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Monday, June 02, 2014

OT: Monthly NBA Thread- June 2014

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: Vladimir Putin’s draft strategy, Stephen Drew’s breakfast, and whether Kevin has taken a material step toward harming Russell Westbrook.

andrewberg Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:57 PM | 2043 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nba, off-topic

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   101. rr Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4718968)
I chuckled at the fact that Jason Epstein, a big OTP guy, posted Jurgen Klinsmann's Kobe Bryant/Landon Donovan rant as a standalone, instead of putting it here and/or on the soccer thread, and it is up on HT now.
   102. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4718985)
BBTF reading tip: have the Kurt Angle 'you suck' chants playing in your head anytime you see kevin post (even if blocked)
   103. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4718994)
EDIT: Nope. Steve Martin, Jerk Bobcats Radio
Huh. Both Martin and Sheridan had Durant and someone else (Griffin, Carmelo), so it's actually two idiots.

That said, there are a bunch of really terrific forwards in the league right now. That one of Griffin, Love, Melo, or Aldridge sneaks onto one or two ballots isn't insane. I mean, I wouldn't have done it, but I can see how some guy who's just bone tired of voting for the same two names every year might get worked up about putting someone new up there.
   104. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4719005)
I don't see how voting for the season's best player at both small and power forward makes someone an idiot. That's more than just defensible, it's the way the voting should actually be structured.
   105. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4719018)
He'll go out of his way to feed a teammate on a break when he can just lay it in himself.


AROM, you do realize that by passing up an easy layup, he's trading one stat for another? He's helping his assists rate but hurting his scoring rate and FG%.

Personally, I really like it when a guard does that. And I'm sure his teammates really like being rewarded for hustling down the floor too. Stockton used to do the same thing.
   106. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4719026)
Who did Sheridan vote for instead of LeBron? Dirk? Melo?
   107. Jimmy P Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4719045)
Some fool did not vote LeBron first-team all-NBA.


Two fools voted for James Harden for All-Defensive Team
   108. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4719046)
Two fools voted for James Harden for All-Defensive Team

Some things ought to be an automatic revocation of voting privileges...
   109. AROM Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4719051)
AROM, you do realize that by passing up an easy layup, he's trading one stat for another? He's helping his assists rate but hurting his scoring rate and FG%.


Yes, Captain Obvious. Assists are the stat he chooses to pad.
   110. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4719053)
Rondo is a very good passer, but his assist rates are exaggerated. He often plays for his stats. He'll go out of his way to feed a teammate on a break when he can just lay it in himself.

The inflation stems from more than just that; for the past several years the Boston offense seems to have been designed to maximize his assist totals at the expense of overall efficiency. Everything revolved around jump shots off Rondo passes, with the twin pillars of dribbling at the top of the key until a shooter came off a screen and pick-and-pop 19-footers for bigs. Shooting 40% on those opportunities leads to the team being ranked 25th in points per possession and the point guard leading the league in assists, so...success?
   111. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4719058)
Assists are the stat he chooses to pad.


That's not padding. It's being a good teammate. That's what point guards are supposed to do. Dish the candy out to everybody.
   112. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4719064)
I don't see how voting for the season's best player at both small and power forward makes someone an idiot. That's more than just defensible, it's the way the voting should actually be structured.

LeBron played enough PF in smallball lineups that you can legitimately make the argument he was the best PF this year, if you wished.

Also, I think the idea of 5 distinct positions is just so outdated and trying to fit everyone into that rigid structure isn't always ideal. We've talked about that plenty through the years here - having wings and bigs or whatever you want to call it. It wasn't a point that was brought up during the Rondo/Westbrook stuff (and I'm not trying to re-trigger that now), but it would have applied. But I'll talk about the Bulls this year, since I'm most familiar with them. DJ Augustin may have been the nominal "PG", as in he was the smallest guy on the team and he, for the most part, was the guy who dribbled the ball up court. However, he was really the primary scorer (led the team in scoring*) in the lineup while Noah was the guy who set up the offense, and was the main facilitator (and led the team in assists). Now, the Bulls offense sucked and they did that due to necessity, but Noah was almost more of a PG than Augustin, but no one would consider him a PG.

So, I'd be all for voting for the 5 best guys, as long as they could hypothetically play together, which means I have no real problem with having Aldridge as a C or Durant as a G or whatever (even though my last post may have implied that).

*Ignoring Deng's 23 games and Rose's 10, which you should.
   113. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4719065)
The inflation stems from more than just that; for the past several years the Boston offense seems to have been designed to maximize his assist totals at the expense of overall efficiency.


If we're not talking about this past year, the offense came about out of necessity because the three leading scorers were all older players and could no longer rely on their ability to attack the basket, and the need to match the offense to the personnel. Do you really think Rivers was willing to weaken the offense just so one player's assists rates would look better? That's pretty out there.
   114. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4719084)
The inflation stems from more than just that; for the past several years the Boston offense seems to have been designed to maximize his assist totals at the expense of overall efficiency. Everything revolved around jump shots off Rondo passes, with the twin pillars of dribbling at the top of the key until a shooter came off a screen and pick-and-pop 19-footers for bigs.

At the risk of being ignored for agreeing with kevin, this isn't really fair to Rondo. As the Big 3 aged, they were less and less capable of creating their own shot (Garnett and Allen especially). The offense leaned more and more on Rondo's ability to set people up for shots they could make. They also didn't really bring in any players who could create for themselves. I mean, the best non-Rondo initiators they've had over the past few years not named Paul Pierce were...Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford? Put a pass-first point guard on a team of jumpshooters like the Celtics have been, and the point guard gets a lot of assists. I don't know that you can say they've been assist hunting at the expense of efficiency (Rondo absolutely does in some situations, like the aforementioned fast breaks, but not as egregiously in halfcourt sets) given the personnel they've had. Until they traded Pierce and Garnett and started their rebuild they were built to get by on offense while excelling on defense. I don't think you can put that much of it on Rondo's shoulders; it seems more structural than that.
   115. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4719089)
Oh lord. I'm the (second) biggest Rondo apologist out there, but anyone claiming his regular season assist numbers aren't inflated stat chasing is just dead wrong. He'll give you a lot of empty calories over the course of the season. The arguments in his defense are 1) structuring the offense around Rondo feeding jump shooters was intended to save the old guys' legs for the playoffs, and 2) if you need to win one game in the playoffs, there is no point guard besides Paul or Westbrook who can give you as dominant a performance. And, if we're being realistic, 3) no one but Rubio can touch the sheer style of Rondo's passes.

The implications of Chandler Parsons' RFA are way more interesting, anyway.
   116. theboyqueen Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4719109)
Sheridan's first team was Griffin, Durant, Noah, Harden, Curry.


Leading to the unusual situation that Lebron would be an upgrade at every one of these positions (Noah and Lebron are basically the same size. Curry is perhaps the most debatable case). I doubt there is another player in history of whom this could be true.
   117. AROM Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4719113)
After Rondo got hurt, Pierce did a pretty good job of creating offense, both for himself and the team. It probably wore him down though by the time the playoffs started.
   118. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4719151)

Leading to the unusual situation that Lebron would be an upgrade at every one of these positions (Noah and Lebron are basically the same size. Curry is perhaps the most debatable case). I doubt there is another player in history of whom this could be true.


This is a really awesome concept.
   119. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4719176)
I've been in a couple barstool discussions about just how good LeBron is of late, and my go to rhetorical move has been to point out that there isn't necessarily a single player on any team at any position who LeBron couldn't step in for and match or better the production of. (This usually becomes a discussion of just how good a Chris Paul impersonation he could do, which is fascinating to contemplate.) The man is absurdly versatile.
   120. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4719187)
I just want to take a moment to boast of correctly picking the two Finals teams. (Probably not alone in my MIA-SAS choice, but you also had the opportunity to brag.)

   121. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4719204)
I've been in a couple barstool discussions about just how good LeBron is of late, and my go to rhetorical move has been to point out that there isn't necessarily a single player on any team at any position who LeBron couldn't step in for and match or better the production of.


I'm not sure I'd go this far. He's not big enough to play center, IMO. I will grant he's an unusual combination of size and skill and strength.
   122. theboyqueen Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4719208)
There ARE some people for whom I doubt Lebron would be a direct upgrade, considering role and position. Chris Paul and Marc Gasol are two that come to mind immediately, but there aren't many. Even those, come to think, are worth debating.

Sheridan's list is notable for not picking those guys though (Curry over Paul is pretty nutty but I guess there is a playing time argument).
   123. theboyqueen Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4719212)
The other comparable guy in this respect is of course Magic Johnson, whose defense is much more limited.
   124. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4719223)
News is breaking that Sterling's lawyer says Donald won't sue and OKs the sale. So, it's over.
   125. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4719313)
So, it's over.


If so, much less sound and fury than I expected.
   126. steagles Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4719319)
If so, much less sound and fury than I expected.
$2,000,000,000.00 will do that.
   127. steagles Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:55 PM (#4719321)
Leading to the unusual situation that Lebron would be an upgrade at every one of these positions (Noah and Lebron are basically the same size. Curry is perhaps the most debatable case). I doubt there is another player in history of whom this could be true.
alternate universe lamar odom.
   128. RollingWave Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4719345)
So, what do people expect Chandler Parsons get in RFA, I'm going to guess at least 10m per, but some other team could go crazy and give him a max? (still think Rockets match even in that case.)
   129. GordonShumway Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4719348)
I'm not sure I'd go this far. He's not big enough to play center, IMO. I will grant he's an unusual combination of size and skill and strength.


Perhaps you're right. But I could also see Lebron becoming a Ben Wallace type center on defense if he wanted to change his game and physique for the demands of playing the 5. Other than Wallace's longer arms - which is a big thing to set aside - I think Lebron is physically and mentally equal or superior to Wallace in most every way that matters. And Wallace was a damn impressive athlete and player.
   130. theboyqueen Posted: June 04, 2014 at 11:20 PM (#4719388)
I think Lebron is physically and mentally equal or superior to Wallace in most every way that matters.


Yes, but I don't think he's temperamentally equal. He doesn't seem like a Charles Oakley/Rick Mahorn type willing to just beat the crap out of people or bully them around, which seems to be the common thread amongst undersized centers throughout history. One thing about Lebron is that for his freakish size and strength, he's fundamentally an elegant player. He doesn't seem to enjoy physical contact that much.

I think Lebron could be a phenomenal coach some day -- he's an encyclopedic student of the game, seems to see things nobody else sees on the court, communicates well with other players, and everyone he plays with seems to love playing with him. You could say much the same about Magic Johnson I suppose and that didn't really go well, but Magic always seemed like more of a savant on the court than Lebron, somehow.
   131. thok Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:18 AM (#4719446)
The other comparable guy in this respect is of course Magic Johnson, whose defense is much more limited.


Magic's three point shooting (at least when young, he was better near the end of his career, and might have improved more if he never got AIDS) makes it hard to claim that he'd be an upgrade on the Reggie Miller/Ray Allen/Stephen Curry grouping of players. At the vary least, Magic would likely contribute in a different manner that affects floor spacing.
   132. rr Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:10 AM (#4719448)
makes it hard to claim that he'd be an upgrade on the Reggie Miller/Ray Allen/Stephen Curry grouping of players


If one of these guys was the only long range threat on the floor, maybe. But if you were adding Magic to a team that had Durant and Harden already, that wouldn't be much of a problem, and Miller, Allen, and Curry weren't/aren't defensive wizards. Magic Johnson did a lot of things that Reggie Miller and Ray Allen couldn't do. Curry is a different kind of player, and this hypothetical group

Griffin, Durant, Noah, Harden, Magic Johnson


would have a very hard time matching up with small, quick PGs, but I think they would kill opponents in so many other ways, that I would take my chances, particularly if you could put them in a zone. These kinds of arguments are always compromised by timeline issues as well; Magic today would probably play differently, in some ways, than the he did in his own time.

   133. RollingWave Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4719616)
Flip Saunders hire himself as the new wolfs coach, Minni off season went from worse to ....... well a lot worse.
   134. theboyqueen Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4719620)
It's hard to get excited about it but honestly Flip Saunders seems like the best option at this point.
   135. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4719632)
Flip Saunders hire himself as the new wolfs coach, Minni off season went from worse to ....... well a lot worse.


Ugh, and I like Flip generically as a coach, but it speaks to serious front office dysfunction and a general lack of any kind of good process.

Maybe I should just pick a favorite player and cheer for them and their team, since MN seems doomed (OK, more doomed - doomeder?)
   136. andrewberg Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4719633)

It's hard to get excited about it but honestly Flip Saunders seems like the best option at this point.


He's actually a good coach. I worry about the split duties, but I have noticed that Milt Newton (the technical GM) has taken a more active role publicly the last few weeks. Makes me think they intend to keep Love this year- I doubt he'd want to coach a team that is purely rebuilding.
   137. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4719645)
Flip Saunders hire himself as the new wolfs coach, Minni off season went from worse to ....... well a lot worse.

Now that means they're free to trade Love, right?

---

Going back to the Love to Boston stuff, from ESPNBoston:

The Timberwolves privately maintain they already have fielded better offers from other teams, among them the Chicago Bulls, who can offer draft picks and some combination of Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson along with Carlos Boozer, whose bloated $16.8 million contract expires next summer and represents the kind of cap space rebuilding teams crave.


Obviously that's not the trade offer - for one, it virtually is guaranteed that the rights to Mirotic are included. But as I keep saying, don't count out the Bulls, they usually don't leak stuff from their side.
   138. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4719650)
What gives in the discrepancy between PER and WS for Butler? I thought he had a pretty disappointing year- PER agrees, WS does not. Is that just an offense/defense thing?

I think Chicago's deal is low on upside without Mirotic, so I agree with Moses that he'd have to be in. Otherwise you just take the multiple first rounders from Boston or someone else.

EDIT: I'm not sure Gibson, for instance, is really an asset for a team that isn't ready to compete. He's pretty good but properly paid for the next two years. There's not really any value there for a team dumping Love and thus dumping a lot of wins.
   139. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 05, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4719652)
Yes, but I don't think he's temperamentally equal. He doesn't seem like a Charles Oakley/Rick Mahorn type willing to just beat the crap out of people or bully them around, which seems to be the common thread amongst undersized centers throughout history. One thing about Lebron is that for his freakish size and strength, he's fundamentally an elegant player. He doesn't seem to enjoy physical contact that much.

I, for one, don't care about the temperament stuff when it comes to this discussion. Part of the reason the guys you mentioned played like that (and quite frankly, there isn't anyone in the NBA like Oakley or Mahorn now, partly cause the league wouldn't have it), was to account for the disadvantages not only size, but also talent (that's not to call them untalented); you can add Rodman to this and all the time he spent guarding Shaq is an example. The original point almost is about Noah, and I see no reason, for instance, why LeBron couldn't duplicate what Noah does defensively for the Bulls while exceeding it dramatically offensively. Noah's height/length allows him to challenge more shots, but LeBron is going to cover more ground, further disrupt passing lanes and can switch onto even more players than Noah.

The bigger bruising centers - I guess that's guys like Drummond or Cousins or even Gasol - would present a problem in defensive post situations, but quite frankly, Noah struggles in those as well. So even if LBJ isn't big enough to be a traditional center (and I'd like to reiterate my positional rigidity point and also point out that misses the point of the hypothetical raised by tbq in post 116), his overall skill level and contribution would likely exceed every current "center" were he to replace them in the lineup; quite frankly the defensive problems he'd cause for them would greatly outweigh any defensive problems he would have, IMO.
   140. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4719655)
To argue with myself, I suppose Rubio/Gibson/Pekovic is 3/5 of a solid starting 5. They would need some serious scoring from the other 2 spots, though.
   141. andrewberg Posted: June 05, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4719658)
I'm not sure Gibson, for instance, is really an asset for a team that isn't ready to compete. He's pretty good but properly paid for the next two years. There's not really any value there for a team dumping Love and thus dumping a lot of wins.


Gibson would be especially valuable to the Bulls because he could play alongside either Love or Noah and add something to the lineup. I still can't find a realistic trade that would be as good to the Wolves as Butler, Mirotic, Boozer, and pick(s).
   142. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 05, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4719663)
What gives in the discrepancy between PER and WS for Butler? I thought he had a pretty disappointing year- PER agrees, WS does not. Is that just an offense/defense thing?

Yes. His shooting cratered this year. The Wolves really don't want him (I only say that because I really, really want the Bulls to keep him).

I think Chicago's deal is low on upside without Mirotic, so I agree with Moses that he'd have to be in. Otherwise you just take the multiple first rounders from Boston or someone else.

I'm starting to think something like this, but including Mirotic, a pick, and maybe a future pick could really work for both teams (Snell could be dropped and it doesn't change anything). Wolves also get rid of a few longer contracts (those are unguaranteed deals for Brewer/Lou), plus a new starting PF and a possible long term replacement/lottery ticket; if the Wolves don't want Gibson, I'm sure they could find a take for him on that team friendly deal. Bulls could use both Martin/Berea for bench offense (and if anyone can get anything defensively out of them it's Thibs); Bulls would still have a pick for this year so draft a back up big, and they'd still need to sign another veteran back up big. They also stay over the cap, so can use the MLE.

To compare it to the Boston possible deal, for instance, depends whether the Wolves like Mirotic or the 6th pick more (Bulls have 16/19 and other C's pick is 17) and whether they want Gibson or Sullinger/Bass (that seems like a no-brainer to me) and what actual salary relief Boston could offer (probably not as much, but they also wouldn't have to pay Boozer next year)
   143. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4719673)
and what actual salary relief Boston could offer


Bass, Joel Anthony (who could forget!), the Bogans deal is waivable, etc. The #6 this year plus future NJ 1st rounders, maybe all 3 of them. I think it's two different paths: the Chicago deal allows them to keep a more realistic eye on the playoffs, a Boston deal would exclusively be about the future.

I'd guess there are probably other better or equally flawed deals out there to be had, once the playoffs end.
   144. RollingWave Posted: June 05, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4719705)
Unless one of the top 5 picks team decide to throw their picks into the ring it seems those 2 are the most realistic deals you can work with. of course, if any of them does then Minni would be silly not to take it (and then of course they'll either pick Embid who's back will break or they'll pick Exum and create a ridiculous situation with Rubio, because Wolfs.)

The Wolfs had a string of either terrible luck or decision so they're locked into a bunch of middle range contracts of guys who promptly forget how to play basketball (most notably Budinger and Barea ) so it seems being competitive in the short run in the brutal west is a pipe dream, then again, is the future any better? granted, Memphis / OKC / Spurs / Dallas and mayyyybe Portland may become less good in the next 2 to 3 season given their contract situations and curve, but on the other hand at least a couple of Lakers / Phoenix / Utah / Sacramento would become good to really good again as well right?

I think the Wolf's best hope is to petition for 2 expansion teams in the west and then they move to the East.
   145. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 05, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4719715)
I think the Wolf's best hope is to petition for 2 expansion teams in the west and then they move to the East.

The Grizz also have a case for going East. Pelicans, too.
   146. Jimmy P Posted: June 05, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4719718)
I'm starting to think something like this, but including Mirotic, a pick, and maybe a future pick could really work for both teams

Maybe I'm wrong, but don't teams usually pick a tactic in these trades and stick to it? Either getting players and trying to stay competitive, or getting picks and cap space while sucking. I haven't done any research on this (I can't say I have copious amounts of time here), but I still can't believe the Bulls would have to give up that much. Love and the other teams negotiating with the Wolves have all the leverage here, the Wolves just don't have much. Once these issues become public, the current team just loses all their leverage. Sure, the Bulls have to fight with the Warriors, Celtics, etc, but the Bulls still have relatively little to lose here. The Wolves have everything to lose here, they're actually just trying to get something for their best player and save face in the community.
   147. smileyy Posted: June 05, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4719724)
seems to see things nobody else sees on the court,


I wonder if this this could also hold him back. I've wondered if instinctively/fundamentally talented people can have trouble coaching/teaching because they're able to see/process the world in ways that others cannot. Sort of like how "You just look at the math problem and write down the answer" isn't helpful for those who don't instinctively and reactively do the 11 calculations in their head upon seeing the problem.
   148. smileyy Posted: June 05, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4719727)
if [Magic Johnson] never got AIDS


Nitpick: HIV
   149. theboyqueen Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4719760)
I wonder if this this could also hold him back. I've wondered if instinctively/fundamentally talented people can have trouble coaching/teaching because they're able to see/process the world in ways that others cannot. Sort of like how "You just look at the math problem and write down the answer" isn't helpful for those who don't instinctively and reactively do the 11 calculations in their head upon seeing the problem


I get what you're saying but I just don't think Lebron is that guy at all. You never see him getting on teammates for not seeing what he sees, etc. Kobe is the obvious counterexample.
   150. rr Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4719768)
Since Gibson has been mentioned, I will bring up that his family recently suffered an absolutely sickening tragedy:

NEW YORK - New York police have arrested a man wanted in connection with the weekend stabbings of two children, one fatally, in a Brooklyn apartment elevator, officials said on Wednesday.

Daniel St. Hubert, 27, was arrested on Wednesday night in the borough of Queens. Hubert was wanted for the killing of 6-year-old Prince Joshua Avitto and the stabbing assault of 7-year-old Mikayla Capers, who were out buying ice cream on Sunday evening when they were attacked, officials said.


Prince Joshua Avitto was Gibson's cousin:

Gibson posted a photo of his cousin to Instagram saying: “They killed my lil super man. #rippj only two more weeks until your 7 birthday. Tears forever…this can’t be life #foreversuperman #babycuzz”


I was reluctant to bring it in, so I hope no one is put off by my doing so now.
   151. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4719774)
I get what you're saying but I just don't think Lebron is that guy at all. You never see him getting on teammates for not seeing what he sees, etc. Kobe is the obvious counterexample.


Hmm... I actually see him do something like this every time I watch the Heat. IIRC, he did this right under the basket with Norris in game 6.
   152. kpelton Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4719778)
The Grizz also have a case for going East. Pelicans, too.

Minnesota is much more geographically isolated in the West. Their closest conference rival is 600 miles away (Denver and Oklahoma City are about equidistant). By virtue of being close to Texas, Memphis has four West teams within that distance and New Orleans has five.

There are four East teams (Milwaukee, Chicago, Indiana and Detroit) closer to Minneapolis than any West team.
   153. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4719784)
I wonder if this this could also hold him back. I've wondered if instinctively/fundamentally talented people can have trouble coaching/teaching because they're able to see/process the world in ways that others cannot. Sort of like how "You just look at the math problem and write down the answer" isn't helpful for those who don't instinctively and reactively do the 11 calculations in their head upon seeing the problem.


I actually see this ability as being the one Hall of Fame ability that does translate; I think LeBron would be a great coach for exactly the same reason that Larry Bird and Lenny Wilkens were great coaches: that his brilliance is every bit as much cerebral as it is physical. I would contrast it with Kobe or even Jordan, guys whose physical brilliance could match LeBron's, but whose basketball IQs--in terms of always making the correct play, individual glory be damned--felt lower than LeBron's. I get the feeling that LeBron could explain the thought process and why the right play is the right play, while Jordan and Kobe would both fall back into the "you just do this" pattern, without the recognition that "this" is something maybe five players in the league can "just" do. You've seen it in both as players; they stifle young talent and really don't have that "great teammate" label, while LeBron's well known for encouraging young talent.
   154. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4719791)
I think you are underselling Jordan. He has a very high basketball IQ.

I think his problem is that what made him GOAT (or in the conversation) was his crazy fierce competitive streak. The fire and bile, the perpetual chip on his shoulder. And that quality helped make him able to utilize his freak physical assets to their best, but I think it also gets in the way of him in basketball as a not player.
   155. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4719799)
Quite frankly, it also undersells Kobe.
   156. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4719805)
I think you are underselling Jordan. He has a very high basketball IQ.

I think his problem is that what made him GOAT (or in the conversation) was his crazy fierce competitive streak. The fire and bile, the perpetual chip on his shoulder. And that quality helped make him able to utilize his freak physical assets to their best, but I think it also gets in the way of him in basketball as a not player.


That's fair. What would derail Jordan is more likely patience than basketball IQ. But I was in DC for the destruction of Kwame Brown. And there was definitely a strong undercurrent of "what do you mean you can't do that physically?" with absolutely no "this is what you do in that situation" being reported. So I'm happy enough to amend that to "I don't doubt Jordan's basketball IQ, but he showed no willingness to teach younger players the game."
   157. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4719808)
Quite frankly, it also undersells Kobe.


With Kobe, I'm less sure. Particularly early in his career, it always felt like Kobe was more concerned with being the hero than with securing the win. I really don't see him as a particularly high basketball IQ superstar. This is the Kobe of the "Why didn't Kobe try the punt, pass, and kick contest growing up? Because he'd have to pass" joke.
   158. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4719811)
Quite frankly, it also undersells Kobe.


Yes, but I am less qualified to speak about him. And he's a Laker :)
   159. kpelton Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4719825)
I think it is dangerous to assume that "making the right decision" and "basketball IQ" are synonymous. There are many more factors that go into the former than just the latter.
   160. rr Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4719840)
You've seen it in both as players; they stifle young talent and really don't have that "great teammate" label, while LeBron's well known for encouraging young talent.


This is just another way of saying, "James is a nicer guy than Bryant or Jordan" and by all accounts, he probably is. But the evidence for this affecting on-court outcomes in Bryant's case for sure and probably in Jordan's, although I know less about that, simply isn't there. Specifically, check the career arcs of the following players:

Brian Cook
Jordan Farmar
Trevor Ariza
Smush Parker (whom Kobe seems to hate)
Shannon Brown
Andrew Bynum
Kwame Brown
Sasha Vujacic

If you look, you will not see that these guys suddenly exploded or improved after no longer being held back, or "stifled", by Kobe Bryant. In fact in many cases, they actually played better with Bryant than they did elsewhere. Anecdotally, Ariza and Brown have both talked about
how much they learned from Bryant. Bynum complained some about not getting enough touches, as Pau has at times, but Bynum's real problem, as we well know, was his knees, and as I have said before, when Bryant missed time, Pau's and Bynum's EFF numbers dropped off. And when Bynum stayed healthy in 2012, he had a very solid year, making the ASG--playing the whole season with Bryant.

One guy who might have this complaint is Ramon Sessions. Supposedly, Kobe and Pau basically went to Mike Brown late in 2012 and told him that Sessions was getting too much time with the ball in his hands. Since Sessions is only useful as an off-the-bounce guy, this may have hurt him on-floor. But again, it is not as if Sessions' career has taken off after leaving LA.

One thing to consider WRT to Bryant and Jordan is that they were playing a lot for Phil Jackson, in situations in which the team was in win-now mode, and relying on veterans.

As to James, he was known for being buddies with/helping Daniel Gibson, and a couple of other guys in Cleveland, but the teams he was on after about 2006, were, again, in win-now mode, and mostly added veterans. And his teams in Miami don't even play any younger guys, except for Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers, and have brought in and kept numerous older guys: Haslem, Miller, Andersen, Battier, Allen, Lewis. Finally, James may be very "encouraging", but is not as if Michael Beasley has suddenly morphed into a solid contributor playing with James.

Also, I don't buy the "cerebral" argument. I am repeating this for the regulars, but as I have said, there is anecdotal stuff in the literature about guys like Cousy, Bill Bradley, Maravich, and Bird having tests show that they had unusually wide fields of peripheral vision. I think great passers have this gift, whereas guys like Bryant and Russell Westbrook don't. Bryant is a pretty good passer, but having watched his whole career and most of Magic Johnson's, I think that a lot of the difference in their passing skills wasn't Johnson's being more "cerebral" than Bryant--it was Johnson's being more gifted. Bryant is/was a very gifted scorer, and I think you can see his BBIQ at work in that area--footwork, etc. Bryant certainly does take bad shots sometimes, but that is more stubbornness than lack of smarts IMO, and is just part of what you get with him.
   161. GordonShumway Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4719843)
So much of what we see as "court awareness" or "basketball IQ" is a complex combination of spatial aptitude, pattern recognition, concentration, memory, psychologically sizing-up of other players, peripheral vision, reflexes, and fine motor control - all of which frequently need to be employed in split-second decisionmaking.

I'm skeptical that any player (such as Westbrook) can easily make a conscious choice into playing with a high basketball IQ, and am just as skeptical about how easily a player known for having a high basketball IQ (such as Lebron) can increase such IQ to others he may coach.
   162. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4719864)
The last 3 posts say a lot of what I've been trying/wanting to say in better or more specific ways.

I think trying to relate comments/attitudes made publicly towards players to anyone's basketball IQ or intelligence is foolish. Because someone is good at one thing or seen as having strength in one area doesn't mean it'll translate, and it not translating isn't evidence that they lacked that talent/ability in the other. IOW, failing as a coach or executive might have nothing to do with their playing intelligence.

I'd go further to say that you don't really see many guys that are *that* good merely due to physical ability anymore. There might not be a huge gap in physical ability between a MJ and a Harold Minor, but there's plenty of other reasons. Another way of saying that is you might have guys that have great talent or great basketball intelligence, but you're probably not an all-time great unless you have both.
   163. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4719885)
failing as a coach or executive might have nothing to do with their playing intelligence


It would be handy if we could quantify BBIQ, then sort coaches based on their player BBIQ and see if there is any sort of relationship between quality of coach (especially regarding coaching players up) and BBIQ.
   164. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4719908)
So who is the best player/worst coach of all time? The first guy that popped in my head was Isiah, but he was more of a terrible executive than coach. I'm not sure we should count Magic's brief stint. Or Mikan's. Skimming the list looking for good players, two guys stand out: Wes Unseld and Elgin Baylor (Baylor has all those years of GMing the terrible Clips to his name also). Anyone I'm missing?
   165. andrewberg Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4719909)
It would be handy if we could quantify BBIQ, then sort coaches based on their player BBIQ and see if there is any sort of relationship between quality of coach (especially regarding coaching players up) and BBIQ.


Bill James did something like this for baseball. He kind of cherry picked stats that he associated with intelligence and measured it against some other things. I suppose the things that come to mind for basketball iq would be something like AST/TO ratio, FG% relative to position, DRTG. I don't know- they're all pretty arbitrary. It's all very reductive.
   166. Howling John Shade Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4719974)
Maybe I'm wrong, but don't teams usually pick a tactic in these trades and stick to it? Either getting players and trying to stay competitive, or getting picks and cap space while sucking. I haven't done any research on this (I can't say I have copious amounts of time here), but I still can't believe the Bulls would have to give up that much. Love and the other teams negotiating with the Wolves have all the leverage here, the Wolves just don't have much. Once these issues become public, the current team just loses all their leverage. Sure, the Bulls have to fight with the Warriors, Celtics, etc, but the Bulls still have relatively little to lose here. The Wolves have everything to lose here, they're actually just trying to get something for their best player and save face in the community.
That, and the Bulls have to be balancing the desire to trade for Love with their chances of just signing Melo as a free agent, right?
   167. andrewberg Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4719976)
To revisit an earlier conversation, one advantage GIbson would have coming back to the Wolves is that he would fit next to Pekovic better than some other PFs. The most apparent flaw with the Wolves the last couple of years has been rim protection. That is why Dieng was such a revelation when he had a few good weeks. It is also one of the contributing factors to their late game failures, as the foul numbers on the interior were off the charts leading to tons of FTs conceded. Gibson has those crazy long arms and has rotated well in Chicago, so he might be a nice piece to fit into that lineup.

This thought comes in reaction to the reports that Saunders wants to get some veterans back when they trade Love. It is not a crazy sentiment since Pekovic and Rubio actually are very good players.
   168. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 05, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4719985)
That, and the Bulls have to be balancing the desire to trade for Love with their chances of just signing Melo as a free agent, right?

Yes and no. Even if they amnestied Boozer, they're still a ways away from having max space to sign Melo. They could maybe get close, but they'd still have to shed players (maybe less important than Gibson). I guess in a vacuum, that's true. If somehow they could get Melo without giving up any of Gibson/Butler/Mirotic/picks, they'd have to ask what team is better (depending on what the Love trade would cost, and how'd they be able to fill in the gaps):

Rose/Butler/Melo/Gibson/Noah, etc or
Rose/?/?/Love/Noah.
   169. Howling John Shade Posted: June 05, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4719994)

Rose/Butler/Melo/Gibson/Noah, etc or
Rose/?/?/Love/Noah.
I think the first team is clearly better (unless those are some really talented question marks), but you run the risk of missing out on both of them. Tough call.
   170. Oriole Tragic Posted: June 05, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4720070)
Yes, Captain Obvious. Assists are the stat he chooses to pad.
Hotels.com: kevin doesn't need it, right now.
   171. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 05, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4720088)
Well, here we go. Vegas has it at dead even.
   172. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 05, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4720099)
"Hand down, man down" is back!
   173. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 05, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4720116)
This is a tremendous level of basketball being played (turnovers notwithstanding).
   174. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 05, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4720131)
I think Mark Jackson just made the old Dusty Baker argument (WRT to the malfunctioning A/C)

   175. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4720136)
The malfunctioning air conditioning favors Miami; therefore the league office must have engineered it.
   176. Rob_Wood Posted: June 05, 2014 at 10:50 PM (#4720137)
I have altered my opinion -- I now think that Mark Jackson borders on being a terrible announcer.
   177. Eddo Posted: June 05, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4720141)
You know, I feel like all the arguments Kevin makes about Russell Westbrook could equally(*) apply to Tony Parker at times.

They're both great players, but they also could play a little less recklessly at times.

(*) EDIT: And by equally, I mean not-frequent-enough-for-me-to-want-to-trade-either-for-Rajon-Rondo.
   178. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4720147)
For two teams in the NBA Finals with serious pedigree, this is a really, really sloppy game.
   179. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4720150)
Uh oh. James is asking out. Limping.
   180. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4720151)
Looks like a cramp. He'll be fine.
   181. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4720155)
Maybe not soon enough though. Danny Green is alive!
   182. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4720159)
Without James, it's not a game. Spurs rolling.
   183. steagles Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4720162)
someone get that man paul pierce's wheelchair.
   184. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 05, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4720166)
What a weird, weird offensive stat line from the Spurs.
   185. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 06, 2014 at 12:11 AM (#4720177)
I now think that Mark Jackson borders on being a terrible announcer.

"Mama, there goes that man...to find a foreign-language stream online." His getting canned put a serious dent in the quality of basketball broadcasting.

The malfunctioning air conditioning favors Miami

Miami relies on its best players absorbing more minutes than San Antonio. When it's so hot that nobody can play more than 35, it rather obviously favors the league's best bench.
   186. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 06, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4720178)
What Lance said. Just because they're based in Miami and are named after the Heat doesn't mean those guys can take it any better.
   187. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 06, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4720180)
I honestly wrote that because I figured of all the players out there LeBron would be the least affected by the heat. How little I know...
   188. theboyqueen Posted: June 06, 2014 at 01:24 AM (#4720188)
So who is the best player/worst coach of all time? The first guy that popped in my head was Isiah, but he was more of a terrible executive than coach. I'm not sure we should count Magic's brief stint. Or Mikan's. Skimming the list looking for good players, two guys stand out: Wes Unseld and Elgin Baylor (Baylor has all those years of GMing the terrible Clips to his name also). Anyone I'm missing?


What kind of coach was Bill Russell? Looking at his record it seems decent.
   189. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 06, 2014 at 01:45 AM (#4720191)
I honestly wrote that because I figured of all the players out there LeBron would be the least affected by the heat. How little I know...

I could be wrong, but going on memory from HS playing days, LBJ is at a huge disadvantage cramps wise because the more lean muscle mass you have the more susceptible you are to them. If he was built more like Diaw it would not have affected him as much.
   190. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 06, 2014 at 01:46 AM (#4720192)
You would think he would hydrate and you know have his body ready to play. No reason to not eat right and take in the proper nutrients before a game. And with basketball being a outdoor sport for most there really is no reason for that to happen.
   191. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 06, 2014 at 02:14 AM (#4720195)
I could be wrong, but going on memory from HS playing days, LBJ is at a huge disadvantage cramps wise because the more lean muscle mass you have the more susceptible you are to them. If he was built more like Diaw it would not have affected him as much.


Fat players are the new market inefficiency.
   192. Into the Void Posted: June 06, 2014 at 02:41 AM (#4720198)
You would think he would hydrate and you know have his body ready to play. No reason to not eat right and take in the proper nutrients before a game. And with basketball being a outdoor sport for most there really is no reason for that to happen.


Jesus Christ the internet is horrible. Yes, because LeBron was eating pizza and cheeseburgers before the game and ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to drink water because he wanted to wash it down with a Guinness instead. Have you ever thought of becoming a sports trainer? You have this brilliant insight I think most of them probably don't understand. That may be why he cramped up- no one in the entire organization had any idea athletes need to drink water. Or maybe...it was just a random event? Do you also blame Jordan for getting the flu in '97? Someone should have told him to drink more fluids beforehand!1!
   193. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:01 AM (#4720200)
Into the void, if you ingest what you need to functiom than you wouldnt have cramping issues. I would say it's 100% on lebron for not being preped to play. In all my years being in sports cramping was never an issue because i took care of myself. Whats lebrons excuse? As to becoming a sports trainer my grandpa was one of the best and would say the same damn thing. Cramps shouldnt be an issue for him if he did what he really needed to do. Cramps and the laxk of ac are just an excuse for what happened tonight.
   194. Scott Lange Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:50 AM (#4720203)
In all my years being in sports cramping was never an issue because i took care of myself. Whats lebrons excuse?


His body is different than yours?
   195. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 06, 2014 at 07:45 AM (#4720209)
To revisit an earlier conversation, one advantage GIbson would have coming back to the Wolves is that he would fit next to Pekovic better than some other PFs. The most apparent flaw with the Wolves the last couple of years has been rim protection. That is why Dieng was such a revelation when he had a few good weeks. It is also one of the contributing factors to their late game failures, as the foul numbers on the interior were off the charts leading to tons of FTs conceded. Gibson has those crazy long arms and has rotated well in Chicago, so he might be a nice piece to fit into that lineup.

This thought comes in reaction to the reports that Saunders wants to get some veterans back when they trade Love. It is not a crazy sentiment since Pekovic and Rubio actually are very good players.


Am I crazy (or over reacting to a few good games), because I would almost rather trade Pek and install Dieng in the rotation (ignoring that Love may want out), because I think Dieng fits in better with Love and Rubio than does Pek. And I really like Pek, I think he is a very good player, but he and Love don't seem like a great match to my inexperienced eyes.

But that does probably take too much from a hot streak by Dieng and ignores Love leaving.
   196. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: June 06, 2014 at 07:49 AM (#4720211)
lebron should never have fired meatwad's granddaddy :(
   197. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4720285)
Into the void, if you ingest what you need to functiom than you wouldnt have cramping issues. I would say it's 100% on lebron for not being preped to play. In all my years being in sports cramping was never an issue because i took care of myself. Whats lebrons excuse? As to becoming a sports trainer my grandpa was one of the best and would say the same damn thing. Cramps shouldnt be an issue for him if he did what he really needed to do. Cramps and the laxk of ac are just an excuse for what happened tonight.

You've posted some stupid #### over the years here, but this takes the cake. Congrats! Take a bow. You are now officially btf's Skip Bayless. These 2 posts are officially kevin level stupid not worth responding to seriously (in the future, abbreviated to kLSNWRTS).
   198. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4720289)
It's a shame for the Heat, because they couldn't win a game where Wade looked damn near explosive, they got decent to great shooting games from Lewis, Bosh and Allen, and the Spurs turned it over damn near every other possession. The Spurs might not shoot it that good again, but they can and will play better. I don't know if either team will shoot the 3's as good as they both did last night, but I do know the Heat probably will get more FTAs than 11 in every game. It still might not be enough for the Heat to win 4 of the next 6, not that I'm putting it past them and I'm in no means writing them off; it's just with a series this close losing a winnable game in that fashion really hurts them.
   199. jmurph Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4720298)
On the other hand, Moses, Miami probably wins Game 1 on the road against the best team in the league as long as Lebron follows Body By Meatwad, right? That's not a bad place to be, if they can close in game 2.
   200. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4720306)
LeBron had cramps in last year's finals too, right? Or was it the year before against OKC?

Anyway, this is one of the benefits of winning two rings. Kind of hard to make a choker narrative stick to LeBron at this point.
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