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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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   4401. jmurph Posted: May 16, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5673804)
I'm not going to argue for Stevens because I'm obviously biased, other than to say that I'm glad he's the coach of the team I care about, but Mark Jackson last night talking about the game featuring two great coaches was just hilarious. Ty Lue's team hasn't played defense in about two years, the players seem to hate each other, and his second most important player demanded a trade last summer. Maybe all of those things are somehow LeBron's fault or Dan Gilbert's fault or Griffin/Altman's, but they're certainly not points in his favor. But he had the fortune of coaching LeBron and Kyrie when they both had all time finals performances and a historic comeback, so I guess he's great now!
   4402. JC in DC Posted: May 16, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5673819)
I'm glad he's the coach of the team I care about


You should be. That was my original point. There's good reason to think he's an advantage over most coaches and that the Celtics will not be unprepared. Now, one can make that point and also add that coaches, even good coaches, need talented players.
   4403. PJ Martinez Posted: May 16, 2018 at 07:40 PM (#5673843)
Count me among those who think "count the ringzzz" makes even less sense with coaches then with players. For at least two reasons:

1. Even the greatest coach would not win a title if he did not have great (or at least several very very very good) players. It seems entirely possible that a coach could be great but never have good enough players to win it all.

2. There is reason to believe that coaching is not a pure meritocracy. Sure, good coaches tend to get opportunities, but so do coaches that seem kind of mediocre, but who have a history with certain franchises, or are good with the press, etc. So a mediocre coach might get a job with the team that has the best players and win a title.

In general, discussions of the greatest coaches seem to spend too much time reasoning backward from who's won titles, rather than focusing on the granular decisions that coaches make: offensive and defensive schemes, play calls, lineups, substitutions, management of fouls and timeouts, little strategic decisions like going for two-for-one or using hack-a-Shaq, etc. Managing egos and locker room chemistry is harder to see, but you can get some sense of it from interviews and so on, and that stuff matters, too. Coaches obviously have different strengths and weaknesses, and so can be more effective with some rosters than with others (see, e.g., Doc Rivers), and they surely have periods in their career when they perform better than in other periods, as players do (if not as predictably).

Of course, there's no coaching-reference.com where we can look all this stuff up, so having a really informed debate about this means watching a ton of basketball (more than I do, certainly) and paying really close attention (ditto) and remembering it all (or enough, anyway). So it's hard. But just saying that Phil Jackson is the greatest coach and Red Auerbach is the second greatest coach because they're one-two in titles doesn't seem very meaningful to me.

Edit: for what it's worth, based on my very incomplete knowledge of all the things above, I tend to think Popovich is the best coach ever. And I think Stevens is very very good and may have a great career ahead of him. Provocative opinions, I realize.
   4404. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 16, 2018 at 07:51 PM (#5673847)
Bud to the Bucks. Breakfast must have sealed the deal. I think he'll be a nice upgrade for them.
   4405. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 16, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5673848)
Makes sense for the Bucks, and makes more sense for Budenholzer than Toronto in my opinion.
   4406. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 16, 2018 at 07:55 PM (#5673849)
In general, discussions of the greatest coaches seem to spend too much time reasoning backward from who's won titles

This. The utter lack of controls also gives me a lot of pause when it comes to evaluating coaches based on their record. Which leads fairly directly to an interesting question: what could possibly serve as a valid control?

The only thing that even occurs to me offhand is the per-minute performance deltas of traded players; in-season trades would control for year-to-year differences in a player's conditioning, health, and skillset, but also exacerbate the already crippling sample size issues here. Basically, I don't think we have sufficient data to make a valid statistical argument, so it's down to subjectively weighting subjective impressions from interviews, subjectively weighting X-and-O decisions like ATO plays and rotations, and subjectively weighting the coach's perceived role in player development.
   4407. tshipman Posted: May 16, 2018 at 07:57 PM (#5673851)
I guess I should state my thesis.

1. It's really, really hard to tell in real time who the best coaches in the league are. You have injuries, the long season, rule changes and player acquisitions that all make it really difficult to tease out any kind of coaching impact.
2. This is particularly difficult when coaches have only been in one place, as it's impossible to say whether the GM is acquiring talent that fits the scheme, the coach is adapting the scheme to the players, or the players are a particularly good fit for the scheme, or even that the league itself is a good fit for the scheme. All of the above is almost always true.
3. The vast majority of coaches in the NBA are pretty good to great. This is particularly true today (as opposed to 10 or 20 years ago), as the competition is fiercer, and there are more leagues. Generally the 30 NBA coaches achieve a high standard of quality.
4. However, with the benefit of a lot of time, we can look back and find coaches who made a difference above and beyond their peers. The exact list of great coaches is fairly controversial, but there are noncontroversial guys as well: Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Red Auerbach, and Gregg Popovich. (You can also make cases for a bunch of other guys: Larry Brown, Rick Carlisle, Rudy T, Chuck Daly, etc)
5. It's exceptionally rare for great coaches to not win titles at some point in their career. This is in part because coaches have such long careers and great coaches tend to attract talent. Some guys (George Karl, Don Nelson) are maybe exceptions, but that's controversial!
6. Given that we have a high level of uncertainty around coaches, and further given that lots of guys who *looked* great at first end up being nothing special or overrated, I think we should be judicious in our evaluation of coaches until we see them coach multiple teams with great success or win a title.
   4408. SteveF Posted: May 16, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5673873)
We're a Houston loss away from an avalanche of thinkpieces on whether Golden State is bad for the NBA.
   4409. JC in DC Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:12 PM (#5673881)
GSW playing very sloppy and lazy. Only three guys even made it back on defense that play.
   4410. sardonic Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:13 PM (#5673882)
It feels like Golden State has its own, milder version of the Year 4 malaise that struck the Heat and the Cavs. There just weren't stretches of lack of focus like we just saw in the first few minutes. You wouldn't think they'd need any extra motivation in Game 2 of a series that could still very much be in the balance with a loss.
   4411. JJ1986 Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:19 PM (#5673884)
Mbah a Moute is not only having shooting problems, but he keeps getting caught in no man's land on defense.
   4412. JC in DC Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5673886)
Houston's defense has been terrible. GSW gets Harden isolated against Durant at will.

When was the last time Curry was Curry? I feel like I haven't seen that guy in a while.
   4413. sardonic Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5673888)
Houston's defense has been terrible. GSW gets Harden isolated against Durant at will.

When was the last time Curry was Curry? I feel like I haven't seen that guy in a while.


He was his regular self before doing his MCL about 6 weeks ago. It sucks that he's dealt with injuries in 2 of the last 4 playoffs (including this one). Hopefully we get to see him at the peak of his powers in the playoffs again, I still miss the brash kid who stood up to the Spurs in 2013.
   4414. JJ1986 Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:32 PM (#5673889)
Small sample sizes, but lineups with Paul, Gordon and Tucker were really good during the regular season.
   4415. JC in DC Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:36 PM (#5673892)
I'm not a big fan of Kerr going Popovich in the interviews. He's not as funny.
   4416. sardonic Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5673893)
I love all the little things Klay does. He had a couple good deflections fronting Capela to deny the lob, and just boxed him out for a defensive rebound.
   4417. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5673896)
No.
that's generally the reaction whenever top ~20 players get traded.

there's a good chance kawhi will force his way out of SAS this summer, and in that scenario, there are factors that will suppress his trade value (health, attitude, contract, willingness to live in MIL et al).


even if phase three (trade for kawhi) never materializes, the sixers would still be in a damn good position after phases one and two:

PG: simmons // mcconnell, ???
SG: booker // belinelli, korkmaz
SF: lebron // covington, anderson
PF: saric // ilyasova, bolden
C: embiid // holmes, ???
   4418. spivey Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:58 PM (#5673908)
I was only able to start watching about 5 minutes ago, but man Houston is getting way more out of their role guys. Golden State's been sloppy here. They were really good about that in the first game.
   4419. spivey Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:00 PM (#5673911)
Man I really like Curry, it's a shame to see him like this.

And Golden State seems like defensively they came into this game with the thought that \"#### it, 1-1 is good enough". That said, I can totally see Durant hit like 6 shots in a row for Golden State to take this game even with no defense.
   4420. spivey Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:05 PM (#5673915)
He was his regular self before doing his MCL about 6 weeks ago.

Regular season 73 win Steph Curry is never coming back. As amazing as he is, I feel like I can occasionally unfairly hold him to that standard. But yeah, he was normal amazing Steph for much of this year before his injury.
   4421. spivey Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:34 PM (#5673930)
PJ Tucker has been outstanding.

I know Golden State has a ton of great players, but I'd consider running the ball through Durant like every possession.
   4422. JC in DC Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5673932)
They are, Spicey. No one else is doing anything. Curry's a shadow of himself, and Thompson's inactive. Draymond is terrible shooting. They've only got Durant. They might want to go with Young over Curry, to be honest.
   4423. spivey Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:43 PM (#5673935)
Gordon has also been great today. I mean, they need those guys.

Re: JC - Yeah, they've done it a lot but I'd probably do it literally every possession he's on the floor. They ran some random #### for Curry and others in the 3rd quarter there.
   4424. tshipman Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:45 PM (#5673937)
Curry's fine on the drives/layups, just the outside shot missing.
   4425. JC in DC Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:51 PM (#5673945)
Curry without the outside shot is a bad defender, turnover prone, decent driver. He needs that outside shot.
   4426. spivey Posted: May 16, 2018 at 11:00 PM (#5673949)
I think Curry is a plus PG defender when he's healthy. I think a big combo of teams picking on him is to put physical contact on him, wear him down, he's not always healthy in the playoffs, and the rest of Golden State's rotation players are generally pretty damn good at defense.
   4427. spivey Posted: May 16, 2018 at 11:07 PM (#5673950)
Man, Kerr just needs to get his guys out of there. They don't want to be in there, and are playing dirty.
   4428. sardonic Posted: May 16, 2018 at 11:20 PM (#5673957)
Well, this sets us up for the most exciting possible Game 3.
   4429. Tin Angel Posted: May 16, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5673975)
Well, this sets us up for the most exciting possible Game 3.


Only four more days!
   4430. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: May 17, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5674026)
No Thursday or Friday games? And I was ready to psych myself up to stay up "late". Boo.
   4431. villageidiom Posted: May 17, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5674027)
The utter lack of controls also gives me a lot of pause when it comes to evaluating coaches based on their record. Which leads fairly directly to an interesting question: what could possibly serve as a valid control?

The only thing that even occurs to me offhand is the per-minute performance deltas of traded players; in-season trades would control for year-to-year differences in a player's conditioning, health, and skillset, but also exacerbate the already crippling sample size issues here. Basically, I don't think we have sufficient data to make a valid statistical argument, so it's down to subjectively weighting subjective impressions from interviews, subjectively weighting X-and-O decisions like ATO plays and rotations, and subjectively weighting the coach's perceived role in player development.


So what could we use to understand impact of coaching, aside from WOWY-style controls? Where do coaches have impact in an observable way, and we can also control for other factors? For example: the basketball play that probably shows the least amount of coaching impact is a jump ball. But if you control for the height differential of the players jumping you might find something.
   4432. PJ Martinez Posted: May 17, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5674031)
Where do coaches have impact in an observable way, and we can also control for other factors?

I'm not sure you can ever control for all the various factors, but I'm also not sure that matters. In any NBA game, you can watch a coach make play calls, manage foul trouble, deploy timeouts, construct lineups, try to create certain match-ups, substitute players at certain moment and in certain intervals, use hack-a-Shaq (or not), and so on. There is a lot of observable coaching in an NBA game, it seems to me, and if people really want to evaluate coaches I think this is the stuff to talk about -- not whether a particular team won more games than we expected coming into the season (that's a potentially interesting data point, but there are a lot of non-coaching reasons why it might happen).
   4433. jmurph Posted: May 17, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5674045)
Well, this sets us up for the most exciting possible Game 3.

I won't be worried about the Warriors until/if they lose one of the next two. Last night really did come across like poor effort/focus, like (someone said upthread) they were satisfied with the split in Houston- so many early turnovers (though it eventually evened out) and blown defensive assignments. For their sake I guess lack of effort would be a better excuse than they just got beat?
   4434. jmurph Posted: May 17, 2018 at 10:09 AM (#5674047)
Looking at the box score, I didn't realize in the moment how poorly Harden shot, and Paul to a lesser extent. Everything was just coming so easy for Houston it got lost in the noise, for me.
   4435. Eddo Posted: May 17, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5674056)
I still think using wins to judge a coach is more appropriate than using wins to judge a player.

With a player, he can play out of his mind, but if he has eleven crappy teammates, he's not going to win many games.

But a large part of a coach's job is to maximize the output of his players. Having great players is always better than having average ones, and there are absolutely circumstances where a coach is given players who are too bad to win games with, but in the general case, a coach is trying to win.

I guess I look at it this way: a player's primary job is to maximize possessions, while a coach's primary job is to maximize at a larger scale - games and seasons.

EDIT: And again, I'm not saying it's the only factor to use, or even the biggest - just that it *should* be considered somewhere in there, whereas for players, it's very minor.
   4436. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: May 17, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5674075)
Injured Curry looks disturbingly like Austin Rivers.

They probably shouldn't be starting him. But opponents understandably remain terrified of leaving him open behind the arc.
   4437. JC in DC Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5674104)
Re coaches: I remember many many years ago, Bobby Knight said the less a coach does before the games, the more he thinks he has to do during the games. IOW, much of what we see as "coaching": timeouts, substitutions, in-game adjustments, etc., is not really the heart of coaching. So, as we know, one of Knight's things was not to call a lot of timeouts. Phil Jackson did the same thing (and maybe so does Pop): let the players do what they've been taught to do. Stevens seems to have the same principle: if guys get in foul trouble, they play through it. He lets his guys adjust. I'm not saying because of this, he's great. I'm cautioning against watching what a coach does during the game (how active he is) and drawing conclusions from that. It may be what he DOESN'T do tells us as much about his coaching.
   4438. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5674113)
Unless my memory is wildly off, I've seen Pop call timeout like 30 seconds into a quarter or since the last timeout before, if his team really ##### something up.
   4439. Booey Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5674116)
NBA awards finalists:

MVP - Anthony Davis, James Harden, LeBron James

COY - Dwane Casey, QUIN SNYDER!!!!, Brad Stevens

ROY - DONOVAN MITCHELL!!!, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum

DPOY - Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, RUDY GOBERT!!!

MIP - Clint Capela, Spencer Dinwiddie, Victor Oladipo

6th man - Eric Gordon, Fred VanFleet, Lou Williams


(subtle, subliminal bias added for effect)

   4440. SteveF Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5674127)
DPOY - Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, RUDY GOBERT!!!

Is a Rudy Gobert type a relevant player in modern playoff basketball? I'm not trying to take a shot at Gobert specifically. I'm asking with an eye towards the upcoming NBA draft.

For instance, how much should we ding Ayton for his shortcoming on defense? How much should we weight Bamba and his 12'87" wingspan and defensive prowess in whether to draft him when we have no idea if he'll ever learn to shoot?
   4441. Booey Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5674131)
Is a Rudy Gobert type a relevant player in modern playoff basketball?


Well, he was instrumental in the Thunder series. Less so against the Rockets (though his final series numbers ended up better than I would've guessed). But Capela - a similar player - was huge against the Jazz.

So yeah, I think defense first centers like that can still be very valuable in the modern NBA.
   4442. tshipman Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5674135)
I won't be worried about the Warriors until/if they lose one of the next two. Last night really did come across like poor effort/focus, like (someone said upthread) they were satisfied with the split in Houston- so many early turnovers (though it eventually evened out) and blown defensive assignments.


Can't we just rely on the simpler explanation?

The Rockets shot 10 more FTs and hit 40% of their 3s to the Warriors' 28%.
   4443. SteveF Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5674141)
The Rockets shot 10 more FTs and hit 40% of their 3s to the Warriors' 28%.

Well, 5 more free throws and 38% to the Warriors 30%.

That sounds more repeatable, at least.
   4444. PJ Martinez Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5674143)
Stevens seems to have the same principle: if guys get in foul trouble, they play through it. He lets his guys adjust. I'm not saying because of this, he's great. I'm cautioning against watching what a coach does during the game (how active he is) and drawing conclusions from that. It may be what he DOESN'T do tells us as much about his coaching.

I completely agree -- but this is an observable thing; not taking guys out because they have two or three fouls is evidence of good coaching, in my view (just as not taking too many timeouts early in a game is an observable and good "passive" strategy).

And I agree that what a coach does before the games is probably more important, and not entirely visible -- but it's not entirely invisible, either; reporters observe practices and talk to players, and coaches give interviews where they discuss strategy and preparation. We can see schemes at work in a game that teams have clearly practiced ahead of time. None of this is perfect evidence, but informed, albeit flawed, judgments can be made. That seems more valuable to me than simply deciding we'll never know enough and going only (or mostly) by reputation and win-loss record.
   4445. Booey Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5674144)
Can't we just rely on the simpler explanation?

The Rockets shot 10 more FTs and hit 40% of their 3s to the Warriors' 28%.


Can't it be both? Might fouling too much and/or leaving Rockets open behind the arc too many times be a result of bad, half-assed defense?

(no, I haven't actually looked up the numbers)
   4446. SteveF Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5674152)
Curry+Thompson can't be 10-30 for 24 points if the Warriors want to win. That seems unlikely to happen again in this series based on the information we have.
   4447. tshipman Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5674154)
Well, 5 more free throws and 38% to the Warriors 30%.

That sounds more repeatable, at least.


I stopped watching the game when the starters came out, so I didn't see the final stats. Those were the numbers before the garbage time.

Can't it be both? Might fouling too much and/or leaving Rockets open behind the arc too many times be a result of bad, half-assed defense?


I mean, the Rockets had 13 wide open 3s in game 1 and 14 in game 2. We're not talking a huge difference.
   4448. JC in DC Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5674157)
My picks:

MVP - Anthony Davis, James Harden, LeBron James: Did it all year long, adjusted his game to Paul without missing a beat, and team reached new level (LBJ is always the best player in the world, of course)

COY - Dwane Casey, QUIN SNYDER!!!!, Brad Stevens: Lost Hayward, lost Irving, incorporated Tatum, team always well-prepared, always dangerous. He's the best coach in the game. There. I said it.

ROY - DONOVAN MITCHELL!!!, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum: Yeah, Mitchell over Simmons in my book, but 50-50 nearly. Utah should've been nothing after losing Hayward, and Mitchell stepped in, gave them scoring, defense, and mentality. His game is less dependent than Simmons on the quality of the guys around him. I love Simmons, but Mitchell's the man.

DPOY - Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, RUDY GOBERT!!!: I don't really know.

MIP - Clint Capela, Spencer Dinwiddie, Victor Oladipo: Oladipo.

6th man - Eric Gordon, Fred VanFleet, Lou Williams: Who gives a ####? I hate this award. If they have this award, they should also have best "4th Man" or "Best Marginal Starter."
   4449. jmurph Posted: May 17, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5674170)
I stopped watching the game when the starters came out, so I didn't see the final stats. Those were the numbers before the garbage time.

Yeah I might be reading too much into the final numbers, where there isn't much of a gap, when in fact it was mostly over in the 3rd.
   4450. Topher Posted: May 17, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5674213)
I don't post much on this site and am way too under-qualified to post on this thread, but I thought I'd quickly chime in here after seeing the combine measurements.

Not too surprised to see Mo Bamba check in with a 7'10" wingspan. But I was a quite surprised to see Udoka Azubuike measure at 7'7".

I watched every University of Kansas basketball game (feel free to mock away ...) of Azubuike's career and find him a bit fascinating as it relates to the draft.

He's an absolute dinosaur and his game does not at all translate to the next level. He a monster of a man and weighed in at 274 lbs. and I believe that's about 40 pounds less than when he first arrived in Lawrence. Because he's that big, he lacks the quickness to guard on the perimeter. He has a comically bad shooting touch and from the *free throw* line is a 41% shooter. He's an ok rebounder, especially on a per minute basis, but you'd want more for somebody his size. At the college level, he could scare guards into not going into the paint but his blocked shot numbers suggest he won't be much of a rim defender in the NBA.

Azubuike also just destroyed the record* for most dunks in a season. College defenders couldn't handle his power. He's got soft hands and even though his range doesn't extend to five feet, he shot 77% from the field last season.

* Record using play-by-play data. The dunk stats only go back a decade.

Azubuike is also very young. He enrolled at Kansas as a 16 year old and won't turn 19 until this upcoming season's training camp.

My gut tells me that his lack of lateral quickness outweighs any positive. And while maybe you draft him in the late second and hope he develops in the G League, he probably never makes more than a token appearance on a NBA court.

At the same time, you have a super-young kid that has a 7'7" wingspan and has the barrel chest of a man twice his age.

I have a hard time seeing a guy like Azubuike fitting into today's NBA but I do think he's an interesting test case. And with that wingspan, I'd imagine some team is going to gamble on him much earlier than they probably should.

Apologies for the long post and doubly so if this is considered off topic. I know this thread will discuss the draft, but it might be too early to be making a post like this.
   4451. smileyy Posted: May 17, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5674222)
I think combine results are relevant. Thanks for the post!
   4452. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: May 17, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5674226)
I think combine results are relevant. Thanks for the post!

Concur. I know nothing about college basketball, and posts like that can make the draft much more interesting.
   4453. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 17, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5674262)
Thirded. There's enough draft buzz that I feel like I have a decent idea about the top few prospects, but I always like getting details about a more flawed and interesting prospect like Azubuike.
   4454. jmurph Posted: May 17, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5674272)
I don't post much on this site and am way too under-qualified to post on this thread

To add a thought to the previous three posts, at least half of us are goddamned idiots on a regular basis; no base qualifications exist here, so post away!
   4455. tshipman Posted: May 17, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5674303)
My gut tells me that his lack of lateral quickness outweighs any positive. And while maybe you draft him in the late second and hope he develops in the G League, he probably never makes more than a token appearance on a NBA court.

At the same time, you have a super-young kid that has a 7'7" wingspan and has the barrel chest of a man twice his age.

I have a hard time seeing a guy like Azubuike fitting into today's NBA but I do think he's an interesting test case. And with that wingspan, I'd imagine some team is going to gamble on him much earlier than they probably should.


So let's say his realistic upside is Boban. Do you draft Boban in the second round? I think you maybe do.
   4456. The Good Face Posted: May 17, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5674305)
The measurements are really interesting.

Zhaire Smith is way shorter than billed, only 6'2.75, but with great length, 6'9.75. That plus his freakish athleticism probably means his height won't hurt him much.

Shake Milton's wingspan is over 7 feet, which is ridiculous for a guy his size, probably helped his stock.

Collin Sexton is barely over 6 feet tall. Good length, but man, if you're not sold on him as a pure PG...

Jaren Jackson is just off the chart in every measurable. Amazing hand size, body fat, standing reach, wingspan, etc. He's almost certainly a lock for top 3.

Omari Spellman's body fat is way up there at 13.75%. Excellent standing reach/wingspan measurables though. Have heard rumors Boston covets him, but who knows for sure.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander clocked in at 3%(!!!) bodyfat. That might actually hurt him though, because if his athleticism doesn't impress teams, it's not like he can drop any weight. Great length on him though.

Marvin Bagley declined to be measured, probably to hide those alligator arms.

   4457. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: May 17, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5674329)
combine measurements surprises:
keita bates-diop: 6'8, 225 with a 7'3 wingspan. that's basically the prototype for a smallball PF/4 position defender
trevon duval: 6'2 with a 6'8 wingspan is very good for a PG. he's raw, but he has the tools to be a top 10 NBA PG.
aaron holiday: 6'7 wingspan gives him the potential to be an effective defender
jaren jackson: 6'11, 7'5 wingspan is enough to project as a full time 5
austin wiley: 6'10, 250, 5% bodyfat, 7'5 wingspan are pretty great numbers if he can show some agility

disappointments:
jevon carter: 6'4 wingspan, sub-8' standing reach is brutal for a defense first PG.
donte divincenzo: 6'4 with a 6'6 wingspan takes a chunk out of his defensive potential
kevin knox: sub 7' wingspan is kind of ugly.
sagaba konate: 6'7, 250 with a 7' wingspan is not nearly good enough for a defense only big
michael porter: i was hoping for more than a 7' wingspan
jontay porter/omari spellman: 14% bodyfat is unacceptable.
kenrich williams: 6'7 wingspan for a 3+D forward is uninspiring.
   4458. aberg Posted: May 17, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5674342)
Thirded. There's enough draft buzz that I feel like I have a decent idea about the top few prospects, but I always like getting details about a more flawed and interesting prospect like Azubuike.


I also love this idea- really enjoy reading about the fringey guys from college teams that pepole here follow. I'll do the same for some of the UW/Georgetown guys eventually.
   4459. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: May 17, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5674350)
Votes: Harden, Stevens, Simmons, Gobert, Oladipo, Williams
   4460. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 17, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5674371)
Votes:
Harden (James was close, but not quite there for me.)
Stevens (Did it all season in unexpected circumstances, though other picks reasonable.)
Simmons (I'm not sure how I'd vote if this included postseason, but it doesn't.)
Davis (Games played gap too big for me to take Gobert)
Oladipo (Ran away with it.)
Gordon (Meh?)
   4461. Rally Posted: May 17, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5674379)
6'4 wingspan, sub-8' standing reach is brutal for a defense first PG.


I'm 6'3 with a standing reach right around 8' - I can touch the 8 foot rim without leaving my feet. At one time I thought I had long arms because most people can't do that. But that's just because of my height. Once I saw the combine measurements, I realized my arms are actually short for my height, at least by the standards of basketball prospects.
   4462. spivey Posted: May 17, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5674396)
My votes:

MVP: Harden
Coach: Casey (assuming we vote at end of regular season, I think I would had to have voted for him)
ROY: Simmons
DPOY: Davis (games played)
MIP: Oladipo
6th Man: Gordon
   4463. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: May 17, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5674400)
MVP: James
COY: Casey
ROY: Mitchell
DPOY: Gobert
MIP: Oladipo
6th: Williams
   4464. SteveF Posted: May 17, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5674412)
Looking over some studies, for men the ratio of arm span to height is roughly around 1.025:1, for those curious.

   4465. smileyy Posted: May 17, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5674417)
Looking over some studies, for men the ratio of arm span to height is roughly around 1.025:1, for those curious.


IIRC, the average of all the measurements combine is a ratio of 1.1:1
   4466. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 17, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5674456)
IIRC, the average of all the measurements combine is a ratio of 1.1:1

That seems excessive; 1.1 * 6'3" = 6'10.5", which is pretty impressive length even by NBA standards (for reference, 1.025 * 6'3" is ≈6'5"). I imagine the actual ratio is to some degree a function of height, though.
   4467. MHS Posted: May 17, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5674460)
Harden
Stevens
Mitchell
Davis
Oladipo
Williams
   4468. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 17, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5674502)
MVP: Harden
COY: Stevens
ROY: Simmons
DPOY: Gobert
MIP: Oladipo
6th: Williams
   4469. aberg Posted: May 17, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5674505)
"Arm span exceeds height by 5.3 cm (2.1 in) in the average adult man and by 1.2 cm (0.5 in) in the average adult woman."

Source
   4470. jmurph Posted: May 17, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5674532)
Ricky O'Donnell @SBN_Ricky
Hello from the NBA draft combine, where I'm prepared to ask Grayson Allen how it will feel to be taken No. 7 overall by the Chicago Bulls

*Struggling to suppress laughter* Any thoughts Moses?
   4471. Booey Posted: May 17, 2018 at 06:20 PM (#5674608)
Ricky O'Donnell @SBN_Ricky
Hello from the NBA draft combine, where I'm prepared to ask Grayson Allen how it will feel to be taken No. 7 overall by the Chicago Bulls


Isn't that the d0uchebag who likes tripping people?
   4472. Booey Posted: May 17, 2018 at 07:04 PM (#5674619)
Anyone watch the show "Chicago Fire"? Apparently the co-creator Derek Haas is a college buddy of Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey and a Jazz fan. He's been trying to fit the names of all the current Jazz players into recent episodes of the show. There was prom date Donovan Mitchell, Officer Joe Ingles, Detective Udoh, firefighters Alec Burks and Dan Exum, Defense Attorney Rick Rubio. Other guys simply named "Rudy" and "Jerebko".

Never seen the show, but I approve.
   4473. smileyy Posted: May 17, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5674636)
IIRC, the average of all the measurements combine is a ratio of 1.1:1


I have absolutely zero citation for this except my 41-year-old memory.
   4474. SteveF Posted: May 17, 2018 at 08:10 PM (#5674651)
I have absolutely zero citation for this except my 41-year-old memory.

1.06:1 is a figure I've seen cited for NBA players.

It's obviously something we could probably figure out with a shared google spreadsheet and enough people willing to pick a team and throw a half hour at it.
   4475. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 17, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5674746)
1.06:1 is a figure I've seen cited for NBA players.
I found an old Draft Kings data source via this Reddit post that ultimately has 3574 unique player measurements that don't have a "NA" in a meaningful field and that aren't unofficial measurements. The mean wingspan:shoeless height ratio is 1.0551, median is 1.0556. So rounded to 1.06:1.

(No idea about the quality of the data, and I didn't check for howlers.)

   4476. stevegamer Posted: May 18, 2018 at 06:28 AM (#5674809)
Is a Rudy Gobert type a relevant player in modern playoff basketball? I'm not trying to take a shot at Gobert specifically. I'm asking with an eye towards the upcoming NBA draft.


Absolutely. It's literally impossible to be a real DPOY candidate without being a relevant player in "modern playoff basketball".

1. It really helps to make the playoffs, and that level of guy helps you do it.
2. Even if a really good player is of a type some teams have ways to exploit, other teams won't be able to do so.
   4477. spivey Posted: May 18, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5674873)
Yeah, Gobert is still great even in the playoffs. You don't need all 5 guys to be able to shoot 3s at a high efficiency.

Hell, Andre Roberson has been a good playoff piece in modern playoff basketball. His defense has always given the Spurs problems in the playoffs, and he got significant minutes when they pushed the 73 win Warriors.
   4478. The Good Face Posted: May 18, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5674913)
disappointments:
jevon carter: 6'4 wingspan, sub-8' standing reach is brutal for a defense first PG.
donte divincenzo: 6'4 with a 6'6 wingspan takes a chunk out of his defensive potential
kevin knox: sub 7' wingspan is kind of ugly.
sagaba konate: 6'7, 250 with a 7' wingspan is not nearly good enough for a defense only big
michael porter: i was hoping for more than a 7' wingspan
jontay porter/omari spellman: 14% bodyfat is unacceptable.
kenrich williams: 6'7 wingspan for a 3+D forward is uninspiring.


DiVincenzo with the highest vertical, standing and overall, in the entire combine. Did well in the scrimmages too, thinking he's pretty much a lock to leave school now. Looking like he could be an irrational confidence scorer for some team, a sort of Dion Waiters who's willing to pass the ball once in a while.
   4479. JC in DC Posted: May 18, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5675022)
I think his leaving would be a huge mistake, not from a monetary perspective, but from a developmental one. He has no length, and therefore cannot be a 3 and D type player. He needs, instead, imho, to learn to handle the ball much better. Years back, Wright moved Foye to PG some to let him learn to handle the ball for the sake of improving his game as a pro. Divincenzo's a better athlete than Foye, but he needs to be able to handle and drive, I think, to be successful in the NBA. But, he may just follow the money, and who could blame him?
   4480. The Good Face Posted: May 18, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5675064)
I think his leaving would be a huge mistake, not from a monetary perspective, but from a developmental one. He has no length, and therefore cannot be a 3 and D type player. He needs, instead, imho, to learn to handle the ball much better. Years back, Wright moved Foye to PG some to let him learn to handle the ball for the sake of improving his game as a pro. Divincenzo's a better athlete than Foye, but he needs to be able to handle and drive, I think, to be successful in the NBA. But, he may just follow the money, and who could blame him?


DiVincenzo is a combo guard. He already has a good handle/dribble drive game; he's apparently a legendary 1 on 1 player in the Villanova program. He's not up to snuff as a full time PG but he can create his own shot, can create some for others, and has enough size/athleticism to not be a disaster on defense. Yeah, he'd probably get better with another year in school, but he'd also be a year older, and he's already been in school for 3 years. Plus people get better in the NBA too. If he's going to go in the 1st round, and indications are that he will, he might as well jump.


   4481. spivey Posted: May 18, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5675128)
I agree with 4480. I feel like age starts to become a pretty been knock to your value once you've been in college 4 years. Also, there's just so few draft spots and so few NBA spots that I think you just have to get while the getting's good. That's right now for him.

He could improve his slot maybe showing a bit better handle (I agree his handle is mainly acceptable for creating his own shot) and passing. But even with that, he may not improve his slot because he'll be a year older. Or maybe he struggles with shooting, or an injury, or his handle doesn't improve.
   4482. tshipman Posted: May 18, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5675153)
Also, there's just so few draft spots and so few NBA spots that I think you just have to get while the getting's good. That's right now for him.


This is what agents are supposed to be good at. Or "Advisors" if the guy wants to retain eligibility.

The agent calls around to a few teams, gets a sense of where their guy is on the big board, and sees if it's likely that he'll get taken in the first round.

If you're a first rounder, I think you come out every single time. The team has to commit to you for 4 years, and NBA teams are a lot better at development than most college teams.
   4483. jmurph Posted: May 18, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5675176)
If you're a first rounder, I think you come out every single time. The team has to commit to you for 4 years, and NBA teams are a lot better at development than most college teams.

I'm not able to read this as a non-subscriber, but saw reference to it on twitter- it's a case that the calculation has changed and now it's even a solid bet if you're a second rounder.
   4484. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 18, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5675213)
Some excerpts from that article in 4483:

A study conducted by The Athletic — using publicly available contractual information collected and organized by Eric Pincus and Spotrac in addition to sources within the NBA — shows that second-round salaries and the frequency that second-rounders selected directly from the NCAA have received guaranteed contacts have risen substantially over the last four years, particularly for players picked in the first 10 spots of the second round.

While it may be technically correct to say that each NBA Draft only has “30 guaranteed contracts” handed out to first-round picks, it’s no longer true that those are the only players getting substantial guarantees in their contracts.

Back in the 2014 NBA Draft, just eight out of 22 NCAA-based second-rounders received at least one million dollars and multiple years fully guaranteed. Last year, 13 of the 23 college players picked in the second round received at least a $2 million guarantee, and 15 players received sizable second-year guarantees.

That stands up well with the results of the 2016 Draft, where just six out of 22 NCAA second-round draftees received a $2 million guarantee, but 10 players received full two-year guarantees and 14 players received substantial second-year guarantees.

The numbers are even better if a player is selected in the first 10 picks of the second round. Over the last four drafts, only one NCAA player (DeAndre Daniels, who suffered a shoulder injury and Jones fracture injury in his first two years out of college) out of 32 selected did not receive at least one guaranteed contract year in an offer.


I also don't know that I agree that college is better for development. Perhaps for the occasional player, but I feel like the guys it would help the most wouldn't have been picked anyway. Of course, there are always caveats, and if I had to guess there may be something about maturity or personality type that would make someone less likely to develop in the pros than college (IOW, the money and freedom just completely derail the player, which still might happen after another year in school anyway).
   4485. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 18, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5675221)
*Struggling to suppress laughter* Any thoughts Moses?

It's funny. Good thing the Bulls don't have a 2nd round pick, though I guess pick 22 is dangerous. I'm kinda hoping they'd consider someone like DiVincenzo there, even if it is a reach.

Darn if I'm not starting to talk myself into wanting Bamba at 7 (assuming Porter is gone).
   4486. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: May 18, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5675273)
Darn if I'm not starting to talk myself into wanting Bamba at 7 (assuming Porter is gone).
no trade machine needed: who says no?
PHI: 7
CHI: 10, 26, TLC, bayless
A study conducted by The Athletic — using publicly available contractual information collected and organized by Eric Pincus and Spotrac in addition to sources within the NBA — shows that second-round salaries and the frequency that second-rounders selected directly from the NCAA have received guaranteed contacts have risen substantially over the last four years, particularly for players picked in the first 10 spots of the second round.

this trend coincides with the rapid expansion of the cap, so it'll be interesting to see if it keeps up now that 2/3s of the league doesn't have 30+MM in cap room every summer.

   4487. The Good Face Posted: May 18, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5675279)
no trade machine needed: who says no?
PHI: 7
CHI: 10, 26, TLC, bayless


Who do you want so badly at 7 that you don't think will be available at 10?
   4488. SteveF Posted: May 18, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5675285)
The deal he is offering doesn't exactly scream "I WANT THE SEVENTH PICK SO BADLY!"
   4489. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: May 18, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5675304)
Who do you want so badly at 7 that you don't think will be available at 10?
at least one of doncic, porter, jackson, bagley, ayton, young or bamba will be available at #7 (my preference is currently in that order). i wouldn't go out of my way for bamba, but i'd be pretty happy to get any of the others.

and dumping bayless' contract is kind of a necessary precursor for signing lebron.

doing both at once is the proverbial two birds, one cup.
The deal he is offering doesn't exactly scream "I WANT THE SEVENTH PICK SO BADLY!"

this is fair, but it also depends on how the draft plays out.

if porter is around at 5/6/7, i'm willing to throw in anything short of embiid/simmons/covington/saric/fultz to get him (and some of those other things may be negotiable).
   4490. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: May 18, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5675313)
IMO if you think it's a 7 player draft with a big dropoff after and you sit at 10, you should probably just stay at 10. Not everyone ranks the prospects the same way you do, plus half or more of the teams with the top 9 picks are incompetently run, so it's likely one of your top seven will get to you at 10.
   4491. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 18, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5675318)
the proverbial two birds, one cup
Surprised the nanny didn't #### that out.
   4492. The Good Face Posted: May 18, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5675325)
if porter is around at 5/6/7, i'm willing to throw in anything short of embiid/simmons/covington/saric/fultz to get him (and some of those other things may be negotiable).


I'm not high on Porter. He's tall and he can shoot, but that's about it. Lacks a versatile offensive game, not much of a defender, doesn't protect the rim, doesn't show much as a rebounder, short arms for his size, plays soft, etc. Every tall guy that can shoot isn't Kevin Durant. I dunno, maybe he just wasn't healthy, but he's a high risk guy to me.
   4493. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: May 18, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5675338)
IMO if you think it's a 7 player draft with a big dropoff after and you sit at 10, you should probably just stay at 10. Not everyone ranks the prospects the same way you do, plus half or more of the teams with the top 9 picks are incompetently run, so it's likely one of your top seven will get to you at 10.

there are 4 players that i covet right now: doncic, porter, jackson, bagley. i wouldn't empty the safe deposit box for ayton, young or bamba (well, maybe for ayton), but if the sixers can get one of those other 4 without losing embiid/simmons/covington/saric/fultz, that's basically alchemy.
   4494. KronicFatigue Posted: May 18, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5675345)
I understand that weekend games will get better ratings than Thursday/Friday night games. I understand (but don't agree with) the NBA's obsession with maximizing short term profits. BUT, I do wonder if just adding 2 off days has a negative impact on fans and ratings, both in the short and long term.

I'm more a fan of this thread than basketball, but I've caught myself watching these playoffs for the first time in years. My interest has been absolutely sapped by these off days and I'm not entirely sure I'm going to get back into it when they start airing again. There was a nice rhythm of being able to watch every night (or every other night when I was just following the sixers).

Long term, I think you can build a more loyal fanbase with consistent games. Everyone always points to the NFL being exclusively on Sundays (you know, except for Mondays and Thursdays) as a point in its favor. It's predictable and you can plan around it. March Madness has a similar vibe to it. If the NBA playoffs were packed into a tighter schedule where kids could think of it as "NBA playoff time", I think it would benefit the league.
   4495. spivey Posted: May 18, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5675351)
It annoys me with the big gap, but I assume the NBA knows what they're doing at this point since they've been doing it so long. They really play the schedule at this point to maximum TV eyeballs, which seems to mean loading up the Sunday/Monday (and Tuesday?) night games.
   4496. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: May 18, 2018 at 05:38 PM (#5675371)
I'm not high on Porter. He's tall and he can shoot, but that's about it. Lacks a versatile offensive game, not much of a defender, doesn't protect the rim, doesn't show much as a rebounder, short arms for his size, plays soft, etc. Every tall guy that can shoot isn't Kevin Durant. I dunno, maybe he just wasn't healthy, but he's a high risk guy to me.

yeah, porter clearly wasn't healthy when he came back, but addressing the other points:

.. rebounding: i'm not worried about it since ben simmons is an extra forward
.. rim protection: i'm not too worried about it since porter would be the SG in many sixer lineups.
.. plays soft: i don't think that's a fair accusation since we've never seen him play a full year in a truly competitive setting.
.. short arms: i would prefer if he had an extra 3" in wingspan, but 7' wingspan is very good for a wing, and huge wingspans are generally more important for undersized wings/guards than huge wings/guards like porter.
.. defense: i don't think most people were high on the defensive ability of ball, simmons or tatum, and they just had 3 of the best rookie non-big defensive seasons in the last 15 years. like those 3, porter has very good to great size, length and BBIQ, so i'm more optimistic than most about his potential as a defender.
.. offensive versatility: transition scoring, 3P shooting and backdoor cuts should give him a solid base to build out from.


i don't think porter is a great ballhandler or playmaker, but he may still grow into those roles. even if he doesn't, he has elite mismatch and 3+D potential.
   4497. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 18, 2018 at 05:48 PM (#5675374)
no trade machine needed: who says no?
PHI: 7
CHI: 10, 26, TLC, bayless


I like the same 4 guys as you, but I would bet the Bulls don't like Porter. Bridges is probably their guy, and I'm guessing he'll be there at 10. Take Payne off our hands and I think it's a deal the Bulls would do.
   4498. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: May 18, 2018 at 05:52 PM (#5675377)
DiVincenzo with the highest vertical, standing and overall, in the entire combine. Did well in the scrimmages too, thinking he's pretty much a lock to leave school now. Looking like he could be an irrational confidence scorer for some team, a sort of Dion Waiters who's willing to pass the ball once in a while.

divincenzo hired an agent, so he's in.

   4499. JC in DC Posted: May 18, 2018 at 06:23 PM (#5675386)
I also don't know that I agree that college is better for development. Perhaps for the occasional player, but I feel like the guys it would help the most wouldn't have been picked anyway. Of course, there are always caveats, and if I had to guess there may be something about maturity or personality type that would make someone less likely to develop in the pros than college (IOW, the money and freedom just completely derail the player, which still might happen after another year in school anyway).


This is a critical point, and I don't have a definitive answer. But there are some guys who clearly developed in college, Josh Hart being a good, recent example. My point, and I stand by it, is that I'm not impressed by Divincenzo as a 6'4" combo guard, and athleticism really isn't all that relevant. That he and Grayson Allen have good ups is not going to be key to their NBA success. Donte cannot create his own shot against NBA defense; his handle just isn't good enough, and I'm not sure he's a Redick type shooter. But as LBJ said right after the tournament, he just made himself some money, and who can blame him for jumping at it?

Him aside, however, I think a good study needs to be done (may already have been done?) on the development of guys who go pro. Sometimes I wonder if many of these guys who look pretty damned good straight out of freshman year actually get better. Again, there are instances of guys who do (Jaylen Brown a good one). But there may be also more than a few instances of guys who don't, and who seem to peak in that first year or two.
   4500. tshipman Posted: May 18, 2018 at 06:41 PM (#5675395)
Him aside, however, I think a good study needs to be done (may already have been done?) on the development of guys who go pro. Sometimes I wonder if many of these guys who look pretty damned good straight out of freshman year actually get better. Again, there are instances of guys who do (Jaylen Brown a good one). But there may be also more than a few instances of guys who don't, and who seem to peak in that first year or two.


Every rookie gets significantly better at NBA defense--this is primarily because most rookies are awful defensive players. Just due to this, something like 90% of NBA players improve from their rookie year.

In general:
Offensive rebounding declines from the moment you enter the NBA.
Defensive rebounding improves slightly, then drops off.
Shooting tends to improve (but not for everyone!)
Shot selection tends to improve but drifts away from the hoop.
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