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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

OT - March 2017 NBA thread

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, none of bothered to submit a monthly thread to avoid detracting from what this site is really about:  I dunno, baseball, maybe?  Probably politics, but maybe some baseball, too.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:37 AM | 7430 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   201. Quaker Posted: March 06, 2017 at 10:54 PM (#5413598)
. . .and Kawhi made the plays down the stretch to win.
   202. JC in DC Posted: March 06, 2017 at 10:55 PM (#5413599)
Yeah, Kawhi is fantastic.
   203. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 06, 2017 at 11:02 PM (#5413600)
I am very excited about a potential Spurs-Rockets series.
   204. tshipman Posted: March 07, 2017 at 01:25 AM (#5413622)
Andrew Bogut injured for the rest of the season in literally less than one full minute as a Cavalier.

I mean, I know I was kind of negative on the signing, but even I expected him to play more than one minute.
   205. maccoach57 Posted: March 07, 2017 at 02:00 AM (#5413623)
Clearly, Cleveland should have reacquired Mozgov rather than gambling on Bogut.
   206. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 07, 2017 at 06:37 AM (#5413627)
LeBron was +14 in 39 minutes of action in a game his team lost by 8. The Cavs are so consistently terrible when he takes any sort of break.
   207. jmurph Posted: March 07, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5413647)
The Cavs are so consistently terrible when he takes any sort of break.

They really are. And granted, the team is built around his scoring/distributing, but they're relatively deep with talent- that there is such a stark difference does not speak highly of Irving and Love and the rest of the team. (Obviously Love is off the hook for the recent stuff.)
   208. King Mekong Posted: March 07, 2017 at 09:39 AM (#5413648)
Why do you guys think Draymond is getting more DPOY push this year than in years previous? The spurs lost a top 5 Defensive Center last season and replaced him with Pau Gasol and are still the best Defensive team in the NBA. Kawhi has the best DRating of any wing in the league (unless you count Durant). I'd probably vote Gobert at this point personally with Kawhi second and a chance to overtake. Draymond would be my 3rd place vote.
   209. jmurph Posted: March 07, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5413652)
Also, WTF has gotten into Dion Waiters?

You don't trade Dion Waiters and get away with it! But really, this one reminds me of the Barnes talk. He's still pretty bad! Slight uptick in 3 point percentage, which he more than compensates for by being terrible at everything else.
   210. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 07, 2017 at 09:48 AM (#5413654)

They really are. And granted, the team is built around his scoring/distributing, but they're relatively deep with talent- that there is such a stark difference does not speak highly of Irving and Love and the rest of the team.


I mean, Love's missed a lot of time. Also, looking at the on/offs from 82games (which are a couple of weeks old), Love is +11.7/-1.7, and Irving is +8.0/+0.5. It's not like the teams are just playing great when they're on the bench, too.

I think their bench is overrated. It's better now, but even still I think people are talking about it like it's great, when it's not. Maybe it will be when JR Smith and Love are healthy.
   211. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: March 07, 2017 at 09:55 AM (#5413655)
You don't trade Dion Waiters and get away with it! But really, this one reminds me of the Barnes talk. He's still pretty bad! Slight uptick in 3 point percentage, which he more than compensates for by being terrible at everything else.

This was a more specific observation about his 24 pt first half last night, but yes, point taken.
   212. jmurph Posted: March 07, 2017 at 09:59 AM (#5413656)
This was a more specific observation about his 24 pt first half last night

That's fair- sorry, I've probably heard a few too many "Waiters Island!" references from Simmons and Zach Lowe.
   213. Booey Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5413687)
I'm a little worried about the Jazz. They've had some bad losses lately, and even their wins haven't been too impressive (nail biters vs the Kings and Pellies in the last two). Hill and Hood keep missing games. And their remaining schedule is just brutal; toughest in the NBA according to Jazz announcers. 12 of 18 remaining are against current playoff teams, including the next 7. 11 of 18 are on the road, including 9 roadies against playoff teams. Their schedule still includes games @HOU, @CLE, @ GSW, and 2 a piece against the Spurs and the now healthy Clippers. Ugh.

To hang on to HC in the first round, they're going to have to either win several games they won't be favored in, or hope a few of the contenders rest their stars down the stretch (their last 2 are against the Warriors and Spurs who might have nothing to play for by then, so it's possible). Obviously keeping the 4th seed and HC in the first round would be best, but if they can't do that, I think I'd rather they end up 6th than 5th. Rockets and then Spurs sounds like a more favorable playoff route to me than healthy Clippers/Warriors (granting that both would be extremely difficult, obviously).
   214. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5413688)
Why do you guys think Draymond is getting more DPOY push this year than in years previous? The spurs lost a top 5 Defensive Center last season and replaced him with Pau Gasol and are still the best Defensive team in the NBA. Kawhi has the best DRating of any wing in the league (unless you count Durant). I'd probably vote Gobert at this point personally with Kawhi second and a chance to overtake. Draymond would be my 3rd place vote.


Because he hasn't won it yet and Kawhi's won it twice?

Sometimes the "push" is just "the new story".
   215. tshipman Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5413689)
Why do you guys think Draymond is getting more DPOY push this year than in years previous? The spurs lost a top 5 Defensive Center last season and replaced him with Pau Gasol and are still the best Defensive team in the NBA. Kawhi has the best DRating of any wing in the league (unless you count Durant). I'd probably vote Gobert at this point personally with Kawhi second and a chance to overtake. Draymond would be my 3rd place vote.


1. The Spurs have a great defense ... but their defense is even better when Kawhi is on the bench.
2. Wings are less valuable than bigs on defense in general.
3. Draymond is the most versatile defender in the NBA. He truly can guard 1-5 and does so in most games.
4. Kawhi is slightly worse than the last couple years when he won.
5. Gobert is also a fine choice, but there's an element of "his turn" with Draymond this year where he was left off a ballot and lost famously.

I don't think Kawhi is a good choice for DPOY this year, fwiw.
   216. King Mekong Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5413694)
1. How can this be true if he has the best Drating on the spurs? edit: amongst qualifiers, Dedmon has a 98
2. I think that is true in the absolute sense (meaning they are more involved on every play) but there is more spread between the elite wing defenders and the elite big man defenders. Meaning the difference between a Kawhi and a Gordon Heyward is greater than a Gobert and a Deandre Jordan. Kawhi is more of an outlier in his impact at the wing than Draymond is as a big which is more valuable IMO.
3. Agree
4. Disagree, I think he's better and even more important than he was last year.
5. Yeah that makes sense.

My main point is that he's as good a pick this year as years previous, arguably better. I think the narrative push in 214 is the best explanation personally. (I'd still vote Gobert #1 as of today)
   217. tshipman Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5413696)
1. How can this be true if he has the best Drating on the spurs?


See for yourself.

My main point is that he's as good a pick this year as years previous, arguably better. I think the narrative push in 214 is the best explanation personally. (I'd still vote Gobert #1 as of today)


Again, look at the on/off stuff. Spurs were worse on defense the last two years without him, significantly better (-8 DRTG) this year with him on the bench.

2. I think that is true in the absolute sense (meaning they are more involved on every play) but there is more spread between the elite wing defenders and the elite big man defenders. Meaning the difference between a Kawhi and a Gordon Heyward is greater than a Gobert and a Deandre Jordan. Kawhi is more of an outlier in his impact at the wing than Draymond is as a big which is more valuable IMO.


I don't think this is true. You can avoid an elite wing defender. You can't avoid an elite big man.
   218. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5413700)
I don't think this is true. You can avoid an elite wing defender. You can't avoid an elite big man.


Uh, shoot 3's?
   219. tshipman Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5413701)
Here's a good deep dive from Matt Moore on Kawhi's defense this year. It's a bit out of date, as it's from December, but the biggest slide in Kawhi's numbers were from around that time.
   220. tshipman Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5413712)
I don't think this is true. You can avoid an elite wing defender. You can't avoid an elite big man.


Uh, shoot 3's?


That's why bigs who can guard out to the 3p line are so valuable. There's no big that I can think of who takes 3pers off the dribble. They're all taken in rhythm, from a pass, typically off the PnR.

Also, rim defense is synergistic, while wing defense is not. If you know that Gobert is protecting the paint, you can crowd your man at the 3p line.
   221. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5413726)
I don't think Kawhi deserves it. For one, his advanced defensive stats aren't as good as the last couple of years. From the eye test, he doesn't look as good as 2 years ago either. I think a lot of that is he's saving energy and spending more of it on offense.

I think the Spurs have really good defenders at a lot of positions. It's not just Leonard. Also, they have a great defensive scheme, intelligent players, and they have length pretty much around the court so it builds off each other.

I think Green has had a better defensive season - the advanced stats say so, and the team seems to rely on his defense a lot more. It's also hard to find it in the box score, but I do think it shows up in the advanced stats and in the team's record his versatility.

I still think Gobert is clearly the best defender in the league though. As stiggles said (I'm paraphrasing), you could probably take 4 NBDL players and put them around him and you're still gonna have a top 10 defense.
   222. King Mekong Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:58 AM (#5413749)
Huh weird, it looks like certain BBref stats are behind in terms of MP from others. The on/off show Kawhi as having played 1884MP and the per 100 (which is what I was citing) show him at 1923MP. It seems unlikely that his ortg could change from 115.6 (from on in on/off) to 122.2 (from per 100) in 60 minutes played so perhaps they are measuring different things?

The glossary on per 100 says ->
ORtg -- Offensive Rating
An estimate of points produced (players) or scored (teams) per 100 possessions

DRtg -- Defensive Rating
An estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions

So the on/off must be actual Team Points Scored per 100 and Opponent Points Scored per 100. (Can't get glossary to load on that page)

I thought that O and D rtg were using on/off. Anyone know how the estimate is created on a per player basis?


--


yeah I agree about the big vs wing broadly, but I do think there's a greater separation in Wing Defensive Value. Look at the top 10 in D Rating point estimates. Bigs are clustered at the top with a much greater spread of wings.

   223. King Mekong Posted: March 07, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5413764)
edit: should have said 40 mins played.
   224. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 07, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5413766)
I thought that O and D rtg were using on/off. Anyone know how the estimate is created on a per player basis?

Individual ORtg and DRtg are Dean Oliver stats that bear little relation to team ORtg and DRtg. The calculations are elaborate, and they're explained here: Calculating Individual Offensive and Defensive Ratings. In short, individual ORtgs strongly favor efficient scorers like Tyson Chandler and Steve Kerr, as the stat measures Points Produced (another Dean Oliver stat) per 100 possessions used by that individual. Individual DRtgs are essentially an amalgam of defensive box score stats (steals, blocks, and defensive rebounds) mixed with team defensive performance. They're not all that reliable because team defensive performance and discretionary rebounding make up such a large part of the stat, but individual defense is hard to measure.
   225. King Mekong Posted: March 07, 2017 at 12:26 PM (#5413772)
Thank you!

edit: well reading that definitely changes my Kawhi DPOY argument.
   226. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 07, 2017 at 01:10 PM (#5413801)
Andrew Bogut injured for the rest of the season in literally less than one full minute as a Cavalier.


Juan Gonzalez thinks he's an iron man.
   227. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 07, 2017 at 03:04 PM (#5413881)
Re: Draymond v Kawhi

I agree that some of it is Kawhi's already won twice, which is helped by the fact that Draymond began the year talking a lot about how much DPOY would mean to him. I would also add that while I haven't paid as close attention this year, I thought Draymond was better than Kawhi both years Kawhi won.
   228. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 07, 2017 at 04:14 PM (#5413921)
Also, rim defense is synergistic, while wing defense is not. If you know that Gobert is protecting the paint, you can crowd your man at the 3p line


I can't find on/off for 3p% allowed, but Utah is 19th this season in that category, and has not been higher than 18th with Gobert on the team. So if this is happening, it's not showing up in that stat.

I don't really buy that in the modern game rim defense has this kind of effect. It's not going to stop any kind of action to get someone an open perimeter shot (e.g. a Korver special), and on a lot of possessions these days the ball never makes its way into the paint. Compare to an elite defender who can pick up the guy who initiates the offense on every possession (we say "wing defender", but these players defend points at least in crunch time). Shutting down the point of attack is highly valuable, and more opponents' best scorers these days are wings/guards who initiate the offense and not plodding big men. Also, someone like Kawhi can rove and get steals that way off the ball, while bigs can never really do this (Bogut-on-Allen in that GSW-MEM series a couple years back notwithstanding).

Draymond's swiss army knife is best of all, but I think in 2017 in the abstract good defense at the rim is not that much more valuable than good perimeter defense (though it usually comes correlated with other benefits, e.g. rebounding).
   229. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 07, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5413924)
To be clear, it's easily possible and probably true that Gobert is more valuable defensively than Kawhi. I just don't buy the general statement that rim defense is something you can "build around" in a way that makes it fundamentally more valuable than perimeter defense in the modern game, or that it's much more difficult to put together a good defense around a bad defensive big than around a bad perimeter defender (I do think this was very true for most of the NBA's lifetime).
   230. aberg Posted: March 07, 2017 at 06:32 PM (#5413998)
Here is an interesting bit of NBA history that you are free to ignore.

I had read the name Joe Fulks enough times in looking at various NBA records that I decided to look him up. He was born in a town in Kentucky that was turned into a lake under the TVA. He played college basketball at Murray St when it was known as Murray State Teacher's College. After college, he joined the Marines and got back from the war just in time to play in the first season of the BAA for the Philadelphia Warriors. He won the league scoring title and the first BAA championship.

He went on to set the NBA single-game scoring record and break his own record four times, culminating in a 63 point game that would stand as the high water mark until Elgin Baylor broke the record over a decade later. After he retired, he was the recreational director at the state penitentiary until his girlfriend's son shot and killed him in an argument over a gun.

There are almost no videos of Fulks available on youtube, but there is this 30-second clip that starts with a 10 second still photo of him: Link.
   231. JC in DC Posted: March 07, 2017 at 10:25 PM (#5414121)
Well, we know he can get his shot off against Okafor, but beyond that it's hard to project his game into the modern era.
   232. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 07, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5414122)
[231] For some reason I thought you were talking about Emeka Okafor and was momentarily confused. Then I realized if you combined the best parts of Jahlil and Emeka Okafor, you would have a pretty good player. Given that they are the only two Okafors to ever play in the NBA, that seems... mildly interesting.
   233. Booey Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:09 PM (#5414132)
Russ with 58 in a loss to the Blazers. Only 3 rebs though. ;-)

Dirk with 30k (not all tonight. That would be, like, a record or something).
   234. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2017 at 01:20 AM (#5414149)
I can't find on/off for 3p% allowed, but Utah is 19th this season in that category, and has not been higher than 18th with Gobert on the team. So if this is happening, it's not showing up in that stat.


You're looking at the wrong stat.
Being able to crowd up on your man at the 3p line reduces 3p *attempts*, not percentage. You don't take 3s with a man tight on you (unless you're Steph). Being tight on the man reduces attempts.

As you can see, Utah is 2nd in Attempts/possession.
   235. Eddo Posted: March 08, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5414293)
You're looking at the wrong stat.
Being able to crowd up on your man at the 3p line reduces 3p *attempts*, not percentage. You don't take 3s with a man tight on you (unless you're Steph). Being tight on the man reduces attempts.

As you can see, Utah is 2nd in Attempts/possession.

Along those lines, Pomeroy did a study on college basketball and found something similar: http://kenpom.com/blog/offense-vs-defense-threepoint-attempts/.
   236. jmurph Posted: March 08, 2017 at 01:20 PM (#5414431)
Really interesting and detailed Ramona Shelburne piece on the Lakers changes.
   237. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: March 08, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5414550)
I just don't buy the general statement that rim defense is something you can "build around" in a way that makes it fundamentally more valuable than perimeter defense in the modern game, or that it's much more difficult to put together a good defense around a bad defensive big than around a bad perimeter defender (I do think this was very true for most of the NBA's lifetime).


From every spot on the perimeter, it is usually possible to pass to at least one other perimeter player—usually two, because unless you're in the corner, you can swing the ball either left or right, plus any available skip passes—but at most one at the rim. Passes from inside the paint are overwhelmingly kick-outs back to the perimeter (I'd love to see some graphs of how this sort of pass distribution in the aggregate has changed over time). I realize the midrange/mid-post complicates this, but I'm assuming a perfectly round offense.

Whatever the other team's usage distribution, the geometry of perimeter defense makes it inherently more distributed than rim defense, the last line of which is usually one player's responsibility regardless of who gets to the rim. Even if a majority of shots come from outside, that puts a bigger individual defensive load on the rim protector than any individual perimeter defender. Obviously there's an inflection point, but we haven't reached it and I don't think we ever will, even if the NBA game is significantly closer to it than it's ever been.

Note also that the model of one primary rim protector like Gobert is evolving, as examples crop up of nontraditional rim protection coming from players like Draymond or Wade/James in Miami; but it's still the standard, because smaller players protecting the rim have much tighter margins for error in timing, which makes defense a more complicated and brittle system.
   238. Harlond Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:15 PM (#5414637)
Not disagreeing with 236, but that article is an obvious on the face of it Jeannie Buss puff piece.
   239. Booey Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:44 PM (#5414643)
Hill and Favors out for tonight's game In Houston. Sigh...

George Hill's f'ing toe, man. It's been the bane of my existence this season.
   240. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:46 PM (#5414644)
No way in hell I'd give George Hill anywhere near a max deal. Really tough for Utah to let him walk when his (rare) presence on the court so obviously transforms the team, but more likely than not he'll never have a healthy season again.

As for this year, at what point does Utah just concede that they're not going to get the 4 seed and hold Hill out for the rest of the season? Favors too, for that matter. Glancing at the standings, I suppose the answer is never, because a first round matchup against the Clippers with home court is probably their only path out of the first round.

At what point does Utah think about firing their entire training staff? STIGGLES initiated that conversation about the Sixers a week ago or so, but Utah's track record with health is pretty horrific. It seems like EVERYONE is always battling nagging injuries.
   241. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 08, 2017 at 10:19 PM (#5414663)
I think Utah has a darkhorse title shot if everyone's healthy. #### home court advantage. It's nice, but I learned during those Spurs/Dallas/Lakers slugfests of my teens that any top tier team can win 1 or 2 games on the road in a series. Being healthy going into the playoffs is priority 1, 2, and 3.

I think Hill is too old to get a max deal, at least for more than 2 years. I think Utah has to go to war with this roster, though. For one, I think if you're going to keep Hayward you probably have to show him that this team can really contend, right? I don't think you can show him that without Hill.

I'd give Hill something similar to whatever Mills is likely to get. Presumably something like 3/50 or 4/60. Will these guys really get maxed?
   242. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 08, 2017 at 10:42 PM (#5414666)
There isn't really such a thing as a dark horse title contender in the NBA, though. The standard bearers in that tradition would be the 2011 Mavericks and 2004 Pistons, right? ... both conference 2 seeds. (All right, the 2011 Mavs tied the Lakers and got the 3 seed.) For a team to finish in the bottom half of the conference and go on to win the title has never happened in modern times, I don't think. Doesn't mean it CAN'T happen. But I wouldn't want to bet on it happening in 2017, with the teams we have at the top.

To say a fully healthy Utah team could beat anyone in a 7 game series... yeah, I agree, they could. To say they could win the title, which would likely require them to beat Golden State AND San Antonio AND Cleveland without home court advantage against any of them... no, I don't think they could do that, not without those teams suffering injuries far more catastrophic than they have so far (i.e., to LeBron and Kawhi and at least either Curry or Green).
   243. Booey Posted: March 08, 2017 at 10:45 PM (#5414668)
Great win for the Jazz in Houston tonight. Took the lead early in the first and never relinquished it. They seemed to employ the exact same strategy we've been talking about the past couple pages; trust Gobert to handle the paint and swarm the 3 pt line. The Rockets still took 32 cuz it's Houston and that's what they do whether they have the shot or not, but they hit only 8 (and they've been averaging 48 attempts since the AS break, so even the 32 is a low total for them).

And this Harden bullsh!t needs to stop. 4 (!) times he got 3 free throws by initiating contact on a trey attempt. He's such a talented player - he got to the rim at will when he was actually trying to score - it's a shame that all the flopping nonsense completely ruins the excitement of his game for me.

a first round matchup against the Clippers with home court is probably their only path out of the first round


Jazz won the season series with the Rockets 2-1, despite 2 of the 3 games coming in Houston. And the only game in Utah was a beatdown (Jazz won by 19). I think they'd be even money against Harden and co even without HC. That's why I mentioned a page or so back that I'd rather the Jazz finish 6th than 5th (obviously 4th would be best).
   244. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 08, 2017 at 10:47 PM (#5414669)
For a team to finish in the bottom half of the conference and go on to win the title has never happened in modern times, I don't think. Doesn't mean it CAN'T happen. But I wouldn't want to bet on it happening in 2017, with the teams we have at the top.


What's modern? Rockets were the 6 seed one of their champ years. Knicks made the finals as an 8 seed (granted, lockout year).
   245. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 08, 2017 at 10:52 PM (#5414670)
One garbage time unsportsmanlike bucket away from the most unlikely cover in a long long time. Spurs (-11.5) down by 28 with Leonard resting, win by 10.
   246. Booey Posted: March 08, 2017 at 10:55 PM (#5414671)
For a team to finish in the bottom half of the conference and go on to win the title has never happened in modern times, I don't think


Houston was only 47-35 and the 6th seed in 1995 when they won their second title, but yeah, that's the only time. And considering they won 58 and the championship the year before and then ADDED Drexler, I think it's safe to say there might have been some regular season coasting going on and they were pretty clearly better than their record (they beat the 60 win Jazz, 59 win Suns, 62 win Spurs, and 57 win Magic for the title, still the most impressive road to the championship ever).

Edit: coke to AS
   247. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 08, 2017 at 11:06 PM (#5414673)
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see Cleveland as some sort of unbeatable juggernaut. First off, two of their better players are hurt and we're unsure how they're reintegrate. Secondly, they have LeBron but a good portion of the rest of their team I can take or leave. LeBron is like 50/50 coming out of the east, and 2 of those titles were with prime Wade and Bosh. I don't think they'd really be more than one of like 4 teams in the West, and I feel that way about much of the LeBron teams.

Golden State seems to "just" be a really good team without Durant. He should be back but if someone's out a month you don't know he'll come back, be fit, or be at the top of his game.

Also, Utah's stats (both record and point differential) are title contender-y with everyone healthy. That's why I think, they just need to focus on everyone being healthy. Same with the Clippers. The Durant injury has blown this season wide open IMO.
   248. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 09, 2017 at 12:18 AM (#5414682)
FWIW, Westbrook obviously turns the ball over a great deal - and despite that, the Thunder as a team turn the ball over far less often when he is on the court (15.0% on, 16.4% off per Basketball Reference).
   249. PJ Martinez Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:54 AM (#5414694)
Anyone see the second half of Warriors-Celtics? Didn't expect to wake up to that final score.
   250. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:41 AM (#5414702)
[248] I believe rr noted this, but if you look at Westbrook's TO% he really doesn't turn the ball over as much as raw totals would lead you to believe.

[247] I don't think Kyrie is one of their better players. I also haven't seen anyone discuss CLE as an unbeatable juggernaut.
   251. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:04 AM (#5414712)
It was nice to see the Wolves put the boot in to a good team, for a change.
   252. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:32 AM (#5414725)
Anyone see the second half of Warriors-Celtics? Didn't expect to wake up to that final score.

Boston matches up really well with Golden State, which is sort of funny because they match-up very poorly with both of the teams they're likely to face in the 2nd round of the playoffs (and then of course there's Cleveland), so this secret sauce* they have to beat the Warriors will probably never matter.

*Mostly it seems like good perimeter defense, flexibility in their lineups (Crowder, Smart guarding up, etc.), and some depth.
   253. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:34 AM (#5414727)
It was nice to see the Wolves put the boot in to a good team, for a change.

The battle for 8th might actually be entertaining, contrary to the results of the first 75% of the season. Dallas, Denver, and the Wolves looks like it might go down to the wire. I was prepared to write off New Orleans but in truth their schedule has been tough of late, so maybe they deserve more time.
   254. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5414738)
I don't think Kyrie is one of their better players. I also haven't seen anyone discuss CLE as an unbeatable juggernaut.


Really? I'd put Kyrie as their second best player (close with Love, but I'd take Kyrie). Agree with you and Spicey: still a good bet to come out of the East, but until KD's injury, I would have put title odds something like:

Golden State: 65%
Cleaveland: 20%
Some other West Team: 10%
Some other East team: 5%
   255. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:10 AM (#5414745)
Golden State: 65%
Cleaveland: 20%
Some other West Team: 10%
Some other East team: 5%


Pre KD injury I would have had it something like...

GSW: 90%
CLE: 5%
SAS: 3%
HOU: 1.5%
LAC: .25%
UTH: .25%
Field: 0%
   256. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:17 AM (#5414751)
Golden State had a cozy 12 points in the 4th quarter last night. They suddenly look very vulnerable. Just 1 game up on the Spurs, who somehow came back from 28 points down with Leonard and Aldridge on the bench.

And Minnesota is now only 2 games out of the 8 seed as well.
   257. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:33 AM (#5414761)
Sadly this sounds about right ... (way down the page) NBA Playoff Picture: Standings, remaining schedules, magic numbers, projections

I’m ready to put the rest out. Minnesota is only three back in the loss column, and could easily climb out of this... But... 12 of their final 17 are on the road, their strength of schedule is the second-toughest in the league, and six of their next seven are against teams in the playoffs or in the hunt. They still have the Warriors twice, San Antonio, and Houston left. The schedule is just too brutal.


Still I think a race with something on the line will be really good for this team, and if they actually make it then I think it says REALLY good things about the future of the team.
   258. Jtsports01 Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:58 AM (#5414782)
probably the best thing would be to come close to making the playoffs but still be in the lottery
   259. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5414786)
I hope that the GSW/MIN game tomorrow isn't blacked out, because I very much want to watch it.
   260. tshipman Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5414788)
Golden State had a cozy 12 points in the 4th quarter last night. They suddenly look very vulnerable. Just 1 game up on the Spurs, who somehow came back from 28 points down with Leonard and Aldridge on the bench.


Golden State has lost three games recently.

In those three games, their 3p%:

3/8: 20%
3/2: 20%
2/28: 28%

Yes, Golden State is very vulnerable when they take 30 3pers and don't hit them. This is not news. The fact that they had three poor shooting nights clustered together does not mean anything particularly much unless you think Steph and Klay have forgotten how to shoot.
   261. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5414796)
VAAARRRRRIIIIIIAAAAANCCCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Just kidding, tship is probably mostly right. I do think the current team looks more beatable, without Durant, than they looked last year, so if he's hobbled in the playoffs that will be a problem. But they also have a month to figure out how to be a juggernaut again without him.
   262. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5414835)
VAAARRRRRIIIIIIAAAAANCCCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Just kidding, tship is probably mostly right. I do think the current team looks more beatable, without Durant, than they looked last year, so if he's hobbled in the playoffs that will be a problem. But they also have a month to figure out how to be a juggernaut again without him.


I mean, they'll still be good, of course.

But wasn't last year the variance? Everything seems to point to last year was magic in a bottle for Steph and their team that we shouldn't expect to be repeated.

Going down their roster, it seems like they were deeper last year, as well. Bogut and Ezeli were better than Pachulia. Of course, a lot of this (or all of it) goes away with a healthy Durant.
   263. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 09, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5414849)
over the last 10 games, steph curry is shooting 29%. on the season he's shooting 39.7%; his previous low is 42.4%*, and his career average** was 44.4%.

this isn't a huge dip***, but it is a dip. all this in spite of the fact that the 2nd greatest scorer/shooter**** in the league was added to his team, which, in theory, should provide him more room to operate*****.

* which he was narrowly below just before this recent 10 game stretch
** prior to this season
*** based on his 3PA, he should be making about 1 extra 3 every other game. 1.5 ppg ain't much against the sacramento's of the world, but it may come playoff time.
**** behind himself, naturally
***** i checked to see if possibly the issue was that since durant is there, he doesn't have the ball in his hands enough to get into a rhythm. while that might be the explanation, it isn't obvious from the data: this season is curry's 2nd highest: FGA/36, 3PA/36, and USG%, so he's still had plenty of opportunities to handle the ball. it is his lowest 2PA/36, but digging deeper into that, the only real shift in 2PA comes from the 16<3P range and he's still attempting 22% of his shots at the rim (2nd highest rate of his career), so it's not as if he's stopped attacking the basket. data that i don't have, but would be really useful: how many 3s he's attempting via pass or off the dribble, and how that compares to previous seasons; any help here would be appreciated. also of note: his TO rate is about the same, but the amount of TO's coming from bad passes is way down and TO's coming from lost ball is way up; but after checking around on other players pages, it looks like the way TOs are classified has changed from last year to this year (technically the change appears to have occurred at the start of last years playoffs, which is really bizarre).
   264. maccoach57 Posted: March 09, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5414873)
This will be a banal post, but I will make it anyway. If GS's four main guys and CLE's three main guys are healthy for post-season, I will be pretty surprised if we do not see a Finals rematch. If they are not, we could see SA/BOS or something else.
   265. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5414877)
This will be a banal post, but I will make it anyway. If GS's four main guys and CLE's three main guys are healthy for post-season, I will be pretty surprised if we do not see a Finals rematch. If they are not, we could see SA/BOS or something else.

Agree with the above, except for the highlighted. I find myself thoroughly unimpressed with BOS and WAS is my pick as clear second best in the East.
   266. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2017 at 12:44 PM (#5414890)
Agree with the above, except for the highlighted. I find myself thoroughly unimpressed with BOS and WAS is my pick as clear second best in the East.

Sadly I have to mostly agree with this. I think Boston is both A. pretty good and B. not as good as a healthy Cleveland, Toronto, or Washington. Their strength is at least partially in their depth, which presumably won't matter as much in the postseason. And I'm still worried teams will just pick Isaiah apart in the pick and roll on defense when they have multiple games to do so. I'm not entirely pessimistic about their chances against Washington or Toronto, just skeptical until they prove they can do it.

I don't think Cleveland is great, even when healthy- I think Washington could potentially push them- but they're still the overwhelming favorite to advance.
   267. JC in DC Posted: March 09, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5414914)
Ok, just like last year, I'm picking Cleveland to win. Even though I think some of their pickups are shinier than they are significant, I like their bench better than last year's, with the important caveat that Dellavadova was more important than people think. I'm less impressed with GS than last year, and I'm still not convinced that KD will carry a team in crunch time. I do hope they square off again, though... I'm picking SA to come out of the West. I think I did at the beginning of the year, and I'm sticking with that. Cleveland over San Antonio in 6 or 7.
   268. aberg Posted: March 09, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5414923)
One difference between GS last year and this year is that last year they basically gave no competitive minutes to below average players. Every player who played at least 700 minutes had a WS/48 of at least .90. The worst players in their rotation were Brandon Rush and Leandro Barbosa. Rush was basically cut from the playoff rotation and Barbosa played a lot better, so until Bogut got hurt and Green got suspended, they were only playing VERY GOOD players at all times.

This year, Livingston and McCaw are already over 700 minutes and a lower WS/48 threshold. And yes, both Curry and Klay are playing worse than they did last year. Curry probably had a career year at age 27, which hardly makes him unique. Durant was and is so good that he patched over a lot of it, but with him out of the lineup, more below-average players in it, and Curry worse than before, they are not as good.
   269. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 09, 2017 at 01:17 PM (#5414924)
...if only Boston had Jimmy Butler or Paul George right about now...

ok, sorry, I really will stop.

---

Gosh, I hate these Bulls so, so much.
   270. theboyqueen Posted: March 09, 2017 at 01:56 PM (#5414956)
The best player on the Kings is Skal Labissiere, and I don't think it's particularly close. No, I didn't see that coming. He's 20.

If Jason Kidd were coaching this team he'd be the starting point guard. If Steve Kerr were coaching this team he'd be the starting center. My team sucks eggs, and I still freaking love this league.
   271. theboyqueen Posted: March 09, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5414957)
Anyone wanna guess who is second in VORP for rookies this year, behind Embiid? (no it isn't Skal)
   272. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5414960)
...if only Boston had Jimmy Butler or Paul George right about now...

Seriously, just imagine what they could do with that cool 38% Butler has been shooting since the trade deadline!
   273. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2017 at 02:07 PM (#5414966)
Anyone wanna guess who is second in VORP for rookies this year, behind Embiid? (no it isn't Skal)

Brogdon?
   274. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 09, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5414985)
I don't disagree that the Celtics would be better off with Butler or George, because obviously they would, but their biggest weakness is rebounding. Part of the reason they match up well against the Warriors and poorly against the Raps (for instance) is that the Warriors don't have the personnel to punish them on the glass, and the C's perimeter defense is effective at blunting the Warriors offensive strengths (and last night shots just didn't fall for the Ws at a few crucial points) while Toronto can punish them with Valanciunas.
   275. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2017 at 02:27 PM (#5414990)
It's possible the collective initial assessment of the Cousins trade is going to be totally wrong very quickly: currently the Sixers pick swap won't come into play, and the Pelicans are going to need to jump 5 teams to get out of the lottery. Obviously there are many games left to change things, but it's probably at least as likely as not that both those things remain true.
   276. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 02:34 PM (#5415004)
Willy Hernangomez?
   277. aberg Posted: March 09, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5415036)
Kind of a silly stat, but I'll take it: Link
   278. theboyqueen Posted: March 09, 2017 at 05:50 PM (#5415181)
Both good guesses, but no and no. I'll give it a few more hours.
   279. aberg Posted: March 09, 2017 at 06:08 PM (#5415191)
Anyone wanna guess who is second in VORP for rookies this year, behind Embiid? (no it isn't Skal)


VORP is a counting stat, right? I'll say Saric since he has played so much more than most rookies.
   280. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 09, 2017 at 06:16 PM (#5415194)
bertans?
   281. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:47 PM (#5415211)
Here's per 100 possession stats for a pair of active centers who have had only limited opportunities to play in their careers.

MIN  FGM  FGA  FG3PM 3PA  3P%  2PM  2PA  2P%  FTM  FTA  FTORB  DRB  REB AST STL BLK TOV  PF  PTS ORt DRt  PER WS48 BPM VOR  USG
681 10.5 18.5 .567 0.0 0.0 
---- 10.5 18.5 .567  8.5 11.1 .764 7.7 12.8 20.5 2.0 1.0 2.3 2.7 5.0 29.4 127  98 27.1 .297 2.2 0.7 23.2
786 12.4 26.6 .466 2.2 6.1 .367 10.2 20.5 .495 11.8 15.1 .783 3.8 11.3 15.1 4.1 1.7 4.7 7.3 6.9 38.9 103 102 24.2 .117 3.3 1.1 36.1 

I'm sure you can name one - do you remember the second?
   282. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:51 PM (#5415212)
Is it Boban?
   283. JJ1986 Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:51 PM (#5415213)
Is it Alan Williams?
   284. aberg Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:53 PM (#5415214)
It's a trick question. They're two different segments of Ian Mahinmi's career.
   285. theboyqueen Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:03 PM (#5415217)
VORP is a counting stat, right? I'll say Saric since he has played so much more than most rookies.


It's a counting stat but it can also be negative, so it is not an accumulation stat in that sense.

The answer is...Rodney McGruder. Bertans, Hernangomez, and Brogdon are 3, 4, and 5.
   286. 2 dudes are better than STIGGLES; i'm both of em Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:15 PM (#5415218)
Embiid and mejri, right?

   287. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5415222)
I do not think Kyrie Irving is particularly good. I do think he is arguably the most talented/skilled offensive player I've ever seen.
   288. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:29 PM (#5415224)
Rodney McGruder


I literally have never heard of this person.
   289. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:46 PM (#5415228)
[288] I only know him because I listen to the LeBatard Show.
   290. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5415235)
[289] Ah, I guess he plays for the Heat then. Now I know one thing about him.
   291. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:51 PM (#5415252)
LeBron was +14 in 39 minutes of action in a game his team lost by 8. The Cavs are so consistently terrible when he takes any sort of break.

LeBron +17 in 38 minutes of action. Cavs down 5 with 15 seconds left.
   292. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:02 PM (#5415253)
Embiid and Boban indeed. The latter is a fantastic victory cigar - I hope he get a real shot at a rotation role some day, even as slow as he is.
   293. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:02 PM (#5415254)
In all seriousness, I didn't hear LeBron get any praise for joining a shitty team the way he got criticism for joining Miami. Sure, he didn't join them because they were shitty, and they picked up Love but from a competitive balance standpoint, it's worth noting that from the evidence we have since he joined, the last 2.5 seasons are probably the MOST competitive balance we could have gotten in a league with prime LeBron in it.

To pick one mediocre team randomly out of a hat, how scary would the Blazers + LeBron have been over the last couple years?
   294. tshipman Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:31 PM (#5415258)
Spurs and Cavs lost tonight. Shouldn't we have a few posts about how it proves that they are super vulnerable?
   295. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:55 PM (#5415266)
I do not think Kyrie Irving is particularly good. I do think he is arguably the most talented/skilled offensive player I've ever seen.

You've beat this drum for a while. IIRC you've outright called him not good.

Do you think he's talented but it doesn't translate into a good NBA player? Or very good at offense but so bad defensively it washed out?

The stats this year have him as a very good to all-star level offensive PG, poor at defense, but overall clearly above average. Last year, he was a lot worse - both at offense and based on the stats, on defense as well. But he was coming off a very serious injury and didn't get pre-season. I also think the post-season and especially the Finals helped, though that may not be relevant.

He seems to be sitting comfortably in that range of PGs like Kemba, Isaiah Thomas, Lillard, and Conley. It's worth noting his advanced stats 2 years ago, his 2014-2015 season were quite good as well. Ranging from stuff like PER/TS%, to things like RPM, BPM, and WS/48.
   296. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:10 PM (#5415272)
I could be totally wrong, but I'd rather have Lillard than Kyrie even setting aside Kyrie's health issues.
   297. villainx Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:24 PM (#5415273)
Or the hypothetical would be Kyrie on Blazers instead of Lillard? Blazers better or off past couple of years, or this year?
   298. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:27 PM (#5415275)
I notice we have a pretty good possibility of a Golden State-OKC first round matchup. And, alas, Kevin Durant probably won't be there.
   299. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:31 PM (#5415277)
They're two different segments of Ian Mahinmi's career.
Dude had 7 steals off the bench the other night!
   300. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 11:36 PM (#5415279)
Flip?
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