Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

Monday, August 06, 2018

OT - 2018 NBA Thread (Pre-Season Edition)

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, none of whom can be bothered to curate their own thread to avoid detracting from what this site is really about: Trying to get one of us hired as the GM of the Philadelphia 76ers

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 06, 2018 at 03:38 PM | 821 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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

Page 5 of 9 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›
   401. Thok Posted: September 19, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5747698)
Fair enough all. (Also flip.)
   402. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 19, 2018 at 06:15 PM (#5747701)
Also in the news...
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has agreed to contribute $10 million to women's organizations but will not face any other punishment stemming from what NBA commissioner Adam Silver called "disturbing and heartbreaking" allegations of harassment and violence toward female employees within the organization, the league announced Wednesday.
   403. aberg Posted: September 19, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5747712)
I have been traveling for the last week so I am way behind here, but I've been keeping an eye on the Butler stuff. A few notes:

-I held out hope for a long time that they would be able to work everything out, but by the time Butler requested the meeting with Thibs, I was pretty confident that things had become irreparable.

-It sounds amongst my friends like there's a real debate between letting Butler play out the year and call his bluff vs trying to trade him. The only way I see NOT trading him being a good idea is if Taylor has been skittish about tying up 80-90m per year in three guys for an 8 seed, and Thibs thinks he can get more money out of him with a better outcome this year. If they could make a playoff run when healthy, maybe they could get Taylor to pay more and get Butler to stay. I think that's too much of a longshot to be Plan A.

-Therefore, my preference is to get the best trade possible now. I wouldn't restrict it to teams that Butler listed. My priorities would be players on cheaper/short contracts and guys on rookie deals. Clippers and Knicks both have some interesting guys under those headings, but who knows if they'd considering doing that kind of trade.

-Butler has talked a lot about winning being his top priority, but there's no way that's true if he'd rather play for the Knicks or Nets next year than this Wolves team. That's fine, but it's not what he has said before. RR alluded to him wanting to play with a similarly-aged star. That's a weirdly specific way to define one's career.

-Even just in the time that this thread has existed, you guys have seen the shitshow that I (and other Wolves fans) have put up with around this team. And the thread didn't even exist for the Joe Smith deal! Somehow, this news is the first thing that has made me think about taking a small step back from watching 90% of the team's games at 100% emotional investment.
   404. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 19, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5747743)
Not that you're arguing for this, but I've been at 10% emotional investment for at least 90% of my Hawks fandom. I envy those who feel it - even the consistent bad times.
   405. maccoach57 Posted: September 19, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5747758)
. RR alluded to him wanting to play with a similarly-aged star. That's a weirdly specific way to define one's


It was actually DLGM who said that, although I did add to it. A lot of these high-end guys want to be on teams with guys on their timelines where they can win immediately, with Durant being the most obvious example. There are other factors in play, of course, but most Top 30 guys changing teams usually think at least in part along those lines. This is why I thought James would try to go to Houston, rather than joining the Lakers or the 76ers.

What is different about this, as you note, is that Butler, presuming Woj is sourced as usual, is going from a pretty good team to three likely lottery teams, with, as I said, no guarantee that Irving or another guy will join him in 2019. So, I think he wants to get away from TT, Towns, and Wiggins, and wants to be in a big market, and as said may feel short-sheeted by the contract offer.
   406. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 19, 2018 at 08:00 PM (#5747764)
@APgelston
76ers coach Brett Brown says “it’s been a very, very unusual summer.” Calls it “the situation with Bryan.”

@TomMoorePhilly
#Sixers Brett Brown on saying team was going star hunting: ‘We tried and we were unsuccessful.’

@KyleNeubeck
“The man hours he has put in is impressive,” Brown says of Simmons’ work on his jumper this summer, says he has seen noticeable changes in his approach so far. Also notes, however, a lot of what he wants to do is to get him involved off-ball using Fultz as the setup man

@jonjohnsonwip
“He can.” - Brett Brown on Ben Simmons’ ability to shoot a three in a game.

@TomMoorePhilly
#Sixers Brett Brown on playing Fultz with Simmons: ‘We get the uncertainty of the fit. I understand the concern.’

@NBASarah
When asked “are you on twitter?” Brett Brown said “Hell no.” Question courtesy of @MikeSielski

@brianseltzer
Brown wants to keep coaching, GM duties separate, because thinking of how to play in June dominates his world. "To think I have the bandwith to do the job I'd want to do is naive on my part."

@DerekBodnerNBA
Brett Brown says bringing Sam Hinkie back as the team's general manager was never under consideration.

@jrfinger
Blister (gross!) advice needed. This gnarly thing has been drained and now covered, but still a bit painful to run on. Is there something else to try or am I just going to have to enjoy the pain ... pic.twitter.com/Me8bWGYzQn

@jonjohnsonwip
Brett Brown on Markelle Fultz's new aggressiveness to shoot:"When I see him now come back into our gym. You look at his swagger, his cocky side, his mojo, he's seeking shots. He really is not bashful."

@NBASarah
Most notably regarding Fultz, Brown said that the shot ISN'T 100% consistent but that Markelle is seeking out shots and he’s improved. #Sixers

@DerekBodnerNBA
The Philadelphia 76ers have hired Sean Derenthal (@OdetoOden), formerly of @TheStepien, as a scout.
   407. maccoach57 Posted: September 19, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5747777)
I suppose it works that a guy known for working with Michael B. Jordan is doing this:

SpringHill Entertainment, which was founded by James and Maverick Carter, officially announced a sequel to "Space Jam" will be happening and featuring the Lakers' star player. The film will be produced by Ryan Coogler, who is best known for his work on "Black Panther," "Creed" and "Fruitvale Station."
   408. aberg Posted: September 19, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5747778)
What is different about this, as you note, is that Butler, presuming Woj is sourced as usual, is going from a pretty good team to three likely lottery teams, with, as I said, no guarantee that Irving or another guy will join him in 2019. So, I think he wants to get away from TT, Towns, and Wiggins, and wants to be in a big market, and as said may feel short-sheeted by the contract offer.


Yeah, it's always hard to read between the lines on motivations like these, but there has been enough smoke around his relationship with KAT that I have to believe that's a real concern. The Thibs/market things were there a year ago when he was enthusiastic about the trade, so I'm not sure about those elements.

Not that you're arguing for this, but I've been at 10% emotional investment for at least 90% of my Hawks fandom. I envy those who feel it - even the consistent bad times.


"Der-K: at 10% emotional investment" would be a pretty great handle.
   409. Booey Posted: September 19, 2018 at 08:30 PM (#5747786)
-Butler has talked a lot about winning being his top priority, but there's no way that's true if he'd rather play for the Knicks or Nets next year than this Wolves team. That's fine, but it's not what he has said before.


Players want to win...in their preferred destinations. They know that superstars have a disproportionate impact on winning, so they can afford to be choosy with where they sign because their mere presence to usually enough to give whatever team they play for a decent shot at the playoffs. It's a self fulfilling prophecy.
   410. Booey Posted: September 19, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5747800)
Sorry, was in a hurry. Meant "IS usually enough" in 409, not "to".
   411. jmurph Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:53 PM (#5747863)
Small consolation and likely many/most disagree, but I'm not 100% sure I want Jimmy Butler's age 30-34 seasons for $190 million.
   412. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:18 PM (#5747880)
Small consolation and likely many/most disagree, but I'm not 100% sure I want Jimmy Butler's age 30-34 seasons for $190 million.

I mean, if you're a Jimmy Butler away from competing for a title I think you pay it, though the last year or two will be tough. But I think there's enough of a question of what, if any, expected surplus value you'd get from that deal that you're likely not getting a huge return for him now, and I think there's probably a fair number of teams where getting him doesn't make sense.
   413. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:56 PM (#5747897)
Done and done, aberg. :)

--

Totally agree - and I love Butler's game. Lot of miles on those tires, lot of money in that next contract.
   414. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:56 PM (#5747898)
   415. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5748000)
Small consolation and likely many/most disagree, but I'm not 100% sure I want Jimmy Butler's age 30-34 seasons for $190 million.
nah, that's completely reasonable.

if i was butler, i might be willing to go year to year, like lebron james did with CLE. as long as he's good and healthy, he'll be able to command a 1+1 max contract (1 year guaranteed, plus a player option). then when he starts to slip, he can take a 5/200 golden parachute from NYK/LAC/PHX/MIA/DAL.



   416. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5748004)
As I understand, he pretty explicitly does not want to do that. Which I think is wise - lock in for the long haul, that parachute is less likely in a world where teams are wising up a bit.
--
409/Booey - I agree but also... this is one of the main impacts, imo, of the Warriors dynasty. If you think their winning the title is inevitable, it's harder to dream of championships and other features move up in FA consideration.
   417. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5748014)
Since the Warriors came up here, I was thinking about a week ago.. I think once they break up which will be in a couple of years, probably, I think it will be interesting to see what impact it has on roster shaping. I'm kind of going to rush this thought, but I think there's a lot of "How does he fit into the modern NBA" stuff that just isn't true about a lot of players, it's more "How does he fit in terms of guarding and being able to create against Golden State". Those aren't the same things, and I think they are often conflated. Players that matchup fine with the Rockets and LeBron's flavor of the month and the Spurs from a few years back may not be able to match up with Golden State well, but in 2-3 years that won't matter. Golden State presents very unique defensive challenges because all of their players are so well rounded and able to punish you, along with Curry and Durant's very unique skillsets of being world class shooters on top of everything else they can do when switched onto a big guy.
   418. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 20, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5748037)
Absolutely, Spicey, I was thinking about that as well when I wrote 416.
   419. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5748117)
Sucks for Wolves fans, but this Jimmy-KAT/Wiggins fallout that has been playing out across social media has been highly entertaining.
   420. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5748118)
I mean, if you're a Jimmy Butler away from competing for a title I think you pay it, though the last year or two will be tough. But I think there's enough of a question of what, if any, expected surplus value you'd get from that deal that you're likely not getting a huge return for him now, and I think there's probably a fair number of teams where getting him doesn't make sense.

CARMELO thinks there's surplus value there. Though the minutes/injuries probably would lessen that more than they project.

As I understand, he pretty explicitly does not want to do that. Which I think is wise - lock in for the long haul, that parachute is less likely in a world where teams are wising up a bit.

He's already gambled and won once - his current deal was almost double the original offer the Bulls gave him; he busted out that year. He could maybe try it once, but he's much less likely to get that parachute like LeBron or even Paul is things slip even just a little.
   421. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5748120)
Sucks for Wolves fans, but this Jimmy-KAT/Wiggins fallout that has been playing out across social media has been highly entertaining.

Stephen Jackson from way downtown! Also, good for Lauri even getting in a shot.
   422. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5748127)
Stephen Jackson from way downtown! Also, good for Lauri even getting in a shot.

We live in the stupidest of times.
   423. jmurph Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5748138)
"No one expects Tom to coach a 25-win or even 35-win team," one front-office executive told Sporting News. "Even if he has to agree to dissolve the contract, they’d do that before they go and trade Butler for draft picks."
   424. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 20, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5748141)
Fine by me.
   425. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5748185)
Fine by me.


Yeah, sadly I am ready for the Thibs experience to be over. I want the Bulls to hurry up and be good so at least my secondary team is a contender.
   426. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5748192)
I mean, yeah, Thibs might need to go, but Wiggins is still the primary problem there; that hasn't changed. KAT and Butler would, I suspect, find life a lot more enjoyable if Wiggins' relentless heroball were removed from the picture and suddenly there was a lot more ball available for them.

You can't have three ball dominant players in one lineup. Just can't. There won't be enough shots to keep all three of them happy. You can have two; most of the great teams have two. I know the scuttlebutt has centered more on Towns vs. Butler rather than either of them vs. Wiggins, but I just can't shake the sense that if Wiggins moved on and all the shots he takes were available for redistribution, the two stars might have an easier time getting along.

Hypothetical question: If Minnesota decided to try and move Wiggins, could they find a taker for his contract without having to attach value?
   427. aberg Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5748201)
I don't think there's a path to Thibs leaving a week before camp opens. If this situation came up 3 months ago, I think it would have been at least 50/50 that he parted ways with the Wolves (or AT LEAST took a demotion to HC only). He made a bet that acquiring Butler would make the team a competitive playoff team for the duration for the next ~5 years. It seemed like a pretty good bet, but it busted out. Since he's the GM, he is responsible for it. I'm not as down on him as a coach as some others, but I certainly don't think that his Wolves tenure distinguishes him as a particularly good coach. Barring some kind of surprise surge this year, it seems clear that Taylor has to offer him the choice of taking a demotion or leaving next summer. I can't imagine that anyone in MN would be heartbroken about it. Going from where I was philosophically when they hired him to develop the KAT/Wiggins franchise to where they are now makes me feel sick.

Woj reported this morning that Butler asked for the "renegotiate and extend" deal before requesting this trade. He has an agent, so he has to know that the Wolves can't do that; they don't have cap space with which to renegotiate and it would be nearly impossible for them to get it. I get that cap stuff is a little arcane, but Butler had four options: 1) above-cap extension with MN for ~4/110; 2) under-cap renegotiation extension with MN for ~4/150; 3) summer 19 extension with MN for ~5/190; 4) summer 19 FA contract elsewhere into cap space for ~4/140(ish?). Option 2 was always impractical, verging on impossible given the timing. The idea that MN's non-offer of that now makes him unwilling to consider option 3 from them is not logical.

Hypothetical question: If Minnesota decided to try and move Wiggins, could they find a taker for his contract without having to attach value?


It's debatable, but I would bet yes. It only takes one #######.
   428. aberg Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5748202)
I want the Bulls to hurry up and be good so at least my secondary team is a contender.


Yes, and let's bring back the Sonics while we're at it.

Discussion topic:

Who would you rather build a team around, Kobe or Durant? This isn't a question about longevity since we don't know that about Durant yet, and it's not a discussion about off-court issues.

Talk amongst yourselves.
   429. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 20, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5748230)
I mean, Durant is clearly better at peak than Kobe ever was, and has been for several years. He's also a more well rounded player and does way more without the ball in his hand (he's the defender Kobe had the reputation of being, and then some), better passer, better rebounder, better floor spacer.
   430. JJ1986 Posted: September 20, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5748231)
The Kings would probably take Wiggins for just expiring contracts.
   431. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 20, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5748258)
I have a feeling that Taylor will screw this up, like he screws everything up.
   432. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5748308)
KAT and Butler would, I suspect, find life a lot more enjoyable if Wiggins' relentless heroball were removed from the picture and suddenly there was a lot more ball available for them.


I think calling Wiggins play "relentless hero ball" is an oversell. He is inefficient and has other huge wholes in his game, for example in some game he becomes the invisible man (mysteriously) and his rebounding and steals are not what they should be given his physical abilities, but I think calling his game "relentless hero ball" is not accurate.
   433. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 20, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5748318)
I think calling Wiggins play "relentless hero ball" is an oversell. He is inefficient and has other huge wholes in his game, for example in some game he becomes the invisible man (mysteriously) and his rebounding and steals are not what they should be given his physical abilities, but I think calling his game "relentless hero ball" is not accurate.

I mean, Butler is much closer to the archetype of "relentless heroball" player.

ETA: THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE SOUR GRAPES. I wish they could fix the problem and keep Butler, who is a wonderful player.
   434. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 20, 2018 at 06:33 PM (#5748361)
Wiggins ignores his teammates and takes a wild drive or contested long jumper more than anyone in the league except maybe Russell Westbrook (who is far, far more willing to pass out when he finds his drive contested than Wiggins is).

Having an inefficient ballhog on the team has negative effects cascading down the offense. The other guys who like to have the ball get even more hesitant to pass it, because they expect that if they do, they won't get it back. Guys don't move as crisply off the ball, because once again, they figure what's the point, I'm not going to get it back anyway. I watched the Wolves a good bit last year; my opinion is that (while neither was nearly the ballhog Wiggins is) KAT and Butler both did too much looking for their own shot and both have good passing skills that they didn't use nearly enough.

Maybe that's because Thibodeau doesn't know how to run an effective offense; maybe that's part of it. I think the bigger part is just that there's not enough ball to go around and that creates a self-fueling spiral of everyone focusing on getting his own shots more than is healthy.
   435. JJ1986 Posted: September 20, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5748368)
I feel like the whole Wolves team played a lot of iso-offense without looking to pass and that's not coming from Wiggins. Also, the team had a really good offense.
   436. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 20, 2018 at 06:41 PM (#5748371)
Well, yeah. With KAT and Butler on the team it would be damned near impossible not to have a really good offense. And for all his inefficiency Wiggins is a long way from worthless offensively; it's not easy to be a pure volume scorer at the NBA level.

Sorry if I'm coming off like Wiggins is a BAD offensive player. Obviously he is not. It's just that you can't have three ball dominant players in the same lineup. They're not going to get along, and all of them will get even less inclined to pass than he already was. Of the three--Towns, Wiggins, Butler--Wiggins is the least efficient and most expensive, and should quite obviously be the odd man out, if his contract can be moved, IMO.
   437. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: September 20, 2018 at 07:47 PM (#5748420)
Yes, and let's bring back the Sonics while we're at it.


Personally I think that dream died when they decided to renovate Key. They sold it as an eventual venue for a returning NBA team but reading between the lines it appears the city wanted two things more than the NBA: continuity at one of their most profitable neighborhoods and its crown jewel (a renovated Key) and NHL hockey. The NHL has a team ready to move here, so I can understand that, but the decision to stick with Key is disappointing as an NBA fan living in Seattle.

I don't think a renovated Key is viable as an NBA arena long term, and right now Seattle has no political will (or room really) to build a new NBA only facility. If the NBA does return to the area I think it will be with an expansion team that plays at Key until a new arena (possibly in Bellevue) is ready. I don't think an existing franchise would be willing to move to Seattle given the current arena situation. At best maybe the NBA returns 6-10 years from now. That's a long time to wait for a city that has already waited a long time.
   438. maccoach57 Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5748464)
I see 436 walked back 434 a bit, but Minnesota was 4th in ORTG last year. What is keeping them down, as I noted, is that they have been hung up at 27th in DRTG. As I have said many times, I think anti-gunner arguments, whether the target was/is Bryant, Westbrook, Anthony, DeRozan, or whoever, tend to be overstated. With Wiggins, it is not so much that he is a gunner, but that he just isn't an effective player, which is very different than being a good, very good, or great player who sometimes shoots too much. Not to diss PASTE, who is a great poster for the thread, but people are sometimes a little emo about "ballhogs."

Wiggins's USG was 23.9, which is not super high, but it was higher than Towns's.Looking at Wiggins's numbers, he is a good finisher, but he takes and misses too many jumpers. I don't think that this has a "cascade" effect and messes up the rest of the team; I think it is just something that Minnesota needs to get Wiggins to do less often.

So as alluded to, I think the problem with Butler and Towns/Wiggins probably is mostly defense, not shot distribution, and the basic team metrics suggest as much. I expect that Butler thinks that they don't work enough on D, and that is why the D is bad. And, given that TT was hired as a badass defensive whiz, I think that and the fact that he seemingly can't connect with his stars are obvious reasons to seriously consider replacing him.
   439. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5748468)
I think I'm guilty of writing all over the map and losing focus. This all started with discussing Butler being unhappy and demanding a trade. My initial post on the subject, on the last page, speculated that even if Butler doesn't believe Wiggins is the problem, getting rid of Wiggins might make Butler (and Towns) happier just by virtue of giving them both significantly more ball. Basketball players like to have the ball as much as possible and will fight each other and the coach for shots, and that goes triple for stars.

Subtracting Wiggins in and of itself probably would not make Minnesota's offense better--but it wouldn't make it worse, either! And I think replacing him with a pure 3-and-D guy, Robert Covington for instance, would probably make the offense even better and would also dramatically improve their defense, because Wiggins still sucks at team defense.

I've been saying for years that I think Minnesota gets better overall by getting rid of Wiggins and spending all that cap space on a couple good role players. Yesterday I speculated that, if Minnesota is bent on convincing Butler to stay, unloading Wiggins will probably help with that, because more ball makes everyone happier. And I don't think Minnesota will suffer on offense much at all from Wiggins' shots going mostly to Butler and Towns and open looks for the role players around them.

Overall, I'm probably doing a lousy job articulating it, but I feel like trading Butler brings the Wolves one very scary step closer to the nightmare scenario: two years from now, the only one of the four current Wolves employees casual fans can name (Thibodeau, Towns, Wiggins, Butler) still in Minnesota being Wiggins. But that fate might have been more or less sealed the day Wiggins signed his max extension.

Wiggins's USG was 23.9, which is not super high, but it was higher than Towns's.Looking at Wiggins's numbers, he is a good finisher, but he takes and misses too many jumpers. I don't think that this has a "cascade" effect and messes up the rest of the team; I think it is just something that Minnesota needs to get Wiggins to do less often.


Yes, and they've had three years now. It isn't happening. I'm pessimistic about the prospects of a new coach convincing Wiggins to stop chucking jumpers. It's who he is.
   440. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5748469)
About Kobe and Durant--I'm willing to give Kobe the full benefit of the doubt and assume that, had he been born 10-15 years later, he would have developed a deadly three point shot as part of his game. But I'd still take Durant without a second thought. He's just about as valuable on offense, and far more valuable on defense. You can't teach 6'10", as they say. I don't see either having a significant advantage personality/leadership-wise.
   441. Tin Angel Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5748492)
I don't think a renovated Key is viable as an NBA arena long term


Why is that?
   442. jmurph Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5748500)
This Basketball: A Love Story thing is great so far, highly recommend (the order is a bit odd through the first few segments, but there's a lot of great stuff).

Also, I'm trying to imagine what would happen if a head coach punched the opposing owner prior to the start of a Finals game nowadays, as Red Auerbach did to the St. Louis owner in 1957.

(Obviously in any realistic scenario, Cuban would be the owner being punched.)
   443. maccoach57 Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:44 PM (#5748505)
Rise of a Dynasty by Bill Reynolds is a pretty decent book about the 1957 NBA Finals, putting the series in historical context. That series is an under-remembered aspect of NBA history IMO.
   444. jmurph Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5748510)
Thanks RR, never heard of that one. I'll try to track it down.

This thing has high school footage of Oscar Robertson. It's THOROUGH.
   445. tshipman Posted: September 20, 2018 at 11:49 PM (#5748609)
Re: Wolves:

They didn't play as much ISO as you think. They were 5th in isolation frequency (8.7%), but closer to 30th than 1st.

Wolves do run a lot of post ups (4th in the league, and best efficiency on post-ups), and they do lead the league in post up + Iso.

That said, they run more PnR than they do posts or Iso. Maybe you could say they don't get out in transition enough (only 12%), but generally, it's a pretty darn good offense they have.

It's a shame that they are going to break up the team. I don't really see a great fit with the Clippers. The Knicks would be interesting, and you could maybe build something around Tim Hardaway Jr + picks.
   446. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5748653)
I think I'm guilty of writing all over the map and losing focus. This all started with discussing Butler being unhappy and demanding a trade. My initial post on the subject, on the last page, speculated that even if Butler doesn't believe Wiggins is the problem, getting rid of Wiggins might make Butler (and Towns) happier just by virtue of giving them both significantly more ball. Basketball players like to have the ball as much as possible and will fight each other and the coach for shots, and that goes triple for stars.


I only objected to the heroball characterization for Wiggins. Past that I am willing to listen to both sides. Like I said Wiggins has many faults, but I don't think excessive heroball is one of them. I guess I could have a different idea what exactly that means though, except I can't imagine that covers meh defense, rebounding, and all the ancillary stuff, plus a somewhat inefficient offense.

As to what the right thing to do is ... I am not sure. I think trading for Butler was the correct move. It has not turned out well, but I think signing Wiggins was at least not the wrong move* which caused all this. Sometimes things just don't work out.

* Imagine they don't sign Wiggins to the extension and things still play out like they have with Towns and Butler, everyone in the world would be screaming how the organization let them all down, was cheap, didn't want to win and that is why the unhappiness.
   447. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:52 AM (#5748656)
The trade for Butler was obviously the right move; the way it was handled after the fact is where the problem started.
   448. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:54 AM (#5748657)
I mean, no, of course the problem started when Glen Taylor handed the keys to Thibs. Well, the problem actually started when Glen Taylor didn't sell the team to someone else.
   449. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:55 AM (#5748658)
Why do I root for this team, again?
   450. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5748660)
Well, the problem actually started when Glen Taylor didn't sell the team to someone else.


I remember when Taylor buying the team was a good thing. Oh innocent days of yore I miss you so.
   451. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5748661)
I remember when Taylor buying the team was a good thing. Oh innocent days of yore I miss you so.

I mean, he kept the team in Minnesota, so yay, but overall, he's been a catastrophe.
   452. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5748705)
I hate how Wiggins plays. Always have. I disagree with relentless hero ball as well.

--

Build around Durant v. Kobe: So, I've had multiple people say that they hate talking hypotheticals with me because I bring up lots of things that are unrelated to the core issue that they're curious about. Otoh, my bad - I should respect what they're trying to do conversationally - oto, tangents can lead you places. Accordingly, please indulge me...

As players over a fixed short-to-medium amount of time: Durant. He's flat out better and I feel more confidence in my ability to identify and attract other players that complement his skills within my budget than Kobe's. Straight forward.

Accounting for era: I think there are times in NBA history where Kobe would be better than Durant, where Durant might "only be" an upscale Gervin or might not be encouraged to develop as many skills as he has. In general though, Durant's height/length and shooting advantages are hard to overcome.

Locker room: Kobe gets the edge, though it's less clear cut than it might seem. Peak Kobe over peak Durant, but young Kobe was a problem and over the hill Kobe is a mixed bag. If a team takes on the personality of its star, what would a team with Durant and no 1A leader be like?

Accounting for off-court stuff: Durant.
One of my favorite bits in the Bible (left turn, I'll grant - bear with me) is the "eye of the needle" metaphor found in a few of the gospels. My interpretation, both when I was a religious person and now, has been broader than about wealth, it's about the nature of power - the more you have, the harder it is to make ethical choices. As a GM/owner/whatever - where I have a fair amount of authority - how I'd deal with Kobe and Colorado is a tough, tough thing. I don't want that to even be in the equation.

Durant.
   453. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5748707)
Zach Lowe has a timely and brutal take on Wiggins in his latest.

Imagine they don't sign Wiggins to the extension and things still play out like they have with Towns and Butler, everyone in the world would be screaming how the organization let them all down, was cheap, didn't want to win and that is why the unhappiness.

They still did it a year earlier than absolutely necessary. Would he have been able to command the 5 year max after the 17-18 season? I honestly don't know, and maybe he turns it down and plays on the QO because he's pissed, I don't know. But it's something to consider.
   454. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5748735)
They still did it a year earlier than absolutely necessary.
Baffling.
...maybe he turns it down and plays on the QO because he's pissed, I don't know.
Few play for the QO. That said, I'd like to see what Wiggins plays like with different motivations.
This is unnecessary but - do Wiggins like basketball or was he just born into / talented at it? I watch him and see so many short cuts and loafing and ugh. That said, I'm biased and see them infrequently.
   455. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5748746)
Baffling.

Glen F Taylor, man.
   456. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5748764)
I expect that Butler thinks that they don't work enough

Then I guess at least Butler's paying attention. I thought this was the most damning paragraph in the Lowe piece from 453:
Motion-tracking cameras recorded Wiggins "running fast" during only 4.8 percent of his time on the floor, one of the 10 lowest such figures in the league, per Second Spectrum. (Almost everyone in his slowpoke vicinity is a plodding 7-footer.) He has shown no aptitude on pull-up 3s, or on any sort of 3-pointer outside the corners -- and he doesn't shoot enough from the corners. Nobody guards him away from the ball.
   457. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5748768)
This is unnecessary but - do Wiggins like basketball or was he just born into / talented at it? I watch him and see so many short cuts and loafing and ugh. That said, I'm biased and see them infrequently.


I imagine those who argue that AAU has ruined basketball by teaching young stars selfish habits would view Wiggins as Exhibit A.
   458. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5748803)
I’ve never heard anything bad about Wiggins off the court, but on the court he is just selfish as hell. If he’s not either holding the ball or guarding the guy who is holding the ball, he does not give a ####. He’s been in the NBA four years and has not improved an inch in that regard. I doubt it’s AAU’s fault. It’s just very fundamentally what his game is. He does not perceive basketball as a team sport, at all. His destiny is to happily lead the league in shots on an also-ran team. The current worry is that Minnesota will wind up being the team.

Edit: I’m going to try to knock it off now. Slagging on Wiggins is getting old, I realize. Glen Taylor deserves it more. :)
   459. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5748812)
Who would you keep if you were running the Wolves? Towns, obviously. Jones, because he's good and on Towns' timeline. Gibson, because he's a good complimentary player to Towns. The rookies. Anyone else?
   460. aberg Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5748847)
The rumor of the day is that the problems in MN started when Butler slept with KAT's girlfriend and broke up their relationship. Is it true? I am choosing to believe it.

Who would you keep if you were running the Wolves? Towns, obviously. Jones, because he's good and on Towns' timeline. Gibson, because he's a good complimentary player to Towns. The rookies. Anyone else?


If contracts were non-guaranteed, and you could just tear them up right now, I'd probably want to keep these guys:

KAT
Butler (probably pointless to include him in this discussion, but whatever)
Gibson
Tolliver
Jones
Okogie
Bates-Diop
Terrell (2way)
Williams (2way)
Deng
Nunnally

Maybe:
Teague (expensive, but he's ok and only 1 guaranteed year left)
Patton (injuries seem to have derailed him, but he's still cheap enough to give him a chance)

Cut:
Wiggins
Dieng (would rather have him than not, but for way less money)
Rose (salary is fine, but worry about playing him more than he deserves)
Aldrich ($2m buyout still on the books)
   461. aberg Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5748854)
PASTE- Fwiw, I agree with pretty much everything you have said about Wiggins's output (like in 439). I'm not as much on board with guessing what's in his head because there's just no way to know. I know that I have been guilty of doing the same thing, especially with Kobe BITD.

One of my favorite bits in the Bible (left turn, I'll grant - bear with me) is the "eye of the needle" metaphor found in a few of the gospels. My interpretation, both when I was a religious person and now, has been broader than about wealth, it's about the nature of power - the more you have, the harder it is to make ethical choices.


Yup, that's exactly what I was thinking about when I posted the question. Wait, what? (I enjoyed this post immensely).
   462. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 21, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5748867)
Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA 11m11 minutes ago

Joel Embiid on Elton Brand becoming GM: "As soon as I heard the news, I just thought about how two years ago I was dunking on him...I just remember dunking on him really bad."


---

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn 38m38 minutes ago

Story filed to ESPN: Rival executives lobbing calls to Minnesota’s front office on possibility of trading for Jimmy Butler are getting inquires shut down. Minnesota is telling teams that Butler’s an elite player and franchise intends to keep him.


I mean, this might be the best move.
   463. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5748871)
I wouldn't be worried about Butler continuing to show up and play hard, that just seems like who he is, but I'd definitely be worried about the rest of the team not wanting anything to do with the guy.
   464. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5748893)
I mean, the downside risk of keeping Butler around for the season is staggeringly huge, and what's the upside? A few more wins? Anybody who weighs the loss of Towns against making the playoffs and decides against Towns needs to be fired immediately.
   465. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5748896)
They probably will end up trading Butler for just that reason, TFTIO. But I know if I were in charge of the Wolves’ personnel today, I would definitely be telling all callers “Sorry, no; Butler is a franchise player, things here aren’t as bad as the press is speculating, and we intend to keep him long term,” hoping that:

(1) Butler and Towns can both be persuaded to stay; but failing that,
(2) Someone is motivated to make a really strong offer for Butler; or, better yet,
(3) Someone pauses and then says, “Okay. What about Wiggins?”
   466. tshipman Posted: September 21, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5748897)
RE: Durant vs. Kobe:

I think you guys are underrating a few factors.

Injuries/health: Kobe played more games per season in his prime, and more minutes per game. This difference was exacerbated in the playoffs, where Kobe averaged over 43 MPG for the playoffs the entire first three-peat. Durant has only done that once, and has been injured in the playoffs.

Resilience of game: Not sure how to call this, but Durant's game decays more from the regular season to the playoffs. Look at the 13-14 season. Durant averaged 32/7/5.5 in the regular season on 63.5% TS. Those are awesome numbers! In the playoffs, that decayed to 30/9/4 with 57% True Shooting. Still great numbers, but a significant decay. By contrast, Kobe's playoff numbers were more resilient--particularly in his championship seasons. In 2001, for example, Kobe went 28/6/5 in the regular season on 55% True Shooting and 29/7/6 in the playoffs on 55% TS. Because Kobe's game focused on the post and getting to his shot, he was harder to take shots away from. Durant's game, while it is more efficient in the regular season, is also more prone to disruption in the playoffs.
   467. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5748903)
They probably will end up trading Butler for just that reason, TFTIO. But I know if I were in charge of the Wolves’ personnel today, I would definitely be telling all callers “Sorry, no; Butler is a franchise player, things here aren’t as bad as the press is speculating, and we intend to keep him long term,” hoping that:

(1) Butler and Towns can both be persuaded to stay; but failing that,
(2) Someone is motivated to make a really strong offer for Butler; or, better yet,
(3) Someone pauses and then says, “Okay. What about Wiggins?”

Oh, yeah, sure. The public stance is 100% correct, I'm just terrified that Taylor won't make it happen before Thibs has completely alienated Towns to the point that he won't sign an extension. That would be the Wolvesiest of outcomes, of course.
   468. Tin Angel Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5748925)
(3) Someone pauses and then says, “Okay. What about Wiggins?”


I mean, if you are going to get pennies on the dollar for Butler anyway, why not just basically give Wiggins away to anyone who's willing to take the contract (if that is even possible)? There's a risk Wiggins turns into a star, but...like they were talking about on The Jump podcast yesterday, if a guy hasn't shown improvement by his fourth or fifth year the chances are slim he ever will.
   469. aberg Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5748929)
(3) Someone pauses and then says, “Okay. What about Wiggins?”


Who did Wiggins sleep with?
   470. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5748939)
The rumor of the day is that the problems in MN started when Butler slept with KAT's girlfriend and broke up their relationship. Is it true? I am choosing to believe it.


Did you order those names correctly? I don't find that rumor hard to believe on its face, but the weird thing about it is that Butler demanded to be traded, not Towns. That would make sense if it were Towns getting with Butler's girlfriend. But if the other way around, what possible motivation could Butler have for pretending he wants out for basketball/financial reasons? I'd expect the story to be more like the Wolves suddenly trade Butler and then it comes out after that that it's because he screwed Towns' girlfriend and Towns went ballistic and demanded Butler be gone yesterday or else.

OTOH I really want to believe that Butler wanted traded before the season (so as to secure the 5/190 max) so badly that he seduced Towns' girlfriend to help ensure that happens. That would make him a pretty vile person. But also, it must be said, a magnificent bastard.
   471. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5748940)
Quiz to prepare you for the new season. Where did the following free agents end up? (Prompted by a mention of Alex Len's "new team," which I was unaware was a thing.)

1. Alex Len
2. Jose Calderon
3. Darrell Arthur
4. Greg Monroe
5. Shabazz Napier

   472. JJ1986 Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5748943)
I know three of them (Len, Arthur, Napier). I would have guessed Calderon retired and I know that Monroe is not a Pelican.
   473. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5748965)
I knew 0 of them, to be clear that this isn't a gotcha attempt. If I had to guess who will go 5-5 it will be Der-K.
   474. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5748973)
(I did; sigh. #3 might change before opening day.)
   475. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5748975)
Haha, perfect.

I assure you it's my inability to retain information anymore, and not that I'm doing something more productive with my time.
   476. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5748980)
Those are good points, tshipman (466). Doesn't change where I land, but definitely matter.
   477. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5748986)
Reminiscing about Noah:

It probably couldn’t be done now, given that so much of the game has moved beyond the arc. The efficiency threshold you have to break, in order to win any games at all, is higher these days. But then again, it didn’t look simple or viable a half-decade ago, when the Chicago Bulls gave the ball to a big man who couldn’t shoot—couldn’t blow by many people, wasn’t a dependable finisher when he did reach the rim—and ran their offense through him. In the wake of Derrick Rose tearing his knee in 2012, sitting out for long stretches of the next few seasons, and never returning to form for any extended period of time, Tom Thibodeau sought to fill the playmaking void by deploying Joakim Noah, a defensive specialist with an ugly tornadic jumper, as an unlikely point center, whom opponents guarded from three feet away. With the benefit of hindsight, we know this was an inspired move, but in the moment it was wild and unlikely. It seemed not to be happening even as it was.

In part because there’s a workaday quality to Noah. He lacks the deep-down awesomeness of a LeBron James or a Kevin Durant, who operate at the limits of human possibility. Where LeBron and Durant can be explained, when they’re really cooking, only tautologically—of course he can whip the ball cross-court, one-handed, directly into Kyle Korver’s shooting pocket; he’s LeBron James—Noah has always shown his work, calculations made frantically and imperfectly, disaster narrowly averted. Professional basketball looks difficult for him.


I really liked this piece.
   478. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5748988)
Resilience of game: Not sure how to call this, but Durant's game decays more from the regular season to the playoffs. Look at the 13-14 season. Durant averaged 32/7/5.5 in the regular season on 63.5% TS. Those are awesome numbers! In the playoffs, that decayed to 30/9/4 with 57% True Shooting. Still great numbers, but a significant decay. By contrast, Kobe's playoff numbers were more resilient--particularly in his championship seasons. In 2001, for example, Kobe went 28/6/5 in the regular season on 55% True Shooting and 29/7/6 in the playoffs on 55% TS. Because Kobe's game focused on the post and getting to his shot, he was harder to take shots away from. Durant's game, while it is more efficient in the regular season, is also more prone to disruption in the playoffs.

Even those cherry-picked numbers (not an accusation, and I haven't looked at the rest of their playoff careers) don't really feel like an argument for Kobe.
   479. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5748994)
I mean, the downside risk of keeping Butler around for the season is staggeringly huge, and what's the upside? A few more wins? Anybody who weighs the loss of Towns against making the playoffs and decides against Towns needs to be fired immediately.

If you're convinced keeping Butler means Towns walks, sure. I'm not, even if the sleeping around rumor is true. The upside absolutely is winning more, making the playoffs, and maybe even doing damage in the playoffs, plus convincing a top 10ish player in the league to re-sign and stay.

The downside of trading him is getting less to way less value than he's worth, sucking again, then you have a team in turmoil and still might be at risk of losing Towns. Or, Towns just doesn't get any better and once he's locked up, you're still not nearly as good as you could be this year.
   480. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5748996)
Quiz to prepare you for the new season. Where did the following free agents end up? (Prompted by a mention of Alex Len's "new team," which I was unaware was a thing.)

1. Alex Len
2. Jose Calderon
3. Darrell Arthur
4. Greg Monroe
5. Shabazz Napier


1. CSKA Moscow
2. Liaoning Flying Leopards
3. Nanjing Monkey Kings
4. Knicks
5. Nets
   481. tshipman Posted: September 21, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5749006)
Even those cherry-picked numbers (not an accusation, and I haven't looked at the rest of their playoff careers) don't really feel like an argument for Kobe.


You have to remember how much TS% has gone up league wide. League average in 2001 was .518, in 13/14 it was .541. So Kobe's .550 was more above average than Durant's .570.

For transparency, Durant's numbers declined in the playoffs in OKC, and have stayed the same/improved in GS.

   482. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: September 21, 2018 at 02:13 PM (#5749013)
jmurph has more self control than I do, evidently. From the same Lowe piece:
Forget the buzz about LeBron playing center, or DeMarcus Cousins lumbering into the Warriors' starting five. This quintet is the most exciting group since Golden State stumbled into the Death Lineup: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. The level of shooting, playmaking, and switchability on defense (minus Irving) is outrageous.
I've been beating this drum pretty hard all offseason in private conversations; suffice it to say I'm excited for the coming season.
   483. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5749017)
jmurph has more self control than I do, evidently. From the same Lowe piece:

I don't do expressions of enthusiasm anymore on account of Hayward's... situation last year (okay this is mostly a lie). But yeah, I'm very excited to see how it all works, and am hoping for a reasonable amount of health.
   484. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5749022)
I really hope the East turns into a total dogfight between IND/TOR/BOS/PHI. I think it'll be super fun, so let's hope for good health all the way around.
   485. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 21, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5749024)
I think Indiana is a clear tier below those top teams over the course of a season, but I like their team balance and the players themselves. And on their day they could win a playoff series against one of the others.
   486. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 21, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5749030)
I think Indiana is a clear tier below those top teams over the course of a season, but I like their team balance and the players themselves.


Yeah, they have Kyle O'Quinn! Which is why I thought maybe the Knicks signed Greg Monroe.
   487. TFTIO's onanism is a process Posted: September 21, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5749031)
I think Indiana is a clear tier below those top teams over the course of a season, but I like their team balance and the players themselves. And on their day they could win a playoff series against one of the others.

I agree; but I think that they have the best player of any of those four, modulo Kawhi's quad health. I"m also really interested in seeing how MIL does with a real coach for a change?
   488. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5749053)
Milwaukee’s roster is still baffling. I can’t see any way they get better on offense or at rebounding, but they might significantly improve on defense with a real coach.
   489. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 21, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5749111)
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn 41m41 minutes ago

Sources: The NBA’s Board of Governors passed rule changes for season that include: reset of shot clock to 14 seconds after offensive rebound; simplification of clear-path foul rule; expanding definition of "hostile act" for purposes of triggering replay.
   490. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5749115)
I still think the shot clock reset change is kind of ridiculous but I'm sure I'll get used to it immediately and will barely notice.
   491. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 21, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5749121)
Milwaukee’s roster is still baffling. I can’t see any way they get better on offense or at rebounding, but they might significantly improve on defense with a real coach.

This is a big year for Thon Maker. He either needs to become a consistent outside shooter and improve his rebounding, or they just need to stop playing him.
   492. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5749127)
Maker is soft. He shies away from contact and doesn't get the rebounds or the blocks a guy his size ought to. Yet he still racks up fouls at a hefty rate--not a good sign at all. He's nowhere near dynamic enough on either end to make up for it. I know it's only been two years but I don't think he's an NBA player or likely to develop into one. If lots of people disagree, I'd have taken the opportunity to trade him.
   493. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: September 21, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5749135)
With the caveats that I don't watch a ton of Bucks games and my position is heavily influenced by recency bias, given how he stepped up in the playoffs, I see the bones of a good NBA player in Maker. He's too skinny to play effectively inside, but he has the mobility, length, and (at least at times) the intensity to be really effective. Strength and shooting consistency aren't givens (especially the shooting), but both generally improve as a young player's career progresses. That is, I'd rather gamble on Maker than on a guy like LaVine or Wiggins, who have more developed bodies and skills but need to improve their instincts and defensive effort, which I don't think are nearly as plastic.

To rephrase, I'm not yet convinced that he's soft rather than just physically weak; which one is the problem will determine whether the problem is fixable.

But that's easy to say from a safe distance; believing Thon Maker has a good chance to be a difference maker someday and believing that the Bucks should cut bait before he can get to that point aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.
   494. aberg Posted: September 21, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5749137)
It's funny that the strengths and weaknesses listed for Maker are so similar to the guy they brought in for him to play behind- Lopez.
   495. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5749147)
It's funny that the strengths and weaknesses listed for Maker are so similar to the guy they brought in for him to play behind- Lopez.


Yeah. I'm torn about Lopez--he's a good player that I like a lot, yet his weaknesses are the exact same as Milwaukee's overall weaknesses and their bringing him in looks more like a kind of video gamey "hey, good player, good value, willing to play here, let's get him!" and less like having a plan.

They got killed on the boards last year; they're going to get killed on the boards this year. They lacked floor spacing last year; they're going to lack floor spacing this year. Perimeter defense was a problem last year; maaaaybe Budenholzer will figure that one out, but maybe it's just a personnel issue like the first two things. Even their first round pick is a player who, if he pans out, his skills are exactly the things Milwaukee already has plenty of, and none of the things they need.

IMO their best plan would have started with Giannis at the 5 and gone from there. They have a penetrating guard, a spot-shooting 3, and a uniquely gifted 5. That means they need a 3-and-D type wing who doesn't need the ball to be impactful on offense, and a bruiser to play beside Giannis down low (undersized is OK but he's got to kill the boards; that's his main job).

Or, more at the macro level, you start with this: we have a uniquely gifted, seven foot ball run-and-gun monster who is the scariest ############ in the open court since Dominique and who also happens to be gifted with unnaturally good vision for a seven footer. Let's surround him with three point shooters and a rebounder, give him the ball and let him slash and kick everyone to death. But if anything Milwaukee has seemed like their plan, to whatever extent they have one, is exactly the opposite of that.

I mean, these things I'm describing aren't easy things to find; almost nothing of value is. But it's at least the beginning of a plan. Milwaukee has been acting for several years now like it's actually their plan to be the worst rebounding team in the NBA despite Giannis's presence.
   496. tshipman Posted: September 21, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5749160)
It's funny that the strengths and weaknesses listed for Maker are so similar to the guy they brought in for him to play behind- Lopez.


You guys are missing the boat on Lopez. He's not like Maker at all.

BroLo is a guy you kinda get misled by with stats. First of all, he's actually great for a team's rebounding. He's one of the best box-out guys in the league, and his teams are always better at defensive rebounding when he's on the court. He's a very physical defender, reducing fg% by 8% on shots within 6 feet.

While Thon has similar per36 numbers, the fundamentals are completely different. His team rebounded WAY worse with him on the court, and he failed to protect the rim anywhere near as well as Lopez.
   497. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5749165)
That's interesting stuff, tship. I knew he was more of a grinder than he's generally given credit for but didn't know the stats on it, and had no idea he was such a great box-out guy. Thanks.

So maybe there IS hope that with Budenholzer on board Milwaukee actually has some idea of what their weaknesses are! Still doesn't explain the DiVincenzo pick, but hey.
   498. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: September 21, 2018 at 05:10 PM (#5749169)
Funnily enough, those exact facets of Lopez's game just came up in today's Cleaning The Glass article (on Alex Len):
That’s the issue that plagues all slow-footed big men in today’s pace-and-space era. To stay on the floor, lumbering players have to be good at the technical details in pick-and-roll coverages and aware enough in help defense to deter shots at the rim. Some players can handle this burden. Brook Lopez is built similarly to Len, and his on/off numbers show how a plodding 7-footer can survive. Lopez consistently deters opponents’ shots at the rim (five of past six years in the 87th percentile or better), they take consistently fewer free throws when he’s on the court and they collect fewer offensive rebounds.
   499. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: September 21, 2018 at 05:14 PM (#5749173)
I generally think that drafting for fit in the NBA is a fool's gambit; the marginal benefit of more raw talent usually outweighs the fit concerns unless you're already a serious championship contender; and even if you are, the time it takes for a rookie to become a productive rotation player is distressingly similar to the time it takes for a championship window to close.As for DiVincenzo, I'm awfully sympathetic to the idea that drafting for fit is a fool's gambit; the marginal benefit of more raw talent usually outweighs the fit concerns unless you're already a serious championship contender; and even if you are, the time it takes for a rookie to become a productive rotation player is distressingly similar to the time it takes for a championship window to close.
   500. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 21, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5749205)
Lopez also looks like considerably more of a floor spacer than Maker. He's not a great percentage guy, but better than Maker projects to be, and the volume is significantly higher too. I forgot they got Lopez. Ersan coming home isn't sexy but adds good depth, and he's a solid/good rebounder and floor spacer for the 3/4 tweener role he plays. I'm feeling more excited now.
Page 5 of 9 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
robneyer
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(963 - 10:18pm, Oct 23)
Last: PJ Martinez

NewsblogTHE 2018 WORLD SERIES OMNICHATTER!
(175 - 10:18pm, Oct 23)
Last: puck

NewsblogOTP 2018 OCT 22: Meet the New York Teenager Who Created the 'Mets Are a Good Team' Super PAC
(693 - 9:56pm, Oct 23)
Last: Greg K

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(176 - 9:48pm, Oct 23)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

NewsblogShould Baseball Pitchers Choose Their Pitches at Random? | Immodest proposal | OZY
(9 - 9:47pm, Oct 23)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogWorld Series preview: Dodgers vs. Red Sox is more than 100 years in the making
(8 - 8:11pm, Oct 23)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-23-2018
(25 - 8:08pm, Oct 23)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogCatch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (October 2018)
(576 - 7:37pm, Oct 23)
Last: BDC

Sox TherapyLet’s Get World Serious!
(22 - 6:57pm, Oct 23)
Last: L. M. Gumby

NewsblogRangers don’t plan to make qualifying offer to Adrián Beltré
(32 - 6:14pm, Oct 23)
Last: Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens

NewsblogMLB -- Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig embrace their villain roles all the way to the World Series
(89 - 6:11pm, Oct 23)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogEscobar, D-backs agree to three-year deal
(4 - 6:09pm, Oct 23)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)
(1024 - 5:50pm, Oct 23)
Last: Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB)

NewsblogThe 2018 Dodgers Are the Most Positionally Fluid Team of All Time - The Ringer
(3 - 5:31pm, Oct 23)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogLA wins NL, setting up titanic WS with Red Sox | MLB.com
(23 - 5:00pm, Oct 23)
Last: Astroenteritis

Page rendered in 0.7109 seconds
46 querie(s) executed