the first bit "can't pick top three more than once in three years", but I'm not sure.
   2543. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5659215)
The fact is Carmelo isn't any good, it's still a weird roster with no real bench, and at this point I think we've seen enough to conclude that Westbrook is a challenging player to build around. They finished 4th and look likely to lose to a better team in the playoffs, just like last year. I have no idea if Donovan is a good coach, but I haven't seen anything to indicate he's a bad one, or has somehow screwed things up.

Sure, but at this point isn't the primary job of the Thunder coach to figure out how to get Westbrook to play better with others? Unless the goal in OKC is to ride Russ's fiery coattails to a first or maybe second round exit annually, the coach's job is to figure out how to get Russ to share the load of creator, move off-ball, and generally subsume himself into a some sort of system instead of seeing it as his job to do everything every time. If they think Donovan needs more time to get there, sure, bring him back, but otherwise it seems to me they ought to can him and try to find the Larry Brown for their Iverson, as it were.
   2544. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5659225)

Another argument levied against Hinkie (which falls into Statement 2 territory) is that you will build a losing culture through tanking and then never be able to upgrade it to a winning one when you try to flip the switch. This season would seem to thoroughly invalidate that particular argument.


Then again: Cleveland Browns.
   2545. jmurph Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5659227)
try to find the Larry Brown for their Iverson, as it were.

I like the comparison, but I encourage you to revisit Philadelphia's W-L records during the Brown-Iverson era.

(I won't entirely handwave away the Finals appearance, of course, other than to note the East was bad and SRS puts them 7th in the league that year.)
   2546. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5659240)
Statement 2 -- You could argue that the best way is to become decent and then lure high-powered free agents. I have some sympathy for this; it's basically the Heatles' story. It's not out of the question that Jrue could have become Dwyane Wade and then lured Anthony Davis to Philly to play with him, or something like that. I think on balance this is a tough path, but then again very few teams win a championship at all or are legit contenders, so maybe it is higher probability. Given that Hinkie's path did work though in the end, I think Hinkie also wins here.

with all benefit of hindsight to an absurdly unreasonable extent:
the ideal path for the sixers in 2013 would have been to draft giannis at 11, then trade for gobert in the mid-20s.
that team would have missed the playoffs in 2014, so the sixers could still have gotten saric and covington in the 2014 draft.

a core of giannis/gobert/jrue/covington/thad is probably good enough to contend for championships, but they'd need one or two more moves to be able to win one.
   2547. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5659242)
I like the comparison, but I encourage you to revisit Philadelphia's W-L records during the Brown-Iverson era.

(I won't entirely handwave away the Finals appearance, of course, other than to note the East was bad and SRS puts them 7th in the league that year.)


Yeah, and even that "someone from the East had to make the Finals by default"* season was just a blip; they never won 50 games or got past the 2nd round - again, in a trainwreck conference - in any other year.

* All six teams ahead of PHI in SRS were in the West.
   2548. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5659247)
Then again: Cleveland Browns.

the browns are suffering from the same acceleration of expectations as hinkie. they prioritized their potential for years 4 and 5, and wound up being executed for their results in years 1 and 2.

   2549. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5659266)
the coach's job is to figure out how to get Russ to share the load of creator, move off-ball, and generally subsume himself into a some sort of system instead of seeing it as his job to do everything every time.


Yeah, this.

Though a 6'3" score-first point guard who shoots 31% from 3 (career) is a tough guy to build around in today's NBA.

EDIT: Missed the Iverson comp: seems on-point to me as well...
   2550. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5659287)
he went after Gobert leading to the double technical mentioned upthread.


I know this conversation has moved on, but according to an NBC Sports article I just read, the league is apparently trying to decide whether they're going to suspend Westbrook for game 5 over this incident. The NBA has that automatic suspension rule for anyone who leaves the bench during an altercation; well, Westbrook wasn't on the bench when he ran up and got in Gobert's face, but he wasn't in the game, either. He was at the scorers table waiting to check in. So it's sort of a gray area.

Aquaman was also at the scorers table and DIDN'T get involved, which makes Russ look even worse.
   2551. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5659294)
The other school of objection to Hinkie is that he is retroactively getting credit for the Sixers becoming good even though his part of it was a failure. We will never know if Hinkie would have pulled the trigger on this year's evolution and done things like sign Redick and Belinelli -- if he could have nailed the moves when the clock turned to "supplement your core with the right supporting cast". This is reasonable but it's not a ding on him, it's just we don't know.

i don't think that's entirely unfair, but i'll point out that hinkie was a large part of houston's front office when they built a core around mcgrady/yao*, when they retooled following mcgrady's and yao's career ending injuries** and when they stockpiled assets to trade for harden.

* battier, scloa, aaron brooks, landry, chuck hayes
** kevin martin, ariza, lowry, budinger, dragic, parsons, patterson, courtney lee


i know that noone wants to hear it, but pulling competent role players out of his ass might have been ichiro's hinkie's biggest strength as a GM if he had tried to do it.
   2552. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5659295)
I hope they don't. The NBA overreacts sometimes and ought to exercise prudence in such judgments. They screwed the Knicks years ago over this and they should not repeat any similar mistake.

What they need to do is embolden the refs to make the tough, in-game call: he should've been T'ed, and he alone.
   2553. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5659300)
[2551] The problem with the objection to which STIGGLES responded is that without the core that Hinkie put in place, those are just spare parts. Often (always?) competent supporting cast members are only such because of the quality of the core.
   2554. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5659303)
I hope they don't. The NBA overreacts sometimes and ought to exercise prudence in such judgments.

I actually disagree. That is indeed a rule, and being at the scorer's table doesn't seem materially different to me than being in the game. As such, that should be an automatic suspension (not if you take a step, but definitely if you get into things) until they see fit to get rid of the rule. Russ being a star shouldn't matter; nothing drives me crazier than rules applying differently to different classes of player.
   2555. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5659311)
What they need to do is embolden the refs to make the tough, in-game call: he should've been T'ed, and he alone.


This. I'm also not in favor of after-the-fact suspensions based on arbitrary rules. However, it drives me nuts that the refs don't have the balls to eject star players when their antics warrant it. Paul George got away with a blatant extended arm shove on Ingles right in front of the ref...who ignored it because PG already had a tech. And then late in the 4th Westbrook literally grabbed Rubio and tossed him to the ground going for a rebound...but he wasn't called for a loose ball foul because he already had 5 (in fact, they called the foul on Favors for doing the same thing to Westbrook a second later). That kind of officiating cowardice needs to stop.
   2556. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5659317)
Well, that too. I hate the idea that refs shouldn't make calls because they don't want to influence the game. You know what else unduly influences the game? Not calling fouls that should be called.
   2557. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5659330)
I know this conversation has moved on, but according to an NBC Sports article I just read, the league is apparently trying to decide whether they're going to suspend Westbrook for game 5 over this incident. The NBA has that automatic suspension rule for anyone who leaves the bench during an altercation; well, Westbrook wasn't on the bench when he ran up and got in Gobert's face, but he wasn't in the game, either. He was at the scorers table waiting to check in. So it's sort of a gray area.

Aquaman was also at the scorers table and DIDN'T get involved, which makes Russ look even worse.
i'll say the same thing about this that i said about the PHX/SAS incident a decade ago:
this is a violation, not a felony*. it's okay to suspend westbrook, but the suspension should be enforced next season, not during the playoffs.


*this sentiment does not apply to robert horry. he should have been suspended for the rest of those playoffs.
   2558. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5659333)
Well, that too. I hate the idea that refs shouldn't make calls because they don't want to influence the game. You know what else unduly influences the game? Not calling fouls that should be called.

i thought i was ready for FULL FOURTH TRUE OUTCOME; i was not ready for FULL FOURTH TRUE OUTCOME.
   2559. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5659344)
Please, this isn't close to FULL FOURTH TRUE OUTCOME. We're sitting at maybe sixty percent.
   2560. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5659345)
Russ being a star shouldn't matter; nothing drives me crazier than rules applying differently to different classes of player.


Are you sure you watch NBA games?
   2561. aberg Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5659352)
Please, this isn't close to FULL FOURTH TRUE OUTCOME. We're sitting at maybe sixty percent.


Third true outcome?
   2562. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5659359)
You know what else unduly influences the game? Not calling fouls that should be called.
Q4 00:42.8
LHH shows that Middleton (MIL) makes contact to Brown's (BOS) arm that affects his driving shot attempt.
Foul: Shooting Khris Middleton Jaylen Brown INC

I handled this calmly and with great perspective.
   2563. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5659361)
Are you sure you watch NBA games?

Ah, you see I am using that slipperiest of words, should.

And a chapeau to 2561.
   2564. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5659362)
Honestly though, as bad as Russ has played this series, I'm not sure whether it would help or hurt the Jazz if he were suspended. Without him, OKC might actually try a different approach towards cracking Utah's defense. Their "I know! Let's shoot another 20 ft pull up jumper with 10 seconds left on the clock and a guy in our face!" offensive game plan just ain't getting it done (but I'm totally cool with it, personally).
   2565. kubiwan Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5659365)
And Thibs as POBO has been at least as disappointing a failure. Yes, Gibson has played well, but that is still a bad signing, given the roster composition. And his "bench" is a catastrophe.


Is there a particular reason you didn't mention "acquired a perennial All-Star at/near his prime in a move that everyone hailed as a complete steal" in this section? That seems relevant in judging Thibs as POBO...
   2566. Jtsports01 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5659374)
Or, it could just mean more Iso's for Melo
   2567. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:23 PM (#5659379)
this is a violation, not a felony*. it's okay to suspend westbrook, but the suspension should be enforced next season, not during the playoffs.


I'm fine with this, too. I don't like suspensions helping decide playoff series any more than necessary.

(An actual punch or something similar would warrant an immediate suspension, playoffs be damned).
   2568. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5659380)
Or, it could just mean more Iso's for Melo


One can only hope.
   2569. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5659401)
The NBA f-ed up the playoff once before. They should never do it again.
   2570. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 24, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5659405)
1. I find it fascinating that Daryl Morey has said on the record that both he and a lot of other GMs greatly respect Sam Hinkie and expect that he'll get another GM gig soon.

2. The only path for the current Wolves to ever be better than first round fodder is for someone to persuade Andrew Wiggins to change his entire personality. I don't know whether that's possible for any coach. I do know Thibodeau can't do it. But there's little point firing Thibodeau, IMO, unless he can be replaced with a high-reputation coach who at least stands SOME chance of getting through to Wiggins.

Relieving Thibodeau of control over the roster, yes, that should be done yesterday. It's no tremendous loss if he refuses to relinquish personnel control and resigns as coach.
   2571. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 06:12 PM (#5659407)
I'm on aberg's side of this stuff, PASTE. I think he's going to be given, and should be given, a little more time. And let's not forget Wiggins is 23 y/o. He's got time to mature.
   2572. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 24, 2018 at 07:24 PM (#5659476)
It's not really about maturity, though. I haven't seen anything from Wiggins to suggest he's notably immature. He seems to keep his nose clean on and off the court just fine and I've never heard anything about him being lazy or blowing off practice or anything like that. He just doesn't think of basketball as a team sport. I think that's more in your DNA and it's unlikely to change as he ages.

e: Just to clarify, I'm saying I don't think Thibodeau is doing any better or worse, as a coach, than most coaches would do in his place with that roster and so there's no use firing him if you're just going to replace him with Just Another Coach. Wiggins (because of the enormous cap space he takes up and because he's a ballstopping chucker on a team that has KAT and Butler on it) is the problem, much more than Thibodeau is. IMO.
   2573. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5659486)
my prediction for tonight:
sixers win by 3.
   2574. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 07:59 PM (#5659493)
wiggins isn't a good defender or rebounder or shooter or playmaker. he scores, but his efficiency is terrible. there are no signs that he's improving his weaknesses, no signs that he's refining his strengths, and his new contract pays him 150MM over the next 5 years.
   2575. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 08:16 PM (#5659499)
another cheapshot by a heat shitbag.
   2576. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 08:16 PM (#5659500)
and another one.
   2577. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: April 24, 2018 at 08:28 PM (#5659510)
Meek Mill
@MeekMill

Miami heat my new team.....I been looking for team for a while #winners!!

7:27 PM - 8 Jul 2010


(via World Wide Wob)
   2578. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 24, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5659521)
Marcus Smart broke up a Giannis alley oop. Man have I missed the Cs having that lunatic on the court.
   2579. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:00 PM (#5659534)
Sixers playing pretty shitty, especially Simmons.
   2580. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:30 PM (#5659565)
Sixers playing pretty shitty, especially Simmons.

they're just not making shots.

luckily, neither is miami, so the first half was mostly a stalemate. the style of the game definitely favors miami, though.
   2581. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5659567)
There's some more Miami "physicality."
   2582. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:35 PM (#5659568)
two horeshit offensive fouls on the sixers to start the 3rd quarter.

the refs are letting MIA maul the post, again, and then calling offensive fouls when MIA flops around, again.


and there's another ####### piece of #### "play" from MIA.
   2583. JC in DC Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5659572)
Huge point swing in Philly's favor. It hurt Miami that Johnson got away with the foul on Simmons, forcing him to find Covington for the three. Had a foul been called, as it should've been, no three.
   2584. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5659580)
I'm fine with this, too. I don't like suspensions helping decide playoff series any more than necessary.
Goran Dragic agrees.
   2585. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5659586)
That fingertip roll by Embiid was quite reminiscent of one Wilt Chamberlain. That's a fond memory.
   2586. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5659591)
if the sixers don't turn the ball over, they're damn near unbeatable.
if the sixers are making 3s, they're damn near unbeatable.
if the sixers turn the ball over and miss a ton of 3s, they can steal beat you on defense, on the glass and in the paint.
   2587. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:12 PM (#5659595)
the heat just went to a 2-3 zone.

they can't have any energy left at this point.
   2588. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:28 PM (#5659602)
Sorry, folks, clotheslines are not basketball. That should get you tossed, playoff or no playoff.
   2589. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:34 PM (#5659608)
Catching up on the thread...

On Jazz/Thunder last night, I thought the refs were absolutely horrendous. I approve of the NBA using a loophole to not suspend Westbrook, but it's a joke that the NBA had to retroactively assign a tech. He is the only player who deserved a tech on that play -- how Rudy being pissed at someone hitting him in the balls and then Westbrook coming onto the court to slap him earned Rudy a tech is beyond me. And how does Felton get one? If they decided the foul was excessive and that he wasn't making any play on the ball (besides Rudy's) -- as was the case -- that should be a flagrant. Then after Westbrook got his fifth foul, which I thought was also a bit dirty, they let him throw Rubio to the ground multiple times right in front of them afraid to foul him out even with him playing out of control.

I don't really have an issue with the Ingles tech since he was clearly trash talking George and trying to get another reaction, nor did I think the Crowder ejection was unfair though I think Melo deserved a tech too since he got in Crowder's face and then tried to get back at him after the scrum had been broken up. Adams probably deserves a reward for not responding to Crowder's elbow (and Crowder is lucky too since I would be horrified to have to deal with a pissed off Adams).

The Thunder are just a really dumb team. I'm not sure how much of it is Donovan, but he doesn't seem to be helping. Even if no coach can get Westbrook to change how he plays, Melo is completely unplayable and the Thunder defensive scheme is overly aggressive and leaves Jazz shooters wide open way too often. Westbrook is generally so much fun to watch, but I would not want him on the Jazz. I think last year's Thunder team was perfect for him since him going all out really was the best way to maximize that team's potential, but if you're hoping to really contend his style makes it very difficult.

Donovan Mitchell is just amazing.

On the Wolves: I know Zach Harper detailed how KAT had improved on defense at one point, but I thought after that he regressed to bad habits? He's so young and talented that even showing flashes is a huge deal, but the little I've watched he still seems to be out of position too often and go after offensive boards he has almost no shot at letting his man beat him down the court. On Wiggins, I would not trade for him unless I was sending a contract or contracts I want to get rid of, but I still think with the right coach and development staff he could be very good if he's willing to put in the work.
   2590. PJ Martinez Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:38 PM (#5659609)
Sixers fans are chanting "We Want Boston."
   2591. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:43 PM (#5659611)
Sorry, folks, clotheslines are not basketball. That should get you tossed, playoff or no playoff.


Agreed. I was talking about the leaving the bench rule when I said certain suspensions can wait until the regular season.
   2592. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5659613)
A healthy Celtics vs. Sixers would have been a really fun series. Sixers are so much more talented and better coached than the Bucks that I expect Celtics to fare about as well as the Heat.
   2593. tshipman Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:46 PM (#5659615)
Steagles, I generally like your schtick and support you, but you just cannot keep ######## about the officiating when the Sixers win by 13 and shoot 14 more FTs than their opponent.

It gets incredibly tiresome and will lead to you getting blocked.
   2594. tshipman Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:56 PM (#5659617)
This is as locked in as I've seen the Warriors on defense.
   2595. Booey Posted: April 24, 2018 at 10:57 PM (#5659618)
Adams probably deserves a reward for not responding to Crowder's elbow (and Crowder is lucky too since I would be horrified to have to deal with a pissed off Adams).


Yeah, Adams earned some (more) tough guy cred in my book for that. He took an elbow to the chops and didn't even flinch.

But that's about the only compliment I can pay any Thunder player for last nights game.
   2596. tshipman Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5659639)
Nothing makes me happier than watching egregious flops not get whistles.

*cough* *cough* Patty Mills *cough* *cough*
   2597. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: April 24, 2018 at 11:53 PM (#5659648)
Steagles, I generally like your schtick and support you, but you just cannot keep ######## about the officiating when the Sixers win by 13 and shoot 14 more FTs than their opponent.

the referees were egregiously terrible for most of the series, the way they called games clearly and significantly benefited one team over the other, and MIA was allowed to take cheapshot after cheapshot after cheapshot after cheapshot at sixers players.

PHI shot more FTs because MIA commits a dozen common fouls on every defensive possession.


i'm not gonna guarantee anything about the next round, but i suspect the sixers will not run into another entire team that's as scummy as MIA.
   2598. stevegamer Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:14 AM (#5659661)
On the Process: I am similar to NJ in [2498]. I think calling Process lovers "rational" is totally backwards -- if anything they are TOO rational, and the Hinkie haters seem more driven by social and emotional considerations (I would accept \"####### hedge fund bros who destroyed the economy and now are destroying my favorite sport" as a criticism of Hinkie's approach and crew for sure, but that is not a rational argument). The Process is a very simple syllogism:

1. Championships are the only thing that matter in the NBA.
2. The best way for a team starting from scratch to get to a championship is through the draft.
3. The Sixers are de facto starting from scratch.
4. The best way to build a championship through the draft is to have as high draft picks as possible.
5. The best way to have as high draft picks as possible is to lose as many games as possible.

It is all very rational. Now, there are a number of objections to The Process along the way. Working backwards:


I also thought this was a mostly very good post.

Since I am probably one of the main current 76ers fans (with Crispix lapsed) who is definitely NOT a fan of Hinkie's process, I figured I'd reply to this. I will admit he did some very good things in building up a massive stock of draft picks, and in churning the bottom of the roster. However, he also did some rather dumb things along the way that were penny-neutral and pound-foolish.

I do have an issue with the bolded not being rational, however. Paying to watch teams specifically constructed to lose is also something that would be considered irrational behavior, because you are spending money on stuff that is de facto designed to be of poor quality. So it's pretty rational to say, "WTF should I spend money on a crappy product that goes to line hedge fund guys' pockets?" So for people like me who haven't been to game since they started tanking, that's pretty rational.

You try to cover it counterargument 1a, but in reality, that's a very weak counterargument. You are essentially saying saying that what you are willing to pay for something should not be linked to the quality of the product. The 76ers were like Yugo USA, but unlike Yugo:
1. They didn't have to worry about going out of business, and
2. They weren't actually trying to deliver a decent product.

Now, going in reverse order, as you did.

5. The best way to have as high draft picks as possible is to lose as many games as possible.
4. The best way to build a championship through the draft is to have as high draft picks as possible.


Basically agree with these although you can acquire draft picks, and having more picks is also better. Hinkie's thinking was spot on here.



3. The Sixers are de facto starting from scratch.

I'd say that "Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young, Swaggy P, and Evan Turner" in order can, possibly, cannot, cannot be starters on a team with title aspirations. However, only Holiday could be the 3rd best guy on atitle contender, and maybe not quite that. You left Spencer Hawesome (nod to Stiggles there) off, but he's basically a backup stretch big on a good team at that moment, but was going to age out of utility. They also had Justin Holiday as a rookie before Hinkie arrived, but he needed seasoning.

Not quite scratch, but they had no stars. He did draft Carter-Williams, and that turned out to be an okay pick, but there were actually anumber of better options available in hindsight. I wouldn't ding him for that pick, though. Uinsg VOPR, he got the 15th best guy (who also won ROY) at 11.

2. The best way for a team starting from scratch to get to a championship is through the draft.
Agreed.

1. Championships are the only thing that matter in the NBA.
I take this to mean "only thing that matter to fans ..." but maybe you meant something else.

I disagree, and I find this statement to be pretty illogical, and in fact very much "not a rational one." This is especially true when you dismiss other points of view in your counterarguments as not rational.

1a. Fans are not a block of people who all think the same way. They have different priorities, and while you can't give every one of them what they want, you can at least give them some of what they want. Every game one attends or sees that is really a crappy experience is a data point for losing fans. If you don't believe this, note Crispix's take on the 76ers in #2494.

1b. Fandom is itself not highly rational, and fan is short for fanatic. So you really can't get them to all think the same way you do, unless, of course you plan to drive all of them who are thinking differently and independently away, and bring in a bunch who think like you do. Honestly, this is what the Process has been really, really good at.

There has to be room for different things mattering to different fans. I've been called not a true 76ers fan by plenty of folks because I hated the tanking, but understood it was management's plan and I wanted them to win again. Many of those people are people who weren't Sixers fans even during the Iverson era - many were not basketball fans, except college, or even likely to be Laker fans during that era.

Hinkie did somethings very well:
Accumulate picks
Churn the bottom of the roster.

Hinkie did some things poorly:
Roster construction - too many big mean drafted, reducing the value of Noel. A lack of viable PG's, hampering development.
Player development - While they did identify some good players that grew in Philly, they also churned some away that could've helped.

Here's his full page at basketball reference:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/executives/hinkisa99x.html

Most Hinkie fans gloss over or outright ignore the bad stuff. He did some really good things, notably getting Saric, Covington, McConell, & Embiid.
   2599. tshipman Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:33 AM (#5659668)

4. The best way to build a championship through the draft is to have as high draft picks as possible.


I think I strongly disagree with this.

The best strategy is to have a "golden generation" where you nail multiple draft picks in multiple years. That's what creates a championship core.
   2600. tshipman Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:36 AM (#5659670)
Patty Mills has undercut two guys in the air and dove at a third guy's knees this series.

Since none of those players got injured on the play, there's zero discussion of "Patty Mills, dirty player."
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