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Friday, January 01, 2016

OT: Monthly NBA Thread—January 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: what a guy pretending to be Joe Mauer thinks of the new Star Wars movie.

Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: January 01, 2016 at 01:46 PM | 2464 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1. Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: January 01, 2016 at 09:49 PM (#5124076)
2015-16 BTF NBA Prediction Contest Update

With 40% of the season gone by, here are the current standings (as last time, ties are broken by point differential; final ties broken by NBA tiebreaking rules).

Booey is in the lead by one point! Full results here.

212: Booey
211: Der-K, 538
210: Bitter Mouse, Amit, Las Vegas, BTF Consensus

Bringing up the rear are theboyqueen with 193 and Zeth with 196. 240 is a perfect score.

While Booey's ahead for now, Der-K seems to have a very strong position going forward as things move around between teams that are close. He and Spivey are the only two primates to have the solid top 3 in the West in the right order (GSW-SAS-OKC; Las Vegas and Pelton also had this right), and he's losing a lot of points due to picking Boston 3rd but they have the 2nd best point differential in the East and are surely a threat to move up.

Booey's picks are pretty close to consensus BTF picks; has generally got things right directionally but no super bold predictions. It's unsurprising that a consensus forecast is generally beating almost all individuals.
   2. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: January 01, 2016 at 10:07 PM (#5124082)
I'm almost offended that I'm not in last place. Still plenty of season left to get there, though!
   3. NJ in DC (Now with Baby!) Posted: January 01, 2016 at 10:16 PM (#5124083)
Knicks-Bulls tonight lived up to the game of runs cliche.
   4. vagab0nd is still a champion Posted: January 01, 2016 at 10:47 PM (#5124097)
** He's shooting 50/48/88 on 15 FGA this season, up from 48/35/80 on 12.8 FGA last year. He leads the league in 3P%.

Here's why Kawhi isn't there yet for me - show me more than ~30 games if your numbers are that off the chart above career norms. Kawhi also lacks the playmaking piece that even Durant has developed. He's knocking on the door, though.


Last year Kawhi's RAPM was 7.57. Durant's 13/14 (his last full season) was 6.42.

This year Kawhi is at 10.27, Durant is at 6.77.
   5. theboyqueen Posted: January 01, 2016 at 11:06 PM (#5124101)
Where does this idea that Kawhi isn't a "playmaker" come from?
   6. vagab0nd is still a champion Posted: January 01, 2016 at 11:07 PM (#5124103)
He wasn't much of a playmaker two years ago.
   7. theboyqueen Posted: January 01, 2016 at 11:11 PM (#5124105)
If it's his assist numbers -- the Spurs are number two in the league in assists, and their leader in assists is averaging 5.1 a game. Everyone makes plays on the Spurs; that's how their offense works.

Kawhi's the one guy on the Spurs that can reliably create his own offense, which is perhaps even more valuable on such a team.
   8. tshipman Posted: January 02, 2016 at 12:02 AM (#5124118)
Last year Kawhi's RAPM was 7.57. Durant's 13/14 (his last full season) was 6.42.


Why do people cite black box stats? IMO, it's completely useless to cite it because it completely lacks transparency.

Where does this idea that Kawhi isn't a "playmaker" come from?


That he doesn't make plays for other players.
   9. Howling John Shade Posted: January 02, 2016 at 12:16 AM (#5124121)
I think there are stats that show his teammates mostly shoot a lesser percentage with him on the floor, but I don't know how good a measure of playmaking that is and I'm suspicious of most on/off stats when it comes to the Spurs.
   10. theboyqueen Posted: January 02, 2016 at 01:33 AM (#5124125)
One for college basketball fans...

For single seasons, from 2010-11 to 2015-16, requiring Minutes Played >= 300, sorted by descending Box Plus/Minus.
Rk Player               Class Season  BPM
1 Anthony Davis         FR    2011
-12 18.7
2 Denzel Valentine      SR    2015
-16 17.8
3 Karl
-Anthony Towns    FR    2014-15 17.3
4 Victor Oladipo        JR    2012
-13 17
5 Kris Dunn             JR    2015
-16 16.6
6 Delon Wright          SR    2014
-15 16.2
7 Frank Kaminsky        SR    2014
-15 15.3
8 Gorgui Dieng          JR    2012
-13 15
9 Willie Cauley
-Stein   SO    2013-14 14.9
10 Joel Embiid          FR    2013
-14 14.9
11 Willie Cauley
-Stein  JR    2014-15 14.7
12 Jae Crowder          SR    2011
-12 14.7
13 Nerlens Noel         FR    2012
-13 14.6
14 Kyrie Irving         FR    2010
-11 14.3
15 Duncan Robinson      SO    2015
-16 14.2
16 Jeff Withey          JR    2011
-12 13.8
17 Draymond Green       JR    2010
-11 13.6
18 Mike Hart            SR    2012
-13 13.5
19 Marcus Smart         SO    2013
-14 13.5
20 Kelly Olynyk         JR    2012
-13 13.4 


Number 1, college BPM seems to do a pretty great job of predicting NBA potential. This even picked out 2nd round steals like Draymond Green and Jae Crowder.

So, as someone who doesn't follow CBB I've heard of Kris Dunn, but anyone have thoughts on the two other current guys here -- Denzel Valentine and/or Duncan Robinson? The latter has an amazing basketball name but is apparently a blueblood who went to Philips Exeter of all places. I could see the Spurs drafting him as a "joke", and then of course he turns out to be a second round steal...
   11. Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: January 02, 2016 at 11:57 AM (#5124234)
First of all, with conference play yet to come, you can expect the 15-16 numbers to come down for major conference guys, not to mention regressing to the mean quite a lot (it's still early in the year).

Denzel Valentine is your typical Michigan State senior star who is not viewed as having much NBA potential (see Draymond Green, Adreian Payne). DX has him as 16th overall. Age matters -- if you look at the seniors on the list (Wright, Kaminsky, Crowder, Hart) they are obviously not as impressive a group. Doing this kind of thing as a freshman looks great (Davis, Towns, Embiid, Noel, Irving) but even the junior class is a clear step down from those guys (Oladipo, Dieng, WTCS, Withey, Draymond, Olynyk).
   12. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 02, 2016 at 12:17 PM (#5124243)

Last year Kawhi's RAPM was 7.57. Durant's 13/14 (his last full season) was 6.42.

This year Kawhi is at 10.27, Durant is at 6.77.


In virtually every other advanced stat, Durant has two full seasons better than Kawhi entering this season; in a few of those, his numbers dwarf Kawhi's.

It's possible Kawhi's three point shooting has reached a new level. His apparently improved free throw shooting is a point in favor of that. On the flipside, he has (barely, but still) the lowest 2 point shooting % of his career - he's shooting 39% this season from 16 to 23 feet. GIven that and his 3P%, I'm not ready to trust his numbers. His TOV% has also improved significantly - I'm less sure of what to make of that.

His assist % is 7th among the Spurs 9 rotation guys. He's a capable and willing passer, which is all he needs to be. He's not (or at least, has never been) a guy who sets up the offense like some of the other very top guys - that's okay, he doesn't need to be that to be great, nor to thrive on the Spurs. Obviously, it's difficult to separate what he might do on another team vs. his role on the Spurs and how that shapes his statistical profile when comparing to guys on other teams. That said, even within his own team, his statistical profile, at least on the surface, does not point to his creating much offense with his passing. Of course, he might score more on another team - probably at the expense of efficiency.

If his new shooting %s are real, or close enough that he's now a low-to-mid 40s three point shooter, now he's got a real argument for the top 3. For now, I'd have him in the 1B list, alongside Westbrook, the version of James Harden who plays defense, and Anthony Davis.
   13. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 02, 2016 at 12:24 PM (#5124250)
With 40% of the season gone by, here are the current standings (as last time, ties are broken by point differential; final ties broken by NBA tiebreaking rules).

I can't believe how many of you had the Warriors as low as fourth. Bunch of Charles Barkley acolytes, you are. Or, and now I'm really going to insult you, a bunch of Colin Cowherd acolytes. Yeah, feel the burn!
   14. CFBF Was Killed By The Mad Queen Posted: January 02, 2016 at 12:47 PM (#5124258)
Joey Crawford is retiring.
   15. Spivey Posted: January 02, 2016 at 01:04 PM (#5124262)
Kawhi's the one guy on the Spurs that can reliably create his own offense, which is perhaps even more valuable on such a team.

I think this really sells the Spurs team short.

Parker and Ginobili can both do this. Duncan and Aldridge are acceptable post-up players.
   16. vagab0nd is still a champion Posted: January 02, 2016 at 01:18 PM (#5124266)
In virtually every other advanced stat, Durant has two full seasons better than Kawhi entering this season; in a few of those, his numbers dwarf Kawhi's.


Do any of them account for quality of teammates, quality of backups, and account for defense? I'm asking honestly because I haven't seen anything other than RAPM that comes close to this undertaking. I suppose manually making some hybrid of ORtg*Usg on offense and then adding in a D component, but DRtg seems too heavily influenced by team defense and what shows up in the box score. 82games simple rating was nice (it's not being updated this year) but On/Off numbers are too heavily impacted by team construction and coaching.
   17. vagab0nd is still a champion Posted: January 02, 2016 at 01:18 PM (#5124268)
Joey Crawford is retiring.


This is a sad day for basketball.
   18. Rob_Wood Posted: January 02, 2016 at 03:35 PM (#5124378)
Currently watching replay of Warriors-Rockets on NBA.TV, Clyde Drexler is not a good announcer. Period.
   19. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 02, 2016 at 03:40 PM (#5124382)
Do any of them account for quality of teammates, quality of backups, and account for defense? I'm asking honestly because I haven't seen anything other than RAPM that comes close to this undertaking.


Defense, most do, certainly Win Shares, BPM, and VORP all do, though to varying degrees of usefulness. Quality of teammates - VORP seems to, a couple of other maybe do this implicitly. Backups - less sure, though again a couple have a team component. I don't know a ton about RAPM relative to the other metrics beyond the general stuff like what its trying to measure and the big picture stuff it tries to capture. I haven't consumed the literature on advanced NBA stats to the degree I could give a cohesive answer without doing an amount of research that would extend beyond the end of my two month old's nap. Some other time, maybe. :-)

Look, Kawhi is great, but unless he's really this good of a shooter (probably not but you never know), or RAPM is capturing something the other stats aren't (not out of the question), he's *only* a 2nd team All-NBA guy. His case rests entirely on those two things (okay, and the fact that he's the best player on a team off to a historically good start).


   20. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 02, 2016 at 04:23 PM (#5124400)
Spivey from the last thread:
I think your points are fair. Though even if you grant those guys are better offensively, which I do, Kawhi makes a lot of that back up on defense. LeBron isn't the all-NBA defender he used to be.


I thought so too, but according to Ben Dowsett citing Synergy:
Ben DowsettVerified account
‏@Ben_Dowsett
Work this one out: Per Synergy, opponents score at .592 PPP with LeBron James as the "responsible" defender in halfcourt sets this year.


Ben Dowsett ‏@Ben_Dowsett 53m53 minutes ago
Yes, tons of noise with those figures. But that's lowest in the league by a mile for volume guys, on well over 200 possessions.


He's also third in SF DRPM.
   21. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 02, 2016 at 04:35 PM (#5124406)
#10, Jeff Withey has also been surprisingly good (in only 300 minutes). You have to put the MPG down to 13, but he's tied with Rudy for points saved at the rim per 36 minutes. He was an excellent shot blocker in college too, so I think it's likely he is a good rim protector. I doubt he's more than a decent backup center, but that's still a nice piece to get for cheap and makes the Pelicans decision to waive him and give Aşık $50M+ even crazier.
   22. vagab0nd is still a champion Posted: January 02, 2016 at 05:12 PM (#5124421)
I haven't consumed the literature on advanced NBA stats to the degree I could give a cohesive answer without doing an amount of research that would extend beyond the end of my two month old's nap. Some other time, maybe. :-)


Oops, I didn't mean to send you on a wild goose chase, I was hoping you had something already lined up :)

Look, Kawhi is great, but unless he's really this good of a shooter* (probably not but you never know), or RAPM is capturing something the other stats aren't (not out of the question), he's *only* a 2nd team All-NBA guy. His case rests entirely on those two things (okay, and the fact that he's the best player on a team off to a historically good start).


He's also the reigning DPOY (the first wing to win it since The Pandas Friend won it back in 03-04) and led the league last year in DRtg and is leading again this year (but, as already discussed, DRtg is heavily weighted by team defense, so it's not surprising a Spur is leading). That level of defensive impact might be what RAPM is capturing that a lot of the other stats aren't...?

All that said, my initial assertion was that Kawhi belongs in the conversation with LBJ/KD discussion as opposed to the PG13/Butler discussion and that I think he's better than Durant, not by leaps and bounds, but slightly better. I tend to rate defense higher than most.

* I'm posting the following because it surprised me, not because I think Kawhi is as good of shooter as Durantula: Career: KD: 48.2/38.0/88.1 TS%: 60.3 KL: 49.9/38.8/81.7 TS%: 58.9
KD's 3P% improves to 38.7% if you remove his SuperSonic year. If you only took his last 4 years, it would be a tad over 40%.
   23. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: January 02, 2016 at 07:03 PM (#5124451)
Kings up 17 on the Suns. This may be the game that finally gets Hornacek fired, if anything like that score holds up.

P.S. Man Marco Belinelli is bad.
   24. Tin Angel Posted: January 02, 2016 at 08:30 PM (#5124471)
Giannis hit the floor face first and went to the bench...and a minute later OJ Mayo ran over to him and gave him his tooth.

There's four minutes left in the first quarter and the Bucks haven't made a field goal yet.
   25. jmurph Posted: January 02, 2016 at 08:37 PM (#5124473)
There's four minutes left in the first quarter and the Bucks haven't made a field goal yet.


If I've learned anything about the 2015-2016 Minnesota Timberwolves, this lead (currently 26-12) is not safe.
   26. jmurph Posted: January 02, 2016 at 08:40 PM (#5124475)
The Celtics continue to make no sense. 3 straight losses, followed by 4 straight wins (including solid road wins against Charlotte and Detroit), followed by consecutive home losses against 2 of the worst 3 teams in the league, the Lakers and Nets. I officially don't get it.
   27. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 02, 2016 at 08:45 PM (#5124476)
* I'm posting the following because it surprised me, not because I think Kawhi is as good of shooter as Durantula: Career: KD: 48.2/38.0/88.1 TS%: 60.3 KL: 49.9/38.8/81.7 TS%: 58.9
KD's 3P% improves to 38.7% if you remove his SuperSonic year. If you only took his last 4 years, it would be a tad over 40%.


It's surprising! I think there's room for disagreement on the Durant/Kawhi thing - he's created enough uncertainty on that with his performance to date this season, and he's at an age where it would be perfectly reasonable for his game to jump a level - but I'm sticking with Durant until the shooting stats converge a bit more.

The Celtics continue to make no sense. 3 straight losses, followed by 4 straight wins (including solid road wins against Charlotte and Detroit), followed by consecutive home losses against 2 of the worst 3 teams in the league, the Lakers and Nets. I officially don't get it.


Zach Lowe posited on Twitter that they don't realize they aren't talented enough to coast against the lesser teams in the league, which is as good of a guess as any.

Kings up 17 on the Suns. This may be the game that finally gets Hornacek fired, if anything like that score holds up.


Holy crap, 142 to the Kings. Whether it's your fault or not, time to polish up that resume, Jeff.
   28. tshipman Posted: January 02, 2016 at 09:32 PM (#5124492)
Holy crap, 142 to the Kings. Whether it's your fault or not, time to polish up that resume, Jeff.


Kinda sad and unfair, but yeah. Seems like we've seen the end of Jeff Hornacek.
   29. theboyqueen Posted: January 02, 2016 at 09:40 PM (#5124493)
The Kings-Suns game was like a loser leaves town match. Entirely possible Karl would have been done had the Kings lost that game.
   30. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 02, 2016 at 09:47 PM (#5124496)
Warriors news! Steph will play tonight but no Festus Ezeli, Harrison Barnes, Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Rush or James Michael McAdoo. Yikes! Jason Thompson might actually get to play. Also, Kevon Looney has been cleared for full contact and will be heading to the D-League soon to shake off some rust.
   31. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 02, 2016 at 10:01 PM (#5124500)
Danny Green's slump is over.
   32. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 02, 2016 at 10:04 PM (#5124503)
I think an Achilles heel for the Spurs might be that their big guys are kind of slow. Capela and Howard are just getting to the rim faster than Duncan or Aldridge can react. Howard continues to play really well, by the way. He also remains a complete ninny.
   33. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 02, 2016 at 10:19 PM (#5124507)
The Rockets just got run out of the building. Good thing the varsity game is about to start.
   34. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 02, 2016 at 10:36 PM (#5124519)
So, as someone who doesn't follow CBB I've heard of Kris Dunn, but anyone have thoughts on the two other current guys here -- Denzel Valentine and/or Duncan Robinson? The latter has an amazing basketball name but is apparently a blueblood who went to Philips Exeter of all places. I could see the Spurs drafting him as a "joke", and then of course he turns out to be a second round steal...


Duncan Robinson transferred from DIII Williams College to Michigan. He's a 6'8" shooter who has shown a little bit playmaking as the season has progressed. He's really bad defensively - like worse than recent Michigan grads, Stauskas and Hardaway. He's only had 1/3 of a season at the D-I level so he might get better (he did practice last year as he had to sit out a year after transferring).
   35. Tin Angel Posted: January 02, 2016 at 10:46 PM (#5124525)
If I've learned anything about the 2015-2016 Minnesota Timberwolves, this lead (currently 26-12) is not safe.


Well...they only ended up losing by 10.
   36. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 02, 2016 at 11:08 PM (#5124534)
Warriors have already mercy ruled the Nuggets.
   37. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 02, 2016 at 11:33 PM (#5124541)
Ben Simmons update: 36 on 15 shots tonight, plus 14 rebounds and 4 assists.

Averaging 20.6/13.1/5.4 with 2.1 steals, 1.4 blocks, and 57% shooting.

For reference, Webber as a freshman averaged 15.5/10.0/2.2 with 2.5 blocks and 1.6 steals on 56% shooting.
Durant, 25.8/11.1/1.7/1.9/1.9 on 47% (40% from 3 on nearly 6 per game).
Carmelo, 22.2/10.0/2.2/1.6/0.9, 45% FG.



   38. Tin Angel Posted: January 02, 2016 at 11:39 PM (#5124542)
Draymond's line at the half is ridiculous- 21 points (on 7-8 shooting/5-6 from 3), 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block.
   39. STIGGLES is more humble than you would understand Posted: January 02, 2016 at 11:43 PM (#5124546)
one of these guys is a 7' all defensive team candidate. the other one is towering above him. #freethenipples
   40. theboyqueen Posted: January 02, 2016 at 11:56 PM (#5124551)
Ben Simmons update: 36 on 15 shots tonight, plus 14 rebounds and 4 assists.


I just looked at the highlights and all I can say is...

What's with Vanderbilt's court? Does it double as the world's largest dancefloor or something?
   41. theboyqueen Posted: January 02, 2016 at 11:58 PM (#5124553)
Duncan Robinson transferred from DIII Williams College to Michigan.


Exeter to Williams(!) to Michigan. I am intrigued.
   42. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 12:00 AM (#5124554)
Steph out again. Warriors down to 8 players but still rolling.
   43. CFBF Was Killed By The Mad Queen Posted: January 03, 2016 at 12:11 AM (#5124558)
Vandy's set-up is famously awkward. It's an elevated court, and the benches are set up under the baskets at either end of the court. And visiting teams swear there's something about the visuals there that makes shooting bizarrely difficult.
   44. Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: January 03, 2016 at 12:14 AM (#5124559)
Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili combined for 2-14 shooting and 10 points, and the Spurs beat the Rockets by 18 (admittedly they had 17 combined assists against only 3 turnovers). This is like when your brain replaces all the neurons one by one but it's the same brain.
   45. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 12:40 AM (#5124561)
Warriors are gassed and about to blow this game. Draymond just shot an air ball because he has no legs left. Bogut is also fouled out now so down to 7 players.
   46. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 12:47 AM (#5124562)
Overtime! Not what the Warriors needed. They have nothing left to give.
   47. theboyqueen Posted: January 03, 2016 at 12:50 AM (#5124564)
I don't understand what Curry's injury is supposed to be. If it's really a "bruised shin", a properly designed shinguard should be able to protect it pretty well.
   48. Howling John Shade Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:04 AM (#5124568)
I don't understand what Curry's injury is supposed to be. If it's really a "bruised shin", a properly designed shinguard should be able to protect it pretty well.
Yeah, I don't really understand it either.

This is what the Warriors sideline reporter tweeted:
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude ‏@ROSGO21 1h1 hour ago

More on Steph Curry:told me pregame previous lower leg bruise caused swelling impacting his shin. Affected "change direction/stride" off leg
   49. Howling John Shade Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:05 AM (#5124569)
Also, I hope Faried is ok.
   50. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:06 AM (#5124570)
I've had a deep shin bruise and everything I did on that leg sucked. SUCKED!
   51. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:08 AM (#5124571)
So Draymond Green is answering my question as to how good his offense is without Curry...Do the Warriors just have (by far) the best development staff in the NBA?
   52. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:09 AM (#5124573)
Jeez, what a win. I am also worried about Faried. Honestly, I thought that was a bit dirty of Mo to push him. Hoping the best for Faried. He was a beast on the offensive glass tonight. The Nuggets offensive rebounding got them back into the game.
   53. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:10 AM (#5124575)
Dray's final line: 29 points, 17 rebounds, 14 assists and 4 steals.
   54. Howling John Shade Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:11 AM (#5124576)
Apparently they're bringing out a stretcher for Faried.
   55. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:13 AM (#5124577)
League pass shut down so I can't see what's going on now. My wild assed guess is he did something nasty to the vertebrae in his neck. Barton came down right on top of him.
   56. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:15 AM (#5124578)
Twitter tells me they've put Faried in a neck brace.
   57. Howling John Shade Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:18 AM (#5124579)
He gave a thumbs up on the way out, so hopefully its just some sort of bruise/spasm and this is all precautionary.
   58. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:19 AM (#5124580)
Faried has given the thumbs up as they stretcher him off. They have his head stabilized on the stretcher. That's probably all we're going to get tonight news wise on him so good night all. Way past my bed time now. I blame all these injuries on LeBron's passive-aggressive whining. Warriors don't have injuries, waaa waaa waaa. Screw you LeBron!
   59. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:21 AM (#5124582)
I don't understand what Curry's injury is supposed to be. If it's really a "bruised shin", a properly designed shinguard should be able to protect it pretty well.
I've had a deep shin bruise and everything I did on that leg sucked. SUCKED!
Shooty has it right. You get a deep bone bruise, walking hurts. Running really hurts. Cutting hurts. Landing hurts. Everything hurts.
   60. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: January 03, 2016 at 01:51 AM (#5124595)
Joe C, the Celtics probably aren't getting Ben Simmons and the Lakers probably are. It's not too early to start loathing him!
   61. Howling John Shade Posted: January 03, 2016 at 02:18 AM (#5124601)
Apparently Faried has a "lower cervical vertebra issue". He does have feeling in his hands and feet.

On a less upsetting note, Green's 29/17/14 line has only been equaled or bettered 4 times in NBA history (Bird once, Wilt 3 times).
   62. Booey Posted: January 03, 2016 at 02:23 AM (#5124603)
Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili combined for 2-14 shooting and 10 points


Duncan actually went scoreless for the first time in his career, the longest such streak in NBA history. Guess he passed the Mailman for that distinction a few games ago (another record I didn't know Malone held).
   63. Booey Posted: January 03, 2016 at 02:35 AM (#5124605)
Fun game to attend tonight (in an ugly sort of way) between the Jazz and Grizz. You can't stop Rodney Hood! You can only hope to contain him.

theboyqueen (or anyone else who knows) - You're a doctor, right? What causes back spasms and how serious are they? I always thought of them as just a mild, day-to-day type injury, but Favors has now missed 5 straight games with them.

Jeff Withey (or Whitey, as my brother and I call him) has done surprisingly well filling in, though. I think he's earned rotation minutes as Gobert's back up when he returns. And hey, even Tibor Pleiss was productive in limited minutes tonight. The Jazz have surprisingly held tough (3-2) in the 5 games Favors has missed (after already being without Gobert and now Burks). I don't expect it to last though, so he needs to get back ASAP. Losing by double digits to Minnesota and barely squeaking out a home win against the Sixers reminds me just how vulnerable the team is without both their bigs.
   64. Rob_Wood Posted: January 03, 2016 at 04:34 AM (#5124609)
Props for Denver coming all the way back on Warriors tonight. Their effort level was off the charts (Faried and everybody else).
   65. Spivey Posted: January 03, 2016 at 03:59 PM (#5124828)
The Spurs SRS is almost 2 points higher than Golden State now. And OKC's SRS has climbed to 7.5. OKC is starting to look dangerous.

And Golden State just isn't that scary of a team without Curry.
   66. tshipman Posted: January 03, 2016 at 04:47 PM (#5124842)
And Golden State just isn't that scary of a team without Curry.


Cleveland isn't that scary without LeBron, the Bulls weren't that scary without Jordan and the Celtics weren't that scary without Bird.

I mean, there's a reason why he's the best player in the league right now.
   67. sardonic Posted: January 03, 2016 at 04:56 PM (#5124845)
I actually think this recent stretch of injuries has been a good thing for the Warriors. None of them are long term injuries, they're still 3 games up on the Spurs for the #1 seed and they've definitely gotten a lot more clarity on their playoff rotation. They came into the season with Iguodala, Ezeli, Livingston, Speights and Barbosa off the bench. Between more small ball minutes, I'd say when everyone's healthy Rush and Clark have definitely bumped Speights and Barbosa out of the rotation and you're looking at pretty big upgrades in the second unit now that those two have emerged.
   68. theboyqueen Posted: January 03, 2016 at 05:04 PM (#5124846)
Kawhi right now is having one of the great two-way seasons of the modern era:

For single seasons; played in the NBA/BAA; in the regular season; from 1973-74 to 2015-16; qualified for Points Per Game Leaderboard; requiring Offensive Box Plus/Minus >= 3.5 and Defensive Box Plus/Minus >= 3.5; sorted by descending Box Plus/Minus:

Rk Player              Season  OBPM DBPM BPM
1 LeBron James         2008
-09 9.4  3.6  13
2 David Robinson       1993
-94 6.8  4.2  10.9
3 Kareem Abdul
-Jabbar  1975-76 6.2  4    10.2
4 David Robinson       1991
-92 3.8  6.1  10
5 Kevin Garnett        2003
-04 4.9  5    9.9
6 Kevin Garnett        2004
-05 5.3  4.4  9.7
7 Kawhi Leonard        2015
-16 6.1  3.6  9.7
8 David Robinson       1995
-96 4.3  4.9  9.2
9 Kareem Abdul
-Jabbar  1977-78 5.5  3.6  9
10 Kevin Garnett       2002
-03 5    3.7  8.7
11 Kareem Abdul
-Jabbar 1973-74 4.9  3.6  8.5
12 Bob Lanier          1973
-74 4.4  4.1  8.5
13 David Robinson      1990
-91 4    4.4  8.4
14 David Robinson      1994
-95 4.1  4.3  8.4
15 Scottie Pippen      1993
-94 4.5  3.8  8.3
16 Andrei Kirilenko    2003
-04 3.6  4.7  8.2
17 Grant Hill          1996
-97 4.3  3.7  8
18 Kevin Garnett       2005
-06 4.4  3.5  7.9
19 Charles Barkley     1985
-86 4    3.9  7.9
20 Kareem Abdul
-Jabbar 1978-79 3.9  3.9  7.8
21 Scottie Pippen      1994
-95 3.8  4    7.8
22 David Robinson      1997
-98 3.7  4.1  7.8
23 Tim Duncan          2001
-02 3.9  3.8  7.6 
   69. theboyqueen Posted: January 03, 2016 at 05:16 PM (#5124859)
theboyqueen (or anyone else who knows) - You're a doctor, right? What causes back spasms and how serious are they? I always thought of them as just a mild, day-to-day type injury, but Favors has now missed 5 straight games with them.


In severity they can range from annoying to debilitating, and in duration the can be short term or chronic. They are mysterious in that there is no MRI finding that reliably explains them. If you've ever "thrown out" your back that's basically what "back spasms" describes. It's happened to me a couple times and lingered until I went to the chiropractor. I suspect it was mostly a placebo, but it seemed to work for me.

There are lots of poor prognostic factors with respect to whether short term back problems become long term back problems, many of which seem to be psychological. One of the most interesting is pending litigation and/or a workers compensation claim, which seems to lead to poor outcomes.
   70. theboyqueen Posted: January 03, 2016 at 05:20 PM (#5124861)
Here's a fun one:

Prasarn, Mark L., Mary B. Horodyski, Caleb Behrend, John Wright, and Glenn R. Rechtine. “Negative Effects of Smoking, Workers’ Compensation, and Litigation on Pain/disability Scores for Spine Patients.” Surgical Neurology International 3, no. Suppl 5 (2012): S366–69.

BACKGROUND:
When initiating treatment for patients with spinal disorders, we examined the impact of smoking, workers compensation, and litigation on disability and pain scores.
METHODS:
With Institutional Review Board approval, the medical records of 13,704 consecutive patients with spinal disorders treated at two university spine centers were reviewed. Particular attention was focused on the pretreatment impact of three variables: smoking, workers compensation, and litigation. All patients completed a questionnaire that included a modified Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), a visual analog pain scale (VAS) and a history of smoking, workers compensation, and/or litigation issues. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with Bonferroni (when appropriate) was used to analyze the data.
RESULTS:
ODI SCORES SIGNIFICANTLY CORRELATED WITH A SMOKING HISTORY: Current Smoker > Previous Smoker > Never Smoked (44.22 > 38.11 > 36.02, respectively). Pain scores and ODI scores had a direct correlation to workers compensation and litigation status. Workers compensation, litigation and smoking combined created even higher scores. There was no significant difference between previous smokers and nonsmokers.
CONCLUSIONS:
This study demonstrates that a history of smoking, workers compensation, and/or litigation, considered alone or worse, combined, negatively impacted outcomes for patients seeking treatment at our spine centers. For optimal outcomes in spine patients, cessation of smoking and treatment of attendant psychological and social factors prove critical.


My community doc perspective on Favors is that if he likes his job, is not going through a divorce, and does not become a hydrocodone addict he should be fine. My community doc perspective may not have anything to do with someone in his situation though.
   71. tshipman Posted: January 03, 2016 at 05:52 PM (#5124873)
I wonder if back spasms are different for extremely tall people?

There will probably never be a large enough n to do a good study, but it seems to me that back spasms are incredibly common among big men in the NBA.

/shrug.
   72. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: January 03, 2016 at 06:01 PM (#5124875)
Jimmy ####### Butler.
   73. Booey Posted: January 03, 2016 at 06:34 PM (#5124881)
@theboyqueen - Thanks!
   74. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 03, 2016 at 06:52 PM (#5124886)
Jimmy ####### Butler.

Nice performance from Butler in Toronto. He put up 40 points*, including the game-winning 3 with 30 seconds left, while also dishing out 4 assists. In the second half. And in the first half of the game he was okay too.

*Sorry for getting it wrong the first time, Moses. My bad.
   75. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: January 03, 2016 at 06:55 PM (#5124889)
Butler in the 2nd half tonight: Awesome. Bulls were down by double digits for a large portion of the game, but Butler dragged them to a win in Toronto, including the go ahead 3 with less than a minute left. He actually was terrible* in the first half, with only 2 points, and got elbowed by Carrol and left the game to get stitches in his lip. He came back, and then was unstoppable.

The Bulls, and especially Butler, have been quite good with Rose out. This is not surprising, but it is surprising they're getting more out of Hinrich (career high 45.5% on 3's) than Rose. Bulls are a different team without Rose dragging them down.

And Bobby Portis is a real thing. Someone has to go when Noah comes back, for style purposes/quality of return it should be Pau, but Pau has been really solid again and his interior defense has been really good this year. Guess Gibson is the guy that Portis's still set most easily replaces at this stage of their careers.

*Terrible for him. DeRozan was torching him, and he wasn't scoring. He almost completely shut down DeRozan in the 2nd half while putting up his buckets.
   76. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: January 03, 2016 at 06:56 PM (#5124890)
He put up 32 points

He scored 40! in the 2nd half (new Bulls record, beating an old MJ one).
   77. tshipman Posted: January 03, 2016 at 08:02 PM (#5124903)
The Bulls, and especially Butler, have been quite good with Rose out. This is not surprising, but it is surprising they're getting more out of Hinrich (career high 45.5% on 3's) than Rose. Bulls are a different team without Rose dragging them down.


Hinrich provides spacing at least, which Rose does not at this point in his career.

Not really sure what Rose provides at all, tbh.
   78. PJ Martinez Posted: January 03, 2016 at 10:36 PM (#5124944)
Derrick Rose for Joe Johnson: who says no?

Maybe they both say no: my sense is that Chicago would want *something* of value for their former MVP, hard as that may be to get right now (though maybe Johnson bounces back slightly in a new situation? he's due for a dead-cat bounce if nothing else) -- and it's quite possible, meanwhile, that Brooklyn wouldn't want Rose's contract on the books next year.

Are there any other possible Rose destinations?
   79. tshipman Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:33 AM (#5124994)
I won't get to say this often this year:

Lakers with a 3 game winning streak. If giving up 130 to Sacramento wasn't a firing offense, failing to score 80 against the 2015 Lakers should be.
   80. theboyqueen Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:33 AM (#5124995)
I would trade Rose for Joe Johnson in a heartbeat. Joe Johnson has some theoretically useful skills for the Bulls, and if he doesn't there is no reason to play him. Rose seems impossible to bench in Chicago, and is signed for next year as well.

That would be an all-time stupid deal for Brooklyn if they actually did it. It's basically adding an extra year to a dead-weight contract they should be celebrating the end of.

The only plausible trade that makes sense on its merits would be a Rose for Kobe swap, which obviously ain't happening.

Isn't Rose hurt again anyway? You know the study I cited above about psychological comorbidities in back pain? Derrick Rose may be the one guy in the league it applies to.
   81. theboyqueen Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:36 AM (#5124997)
If giving up 130 to Sacramento wasn't a firing offense, failing to score 80 against the 2015 Lakers should be.


I don't know how the latter is even possible.
   82. tshipman Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:41 AM (#5124999)
I don't know how the latter is even possible.


They only scored 22 in the first half.

You think these Suns have quit on Hornacek?
   83. NJ in DC (Now with Baby!) Posted: January 04, 2016 at 05:17 AM (#5125014)
Gallo is having a really nice year. Also, his PER has gone up every year he's been in the league.
   84. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 04, 2016 at 07:09 AM (#5125016)
You think these Suns have quit on Hornacek?

Millenials are a bunch of quitters!
   85. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 04, 2016 at 07:57 AM (#5125022)
Also, it was nice to Faried back in action already. Whew!
   86. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 04, 2016 at 11:08 AM (#5125148)
Zach Lowe posited on Twitter that they don't realize they aren't talented enough to coast against the lesser teams in the league, which is as good of a guess as any.


Just realized this was kpelton, not Zach Lowe. Not that anyone cared, but still.
   87. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: January 04, 2016 at 11:59 AM (#5125205)
I would trade Rose for Joe Johnson in a heartbeat. Joe Johnson has some theoretically useful skills for the Bulls, and if he doesn't there is no reason to play him. Rose seems impossible to bench in Chicago, and is signed for next year as well.

That would be an all-time stupid deal for Brooklyn if they actually did it. It's basically adding an extra year to a dead-weight contract they should be celebrating the end of.


Yes, I'd take that deal without blinking.

That really is the only kind of deal - or hell, maybe the only deal - that is available for the Bulls. I think Brooklyn is the only kind of team - or maybe only team - that could convince themselves they should take a chance on Rose bouncing back. The thought process would go something like "Sure, he's overpaid, but he was an MVP; he was't *this* bad last year when he played and maybe the broken face was the real problem; he's the textbook definition of a 'change of scenery' guy who probably isn't also playing worse in Chicago than he would anywhere else; with the expanded cap, next year's contract isn't *that* bad..." Now, I don't personally buy much of that, but I could see a team in the Nets specific situation (bad and uninteresting) convincing themselves, or having the Russian mafia convince them, it's a worthwhile gamble.

Perhaps this offseason with the expanded cap a team that misses out on FA would take a crazy risk that Rose on a 1 year deal is a long shot worth trying. That's the Bulls only hope at this point.
   88. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:00 PM (#5125206)
76ers signing Elton Brand?
   89. Tin Angel Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:18 PM (#5125233)
Anyone have an opinion on Woj's new podcast yet? I gave the TrueHoop podcast a month but a couple of those guys are just too annoying.
   90. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:21 PM (#5125235)
Speaking of Podcasts, I listened to part of Posting Up on the way in. That's Tim Bontemps from the Washington Post. Not bad so far, just a basic conversation with Suns beat writer Paul Coro.
   91. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:34 PM (#5125242)
Anyone have an opinion on Woj's new podcast yet?

It's all right. I listened to the Bob Myers one and, since they have a long relationship, it was pretty fluffy (though Bob Myers' story about how he got into high level basketball is fun). His NBA insider stuff with the former Nets exec sounded promising. I'm addicted to podcasts, though, so something has to be very annoying for me not to keep it on.
   92. STIGGLES is more humble than you would understand Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:43 PM (#5125247)
76ers signing Elton Brand?


(@MJ_Baumann)
You can't literally hire a dad, but you can sign Elton Brand.
   93. STIGGLES is more humble than you would understand Posted: January 04, 2016 at 12:55 PM (#5125257)
Hell, if camera phones were around when Brad Miller, Ron Artest, and I were Jahlil’s age, we might’ve been banned from the league altogether, never mind suspended for a few games.
   94. STIGGLES is more humble than you would understand Posted: January 04, 2016 at 01:37 PM (#5125296)
i'm looking at the thread on another board from when elton brand first signed with the sixers. it's 7 or 8 years old, but there's some good pre-prime STEAGLES going on:

i love speights and all, but don't get too excited about summer league. it's great to see and i'd rather have him stand out than not, but kevin love is averaging 20, 15, and 4 in summer league action. the level of play is lower than college.

It's exciting to see a guy 6'10" that can actually make a 5-7 foot shot.
matt geiger?

Your love of obscure crappy players and hate of premiere players is mind boggling.
   95. Moses Taylor, sex fowler Posted: January 04, 2016 at 01:50 PM (#5125316)
Hell, if camera phones were around when Brad Miller, Ron Artest, and I were Jahlil’s age, we might’ve been banned from the league altogether, never mind suspended for a few games.

There's enough out there about Artest during his rookie years, I'd tend to agree. Somehow, I still don't see Elton as the type to get in those kinds of trouble. Unless he's confessing to something, you know those Dukies...
   96. Tin Angel Posted: January 04, 2016 at 02:14 PM (#5125348)
Didn't Artest admit to showing up to games drunk when he was with the Bulls?
   97. madvillain Posted: January 04, 2016 at 02:45 PM (#5125377)
Didn't Artest admit to showing up to games drunk when he was with the Bulls?


He had a tale of walking to the liquor store from the UC but not sure if he actually ever showed up to practice or a game drunk.
   98. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 04, 2016 at 03:49 PM (#5125430)
He claimed to drink at halftime when he was on the Bulls. Who knows exactly how frequently, but I don't know why he'd lie about it.
   99. theboyqueen Posted: January 04, 2016 at 03:57 PM (#5125441)
If he wasn't drinking when he was on the Musselman/Theus Kings I would be impressed.
   100. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 04, 2016 at 04:43 PM (#5125492)
Anyone have an opinion on Woj's new podcast yet? I gave the TrueHoop podcast a month but a couple of those guys are just too annoying.


The one with the Warriors GM was really good. That's the only one I've listened to.
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