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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 | 923 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   601. jmurph Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5418831)
The Clippers have slipped to only a half game ahead of OKC for the 5th spot. Finishing 6th would mean facing Houston in the first round- although it's not like holding onto 5th and facing the Jazz would be an easy series by any means.

They have a lot more home games than road from here on out, but still, they're quite a mess right now.

(reposted for the flip)
   602. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5418859)
I know y'all have more serious posts than this, but, damn, this Russell Westbrook pass last night is ####### BONKERS.
   603. Booey Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5418866)
The Clippers have slipped to only a half game ahead of OKC for the 5th spot. Finishing 6th would mean facing Houston in the first round- although it's not like holding onto 5th and facing the Jazz would be an easy series by any means.


Assuming the Clips are reasonably healthy come playoff time (a big "if", I know), I'd much rather the Jazz host OKC in the first round. Yeah, the Thunder won the season series 3-1, but two of those wins came down to the final possession and the third was last weekend when Gobert sat for the only time this season and no Jazz starter played more than 23 minutes. It wasn't a game Utah seemed overly concerned about winning (not sure why, though; it wasn't a B2B and it was against a division rival with the season series tie-breaker on the line). The Utah win was by 20 pts, so they actually outscored OKC in the season series. Unless Hill gets injured again, I'd take the Jazz in that series (at this point I pretty much assume that Favors and Hood won't be contributing much).
   604. jmurph Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5418869)
Agree Booey, Utah would be big favorites over OKC, I think. Much less certain against a healthy Clippers team.

I'm also not sure the Clippers couldn't beat Houston, it's just that Utah is probably a better matchup.
   605. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5418879)
I think everyone is basically wanting to avoid the Clippers as their free fall continues. I think a healthy Clippers team is on par with a healthy Utah and Houston.

Speaking of the playoff seedings, I think the Spurs and Golden State may have different thoughts here - but I think I'd rather the Spurs play Memphis than Denver. Denver's been pretty good the last couple of months, and I think the Spurs matchup well with Memphis. They do similar things, the Spurs are just better at them.
   606. Booey Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:24 PM (#5418883)
I'm also not sure the Clippers couldn't beat Houston, it's just that Utah is probably a better matchup.


Yeah, even though I think a healthy Jazz team is on par with a healthy Clippers team vs the rest of the league, LAC is a bad matchup for Utah and the Jazz have really struggled against them the last few years (and this season, Monday's win excepted).
   607. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM (#5418900)
I know y'all have more serious posts than this, but, damn, this Russell Westbrook pass last night is ####### BONKERS.

Nuts to more serious posts, that pass is exactly what I'm here for.
   608. jmurph Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5418909)
It seems less likely now, but I imagine Golden State really wants to avoid OKC. Not that the Thunder pose any threat, but 2(+) games in OKC just seems like an unwanted emotional distraction for Durant, especially given that he'll likely be playing himself back into shape.
   609. Tin Angel Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5418917)
Nuts to more serious posts, that pass is exactly what I'm here for.


That's purely luck though, right? There's no way you could plan to do that from that distance.
   610. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 17, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5418922)
I assume so, but it's no less awesome for it. (Russell Westbrook also seems like one of the few guys in the league with license to try to force that sort of thing, so it may even be intentional, though if so it's still a low-percentage gamble paying off.)
   611. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: March 17, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5418926)
I think I'd rather the Spurs play Memphis than Denver. Denver's been pretty good the last couple of months, and I think the Spurs matchup well with Memphis. They do similar things, the Spurs are just better at them.

I know it's been a few years now, but I still think a lot about that 1/8 upset (and yeah, I know there were injuries, etc).
   612. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: March 17, 2017 at 01:08 PM (#5418928)
Wade out for the year, potentially killing their chances at the 8 seed?

If I say I hope so, I feel guilty. The FO seems pretty safe, but I'm less sure about Hoiberg...
   613. Booey Posted: March 17, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5418935)
I know it's been a few years now, but I still think a lot about that 1/8 upset (and yeah, I know there were injuries, etc).

How soon you forget that Denver pulled a 1/8 upset as well! (the first one ever, actually) :-D
   614. King Mekong Posted: March 17, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5419020)
I still feel like if Ginobili hadn't broken his arm the last game of the season the Spurs would have won that series. They probably would have won the championship that year too. Oh well, I'll take Kawhi Leonard and the 2014 Championship over the 2011. (Assuming the Spurs wouldn't have traded George Hill for a Rookie if they win the 2011 Title.)
   615. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 18, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5419212)
Watching a recorded Wolves vs. Heat, and the Heat are an entertaining team to watch.
   616. maccoach57 Posted: March 18, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5419409)
Just so everybody knows: berg, Booey, Moses, shipman and jmurph are all resting tonight to get ready for the playoffs.
   617. Booey Posted: March 18, 2017 at 11:44 PM (#5419439)
Jazz lose a game in the standings to the Clips after some guy named Bobby Portis goes off for a career high in Chicago, and LAC stomps Cleveland by 30 with LeBron, Kyrie, and Love sitting.

I think all this resting is getting to the point that Silver may have to address it. It's messing up playoff races, and as a fan, I'm hesitant to buy tickets in the second half of the season now if I was going to see a certain player (s). I hate to be a BITGOD, GOML type, but the NBA season has been the same length forever and players didn't used to need this many rest days. I don't see why they suddenly do.

   618. maccoach57 Posted: March 18, 2017 at 11:56 PM (#5419444)
What was odd to me about the Cleveland resting plan is that they rested those guys for the Clippers, and they have the Lakers tomorrow night. Maybe they figured that they might lose to the Clippers even if they played everybody, and might also lose to the Lakers if they subsequently rested the three core guys. Or maybe James is sitting tomorrow too--Cleveland can beat the Lakers without James if Irving and/or Love go.
   619. Booey Posted: March 19, 2017 at 12:41 AM (#5419462)
I don't pay attention enough to know if this is typical or not, but it looks like there's a pretty big gap in the NCAA Women's Tournament between the top teams and the lower seeds. Just glancing at tonight's scores, I see there was a 61 pt beatdown (UConn over Albany 116-55), a 63 pt beatdown (Duke over Hampton 94-31), and an 89 pt ass kicking (Baylor over Texas Southern 119-30). Makes the 27 and 28 pt wins by UCLA and Washington look like nail biters.

Edit: Guess I probably should've posted that in the March Madness thread. Sorry.
   620. PJ Martinez Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:18 AM (#5419490)
618: I had the same thought -- combined with another (not unique to me, of course): that they rested those guys for the national TV game to send a message to the league. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. And maybe they'll hold on to homecourt, or maybe they'll lose homecourt but reach the Finals anyway. But if Boston beats Philadelphia tonight (hardly a given with Thomas out), then the Celtics will be one game behind the Cavs with one game against them left on the schedule -- a victory in which would give them the tiebreaker, I believe.

In other words, if I'm not mistaken, the Celtics now control their own destiny: if they were to win out somehow, they'd have the no. 1 seed.
   621. extremism in defense of STIGGLES is no vice Posted: March 19, 2017 at 03:25 PM (#5419573)
if Boston beats Philadelphia tonight (hardly a given with Thomas out)
why would you say that?

goddamnit. terrible, terrible win.
   622. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 19, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5419580)
617--But how can you address it? You need a regular season whose last third is meaningful to top teams. If HCA doesn't do this, what else could? Shorten the season.

Edit: Hmmm. What if you make regular season head-to-head the FIRST tiebreaker in all HCA playoff determinations? Then you at least address the problem of good teams resting guys against each other. And you introduce a little semi-randomness, where your #8 gets HCA against your #1 because of injuries/luck/whatever during the season...
   623. extremism in defense of STIGGLES is no vice Posted: March 19, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5419594)
   624. No, TFTIO is the puppet Posted: March 19, 2017 at 08:35 PM (#5419652)
I like the Casspi signing, actually.
   625. Sean Forman Posted: March 19, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5419656)
I was at the Celtics/Sixers game. Wow was that fun. I can't believe they won that game. I'll be pretty disappointed if they miss the playoffs next year. Already renewed my tickets for 17/18.

I can't believe they are 5-8 since the all-star break. Around -4/game playing the toughest part of the schedule mostly on the road.

They are at 26 wins and have two with the Nets remaining, so 30 wins is not out of the realm of possibility, which I assumed was the top end if Embiid and Simmons were playing well this year.
   626. Booey Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:22 PM (#5419661)
617--But how can you address it?


Stern fined the Spurs, what, 250K? Not sure fines would work, though.

I really don't know what the solution is, but I think Silver should at least consider possible penalties. Fans are kinda getting screwed.

Any theories as to why modern players need so much more rest than past generations? I'd say the current style of play is LESS rough and thuggish than it was in the '90's.
   627. smileyy Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:32 PM (#5419666)
The older guys needed the rest too.

I'd guess today's NBA is more "active" than previous generations, with more movement from everyone.
   628. Rob_Wood Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:34 PM (#5419668)
Yes, but neo-modern studies have purportedly shown that playing many games in a short period (such as back-to-backs) significantly increases likelihood of injury and sustained poor performance. Or so it has been reported.
   629. maccoach57 Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:41 PM (#5419669)
James, Love, and Irving all in the lineup for the Cavs/Lakers game.

Jack Nicholson is at the game; he normally gives his tickets away these days.
   630. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:50 PM (#5419672)
The Cavs are getting away with it because they're doing the league office a solid by making extra sure the Lakers lose tonight ;)
   631. Howie Menckel Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:51 PM (#5419673)
I have no problem with a shorter schedule or stars being rested.

But the players are clueless to the fact that they need to shrink their paychecks accordingly.

Barkley, who alternates between a buffoon and a savant, correctly notes here how the stars don't understand the fans. the players want full pay for less than full effort, and that will not stand. Popovich, a brilliant coach but a tone deaf person, has led the way.
   632. maccoach57 Posted: March 19, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5419674)
But the players are clueless to the fact that they need to shrink their paychecks accordingly.


I suppose that you may have a cite here, but absent that, I kind of doubt that Chris Paul and LeBron James, as well as Michele Roberts, are not aware of the fact that if the NBPA proposed a shorter schedule, then the owners would want to pay them less money.

I have long felt that the NBA would be a better product with a 68-game schedule and fewer playoff teams, but the first has little chance of happening and the second has no chance.

   633. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: March 19, 2017 at 10:04 PM (#5419675)
Any theories as to why modern players need so much more rest than past generations? I'd say the current style of play is LESS rough and thuggish than it was in the '90's.


The NBA has less hard contact than before, I think it has a lot more movement, both due to stylistic changes and rule changes (notably, illegal defense and hand-checking). I know I'd generally prefer to wrassle in the post than have to chase a speedy player around if I'm feeling at all gimpy.

It's also clear that teams are putting a lot of effort into understanding and preventing injuries better; as an aside, I'm really curious if there's any historical correlation between number of games missed for rest and number of games missed due to injury. Given the amount of noise in those numbers (players playing hurt) and how recent a phenomenon it is to aggressively rest players, I'd be pretty shocked if there were much to build a conclusion on yet, though.
   634. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 19, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5419676)
I'm actually in favor of letting every team make the playoffs. It would be fun!
   635. maccoach57 Posted: March 19, 2017 at 10:08 PM (#5419677)
Also, Barkley, from age 27 on, never played in more than 76 games in a season. He only played 82 once--as a rookie.
   636. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:06 PM (#5419682)
I'm not convinced that shortening the season would lead to that much less resting, unless the season was pretty meaningfully shortened. Even still, I think this is just a fact from analytics and those sorts of things. Having guys be healthy going into the playoffs is the main priority. Similarly, I think a lot of teams have realized that just due to variance of other teams and their health, having a #3 seed is not always much better or different than being a #4 or #5 seed.

I think teams are just going to look for opportunities to rest guys in a long season, even if it's 68 games. The way to stop this is that each game needs to have higher value. With football, the season is so short that each game is huge. With baseball (kinda) and European soccer, there's either a smaller playoffs or no playoffs.
   637. maccoach57 Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:11 PM (#5419683)
Russell has 37 points in three quarters; Irving has 32.
   638. maccoach57 Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:13 PM (#5419684)
I think teams are just going to look for opportunities to rest guys in a long season, even if it's 68 games


Perhaps, but if the schedule were 68 games over the same time frame, there would be fewer--maybe many fewer--b2bs/3-in-4s etc.
   639. Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:53 PM (#5419694)
I think teams are just going to look for opportunities to rest guys in a long season, even if it's 68 games. The way to stop this is that each game needs to have higher value. With football, the season is so short that each game is huge. With baseball (kinda) and European soccer, there's either a smaller playoffs or no playoffs.


Also, of course, in baseball, most players *do* rest. It's just that one player has less of an impact on the game so even seeing the Angels with Trout getting a day off is not really comparable to LeBron sitting in terms of how competitive the game is or in terms of fan experience.
   640. maccoach57 Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:11 AM (#5419696)
"We have to protect our product," Rivers said. "It's hard. It's impossible, if you actually knew what went into scheduling, but the look of back-to-back ABC national games -- it's not good."


"I hate it for the fans," Rivers said. "I really do. I hate it. I do it. We all do it. I mean, it's bad. And I did it the other night in Denver. There are people with Blake and DJ jerseys all over the place."


link
   641. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2017 at 09:49 AM (#5419733)
I made so much fun of 538 setting the Sixers over/under at 27 wins, which they will almost certainly surpass. Yesterday's win over Boston was clearly my comeuppance. Now, with that sterling prediction history on the record:
I'll be pretty disappointed if they miss the playoffs next year.

This would be pretty shocking, I think, minus a couple of significant free agent acquisitions. Even if they hit all the right notes on lottery night, they're going to be running out 3 rookies (including Simmons), Saric and Embiid? The latter of whom will still be getting heavy rest, we can assume. That's a big ask.
   642. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2017 at 09:52 AM (#5419737)
Really bad loss for the Wolves yesterday, probably knocking them out of the chase for the 8th spot- they're now 5 back, with 4 teams ahead of them, and only 12 games left. They'd probably need to win at least 9 just to have a chance, and they have the Spurs, Warriors, Thunder, and Jazz on the schedule. On the plus side they play Portland 3 times, which I guess theoretically gives them a chance to make up some ground. Anyway, not looking good.
   643. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5419742)
Really bad loss for the Wolves yesterday, probably knocking them out of the chase for the 8th spot


I threw in the towel a little while back (The Belly injury). I want them to keep fighting and learning, but as a fan I am looking at the draft as my main source of post-regular season entertainment (again). Sigh.

I am glad that both Cleveland and Golden State look a bit mortal, because that will make the playoffs more interesting for me (even though that is who will likely meet in finals, I admit).
   644. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:13 AM (#5419749)
I threw in the towel a little while back (The Belly injury). I want them to keep fighting and learning, but as a fan I am looking at the draft as my main source of post-regular season entertainment (again). Sigh.

Watching Towns blossom into a legitimate All NBA candidate also makes the tough season worth it, I'd suspect. On the other hand: does anybody have any idea what Wiggins is going to be yet? I watch a lot of Wolves games and feel like I've seen improvement, but then you go to the numbers and it's just not there, other than a decent uptick in his 3pt%. He just turned 22, so there's still a lot of reason to be optimistic, but I think most people were expecting a bigger jump this year.
   645. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5419808)
Haven't watched much of the Wolves, but are Wiggins and Lavine redundant? They both can score, but don't bring much else statistically. Both are good-to-great athletes and have defensive tools, even if the results are lacking so far.
   646. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5419826)
My sense is the general consensus on LaVine right now is as a potential impact bench scorer. Which honestly probably makes him a fit for most teams. If Wiggins improves on defense, and Towns grows into the defensive player people think he can be, and with Rubio as a great perimeter defender, I think you can slot LaVine into the crunch-time lineup and be pretty dynamic. But, yeah, that statement has a lot of assumptions built in about Wiggins and Towns.
   647. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:03 PM (#5419861)
I don't know what to make of Wiggins and Lavine. Lavine was showing a much greater aptitude towards improvement (he has come much further), but the injury really hurts him, because health is a pretty important skill to have and any injury is a cause for concern.

If I were in charge of the Wolves, I would be richer and know more about basketball, but also I wold keep both and see what happens. Both have upside and both have cause for concern. No reason not to let it play out for as long as possible and then decide what to do when you are forced to - ie. nether deserves any kind of early extension or to be traded*/released.

* Well, I mean for the right trade, maybe, but you don't look to dump either.
   648. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5419865)
nether deserves any kind of early extension or to be traded*/released.

Hmmm. They're up for the early extension this summer, right? I think Wiggins gets it, but that's just a guess.
   649. No, TFTIO is the puppet Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:33 PM (#5419904)
I feel more bullish on Wiggins -- I think he has more tools -- but LaVine has come quite a distance. I see the argument that LaVine pushes Wiggins into the three, where he doesn't have the size to overwhelm twos. I see no reason not to keep them together for another season, which, given that LaVine's future is currently unknown, is almost 100% a given.
   650. theboyqueen Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5419954)
So -- not really watching the Wolves much I do notice their defensive rating is quite poor. What is up with that? Their players' skillsets seem tailor-made for Thibs' defensive system, but RPM (for instance) has Towns' defense in Jah Okafor territory, and Wiggins in Carmelo Anthony territory. Not saying I fully believe those numbers, but there must be some truth there given their overall poor team performance.

Nether of these guys appear to be bad individual defenders when I watch them play, so I'm wondering if there is something screwy about the system they're running?
   651. aberg Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:22 PM (#5419972)
There is some redundancy with Lavine/Wiggins. On the other hand, Lavine is more of a floor spacer and Wiggins is more of a slasher. If they both became good defenders, the offensive overlap would not be an issue. The bigger problem is that playing them together means you have two undersized perimeter defenders who tend to make lots of mental mistakes on that end. Of course, there's nothing to do about it now. You logically can't trade Lavine while he rehabs from a torn ACL because you're minimizing the return. Wiggins has had stretches this year where he was good enough that it would almost be impossible to get fair value back for him in a trade, and I doubt Thibs will be interested in shopping him. That means that TFTIO is right- there's no good reason to break them up before playing another season together.
   652. aberg Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5419981)
So -- not really watching the Wolves much I do notice their defensive rating is quite poor. What is up with that? Their players' skillsets seem tailor-made for Thibs' defensive system, but RPM (for instance) has Towns' defense in Jah Okafor territory, and Wiggins in Carmelo Anthony territory. Not saying I fully believe those numbers, but there must be some truth there given their overall poor team performance.


A few notes:

-The defensive efficiency has been much better since roughly the ASB. Part of that is Lavine's injury and him being replaced with Rush, who is a better defender. A bigger part is that they're just playing better defense. The positioning, rotations, and mental aspects are notably better. They used to break down any time there was more than one rotation required. That's happening much less frequently now.

-Towns is a big part of the development. He was an overly-aggressive help defender when he came into the league and well into this year. He would get himself out of position by going up in the air or rushing at shooters too often. He has cut down on that in the last month or two. It has coincided (until very recently) with better play from the whole team.

-Wiggins is not a good defender now. You're right that he has the tools, but he remains pretty spacey. If you put him on an island and tell him to defend someone in isolation, he's shockingly good at it. When you get him involved in a PNR or the ball swinging around the perimeter, he gets lost WAY too often. The fact that he's still doing it this much in year 3 is legitimately concerning to me.

-Outside of Dunn, the bench is bereft of any defense at all. Tyus Jones tries, but he's so little and not very fast. I wouldn't even give Shabazz that much credit. He's one of the more indifferent defenders in the league. Bjelica was growing before his injury, but even that growth only got him into average territory. Aldrich helps when he plays, but that's basically never.

-Dieng is a great defender. He covers up tons of mistakes for other guys when he is on the court. I don't have the numbers handy, but I would be willing to wager that the difference between all lineups with him vs. without him defensively is startling.
   653. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:30 PM (#5419987)
Nether of these guys appear to be bad individual defenders when I watch them play, so I'm wondering if there is something screwy about the system they're running?


They have been much better lately. The pessimist would argue small sample size. The optimist would suggest that they are a very young team and they are starting to get it defensively. The cynic would note Lavine's absence for much of the improvement (which is true, but maybe a bit unfair).

I think they have looked much better and I think most of it has to do with the team starting to get the system and make fewer dumb mistakes.

EDIT: And what Berg said. In a better and more knowledgeable way.
   654. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5419992)
Dieng is a great defender.


He does pretty much everything well - not great mind you, but whenever I watch him he always seems to do every possible little thing to help the team. I said it before, but he is now my favorite player. Just a solid guy and great piece of the puzzle.
   655. No, TFTIO is the puppet Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5420015)
He does pretty much everything well - not great mind you, but whenever I watch him he always seems to do every possible little thing to help the team. I said it before, but he is now my favorite player. Just a solid guy and great piece of the puzzle.

He's getting much more fluid in the offense, too. He'll never be smooth, but he rarely gets embarrassed any longer. It's really fun to watch.

I like this team.
   656. theboyqueen Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:47 PM (#5420018)
Dieng is a lovely player. I'm always impressed with how many things he does well whenever I watch Minnesota. RPM has him as the #2 defensive PF behind Draymond.
   657. aberg Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:56 PM (#5420025)
He just got 4/64 at the extension deadline. With a max going for double that AAV, that could turn out to be a pretty great deal.
   658. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5420047)
He's getting much more fluid in the offense, too. He'll never be smooth, but he rarely gets embarrassed any longer. It's really fun to watch.

I like this team.


Yeah. They really need a SG that can space the court. Really, they need 2 of them. LaVine can be one, of course, but with Wiggins and Rubio being bad to mediocre at 3 they need a spacer. Towns is looking like he can be a good 3 point shooter, but you want him spending most of his time in the paint. So I agree with you and aberg about LaVine, there's no need to trade him yet. A guy like Danny Green or Ariza would go a long way on their team.
   659. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:23 PM (#5420049)
Also functionally even if you wanted to trade LaVine, trading pre-FA guys is hard because they don't make any money. Certainly he's worth more in trade value than whatever his contract slot is.
   660. aberg Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5420058)
Lillard had 49 points on 21 shots last night. If he had one more point, he would have had 50+ on the second fewest shots of all time. The fewest FGA in a 50 point game is held by the immortal Willie Burton with 53 points on 19 FGAs in a game in 94-95. He shot 24/28 from the line in that game.
   661. Rob_Wood Posted: March 20, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5420113)
How bad should I feel if I have absolutely no memory of Willie Burton?
   662. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 20, 2017 at 04:39 PM (#5420150)
I think it's pretty clear what Wiggins is going to be offensively: a ball dominant slasher/scorer. The Hundred Million Dollar Question is what he's going to be defensively. As aberg notes, he has a long way to go in that area, and it's going to make the difference between "superstar" and "good player who doesn't particularly make his teammates better and is destined to be overpaid".
   663. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5420152)
I'm a Wiggins fan and continue to think he'll evolve into an All Star level player, but he can be maddening at times. In 6 of his last 10 games he's had 0 or 1 assist. He hasn't had more than 5 rebounds in any of those 10 games, including 3 games with only 2. How is that still happening at the end of his 3rd year?
   664. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 20, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5420154)
I've watched 10 or 12 Wolves games this year, and at least that many last year, and I think Wiggins just doesn't give much effort when he's away from the ball; he's only really engaged when the ball is in his hands or he's guarding the guy who has the ball in his hands. It's why I'm pessimistic he's going to ever be the rebounder or defender his raw tools suggest he could be.

I think he still has potential to develop into an elite scorer, though, and that's not nothing.

addendum: Carmelo is the first comp that comes to my mind, as a 6-foot-8 guy that scores a lot, does little else, and is widely criticized for being a black hole. Even Melo has never posted an assist rate in his career lower than Wiggins' career rate of 2.1 per game, which has basically held steady all three of his NBA seasons. Wiggins may be the NBA's preeminent shot hog, among non-bigs at least.
   665. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 20, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5420172)
One point in Wiggins' favor is that he DOES shoot threes well enough that you can't just back off him and invite him to jack up a wide open three if he wants to. Compare Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is now getting the full Rondo Treatment from most opponents--his defender just backs up by about eight feet every time he gets the ball outside the arc--and it's becoming a challenge for him.
   666. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 20, 2017 at 05:10 PM (#5420180)
How bad should I feel if I have absolutely no memory of Willie Burton?


I only remember him because he was a Golden Gopher.
   667. aberg Posted: March 20, 2017 at 05:45 PM (#5420213)
I've watched 10 or 12 Wolves games this year, and at least that many last year, and I think Wiggins just doesn't give much effort when he's away from the ball; he's only really engaged when the ball is in his hands or he's guarding the guy who has the ball in his hands. It's why I'm pessimistic he's going to ever be the rebounder or defender his raw tools suggest he could be.


The weird part is that he is so long and springy that he can be a surprisingly good rebounder in traffic when he chooses to be. About once per game, there's a time when he gets in traffic on the offensive glass and just decides he's going to get the board. No matter who else is around him, he usually either gets the ball or deflects it off of someone to give them another chance at it. How a guy who is capable of doing that also has poor rebounding averages is maddening. If Thibs can figure out a way to get him to feel comfortable/motivated/whatever to do that a large percentage of the time, it will make a big difference.
   668. tshipman Posted: March 20, 2017 at 09:36 PM (#5420337)
The thing that bothers me about both Wiggins and Lavine is that they're such awful playmakers.

Klay Thompson is like the best possible version of those guys. They all can't rebound, they all can't run an offense.

The difference is that Klay is significantly more efficient than either of those guys, and that Klay is a reasonable defender while those guys are just awful.

The blueprint is there for Lavine and Wiggins to be all-star level, but can they get there? Not sure. I'd probably trade one of them if it were up to me.
   669. Booey Posted: March 20, 2017 at 09:40 PM (#5420338)
Bah. Jazz waste a career high 38 pts from Hayward and a near triple double by Gobert (16 pts, 14 rebs, 8 blocks) as they lose in Indiana. 3 straight losses to end this road trip, with the 4th seed on the line. Ugh. I was hoping Hayward would hit 40. Jazz haven't had a 40 pt game since Big Al in 2013.

At least OKC is getting pasted by the Warriors. Clips are playing the Knicks at home though, so I'm not holding out much hope there.
   670. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:07 PM (#5420346)
I would rather trade Wiggins than give him a max contract. He's not worth that much cap space now and I think the odds are against him ever being worth it. And if you're going to move him, the sooner the better; whatever you get back, you want to start building a contender around KAT with those pieces right away.

Wiggins' primary virtue is that he's a guy that, if you really need two points right now, you give him the ball and he gets you two points. But the Wolves already have KAT for that, and on too many possessions, as soon as Wiggins gets the ball KAT becomes no longer involved, except possibly as an offensive rebounder.

The concern with Wiggins is... well, it's easy to call a guy with a rock bottom assist rate selfish, and maybe he is, but that's not the concern, not for me anyway. I don't like to ascribe character flaws where lack of ability may sufficiently explain something. It's quite possible, from what I've seen on him, that Wiggins is an elite one-on-one player on both sides of the court, but just lacks the ability to process everything going on around him to a sufficient extent to play team offense or team defense at the NBA level.
   671. theboyqueen Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:28 PM (#5420354)
If Wiggins' defense and playmaking are really so poor then Rudy Gay would seem to be his absolute upside (with Harrison Barnes probably a more realistic comp). In which case, yeah you trade him to someone who thinks he's the next Paul George or Jimmy Butler. Thing is, every time I watch him play he looks like a damn star. I don't get it.
   672. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:48 PM (#5420359)
Thibs should try and convince Wiggins that every opponent is the Cavs.
   673. Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:58 PM (#5420364)
Thibs should try and convince Wiggins that every opponent is the Cavs.


"0 teams passed on me in the draft!" is not quite as great a motivator.
   674. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5420443)
If Wiggins' defense and playmaking are really so poor then Rudy Gay would seem to be his absolute upside (with Harrison Barnes probably a more realistic comp). In which case, yeah you trade him to someone who thinks he's the next Paul George or Jimmy Butler. Thing is, every time I watch him play he looks like a damn star. I don't get it.

I pretty much agree with all of this (though I wouldn't be motivated to trade him), I think about the Gay comp a lot (and cringe at the Barnes one- he is definitely more aggressive than Barnes, but I see your point).
   675. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2017 at 09:32 AM (#5420447)
Nice win for Boston last night. Olynyk had one of his weirdly effective games- 11 rebounds, including 4 offensive, in 17 minutes. Smart was awful (-10 in 20 minutes in a game they won by 8 seems... hard), but I can see the case that the combination of Smart and Bradley might be pretty effective on Wall and Beal in a playoff series, especially if Boston can hide Isaiah on Porter.
   676. extremism in defense of STIGGLES is no vice Posted: March 21, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5420525)
Smart was awful (-10 in 20 minutes in a game they won by 8 seems... hard)
gerald henderson was -12 in 7 minutes of a game the sixers won by 42.
   677. Sean Forman Posted: March 21, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5420528)

This would be pretty shocking, I think, minus a couple of significant free agent acquisitions. Even if they hit all the right notes on lottery night, they're going to be running out 3 rookies (including Simmons), Saric and Embiid? The latter of whom will still be getting heavy rest, we can assume. That's a big ask.


Probably one or two rookies in the starting lineup is my guess.

Probably something like.
Embiid, Simmons, Covington, Bayless, Rookie Guard (Monk, Ball, Smith, or Fultz)

Bench is then
Holmes, Saric, G. Henderson, McConnell, TLC, Justin Anderson, Stauskas, 2nd rookie wing, random FA big (Splitter?) or one of their 4 2nd rounders or what they get for Okafor.

A bench scorer would be a good add. They are threatening 30 wins with 31 games from Embiid and 0 from Simmons. Everybody is young and likely to as a group take a step forward.
   678. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 21, 2017 at 11:14 AM (#5420543)
A bench scorer would be a good add. They are threatening 30 wins with 31 games from Embiid and 0 from Simmons. Everybody is young and likely to as a group take a step forward.


As a Wolves fan I completely understand the thought process and also know how much can go wrong in taking that next step. I think they will take a nice step forward, but getting to the playoffs is maybe too much to expect. Even with plenty of young talent it takes time to turn the ship around - insert your favorite coaching cliche about learning to win, playing the right way, or whatever.
   679. extremism in defense of STIGGLES is no vice Posted: March 21, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5420566)
Probably one or two rookies in the starting lineup is my guess.

Probably something like.
Embiid, Simmons, Covington, Bayless, Rookie Guard (Monk, Ball, Smith, or Fultz)

Bench is then
Holmes, Saric, G. Henderson, McConnell, TLC, Justin Anderson, Stauskas, 2nd rookie wing, random FA big (Splitter?) or one of their 4 2nd rounders or what they get for Okafor.

A bench scorer would be a good add. They are threatening 30 wins with 31 games from Embiid and 0 from Simmons. Everybody is young and likely to as a group take a step forward.

i think bayless is supposed to be that bench scorer.

i've been pushing jrue holiday as a FA target, so if they get him, the worst case scenario is a holiday/monk/covington/saric/holmes starting lineup. best case is holiday/fultz/covington/simmons/embiid.

kyle lowry is pretty close to colangelo, he's from philly and he's a free agent, so he's another option.

also an option: trading for jimmy butler.

a not entirely batshit crazy possibility:
sign jrue holiday
trade saric, okafor, 2017 top 5 draft pick, 2019 SAC #1 for jimmy butler
draft jayson tatum

starting lineup:
holiday / butler / covington / simmons / embiid

bench:
G: mcconnell/bayless/stauskas
W: tatum/luwawu/henderson/anderson
B: holmes/FA/draft pick
   680. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5420567)
I'd guess Philly will try to make a run at a bigger trade, especially if they land the 2nd lottery pick. Package Okafor, one of the picks, and something else. Waiting around for everyone to develop isn't really a path that's been particularly effective for most teams.

EDIT: coke to STIGGLES
   681. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 21, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5420575)
I forgot they signed Bayless as a free agent. He fits the The Process pattern of trading for old injured guys to provide leadership while never playing.
   682. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 21, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5420599)
If anyone might badly overvalue Jahlil Okafor, it's probably the Bulls.
   683. JC in DC Posted: March 21, 2017 at 12:37 PM (#5420603)
James Harden is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. Who says I can't change?
   684. extremism in defense of STIGGLES is no vice Posted: March 21, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5420636)
Standoffish though Larry Bird may have been, the Sixers did indeed make an offer for the Pacers forward. Multiple sources told Liberty Ballers the Sixers offered Indiana their choice of one of the Sixers’ young bigs, Robert Covington, and at least two first round picks for [paul george].
   685. aberg Posted: March 21, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5420657)
one of the Sixers’ young bigs


That's a little too vague. Does that mean that they offered a specific one? Did Indiana get to choose from a list? Was Embiid on the list?

Embiid, Covington, and 2 1's for George is a fascinating proposal given the Embiid risks.
   686. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5420661)
If Noel wasn't about to get paid, then Noel/Covington/multiple 1s (probably more like 3, I would think), isn't the worst starting point, at least. I'm not sure that's any worse than whatever Boston is reported to have offered. But as we saw with the Dallas trade, Noel had essentially no trade value due to his contract status.

EDIT: Hmmmm, Covington is already 26? I'm going to take this back. He's only 226 days younger than George.
   687. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 21, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5420664)
Is Simmons supposed to be what Saric is now, with a higher ceiling? I've really enjoyed seeing his growth but I can see the Sixers trading high on him along the lines of what's suggested in 679.
   688. extremism in defense of STIGGLES is no vice Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5420674)
Is Simmons supposed to be what Saric is now, with a higher ceiling? I've really enjoyed seeing his growth but I can see the Sixers trading high on him along the lines of what's suggested in 679.
simmons is a better rebounder and a significantly better athlete. they're both crafty ballhandlers with great vision and passing, but saric is an average athlete, while simmons is a 1%er.

this is saric posting up
this is simmons.
That's a little too vague. Does that mean that they offered a specific one? Did Indiana get to choose from a list? Was Embiid on the list?
i'm gonna guess...no.
   689. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5420685)
The wording of that quote kind of gives away that the writer wants you to believe Larry Bird turned down Ben Simmons when in fact the Sixers offered Jahlil Okafor.
   690. theboyqueen Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5420687)
If anyone might badly overvalue Jahlil Okafor, it's probably the Bulls.


I can't imagine anyone overvaluing Jahlil Okafor at this point. A high usage, low efficiency, one-way center with no outside game and poor passing and rebounding skills is a total liability in the modern NBA, unfortunately.
   691. No, TFTIO is the puppet Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:51 PM (#5420703)
I can't imagine anyone overvaluing Jahlil Okafor at this point. A high usage, low efficiency, one-way center with no outside game and poor passing and rebounding skills is a total liability in the modern NBA, unfortunately.

So ... the Bulls then, right?
   692. JC in DC Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:55 PM (#5420707)
Jerry Krause is no longer with us.
   693. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5420763)
With apologies to the Krause family for pivoting so quickly, this is a fun story about the PB&J addiction of NBA players.
   694. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 21, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5420778)
I always felt a little bad for Jerry Krause. It always seemed to me that amidst the titanic egos and talents on those great Bulls teams, Krause was constantly dismissed as a second, even third, banana despite being the GM, and all his awkward efforts to grab some credit for himself just made the other giants on that team, and in the general public, dismiss him even more.
   695. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 21, 2017 at 04:38 PM (#5420786)
I always felt a little bad for Jerry Krause.


I was in Chicago for some of that run and he always came across as a horrid little toad of a man. Even when you wanted to applaud him he would go and say or do something utterly repellent.

To be clear I am talking appearances only, I never met the man and have never paid a huge amount of attention to front office stuff (I can barely follow the game on the court sometimes). He might have been a prince among men, no clue, but man he came across poorly in pretty much every setting.

But yeah it is amazing how little credit he got for a truly great team.
   696. JC in DC Posted: March 21, 2017 at 04:40 PM (#5420789)
PB&Js; are wonderful things. One of those, and a glass of chocolate (or plain) milk, is a fantastic lunch. I've taken to making my own PB, which is easy as pie. Easier, really, b/c pie is kinda hard. Especially compared to making PB.
   697. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 21, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5420797)
I like peanut butter (especially on toast) and I like jelly (well, preserves, for preference; and especially on toast) but I have never cared for them together.

My best friend in elementary school used to eat peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches for lunch almost every day...
   698. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2017 at 05:31 PM (#5420824)
My best friend in elementary school used to eat peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches for lunch almost every day...

People should do what makes them happy... except for this. People should not do this.

I liked the anecdote about the Cavs having to accept the terrible pre-packaged version because Smuckers is in Ohio.
   699. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 21, 2017 at 05:51 PM (#5420836)
I liked the anecdote about the Cavs having to accept the terrible pre-packaged version because Smuckers is in Ohio.

It's even better, though! The Cavs have artisanal PB&Js;, but the Cavs' opponents get the prepackaged garbage.

Also the anecdote about Dwight's candy consumption is staggering.
   700. extremism in defense of STIGGLES is no vice Posted: March 21, 2017 at 05:52 PM (#5420837)
I liked the anecdote about the Cavs having to accept the terrible pre-packaged version because Smuckers is in Ohio.
you read it wrong.

they put the terrible pre packaged version in the opponent's locker room. the cavs locker room got the good stuff.
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