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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, Unwavering Optimist Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:37 AM | 4403 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   2101. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:42 PM (#5439830)
(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.)
In that case, you completely agree with #2031:
If a #1 playoff seed doesn't signify that you're a serious contender, then you've done something wrong.
If the #1 seed is a paper tiger, then they've done something wrong, and this is all a mirage. I refuse to believe a team that earned HCA throughout the playoffs are basically the 76ers, hoarding lottery picks like a pirate, hoping one of them turns into Larry Bird. Yeah, they're not as good as the Cavs because nobody in the East is, but if they're not even competitors, then Danny Ainge has a lot to answer for.
   2102. villainx Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:56 PM (#5439837)
Again, he led the Bulls in 3pt% this year.


Woah, best for Rondo's career, and the past three year have been impressive, especially given his rep and his past.
   2103. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5439840)
I am baffled by this insistence that either the Celtics are a contender or something has gone wrong. It may mean we just have a semantic disagreement about what constitutes a competitor, but I think one of the dangers for the Celtics is going all in now just because they're doing well. I'm with Lowe, that we can't really gauge whether they should have traded for Butler or George without knowing the price, and that Ainge has hard decisions coming about when to turn assets into a team and go for it. But there seems to be a strong opinion around here that it's obviously a mistake that they didn't cash in to go as hard at this year as possible, and I don't get that. Every year they wait is a year things could go sour for the team, but also a year further from LeBron's athletic peak, and I don't see the Warriors getting better than they were this year. I think it's great that the Celtics managed to grab the #1 seed this year, but in the grand scheme of things I'm not sure why that should meaningfully change their timeline or goals.
   2104. JC in DC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5439846)
I guess a question is: What is Boston's timeline? Waiting on LBJ to complete his decline? Is it IT's peak? None of the above? I am not being cheeky, but wondering. Is Ainge getting impatient, or his mentality that he'll just keep pushing the horizon down the road b/c he's got a pretty competitive team, a good, photogenic coach, and a reliable fanbase? I could see either of these. Further, there's a story now that the coaches wanted him to get Anthony. Anthony would help the team. We don't know the cost, of course, but I could see why Ainge would nix that, but also why the coaches would've wanted a run.

As a Knicks fan, I envy the hell out of the Celtics. I'd love to be facing these problems!
   2105. STIGGLES don't want to talk about cracker barrel Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:44 PM (#5439853)
more more more

zach lavine: i was not a fan of him at all when he was drafted. i think it was a combination of 3 things: i don't value SGs very highly, he wasn't a good defender, and i had a preference for stronger wings. looking back, those three things mostly still hold up, but i see a few other things in lavine's video that intrigue me more now than they would have back then. he had 25' range on his jumpshot, he was very good at creating space for his shot off the dribble and he could drive from the arc to the rim in a blur. he didn't have polish and he wasn't a good finisher, but he was young, he had great tools and he showed flashes of being able to use them.

austin rivers: he's a good example of someone who couldn't win cleanly off the dribble. it takes him 2 or 3 moves to get an angle on his defender and even when he gets by them, he keeps them on his shoulder instead of blowing past them.

brad beal: his draftexpress video is poorly done (but it's free, so i'm not complaining), so i tracked down some other video. he's not very impressive. he was on a team with a couple of veteran guards, so he didn't get much chance to showcase himself as a ball handler. i don't see a ton of passing ability or really any offensive skill. he only shot 33% from beyond the arc. he was really young, but even knowing that, i would not have pegged him as a top 5 prospect. if i reach a little bit, his jump shot was very well balanced and his strengths as a rebounder and shotblocker hinted at effort and athleticism, even though neither of those skills translated to the NBA.

ben mclemore: i don't know how you could compare mclemore and beal at the time they were drafted (separated by a year) and think beal would be the better player. mclemore was 16 months older on draft day and he was less of a rebounder and shotblocker than beal, but nearly every other measure favored him. moral of that story: don't get drafted by sacramento.

   2106. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:48 PM (#5439856)
If the #1 seed is a paper tiger, then they've done something wrong, and this is all a mirage. I refuse to believe a team that earned HCA throughout the playoffs are basically the 76ers, hoarding lottery picks like a pirate, hoping one of them turns into Larry Bird. Yeah, they're not as good as the Cavs because nobody in the East is, but if they're not even competitors, then Danny Ainge has a lot to answer for.
Even if you don't believe it, they got the #1 seed and HCA, yet continued to hoard their picks and other assets and maintain flexibility rather than bolster the team. And so yeah, if you believe that getting the #1 automatically makes you a contender, and contenders should go for it, then Ainge has a lot to answer for! Edit: but in general I do think the #1/contender stuff is mostly semantics.

Trying to read the tea leaves of what Ainge is doing, the lack of *any* additions despite clear issues with rebounding and scoring seems to indicate that Ainge either believed fully in this team and didn't think it needed help (sceptical), or doesn't have much faith in it and refused to alter his longer term plan to marginally improve a flawed team. Of course, it's also possible that Ainge wanted to make a deal and it just wasn't there -- maybe it just worked out that Boogie was never going to be OK in this locker room, Philly was never going to deal Nerlens to Boston, and Toronto was willing to go a bit further on Ibaka, etc...
   2107. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5439859)
But there seems to be a strong opinion around here that it's obviously a mistake that they didn't cash in to go as hard at this year as possible, and I don't get that


Again:

1. Butler is under contract through 2020 and is 27 years old (28 in a couple of months) Some of the Boston fans talk about him like he is a 33-year-old FA to be. George is not a FA until after next year.
2. Thomas is 28 and has one year left on his deal. Horford is almost 31.
3. Boston still has two unprotected picks from Brooklyn, so even if they moved one, they would still have another set of ping-pong balls with which to take a shot at lotto magic.
4. I have not seen anything anywhere that suggests that Fultz, Ball, and Justin Jackson are going to be franchise cornerstones, or that they will have massive and immediate impacts. They are non-big college one-and-done guys, and from what I have seen and read, Fultz looks/sounds like he is sort of a better version of D'Angelo Russell. Nothing wrong with that, but this isn't like the time Boston tanked for Tim Duncan and missed.
5. Yes, LeBron James is still LeBron James, but as noted on the previous page, the Indiana series, even though CLE is up 3-0, is drawing a line under their vulnerability. They can't slow down either Indiana or Paul George, and are winning the series mainly because James is playing phenomenally well even by his own unmatched standards.
and
6. Boston and their supposedly brilliant coach just got their asses handed to them on their homecourt by an 8th seed run by guys most fans think they are boneheads--a team which happens to have Jimmy Butler.

To frame this right, Boston is in far, far, better shape than the Lakers are, and if the teams' respective situations were reversed and Boston fans were in my grill about it, I wouldn't be listening too hard, either. And, as noted many times, we don't know what was on the table or how serious Chicago was about moving Butler. But JC's post above echoes mine in that I don't think that many of the arguments being advanced by the Boston fans are especially clear or coherent. I don't get it.

That said, odd as it sounds given his performance level the last couple of years, Rondo's being out may well turn this series.

   2108. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5439863)
Seems to me that the Bulls should just run the ball through Butler and Wade more tonight, because they are both good, rather than giving extra minutes to MCW and/or Grant, because they are both bad. Also Rondo isn't good- I understand he had two good games (well really just one, he wasn't that good in game 1). I know that they don't have good backups, either, but this doesn't really seem like the kind of thing that should swing the series.

(Also Boston has to win 4 of 5, 3 of which will be played in Chicago. We probably shouldn't pretend they have more than a minuscule chance to do so.)
   2109. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:03 PM (#5439864)
Seems to me that the Bulls should just run the ball through Butler and Wade more tonight


Yep.
   2110. aberg Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5439869)
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.


Current odds are Boston +200, Chicago -240, so you might want to get on that if you really like Boston. Among other teams down 2-0, OKC is +700 and ATL is +550.

As good as Rondo has been for the last two games, I have been more struck by how out of sorts Boston has looked at both ends. I know that neither exists in isolation, but regardless of who is healthy for Chicago, Boston just has to play better to win.
   2111. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5439872)
I have been more struck by how out of sorts Boston has looked at both ends.

Yeah I don't want to not give credit to Chicago for playing well, but Boston has completely forgotten how to play team defense, among other things (rushing shots, etc.).
   2112. tshipman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:17 PM (#5439873)
But there seems to be a strong opinion around here that it's obviously a mistake that they didn't cash in to go as hard at this year as possible, and I don't get that


I think that what you're seeing is that the board is split between two different interpretive communities:

1. Boston Fans
2. (almost) Everyone else

Boston fans (PJ, jmurph, et al) are saying pretty consistently that they were fine with Ainge's decision, and at the time of the deadline, said that they only wanted George/Butler if it meant not risking losing a #1 overall pick and breaking up the team's core. The argument is that #1 overall picks are really good, and the Celtics are not a single piece away from being a championship team.

Most of the rest of the board (but not everyone!), has the position that *if it were their team*, they would want to go for a ring. The Cavs are vulnerable, Butler is a top 10 NBA caliber player, and the window is now. Jimmy Butler is better than the median expectation of the value of a #1-3 pick over the next couple years.

Boston fans seem to feel like it's wrong to criticize Ainge because the costs were not certain.
Non-boston fans seem to feel like it's fair game to criticize Ainge because of what was leaked, the history of Boston lowballs, and that it really doesn't matter what the offer specifics are, because they were acquiring the best player.

All parties have fair points, and I want to acknowledge this! What we are arguing about is essentially how we weight things that we all roughly agree to be true. We all roughly agree that Jimmy Butler is likely to add more value over this season and the next one than the 2017 Nets pick. We all agree that exactly what was discussed was unclear. We all agree that the Celtics are not as good as a typical #1 seed, and we all agree that the Cavs have shown signs of weakness in the second half of the season.

Depending on your interpretive community that you belong to, you weight the importance of these truths differently, which leads to a disagreement despite broad agreement.
   2113. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5439874)
Also Rondo isn't good- I understand he had two good games (well really just one, he wasn't that good in game 1). I know that they don't have good backups, either, but this doesn't really seem like the kind of thing that should swing the series.

No, he's had 2 good games, at least defensively. Or at least, relatively so, compared to his standards. I don't trust Grant to be able to bother IT as much as Rondo has, and MCW is such a f'in train wreck (you saw that sequence at the end of Q3 last game, right?). So, yeah, it kind of is a big deal, in that they're both a step down from what Rondo was those games. Now, if you were to say Rondo wouldn't have been as good anyway, then, yeah, I agree with that. He still had a lot to do with the transition game the Bulls had last time. So at the risk of sounding like a Rondo fan or defender, it still matters*.

The ball will go through Butler more, but that means more work for him, so if/when he's needed to check IT late, he might not be as effective. I guess the extra off day helps, but that's sort of the trickle down effect of this type of injury.

*That's the cruel irony of this, btw. This is literally the first time all year I ever would have said this. If he got hurt in game 1, I wouldn't have thought it. All the more reason to hate Rondo even more now.
   2114. tshipman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5439876)
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.


Current odds are Boston +200, Chicago -240, so you might want to get on that if you really like Boston. Among other teams down 2-0, OKC is +700 and ATL is +550.

As good as Rondo has been for the last two games, I have been more struck by how out of sorts Boston has looked at both ends. I know that neither exists in isolation, but regardless of who is healthy for Chicago, Boston just has to play better to win.


I actually think that Chicago should be favored more, given that they took the first two games on the road. I'd rather be OKC or ATL than Boston.
   2115. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:23 PM (#5439879)
If the #1 seed is a paper tiger, then they've done something wrong, and this is all a mirage.


But isn't that sort of a known problem with the NBA? The regular season is more or less just an extended pre-season for the Playoffs, to decide which teams get to play a few extra games before the "real contenders" get to work at one another? Isn't that the entire premise of resting and "playoffs LeBron," in a nutshell?
   2116. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:24 PM (#5439880)
The argument is that #1 overall picks are really good, and the Celtics are not a single piece away from being a championship team.

Most of the rest of the board (but not everyone!), has the position that *if it were their team*, they would want to go for a ring. The Cavs are vulnerable, Butler is a top 10 NBA caliber player, and the window is now. Jimmy Butler is better than the median expectation of the value of a #1-3 pick over the next couple years.


I agree with most of this, but my points have been that getting Butler doesn't close your window in June 2017, given his age, contract, and the fact that they hold two unprotected picks from Brooklyn. Boston fans seem to imply that Butler is a dead end; I just see him as a different path. Neither path has certainty, as Lowe said, but no path is certain, and Butler being an ASG-level guy the next 2-3 years is a pretty solid bet.
   2117. tshipman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:24 PM (#5439881)
But isn't that sort of a known problem with the NBA? The regular season is more or less just an extended pre-season for the Playoffs, to decide which teams get to play a few extra games before the "real contenders" get to work at one another? Isn't that the entire premise of resting and "playoffs LeBron," in a nutshell?


The extent to which this is true is drastically overstated.

The regular season is highly predicative of the playoffs. Again, in NBA history there have been one, maybe two teams, that really "flipped the switch" in the playoffs--the 2001 Lakers and the 95 Rockets.
   2118. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5439889)
Rondo's on/off numbers this series are pretty dramatic.
   2119. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5439893)
The extent to which this is true is drastically overstated.

Strongly agree.

Boston fans (PJ, jmurph, et al) are saying pretty consistently that they were fine with Ainge's decision, and at the time of the deadline, said that they only wanted George/Butler if it meant not risking losing a #1 overall pick and breaking up the team's core.

I'm generally fine with tship's characterization of the disagreement. I do quibble strongly with the bolded part, though, I think this is the part either you guys are misunderstanding, or it's being poorly stated by me and others. The stance isn't that Boston's core is too good to break up, or it's not worth breaking up the core to get a guy as good as Butler or George (again, seriously, no one thinks Bradley or Crowder or whomever is better than or nearly as good as Butler, I promise-- this is something many people here have responded to, but it's just not an opinion held by anyone I'm aware of). The argument is more that the Celtics are a weird collection of players that broadly overachieves their talent- it's a "the whole is greater than the sum..." argument. And that to consolidate 2-3 of those players (as reports indicated the Bulls wanted) into one Jimmy Butler would not necessarily improve them this year. Isaiah/Smart/Butler/Horford/Johnson with a terrible bench is not a very good team.

Now the obvious rejoinder to that is RR's point: that Butler is under contract beyond this year. Which is correct and fair.



   2120. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5439895)
Now, if you were to say Rondo wouldn't have been as good anyway, then, yeah, I agree with that.

Yeah this was my argument, possibly poorly stated. So he's been good, great, those games are in the books. I did not expect him to continue to be as good, because he hasn't been that good in years.
   2121. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:54 PM (#5439897)
I am baffled by this insistence that either the Celtics are a contender or something has gone wrong. It may mean we just have a semantic disagreement about what constitutes a competitor, but I think one of the dangers for the Celtics is going all in now just because they're doing well.
If you win more games than anyone else in your conference, then you are BY DEFINITION a contender. Even if you stipulate (and I do) that Lebron is the greatest player of all time and the Cavs just muddled through the regular season, the fact that Boston has home court over all comers means they have at least better than a puncher's chance against even the Cavs.

I understand the argument that Boston's not a "serious" competitor, but that's why I made the "something's wrong" argument. If you really believe that the reliance on Thomas is a poison pill and Boston's interior defense is made of throw pillows, then something really IS wrong because it means none of Brown, Rozier, Smart, or anyone else they've drafted in the last five or six years can be counted on in crunch time, and the guys they traded for (Thomas) or signed (Horford) can't be trusted to lead a deep playoff run. If that's the case, if you really believe Boston isn't really a contender, then the Celtics are just the Best Case Sixers, still rebuilding and not caring really about winning. People who really, truly, honestly believe that should be doing the Stiggles thing and binging on draft videos instead of playoff games.

I don't believe that. Teams that earn top seeds are contenders, and no one should be taking that for granted — which is exactly what I think is happening in Boston. Fans seem to be invested in the idea that this team is going to be really competitive for a really long time, and these picks are going to turn into something special. Well, they haven't yet, and there's no guarantee that they will at all. Hell, there's a pretty good chance that even if you wait out Lebron while you collect pieces, you'll just end up in the Age of Giannis and spend the next decade staring up at Freak, Parker, Maker, etc. There's a chance that, ten years from now, we look back on 2017 and think, "The Celtics never got to such a good position again. That opportunity came, went, and that was that."

For the record, I'm not just saying this because I hate the Cs. When the Lakers cashed in their future for one last run in 2013, I was totally on board even if it meant guaranteeing that their future (now) would be totally awful. The NBA is lousy with hopeless teams who never see the light of day. Organizations understand how rare such opportunities are, which is why even Golden State was trying to improve after a 73-win season, why contenders look to bolster rosters at every trade deadline. I'm boggled that so many Boston fans can look at their very young, very competitive team and think, "Yeah, this is good enough for now, because we're guaranteed awesomeness tomorrow." That's not how the world works, and it's not how this league works.
   2122. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5439900)
If the Celtics really lose this series I think the fanbase will quickly decide that like most other teams, their "core" is made up of replaceable players and it would not be a betrayal of Ainge's grand plan if he trades players like Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley to make the team better.
   2123. JC in DC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:56 PM (#5439902)
2121 is the best post ever.
   2124. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5439908)
If the Celtics really lose this series I think the fanbase will quickly decide that like most other teams, their "core" is made up of replaceable players and it would not be a betrayal of Ainge's grand plan if he trades players like Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley to make the team better.

Seriously, reading this after spending a few minutes typing out 2119 is, uh, annoying, to put it mildly. I don't know how else to respond to this other than to say that, seriously, no one thinks otherwise. You're yelling at the clouds.
   2125. Sleepless in Munich Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:28 PM (#5439915)
I'm boggled that so many Boston fans can look at their very young, very competitive team and think, "Yeah, this is good enough for now, because we're guaranteed awesomeness tomorrow."

That totally misrepresents what Boston fans on this board (and I think most other places) are thinking. The point that is made over and over is that acquiring Butler isn't a sure path to greatness either and would hamper the ability of the Celtics to improve via draft and/or free agency. And that is a totally reasonable claim - both approaches have its pros and cons even though I also lean towards the "acquire the top 10 player now, figure out the rest later" point of view.
   2126. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5439917)
I don't believe that. Teams that earn top seeds are contenders, and no one should be taking that for granted — which is exactly what I think is happening in Boston. Fans seem to be invested in the idea that this team is going to be really competitive for a really long time, and these picks are going to turn into something special. Well, they haven't yet, and there's no guarantee that they will at all. Hell, there's a pretty good chance that even if you wait out Lebron while you collect pieces, you'll just end up in the Age of Giannis and spend the next decade staring up at Freak, Parker, Maker, etc. There's a chance that, ten years from now, we look back on 2017 and think, "The Celtics never got to such a good position again. That opportunity came, went, and that was that."

For the record, I'm not just saying this because I hate the Cs. When the Lakers cashed in their future for one last run in 2013, I was totally on board even if it meant guaranteeing that their future (now) would be totally awful. The NBA is lousy with hopeless teams who never see the light of day. Organizations understand how rare such opportunities are, which is why even Golden State was trying to improve after a 73-win season, why contenders look to bolster rosters at every trade deadline. I'm boggled that so many Boston fans can look at their very young, very competitive team and think, "Yeah, this is good enough for now, because we're guaranteed awesomeness tomorrow." That's not how the world works, and it's not how this league works.


A lot of this describes the Rose Bulls era, even if they were never sitting on a golden ticket as shiny as the Nets' picks; or even further back with the Deng/Gordon Bulls. One of the criticisms a lot of us had was the Bulls are always too conservative and never made a big move; which would seem to reinforce the idea that someone recently posted here that the Bulls as an org were content in their relative competitiveness. Not saying that is the case with the C's.
   2127. STIGGLES don't want to talk about cracker barrel Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5439919)
If that's the case, if you really believe Boston isn't really a contender, then the Celtics are just the Best Case Sixers, still rebuilding and not caring really about winning. People who really, truly, honestly believe that should be doing the Stiggles thing and binging on draft videos instead of playoff games.
it's STIGGLES
Philly was never going to deal Nerlens to Boston
i'm not sure how true that is. unless colangelo has an unreasonably high opinion of justin anderson, there was room for BOS to top DAL's offer without including one of their 8 best players or either of the nets picks.

also, they could have gotten bogut from the sixers for almost literally nothing. they could have gotten quincy acy from BKR or thomas robinson from LAL or anthony tolliver from SAC at rock bottom prices.


but, i guess ainge thinks jordan mickey and james young are too good to risk losing on waivers.
   2128. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:36 PM (#5439922)
The point that is made over and over is that acquiring Butler isn't a sure path to greatness either and would hamper the ability of the Celtics to improve via draft and/or free agency.

That's where you lose me, and probably a bunch of other people. It's spinning the acquisition of Butler as a negative. Adding a great player doesn't mean you can't add more, though it's not always the same path. You usually need to get a great player to get another great player, and getting Butler is a much higher guarantee of having a great player than a Nets pick. IMHO.
   2129. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:37 PM (#5439923)
Like Sleepless said, I don't know what Boston fans LA Hombre is talking about. There's a small subset of wanna-be Process folks who only care about the future, but I assume every team has those. To the extent that anyone is saying "this is good enough for now", it's because of how quickly this has come together, and how much better it is to be competitive than to be the Sixers (and even so, most everyone would be disappointed if they indeed fail to get out of the first round).

All that said, I am somewhat boggled that *Ainge* looked at this team and didn't make any deadline moves to address their weaknesses. Not the big Butler/George moves that require a major change in strategy, just smaller pieces to round out the 2017 playoff roster.
   2130. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5439933)
If I'm wrong about this, please correct me: While the Celtics would certainly have been much better and perhaps even a threat to Cleveland had they added Jimmy Butler, it seems to me that their most glaring weakness is that they are terrible at rebounding (26th out of 30 teams this year!) and protecting the rim. Adding Jimmy Butler would improve the team in almost every way EXCEPT that one area, and may also run up against diminishing returns as concerns there only being one ball for Butler and Isaiah Thomas to share.

It seems to me that this may be an argument to not sell the ranch for Jimmy Butler, but if an elite big man (like, say, Kristaps Porzingis?) becomes available they might be more willing to sell the ranch for him.

Man, DeMarcus Cousins must be even more of a toxic ####### than I realized, for the Celtics to not want to top New Orleans' piddling offer for him. On skillset, Cousins is EXACTLY what they were lacking.
   2131. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5439935)
Man, DeMarcus Cousins must be even more of a toxic ####### than I realized, for the Celtics to not want to top New Orleans' piddling offer for him.

Replace Celtics with "literally any other team but New Orleans" and I think we have to assume at this point that the first part of your statement is true. Seems clear no one was willing to give anything of value up for him (which makes me continue to think that Sacramento might have done an okay job after-all, as long as the ping pong balls go their way).
   2132. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:55 PM (#5439938)
I completely agree with 2130, and it's some of what I was getting at in talking about Butler or George only solving one of their two flaws. I think the easiest way to turn this Celtics team in to what I would consider to be a real title contender would be to get an elite big man to put next to Horford. If Porzingis really comes available, or if Anthony Davis tries to force his way out of New Orleans, or any other such thing comes to pass, I will be livid if Ainge doesn't go hard at landing such a player. I think they can get 80% (say) of the way to the value of an elite wing with the players on the roster, but the lack of good big men is a huge part of the reason I consider them a paper tiger.
   2133. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:55 PM (#5439939)
All that said, I am somewhat boggled that *Ainge* looked at this team and didn't make any deadline moves to address their weaknesses. Not the big Butler/George moves that require a major change in strategy, just smaller pieces to round out the 2017 playoff roster.
That's who I'm talking about. Ainge is the one that makes the final decision here, and he's getting very little flak from Celtic Nation. By either design or circumstance, they got the #1 seed. This was an opportunity to do something special, but they needed a push. And we're not just talking about Butler or George here — why isn't DeMarcus Cousins wearing green? If interior rebounding was the issue, why not Biyombo or Plumlee or Alex Len? They couldn't have been untouchable. My gripe isn't that the Celtics didn't do a specific thing, but that they didn't do ANYthing.

EDIT: Coke to PASTE
   2134. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5439941)
Speaking of the Kangz

Sam Amick‏Verified account @sam_amick 2h2 hours ago
Can confirm Scott Perry is expected to join Kings as Executive VP of b-ball ops. He'll work closely w/ Vlade Divac, who still has final say

Sam Amick‏Verified account @sam_amick 1h1 hour ago
Kings' chain-of-command, I'm told, now 1) Vlade, 2) Perry, 3) Asst. GM Ken Catanella. Scott's a really good pickup. Strong NBA relationships

Sam Amick‏Verified account @sam_amick 1h1 hour ago
To clarify Kings' structure: Vlade's title now solely GM, w/ Perry, Catanella, new-hire Luke Bornn working collaboratively on next level
   2135. aberg Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:02 PM (#5439943)
In some ways, this Boston discussion is a proxy for a conversation we have been having for years on this board about whether fans should be satisfied with being a competitive team that has a good shot to win a playoff series or two, or if they should feel disappointed if they don't win the title. It's part of The Process conversation, but it has impacted so many teams over the last decade.
   2136. STIGGLES don't want to talk about cracker barrel Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:03 PM (#5439944)
   2137. aberg Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5439946)
In his time in Orlando, Perry helped draft Victor Oladipo (2013), Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton (2014), and Mario Hezonja (2015) in Orlando.


Bahahahahaha.
   2138. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:06 PM (#5439949)
think the easiest way to turn this Celtics team in to what I would consider to be a real title contender would be to get an elite big man to put next to Horford.

Wasn't Horford supposed to be an elite big? He's being paid like one.
   2139. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:10 PM (#5439955)
I hate to say it but my best guess is that the Celtics bought a lemon in Horford, and signed him right when he got old. Of particular concern is that his rebound rate has been plunging for five years now.

IMO, and I know others disagree, but this is a big reason why I think it would be a mistake to max Isaiah Thomas out. Thomas is probably going to fall off fast as he approaches 30, and the Celtics can get away with carrying one merely decent player making superstar money and still be a contender, but not two.

e: Horford is such a cerebral player, and a big man that does everything adequately-to-well, that he may very well remain useful into his late 30s at reduced playing time, and so in that regard can remain a useful rotation piece on a contender for years, I think. But his hops are gone and he's just not a star anymore. Thomas OTOH is probably going to go from star to out of the league in about 2 years. Once he loses a step, he's done as a useful player.
   2140. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5439956)
Wasn't Horford supposed to be an elite big? He's being paid like one.

Yeeeppp. Gonna be a lot of articles about that when they go out in the 1st round.

6.8 rebounds per game. Worst year of his career (since his rookie year). He's still very valuable (great passer, great team defender if not a rim protector), and I think he'll improve with better shooting/team rebounding around him. But I'm not UNworried about that one.
   2141. tshipman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:18 PM (#5439960)
The Lakers are willing to consider trading NBA CHAMPION, PROVEN REBOUNDER and FEMALE FAN FAVORITE Timofey Mozgov for Horford in the offseason.
   2142. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:21 PM (#5439963)
Tough call. Throw in Deng?

In all seriousness, though I'm disappointed by Horford's output this year, I'm still optimistic about his time on the team. The contract is a year too long, sure, but he's one of the easiest guys to build around. He can play with another big if that's what you want, he can stretch the floor well enough, he's a good distributor. So whether they make big changes or run it back with some minor tweaks, he's an easy fit.
   2143. STIGGLES don't want to talk about cracker barrel Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5439965)
The Lakers are willing to consider trading NBA CHAMPION, PROVEN REBOUNDER and FEMALE FAN FAVORITE Timofey Mozgov for Horford in the offseason.
settle down, the BBTFNBAPT3rdANBAMD doesn't start until after the lottery.
   2144. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5439969)
I'm surely biased on this one, but it sounds pretty clear both Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele are doing to be joining the Celtics next season, and both (especially Zizic) should be much better options than Kelly "worst facial hair in the league" Olynyk and the ghost of Amir Johnson next to Horford. Horford is a versatile, skilled player, and I think can be useful and worth his contract (though likely not providing particular surplus value) if he is at the 4 next to a real center.

I agree with PASTE's wariness of IT. I love the dude for his fearlessness and scoring, but I think he's going to fall off dramatically when he ages a bit, and his upcoming contract is going to be an albatross. One of the factors in my unwillingness to pillory Ainge for standing pat is that I suspect the team would be better served landing Fultz or Ball, trading IT, and going from there.
   2145. aberg Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:30 PM (#5439972)
Here is a comparison of Horford to 4 other bigs who made the ASG this year.

Player PER WS/48 RPM ORTG DRTG
Horford 17.7 .138 2.51 114 107
Love 21.1 .163 4.41 114 107
Millsap 17.9 .132 4.67 108 104
M Gasol 20.3 .145 2.77 111 106
Jordan 21.8 .220 4.67 129 102

Horford's career #s in those categories: 18.9, .157, NA, 114, 104. He has only had two playoff games this year, but the defensive numbers are even worse.

Takeaways:
-If Boston thought they were getting an AS big, Moses, PASTE, and jmpurph are probably right that he might not be that any longer, though his career numbers fit well into the group.

-Deandre is probably very underrated, even if ORTG overrates him.

-It didn't show up much to my eye, but Millsap might have started a bit of a decline this year. It's also possible that he had a harder time playing with Howard than he did with Horford.
   2146. aberg Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:31 PM (#5439973)
BBTFNBAPT3rdANBAMD


You got me. What's the P?
   2147. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:32 PM (#5439974)
One of the factors in my unwillingness to pillory Ainge for standing pat is that I suspect the team would be better served landing Fultz or Ball, trading IT, and going from there.


I suspect this very thing might be what Ainge is hoping for. Especially if they can land Fultz or Ball and then turn Thomas + assets into a good big, that makes them a veeeery interesting team.

My pessimism about Thomas is entirely because I ASSUME at least two of the 30 teams will prove willing to max him out in free agency, and therefore he won't sign an extension for less. (I'd be OK with re-signing him for big/max bucks over 3 years but I wouldn't go any further than that.) So therefore I assume at least a few teams out there would be willing to give up significant value for him in a trade this offseason.
   2148. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:52 PM (#5439981)
Gerald Green, huh?

@SeanGrandePBP: Gerald Green's last start for the Celtics was on April 13th...

...2007.
   2149. PJ Martinez Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:55 PM (#5439982)
The other starters that night, per Grande:

Delonte West
Kendrick Perkins
Ryan Gomes
Rajon Rondo

Weird move. Amir sitting is not surprising, but might have expected Jaylen or Jerebko or Zeller or Smart. Was not expecting Gerald.
   2150. tshipman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5439984)
Horford is a versatile, skilled player, and I think can be useful and worth his contract (though likely not providing particular surplus value) if he is at the 4 next to a real center.


Isn't this exactly contrary to his history?

Horford has had the best years of his career playing as a 5 alongside Paul Millsap--a stretch 4. I see no reason to think that he should be paired with another traditional big.
   2151. STIGGLES don't want to talk about cracker barrel Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:02 PM (#5439987)
You got me. What's the P?

BBTF
NBA
playoff thread
3rd annual
NBA
mock draft
   2152. JC in DC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:04 PM (#5439988)
I'm surely biased on this one, but it sounds pretty clear both Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele are doing to be joining the Celtics next season, and both (especially Zizic) should be much better options than Kelly "worst facial hair in the league" Olynyk and the ghost of Amir Johnson next to Horford.


I'd like to hear the case for this. I don't know the two guys you mention, I assume they're European stashed away guys, but don't underrate what Olynyk's given you. He's clearly not irreplaceable, but if those guys are "much better," that will be quite a team.
   2153. JC in DC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:10 PM (#5439991)
Especially if they can land Fultz or Ball and then turn Thomas + assets into a good big, that makes them a veeeery interesting team.


I won't speak for Robin, but this is cra-cra. Aside from y'all's predictions IT will fall off a cliff in the next two years, right now he's legitimately an NBA star, something it's very unlikely either Ball or Fultz will be for at least three years (just going by, say, John Wall's career development - is either of these guys Wall?), if ever. It's hard to see how you go from first seed in the East to "veeeery interesting" in that scenario. Though, Philly's been at least three e's interesting the past few years, and maybe you mean that?
   2154. PJ Martinez Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:10 PM (#5439992)
"Gerald Green's eating some chicken fingers and fries so that's your live report from the locker room" -- Adam Himmelsbach (he isn't joking)
   2155. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:15 PM (#5439996)
I'd like to hear the case for this.


Well, I was making the claim "much better...next to Horford", which is narrower than much better full stop. Both are in deed Euro draft-and-stash players. Zizic is a 7-footer traditional center who has spent the year scoring and rebounding really well as a 19 year old in the Euroleague. Yabusele is nicknamed "the French Draymond" and spent the year in China. He's more of a project, and farther out should he ever amount to anything, which he may or may not. But both are interior players in a way that Olynyk is not, which was my point. It's not that I think Olynyk is a bad player, but rather that I think his skillset overlaps too much with Horford's (at this point in Horford's career, any way.)
   2156. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:26 PM (#5440000)
I won't speak for Robin, but this is cra-cra. Aside from y'all's predictions IT will fall off a cliff in the next two years, right now he's legitimately an NBA star, something it's very unlikely either Ball or Fultz will be for at least three years (just going by, say, John Wall's career development - is either of these guys Wall?), if ever. It's hard to see how you go from first seed in the East to "veeeery interesting" in that scenario. Though, Philly's been at least three e's interesting the past few years, and maybe you mean that?


Yeah, I meant for more than just 2017-18. I assume Ainge is thinking beyond next season, otherwise he'd have cashed in his chips and gone for it by now.

Keeping Isaiah Thomas would be a win now kind of move. Then again, so was signing Al Horford. But making no deadline moves whatsoever, despite the (alleged) availability of several very good players, is a long term move. Ainge appears to be trying to have his cake and eat it too, and he might succeed, but it's why we get so much mileage out of talking about the Celtics.

It appears to me--wild ass guessing--that Ainge wants to keep all the Brooklyn picks because he figures that if he gets lucky he might be able to build a dynasty. Nothing he's done so far has hampered his ability to accomplish that, with luck.
   2157. JC in DC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:32 PM (#5440002)
How does it make you [Boston] guys feel that the NY press is printing "Carmelo to Boston Becoming a Reality" stories? As a NY fan, it makes me feel pretty good.
   2158. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:41 PM (#5440005)
If I'm wrong about this, please correct me: While the Celtics would certainly have been much better and perhaps even a threat to Cleveland had they added Jimmy Butler, it seems to me that their most glaring weakness is that they are terrible at rebounding (26th out of 30 teams this year!) and protecting the rim. Adding Jimmy Butler would improve the team in almost every way EXCEPT that one area, and may also run up against diminishing returns as concerns there only being one ball for Butler and Isaiah Thomas to share.

I don't agree with this. With respect to rim protection, the Celtics are average at worst. They rank 15th in Opponent FG% at rim and 9th in Opponent FGA at rim. None of the other top teams in the East (Cavs, Raptors, Wizards) is any better. Overall the Celtics hold opponents to a lower effective field goal percentage than any other playoff team in the East, so they don't seem to be propping up their rim protection at the expense of perimeter defense. If rim protection is a major weakness, it doesn't seem to be showing up in the stats.

I'll concede that the Celtics are not a good rebounding team, but that's one of the easiest areas to fix cheaply during the season. For example, at the deadline the Bulls gave away a good rebounder and defender on an expiring contract, Taj Gibson, apparently to save a bit of money. There's absolutely no reason he couldn't have been included in a Butler deal if that's what the Celtics wanted. Andrew Bogut was available for next to nothing. I'm sure Tyson Chandler could've been had for contract filler, though he's not expiring.

More importantly, I think there's more to be gained from improving on a strength than you're acknowledging. If you add Jimmy Butler or Paul George to the team, Isaiah Thomas's usage might go down in some measure, but that doesn't mean there are diminishing returns, especially in the playoffs. Nearly every contending team has 2+ really good options to score and/or create shots. That puts added strain on the opposing defense and allows for better looks for everyone. It also means that you can have a go-to scorer/playmaker on the court at all times rather than overburdening Isaiah and worrying how you'll manage the 6-12 minutes a game he's on the bench. Another reason there wouldn't be diminishing returns from adding Butler: he's a really good distributor. Butler's a high-usage wing with nearly a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. My goal for this season was for the team to let Jimmy play the Harden role; they went in a different direction yet he's still capable of running point. And he wouldn't make the team worse in any respect.

This is a long way of saying that I don't consider fit to be an issue for the Celtics in the rumored deals. If the asking price was too steep, it's entirely valid to not make a move. If they held back based on theories of diminishing returns or a less than ideal roster construction, then in my opinion that's a mistake.
   2159. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:43 PM (#5440006)
You know a big that was traded this deadline for pennies on the dollar that would have helped Boston this year? Taj Gibson.
   2160. PJ Martinez Posted: April 21, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5440036)
I agree with everything in 2158, I think.

As for 2157: If I'm reading the NY Post story that everyone's citing correctly, the writer has one "NBA source" who told him that, during the season, the Celtics' coaching staff was in favor of trading for Carmelo, but Ainge was not. That seems plausible. Then the writer himself openly speculates that because Boston is doing poorly in the postseason, maybe Ainge will become more open to it. I doubt that, and I don't see any actual reporting that suggests otherwise. (Edit: also, given that it's a New York paper, and given that the Knicks are not playing while the Celtics are, it's seems nearly certain that the "NBA source" is a New York person, who presumably wants to drive the story that the Knicks could ship Carmelo to Boston.)
   2161. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 07:43 PM (#5440039)
I think one of the disconnects is here:

The argument is more that the Celtics are a weird collection of players that broadly overachieves their talent- it's a "the whole is greater than the sum..." argument. And that to consolidate 2-3 of those players (as reports indicated the Bulls wanted) into one Jimmy Butler would not necessarily improve them this year.


If the Celtics are just a weird collection of overachievers, then you cash them in for an All-Star every time, because like I said a couple of days ago, believing that means that your key guys are Ainge and Stevens, and they can get/create the next Jae Crowder for you.

I think the easiest way to turn this Celtics team in to what I would consider to be a real title contender would be to get an elite big man to put next to Horford


"Easiest?" Getting an elite big is one of the hardest moves to make for any NBA franchise, and that is one reason that Horford got 4/113. In today's game, finding elite bigs who can do all the various things that elite bigs are supposed to do now is harder than ever. And, I guess that means you don't see Cousins as "elite?" I am OK with that, but even with the faults and the baggage, Cousins is a very good player.

Ainge may well come out on top by standing pat. They are up 37-17 in G3 right now, and I think Rondo, warts and all, was a key guy in this series. Maybe Fultz is really good fast, maybe they sign Hayward, maybe Zizic is really good, maybe they make a good Thomas trade. But I am unpersuaded as of now.
   2162. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 07:57 PM (#5440051)
They are up 37-17 in G3 right now
There's still time to edit that last comment, RR....
   2163. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:02 PM (#5440055)
yeah, 42-36 now
   2164. PJ Martinez Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:03 PM (#5440057)
Honestly, I think one of the disconnects, at least for me, is that the non-Celtics fans (to use that handy distinction from earlier) are saying something that sounds, to me at least, like "Ainge made a terrible mistake in not making a big move," to which my reply is: "We don't know what was on the table, and maybe a better move or set of moves will be available this offseason, and Ainge has made so many good moves that I trust him, so for now I'm reserving a judgment," to which the reply is, "No, he pretty clearly made a terrible decision," to which my reply is: "We don't know what..."

Rinse and repeat. I would have been pretty excited had they landed a star, and I think it's entirely possible that Celtics fans will look back on this past trade deadline with regret. I just think it's also entirely possible we might not.

The question of a smaller move is maybe more interesting, but I don't feel up enough on cap stuff to understand how any given move might have affected the team in terms of free agents, etc. But the team's needs sure seemed pretty obvious, and I know a lot of Celtics fans who were more annoyed that Ainge did *nothing* than they were that he didn't land a superstar.

Edit: 11 points for Boston in that second quarter. Blech.
   2165. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:12 PM (#5440059)
Honestly, I think one of the disconnects, at least for me, is that the non-Celtics fans (to use that handy distinction from earlier) are saying something that sounds, to me at least, like "Ainge made a terrible mistake in not making a big move," to which my reply is: "We don't know what was on the table, and maybe a better move or set of moves will be available this offseason, and Ainge has made so many good moves that I trust him, so for now I'm reserving a judgment," to which the reply is, "No, he pretty clearly made a terrible decision," to which my reply is: "We don't know what...


I think that is an overbid, although Hombre did come on pretty strong, as have I a couple of times, and sure, Boston may be hoisting banner 18 in 2019 lead by Anthony Davis and Markelle Fultz. Ainge is a good GM, and there a lot of unknown variables here. That said, if your argument leans heavily on "Maybe there will be better options in the off-season" and "in Ainge we trust" then I think you should expect a bit of blowback.
   2166. PJ Martinez Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:14 PM (#5440063)
2165: Fair enough.
   2167. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:17 PM (#5440065)
Yeah, and as a Lakers fan, I am not objective here. But if Ainge pulls off some big stuff down the line, I will acknowledge as much.

Meantime, Game 3 is now 44-41.
   2168. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:19 PM (#5440066)
I was going to comment that 2165 seems to be ignoring the rest of 2164, but if 2166 is OK with it, fair enough :)

So instead I'll just restate that I think it's fine to say "in Danny we trust" on not making a big Butler/George deal given what we know, while still criticizing him for not making *any* deal.
   2169. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:50 PM (#5440076)
So instead I'll just restate that I think it's fine to say "in Danny we trust" on not making a big Butler/George deal given what we know, while still criticizing him for not making *any* deal.


Perhaps, but the NBA is a star-driven league.
   2170. JC in DC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:09 PM (#5440083)
Butler is terrible. Ainge was right to do nothing.
   2171. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5440090)
Boston got it done; give them credit. I was hoping that Chicago would beat them again, but I am not at all surprised. As I said yesterday even before Rondo went down, this series is far from over.
   2172. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:53 PM (#5440110)


Perhaps, but the NBA is a star-driven league.

I'm not sure how this is responsive to what I posted, but I'm probably just missing the point. Don't think anybody's disputing that it's a star driven league, and assembling the big three suggests that Ainge understands that, so...? Not sure what you're getting at.
   2173. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5440115)
I thought Dandy's table from [2090] was fascinating and I'm trying to teach myself some of the tricks in my new text editor, so I took a crack at reformatting the table and added a little ascii histogram. "-" bars are how much better the West was that year, "o" bars the East.

The post's explanation of the numbers:
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:

|            All 16 Teams            |          Only Top 4 Teams          |
Year #1Conf |        SRSΔ        |        SRSΔ        | #1Conf | Year |
|------+--------+--------------------+--------------------+--------+------|
1977 West   23.0         ----- | ------         8.9 West   1977 |
1978 West   15.9           --- | ---            4.2 West   1978 |
1979 West   19.8          ---- | o              1.5 East   1979 |
1980 East   |  4.7             o | -              1.8 West   1980 |
1981 East   20.4          oooo oooooooo      12.5 East   1981 |
1982 East   13.2           ooo oooo           5.6 East   1982 |
1983 East   10.6            oo ooo            4.3 East   1983 |
1984 East   10.7            oo ooooooo        9.9 East   1984 |
1985 East   14.8           ooo ooooo          6.9 East   1985 |
1986 East   17.6           ooo oooooooo      12.3 East   1986 |
1987 East   17.1           ooo ooo            4.3 East   1987 |
1988 East   27.8        oooooo ooo            4.1 East   1988 |
1989 East   28.2        oooooo ooo            3.9 East   1989 |
1990 West   26.8         ----- | ------         9.5 West   1990 |
1991 West   |  7.8             - | -----          6.8 West   1991 |
1992 East   |  5.1             o o              0.4 East   1992 |
1993 East   11.8            oo o              0.7 East   1993 |
1994 West   |  6.7             - | ---            3.9 West   1994 |
1995 West   15.5           --- | ------         8.5 West   1995 |
1996 East   |                ooo | -              1.0 West   1996 |
1997 East   35.7       ooooooo ooo            4.8 East   1997 |
1998 East   43.2     ooooooooo | -              0.9 West   1998 |
1999 East   15.5           ooo | ----           5.0 West   1999 |
2000 West   22.6          ---- | ----------    15.4 West   2000 |
2001 West   44.9     --------- | ---------     13.1 West   2001 |
2002 West   30.5        ------ | -----------   17.1 West   2002 |
2003 West   41.9      -------- | --------      11.3 West   2003 |
2004 West   54.1   ----------- | --------      11.4 West   2004 |
2005 West   37.5      -------- | ----------    14.8 West   2005 |
2006 West   14.3           --- | ------         8.3 West   2006 |
2007 West   32.9       ------- | -----------   15.8 West   2007 |
2008 West   33.2       ------- | -              1.6 West   2008 |
2009 East   15.0           ooo oooo           5.1 East   2009 |
2010 West   14.7           --- | o              1.2 East   2010 |
2011 West   31.1        ------ | oo             2.0 East   2011 |
2012 West   29.5        ------ | ---                | West   2012 |
2013 West   42.1      -------- | --------      12.3 West   2013 |
2014 West   61.4  ------------ | ----------    15.6 West   2014 |
2015 West   44.0     --------- | ---------     13.7 West   2015 |
2016 West   11.2            -- | -----------   16.0 West   2016 |
2017 West   31.5        ------ | ------------  18.6 West   2017 
   2174. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:02 PM (#5440116)
2172,

That I would be more likely to criticize Ainge for not getting Butler or George than I would for not getting Taj Gibson or Bismack Biyombo, even if Gibson and Biyombo fit the team's immediate needs better. I guess I thought that Thomas and Horford were supposed to be 2/3 of a new "Big Three" that Boston could roll with while still maintaining some assets, and that some of the assets might be cashed in thereof. But that does not appear to be the plan, at least not right now.
   2175. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5440118)
Also, while to my eye Rondo was a huge part of disrupting the Celtics' play on both ends, I'm still worried: Game 4 is on TNT.
   2176. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5440119)
Nice work, Winter, very effective visual.
   2177. theboyqueen Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5440121)
In his time in Orlando, Perry helped draft Victor Oladipo (2013), Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton (2014), and Mario Hezonja (2015) in Orlando.


Bahahahahaha.


The one and only thing the Kings have done competently with Vlade as GM is draft. So eh? Hopefully Perry is around to make sure the Kings don't get ridiculously screwed in the details of any more trades, and don't make idiotic free agent signings.
   2178. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:11 PM (#5440125)
Boston solved all their problems by making 46% of their threes and forcing Butler* to be garbage. Do that 3 more times and they're all set.

But seriously, not super excited about that 52-37 rebounding advantage for Chicago- I don't think you can do that and win too many times. And while Chicago is not a good shooting team and was due for a game like this, that's probably not something Boston can hope will happen too many times. But yeah, good win, I'll take it. Nice minutes from Rozier, I didn't see that coming.

*Is Butler hurt? I didn't have audio on the whole game, but he just looked off.
   2179. PJ Martinez Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:30 PM (#5440148)
The rebounding difference is not great, but if you're deliberately going small and sacrificing size on the boards for shooters on the perimeter who may very well make forty percent or more of their threes, then that's a tradeoff you can probably live with. A fifteen-rebound deficit looks a lot worse when you're playing a non-shooting big man like Amir Johnson and don't have shooters everywhere and it's still happening.

Rondo was a big loss for Chicago, on both ends. Butler will play better, for sure, but Bradley played him well tonight, I thought. And no random bench guy had a big night, a la Portis and Zipser in the first two games.
   2180. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:43 PM (#5440160)
Hayward tied the Clippers in the 1st q 21-21.
   2181. Booey Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:45 PM (#5440167)
Liking the game so far...
   2182. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:46 PM (#5440168)
Hayward is going to be awesome in Boston. Heh.
   2183. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:50 PM (#5440171)
It's still early in this game and this series, but if the Clippers were to lose to a Gobert-less Jazz team, that would be shameful.
   2184. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5440173)
My advanced analytics show George Hill to be better than Shelvin Mack.
   2185. Booey Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:54 PM (#5440176)
2182 - Yeah, but only once a year when the Jazz visit!
   2186. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:54 PM (#5440177)
[2176] Thanks!

The question of a smaller move is maybe more interesting, but I don't feel up enough on cap stuff to understand how any given move might have affected the team in terms of free agents, etc.

I pay some attention to cap issues and projections, which I think offers the only reasonable explanation I've yet seen for the Celtics making no small moves. At the trade deadline, the Celtics were (I think) 3rd or 4th in the East and were looking at an ability to /just/ barely scrape out max cap room for free agency without having to cut ties on any returning rotation player (most likely Avery Bradley). Any trade that took back additional salary would have also had the opportunity cost of being able to make a play for Griffin or Hayward without having to preemptively cut a player they'd much rather keep.

Of course, this excuse only holds water if you believe Ainge couldn't have gotten Noel or found someone better than Tyler Zeller for Tyler Zeller and James Young/a pick (for the record, I'm skeptical of both). Since the deadline passed, IIRC, the cap projection has lowered a million or two, and the Celtics managed to snag the first seed: given those, staying pat looks worse in retrospect. But, as so many have said, we have only partial information to judge here.
   2187. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:56 PM (#5440178)
Joe Ingles is a sneaky good player.
   2188. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:06 PM (#5440186)
Joe Ingles is a sneaky good player.

Yeah I fully do not understand it, but he looks good every time I see them play.

It's still early in this game and this series, but if the Clippers were to lose to a Gobert-less Jazz team, that would be shameful.

I don't see how you could possibly run this team and Doc back if that happens. Ballmer doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who is going to be happy with just a 1st or 2nd round exit every year.
   2189. Booey Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:09 PM (#5440188)
This 2nd quarter is less cool than the first.

And now Griffen leaves with an ankle tweak after stepping on Hill's foot. Last team with a starter standing wins the series!
   2190. maccoach57 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:10 PM (#5440189)
Joe Ingles in the house
   2191. Booey Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:12 PM (#5440191)
Back up to 9 at halftime after the Clips cut the early 14 pt lead down to 2. Could be worse.
   2192. Tin Angel Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:19 PM (#5440193)
What's the prognosis for Gobert? Haven't heard any updates.
   2193. Booey Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:21 PM (#5440194)
#2192 - It was a hyperextension and bone bruise. All they've said lately is that he's improving. No timetable for return yet.
   2194. tshipman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:22 PM (#5440195)
I was going to comment that 2165 seems to be ignoring the rest of 2164, but if 2166 is OK with it, fair enough :)

So instead I'll just restate that I think it's fine to say "in Danny we trust" on not making a big Butler/George deal given what we know, while still criticizing him for not making *any* deal.


Most of the criticism comes from Ainge allegedly not being willing to include the 2017 nets pick in any deal.

If, like a lot of people, you think that is stupid, then you can criticize him for not making a Butler/George deal.

This isn't experimental physics. It's not that complicated.

   2195. Booey Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:28 PM (#5440200)
Griffen not returning this game (toe).
   2196. Booey Posted: April 22, 2017 at 12:01 AM (#5440213)
Hayward with 36 after 3. Lead is gone, though.
   2197. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 22, 2017 at 12:29 AM (#5440217)
Chris Paul is playing amazing basketball.

But, Utah had a couple of plays back to back, right when they lost to the lead, where Hayward appeared to be getting mugged, not just off the ball even but on the ball on the perimeter on 1 on 1 defense and they didn't call it.
   2198. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 22, 2017 at 12:33 AM (#5440219)
Derrick Favors is an awful basketball player. I mean, I guess he was good last year. I don't know, frankly, I don't want to know. It's a market I can do without.
   2199. Booey Posted: April 22, 2017 at 01:01 AM (#5440227)
SIgh...Really, really needed that one. Thought we had it too.

Diaw is beyond useless. If I were Snyder I'd take my chances with Withey at C to guard DeAndre and move Favors to PF (he was terrible tonight, but actually okay the first two games).

   2200. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2017 at 02:30 AM (#5440237)
Just got home from a concert (Brian Stokes Mitchell is jaw-droppingly great), saw the scoreboard and laughed. I can't imagine a world where the Bulls win this series. I'm not even sure they're gonna win another game. They're awful.
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