Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

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

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 21 of 75 pages ‹ First  < 19 20 21 22 23 >  Last ›
   2001. tshipman Posted: April 20, 2017 at 12:36 AM (#5438689)
Blazers have absolutely no answer for JaVale McGee.

When the Blazers play small like this, I would just sub him in and throw lobs all day.
   2002. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 20, 2017 at 12:43 AM (#5438690)
From the Lowe piece RR reposted:
A package of Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and the Nets' 2017 first-round pick always seemed like a fair endpoint to the Butler negotiations. The two sides apparently never arrived there. It's unclear if Boston would have done that deal, anyway, and I can already hear everyone snickering at that -- at Danny Ainge's stubbornness, lording over the league's biggest stack of assets.
Chicago may have wanted too much of Boston's present for Ainge's taste, though the details of a fluid back-and-forth are hazy right now. Three sources directly familiar with the talks say they never got "serious," and that the Bulls did not appear motivated to move Butler and trigger a rebuild.

I found this article a bit frustrating at the time (would've preferred more on the Bulls FO and a bit more detail, though I understand it was a rapid deadline piece and that the C's overall position really lends itself to armchair GMing and speculation -- plus, can only include what people will tell you), and the ongoing discussion of "Should Ainge have acquired Butler?" all the moreso.

The discussion about the C's overall position is interesting. Balancing current and future assets, assessing the current team and competition and respective success cycles... I get why folks keep coming back to it. But the discussion of whether the C's should have 'gotten' Butler can't really go anywhere without some idea of what it would have taken to get him. We don't have that, regardless of what "always seemed like a fair endpoint" to Lowe (or even much of an idea how negotiations went or what Chicago is/was thinking -- I'll hazard, "staying competitive, but one of the execs may be pushing another angle at any one time so who knows", but Moses or others can probably do better), so I'm not sure what there is to discuss.

Should Ainge have done something to improve the team? Well if he's trying to win this year, it seems pretty clear that he should've done *something* to address the lack of rebounding, secondary scoring option, and overall guard-heavy shape of the team (and it was pretty clear before the playoffs started, regardless of their record). And even if he doesn't think this team is worth going all in, there were enough decent players moved at the deadline for not that much to suggest Ainge missed out. This seems like a very interesting topic of debate.

But should he have moved [something] for Jimmy Butler? Well I mean duh, Jimmy Butler is great! But without knowing what that [something] was, it just seems like a sportsradio trade discussion.
   2003. maccoach57 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:11 AM (#5438697)
I'm not sure what there is to discuss.


Like I said, one of the Boston guys said he was pretty much against trading for Butler because "the goal is to win the title." So I was responding in part to that. Also, I am not sure, exactly, what package not including Thomas or Horford would have scared me off of it if I ran Boston as long as I am holding on to one of the Brooklyn picks. Boston needs a legit two-way star.

Getting back to Boston's situation as it is this minute, I agree with a couple of people who have focused on issues with Horford. Chicago is not a great matchup for him (or, obviously, for Boston in general) but IMO he needs to do more. Ainge is smart; he didn't bring Horford in as the final piece. But I do think that Horford was brought in in part to help get Boston out of the first round.
   2004. maccoach57 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:26 AM (#5438700)
Loving this Wizards team.


Wall has always been a personal favorite of mine, and Washington is my "non-Lakers" team right now (I have no loyalty to my "second favorite" and have switched it up a few times. Heh). But I like Washington's team and would like to see them make it to Finals. And, while I wouldn't bet on it, having seen the East the last few days, I think the Wizards actually have a slim chance to pull it off.
   2005. Tin Angel Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:36 AM (#5438702)
But should he have moved [something] for Jimmy Butler? Well I mean duh, Jimmy Butler is great! But without knowing what that [something] was, it just seems like a sportsradio trade discussion.


Not sure if it was in the article, but on his podcast today Lowe basically said giving up 2 or 3 key assets now for Butler really doesn't get them anywhere. His basic point was, yeah, you could look at this series as a reason to have traded for Butler, but at the same time, it's proving how far away the Celtics are from being championship contenders, so why throw all in on Butler when they are still 2 or 3 years away.
   2006. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:02 AM (#5438709)
Like I said, one of the Boston guys said he was pretty much against trading for Butler because "the goal is to win the title." So I was responding in part to that.
OK. Hadn't seen this (what "one of the Boston guys said") recently so was a bit confused; recent discussion has mostly been along the "Man the C's should've traded for Butler, huh" line, so appreciate your at least putting it into the context of the original discussion of goals; there's definitely a bit more there to pick at than half of a phantom deal.
Also, I am not sure, exactly, what package not including Thomas or Horford would have scared me off of it if I ran Boston as long as I am holding on to one of the Brooklyn picks. Boston needs a legit two-way star.
Fair enough, and I'll pile on the Horford concerns as well.

Not sure if it was in the article, but on his podcast today Lowe basically said giving up 2 or 3 key assets now for Butler really doesn't get them anywhere. His basic point was, yeah, you could look at this series as a reason to have traded for Butler, but at the same time, it's proving how far away the Celtics are from being championship contenders, so why throw all in on Butler when they are still 2 or 3 years away.
This is what I was getting at in 1931, if somewhat obliquely.

   2007. maccoach57 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 03:31 AM (#5438714)
when they are still 2 or 3 years away.


Well, like shipman said, half-facetiously I think, awhile back, if Ainge sees it that way, then he should probably trade Thomas for more long-term assets. Thomas will have a lot of value as an All-Star on a cheap, expiring deal. And if the Celtics are 2 or 3 years away, then why bring in Horford for his age 30-33 seasons?

I suppose you could say that the picks from Brooklyn mean that Boston can compete for post-season while still owning lottery picks, but I guess I don't get whether this Boston team is just seen as a fun diversion until the real Boston contender gets here in 2019, or if this team is seen as a group that can contend with the right big add.

Finally, I think Lowe's piece underrates Butler's value. No, Butler isn't LeBron James and no, his presence doesn't make your team a contender by himself, but there are really no guarantees of anything in the NBA and Butler adds a huge amount of value to a 50-win team.

   2008. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:48 AM (#5438721)
Not intended that way at all; I was just joking around. I was gone for about four months, and the thread rolled on unabated, as it would if anyone else dropped off, which is one of many reasons that the thread, now three weeks away from its 8th birthday, is what it is. 1986 was pretty much my way of nominating those 10 guys for the NBA Thread HOF.


This is really funny because I'm pretty sure I'm not just being modest when I say I'm the Michael Beasley of the NBA thread.

About the Celtics: Maaaaaybe I'm just overreacting. But I think I underappreciated something about the Celtics, which is that we call them a 50 win team because they won 50 games, but they're not that kind of quality. They're not a contender. Hell, they're on the verge of losing to the EASTERN conference 8 seed. In the West they'd have been the 7 seed and been swept by San Antonio in the first round. Right?

If that's true--and if it's true that Al Horford is just going to be an albatross contract for the next few years--then yeah, this team is just a fun diversion until the real contender gets here, as rr said, and maybe Ainge knows that. If that's true, though, I would not expect them to max out Isaiah Thomas.
   2009. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2017 at 07:06 AM (#5438722)
why bring in Horford for his age 30-33 seasons?

A couple days after they signed Horford, they seemed to get somewhat close to signing Kevin Durant. (And subsequent reporting suggests that Durant did in fact genuinely consider the Celtics.) Obviously, if that happens, we're not having this discussion. (And it probably doesn't get remotely close to happening without Horford.)

Once it didn't happen, Ainge had to begin targeting non-Durant superstars like Butler and George, and also weighing the cost to acquire them against other variables, like how the resulting team would stack up against the Warriors and Cavs and how it would affect the team's ability to build sustained, long-term success through the draft (which maybe you sacrifice if you think the resulting team stacks up well, but maybe you don't if it doesn't).

I'm with Hillman: barring a solid report of a deal that was on the table and turned down, there's not a lot we can conclude about what Ainge did and didn't do. I will say that his decision not to bring in even a supporting player (a PJ Tucker type, say) suggests that he prized flexibility in this coming offseason (vis a vis both the team's assets and its cap room) quite a bit, which in turn suggests that he believed this team was too far away to mess with the possibilities for the franchise that he imagines on the horizon. Even that's a lot of speculation, of course. And it doesn't change the fact that, so far, this series against Chicago has been a total disaster.
   2010. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5438761)
At the risk of belaboring the Boston talk, I also think we're combining two discussions, in a sense: whether or not they should have tried harder/gone all in for Butler or George (something I have lots of conflicting thoughts about), they should be comfortably beating the Bulls. This embarrassment is on Stevens and the players, who should be more than good enough.
   2011. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:51 AM (#5438767)
Is it possible that Stevens is a terrific teacher/strategist but not the right guy to lead a team to the title?

I'm inclined to think better if Stevens and worse of the current roster. I'm just curious if anyone thinks differently.
   2012. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:52 AM (#5438772)
Well, like shipman said, half-facetiously I think, awhile back, if Ainge sees it that way, then he should probably trade Thomas for more long-term assets. Thomas will have a lot of value as an All-Star on a cheap, expiring deal. And if the Celtics are 2 or 3 years away, then why bring in Horford for his age 30-33 seasons?

I don't mind the Horford deal, though he's had some stretches where he looks slow. Fans still like rooting for good teams, so there's big value IMO for being a 50 win team rather than a 35 win team even if you don't have any meaningful chance to win the title.

As far as if someone like Butler puts them over the top, I guess the question is "the top of what". It absolutely makes them contenders to win the Eastern Conference, in my mind. Look at Indianapolis, who is giving the Cavs all they can handle with George, no other stars, and a fairly average supporting cast. I guess maybe you could say what's the point of winning the Eastern Conference just to go get blasted by Golden State (or even if they lost, by SA/HOU). I think making the Finals is a great achievement though, and weird stuff can happen there.

To feel like you really have a solid chance to beat Golden State... you need probably an all-time great team. They're likely gonna be really good for the next 2-3 years, and potentially much longer than that. We've discussed this year, but I think it can and often will always look daunting when you're looking at the best teams. There are always going to be great teams. Boston still would have had a number of assets, as long as they didn't trade both Nets picks. I think any time you can get a top 10 player that's young (Butler is there, George isn't quite but I think he is better than his numbers like RPM would suggest) you take it and start trying to build towards contention, and hope your front office is good at making the right moves around the edges of the roster.
   2013. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:59 AM (#5438776)
Getting back to Boston's situation as it is this minute, I agree with a couple of people who have focused on issues with Horford. Chicago is not a great matchup for him (or, obviously, for Boston in general) but IMO he needs to do more. Ainge is smart; he didn't bring Horford in as the final piece. But I do think that Horford was brought in in part to help get Boston out of the first round.
horford is what he is. he's a solid offensive player, but he's not a foundational one. he's only averaged 16+PPG twice in his career and it's not reasonable to rely on him doing more than that.

Wall has always been a personal favorite of mine, and Washington is my "non-Lakers" team right now (I have no loyalty to my "second favorite" and have switched it up a few times. Heh). But I like Washington's team and would like to see them make it to Finals. And, while I wouldn't bet on it, having seen the East the last few days, I think the Wizards actually have a slim chance to pull it off.
beal, porter, gortat and bogdanovic are having really efficient seasons for them, but their forwards and bench are not nearly good enough.

   2014. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 10:05 AM (#5438784)
beal, porter, gortat and bogdanovic are having really efficient seasons for them, but their forwards and bench are not nearly good enough.

I can envision a scenario in which their starters outscore Cleveland's, and they still easily lose the series. But that starting 5 is legit.
   2015. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 20, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5438827)
I agree with a couple of people who have focused on issues with Horford. Chicago is not a great matchup for him (or, obviously, for Boston in general) but IMO he needs to do more.

The funny thing is that to me, Horford is one of those guys who feels like he's always killed the Bulls. Maybe there was always something extra there with him going up against Noah, but him - and Aldridge* - have been 2 guys that seem to always give the Bulls nightmares. Plus, LeBron, but that's a different story.

However, yeah, this season and series has been a different story. The Bulls creamed the C's on the boards twice during the season, but that's when Taj Gibson was around, so I really didn't expect that to continue, and definitely not to this extent. With how the Blackhawks are looking - in a way, they look quite Horfordish right now: old and slow - up is down in Chicago right now.

*For obvious, Tyrus Thomas related reasons.

A package of Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and the Nets' 2017 first-round pick always seemed like a fair endpoint to the Butler negotiations.

I probably said so at the time, but I think that's a bad trade for the Bulls but probably one they would have accepted. What little details that did leak out here seemed to imply Crowder was a key for the Bulls. I would have taken something like Bradley (or I guess Smart), Brown, and the pick; whether or not C's fan think that's fair - I think it definitely is - it doesn't really impact the depth as much. It's one big rotation piece who's being replaced with Butler, and they keep Crowder.

I do agree though that I don't think the Bulls were ever serious about moving Butler, and it seems like the C's had no interest in moving the Nets pick. So there's really no middle ground to that.
   2016. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: April 20, 2017 at 10:46 AM (#5438834)
As far as if someone like Butler puts them over the top, I guess the question is "the top of what". It absolutely makes them contenders to win the Eastern Conference, in my mind. Look at Indianapolis, who is giving the Cavs all they can handle with George, no other stars, and a fairly average supporting cast. I guess maybe you could say what's the point of winning the Eastern Conference just to go get blasted by Golden State (or even if they lost, by SA/HOU). I think making the Finals is a great achievement though, and weird stuff can happen there.


I agree and this is why I don't get what the Celtics did. I was a Knicks fan in the 90s, and yeah, it sucks they never won a title (largely at the hands of the last super team) but making the semis and the CF for the better part of a decade, a couple of finals trips . . . any basketball fan should eat that up. Just the opportunity to watch the best players play at playoff intensity is something. Maybe Ainge thinks that Boston has been spoiled by having all its great teams get over the top. I dunno. But winning generally involves being great and lucky, and most sports fans have a favorite team that for whatever reason came up just short, but was still awesome and great to root for.
   2017. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5438874)
whether or not they should have tried harder/gone all in for Butler or George (something I have lots of conflicting thoughts about), they should be comfortably beating the Bulls.

Probably seems like hindsight now, but I thought the Bulls looked like the most dangerous of the East's lower seeds (damning with faint praise, I know). I certainly would have been more leery if my team were playing them than I would with the Pacers, Bucks, or Hawks. Chicago was a .500 team cuz they lost way too many games to crappy teams, but they really did have a lot of impressive wins over good teams (plus of course, the TNT voodoo magic). They always seemed like they might be a better playoff team than a regular season team.

Washington has a nice core, but assuming the Bulls beat the C's, the bitter Western Conference fan in me is a little annoyed/jealous they'll be able to make the conference finals without even winning 50 games or beating anyone with more than 43 wins, while one of the Jazz or Clippers are guaranteed to go home in the first round. I know that conference strength fluctuates, but we're going on 20 years now with a clearly superior West. I really, really wish Silver would address this. If they were able to downgrade the significance of divisions, I don't see why they can't do the same with conferences. Seems like a win/win for the league if it keeps more of the best teams around longer.
   2018. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5438876)
Probably seems like hindsight now, but I thought the Bulls looked like the most dangerous of the East's lower seeds (damning with faint praise, I know). I certainly would have been more leery if my team were playing them than I would with the Pacers, Bucks, or Hawks. Chicago was a .500 team cuz they lost way too many games to crappy teams, but they really did have a lot of impressive wins over good teams (plus of course, the TNT voodoo magic). They always seemed like they might be a better playoff team than a regular season team.

Oh I was on this page, too, I posted here about preferring Indiana, and I think I called the Hawks the worst team in the playoffs. I still think there was a clear separation in talent and team quality, and I think the Celtics should be taking heat for that, not (just) for personnel decisions.
   2019. Hot Wheeling American Posted: April 20, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5438899)
Washington has a nice core, but assuming the Bulls beat the C's, the bitter Western Conference fan in me is a little annoyed/jealous they'll be able to make the conference finals without even winning 50 games or beating anyone with more than 43 wins, while one of the Jazz or Clippers are guaranteed to go home in the first round. I know that conference strength fluctuates, but we're going on 20 years now with a clearly superior West. I really, really wish Silver would address this. If they were able to downgrade the significance of divisions, I don't see why they can't do the same with conferences. Seems like a win/win for the league if it keeps more of the best teams around longer.


For as much crap as Lebron has taken over the years (less so recently, of course), I'm continuously surprised that the conference strength discrepancy doesn't stick to him in the public consciousness. Six consecutive Finals is an incredible feat, but for a sports-talk world that loves asteriks, I'm shocked to not see this talked about at all, really (unless BBTF NBA talk is truly an oasis).
   2020. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: April 20, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5438905)
Does Billy Donovan somehow not realize that Taj Gibson is better than Jerami Grant? Though Taj starts, Grant has played more minutes in each of the first 2 games, with disastrous results (-45 in Grant's 53 minutes, +11 in Gibson's 42). Grant is one of those players who superficially looks good because he's active and has great run-and-jump athleticism, but since he's completely undisciplined and lacks awareness or timing, he's just not providing much that's useful. In contrast, Taj knows what he's doing defensively. Even though he's not as athletic as he used to be, at least he's making the right rotations to prevent open shots.
   2021. maccoach57 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 12:10 PM (#5438914)
Fair point about Durant and Horford; I recall that signing Horford was presumably tied to recruiting Durant.

I really, really wish Silver would address this. If they were able to downgrade the significance of divisions, I don't see why they can't do the same with conferences. Seems like a win/win for the league if it keeps more of the best teams around longer.


I have never seen this as a good idea, for travel and other reasons.

I probably said so at the time, but I think that's a bad trade for the Bulls but probably one they would have accepted.


I agree with the first part and can't really speak to the second. Jae Crowder is a pretty good player, but I wouldn't hold up a deal for a guy like Butler over him.

Is it possible that Stevens is a terrific teacher/strategist but not the right guy to lead a team to the title?

I'm inclined to think better if Stevens and worse of the current roster. I'm just curious if anyone thinks differently.


I think it is way too early to be passing judgment on Stevens as a post-season coach, although if Boston loses this series, that is a mark against him. But his career is just getting started. As I have said a few times, I have always been a bit skeptical about the impact of coaching at the NBA level, not because these guys don't know what they are doing, but because I think most of them DO know what they are doing in today's league. People around the net have been clowning Hoiberg all year and pretty much everybody thinks Stevens is really smart, but here we are with Chicago having taken two games in Boston. Stevens can't make Horford more athletic or Thomas any taller. Chicago has the best player in the series and is a tough matchup physically for Boston.

Certain coaches in certain situations can have a big impact--Jackson did here with the Lakers; Kerr has made a big difference in Golden State. But I also think you can look at coaches who seem to be smart and do make an impact and see them ultimately being limited by the talent--Carlisle, Budenholzer, Joerger.

Walton went 39-4 running GS, but was unable to move the Lakers out of 30th in DRTG, so that shapes my recent views, and I may be wrong.



   2022. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5438917)
I know that conference strength fluctuates, but we're going on 20 years now with a clearly superior West. I really, really wish Silver would address this

I think you just have to realign at some point, but unfortunately the end result would just be to punish the midwestern teams in the east- Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indiana. You could create some kind of northern/midwestern division with those teams and Minnesota and put them in the west, and some kind of southern thing with Memphis, New Orleans, maybe Houston and put it in the east. But Indiana, Chicago, and Milwaukee are generally competitive teams, so would subbing them out for Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, etc., really accomplish a great deal? I don't know.
   2023. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 20, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5438919)
It's remarkable what a wasteland the Eastern Conference has been since the demise of the Bulls dynasty. But I can't see any benefit from realignment or dealignment that's worth the hassle.
   2024. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 20, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5438941)
I know that conference strength fluctuates, but we're going on 20 years now with a clearly superior West. I really, really wish Silver would address this.


Before we go about solving the problem, shouldn't we have an understanding as to how it has happened, the cause of the problem? That way the solution will, you know, actually fix the problem.

So first you have to say what is causing the problem, and then you can explain how your favored solution addresses that root cause.

Note: I think the problem is based in the semi-random nature of talent distribution, the fact it takes relatively few key people to cause the imbalance, AND the fact that the league has (for good reason) deliberately structured things to reduce the movement of super star players. All of that means an imbalance will tend to perpetuate. Realignment might fix that, but it won't help for the next imbalance at all. And in fact I don't think there is a good fix for the imbalance, unless it is eliminate the conferences in the playoffs and just have a final four type seeding process (with something to figure out home court).
   2025. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5438943)
I have never seen this as a good idea, for travel and other reasons.


Considering how long the playoffs are dragged out anyway - especially when the series switches cities - I don't really see travel as being a major issue. It works just fine for the Finals. Plus it's not like, say, Toronto and Miami or Portland and Memphis are exactly geographical neighbors either, even within the same conference. What are the other reasons?

I think you just have to realign at some point, but unfortunately the end result would just be to punish the midwestern teams in the east- Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indiana.


I'm not talking about realignment. I'm talking about re-seeding. Instead of seeding 1-8 in each conference, just take the top 16 teams in the league regardless of conference and seed them 1-16. The teams in the weaker conference will still have a slight advantage with the unbalanced schedule by being able to pad their records against a weaker slate of opponents, but it won't be nearly as extreme as what the advantage is now with the current playoff seeding and easier path to the Finals. Boston would drop to the 4th overall seed. Washington would be 9th. That seems much more accurate and fair to me.
   2026. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5438974)
The teams in the weaker conference will still have a slight advantage with the unbalanced schedule by being able to pad their records against a weaker slate of opponents,

It's not a slight advantage, the East is terrible. I think any kind of conference-less reseeding would mean getting rid of the conferences altogether, and we've loved conferences (or AL vs NL) in American sports for a loooooong time.
   2027. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5438982)
Also we're talking more than 20 years, really. The Bulls obviously dominated the 90s and won most of the titles, but the West was clearly the better and deeper conference for most of that decade, too.
   2028. JJ1986 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:20 PM (#5438988)
Superstars are the biggest factor, but the east is also handicapped by having terrible owners or front offices in marquee locations. The Knicks, Nets and 76ers should all be much better. And then the conferences are further unbalanced because there are a few teams in the West (might just be the 3 Texas teams) who have been good consistently for 15+ years.
   2029. aberg Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5438998)
The Warriors were so good last night. I know that Portland is just an average team, but it was so one-sided that I ended up turning it off close to halftime. The play where Curry intercepted a pass, stutter-stepped his way up the court, and then hit a step back three in semi-transition over a defender on roller skates belongs in his HOF highlight reel.

Also, last night did nothing to change my feeling that Houston minus Harden isn't that much better than OKC minus Westbrook.

I never thought of it before, but Washington has a similar construction to Portland, except that their dominant guards play defense.
   2030. Rally Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5438999)
For as much crap as Lebron has taken over the years (less so recently, of course), I'm continuously surprised that the conference strength discrepancy doesn't stick to him in the public consciousness. Six consecutive Finals is an incredible feat, but for a sports-talk world that loves asteriks, I'm shocked to not see this talked about at all, really (unless BBTF NBA talk is truly an oasis).


It would probably be downgraded if his team always lost to the western champion, but in that 6 year stretch he's got 3 rings. After last year's come from behind effort to beat a 73 win team, it's pretty hard to criticize him for anything.
   2031. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:36 PM (#5439017)
If that's true--and if it's true that Al Horford is just going to be an albatross contract for the next few years--then yeah, this team is just a fun diversion until the real contender gets here, as rr said, and maybe Ainge knows that.
I know how it sounds coming from a Laker fan, but the idea that the Celtics are 2 or 3 years and they should just stay the course is ludicrous to me. They won 53 games, and they're the #1 seed in their conference. BY DEFINITION they are contenders. Their window should be RIGHT NOW. I mean, what are people waiting for? LeBron James just finished off a 26.4, 8.7, and 8.6 season with an April line of 31-12-9 — does anyone really think his decline is going to be so dramatic over the next two years that it opens the door for everyone else?

I said this earlier in the thread, but I think it bears repeating: you don't get to choose your era. LeBron is LeBron. Love is only 28, Kyrie just turned 25. Cleveland's gonna be around a while, along with the Warriors, Spurs, Rockets, etc. If the goal is to win championships, then go beat the champs, don't just sit around and hope the champs get old and you draft magic teenagers. A #1 seed should be working towards a championship right now. Hoping draft picks work out is what non-contenders do. If a #1 playoff seed doesn't signify that you're a serious contender, then you've done something wrong.
   2032. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:36 PM (#5439019)
Superstars are the biggest factor, but the east is also handicapped by having terrible owners or front offices in marquee locations.


That is actually why I specified "talent" (though in retrospect it was not totally clear), because I include people like Pop in that calculation. San Antonio will never ever let Pop go, and so San Antonio has an advantage.

Both front office personnel and players who are at the top end will tend to stay put for a variety of reasons (Ownership tends to be fairly stable, both good and bad). On a team by team basis that is what you want, you want great players to stay with their teams (even though obviously some do move) and front office stability is a plus as well. But when the talent accumulates in one conference then those same forces you like at the team level tend to work against conferences being balanced.

I don't know that there is a good answer honestly. I am OK with #2025, if only because it seems slightly better than what we have, but I am not really completely sold either.
   2033. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5439022)
It's not a slight advantage, the East is terrible.


Right, but the Eastern teams are already playing the West 32 games a year. How many wins would the Celts, Cavs, Raps, Wiz, etc be expected to lose if they had to play the West 50 times instead of 32? Maybe 3? It's not a huge number. The current playoff format and the easier path to the Finals is the much larger advantage than the regular season schedule.

I think any kind of conference-less reseeding would mean getting rid of the conferences altogether, and we've loved conferences (or AL vs NL) in American sports for a loooooong time.

Not necessarily. They still have divisions even though there's basically no benefit to winning your division anymore (2nd tie-breaker? Score!).

Wouldn't it benefit the league to have the two best teams face off in the Finals? We've had several Finals clunkers in the post Jordan era simply cuz the Eastern team had no business being there in the first place - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 (yeah, this one went 6, but there was no doubt who was going to win), and 2007 at least, plus whoever makes the Finals this year. Wouldn't say, the 2002 playoffs have been much more interesting if the heavily anticipated 7 game series between the Lakers and Kings was for the championship? After that series, the actual Finals with the Nets was just an afterthought.
   2034. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5439052)
Wouldn't it benefit the league to have the two best teams face off in the Finals? We've had several Finals clunkers in the post Jordan era simply cuz the Eastern team had no business being there in the first place - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 (yeah, this one went 6, but there was no doubt who was going to win), and 2007 at least, plus whoever makes the Finals this year. Wouldn't say, the 2002 playoffs have been much more interesting if the heavily anticipated 7 game series between the Lakers and Kings was for the championship? After that series, the actual Finals with the Nets was just an afterthought.

Hmmm. I guess I'm less bothered by a Finals* (or three or however many) being noncompetitive than I am by the difference in quality, top to bottom, in the conferences. So if we're making changes, I'd prefer some kind of realignment, I think. (I don't feel strongly about any of this.)

*Also the 07 playoffs gave us that insane LeBron performance to knock out the Pistons, right? So I don't care that they got crushed by San Antonio in the Finals.
   2035. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5439058)
Hmmm. I guess I'm less bothered by a Finals* (or three or however many) being noncompetitive than I am by the difference in quality, top to bottom, in the conferences.


That bothers me too, but I think it's a harder problem to solve. They'd have to re-align every 5 years or so to make it balanced. Seems like a much easier fix to just ignore conferences when seeding. Only issue I see with that is the tie-breaker situation might become a fustercluck with that many teams packed together. This year the Jazz, Clips, Cavs, and Raps would be the 5-8 seeds by virtue of their identical 51-31 records, but I have no idea in what order.
   2036. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5439060)
If you move the Spurs to the East, even taking the selective endpoint of Jordan's (2nd) retirement, the conferences look pretty balanced, right? You end up with 11 championships in the East and 7 in the West since 1998 and the standings probably look pretty balanced, right?

This year:

East: 61 win-53-51-51-49-43-42-42
West: 67-55-51-51-47-43-41-40

If the difference in conferences is basically a delta of one team, that is not statistically meaningful and can be attributed to randomness. Because good front office talent can stick around for a long time, a differential can persist for a while, but realignment because of random factors (as opposed to structural ones) would be very dumb. I'm pretty sure the East has significantly bigger media markets (Memphis, Portland, San Antonio, OKC, Utah, and Sacramento are all quite small markets -- one proxy: they only have the basketball team among the three major sports, while in the East only Orlando fits that description), and more homegrown talent, which seem like the two most important structural factors (i.e. non-basketball reasons why good players would prefer one conference over the other). There's also income taxes, but there are 3 teams in Texas in the West and 2 in Florida in the East on that front.
   2037. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5439065)
i don't know what anyone else thinks, but i think the NBA should seed the playoffs 1-16.

i'm not worried about fairness or conference imbalance, i just think it would be more fun to see a wider variety of playoff series than what we've been getting. lately, it seems like the bottom tier of playoff teams is every bit as calcified as the top tier. i know milwaukee and utah look like they're on the upswing, but everyone else (except DAL and BKR) is exactly where they've been for the last 5 years. good teams are good and bad teams are bad and never the twain shall mix.


   2038. JC in DC Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5439066)
I completely agree with LA of Anaheim.
   2039. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5439070)
If you move the Spurs to the East, even taking the selective endpoint of Jordan's (2nd) retirement, the conferences look pretty balanced, right? You end up with 11 championships in the East and 7 in the West since 1998 and the standings probably look pretty balanced, right?

So by this math, the East was better last year? I'm not sure measuring balance by Finals winner makes sense. I think the path to the Finals might be a better way of looking at it?

EDIT: I mean look at the 90s again. Was the East better? Were the conferences balanced?
   2040. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5439071)
   2041. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: April 20, 2017 at 03:03 PM (#5439099)
I'm pretty sure the East has significantly bigger media markets (Memphis, Portland, San Antonio, OKC, Utah, and Sacramento are all quite small markets -- one proxy: they only have the basketball team among the three major sports, while in the East only Orlando fits that description)


I don't have any data to support this, but just by looking at how the franchises with the best market positions behave, I suspect that the delta in revenue between being a championship contender and being merely decent is lower in the NBA than in other sports. IMO, the Knicks, Nets, Bulls and Lakers all signal that they really want to get to around 50 wins, and then anything above that is gravy. If that's the case, then between that and the cap, big markets may actually have perverse incentives that push them toward mediocrity.
   2042. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: April 20, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5439102)
So by this math, the East was better last year? I'm not sure measuring balance by Finals winner makes sense. I think the path to the Finals might be a better way of looking at it?


Sorry, was trying to make two points, both in terms of championships and standings I think you end up pretty balanced with East+Spurs vs West-Spurs. Looking at the standings is the better way but more work. Eh, I'll go back a few years.

Last year:
East+Spurs: 67 57 56 48 48 48 48 45
West-Spurs: 73 55 53 44 42 42 41 40

East looks stronger overall, 1 historical outlier team in the West but the East has the wins advantage at every other playoff position.

This isn't quite fair, because you'd have to swap the Spurs for someone, and teams would win a few fewer games with the Spurs in the conference, but these effects aren't that big. My point is that if the "conference imbalance" is the magnitude of one team (even, admittedly, the best team from a consistency standpoint), then it's hard to say that something major is systemically broken IMO. The imbalance is real either way when we are talking about e.g. evaluating LeBron making 6 straight finals, but I'm specifically arguing against realignment being at all reasonable.

2014-15:
East+Spurs: 60 55 53 50 49 46 41 40
West-Spurs: 67 56 56 51 50 45 45 39

Slight advantage West.

2013-14:
E+SAS: 62 56 54 48 48 44 44 43
W-SAS: 59 57 54 54 51 50 49 48

Slight advantage West.

2012-13:
E+SAS: 66 58 54 49 49 45 44 41 [side note: I was shocked to rediscover that the Knicks had the 2 seed this year; I no longer have any memory of the Knicks ever being any good]
W-SAS: 60 57 56 56 47 45 45 43

Pretty even (East has a better best team, West has a better 4 seed]

2011-12 (lockout year so depressed win totals):
E+SAS: 50 50 46 42 40 39 37 36
W-SAS: 47 41 41 40 38 36 36 34

Clear advantage East.

Eyeballing the standings, it looks about even taking the sum total of the few years before that, maybe the East with SAS having a slight advantage.
   2043. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5439134)
Athletic: you might not agree with this approach, but take wins out of it and look at something like SRS over the last 5 years:

SRS 16-17: best 5 teams are in the West.
SRS 15-16: best 3 teams in the West
SRS 14-15: best 3 teams in the West
SRS 13-14: best 6 teams in the West(!)
SRS 12-13: 5 of best 6 in the West (Miami #2)

I imagine if I kept going there'd be a brief run of Miami, Orlando, and Boston being pretty high, so I'm not saying this has been going on forever.

(I'm not even making an argument anymore, I don't think! But I find this to be interesting.)
   2044. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 03:52 PM (#5439164)
I imagine if I kept going there'd be a brief run of Miami, Orlando, and Boston being pretty high, so I'm not saying this has been going on forever.


Yeah, 2008-2012 might be fairly even, but I'd guess the West goes back to winning the SRS battle pretty handily from 1999-2007.
   2045. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: April 20, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5439185)
continuing my deep dive into drafting degeneracy:

i just watched fultz versus colorado (37/5/8/3/3) and wazzou (26/9/11/0/2), two of his most impressive stat lines of the year.

he doesn't have a lot of wiggle or creativity off the dribble. when he wins, it's because of his physicality or his mid range jumper. his mid range shot is dangerous, but he's too enamored with it. he's good at making bad and difficult shots, but he takes way too many of them.

after watching these performances, my opinion of him is not higher than it was yesterday.
   2046. aberg Posted: April 20, 2017 at 04:51 PM (#5439226)
he doesn't have a lot of wiggle or creativity off the dribble. when he wins, it's because of his physicality or his mid range jumper. his mid range shot is dangerous, but he's too enamored with it. he's good at making bad and difficult shots, but he takes way too many of them.


I agree with all of that. I will add that "physicality" includes very good top speed, a very fast first step, and great strength for the position. I'm high on his ability to get to the basket in the NBA. The upside of his penchant for jumpers is that he's quite good from three. He will have to improve his shot selection. I think that's true for many guys coming into the league as they face tougher and tougher defenses. It doesn't help Fultz that he was not coached and ran no offense in his one year of college.
   2047. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: April 20, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5439231)
and now i just watched ball versus oregon state (23/6/7/1/2) and arizona (24/6/8/2/1).

i've had fultz #1 all year, and i'm about 98% sure i'm gonna change that in the near future. ball has better vision than fultz, better shot selection and he's a better ballhandler. i don't see a big difference in their defensive potential, and while fultz is a more prolific (and more mechanically sound) shooter, ball has range out to 30 feet.

i'm sure this is mostly a function of the quality of their coaching and their respective teammates, but ball's UCLA had better spacing, better player movement and better ball movement and it was more fun to watch. it's not fair to say this considering those previously mentioned factors, but it feels like both teams play like reflections of their best player and UCLA benefited from that, while washington did not.

i know that toes the line of bill simmons territory, especially since ben simmons' LSU offense played a hell of lot like fultz's washington offense, despite simmons skillset being more similar to ball's, but it seems worth mentioning.

   2048. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: April 20, 2017 at 05:21 PM (#5439249)
I agree with all of that. I will add that "physicality" includes very good top speed, a very fast first step, and great strength for the position. I'm high on his ability to get to the basket in the NBA. The upside of his penchant for jumpers is that he's quite good from three. He will have to improve his shot selection. I think that's true for many guys coming into the league as they face tougher and tougher defenses. It doesn't help Fultz that he was not coached and ran no offense in his one year of college.
as i've watched fultz video for the last few days, i tend to see his glass more and more half empty*. i don't see fultz make a lot of spectacular plays or fun plays, i see a guy who's grinding. i see a guy who makes plays look harder than they should be. the difference is even more stark since i've been switching between his video and ball's and fox's video and they make great plays look so smooth and so effortless.

*to be clear, i'm not taking fultz out of my top 5, but i'm seeing cracks in his video that i didn't see in his stats.
   2049. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 08:47 PM (#5439370)
I forget who made the comment that Chicago is clearly the best lower seed team in hindsight. I don't agree. I think they are third behind Milwaukee and Indiana. Those teams also have big time stars, and I like their supporting cast more.

Bucks baby! 39-15! Fear the deer! Thon Maker is actually becoming a guy, they have a real rotation here.
   2050. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5439378)
Khris Middleton is so ####### good
   2051. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 20, 2017 at 08:54 PM (#5439380)
I forget who made the comment that Chicago is clearly the best lower seed team in hindsight. I don't agree. I think they are third behind Milwaukee and Indiana. Those teams also have big time stars, and I like their supporting cast more.
Indy's certainly making their case tonight so far. There's still 15 minutes left, but 16 points is a lot to make up.

EDIT: 13 points is a lot to make up.

EDIT: 10 points is... not as much to make up. That 20 point lead just got sliced in half.
   2052. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 08:55 PM (#5439382)
48-17
   2053. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:02 PM (#5439389)
3 point making LeBron is the best LeBron, and is quite simply an unguardable force.
   2054. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:03 PM (#5439391)
INDY WAS UP BY 22. Holy crap.
   2055. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:04 PM (#5439394)
Yeah, I still think Chicago is better than Indiana.
   2056. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:08 PM (#5439403)
I got that wrong. Indy was up by 26. Losing this one would be just absurd.
   2057. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:11 PM (#5439409)
Yeah, I still think Chicago is better than Indiana

You're free to, but Cleveland has LeBron. Playing Cleveland even (point differential in the series is like even now, maybe slightly Indiana) despite playing two road games is more impressive to me.
   2058. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:12 PM (#5439411)
Lance Stephenson needs to stop being PG, they aren't getting good shots.
   2059. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:14 PM (#5439414)
2057: reasonable people can disagree for sure -- their regular season records were nearly identical, and Indiana has made a good showing against the Cavs so far. But Indiana had a worse point differential on the year (even if it was close), and I'm not impressed by their roster. Also, given Chicago's record against good teams this year, plus what they did in Games 1 and 2, I really do think the Bulls were kind of sleepwalking through most of the season.
   2060. TFTIO sings Medieval Agrarian History Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:14 PM (#5439415)
Holy moly. Now I sort of want the Bucks to win by 70, just because.
   2061. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:18 PM (#5439421)
Indiana has completely fallen apart. You can feel the panic screaming from everywhere in that building except the Cavs bench.
   2062. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:19 PM (#5439424)
The Cavs are giving Lance the Tony Allen treatment. I think they need to take him off the court.
   2063. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5439429)
#### LeBron is the GOAT
   2064. tshipman Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5439432)
Interesting subplot in Cle/Indiana: All of the Cleveland stuff is happening with Kyrie out.

Deron Williams at +11, Kyrie at -17.
   2065. JC in DC Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:35 PM (#5439438)
They've just spread the floor like crazy and are running everything through LBJ. Not a center to be found, and no reason to complicate the offense. LBJ can't be stopped.
   2066. TFTIO sings Medieval Agrarian History Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:38 PM (#5439441)
I am rooting for Thon Maker.

ETA: "Thom" -> "Thon"
   2067. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:38 PM (#5439442)
channing frye has been out there for most of this run. i think he counts as a center. unless you meant large human being who can't shoot beyond 15.
   2068. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:43 PM (#5439447)
the cavs are basically two teams. they've got the starters, and then they've got this version, which is surround LeBron with four bench shooters and just let LeBron do his thing. if one isn't working, try the other.
   2069. TFTIO sings Medieval Agrarian History Posted: April 20, 2017 at 10:08 PM (#5439472)
My shrink is apparently a huge Raptors fan. It's kind of awesome -- who knew older Israeli women were so into hoops? 1979 Eurobasket made a big impact, apparently.
   2070. smileyy Posted: April 20, 2017 at 10:34 PM (#5439493)
I really like LeBron not liking to lose in the first round.

If Google is accurate, he's 317 points away from passing Jordan as the all-time playoff scoring leader. That's a decent chance of doing that this year. I guess making the finals 7 times in a league with 4 7-round games makes that a lot easier for modern players to be on that list.
   2071. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 10:45 PM (#5439507)
The Spurs have been awful tonight. Aldridge is soft. It's annoying.
   2072. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 20, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5439514)
Aldridge is soft. It's annoying.

Honestly this (plus some public wishy-washiness about whether he wanted to be here) was why Portland was fine with seeing him go. (Though having Lillard made it easy.) He's a good player, but he doesn't really take games over ever, and sometimes is invisible. It makes him seem like he doesn't care.
   2073. RollingWave Posted: April 20, 2017 at 11:07 PM (#5439523)
Assuming Lebron doesn't go to play in the NFL or have some other unforseeen early midlife crisis, he's going to dwarf Jordan 's total count stats by pretty gigantic proportions.

Also, I haven't really followed NBA closely this year, ummm... so... Giannis is like the literally most out of nowhere super star ever right? I mean half the teams didn't even know he existed in that draft. it's unreal to see one of these complete unknown guys totally work out in the most unreal way possible.
   2074. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2017 at 11:08 PM (#5439524)
Portland also had that Aldridge extension money earmarked for Crabbe the moment they saw him in AAU. That's why they didn't chase Aldridge.
   2075. tshipman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:15 AM (#5439544)
Do the Grizzlies have the most scions on any NBA roster?

They played in this game:
Wayne Selden, Jr.
James Ennis, III
Wade Baldwin, IV

How weird is that?
   2076. theboyqueen Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:50 AM (#5439553)
You forgot Mike Conley!
   2077. King Mekong Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:04 AM (#5439604)
Biggest problem with the Spurs is one the offensive end. They keep trotting out too many players that can't shoot from outside or penetrate. Tony Parker should be moved to the 2nd unit if he's played at all.

I'd start Mills/Green/Kawhi/Aldridge/Dedmon
and use primarily Parker/GinobiliorSimmons/Anderson/Lee/Pau as backups

Mix in Bertans+Dedmon when you need to give Aldridge and Pau a break at the same time.

They shouldn't play Parker against first units, he can't effectively get into the paint anymore and no one respects his shot from outside. Too hard to score that way, he seems like he'd only be effective at penetrating with a pick+pop with Pau on the second unit.
   2078. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:21 AM (#5439615)
Despite the comeback, which was amazing, the Cavs are still heading for one of the least impressive, most skepticism-inducing sweep in recent memory, right? Overcoming a 25 point deficit is incredible, but giving up 74 points in a half to a mediocre offense seems less than ideal.
   2079. Rally Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5439625)
My impression was the Cavs didn't really play that much better on D (though they certainly did on O). Indiana was getting good looks in the second half but just missed them. I think all the scoring in the first half tired them out.
   2080. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:53 AM (#5439646)
My impression is that the Cavs are not at all worried about Indiana and still on regular season cruise control.

They think that when they finally go up against a real opponent they'll be able to just throw the switch. It remains to be seen whether they actually can.
   2081. PJ Martinez Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5439654)
Haberstroh or Lowe, I think, made the point on their recent podcast that the Cavs' midseason acquisitions (Korver, Deron Williams) were all doublings-down on offense. LeBron (sporadically) and Thompson and I guess Shumpert are really their only plus defensive players, right? They may just be a bad defensive team now.

That said, I thought Toronto would be their real threat in the playoffs, which... maybe not. Boston looks like they'd get crushed if they manage the improbable feat of even getting to face them again. I'd enjoy seeing Washington get a shot at Cleveland, but it really looks like the Cavs will be back in the Finals, and not because they're playing well.
   2082. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5439656)
My impression is that the Cavs are not at all worried about Indiana and still on regular season cruise control.

They think that when they finally go up against a real opponent they'll be able to just throw the switch. It remains to be seen whether they actually can.


I've been consistent in my belief that the Cavs are better than their record might indicate, and that they will up the intensity/attention to detail/effort for defense as needed. That said, even I was a bit skeptical of them being a serious contender when I saw that they gave up 74 points in a half and were down 26 at one point.

Truth be told, I still think they will make it to the Finals without being seriously challenged. I still think they can do enough defensively to provide serious competition in the Finals, and even win it. But it would be nice to see better defense sooner rather than later.
   2083. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5439668)
Washington-Cleveland would be fun. Like 125-120 regulation games fun. But I think I agree with the consensus that the Cavs will get to the Finals relatively unscathed.
   2084. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5439691)
Haven't watched a ton of Raptors-Bucks yet, but it's almost comforting to see DeRozan's return to form. His 3rd Team All NBA appearance is going to look really funny in a couple weeks.
   2085. tshipman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:50 AM (#5439695)
But I think I agree with the consensus that the Cavs will get to the Finals relatively unscathed.


I guess I feel like having to play LeBron 45 minutes and all of the second half constitutes some scathing.

The Pacers are a bad team. They had a negative point differential and a negative SRS.

The Cavs are up 3-0 right now. That is good! However, to get there, they've had to get a bit lucky on 3p shooting (shooting a higher than typical percentage), and have played 3 close games, all of which they could have easily lost. If they had shot their season average instead of shooting better, Indiana would be leading on point differential.

Again, they are up 3-0, so this is all just noise! However, it's really not a good sign that they're needing to get hot shooting against perhaps the worst team in the playoffs.
   2086. JC in DC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:50 AM (#5439696)
I still like the Cavs, in part b/c I don't think there are any other invincible teams. The closest thing to invincible is GSW, clearly. While Cleveland has been "unimpressive," they are up 3-0 and they've won by "any Lebron necessary." That man is different than everyone else and I like how they match up with GSW. A healthy Korver is huge for Cleveland. I like Thompson provoking Green. I think Cleveland gets through looking unimpressive, gets blown out in a game or two against GSW, but it's going to be a 6 game series minimum that maybe GSW wins, but I still would put money on LBJ.
   2087. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5439714)
LeBron needs to fear the deer.

I think a lot of teams in the East can push them, mainly because I think Indiana is pushing them. Yeah, they're up 3-0 but these games are close. And one of them Indiana had a shot to win as time expired, so I don't think it's fair to say the games have been close but when LeBron needs to make sure they win, they're not losing.

I'm not sure Lue knows how to manage the minutes/rotations for his players. I don't really either, to be clear, it seems like they've got way too many similar guys, and almost all of their players are very flawed in some way. I really like the Korver addition too, though it looks like he's been awful per advanced stats this year. I'd not picked that up in games I've watched - he's seemed fine.
   2088. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5439727)
Truth be told, I still think they will make it to the Finals without being seriously challenged. I still think they can do enough defensively to provide serious competition in the Finals, and even win it. But it would be nice to see better defense sooner rather than later.

Their defense is just so, so, so bad. They're going to lose games and they're going to have games where their shots aren't falling, but I don't think they're at serious risk of losing an East series. The Pacers are just awful, and the Cavs are barely squeaking by. I picked them in 7 the next 2 rounds, and I stand by that.
   2089. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5439728)
Mixed feelings alert - Rondo is out indefinitely with a broken right thumb. WTH
   2090. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:26 AM (#5439731)
Yeah, 2008-2012 might be fairly even, but I'd guess the West goes back to winning the SRS battle pretty handily from 1999-2007.

I remembered that I actually looked at this 5 years ago, and I still have the info. For those who don't track SRS, in the current period* I'd say that it lines up something like this (approximate expected record in parentheses):

10 = Overwhelming Favorite (67-15)
7 = Strong Contender (60-22)
4 = Darkhorse Contender (52-30)
2 = Credible Playoff Team (46-36)
0 = Fringe Playoff Team (41-41)

I compared conference strength by 2 simplistic methods: (1) cumulative SRS for all teams in the conference, and (2) cumulative SRS for the Top 4 teams in the conferece. I figured that the first measure would show the scheduling effects on a team's record and be a rough proxy for the difficulty of making the playoffs, while the second measure would roughly capture the difficulty of making the Finals. Here are the results, updated through this season:

Year Overall  Top 4 
 
#1Conf SRSΔ  #1Conf SRSΔ
1977 West 23.0 West 8.9
1978 West 15.9 West 4.2
1979 West 19.8 East 1.5
1980 East 4.7 West 1.8
1981 East 20.4 East 12.5
1982 East 13.2 East 5.6
1983 East 10.6 East 4.3
1984 East 10.7 East 9.9
1985 East 14.8 East 6.9
1986 East 17.6 East 12.3
1987 East 17.1 East 4.3
1988 East 27.8 East 4.1
1989 East 28.2 East 3.9
1990 West 26.8 West 9.5
1991 West 7.8 West 6.8
1992 East 5.1 East 0.4
1993 East 11.8 East 0.7
1994 West 6.7 West 3.9
1995 West 15.5 West 8.5
1996 East 3.2 West 1.0
1997 East 35.7 East 4.8
1998 East 43.2 West 0.9
1999 East 15.5 West 5.0
2000 West 22.6 West 15.4
2001 West 44.9 West 13.1
2002 West 30.5 West 17.1
2003 West 41.9 West 11.3
2004 West 54.1 West 11.4
2005 West 37.5 West 14.8
2006 West 14.3 West 8.3
2007 West 32.9 West 15.8
2008 West 33.2 West 1.6
2009 East 15.0 East 5.1
2010 West 14.7 East 1.2
2011 West 31.1 East 2.0
2012 West 29.5 West 0.3
2013 West 42.1 West 12.3
2014 West 61.4 West 15.6
2015 West 44.0 West 13.7
2016 West 11.2 West 16.0
2017 West 31.5 West 18.6 


It's interesting to note that the big changes by both measures came in 1981 (expansion and realignment shifted balance of power to the East, where it remained throughout the 80s), 1990 (East contenders declining, rise of Blazers, Spurs, and Jazz), 1992 (Bulls become great, Magic Johnson retires, Knicks rising -> results in era of parity), 2000 (though commonly thought to be 1999, it's actually 2000 when West asserts dominance), 2009 (KG & Ray Allen leave West for Boston), and 2013 (Celtics decline, Rose injury, and Dwight exodus leave East pathetic once again).

*Before the NBA's rapid expansion beginning with the 1988-89 season, there tended to be a bit less SRS variation. For an extreme example, in 1984 only one team was outside the range of +5 to -5 (Celtics at 6.42). Therefore, it's not an apples to apples comparison between early years and later years. Maybe something like standard deviations in SRS would be better for that sort of cross-era comparison.
   2091. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5439747)
Mixed feelings alert - Rondo is out indefinitely with a broken right thumb. WTH
that's a big blow to chicago's floor spacing.

/sardonicism
   2092. JJ1986 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5439752)
that's a big blow to chicago's floor spacing.

/sardonicism
It's not not-a-blow if MCW is replacing him.
   2093. aberg Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5439761)
*Armchair psychologist alert*

I feel like last night had three well-built storylines. Every fan, analyst, and gambler knows that game 3 is supposed to be the game that a big underdog can steal. They might be down 2-0 and they're headed home in front of their fans for the first time. The players know this narrative, too, so there's a built-in excuse if the road team comes out flat. It felt like the Mem-SA game adhered to that script perfectly.

Cleveland followed it for awhile too, until they didn't. The fact that they started out that way with a built-in excuse makes me a little more impressed than I would be if they made the same rally in game 2 or 4. It's not a big thing, and it certainly doesn't address the real defensive questions, but they cleared a psychological hurdle that they didn't have to clear.

You could argue that Toronto followed a similar path even though their series was 1-1. They lost game 1 and got "back on track" in game 2, even though it was much too close to say they asserted themselves. They really don't have room for let up in this series, but they definitely let up last night. Of course, if they win the next one, they are back on home court advantage and can argue that they are on schedule.
   2094. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5439766)
that's a big blow to chicago's floor spacing.

Again, he led the Bulls in 3pt% this year. And, well, he was playing really well this series. And MCW had a terrible, terrible 4 minute appearance the other day.

I still didn't really *expect* the Bulls to win, but I do think this significantly reduces the chances of it happening.
   2095. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:36 PM (#5439770)
Again, he led the Bulls in 3pt% this year. And, well, he was playing really well this series. And MCW had a terrible, terrible 4 minute appearance the other day.
i know. you pointed it out a few days ago. that's why i wrote "/sardonicism" and not "/sarcasm".
   2096. madvillain Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:36 PM (#5439772)
This sucks.
   2097. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5439801)
As a Rondo stan and C's fan, I have terribly mixed feeling about this. I was really enjoying the Rondoaissance, but he was also one of the reasons the Celtics have struggled so much this series. He was great this series, and really has been the second half of the season, and it was great to see a version of a guy I thought I'd never see again. But I'm also pretty pessimistic of the ceiling of this Celtics team and would like to see them make a run, so Rondo being out makes it less likely they get bounced this round, as I think they would have. (I strongly disagree with post 2031, and think they're a paper tiger as built now, because they both can't score without IT and don't have a real center and get get bullied on the glass and around the rim. Butler or George would only have solved the first, and I see both as likely fatal flaws.)

Also, dude broke his thumb in the third quarter and played out the game. Say what you like about Rondo, but the man is one tough SOB.
   2098. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5439808)
more depth plumbing:

jamal murray: great range and slick footwork, but he doesn't stand out as an athlete, passer, ball handler or defender.

buddy hield: pretty similar to murray, but he had more tricks to his game. he's 4 years older than murray, so that's not surprising, but it's interesting.

gary harris: he looks good. better handle than murray or harris and comparable off the ball.


nothing these guys do matters if their shot isn't going in. if it's not falling, they're worthless and you wasted the pick you used on them.

i don't know how anyone can confidently project whether a college player's shot will or will not translate to the NBA.
   2099. JC in DC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5439810)
The Luck of the damned Irish!
   2100. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5439829)
The Luck of the damned Irish!
I still thought Boston was going to win the series. Has there ever been a team favored to win a series while down 2-0? Because Boston should be that team.
Page 21 of 75 pages ‹ First  < 19 20 21 22 23 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Tuque
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogWinter Meeting Signings
(16 - 4:36pm, Dec 15)
Last: stevegamer

NewsblogOTP 11 December, 2017 - GOP strategist: Moore would have 'date with a baseball bat' if he tried dating teens where I grew up
(2207 - 4:35pm, Dec 15)
Last: Shredder

NewsblogRyan Thibs has his HOF Ballot Tracker Up and Running!
(449 - 4:22pm, Dec 15)
Last: John DiFool2

NewsblogMets agree to two-year deal with Anthony Swarzak
(21 - 4:18pm, Dec 15)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-15-2017
(8 - 4:10pm, Dec 15)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogDerek Jeter Was Once the Captain. But Now He’s the Apprentice. - The New York Times
(88 - 4:07pm, Dec 15)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(2009 - 4:01pm, Dec 15)
Last: don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all

NewsblogOT Gaming: October 2015
(717 - 3:52pm, Dec 15)
Last: GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag)

Gonfalon CubsLooking to next year
(346 - 3:27pm, Dec 15)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

NewsblogESPN: Bob Costas wins Hall of Fame's Frick Award for broadcasting
(22 - 3:18pm, Dec 15)
Last: DavidFoss

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(360 - 2:40pm, Dec 15)
Last: There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty

Sox TherapyA Container of Milk, A Loaf of Bread and a Dude Who Can Hit Home Runs
(30 - 2:39pm, Dec 15)
Last: jmurph

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(394 - 2:23pm, Dec 15)
Last: Fridas Boss

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-14-2017
(13 - 11:28am, Dec 15)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogCardinals trade for Marcell Ozuna of Marlins
(61 - 11:20am, Dec 15)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

Page rendered in 0.8375 seconds
47 querie(s) executed