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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

OT: Monthly NBA Thread - March 2016

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: best shape of his life stories and Trump’s junk (or so I assume).

Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: March 08, 2016 at 04:01 PM | 1978 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1. STIGGLES is more humble than you would understand Posted: March 08, 2016 at 05:53 PM (#5171683)
trademachine: who says no?

PHI gets kyrie irving
MEM gets kevin love
CLV gets nerlens noel, mike conley, zach randolph and coral landry
   2. Rob_Wood Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:00 PM (#5171686)
any good games tonight? bueller?
   3. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:07 PM (#5171691)
Cleveland. Conley is a FA, so I bet Memphis would take it.
   4. smileyy Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:30 PM (#5171698)
...better than "Best shape of his life stories about Trump's junk"
   5. No sex please, TFTIO is an amoeboid zingatularian Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:46 PM (#5171703)
Cleveland should trade Love back to Minnesota for Wiggins.
   6. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 07:53 PM (#5171720)
madvillain: I mostly agree with what you were saying at the end of the last thread. And you know, had LeBron never left Cleveland, he very well may by 2016 have been staring down a legacy of "best player ever that never won a title". I don't think the quality of his teammates would likely have improved much.
   7. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 08, 2016 at 08:29 PM (#5171732)
To springboard off of the LeBron discussion into another one I've been having with myself for a couple weeks: who (for your money) are the best coaches in the NBA currently? Kevin Harlan (I think) was discussing it on some TNT game, which got me thinking about who I think mine are. My (biased, by no means fully-informed) take:

1) Gregg Popovich - This is a slam dunk. He's been the clear best for years.
2) Steve Kerr - He took a good team and turned them into an all-time great team. Sure he got Curry, Green, and some weapons, but man-oh-man does he leverage them.
3) Brad Stevens - I am a Celtics fan, and unquestionably biased here. But Brad Stevens has been absolutely acing things. He is getting more than anyone expected out of a team with no real front-line talent, while everyone on that team raves about its locker room culture, and they are always tactically prepared. I thought about putting him #2, but I mean come on.
4) SVG - This isn't based on much, and is consequently the rating I'm least confident about. But SVG seems to always maximize what he gets from his players, and what those players add up to on court. He took a mess in Detroit and has it looking coherent. In hindsight, he did a heck of a job managing Dwight in Orlando.
5) Terry Stotts - I'm in Portland, so this may again be familiarity biasing me, but Stotts has done a masterful job of matching his system to his personnel. He had the Blazers as a dark horse contender last season, and pivoted when LMA left to have them firing on all cylinders as a overachieving young team.

Honorable Mentions/Why Didn't You Pick That Guy:
Doc Rivers - The Harlan comment was around how he put Stevens above Doc, though that may be controversial. I think Doc is a great locker room guy, but I also think some of his reputation is thanks to Kevin Garnett and Thibs. I guess I'm probably also dinging him a bit for being a godawful GM, even though that's not what I'm considering here.
Rick Carlisle - My read on Carlisle, which is probably overly colored by his clash with Rondo and (especially) how great Jae Crowder looked as soon as he got out of Dallas, is that Carlisle is a very good coach at what he does, but a bit much of a control freak in some ways that aren't helpful, and limits .
Eric Spoelstra - Honestly, this may be unfair. I've not spent much attention on the Heat recently.
George Karl - I don't even really think George Karl belongs here. I see him as a good-but-not-great coach who hung around long enough to rack up a lot of wins. He has won a lot of games, though.
Dwayne Casey - Probably deserves consideration too. Sorry, Dwayne, you weren't in my top five.
   8. Tin Angel Posted: March 08, 2016 at 08:38 PM (#5171735)
I would actually put Carlisle in the top three (which I'm not sure Kerr belongs in yet). Terry Stotts is great and might belong there too. I think Doc Rivers is overrated. I'd add Mike Budenholzer to your honorable mentions.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: March 08, 2016 at 09:20 PM (#5171757)

March Madness - my alma mater just punched their ticket for 1st time in 10 years!
   10. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 09:27 PM (#5171759)
Stotts seems really good and if Portland doesn't extend him before he hits the market I can think of a lot of teams that should be eager to give him a blank check. But if you want to take the half-empty perspective you might put him and Brad Stevens in a file labeled "fantastic at coaching up young teams, but unknown whether he can manage star egos and take a good team to the Finals".

I'm not sold on Kerr or Spoelstra as Great Coaches. I don't know anything at all about Stan Van Gundy.
   11. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 09:36 PM (#5171765)
Stevens isn't on the list yet. You have to win a playoff series to be a great coach.

Great coaches today:
1a. Phil (just because he's not coaching doesn't mean he's not a great coach)
1. Pop - if we limit to just guys currently coaching.
2. Kerr - this is a little questionable, but the team is just demonstrably more focused with him.
3. Carlisle - Every year the Mavs take 7 guys who are washed up or never were plus Dirk and get a playoff team.
4. Spoelstra - The Heat are pretty darn good despite having a lot of parts that don't fit well.
5. SVG - WE'RE GOING TO BUILD A WALL AROUND THE TOP FIVE COACHES IN THE NBA.
   12. theboyqueen Posted: March 08, 2016 at 09:49 PM (#5171769)
Stevens is my favorite guy to "watch" coach but I agree the results are not entirely there yet. Kerr seems really good but his situation is also pretty fortunate. Kidd is quite creative (Giannis at PG/C is inspired) but the results are pretty erratic. Carlisle is incredible. Pop is one of the best ever.

One guy I wonder about is Dwayne Casey. That team consistently seems greater than the sum of its parts and his record has improved every year running. I also really like what Mike Malone is doing in Denver.

Karl does not belong on any list like this. He might have at one point (although his playoff record is legitimately questionable) but he is now well past senility.
   13. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 09:56 PM (#5171771)
Just a curiosity: Do you think that Cleveland could win a playoff series without LeBron, even just a first round series against Washington or Charlotte or whoever?
   14. cmd600 Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:05 PM (#5171773)
You have to win a playoff series to be a great coach.


So as soon as he wins a playoff series, he'll improve as a coach. Is this a video game and he gets experience points?
   15. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:08 PM (#5171776)
So as soon as he wins a playoff series, he'll improve as a coach. Is this a video game and he gets experience points?


No, it's just recognizing that there are different skills in the regular season and the playoffs. There have been plenty of coaches with great records in the regular season who failed to get it done in the playoffs.

What is the difference between Brad Stevens and Avery Johnson so far?
   16. NJ in DC (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:09 PM (#5171777)
1a. Phil (just because he's not coaching doesn't mean he's not a great coach)

His triangle or death insistence as a GM is a clear mark against his coaching ability IMO.

Just a curiosity: Do you think that Cleveland could win a playoff series without LeBron, even just a first round series against Washington or Charlotte or whoever?

No.
   17. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:10 PM (#5171778)
Phil was an all-time great at always being sure to coach teams that have an all-time megagreat at his apex plus another no-doubt Hall of Famer on them.

Maybe I'm wrong; hell, I'm talking about basketball so I am probably wrong. I'm skeptical that Phil belongs on the Greatest Coach Ever shortlist. He has 10 rings--the last of them was the most impressive--but won them with teams that, given just any random NBA coach, would probably have won at least 7.
   18. Norcan Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:12 PM (#5171780)
Stevens isn't on the list yet. You have to win a playoff series to be a great coach.


You stick to that. I think I've seen enough to consider him a great coach.


Seeing Rambis treat Porzingis like he did Love, keeping his minutes relatively limited and yanking him if he misses some shots during a stint, it's a good thing he wasn't the head coach from the start. As badly as Porzingis looked in the preseason, I don't think he would've gotten a lot of time in the beginning and certainly not been allowed to play through some of the rough stretches he had this season. There might be a different vibe about him right now.
   19. Norcan Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:14 PM (#5171783)
No, it's just recognizing that there are different skills in the regular season and the playoffs. There have been plenty of coaches with great records in the regular season who failed to get it done in the playoffs.


Care to enlighten us about what those different coaching skills are?
   20. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:16 PM (#5171784)
His triangle or death insistence as a GM is a clear mark against his coaching ability IMO.


Phil was an all-time great at always being sure to coach teams that have an all-time megagreat at his apex plus another no-doubt Hall of Famer on them.


Championships won by Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq without Phil: 1*
Championships won by Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq with Phil: 11

Phil won a ring more than half the years he coached. Phil's the best coach in NBA history and it's not even close.

*to be fair, the 2006 refs in Miami were the biggest contributors though.
   21. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:20 PM (#5171786)
I'm sure most would agree I'm not giving Phil enough credit, but... that could be rephrased as "Championships won by Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq during their primes: 11 / past their primes: 1", couldn't it? I don't think that argument establishes that Phil was a spectacular coach, rather than that he had spectacular timing.
   22. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:22 PM (#5171788)
Care to enlighten us about what those different coaching skills are?


Dissecting an opposing team and building a gameplan to beat them.

Sometimes it involves changing personnel, sometimes it involves changing defensive or offensive schemes. Sometimes it involves challenging your players to do a better job, sometimes it involves working the refs, sometimes it involves changing your substitution patterns.

There's no template to winning in the playoffs in the NBA. Until you show you can do it, you're just another coach. It's a lot harder to go from 55 wins to 60 than it is to go from 30 wins to 50.
   23. stevegamer Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:24 PM (#5171789)
trademachine: who says no?

PHI gets kyrie irving
MEM gets kevin love
CLV gets nerlens noel, mike conley, zach randolph and carl landry


This might be the best one you've ever done. I think the Cavs should take that, but GM LeBron might not like it. Memphis would likely take it, and the 76ers should be all over it, as it simultaneously makes them worse, and fixes asset distribution around the court.
   24. Spivey Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:26 PM (#5171792)
Championships won by Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq without Phil: 1*
Championships won by Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq with Phil: 11


What's your argument, exactly, with this stat?

Is it that they wouldn't have won any without him? I know it's not, so giving a more involved argument would be helpful.

I mean, I'm open to arguments he's the best coach. But he did a remarkable job of joining teams exactly when they had a couple of all-time greats on them.

I think there's 3 coaches in the all-time great discussion - Auerbech, Jackson, and Pop. And if you're including college, which I think you should, I'd throw in Bobby Knight and Wooden.
   25. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:27 PM (#5171794)
College is the minor leagues. College coaches don't belong in the same discussion with professional coaches.
   26. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:27 PM (#5171795)
I'm sure most would agree I'm not giving Phil enough credit, but... that could be rephrased as "Championships won by Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq during their primes: 11 / past their primes: 1", couldn't it? I don't think that argument establishes that Phil was a spectacular coach, rather than that he had spectacular timing.


Except other coaches had those players in their primes and didn't win anything.
   27. Spivey Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:30 PM (#5171796)
Aldridge has sneakily snuck his FG% above .500 and his FT% is at .850.
   28. Spivey Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:37 PM (#5171797)
Except other coaches had those players in their primes and didn't win anything.

How many of them had 2 of them (or their equivalents) in their prime?

Basically Riley with Miami (who won the title, though as you note it was an asterisk)
And *maybe* Collins with the Bulls, in Pippen's first semi-regular season. They lost in the ECF in 6.

I mean, the Lakers were nothing with just Kobe, a good 3rd/4th man, and a mediocre bench when Shaq left and Phil was at the helm.
   29. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:37 PM (#5171798)
I mean, I'm open to arguments he's the best coach. But he did a remarkable job of joining teams exactly when they had a couple of all-time greats on them.


My argument is that this is revisionist history.

In 1989, Michael Jordan was a great, great player who had never made an NBA finals.
Previous year record: 47-35
First year with Phil? 55-27

In 1999, Shaq was a choker whose team had just gotten swept out of the second round of the playoffs.
Previous year record: 31-19 (51 win equivalent)
First year with Phil? 67-15 and a win in the Finals.

In 2007, Kobe Bryant was a selfish chucker whose team had lost in the first round.
Previous year record: 41-41.
First year with Phil? 57-25 and a trip to the Finals.

Phil joined every single possible situation, including a team rebuilding, and immediately made them contenders. It's unknowable how many championships Shaq, Michael, Kobe or Pippen would have won without him, but I would tell you to look at LeBron's career for perspective. LeBron had 8 years where he was the best player in the league and had just 2 rings to show from it.
   30. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:39 PM (#5171799)
Except other coaches had those players in their primes and didn't win anything.


A true fact, which warrants consideration. It seems to break down into two arguments:

One, that the Bulls had Jordan for years, and Pippen for a couple of years as well, and didn't win jack #### until Phil got there and finally got through to Jordan and convinced him to trust his teammates. It is possible that Phil is the primary reason why the Bulls started winning the title every year. I think it fits the facts at least as well, though, to observe that the Pistons slipped, the Celtics dynasty was through, and with Pippen hitting his stride in 1990 it was finally the Bulls' turn to be the East's dominant team, after years of struggling against powerhouse conference rivals. I am unconvinced this wouldn't have happened anyway with a different, merely pretty good coach.

Second, that Shaq was a superstar before Phil became his coach, and didn't win any titles (reached the Finals in '95, though.) But of course, it's equally valid to observe that Shaq didn't start winning titles until Kobe joined him. And Kobe stopped winning titles for years, mostly while Phil was still his coach, after Shaq left town.

Those last two Lakers titles look like Phil's best work to me. The rest of them, well, I suspect a lot of coaches could win a lot of titles with two transcendent superstars in their primes. (Counter-argument, though: Erik Spoelstra, who is well regarded, won only two during the Heatles' four years, and very very nearly only one, when he really should have won at least three. Winning titles is hard.)

I'm not religiously attached to this opinion and yet again I will acknowledge I'm disagreeing with pretty much everyone and therefore am probably wrong.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:40 PM (#5171800)
Phil Jackson, not so much?

I don't endorse that take and Ian got caught up in the anti-Phil, but posted as the anti-Phil claim. If you don't buy that, then Phil is Phil.

I don't have a problem with him as an all-time great coach.

It's a fair debate exactly where he lands. That link only alludes to it, but basically he looked at the late 1990s Nets Van Horn-Kittles-Gill-JWilliams group - which seemed on the rise - and concluded that they couldn't win an NBA title so he passed on the job.

that can be said to be savvy analysis, or refusal to take on a flawed but talented plan, I guess.
   32. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:43 PM (#5171801)
How many of them had 2 of them (or their equivalents) in their prime?


Well, Popovich had equivalent or better talent in San Antonio and won less often.

Mike Dunleavy had amazing talent in Portland in 1999-2000 and didn't win anything.

Doc Rivers had amazing talent in Boston and won 1 ring, and has had CP3 and Blake Griffin in their primes and has won nothing.

George Karl had Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp for years and got shut out.

Jerry Sloan had Stockton and Malone and never won.

There are tons of coaches who had great talent who didn't win it all. There's also a selection bias at work: part of the reason Kobe is an "all-time great" is that he won all those rings with Phil. Otherwise there are plenty of people on the internet who will tell you that he's nothing special compared to T-mac, Paul Pierce or Clyde Drexler.
   33. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:48 PM (#5171805)
that can be said to be savvy analysis, or refusal to take on a flawed but talented plan, I guess.


Definitely savvy analysis, and if you're the #1 coach on the market then you damn well SHOULD be picky about your destination. But it doesn't make you a better coach.

Re #32: None of those guys, except Popovich, had a top ten all-time level of great, though. And in basketball, that matters a great deal. Stockton and Malone were great players but nowhere near on the collective level of Shaq/Kobe or Jordan/Pippen. And comparing them to sub-great groups like Kemp/Payton and the pre-Jail Blazers is stretching your argument a long way.

In Phil's favor, facts are stubborn things and the facts are he has 11 ####### rings.
   34. RollingWave Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:50 PM (#5171808)
from the previous thread

2. Are we sure that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are good at basketball, not just good stats guys?


We're not, I think this goes back to the whole part where a lot of guys in the NBA could look like borderline stars if they were the focus, especially point guards. but to be able to actually defend in a team well, and function as a role , that is hard. especially for younger guys.

For Love, I go back and forth, the problem is that the current meta ...errr game is in a place that's a guy with his profile suffers dramatically (where the combo forward guys that use to be blah are now the rage.) especially on defense. but I i suppose a a reasonably set up team could still make better use of him. (like say, Charlotte, or Atlanta or Miami.)

For Kyrie he pass the eye test as a star , the problem is once again the last time a team won with a PG as their best player goes wayyyyyy back to the Isiah Pistons (and one may argue that even, given that the greatest career of the guys on that team is pretty clearly Rodman.) well until last year, but Steph is a transcendent player and that Kyrie is not. in fact between the Pistons and Warriors how many title team had their PG as their best PERIMETER player? (i think most of us agree Manu is better than Parker )

I do think a Kyrie for Paul trade ultimately make most sense for both team involved. Paul and the Clippers aren't getting past those guys in the next few years, and if the Cavs are going all in they might as well go ALL in and hopefully swindle Doc out of like the 2019 first round pick or something. for Paul, this is pretty much a sure thing to get them into the finals for at least 2-3 years which should give them a shot a the title more reasonably than hoping to get through 3 great teams for it.

Kyrie for Paul, Love for more easily plug and play versatile support pieces and hopefully some future assets to cover them after Lebron / Paul falls off.

   35. Spivey Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:51 PM (#5171809)

My argument is that this is revisionist history.

In 1989, Michael Jordan was a great, great player who had never made an NBA finals.
Previous year record: 47-35
First year with Phil? 55-27

In 1999, Shaq was a choker whose team had just gotten swept out of the second round of the playoffs.
Previous year record: 31-19 (51 win equivalent)
First year with Phil? 67-15 and a win in the Finals.

In 2007, Kobe Bryant was a selfish chucker whose team had lost in the first round.
Previous year record: 41-41.
First year with Phil? 57-25 and a trip to the Finals.

Phil joined every single possible situation, including a team rebuilding, and immediately made them contenders. It's unknowable how many championships Shaq, Michael, Kobe or Pippen would have won without him, but I would tell you to look at LeBron's career for perspective. LeBron had 8 years where he was the best player in the league and had just 2 rings to show from it.


Let's go through these together:

1989 - They got better. But Pippen was coming into his own and got significantly better, and played many more minutes. They also significantly outperformed their pythag. Which you could argue is due to him as a coach. I'm not going to check every single year, but you could argue that.

1999 - They were 31-19 and were a dysfunctional mess that went 31-19. They also had 3 coaches and the full year before went 61-21. I remember at the time being very fearful of the Lakers when they got Phil. Some of that is because he's a great coach, but some is because they had great pieces.

2007 - I've seen this mentioned several places by fans. I don't get it. Phil Jackson coached those two teams in 2005 and 2006. I'm willing to grant you just had a brain fart, but it weakens your argument for Phil, and you're not the only person I've seen do it. He coached a couple of MEH teams with a prime Kobe on them. They didn't get good until they got Gasol, who for me is a clear HOFer and in his prime was one of the top scorers in the post the league has ever seen.
   36. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:55 PM (#5171811)
I think the Clippers would be batshit insane to trade Chris Paul for Kyrie Irving. They can do better than that if they decide to trade Paul.

I don't think Kyrie is all that good even when he's not injured. He's a good player, but Dwyane Wade he ain't.

As for Love, I've pretty much settled in on the cliche-but-probably-correct supposition that he just doesn't mesh with LeBron on the court and is never going to and needs to be moved for whatever the Cavs can get back.
   37. tshipman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 11:01 PM (#5171813)
Phil Jackson coached those two teams in 2005 and 2006. I'm willing to grant you just had a brain fart, but it weakens your argument for Phil, and you're not the only person I've seen do it.


You're right, obvs. I must have blacked out those years.

The 2004-2005 Lakers had a record of 34-48 and didn't make the playoffs. The first year Phil came back, they went 45-37 and lost in the first round in 7.

They didn't get good until they got Gasol


This is just not true. Pau Gasol was acquired at the trade deadline and played 27 games for the 2007-2008 Lakers, a team that won 57 games. Further, Pau had never made it out of the first round before coming to the Lakers. Part of you talking about Gasol as this transcendent talent is because of how he played under Phil. Let's say Pau stays in Memphis, putting up 19-9 every year and not making the playoffs. Would anyone talk about him as a hall of famer?

The same is really true about all the greats that Phil coached. Who is Kobe without Phil?
   38. NJ in DC (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 11:10 PM (#5171816)
Auerbech, Jackson, and Pop

I would drop Jackson and add Riley.
   39. NJ in DC (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 11:17 PM (#5171818)
Who is Kobe without Phil?

Kobe is a Top 20 guy with or without Phil.
   40. Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:15 AM (#5171862)
2015-16 BTF Prediction Contest
With 20 games to go, not much change in the actual standings this month. The biggest changes were Charlotte moving from 9th to 6th and the Knicks moving from 10th to 13th. Der-K and the folks at 538 share the lead with 212 points, and Der-K now holds a significant lead on the rest of the Primates.

212: Der-K, 538
211: Pelton
207: on a winter's night a baserunner, tshipman
206: RollingWave, Booey

Complete results here.
   41. smileyy Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:18 AM (#5171864)
Dissecting an opposing team and building a gameplan to beat them.


Yeah. This. Beating a team in a seven game series where you face them night after night is different than the generalized gameplan you used to win 40 or 50 or 60 games.
   42. Tin Angel Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:37 AM (#5171868)
I don't know, I'm not a huge Phil Jackson fan or anything but I'd say that, if in an alternate world he was the Cavs coach early in LeBron's career, LeBron has at least 3 or 4 rings without having ever left.
   43. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 09, 2016 at 08:23 AM (#5171903)
They didn't get good until they got Gasol

This is just not true. Pau Gasol was acquired at the trade deadline and played 27 games for the 2007-2008 Lakers


No, it's definitely true. They were 35-20 when he didn't play - good but not great - and 22-5 when he did. The 2007-08 Lakers were a nice team, but in no way contenders. They acquired him a few weeks prior to the deadline and immediately won 11 of 12. Without Gasol, they win 50ish games, have a lower half seed, and neither Kobe nor Phil likely ever makes the Finals again. That trade completely changed them - it was obvious at the time, and it's still obvious 8 years later. They just dropped an all-star onto their team without giving up anyone of note from the current roster (though admittedly Memphis did get good value).
   44. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2016 at 09:05 AM (#5171941)
Are we sure that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are good at basketball, not just good stats guys?


I said at the time and continue to believe that Lebron made a mistake tying the rest of his good years to Kyrie Irving. I see no evidence that he's a difference-maker, yet he's paid like one, has the usage of one, and is a season-ending injury waiting to happen every single year.

But to answer the question, yes I'm sure that Irving and Love are good. I am not sure Irving is much beyond that, and I'm not sure Love is much beyond that anymore (I guess we'll see when he's finally traded). I am 100% sure Lebron would be better off without as much influence as he seems to have in personnel decisions.
   45. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 09:25 AM (#5171956)
I said at the time and continue to believe that Lebron made a mistake tying the rest of his good years to Kyrie Irving. I see no evidence that he's a difference-maker, yet he's paid like one, has the usage of one, and is a season-ending injury waiting to happen every single year.

But to answer the question, yes I'm sure that Irving and Love are good. I am not sure Irving is much beyond that, and I'm not sure Love is much beyond that anymore (I guess we'll see when he's finally traded). I am 100% sure Lebron would be better off without as much influence as he seems to have in personnel decisions.


That last point is indisputable. Coach/GM LeBron is ####### player LeBron six ways from Sunday.

Watching Irving and Love--and especially watching them without LeBron on the floor--I feel like I'm watching two guys take as much off the table as they put on. Kind of anti-Boshes, in that their contribution to winning is overstated by their stats. Definitely neither one strikes me as a max player based on on-court performance for these Cavs.
   46. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 09:54 AM (#5171983)
I was just cruising bask-ref this morning and I happened upon the 2003-04 Minnesota Timberwolves, coached by Flip Saunders, who went 58-24 and took the Lakers to six games in the Western Conference Finals. What an amazing team. Here, by order of minutes played, are their players (Kevin Garnett of course was the MP leader).

2. Latrell Sprewell, 33 and in the penultimate season of his colorful career. He provided some scoring. 14 PER.

3. Sam Cassell, 34, though he would play a few more seasons yet. He was the team's #2 scorer.

4. Trenton Hassell. I've never heard of Trenton Hassell. Bask-ref tells me he was a shooting guard. He was 24 in 2003-04; the Bulls gave up on him after his two-year rookie contract, the Wolves signed him and he was a starter on a 58-win team. He went on to a 10-year career. Not bad for a #29 pick.

5. Fred Hoiberg. I #### you not: Fred Hoiberg, 31 years old and winding down his career, was 5th on minutes for a team that won 58 games and fell two games short of the Finals. Added note: Like Hassell, Hoiberg left the Bulls after 2002-03. I assumed they were traded to Minnesota together until I looked it up.

6. Mark Madsen. The only young player in their rotation besides KG. He would actually play the rest of his career in Minnesota, five more seasons. 2003-04 was the only time he topped 1000 minutes.

7. Gary Trent. I've never heard of him. Apparently an undersized 4. He was 29 in 2003-04 and it was his final NBA season.

8. Ervin Johnson. I actually do vaguely remember him, from 1990s video games. He appears to have been KG's backup in 03-04, which was his last full NBA season. He was 36.

9. Michael Olowokandi. One of the all time great #1 overall busts, I had no idea he ever played for Minnesota. Just glancing at his games played totals, it looks like he had a hell of a time with injuries. He finished his career in Boston, which I also don't remember at all.

10. Wally Szczerbiak. I must be confusing him with someone because I thought he was pretty good, but his bask-ref page suggests he was just a lottery bust turned journeyman.

And those were the ten most significant players on a 58-win team that fell 2 wins short of the Finals. The conclusion we are forced to reach is: Holy #### was peak Kevin Garnett awesome.
   47. RollingWave Posted: March 09, 2016 at 10:06 AM (#5171998)
That last point is indisputable. Coach/GM LeBron is ####### player LeBron six ways from Sunday.

Watching Irving and Love--and especially watching them without LeBron on the floor--I feel like I'm watching two guys take as much off the table as they put on. Kind of anti-Boshes, in that their contribution to winning is overstated by their stats. Definitely neither one strikes me as a max player based on on-court performance for these Cavs.


I generally agree in the aggregate but my devil's advocate counter argument is that we're thinking this in a regular season format, yeah, Kevin Love probably wouldn't be even as useful to them in that sense as say.. Marvin Williams who's a low usage guy who rebounds defends both forward spot and shoot 3s (he's been low key the Hornet's second best player this year or at least 3rd.) but the problem is in the playoffs teams could plausibly scheme to force a guy like him to beat them, and that would end badly. where as if you do that to Kevin Love, there's at least a much better chance he actually beats you.

But then again, teams could also scheme to simply put whoever Love / Irving is guarding in a pick and roll every single time and they would probably score 120 and force them off the floor anyway, it's ok if you have a Marvin Williams who's making like 7-8 m getting forced off the floor since you probably should have another guy about as good but in different ways for the same money to put out there, but when you pull Love and Irving off the floor who are you replacing them with? (granted, to their credit they do have real guys that they are replacing them with, hats off to Gilbert for willing to overpay to that extend. )

I do see 10 guys the Cavs can reasonably play in a playoff series and win againts most teams, but only 1 of them clearly can play regardless of the situation, that is a bit of a problem.

However, it's unfair to judge them until they lose in the playoff, hopefully at full strength. it IS entirely possible that the Cavs win given that they're pretty much a free pass to the finals and as long as they're not facing a full strength GSW I think they at least have a 30-40% chance at worst. Lebron himself is enough to will them to 1-2 wins at worst. But I do feel that if they are going to win they should at least show me a stretch between now and the playoff where things are actually clicking fairly consistently. and the mind boggling thing is that they DID do that last year during this time, but now with the whole team pretty much the same and deeper, somehow they look much worse.

Maybe their window was last year, and Kelly Olynek and Kyrie's knees just blew it, i honestly have no idea. I do think that this team in the playoffs will be much stronger, but given their current base that's NOT enough in most likelihood.


   48. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 10:14 AM (#5172008)
Maybe their window was last year, and Kelly Olynek and Kyrie's knees just blew it, i honestly have no idea.


This could turn out to be the case--it's easy to forget now that the Warriors were vulnerable heading into the Finals last year. Curry was not the same after being concussed in the Western Conference Finals and didn't play anywhere near his usual level in the Finals. With a healthy Love and Kyrie it's possible Cleveland might have managed to beat them. I don't think it's likely, but it's possible.

That's the formula Cleveland needs: to enter the Finals healthy and against an opponent that is not healthy. But this year that's going to be tough; the West is stacked, and probably one of Golden State, San Antonio, and OKC will stay healthy through the playoffs.
   49. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: March 09, 2016 at 10:18 AM (#5172014)
I think you guys are underselling the Cavs a bit. They are the 3rd or 4th best team in the league and the presumptive Eastern Conference finalist. Bad luck for them the Warriors and Spurs are setting a ridiculously high bar but in most years they would be considered a dominant team. LeBron may regret tethering himself to Kyrie but he chose Cleveland for non-basketball reasons and Kyrie is what they had.

I must be confusing him with someone because I thought he was pretty good

Maybe Tom Gugliotta? He was a pretty good player, even made an all star team in Minny before injuries wrecked him. He was famously (infamously for Warriors fans) part of the deal that sent Chris Webber to the Bullets. Just one of the many great trades the Warriors have made over the years.
   50. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 09, 2016 at 10:35 AM (#5172033)
7. Gary Trent. I've never heard of him. Apparently an undersized 4. He was 29 in 2003-04 and it was his final NBA season.


He led Ohio University to a surprising Preseason NIT title in 1994, though they failed to make the tournament later that year. I have no idea what his pro career was like.
   51. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: March 09, 2016 at 10:49 AM (#5172046)
1989 - They got better. But Pippen was coming into his own and got significantly better, and played many more minutes.

That sure sounds like things a coach would have both an impact and then control over, doesn't it?

They were 31-19 and were a dysfunctional mess that went 31-19. They also had 3 coaches and the full year before went 61-21.

Part of a coaches job is to actually make the players a team, sounds like this is a resounding success for Phil.

I would drop Jackson and add Riley.

I get it you're not happy with some of his NYK GM stuff, and you'll never see those Bulls objectively (but neither will I), but there is absolutely no argument for calling Pop and Riley great coaches and Phil not (or greater than Phil, or however you're choosing to word this). Phil has a higher win% in the regular season (.704, .692 for Pops and .636 for Riley) and playoffs (.688, .618 for Pops and .606 for Riley); he just flat out won significantly more (and head to head). People may point to the idea that Riley and Pops won with different types of teams, or at least more different than Phil, and I just don't see how that matters (or is even completely true) when the results are so overwhelming. People, like Zeth here, try to say, well of course Phil won with MJ and Shaq/Kobe, but let's see what Pops does without Duncan; we know Riley barely won without Magic/KAJ. So yes, to an extent, a coach is only as good as his players, but like tship pointed out, sometimes players are only good as their coaches too.

Holding Phil's adherence to the triangle in NY against him is completely irrelevant to his record as a coach - unless he were coaching the team. Riley had a ton of say over personnel in Miami (and probably some in NY), and in 11 years in Miami Riley only won 53.5% of his games. That a much, much bigger black mark against him that what Phil is doing in NY.
   52. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: March 09, 2016 at 10:50 AM (#5172048)
Yeah. This. Beating a team in a seven game series where you face them night after night is different than the generalized gameplan you used to win 40 or 50 or 60 games.

For example, Thibs was a *great* regular season coach, but much less successful in the playoffs. I like Stevens, but he's not even proven he's as good as Thibs yet.
   53. smileyy Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:00 AM (#5172058)
There was an era where 6'7 - 6'9" guys who could rebound, defend other PFs (before stretch 4 was a thing), and had limited offensive skills other than scoring on putbacks and assists off of drives could have a career and make money.

Kenneth Faried carries their memorial torch.
   54. smileyy Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:01 AM (#5172059)
Gary Trent was the "Shaq of the MAC", back when the MAC was good for a first round upset or two and maybe a Sweet Sixteen.
   55. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:07 AM (#5172062)

Gary Trent was the "Shaq of the MAC", back when the MAC was good for a first round upset or two and maybe a Sweet Sixteen.


A few years before Trent, Ball State gave title-winning UNLV its only scare in the Sweet 16.
   56. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:37 AM (#5172107)
Shaq of the Mac! Oh man, I had completely forgotten about that.
   57. Booey Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:40 AM (#5172113)
For Kyrie he pass the eye test as a star , the problem is once again the last time a team won with a PG as their best player goes wayyyyyy back to the Isiah Pistons (and one may argue that even, given that the greatest career of the guys on that team is pretty clearly Rodman.) well until last year, but Steph is a transcendent player and that Kyrie is not.


The 2004 Pistons with Billups also won a title (and nearly a 2nd) with their best player being a point guard.
   58. AROM Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:41 AM (#5172117)
I remember that silly nickname, and that Gary Trent was a fairly high pick, #11 overall in 1995. I couldn't remember anything about his NBA career, but he played 9 years, usually 1000 minutes per year but under 2000.

I am the Shaq of the 8 foot baskets. With free throw shooting touch to prove it.
   59. Booey Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:49 AM (#5172134)
Jazz went through their usual routine again last night:

1) Race out to a fast start and get up by double digits by the end of the first or early 2nd

2) Play like crap in the 2nd and lose their lead so they enter halftime about even

3) Still play like crap in the 3rd so they enter the 4th at a deficit

4) Finally start playing hard again but lose anyway when their final push comes up short

It's almost comical how often they've done this lately. Luckily, it isn't likely to happen again tonight! They're playing the Warriors in Oakland on the 2nd night of a B2B. I expect them to be down double digits within minutes, saving themselves the embarrassment of blowing their typical early lead.
   60. yo la tengo Posted: March 09, 2016 at 12:24 PM (#5172171)
A bit late to the party here on debating coaches. Curious as to what the opinion is on KC Jones as a coach. Great success by his teams in the regular season and the post season, but it seems that all the credit goes to the players, especially Larry Legend.
   61. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: March 09, 2016 at 12:53 PM (#5172213)
My memory is that at the time Jones wasn't regarded as a great coach but I could be wrong about that. He never comes up in GOAT for coaches discussions, though. My impression is that guys like Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkens are much more highly regarded despite the lack of RINGZZZ.
   62. yo la tengo Posted: March 09, 2016 at 12:55 PM (#5172216)
I guess that the Phil skeptics made me think of KC. I do not recall him ever being held up as an example of a great coach. Though I also sort of remember Lakers' era Riley not being as widely regarded - somehow - as Knicks era Riley.
   63. cmd600 Posted: March 09, 2016 at 12:56 PM (#5172219)
he chose Cleveland for non-basketball reasons


There may have been a non-basketball reason or two in there, but he wasn't going to Cleveland if he didn't think playing with Irving and Love gave him the best shot at a championship.

No, it's just recognizing that there are different skills in the regular season and the playoffs. There have been plenty of coaches with great records in the regular season who failed to get it done in the playoffs.


Sure, and most of those skills involve having better players.
   64. vagab0nd is still a champion Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:10 PM (#5172235)
but let's see what Pops does without Duncan


Duncan turns 40 next month and the Spurs are on pace to win >65. Phil & the Lakers won 45 with 27yo Kobe. other than his first season, when he took over a tanking team*, and one lockout shortened season, pops has never won less than 50. Phil did 3 times - twice with Kobe and once with Pippen**.

*if you remove pops first season, he has a .710 win%.
**they were 33-31 when some failed minor leaguer joined the team and helped the bulls finish 13-4 down the stretch.
   65. theboyqueen Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:16 PM (#5172239)
I've never even heard any of the Celtics players of the era talk about KC as a great coach. KC seems just about completely unique in coaching history in comparing the success of his teams versus the credit given to him. Which may well be legitimate. Looking at what the various members of that team went onto in terms of coaching and management the basketball intelligence of that group of players must have been just immense.

With respect to Phil -- I mean what is the evidence he is NOT an all time great coach? How could he possibly have done any better? And unlike KC Jones, pretty much every player that played for him has given him massive amounts of credit for making everything work. The guy managed personalities as diverse as Steve Kerr, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Shaq, Kobe, and Ron Artest and somehow it all came together. The Lakers completely imploded as a franchise after he left, and it's hard to argue this was entirely due to a lack of talent. Whether or not the triangle is an antiquated, limited system, it did serve the spiritual function of corralling these diverse talents into a functional system of play.

I think Phil, Riley, Popovich, Wooden, and Auerbach are probably the greatest basketball coaches we have seen, and interestingly none of them save perhaps Popovich is really a tactical innovator. On the other hand you have Don Nelson who is probably the greatest tactical innovator of the modern era but who didn't win anything.
   66. The permanently sour Dolorous Eddo Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:29 PM (#5172255)
For Kyrie he pass the eye test as a star , the problem is once again the last time a team won with a PG as their best player goes wayyyyyy back to the Isiah Pistons (and one may argue that even, given that the greatest career of the guys on that team is pretty clearly Rodman.) well until last year, but Steph is a transcendent player and that Kyrie is not. in fact between the Pistons and Warriors how many title team had their PG as their best PERIMETER player? (i think most of us agree Manu is better than Parker )

Don't you only have to go back to a more recent Pistons champion? At the very least, Billups was the 2004 Pistons' best perimeter player.

EDIT: Coke to Booey.
   67. Spivey Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:30 PM (#5172257)
I agree with everything Shooty said in 49.

Moses, I agree with your first two points in 51. I'm certainly not arguing that Phil isn't a great coach. I will say the "Let's see what Popovich does without Duncan" argument is a bit weak to me. Duncan is a good player still, but he's not a great player. I also think that Pippen was going to be playing more minutes in 89-90 regardless of who the coach was. I still give him credit because the team did improve, but it was well set up to improve.

I also think that injuries in the playoffs aren't always as black and white as mentioned. Curry's injury last year was a good example. So was Curry's injury the year of the last Spurs title. IIRC they had a 2-1 lead in the series and had the Spurs on the ropes a little bit, but Curry ended up twisting his ankles a couple of times in the series. Bosh missed a couple of games a few years back against Indiana and Miami almost lost the series. The Spurs won a WCF clinching game a couple of years back without Tony Parker. LeBron might miss a game, or get in foul trouble, or a WCF team has someone at less than 100% but still good. It isn't just going to take a massive injury for Cleveland to win. And similarly, being able to have guys that can win you a game if LeBron is hurt for a game or gets cramps in the 4th quarter is key.
   68. Spivey Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:35 PM (#5172261)
For Kyrie he pass the eye test as a star , the problem is once again the last time a team won with a PG as their best player goes wayyyyyy back to the Isiah Pistons (and one may argue that even, given that the greatest career of the guys on that team is pretty clearly Rodman.) well until last year, but Steph is a transcendent player and that Kyrie is not. in fact between the Pistons and Warriors how many title team had their PG as their best PERIMETER player? (i think most of us agree Manu is better than Parker )

I mean Manu is better than Parker now, and his peak is better than Parker's peak. But Parker was a far bigger part of their offensive success when they had the back to back matchups against the Heat.
   69. Der-K should've known better than to fly on AA. Posted: March 09, 2016 at 02:01 PM (#5172291)
There was an era where 6'7 - 6'9" guys who could rebound, defend other PFs (before stretch 4 was a thing), and had limited offensive skills other than scoring on putbacks and assists off of drives could have a career and make money.

Kenneth Faried carries their memorial torch.

In both cases, defend does not mean "defend well"

Incidentally, Trent was a favorite of mine at the time - a brute force, this square peg will fit through that round hole scorer and solid backup.
--
I think we're collectively underrating Kevin Love. More later...
   70. smileyy Posted: March 09, 2016 at 02:33 PM (#5172310)
I remember that silly nickname, and that Gary Trent was a fairly high pick, #11 overall in 1995. I couldn't remember anything about his NBA career


These guys were valued back then -- they were lottery/first round picks. See Gary Trent, Tyrone Hill, Brian Grant, Anthony Bonner -- those are the ones that pop to my head from that era, often from "mid-major" schools that permeate the midwest.
   71. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 09, 2016 at 02:40 PM (#5172316)
These guys were valued back then -- they were lottery/first round picks. See Gary Trent, Tyrone Hill, Brian Grant, Anthony Bonner -- those are the ones that pop to my head from that era, often from "mid-major" schools that permeate the midwest.


Sub Kenyon Martin for Anthony Bonner and you could have restricted your geographic profile to Southern Ohio.
   72. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: March 09, 2016 at 02:53 PM (#5172329)
I will say the "Let's see what Popovich does without Duncan" argument is a bit weak to me.

It's just as weak as the Phil only coached MJ/Shaq one. Actually, less weak, since Phil at least replicated his success with a different team (and really, each of those stops had 2 very different teams).
   73. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: March 09, 2016 at 02:56 PM (#5172335)
K.C. Johnson ‏@KCJHoop 2h2 hours ago
Hoiberg said Butler got shots up but will visit Dr. James Andrews to get 2nd opinion on knee. Out vs. Spurs.

K.C. Johnson ‏@KCJHoop 2h2 hours ago
Swelling in Butler's knee has subsided but there's lingering pain. Dr. Andrews can take it from here.


Super.
   74. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 09, 2016 at 03:05 PM (#5172349)
These guys were valued back then -- they were lottery/first round picks. See Gary Trent, Tyrone Hill, Brian Grant, Anthony Bonner -- those are the ones that pop to my head from that era, often from "mid-major" schools that permeate the midwest.


Sub Kenyon Martin for Anthony Bonner and you could have restricted your geographic profile to Southern Ohio.


Jason Maxiell and Danny Fortson, also mid-sized tough guy first round picks from Cincinnati.
   75. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 03:26 PM (#5172372)

10. Wally Szczerbiak. I must be confusing him with someone because I thought he was pretty good, but his bask-ref page suggests he was just a lottery bust turned journeyman.


back when the MAC was good for a first round upset or two and maybe a Sweet Sixteen.

Szczerbiak took Miami of Ohio to sweet 16 as a 10 seed. Scored something like 90 points in the three games. Think of a more well rounded, stronger Kyle Korver. Then he lost a step. It happens.
   76. vagab0nd is still a champion Posted: March 09, 2016 at 03:31 PM (#5172381)
It's just as weak as the Phil only coached MJ/Shaq one. Actually, less weak, since Phil at least replicated his success with a different team (and really, each of those stops had 2 very different teams).


uhhh, what? the difference between 99 and 14 championship teams is far greater in style than anything Phil did. pop changed his style to fit his roster and the league (which is probably why he's never won fewer than 50 in a full season) whereas Phil ran the same system (which is why his team's were slightly above average when he didn't have 2-3 transcendent talents).
   77. Spivey Posted: March 09, 2016 at 03:39 PM (#5172390)
Szczerbiak took Miami of Ohio to sweet 16 as a 10 seed. Scored something like 90 points in the three games. Think of a more well rounded, stronger Kyle Korver. Then he lost a step. It happens.

Szczerbiak was a good offensive player, but he was a sieve on defense his whole career.
   78. Der-K should've known better than to fly on AA. Posted: March 09, 2016 at 03:53 PM (#5172407)
Xavier had a run of these dudes. Along with Hill and Grant, there was Aaron Williams and Derek Strong (who managed 10+ year NBA tenures despite having to claw their way out of the minors), not to mention David West.
   79. Der-K should've known better than to fly on AA. Posted: March 09, 2016 at 03:54 PM (#5172409)
(Those first four came within a few seasons, West was a decade later)
   80. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 09, 2016 at 04:22 PM (#5172449)
   81. Rob_Wood Posted: March 09, 2016 at 04:26 PM (#5172453)
Now that is funny (and truth in advertising at the same time).
   82. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 04:58 PM (#5172478)
My freshman year at GW was 1994-95. In a strange twist, Gary Trent and Ohio U. beat GW in both the Preseason and Postseason NITs. Never liked that guy.
   83. smileyy Posted: March 09, 2016 at 06:22 PM (#5172528)
In both cases, defend does not mean "defend well"


Yeah -- they didn't give any rim protection. Their job was basically "shove Karl Malone off the block" (Brian Grant made a lot of money doing that really successfully in one playoff series)

[78] Strong was a second round pick, and Williams was undrafted. Both were out of the league after college before working their way back into it, so they don't quite fit the "First round draft picks were spent on these guys. Larry Sykes got a cup of coffee in the league with the same skills. But yeah, that skillset that is just...not valuable today.

David West brought a real offensive game to the table.

I didn't know and/or forgot there were other Xavier fans or at least knowledgeable people on here. College basketball gets discussed so rarely its easy to forget who's for who.
   84. Joe S. Posted: March 09, 2016 at 06:26 PM (#5172529)
Going back to the earlier discussion about LeBron and the Cavs - does anyone think they would be in a better position now if they had kept Wiggins and traded Kyrie for something? Presumably the Wolves wouldn't have been interested in a Kyrie for Love deal but surely the Cavs could have got a pretty good player (or group of players) for Kyrie at that time?
   85. Der-K should've known better than to fly on AA. Posted: March 09, 2016 at 06:29 PM (#5172530)
The GW teams of your era always intrigued me - a handful of foreign studs (like Koul and Yegor from Belarus) and the mighty mite Rogers. How a 5-4 guy could rebound that well is beyond me...
   86. theboyqueen Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:01 PM (#5172545)
does anyone think they would be in a better position now if they had kept Wiggins and traded Kyrie for something?


Long term -- maybe? But Kyrie and Kevin Love are both much better players than Wiggins at this moment. I don't see Wiggins solving their issues, assuming they actually have significant issues other than there are two historically good teams in the west.
   87. theboyqueen Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:03 PM (#5172546)
Cleveland is probably a better bet to make the finals than any team in the west, right? I can't see anyone in the east giving them much trouble.
   88. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:33 PM (#5172556)
Going back to the earlier discussion about LeBron and the Cavs - does anyone think they would be in a better position now if they had kept Wiggins and traded Kyrie for something?


Keeping Wiggins was never an option for them, but I think yes, they should have traded Kyrie for something, and they should have traded Wiggins for something other than Kevin Love. But that's 20/20 hindsight and Love seemed to make sense at the time, and besides that, who was available at the time that was better than Kyrie or Love?

Supposedly they were close to a Love/Melo trade last month but Melo refused to waive his no-trade. I'm not sure how that would have worked, either, since Melo and LeBron both want to play the 3 and do not want to play the 4.
   89. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:37 PM (#5172560)
My freshman year at GW was 1994-95.


Mine too! I was in the band, so I was actually at the game in Madison Square Garden when we lost to Ohio in the PNIT. Luckily I went with the women to the NCAAs after the season.

The GW teams of your era always intrigued me - a handful of foreign studs (like Koul and Yegor from Belarus) and the mighty mite Rogers. How a 5-4 guy could rebound that well is beyond me...


Shawnta Rogers is still my favorite guy I have ever seen play basketball. He had so much basketball intelligence it was crazy. Like you said, he was such an excellent rebounder, awesome defender, and even though I watched every single game he played (at least before his senior season, when he was the A-10 player of the year), I never once saw him have his shot blocked. Oh, and he was one of the best free throw shooters in the country too. If Muggsy Bogues and that dude from Eastern Michigan could be successful NBA players, I think Rogers could have too, but he never got a chance.

[As a GW alumnus from that era, I am also contractually obliged to also say that Mike Jarvis can suck it.]
   90. Der-K should've known better than to fly on AA. Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:38 PM (#5172562)
Smileyy - sorry, I'd pivoted from the discussion to "man, Xavier had an amazing run of power forward types" without telling anyone else that I had done so.
   91. Der-K should've known better than to fly on AA. Posted: March 09, 2016 at 08:07 PM (#5172568)
I dunno about Shawnta in the NBA - or about his D, steals aside - but he was awesome.
His kid, Shawnta Jr., is several inches shorter (!!!!!) but still a 3-star D1 prospect
Edit: who will play at GW
   92. No sex please, TFTIO is an amoeboid zingatularian Posted: March 09, 2016 at 09:14 PM (#5172586)
Wasn't Gary Trent the so-called "Shaq of the MAC"?
   93. smileyy Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:32 PM (#5172604)
I'm just saying I'm happy to talk about Xavier players and history (post 1988) all day long. With a passing familiarity with (what is now) Horizon League and Cincinnati players.

Kenyon Martin feels a little different than the other guys mentioned -- he was a legit rim protector (even at 6'9") and a reasonable offensive option, IIRC. He was a step up. Maxiell and Fortson are pretty spot-on.
   94. smileyy Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:35 PM (#5172605)
Re: GW, who could forget Yinka Dare (even if you wanted to) and Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Yinka of the 1000 NBA minutes, and 4 assists.

And TIL that Wally Szczerbiak's dad went to GW.
   95. John Shade has yet to hear the Squeak Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:36 PM (#5172607)
   96. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 09, 2016 at 11:50 PM (#5172609)
Pfft, doesn't count, he didn't call bank.
   97. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2016 at 12:19 AM (#5172616)
Mo Speights having himself a night.

Sort of brutal for Utah. Curry having an off night and Mo freaking Speights draining shots, dishing the ball, even blocked a shot (although it didn't count).
   98. Booey Posted: March 10, 2016 at 12:22 AM (#5172617)
So Curry used impeccable timing to help me prove a point to my wife. She walked in right near the end of the 2nd quarter.

Her: Jazz are losing.
Me: Yeah, but considering they're playing the Warriors on the road, they're actually not doing that bad.
Her: Oh yeah, the Warriors are pretty good, huh?
Me: They're on pace for the best record ever.
Her: Ever? Why are they so good?
Me: Well, to start with, Steph Curry there is the best player in the game.
Her: Really? He's so small...
Me: Yeah but he's the best shooter in NBA history. You should see some of the shots he's made this year.

(Seconds later, Curry ends the half by banking in a buzzer beating 3 from 5 feet beyond half court)

Her: You mean like that?
Me: Yeah. Like that.
   99. STIGGLES is more humble than you would understand Posted: March 10, 2016 at 12:28 AM (#5172619)
   100. Booey Posted: March 10, 2016 at 12:34 AM (#5172622)
flip
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