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Friday, February 15, 2019

OT - 2018-19 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to Twelfth of Never 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:  Kyler Murray and how the Galactic Empire did nothing wrong.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 15, 2019 at 12:14 PM | 941 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, off-topic

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   101. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 21, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5817135)
I know sometimes you need a catalyst to spark a movement, but has there ever been any talk of Freshman sitting out the last chunk of a NCAA season because they have nothing left to prove?

Not really, because there's no obligation to go to college. The options exist now to play in Europe, China or the G-League. They figure if you go to college you know what you are getting into and you want to do it to increase your profile and publicity.

This flared up as an issue again because of this one guy, Zion Williamson, and so many people wanting to see him play that ticket prices go through the roof. This is also the very rare case of a guy who didn't need to play past high school to be famous.
   102. Eddo Posted: February 21, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5817141)
2) Do we agree the risk for injury goes in this order: games > scrimmage > drills > conditioning? If so, where should Zion be? Drills?

It's not just that games are a greater injury risk than scrimmages, etc. It's that Zion would be playing games while on an already injured knee. That ratchets up the risk of an even more serious injury, look at Derrick Rose as one example of sorts.
   103. JC in DC Posted: February 21, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5817163)
I don't think this is a risk-assessment thing. Zion Williamson's life is about professional basketball, the way any of ours is about our career. His limit is literally future ownership stake in a team. Why on earth risk that at all? He's gotten a lot out of the college bball experience; he's gotten all the exposure (and more) he could've needed. There were some who wondered whether he was the #1 pick at the beginning of the season, but he's put that to bed, and did so probably in late November. Enough already. Rest the knee, rest the body, line up the agencies and move on.
   104. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5817185)
Zion is insured against injury, as long as he doesn't fall out of the top 16.

The college game has been hurt by the one-and-done trend, but that is not the NBA's problem to solve. I'd be in favor of allowing HSers to be drafted, and a two-year minimum for players that go to school. Seems like the NBA is trying to make HSers going pro more feasible with the recent opening of the G-league to HS grads.
   105. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5817188)
Agree with [103]. Also, though this probably isn't news to most of us, many of the "Zion owes nothing further to either Duke or the NCAA" takes (certainly mine) are strongly based in a moral objection to the unfair and exploitative dynamic where players are forbidden from earning anything from their labor—not just no salary, but also nothing on the side*. No personal sponsorships, no selling autographs, no earning money off of their own ####### likeness—and a player at Zion's level is a major (and lucrative) media entity. Lots of people are making millions and millions of dollars off of NCAA athletes, and that money is entirely generated by the same players who are forbidden from getting any piece of it.

* Yes, players do end up cutting under-the-table side deals sometimes, but that exposes them to risk. Hell, it exposes them to NCAA disqualification if other people cut a side deal in their name, even if they had nothing to do with it.
   106. puck Posted: February 21, 2019 at 05:50 PM (#5817201)
Makes sense everyone is talking about Zion but I wondered what people thought about RJ Barrett as an NBA prospect.

I remember seeing people talk about low college steal and block rates being a red flag...does Barrett qualify? 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocks. Reddish averages 1.9 steals and Zion 2.2. Barrett also shoots "just" 69% from the stripe...is that low enough to be a bad indicator?

He seems like he can shoot, but decision-making is still an issue. He has definitely been far less impressive than Zion but wondering how people see him as an NBA player. He's not going to disappoint Canada like Wiggins, right?
   107. Paul D(uda) Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5817203)
What would happen if Zion signed a shoe deal tomorrow, and showed up at the mall signing autographs for money?
   108. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5817206)
Barrett: yes and yes.
I like him much more than I did Wiggins, though.
   109. maccoach57 Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:31 PM (#5817220)
107-

JC and NJ would be there in John Starks jerseys for selfies with him.
   110. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 21, 2019 at 08:33 PM (#5817241)
Here's an article I should've found before I asked about this earlier:

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25032283/nba-nbpa-talks-ending-one-done-facing-final-hurdle

Commissioner Adam Silver is pressing NBPA executive director Michele Roberts to require that player-agents furnish all teams with medical information on draft prospects, league sources said. The league also wants to mandate players' attendance and some level of participation in the pre-draft combine, sources said.

The NBA still hopes to reach an agreement with the NBPA and allow graduating high school seniors to enter the league starting with the 2022 draft.
   111. tshipman Posted: February 21, 2019 at 08:54 PM (#5817244)
Makes sense everyone is talking about Zion but I wondered what people thought about RJ Barrett as an NBA prospect.


His numbers are weird.

Good stuff:
Great shot creator--lots of 2PA, and I'm assuming he creates most of his own 3s.
Good amount of turnovers and assists--this looks like a guy who will reliably create at the next level
Decent number of rebounds

Bad stuff:
Super low steals and blocks.
Plays short
Bad FT shooting numbers

Actually, the guy he reminds me of is Brandon Ingram. But like, a less valuable defensively Brandon Ingram.
   112. Master of the Horse Posted: February 21, 2019 at 09:06 PM (#5817245)
Fun game between Celts/Bucks
   113. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2019 at 09:11 PM (#5817247)
Incredible effort from Kyrie in the first half. Super excited to be in the position of having to root for 5 more years of this.
   114. PJ Martinez Posted: February 21, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5817250)
Kyrie's having a bad game. He's also been their best player this season.
   115. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:33 PM (#5817254)
Kyrie's having a bad game. He's also been their best player this season.

I wasn't talking about the missed shots, that happens. He spent the entire first half barely jogging back on defense and pointing for someone else to get his man because he couldn't be bothered.

But yeah I was overreacting, and I thought he played much better in the second half.
   116. PJ Martinez Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5817255)
I agree about the defensive effort, particularly (but not exclusively) in the first half. Maybe the worst it's been this season (I think it's mostly been pretty good this season).
   117. Tin Angel Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5817256)
Damn, Don Nelson has long hair and a ponytail now!
   118. PJ Martinez Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:59 PM (#5817258)
Don Nelson asked what he’s been doing after basketball: “I’ve been smoking some pot.”
   119. spivey Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:59 PM (#5817259)
Really nice win for the Bucks to kick off the second half of the season. Just a 1 point win at home, but any win is a good win against a good team. Looks like shooting was pretty meh on both sides.
   120. PJ Martinez Posted: February 22, 2019 at 07:07 AM (#5817272)
Speak of the devil:
Per @ESPNStatsInfo, Scott Foster called 18 fouls (personal or technical) on Thursday -- 12 against the Rockets, six against the Lakers. Seven of the fouls Foster called against the Rockets came in the fourth quarter, including the T he called on Chris Paul.
(I didn't watch the game, so I don't have an opinion about whether or not this is a coincidence -- though my default is that the burden of proof is on those who believe something nefarious is at work here.)
   121. Thok Posted: February 22, 2019 at 07:39 AM (#5817273)
For what it's worth, the current NCAA freshman who intrigues me the most is Lamine Diane, who at first glance looks like a poor man's Zion. (I realize there's a difference between doing what Zion does at Duke and what Lamine does at Cal State Northridge, and that Zion is significantly more muscular than Lamine.)
   122. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:14 AM (#5817275)
[120] I watched that game. Harden is right. Scott Foster is a douche, clearly has something against Paul and Harden, and coming on the heels of the Donaghy stuff, is not a good look for the league.
   123. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:18 AM (#5817276)
I admit I find myself torn between the rock-solid knowledge that Scott Foster is a douche and my instinctive sympathy for any ref who's had enough of James Harden's ####.
   124. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:21 AM (#5817277)
There is no James Harden ####. I'm kinda tired of that narrative. James Harden is a basketball player trying to win games. If a ref, or the league, doesn't like what he's doing, call a foul or a double dribble or travel or whatever. And then do the same on LBJ and Irving and all the other guys. James Harden is a phenomenal scorer. At the very top of his profession. Scott Foster is a tool at the very bottom of his.
   125. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:39 AM (#5817282)
James Harden's game is built around working the refs and abusing the letter of the rules in violation of their spirit, rather than trying to honestly outplay his opponents. While I will wholeheartedly agree with you and anyone else on three points:

1) James Harden is the best there's ever been at the specific things he does, and it's phenomenally effective for his team;

2) That all refs need to just consistently call offensive fouls on him for all the contact he goes out of his way to initiate;

3) That Scott Foster is a tool and a hack;

I personally don't really respect Harden or his game any more than Foster does. As much as it pains me to admit sympathy with Foster over anything.

Backing up from trees to look at the forest, officials calling their own rulebook rather than the NBA's standard rulebook and officials carrying out personal agendas against specific players (I posted about this re: Rudy Gobert in the last thread) has long been a problem--or at least, I and many fans perceive it as a problem. It is manifest that the league office does not.
   126. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:48 AM (#5817286)
Scott Foster going to war with James Harden may be the only thing that might soften the hatred Warriors fans have for him...
   127. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5817287)
James Harden's game is built around working the refs and abusing the letter of the rules in violation of their spirit, rather than trying to honestly outplay his opponents.


Nonsense.
   128. nick swisher hygiene Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:26 AM (#5817296)
127–No, he’s right, though I’d tone down the moralizing, and point out that basically everybody would play that way if they had the skill set.

This language is gonna sound annoyingly Bill Jamesy (who got baseball in my basketball thread!?) but here goes:

Harden is not trying to play basketball; he’s trying to draw fouls.

When you have a set of foul rules & their enforcement that work together to incentivize splayers trying to draw fouls, rather than working to encouraging guys to play basketball, you have a problem with the rules / their enforcement.

If, consistently, early in games, James Harden’s forearm got a couple of accurate fouls against it, and if James Harden’s 3-point antics got ignored a couple times, we’d pretty soon reach a state where Harden was forced to play more basketball.

And he’d probably still be a top ten player in the league!

EDIT: Preemptive strike: guys who defend Harden care more about seeming like sophisticated fans than about what most people would consider interesting basketball.

   129. spivey Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5817311)
They let get Harden get away with less of his #### in the playoffs as the game generally is allowed to be more physical, defenses are also more geared in for his #### because you play them several times in a row, you can rotate bodies at him which most playoff teams have on the wing, and Harden's conditioning is below most of the other elite shot creators in the league. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I feel like this is mostly a regular season problem. And I just don't watch many Rockets games. It's easier to admire what he's doing from afar.
   130. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5817327)
James Harden's game is built around working the refs and abusing the letter of the rules in violation of their spirit, rather than trying to honestly outplay his opponents.

Harden is not trying to play basketball; he’s trying to draw fouls.

When you have a set of foul rules & their enforcement that work together to incentivize splayers trying to draw fouls, rather than working to encouraging guys to play basketball, you have a problem with the rules / their enforcement.

If, consistently, early in games, James Harden’s forearm got a couple of accurate fouls against it, and if James Harden’s 3-point antics got ignored a couple times, we’d pretty soon reach a state where Harden was forced to play more basketball.

Harden's an expert at getting to the free throw line, but these comments are silly. Harden is the most prolific step-back jumpshooter in league history. He leads the league in field goal attempts by a wide margin. And while his free throw rate is high, it's not remotely out of place among the league leaders. In short, he's playing basketball, not just trying to draw fouls.

For an example of what true foul-seeking looks like, watch some old film of Corey Maggette. His go-to move consisted of taking a couple dribbles into the lane, creating contact with anyone in his vicinity, and then feigning a field goal attempt to get to the line. His free throw rates dwarfed Harden's. Here's an article with a fun description of Maggette's foul-drawing prowess in a preseason game:
Maggette was collecting fouls like they were Pokemon, at one point tallying 8 free throws in six minutes on his way to a 17-20 night at the line while just attempting two shots (and missing both).

The league-wide free throw rate is lower than ever. I think it's a pretty tough argument to claim that the current rules and their enforcement are incentivizing foul-seeking to an unusual degree.
   131. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5817336)
Somehow it seems more annoying when someone draws phony fouls by initiating arm contact when shooting jump shots than when someone draws phony fouls by driving to the lane and running into people. Probably because these are fouls that are barely fouls to begin with, just one arm touching another arm.

Agreed that the latter is probably even harder for the defender to do anything about. Yet people didn't get mad about Dwyane Wade doing it over and over back in his heyday.
   132. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:04 AM (#5817339)
Really interesting graphic here on leaguewide shooting trends (twitter link).
   133. tshipman Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5817346)
Harden is the most prolific step-back jumpshooter in league history.


There's a reason for that, though. You can't play tight on James Harden and camp the stepback. If you do that, he draws a foul.

If you somehow manage to play tight without ever fouling, he'll push off to get the space.

If you still manage to recover after the push-off, he'll travel to get more distance.

This is what is frustrating about Harden.
   134. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5817351)
All those things, shipman, are done in plain view, and all have been done and are being done by other players. He's just a better shooter and ballhandler than the overwhelming majority of players. He's not being "dishonest" or failing to play basketball. I'd love the NBA to enforce ballhandling and traveling rules, but they don't. And Harden exploits this to his advantage, to the tune of 36.5ppg. I used to hate how Magic traveled, or Bird got every call in Boston. That's the game.

Preemptive strike: If you disagree with my view, it's because of motivations I'll attribute to you and not the quality of my argument.
   135. Master of the Horse Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5817353)
The Bucks adjusted by basically playing Bledsoe from behind to negate the stepback and forcing Harden to drive to Giannis and Lopez who held up their arms and the shots didn't fall. Certain in a series that the Rockets would figure out a counter but for one game it was pretty cool. Harden was super frustrated. Harden's game is unique which I appreciate. But from what you guys post Harden has just taken longstanding tactics and perfected them which for me is a strong word. So maybe he is not unique just a tremendous craftsman of his trade.
   136. Booey Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5817356)
We all have our pet peeves about what officials let players get away with, whether it's traveling, flopping, foul hunting, pushing off, etc. Harden does ALL of these things regularly, which is why he's just so maddening for opposing fans. It's a credit to him, no doubt; he's better at exploiting loopholes in the rules and figuring out what he can and can't get away with than anyone else, possibly in league history. Tons of players try the same tricks Harden does; they're just not as good at it. And the complaints people make against him don't take away from his greatness. He's in the conversation for best player in the NBA and is quietly building a strong case as an inner circle HOFer.

But none of that makes it less frustrating when he's pulling that sh!t against your team.
   137. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5817362)
[131] Not sure which world you were living in, but on my planet there were tons of people complaining about Dwyane Wade's embarrassment of free throws (including, of course, one very agitated man-child owner in Texas).
   138. tshipman Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5817371)
All those things, shipman, are done in plain view, and all have been done and are being done by other players. He's just a better shooter and ballhandler than the overwhelming majority of players. He's not being "dishonest" or failing to play basketball. I'd love the NBA to enforce ballhandling and traveling rules, but they don't. And Harden exploits this to his advantage, to the tune of 36.5ppg. I used to hate how Magic traveled, or Bird got every call in Boston. That's the game.


Well, I think what differentiates Harden is how he performs at the end of games. At the end of games, on several occasions, he goes for the foul instead of making the basketball play.

You see this in the playoffs, too. Refs stop calling ticky-tack stuff, and Harden doesn't adjust his game. He just whines more.

Every year in the playoffs, Harden is worse than the regular season.

Last year Harden had a 29.8 PER, .289 WS/48 and a 7.0 VORP.

IN the playoffs, Harden had a 24.9 PER, a .163 WS/48, and 1.5 VORP.

You can clearly see the difference in his efficiency that the regular season reffing makes.
   139. spivey Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5817373)
Re: Wade and the Finals free throw attempts

I quit the NBA for a couple years after that. I told myself I'd never care about the NBA again. Didn't take, but that is universally seen both at the time and in hindsight by many fans as an illegitimate championship. Also one of the only times I've really said to myself "You know, maybe the NBA is rigged"
   140. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5817377)
All of this boils down (for me - you choose your own stance, obv) to: don't hate the player, hate the game. I tend to love watching players who are good at foul hunting, as I respectthe craft, but also want the league to change what/how they call things.
   141. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5817379)
On a recent Lowe Post Zach Lowe made the point that Harden's game, whether or not you think he's getting away with things he shouldn't, is hard to appreciate because it's so repetitive. His stepback three is unstoppable, but it's an intricate couple moves that end up with a long jumper, not anything dynamic or varied.
   142. Booey Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5817383)
Re: Wade and the Finals free throw attempts

I quit the NBA for a couple years after that. I told myself I'd never care about the NBA again.


Same. It looked soooooo obvious to me at the time that they were favoring Miami that I was sure I was done with the league entirely at that point.

But then the Jazz started out 12-1 the next year, led their division wire to wire and got to the WCF for the first time in 9 years, so what was I supposed to do? ;-)
   143. tshipman Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5817384)
I quit the NBA for a couple years after that. I told myself I'd never care about the NBA again. Didn't take, but that is universally seen both at the time and in hindsight by many fans as an illegitimate championship. Also one of the only times I've really said to myself "You know, maybe the NBA is rigged"


The Lakers brought me back in 2008, but yeah, I had a hard time for a couple years there.
   144. maccoach57 Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5817386)
Lakers/Rockets/Foster: The other thing about it on the blogosphere last night was that it was the beginning of the NBA conspiracy to get the Lakers into postseason. With Donaghy back in the news and the Kings and the Clippers involved, that will be a thing. Ingram had no steals, no blocks, and 1 assist, but he put up a 27/13 on 8/16 shooting, made 11/14 FTs, played some good D, and was +8. The Lakers shot an uncharacteristic 81% at the line last night, and Bullock was 4/8 on 3s with the rest of the team going 4/22. Houston had an off-night from the arc, and James was pretty much James, so it was enough.

Harden/Fandom: Pretty much everybody on this thread, whether it is the majority of guys whom I like or the couple or so that I don't, is a pretty "sophisticated fan" as I define the term. But if we want to go there, I think granular analysis of what Harden does and complaining about it is probably more of an attempt at being one of the cognoscenti within the commentariat than just saying he's great but maybe the refs should call it differently is. As to the aesthetic observation in 141 from Lowe, this was on a Lakers blog from a recent Chris Ballard interview with Kobe Bryant, re. Kuzma getting some advice from Bryant:

In an interview with Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated, Bryant detailed the beginnings of his relationship with Kuzma:


“Cold-called me,” says Kobe. “I liked his curiosity.” Bryant invited Kuzma for a steak dinner. Kuzma was giddy.

A friendship began. Kobe being Kobe, his advice often came in basketball koans. For example: To be unstoppable you must first be predictable. Explains Bryant, “So teams say, ‘O.K., I know Kyle likes to do this.’ All right, that’s great, that’s awesome. Now stop it.” Bryant continues. “Now a team makes you do something else, and you have a counter to that predictable move, and when they cut off that counter, you have a counter to that counter. But first you have to be predictable, because it not only gets you a sense of stability, night in and night out, but it also gets your teammates a sense of stability. Familiarity is extremely important.”


As I said, I enjoy watching Harden play. I consider him a craftsman of playing offense on the Nash/Bryant/Paul level, since he is able to do what he does without really being able to jump or being all that quick, and the fact that opponents know exactly what he is going to do and he still does it successfully all the time makes it even more impressive to me.

Houston: Paul and Capela are back, so if Houston has everybody healthy when postseason starts, they will be the proverbial "team no one wants to play." Maybe all the games off will end up helping Paul.
   145. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5817387)
To be unstoppable you must first be predictable.

I have no idea if this makes sense but I like the sound of it anyway.
   146. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5817395)
Familiarity is extremely important.

I was thinking about this the other day, actually, wrt to a recent comment by Zach Lowe about Jabari Parker (and one he made today about Josh Jackson). When teammates get tentative because they aren't on your wavelength, offensive cohesion rusts away.
   147. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5817402)
I am so fascinated by Udonis Haslem's ongoing employment with the Heat. He's apparently leaning towards coming back next year, despite this:
Haslem, 38, hasn’t played major minutes for the Heat in years, having averaged no more than 8.1 minutes per game since the 2014/15 season. In 2018/19, he has played just four times, logging 15 total minutes.

He has played 477 minutes, combined, over the last 4 years. They have paid him $10.7ish million over that time. More than $22,000 per minute.
   148. JJ1986 Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5817405)
I feel like if Scott Foster were really bent, he would try to look better at his job to avoid the suspicion.
   149. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5817415)
I remember being a Pistons fan thinking Wade got way too many calls against Detroit in the ECF in 2006. He shot 52 FT against Detroit in 6 games. Then he shot 97 FT against Dallas in 6 games. Wow.
   150. Rob_Wood Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5817416)
Who can possibly believe that nobody complained about Dwyane Wade and how he "abused" the system back in the day? That was a leading discussion topic for years, especially among non-Miami fans.

James Harden is a blight on the NBA. Makes games unenjoyable and unwatchable. I welcome anything, and I mean anything, that can be done to change that.

I will not comment on Scott Foster.
   151. Master of the Horse Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5817419)
148--could be he is not that clever. Lot of bad activity happens in plain view relaying on people's innate sense of wanting to think the better of those around them. Which is why having people who are cynical and suspicious is so valuable. Because most people think they know to be suspicious but really behavioral science says people do a terrible job of recognizing and acting appropriately to situations that scream upon hindsight to do the exact opposite of what was actually done.It's why being a scammer is so incredibly profitable. And then you have companies that want to avoid the bad reactions so when they do learn of bad activity the scammer profits again, in a lot of cases, because the person only loses a job and maybe even gets a form of severance. So they can go somewhere else and do the same to another group or even the same group but with a different organization.
   152. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 22, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5817421)
So I'm late to the crap on Duke-fest, but looking at their list of NBA players they seem to me have a very high percentage of busts. So few of their players have met or exceeded their expectations coming out of college.
   153. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 22, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5817427)
Who can possibly believe that nobody complained about Dwyane Wade and how he "abused" the system back in the day?

My 131 is what people are responding to.

I've been thinking that only the fans of the team Miami was playing at the time would complain about Wade because it was unfair to their team. While now neutral fans also complain about Harden because it is "not basketball", "exploiting a loophole", "makes games unenjoyable and unwatchable", "hard to appreciate because it's so repetitive", etc. Maybe it's not a real distinction.
   154. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: February 22, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5817436)
I don't think it was only Wade's immediate opponents who complained. In fact, I remember feeling annoyed with the moralistic tone people took when complaining about Wade's foul hunting (I personally do not feel that it's reasonable (or even appropriate, really) to expect players to unilaterally stop doing something effective that's within the rules; the league has a well-established precedent for changing both the rulebook and referees' points of emphasis when they want to [dis]incentivize ceertain basketball activities—and yes, drawing fouls is a basketball activity); it was definitely a part of the discourse, and pretty similar to how folks talk about Harden now. The anti-Harden rhetoric does manage to be even more over-the-top, though.
   155. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 22, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5817438)
So I'm late to the crap on Duke-fest, but looking at their list of NBA players they seem to me have a very high percentage of busts. So few of their players have met or exceeded their expectations coming out of college.
When I followed college basketball (through ~2001), I took this as at least in part a testimony to Krzyzewski's quality as a coach. He's had a lot of guys who don't really have NBA starter level talent, but who were very very good college players, which led to unrealistic expectations. The top three names on that list (Alaa Abdelnaby, Mark Alarie, Grayson Allen) are exhibits A, B, and C, guys whose innate talents suggest that they were never going to do more than top out as starters for bad teams.

I'm as anti-Duke as they come (I'm a UNC grad born & raised in Chapel Hill), so I would love it if someone who knows more than I do could tell me that I'm wrong and maybe just trying to overcompensate for my innate biases.
   156. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5817445)
When I followed college basketball (through ~2001), I took this as at least in part a testimony to Krzyzewski's quality as a coach.

I also don't follow college basketball anymore, because I find it to be terrible, but this was always my understanding, too. The 2010 championship roster, for example, is kind of amazing in its lack of star talent.
   157. nick swisher hygiene Posted: February 22, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5817447)
Yeah, as another Tar Heel fan, I don’t see the anti-Dook argument here either.
Here’s that list sorted by draft position, for guys in the top 14 picks.

1 Elton Brand
1 Art Heyman
1 Kyrie Irving

2 Marvin Bagley
2 Danny Ferry
2 Brandon Ingram
2 Jabari Parker
2 Jay Williams

3 Mike Dunleavy
3 Dick Groat
3 Grant Hill*
3 Christian Laettner
3 Jahlil Okafor
3 Jayson Tatum

5 Jack Marin
5 Jeff Mullins
5 Shelden Williams

6 Shane Battier

7 Wendell Carter
7 Luol Deng
7 Mike Gminski
7 Bobby Hurley

10 Johnny Dawkins
10 Austin Rivers
10 Justise Winslow

11 Trajan Langdon
11 J.J. Redick

12 Gerald Henderson
12 Luke Kennard
12 Cherokee Parks

13 Tate Armstrong
13 Corey Maggette

14 William Avery

Unless you wanna ding K for guys drafted before his tenure (& hey! any Dick Groat fans up in here?), the list looks basically fine to me.
   158. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 22, 2019 at 04:32 PM (#5817457)
The number of players by school seems like it has flattened, although UK (30) and Duke (25) are still way out in front. Here are schools with multiple players in the top 50 in scoring (this is a quick eyeballed list, accuracy not guaranteed):

UK: AD, Booker, KAT, Randle, Jamal Murray, Fox

UCLA: Westbrook, Jrue Holiday, Kuzma, Zach Lavine

Texas: Durant, Aldridge

Oklahoma: Hield, Griffin

Duke: Redick, Ingram, Kyrie

UCONN: Kemba, Drummond

Kansas: Wiggins, Embiid

Ohio State: Conley, DeAngelo Russell
   159. maccoach57 Posted: February 22, 2019 at 04:38 PM (#5817459)
Kuzma went to Utah.
   160. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 22, 2019 at 04:40 PM (#5817460)
Unless you wanna ding K for guys drafted before his tenure (& hey! any Dick Groat fans up in here?)


8-time All-Star and 2-time World Series champion! No way was he a bust.
   161. Booey Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5817481)
Kuzma went to Utah.


Damn right he did. ;-)
   162. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:21 PM (#5817513)
Jeremy Lin has a sneaky first step.
   163. Harlond Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:35 PM (#5817515)
158--Make it top 85 and UVA has two, including the three-point contest winner!
   164. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:37 PM (#5817516)
Good game SAS/TOR.
   165. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:48 PM (#5817519)
Why is Andrew Wiggins?
   166. Booey Posted: February 23, 2019 at 12:45 AM (#5817533)
Dammit.

Third 1 pt loss for the Jazz this season, and the second to OKC.
   167. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 23, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5817560)
Lakers in New Orleans tonight. Should be a lot of happy fans in the arena.
   168. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: February 23, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5817561)
The Danny Green podcast is really awesome.
   169. puck Posted: February 23, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5817586)
I suppose Coach K's USA Basketball tenure and the one-and-one era has changed Duke quite a bit in regards to the NBA prospects.

This season's team seems a bit of a reverse of the Duke stereo type. Great individuals but they don't seem that impressive from a team/scheme standpoint. They seem to succeed because their 3 great freshmen consistently beat their defenders. On the rare occasions when the other team keeps that from happening with regularity, they settle for contested long shots. I don't watch a lot of college ball, but it seemed that Calipari did a better job of melding his one-and-done wonder teams into cohesive units.
   170. maccoach57 Posted: February 23, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5817591)
I don't follow college ball anymore, but as I noted, I thought Krzyzewski's teams in the one-and-done era, as some of them have, would have more Ryan Singler types than what he has now. Not that I have a problem with it, per se, but this year's Duke squad looks like a Calipari team.
   171. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 23, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5817593)
more than a few dookies have also, somewhat surprisingly, been less shitty than most people expected. quinn cook, the plumlii, lance thomas, josh mcboberts, shavlik randolph. some of those guys had/are having legitimately fine NBA careers.
   172. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 23, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5817595)
Pelicans star Anthony Davis will sit tonight’s back to back against the Los Angeles Lakers due to rest.


What a mess of a situation. Not saying they shouldn't "rest" him, or whatever. I don't have any answers for what anyone involved here (NBA and Pelicans) should be doing at this point.
   173. 'Spos Posted: February 23, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5817607)
The Danny Green podcast is really awesome.


concur. the stuff about on-floor communication, especially the aside about gasol made me watch the game differently last night. green is a huge part of the raps success this year.
   174. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:23 PM (#5817610)
At first I thought: If Davis and Rich Paul had kept this stuff private--privately telling the team he will not re-sign under any circumstances and would like to be traded before next season--instead of trying to publicly force New Orleans to trade him to L.A. right now, Davis and the Pellies could have privately agreed that it's in their mutual best interests if he doesn't play any more this year, and trumped up whichever part of his body is sore.

But given how strongly the league office frowns on tanking, how famous Anthony Davis is, and how widespread the rumors that he wanted to go to L.A. already were... no, I think too much scrutiny would have been brought to bear from every direction. So like CaP I'm not sure what can really be done. My inclination from the league's perspective is to just sigh and let him sit. But the league is run by smarter people than me and they want him playing.
   175. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5817613)
Given the amount he is being paid, and as he still is able to perform, there's absolutely no reason he shouldn't be playing.

   176. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 23, 2019 at 06:30 PM (#5817627)
Given the amount he is being paid, and as he still is able to perform, there's absolutely no reason he shouldn't be playing.
well, he did kill a guy less than 2 days ago.
   177. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 23, 2019 at 06:48 PM (#5817629)
My inclination from the league's perspective is to just sigh and let him sit. But the league is run by smarter people than me and they want him playing.


I sort of agree with the sentiment of wanting him to play, but if the league isn't going to say boo about him needing "rest" two days after the break against his preferred team in a game that matters a lot for playoff purposes, the league should probably just let this slide.
   178. Tin Angel Posted: February 23, 2019 at 08:56 PM (#5817641)
I haven't seen the Rockets play in a while, but Chris Paul is starting to look like Chris Duhon.
   179. maccoach57 Posted: February 23, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5817642)
Probably time for Operation Shutdown with the Lakers.
   180. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 23, 2019 at 09:43 PM (#5817643)
I'm ready for all the Lakers hot takes. May have to watch Skip Bayless on Monday.
   181. NJ in NY (Now with Big Girl!) Posted: February 23, 2019 at 10:53 PM (#5817647)
Giannis (comfortably) hit 3 3s tonight. Now up to 34% from 3 in his last 32 games on 2.6 attempts a game.
   182. NJ in NY (Now with Big Girl!) Posted: February 23, 2019 at 10:59 PM (#5817648)
I haven't seen the Rockets play in a while, but Chris Paul is starting to look like Chris Duhon.

Chris Duhon could NEVER.
   183. maccoach57 Posted: February 23, 2019 at 11:39 PM (#5817652)
but Chris Paul is starting to look like Chris Duhon


Heh.
   184. NJ in NY (Now with Big Girl!) Posted: February 24, 2019 at 12:14 AM (#5817654)
Rockets move to 3-0 vs. the Warriors this year and I continue to believe the Warriors are not nearly as inevitable as everyone seems to think they are.
   185. maccoach57 Posted: February 24, 2019 at 12:22 AM (#5817655)
184-

IIRC you were the only person here who made predictions who did not pick GS to win the title (TOR).
   186. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 24, 2019 at 12:35 AM (#5817656)
In the first 443 games of Kenneth Faried's career, he made three 3-pointers.

Then in January he was traded to the Rockets. And since then he's made five 3-pointers.
   187. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: February 24, 2019 at 09:00 AM (#5817665)
Everyone loses to the Bucks, but to escape with just a 12 point beating without your two best players is a moral victory, of sorts.
   188. NJ in NY (Now with Big Girl!) Posted: February 24, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5817675)
LeBron questioning his teammates is rich.
   189. Harlond Posted: February 24, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5817718)
At first I thought: If Davis and Rich Paul had kept this stuff private--privately telling the team he will not re-sign under any circumstances and would like to be traded before next season--instead of trying to publicly force New Orleans to trade him to L.A. right now, Davis and the Pellies could have privately agreed that it's in their mutual best interests if he doesn't play any more this year, and trumped up whichever part of his body is sore.
I'm all for AD playing wherever he wants, but IMO, he has a moral obligation to the teammates he has right now--not to mention the fans, who should not be left out of this equation--to play hard and be available as long as he's healthy. To the best of my knowledge, AD himself feels that moral obligation and wants to play. Again IMO, what's wrong with AD and Rich Paul going public is not that the Pelicans and AD are now in a difficult position to sell a lie to the public, but that going public has made it difficult if not impossible for both AD and the Pelicans to fulfill their moral obligations.

I don't mean to be all high and mighty about this, it's a business and balancing long-term and short-term considerations sometimes requires compromises, but we shouldn't lose sight of some things that maybe are so fundamental they hardly bear mentioning. I don't know, maybe it's me that has lost sight.
   190. PJ Martinez Posted: February 24, 2019 at 07:39 PM (#5817746)
When Kyrie plays in a game then goes off the court, his teammates do worse.

When Kyrie _does not play_ in a game, his teammates do better.

That is weird. Can't adjust style in game after playing w/him? It's both O and D, essentially all his teammates. I don't think it's sched.
-- Dean Oliver, with charts
   191. Master of the Horse Posted: February 24, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5817759)
####. Apologies.
   192. JC in DC Posted: February 24, 2019 at 09:22 PM (#5817768)
Man, Mitchell Robinson affects games. So much fun to have that length and athleticism. Haven't had that since Camby.

[I'm not sure I've ever seen Lance Thomas hit a shot.]
   193. Howie Menckel Posted: February 24, 2019 at 09:43 PM (#5817772)
forget the Oscars - Knicks lead Spurs by 8 with 3:16 left. trying to avoid tying all-time NBA home losing streak.

final Knicks 130, Spurs 116

young Knicks go "Showtime" in the final minute as the Garden crowd goes wild
first home win since Dec 1 when they beat the hapless..... Bucks (wait wtf)
   194. CFBF Rides The Zombie Ice Dragon Posted: February 24, 2019 at 10:11 PM (#5817776)
Amusingly, Samuel L. Jackson just mentioned the Knicks' victory while presenting at the Oscars.
   195. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 25, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5817894)
Bulls have won 5 of 9, so they're looking unlikely to finish in the bottom 3. Porter has been a really nice fit, but mostly LaVine and Markkanen have been playing much better. Lauri is averaging 24.1pts, 13.4reb, and 2.4asst on 45.7/37.7/91.4 shooting his last 11 games; LaVine is at 24.7/5.7/5.2 on 52.3/42.9/85.7 in that same stretch (he did miss one game with an injury). Defensive returns are still, at best, inconclusive (Lauri tries, Zach sometimes does), but dare I say...they're fun again.

Kris Dunn is hot garbage though. Well, maybe he'd be better as a 3rd/4th guard. Too bad Carter got hurt, because would have liked to see him get to continue playing/developing with everyone else.

I'm loathe to actually say Boylen has been better, but he's been less actively and vocally terrible. Bulls were always going to bring him back unless #### got really bad, so I guess I'm just going to stop hoping for that. Maybe.
   196. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: February 25, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5817897)
I'm loathe to actually say Boylen has been better, but he's been less actively and vocally terrible. Bulls were always going to bring him back unless #### got really bad, so I guess I'm just going to stop hoping for that. Maybe.

"If you want entertainment, go watch clowns." -- Alan Durban, or some other British football manager person
   197. jmurph Posted: February 25, 2019 at 12:28 PM (#5817901)
Bulls have won 5 of 9, so they're looking unlikely to finish in the bottom 3.

This is a terrible anecdote because I forgot the specifics, but during the Bulls-Celtics debacle the other night the Boston broadcast had a graphic showing the Bulls had the best ORtg in the league over the last X number of games (it was only something like 10 games, but still).
   198. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 25, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5817923)
Yeah, it's something like that. Glad I could help. It's notable because they were historically bad for a long stretch after Boylen took over, so it's quite the turnaround/improvement.

---

This is actually really bad for the Bulls long term. One, it's means GarPax is going to tell themselves they're doing the right thing/have the right coach/etc. Two, it's probably way more evidence than Jerry needed to claim this rebuild is on the right track and GarPax know what they're doing/are the right guys to keep running the team.

"If you want entertainment, go watch clowns." -- Alan Durban, or some other British football manager person

Also probably Boylen.
   199. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: February 25, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5817971)
   200. jmurph Posted: February 25, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5818028)
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