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Monday, July 02, 2012

OT: NBA basketball July Thread 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: Jim Furtado trolling his own site when he’s bored.

Tripon Posted: July 02, 2012 at 04:21 PM | 2487 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball

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   2101. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4210401)
Another team trivia question:
Which team went 8-0 v. the East playoff teams last year?
(beating each team once)


The Bulls only lost to a handful of West team last year*, so it has to be...OKC. Or maybe Portland. The Bulls beat the Spurs (cause they had the tiebreaker, MARV ALBERT), but I think they may have lost to Houston.

*Looking it up, 6. More than I remembered actually.
   2102. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4210404)
Nope, I'm wrong on both. So that means I know the answer, but will wait until someone else guesses it.
   2103. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4210430)
And even then, the Braves fan are notoriously for not selling out flipping playoff games.


I used to live within walking distance to Turner during grad school, and me and my buddies have walked into about 6 or 7 playoff games over the years with scalpers literally giving tickets away. Good seats as well. I've always hated the Braves, but there was a good run when they always made the playoffs and you could always get good seats.
   2104. andrewberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4210433)
Dallas!
   2105. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4210523)
After adding up their payroll, luxury tax bill and revenue sharing contribution (projected to be $49.4 million in 2013-14), even the Lakers have to stop to consider whether this simply can be written off as the cost of doing business -- and that’s the future if they’re paying players with salaries like Bryant, Howard, Gasol and Nash.

I asked Coon to make some rough estimates, and he guessed that salaries, revenue sharing and luxury tax could cost the Lakers close to $240 million in 2013-14. And the season after that is when the especially punitive repeater tax, for perennial high-spenders, kicks in.
that would be amazing. 90 million in salary, 80 million in luxury tax payments, 50 million in revenue sharing.


   2106. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4210594)
It's not Dallas, Bulls beat them.
   2107. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4210603)
"I remember it. I remember everything. I remember jumping in the air and coming back down, and just, a popping sound. I felt it actually tear when I laid all the way out and you just feel like it just let go. I didn't have much pain after that. In the beginning I did, but I didn't want to yell or anything. When that happened, all I could think about was just people talking. You could hear the whole arena, people just whispering all around. One of the things, like 'Not again. Come on man. First game back. We had the win.' And I was just hoping it was nothing serious. Then, we got to the hospital, got in the MRI machine, the whole time praying."

"Dr. Cole, the Bulls' doctor, came up to me and told me it was torn. I couldn't believe it. That's the closest thing to death, the closest to death I've got to right there, where it just seemed like the wind and everything was taken out."


Man, Rose really needs to just play basketball. Still sounds miserable.
   2108. Booey Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4210669)
"I remember it. I remember everything. I remember jumping in the air and coming back down, and just, a popping sound. I felt it actually tear when I laid all the way out and you just feel like it just let go. I didn't have much pain after that. In the beginning I did, but I didn't want to yell or anything. When that happened, all I could think about was just people talking. You could hear the whole arena, people just whispering all around. One of the things, like 'Not again. Come on man. First game back. We had the win.' And I was just hoping it was nothing serious. Then, we got to the hospital, got in the MRI machine, the whole time praying."


That's pretty much exactly how I remember thinking when I tore my ACL for the first time. There were probably a few more people watching Rose's game than mine, though...
   2109. NJ in DC Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4210689)
ESPN has started up their NBARank series again, which I really enjoyed. I'd really enjoy it if some blogger/site tracked players' twitter responses to the rankings.
   2110. AROM Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4210715)
I asked Coon to make some rough estimates, and he guessed that salaries, revenue sharing and luxury tax could cost the Lakers close to $240 million in 2013-14. And the season after that is when the especially punitive repeater tax, for perennial high-spenders, kicks in.


That will also be the year Kobe and Pau's contracts are up. I have a feeling that if Kobe doesn't follow through with his hints to retire, he won't be getting a 30 million dollar contract (which would effectively cost the Lakers over 100 million given the luxury implications).

I'm sure an offer will be out there for 10 million or so, something like what Garnett and Duncan got this offseason. Kobe may not be OK with that, and things might get a little ugly. No big deal, Lakers can cross that bridge when they come to it. Right now they've got a great 2 year window to win a championship.
   2111. andrewberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4210736)
They should offer Kobe the same contract the Yankees offered Jeter.
   2112. andrewberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4210764)
ESPN has started up their NBARank series again, which I really enjoyed. I'd really enjoy it if some blogger/site tracked players' twitter responses to the rankings.


Of the guys unveiled from 445-500 so far, here are some that I kind of like:

496: Hollis Thompson- Even if I'm biased, I still think he has a combo of skills that could make him a rotation player. He is an outstanding shooter from range and long/rangy enough to bother perimeter players defensively.

468: Lester Hudson- He has had his moments. Probably has a role as an emergency guard on a team that doesn't want to take big risks.

461, 468: Travis Leslie and Cory Joseph- Both sucked last year, but seems too early to give up on guys who were considered projects when they started anyway. I could see either one developing into a useful reserve.

456: Darius Johnson-Odom- He has such good body control that it makes up for a lack of great size or athleticism. I think he will always be underrated because he does not look like he's doing anything exceptional. I still like his ability to get defenders on his hip.

448: Quincy Acy- Who knows? He seems explosive. He will probably either establish quickly that he does not have the skill level to be an effective energy guy or that he does.

Hilarious- Solomon Alabi is ranked 497 for the second consecutive year. I guess he really is the 497th best player in the NBA.
   2113. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4210828)
Regarding the team 9-0 v. the Eastern playoff teams, they also lost to New Orleans twice, Cleveland, and Toronto.
   2114. robinred Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4210839)
when I tore my ACL for the first time.

Whoa. Sorry, dude, that sounds rough.
   2115. robinred Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4210843)
That will also be the year Kobe and Pau's contracts are up.


Indeed. At this point, their only commitment in 14/15 is Nash. We will see, of course, what Howard decides to do.

   2116. Fourth True Outcome Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4210849)
Everybody get ready. Adria Gasol, who is the 18 year-old 6'10" third Gasol brother, will be a walk-on at UCLA this season.
   2117. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4210859)
Everybody get ready. Adria Gasol, who is the 18 year-old 6'10" third Gasol brother, will be a walk-on at UCLA this season.

The Lakers have already traded his rights to the Thunder for Durant.
   2118. AROM Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4210861)
Gasol will be 34, and likely will have shown a dropoff in production and in minutes. He won't be worth 20 million. He'll resign for a much smaller contract, or go somewhere else on a much smaller contract. It will be a pure business decision since he's not a career Laker anyway.

It will be interesting to see how things go down with Kobe. Lakers won't want him to play anywhere else, Kobe won't want to play anywhere else. He won't be worth 27-30 million (as he already isn't, by my calcs he's worth at this moment a standard max deal - 17-20). He won't get anywhere near that amount anywhere else. His pride might make him reluctant to take a pay cut. And he might just retire. We'll see.
   2119. Booey Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4210868)
when I tore my ACL for the first time.

Whoa. Sorry, dude, that sounds rough.


Yeah. Tore my right one in 2000. Got it fixed in 2001. Tore my left one in 2005. Didn't get it fixed. Tore my right one again in 2010.

So every five years. Looks like I'd be due again in 3 years, but (un)luckily I don't have any more ACL's to tear...
   2120. robinred Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4210873)
And he might just retire. We'll see.



Obviously, it will depend a lot on how the next two years go. I could also see him playing in Europe for a couple of years at ages 37-38.

As to Pau, he obviously will not get a max deal, but I suspect that there will be some real demand for him at a lower salary. Bigs who can put the ball in the hoop and pass are still tough to find.
   2121. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4210892)
His pride might make him reluctant to take a pay cut. And he might just retire. We'll see.
Bryant's spoke dismissively in the past about hanging around at the end of his career scoring "just" 15-20 points a game.

Or he could always go play in China. This picture from his Nike jaunt to China is pretty amazing.
   2122. Booey Posted: August 17, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4210901)
Gasol will be 34, and likely will have shown a dropoff in production and in minutes. He won't be worth 20 million. He'll resign for a much smaller contract, or go somewhere else on a much smaller contract. It will be a pure business decision since he's not a career Laker anyway.


Pau will be the centerpiece of the Chris Paul/Lakers trade part 2 next season.
   2123. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: August 17, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4210910)
Or he could always go play in China.

Hasn't he talked about playing in Italy?
   2124. robinred Posted: August 17, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4210917)
Hasn't he talked about playing in Italy?


Yeah. His old man played there when he was a kid, and he is, to hear the media guys tell it, a big deal to basketball fans in Europe.
   2125. Manny Coon Posted: August 17, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4210955)

Pau will be the centerpiece of the Chris Paul/Lakers trade part 2 next season.


Sterling seems the type that would let a player walk and get nothing in return before being bullied into a lopsided sign and trade. Paul is probably going to need to take less money if he wants to play elsewhere. More money plus the chance to play with Griffin who is locked into a contract gives the Clippers a strong chance at keeping him.

He'll also probably be allowed to handpick their next coach and possibly GM (some people that follow the Clippers joke that Chris Paul was the GM this offseason, because rumor is he wanted Crawford so they went out and quickly signed him to a questionable contract, and its not like they had an actual GM to blame it on).
   2126. robinred Posted: August 17, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4210989)
Booey was mostly just kidding, I think.

   2127. Booey Posted: August 17, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4211014)
Booey was mostly just kidding, I think.


Heh. We'll see. If it doesn't happen, then I was totally joking. If it does, then I'll brag that I called it a year earlier. :-)

   2128. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: August 17, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4211028)
So, going back to posts 2089 and 2092 (which team went 9-0 vs. Eastern Conference playoff teams), the answer is Denver. They not only went 9-0 v. the East playoff teams, they averaged 111 points, which is pretty remarkable given the slower pace of the East. Beat Orlando by 23, Chicago by 17, Miami by 13, Boston by 7. The rest were all very close, several in overtime.

As I said earlier, Denver also lost twice to New Orleans (1 at home), twice to Golden State (1 at home), and once to Cleveland (at home) and Toronto.

I brought up the 9-0 record partly because I think it’s interesting, but partly because I was catching up on the conversation and saw robinred’s reference (2010) to Beckley Mason’s article and the subsequent discussion. Mason said “few teams will put in such consistent 94-foot effort.”

That’s not the team I saw last year. For 20 games at the start of the season, they were one of the top 5 teams in the league. Injuries and slowing down their play cost them some mojo that they really didn’t recover until the last week of the season.

But, like a lot of good not great NBA teams, they seemed to regularly play to the level of their opponent; thus their effort (and performance) was a lot different against the Hornets and Cavs then it was against the Magic and Bulls.

If everyone stay relatively healthy, I think a rotation minus Afflalo, Harrington, Fernandez and plus Iguadola, Chandler, and Davis should be more productive. The key is that someone from among Iguadola, Lawson, or Gallinari has to be the one that gets the team to focus mentally on beating the teams that they should be, and is able to make the plays that need to be made to beat the teams that are going to be ranked ahead of them going into the season.
   2129. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4211131)
like a lot of good not great NBA teams, they seemed to regularly play to the level of their opponent


A lot of great not good teams do too. Notably, several iterations of the Jordan Bulls got that rep in the 90s, and the KG Celtics have made spectacular use of the practice ever since '08. Seems to me like a totally natural approach when playing such a long season, and not doing so is unusual. In my totally unresearched opinion, I think that you need a situation with several unusually driven players or a young team first establishing dominance or such; if you don't feel you have something to prove, makes some sense to take the easier games a bit easier.
   2130. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: August 17, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4211146)
As to the Nuggets, I think that McGee will take a pretty big step this year. He showed flashes towards the end of last season and had a few big games against the Lakers; now he's got an offseason training with Hakeem (if anyone can help him harness those quick feet he's got down low, it's The Dream, who's been saying good things about JaVale lately) under his belt and a full practice schedule with a knucklehead-free team with a good reputation for player development. Roundball Mining Co. already did a really good breakdown of the optimistic McGee analysis here.
   2131. Squash Posted: August 17, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4211151)
Kobe's huge everywhere. It's interesting that he's universally beloved overseas when he draws so much fandom controversy here in America. I assume it's that overseas they root for players in the NBA rather than teams, or that the Lakers are the world's most popular team in the same sense that the Yankees or Manchester United or the Cowboys are and he of course is their biggest star. But by all accounts he's far more popular in Asia or Europe than players who are of similar (or greater) marketing caliber here - LeBron, Wade, Shaq, etc. Interestingly I think Blake Griffin is the guy who's overtaking him, but he's marketed to all hidey-hoo here in the US, way more so than Kobe is or ever really was.
   2132. tshipman Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4211202)
So, going back to posts 2089 and 2092 (which team went 9-0 vs. Eastern Conference playoff teams), the answer is Denver. They not only went 9-0 v. the East playoff teams, they averaged 111 points, which is pretty remarkable given the slower pace of the East. Beat Orlando by 23, Chicago by 17, Miami by 13, Boston by 7. The rest were all very close, several in overtime.


How many of those games were the second game after a West Coast game?

Denver, every year, picks up 2-3 schedule wins.
   2133. tshipman Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4211206)
How many of those games were the second game after a West Coast game?


Okay, answering my own question:

1/13 against the Heat: 117-104, last game of a 5 game road trip for the Heat. Played the Clippers two days prior.
1/18 beat the Sixers in Philly 108-104 in OT, Denver 2nd night of a road B2b.
1/21 beat the NYK in NY 119-114 in double OT. Both teams on B2B's.
2/11 beat the Pacers in Indiana 113-109. Pacers on a road/home back to back, 4th game in 5 days.
3/13 beat the Hawks at home in OT 118-117. Hawks in game 5 of a 6 game trip.
3/17 beat the Celtics 98-91 at home. Celtics on 2nd day of a road B2B (played in Sacramento the night before). Schedule loss.
3/26 beat Chicago in Chicago 108-91. DENVER on 2nd day of a road B2b. Although Rose did not play.
4/1 beat Orlando in Orlando 104-101. Howard was out.
4/22 beat Orlando in Denver 101-74. Orlando on day 2 of a road back to back, Howard was done for the season.

The games against Philly and NYK were reasonably impressive. Those were both road wins on back to backs. Beating Chicago without Rose is mildly impressive given that it was a road B2b. Basically you have a bunch of coinflip games that went Denver's way, plus some schedule losses. I'm not particularly impressed with the MOV, because beating Orlando by 27 in a schedule loss without Dwight is doing some heavy lifting (without that game the MOV is 6.75).

   2134. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4211233)
rumor!
Ibaka may extend with OKC for 4/40.
   2135. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4211300)
Boston Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren is a serious candidate for the Sixers general manager position, sources with knowledge of the search told SI.com.

...Zarren is an intriguing addition to the field of prospects; a widely-respected purveyor of advanced player statistics in the NBA who is one of the least-known yet most-influential members of the Celtics' front office group. A lifelong Celtics fan and season-ticket holder who began as an unpaid intern in 2003, Zarren -- a Harvard Law graduate who has also served as Celtics' team counsel -- has become known as the right-hand man of general manager Danny Ainge. He is a regular speaker at the annual MIT Sloan Conference where so many NBA executives explore new ways to analyze players and teams in a more accurate, efficient and in-depth manner.


i could be wrong, but wasn't danny ainge's thing in boston phrenetics and horoscopes and personality tests?


should i really be excited to have one of his disciples be a leading candidate for the next GM of the sixers?
   2136. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4211301)
also, this is amazing.
   2137. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4211302)
and that's a double post.
   2138. kpelton Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4211351)
The brain typing thing was probably always overplayed just because it made for such funny copy, but no, I wouldn't connect that with Mike Zarren. Zarren is really much more a Daryl Morey disciple than he is a Danny Ainge disciple, to the extent he's a disciple of anyone.
   2139. robinred Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4211398)
Bynum will be #33 in Philly.
   2140. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4211402)
Bynum will be #33 in Philly.
big shoes to fill there.
and in related news, for today's installment of terrible writing from sixers blogs, we visit libertyballers:

But the reason Sixers fans were outraged by these statements isn't because of the statements themselves – the reason we were outraged, is because the Sixers have been nothing but 'Sixers' for the past decade. They few fans who remained treated every situation like a wounded husband, whose wife has cheated on him 15 different times, with 18 different dudes (you do the math). Every time the Sixers did or said something remotely stupid, we reacted like the husband whose been cheated on would react to the sight of a harmless text message his wife received from another dude – that actually turned out to be her brother, asking for a cup of sugar.
   2141. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4211431)
oh, and this one's good too:

SixersCEOAdam: @Michael_Levin Only been 2 days since your apology and you're already using "Sixersy" as a negative adjective. Repeat after me: "NEW OWNERS"
   2142. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4211434)
oh, god, and there's this:


Hennigan: Who the hell is this, and how did you get my number?
Thorn: This is Rod Thorn, with the Sixers. I want pizza and I want Dwight Howard.
Hennigan: Thorn? I thought the Sixers fired you?
Thorn: They did.
Hennigan: Then why are you asking about Dwight Howard?
Thorn: Because I can't have pizza.
Hennigan: I was going to call the Lakers back in the morning.
Thorn: I'll give you Andre Iguodala for Dwight Howard. Make a decision, before I don't want Dwight no more.
Hennigan: I need Moe Harkless.
Thorn: How can you be Moe Harkless than Andre Iguodala?
Hennigan: I don't want Iguodala. I want Moe Harkless.
Thorn: Andre Iguodala is the Most Harkless guy we have.
Hennigan: No, I want Moe Harkless – the guy you drafted this year.
Thorn: Who?
Hennigan: Moe Harkless, from St. John's.
Thorn: Hmmm.
Hennigan: You drafted him with the 15th pick.
Thorn: You mean Perry Jones the third?
Hennigan: No, I have the draft results right here – you drafted Moe Harkless at 15.
Thorn: I swear, I handed in Perry Jones.
Hennigan: So, your open to trading Harkless?
Thorn: No chance. Too much upside, that kid has.
Hennigan: But you just sa–
Thorn: I want pizza and I want Andrew Bynum.
Hennigan: Andrew Bynum is on the Lakers, Rod.
Thorn: Pepperoni.




***if you can tell, i'm kind of clearing out my google reader
   2143. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4211442)
and i think this reference really illuminates the kind of person who would write most of what's posted above:

Mike and I were on Matt Moore's (@HPBasketball) podcast for CBS Sports. We talk about all the same stuff we talk about on the blog.

So, this is for all the readers hang out at the Derek Zoolander Center for kids who can't read good.
   2144. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4211462)
2136: iirc, they'd play 1-on-1 against each other after practice. popcorn was brought...

ibaka: 4/48
   2145. robinred Posted: August 18, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4211557)
This is not from The Onion:

Peace will make his acting debut in a movie adaptation of Nancy Grace's first novel, The Eleventh Victim, set to premiere in the fall on Lifetime Movie Network.

Peace will set down his basketball to play Garlan Fincher, a Georgia detective who works very closely with Atlanta Assistant District Attorney Hailey Dean, played by Beverly Hills, 90210 vet Jennie Garth.

How, you may ask, did this highly unusual bit of casting come about? Turns out World Peace and Grace became fast friends during their stint on Season 13 of Dancing With the Stars.(Garth is also a Dancing alum.) The Garlan character "is very dear to my heart," says Grace, who authored The New York Times best-selling novel based on her real-life experiences and serves as one of the film's executive producers. "I wanted to cast someone for whom I have a true fondness. Metta World Peace was my first pick."
   2146. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 18, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4211591)
This is not from The Onion:
eh. it's good for all involved. artest gets his break into the business, and honestly, judging by this appearance on jimmy kimmel, he's got something of a future there.

and business-wise, well, would you even know about the existence of the movie if it weren't for ron artest's involvement?


   2147. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: August 19, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4212009)
   2148. robinred Posted: August 19, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4212025)
d business-wise, well, would you even know about the existence of the movie if it weren't for ron artest's involvement?


I am not the movie's target audience; it's on Lifetime.

And, I have no problem with it--I just think it's funny that:

MettaWP is palsy with Nancy Grace (although they are arguably in the same general celeb tier)
That he has been cast as a cop in a Lifetime movie

Reports are that Dwight Howard has purchased a $20M mansion in Newport Beach near where Kobe's mansion is and paid for it by writing a check.
   2149. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4212384)
i could be wrong, but wasn't danny ainge's thing in boston phrenetics and horoscopes and personality tests?


should i really be excited to have one of his disciples be a leading candidate for the next GM of the sixers?


Yeah, it's not like the Celtics have had any success since Ainge took over.
   2150. AROM Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4212409)
"another dude – that actually turned out to be her brother, asking for a cup of sugar."

Texts like that are NOT harmless - if you're married to Cercei Lannister.
   2151. tshipman Posted: August 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4212462)
Yeah, it's not like the Celtics have had any success since Ainge took over.


Ainge has had one really good offseason. The rest of his good moves are:
1. Trading Bass for Glen Davis.
2. Picking Rondo, Davis and Powe late in the draft.
3. Picked up Courtney Lee this offseason without giving up anything.

Ainge is hard to evaluate because he looked like a pretty mediocre GM before making the KG trade. He's drafted relatively poorly with high picks (Jeff Green, Randy Foye) and relatively well with low picks (above). He appears to be more comfortable dumpster diving than anything else. He obviously did a great job getting KG and Allen. Other than that, his record is pretty so-so, but those are two huge gets.

How do you evaluate him? Well, he's probably not one of the very best GM's in the game. That's probably RC Buford, Sam Presti and Pat Riley. He's probably in the next tier, which has Darryl Morey, Donnie Nelson and Mitch Kupchak. You could also put him in the next bucket which (to my mind) is Larry Bird, Gar Foreman, Geoff Petrie, and Kevin Pritchard.

This whole thing is really subjective though, because 10 years ago, I would have put Geoff Petrie as one of the best GM's in the game, but now no one really thinks of him that way. I think that Buford, Riley and (to a lesser extent) Presti are a clear cut above the rest of the pack, but YMMV.

Incidentally, I'm really not sure how to evaluate Kupchak--really a lot of just bad moves and bad overpays, but he's now pulled off two franchise-changing trades. Sort of curious how non-Laker fans see him.
   2152. Spivey Posted: August 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4212476)
That Michael Beasley estate sale was awesome. #TasteTheRainbow
   2153. robinred Posted: August 20, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4212482)
You were interested in non-Laker fans, but my hit on Kupchak has always been that he often has trouble with the small stuff in terms of filling out the roster, but he mostly gets the big things right. I think this is probably tied to the fact that the Lakers are not into advanced stat stuff, supposedly, which I think helps with roster-building below the first 3-4 guys (see Houston).

He didn't do a very good job right after he took over from West, but he (and/or Jim Buss, supposedly) nailed the Bynum pick, got Odom in the Shaq deal, and he also picked up Ariza cheap and drafted Farmar, who did help some, faults and all. He also drafted Turiaf, who has been a decent value. He has had an issue overcommitting to role players, in terms of both money and years (Walton, Blake, Fisher, Radmanovich).

Obviously, he was helped by circumstances this off-season, but it is hard to see how he could have done any better than getting Jamison, Meeks, keeping Hill, and adding Nash and Howard--all without trading Gasol.

I also think that his laconic, low-key, not-quotable, stone-faced media persona helps the Lakers, and it seems that his peers respect him.
   2154. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4212506)
You were interested in non-Laker fans, but my hit on Kupchak has always been that he often has trouble with the small stuff in terms of filling out the roster, but he mostly gets the big things right. I think this is probably tied to the fact that the Lakers are not into advanced stat stuff, supposedly, which I think helps with roster-building below the first 3-4 guys (see Houston).

He didn't do a very good job right after he took over from West, but he (and/or Jim Buss, supposedly) nailed the Bynum pick, got Odom in the Shaq deal, and he also picked up Ariza cheap and drafted Farmar, who did help some, faults and all. He also drafted Turiaf, who has been a decent value. He has had an issue overcommitting to role players, in terms of both money and years (Walton, Blake, Fisher, Radmanovich).


I think that this is pretty good assessment, though I would add the Shannon Brown for Radmonovic as a plus and the 1st rounder for Joe Smith as an obvious negative. Overall, he's done a great job but obviously doesn't get the same hype because he isn't charismatic nor has a definitive style (ie sabermetrics or crackpot mind theories like Ainge).

I think he's pulled of one of the best few off-seasons in GM history, including the Lebron Heat year. Trading almost nothing of serious value and getting Nash, Howard, Jamison and Meeks is a HOF worthy off-season. I don't the perception will change especially with Jim sharing credit, but there isn't a GM, including Buford, who gets the big picture better than Kupchak.
   2155. tshipman Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4212510)
I think he's pulled of one of the best few off-seasons in GM history, including the Lebron Heat year. Trading almost nothing of serious value and getting Nash, Howard, Jamison and Meeks is a HOF worthy off-season.


Yes, but he hardly would have had the opportunity to do so if he weren't GM of the LA Lakers. That's why he's really difficult to grade for me. Yes, he gets the big picture right and targets the right guys in trade, but most of those guys were only available to one or two teams.

That makes him really tough to evaluate. Echoing rr, I would add that he's consistently been above average at getting guys late in the draft. The Lakers haven't drafted in the top 10 very much at all in the last 15 years or so.
   2156. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4212511)
should i really be excited to have one of his disciples be a leading candidate for the next GM of the sixers?

Zarren is a guy I've met socially, and have friends who know him reasonably well (in an acquaintence kind of way). He is a very bright guy, but a bit odd and socially awkward.
   2157. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4212579)
Video of JaVale and STAT working out with Hakeem. JaVale looks so much smoother than Stoudemire, who seems pretty mechanical in his moves. Very curious to see those two guys in the post, at least early in the season.
   2158. NJ in DC Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4212588)
Bradford Doolittle posted win projects for the EC on ESPN. It's Insider so I'm just going to give the Top 6 seeds without their records/analysis. Kevin, let me know if even that is too much.

1. MIA
2. ATL
3. NYK
4. BOS
5. CHI
6. IND
   2159. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4212607)
Bradford Doolittle posted win projects for the EC on ESPN. It's Insider so I'm just going to give the Top 6 seeds without their records/analysis. Kevin, let me know if even that is too much.

1. MIA
2. ATL
3. NYK
4. BOS
5. CHI
6. IND
atlanta as a 2 seed? that seems...insane.

The brain typing thing was probably always overplayed just because it made for such funny copy, but no, I wouldn't connect that with Mike Zarren. Zarren is really much more a Daryl Morey disciple than he is a Danny Ainge disciple, to the extent he's a disciple of anyone.

Yeah, it's not like the Celtics have had any success since Ainge took over.

Zarren is a guy I've met socially, and have friends who know him reasonably well (in an acquaintence kind of way). He is a very bright guy, but a bit odd and socially awkward.
since it wasn't obvious, my comment regarding zarren was mostly in jest.

   2160. tshipman Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4212620)
Really? That's surprisingly high on Atlanta and interestingly low on NJN.

I don't know how you get ATL as the 2 seed in the East. Marvin Williams for Devin Harris is mostly a wash (and slightly redundant with Teague). Joe Johnson for Anthony Morrow + Farmar is a straight downgrade.

What am I missing here? Is this just a case of, they were behind IND and CHI and those teams look worse than the Hawks?
   2161. JJ1986 Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4212626)
Horford was out most of last year.
   2162. tshipman Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4212668)
Horford was out most of last year.


Yes, but the 2010-2011 ATL team wasn't exactly the 96 Bulls either.

I like Al Horford, but I don't know that I think he's all that great.
   2163. Booey Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4212696)
1. MIA
2. ATL
3. NYK
4. BOS
5. CHI
6. IND


Here's my fearless Eastern Conference prediction:

1. MIA: 58-24

everyone else: significantly < 58 wins

I think this may be a crappier version of the West's 2008-2010, where only 5 or 6 games were separating seeds 2-8. But rather than all these teams winning 50-55 games, we're probably looking at around 42-48.
   2164. NJ in DC Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4212720)
For comparison's sake, here is what their panel of 100 experts averaged out to:

1. MIA 60-22
2. BOS 50-32
3. IND 50-32
4. CHI 46-36
5. BRK 46-36
6. PHI 46-36
7. NYK 45-37
8. ATL 40-42
   2165. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 20, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4212780)
[2164] That looks pretty reasonable to me, certainly moreso than the Hawks #2.
   2166. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: August 20, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4212865)
I don't know how you get ATL as the 2 seed in the East. Marvin Williams for Devin Harris is mostly a wash (and slightly redundant with Teague). Joe Johnson for Anthony Morrow + Farmar is a straight downgrade.


My guess is that because Marvin Williams is such a low usage player and Joe Johnson is not an especially efficient scorer (and surely projects to decline in any forecasting system given he's on the age precipice for good but nor great shooting guards) that a collection of fairly efficient low usage players and a couple of not especially efficient high usage players (It's more accurately Joe Johnson for Morrow + Lou Williams + Korver + John Jenkins) simulates to be similar to the Hawks having kept Williams and Johnson.

(As an aside, Smith/Horford/Pachulia/Jordan Williams/Ivan Johnson is a really nice post rotation.)

I don't think it will play out that way because of the uncertainty of the practical changes in use for so many player. Plus, until Ferry acquires a good perimeter defender, Smith and Horford will have their work cut out to make this an average defensive team and team defense has to have a similarly large margin for error in any forecast.

For what it's worth, if the Hawks try to win for the entire season, I'd peg them at 42-45 wins in an offensively entertaining but defensively abysmal style.
   2167. Quaker Posted: August 20, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4212955)
The Hawks were on a 49 win pace last year. Horford + Lou + Harris + Korver/Jenkins/etc is definitely better than the talent lost, Johnson & Marvin. Given that, I'm not sure why it's hard to see them winning 50+.
   2168. andrewberg Posted: August 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4213052)
I hope the east ends up with Miami winning 60 then 7 other teams winning 44 games each. I would love to see the tiebreaker scenarios work out. Can you imagine playing @ Miami in the first round versus hosting the 7 seed coming down to a February back to back?
   2169. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: August 20, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4213122)
Can you imagine playing @ Miami in the first round versus hosting the 7 seed coming down to a February back to back?

As a Celtics fan, that is a terrifying scenario.
   2170. kpelton Posted: August 20, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4213144)
I think 2166 mostly nails it. Did you know that, career, Lou Williams is better in both usage and TS% than Joe Johnson?
   2171. NJ in DC Posted: August 21, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4214009)
Doolittle's West Top 6:

1. OKC
2. LAL
3. DEN
4. MIN
5. SAS
6. LAC
   2172. NJ in DC Posted: August 21, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4214011)
The 100 expert prediction:

1. OKC 59-23
1. LAL 59-23
3. SAS 54-28
4. LAC 50-32
5. DEN 50-32
6. MEM 48-34
7. DAL 46-36
8. UTH 41-41
   2173. andrewberg Posted: August 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4214074)
Doolittle has the Wolves winning 10 more games than the ESPN consensus. Too bad he's still 49 short of what they'll actually win.

I think 54 is too high for SA too.
   2174. Booey Posted: August 21, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4214098)
I think 54 is too high for SA too.


I'd agree, but I've been saying this for a few years now. I've decided I'll look less foolish if I just stop doubting them.
   2175. andrewberg Posted: August 21, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4214108)
Also, 59 wins is a lot for an older team. I think LAL could cruise to a 2 seed with about 54-56 wins and I doubt they'll keep their collective foot on the pedal if that is the case.
   2176. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4214400)
and for today's example of terrible writing on sixers blogs, we have this:

The reason I think it's taking the Sixers so long to hire a General Manager is the three-way power struggle between ownership, Doug Collins and each of the candidates. Doug Collins still wants all the power, and a "yes man" as the General Manager. The candidates aren't thrilled about the idea of being Collins' #####. And ownership is torn between the two, because they know hiring a "yes man" is a bad decision, but they don't to wake up chained to a chair with Doug Collins asking them over a loud speaker, "Do you want to play a game?"
   2177. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4214451)
Sorry for a one shot hit-and-run attack, but this just caught my eye:

Nike's new LeBron James shoes to cost $315

Here's a description of the wonder shoe:

The LeBron X is inspired, both aesthetically and metaphorically, by the diamond, a precious and nearly indestructible gemstone. The shoe is engineered to prioritize responsiveness, impact protection and dynamic containment, all required for LeBron's unique skillset.

Combining four of Nike's most innovative technologies, the LeBron X features dynamic Flywire technology, Hyperfuse construction, Nike Plus functionality (though there will also be a non-Plus model) and the first full-length visible Zoom Air unit.


The closest thing I've ever seen to that was a line from the 1961 Communist Party program which read,

"Only under Communism can man combine spiritual wealth, moral purity and a perfect physique."

Yeah, but how many NBA rings did those Commies ever win?
   2178. andrewberg Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4214467)
How many players born in the ussr actually won rings? Vujacic comes to mind. Did medvedenko get one? There must be a few.
   2179. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4214473)
oops, wrong thread
   2180. GregD Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4214482)
Combining four of Nike's most innovative technologies, the LeBron X features dynamic Flywire technology, Hyperfuse construction, Nike Plus functionality (though there will also be a non-Plus model) and the first full-length visible Zoom Air unit.
"Non-plus model" is just a great phrase.
   2181. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: August 22, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4214885)
Eduardo Najera retired - will be head coach and part owner of the Texas Legends (D-League).
   2182. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 22, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4214899)
To paraphrase Enver Hoxha:

The wearers of the LeBron X must be in the vanguard, they should be the first to make sacrifices and the last to make demands. This slogan has a great significance. Everybody mentions this slogan, but there are some who do not understand it in its proper depth and extent. To wear the LeBron X means not just to have the kicks on your feet, but the important thing is to deserve this lofty title through vigorous revolutionary struggle wherever you work and live. I say so because I think that LeBron should think hard while he is at work, but also after work. LeBron has a great leading mission in society, a great burden lies on his shoulders. He should never flinch under the weight of this burden, but must always tie his laces tightly and drive the lane with energy in order to do his work honourably. The wearer of the LeBron X must take an active part in all the affairs of our balling society, which Nike leads.
   2183. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 22, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4214922)
How many players born in the ussr actually won rings? Vujacic comes to mind. Did medvedenko get one? There must be a few.

Vujacic wasn't born in the USSR. Under Communism, yes.

A lot of people born behind the Iron Curtain have been on title-winning teams, all the way from Zan Tabak of Houston Rockets fame through Kukoc, Beno Udrih, Darko Milicic, Sasha Pavlovic, Sasha Vujacic.

I think Medvedenko is the only one actually born in the USSR.
   2184. smileyy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4215038)
"Non-plus model" is just a great phrase.


I am nonplussed.
   2185. smileyy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4215048)
In college basketball news, Xavier expelled sophomore Dez Wells, who was far and away their best returning player, and who probably has an NBA All-Star type ceiling. Few details were released, but there was a girl, there was sex, there was reportedly another person involved. Charges are apparently not being filed, so this seems to fall into the category of things that aren't able to be prosecuted, but that good human beings shouldn't do to one another.

I trust that its the right thing to do for the University, but its a sucker punch for a fan. Having participated and read the Paterno discussion, this makes me feel even weirder about college sports as an entity. Why am I so attached to a sport at this school at which I've had only a geographic affiliation with.
   2186. jmurph Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4215944)
JE just posted this in another thread:

http://www.news10.net/news/article/206251/3/Report--Sacramento-Kings-moving-to-Virginia

   2187. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4215984)
Virginia?
   2188. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4216043)
Wouldn't Baltimore make more sense than VA?

EDIT: WaPo isn't buying it.
   2189. smileyy Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4216046)
All I saw in that article was "Maloofs pay Virginia Beach developers to try to bluff Sacramento."

Though, the "Great Dismal Swamp" would be a great team name.
   2190. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4216064)
I've waiting to see a team explore moving to Tidewater for some time - they've no pro teams, no major colleges, a fair amount of people, and interest in hoops. That said, the TV market ain't great and getting around is kind of a pain... it might be more problematic, long term, than Sacramento. (of course, the long run may not matter)
   2191. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4216083)
Wouldn't Baltimore make more sense than VA?


I tend to think this report is bogus but who knows. I would guess the Maloofs would want to go to Vegas or Anaheim, but the NBA won't allow either. Even then, doesn't KC make more sense? Already have an arena, probably get a pretty sweet deal, larger market than VA Beach. The only issue is KC may be tapped out for sports dollars, which is what makes VA Beach so attractive.

Or what about Seattle? They seem pretty determined to do whatever it takes to win a team back. Big market, projects well demographically for the future.

If you want a market with no team, what about Louisville? They already have an arena (although would the university share it?) good demo trends, basketball crazy state.

Is Virginia Beach/Norfolk a growing area? Is it doing well economically? I admit I don't know much about the area at all. While it is a small market, it would still be a larger TV market than OKC, Milwaukee, Memphis, or Salt Lake City.
   2192. andrewberg Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4216090)
Or what about Seattle? They seem pretty determined to do whatever it takes to win a team back. Big market, projects well demographically for the future.


Also, To Catch a Pedator's Chris Hansen is putting up a lot of the money needed to build a new arena south of downtown.
   2193. jmurph Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4216093)
The downside of the area has always been the lack of a true urban core. There are a lot of people, but they're spread out among Hampton, Norfolk, VA Beach, Portsmouth, etc. And they haven't had the transportation infrastructure to support the population for at least 20 years, if not more.
   2194. smileyy Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4216099)
They seem pretty determined to do whatever it takes to win a team back.


I'm not sure about that. There are some people who feel that way, but I'm not sure that's a consensus opinion.

They already have an arena (although would the university share it?)


No, the university won't share. At least as the arena lease exists today. Sadly, the taxpayers probably love UofL basketball too much to let an NBA team buy scheduling rights so that money could be used to pay off the Great Vampire Squid that's sucking the city dry after financing the arena.
   2195. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4216100)
Louisville: my understanding is that the school is not willing to do that. (EDIT: Coke to smileyy)

KC: better market in the abstract and a solid arena, but with the Royals and Chiefs, they probably don't need another team.

Tidewater: In an '09 slideshow on this sort of thing, Forbes said:

Virginia Beach/Norfolk, Va.
Current teams: 0
Projected 2030 population: 1.9 million (11% growth)
Median income: $54,824 ($700 below national average).
One of the largest underserved sports markets, Virginia Beach is over 200 miles away from its closest competitor, Washington, D.C. There is no lack of potential sponsors--18 major corporations are headquartered in the state.


Being bounded by the ocean on the east and DC to the north is somewhat limiting. 1.7 million is definitely on the small side for a pro market, but sufficient to support the NBA, particularly given the lack of other sports entertainment options. jmurph's note about transportation is a big deal - I was there a few months ago and was annoyed at how (unnecessarily?) difficult it was to get from place to place.

   2196. jmurph Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4216109)
18 major corporations are headquartered in the state


That seems misleading. I would guess approximately 100% of the non-tobacco HQs in Virginia are in Fairfax County (outside of DC).
   2197. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4216128)
IIRC, Virginia is the most populous state without a pro sports team. I guess I can kinda see the argument for it. I think jmurph points out a big red flag though in that the metro is so spread out. Where do you put the arena? Won't the team suffer from the same problems that have plagued the Tampa Bay Rays or some of the North Carolina teams?
   2198. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4216136)
2196: Not far from it. They've four Fortune 500 firms: Smithfield Foods, Norfolk Southern, Dollar Tree, and Amerigroup. Not the heaviest hitters. Beyond that, large government presence (particularly military).

Story is that the arena would be in Virginia Beach (most populous city - also a resort town).
   2199. Booey Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4216138)
doesn't KC make more sense?


Wouldn't St. Louis be even better?
   2200. JC in DC Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4216154)
Doesn't the lack of an obvious solution suggest the better solution? Contract the team.
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