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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

OT NBA Monthly Thread—January 2013

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: the fiscal cliff and Civil War generals.

baudib Posted: January 02, 2013 at 01:16 AM | 1049 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, off-topic

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   801. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4356540)
As much as I dislike the Celtics and really dislike Rondo, it still sucks to see him hurt like this. I personally didn't think the C's were going to do anything significant this year anyway, so it's a level below Rose's injury on the Simmons' injury scale (although it may hurt a little more if it does lead to PP and KG getting dealt). If he's on a similar timetable to Rose, he should be back close to the beginning of next season.

There's a certain sad (if you're a Celtics or Lakers fan) symmetry in today's ABC games: BOS/MIA (1 pm), LAL/OKC (3:30). Expecting two blowouts.

Ignoring the Rondo stuff, this is a little amusing to read after the fact as I catch up on the thread.

The Wizards are 6th in defense. Their offense was just beyond dreadful for Wall came back. Wall should help them a ton if he can continue to have a very high usage even if his efficiency isn't great, even mediocre efficiency at high volume will help them a lot. Nene's minutes have picked up lately as well, which should also help. They could finish pretty strong, they are 6-3 with Wall playing.

They looked great against the Bulls Saturday. They're a different team with Wall, and Okafor/Nene is a pretty decent front line.

The deal KG just signed has a no-trade clause.

There's only 4 no-trade clauses in the NBA. I actually am surprised he has one, since they're so limited in the CBA. But yes, I doubt he lets them trade him mid-season. Although, were he to change his mind, I would love to hear him rip on himself for allowing a mid-season trade.
   802. andrewberg Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4356567)
Remember that it took about 3 years for Minnesota to convince KG to go along with a trade when he didn't have a no trade clause. He is loyal to a fault, so I seriously doubt he will want to chase a ring outside of Boston.
   803. AROM Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4356581)
Makes sense that KG got a no-trade clause. He's still such an effective player that it seems obvious that he should be getting a max deal. He took much less than that, so a no-trade is a reasonable concession to a player who likes where he is. Seriously, any player in any sport that signs for a home town discount should only do so if he gets a no trade clause. If you don't, then don't be surprised when the team sees you as a marketable asset, full of surplus value, and decides to cash you in.

Last year in the playoffs Rondo missed that one game against the Hawks, Pierce went into point forward mode, and the team came out fine. I don't think it's something that can be done on an everyday basis though. Having Rondo run the offense keeps Garnett and Pierce fresh.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Lakers yesterday. Before the game I was resigned to watching yet another butt-kicking. Good to see the ego put on hold for the good of the team. D'Antoni is not a good coach, but the Lakers might be able to get things going as long as he's willing to just sit on the bench, look pretty, and let Kobe make the decisions on the court.

I've said it before that Kobe should be the player-coach of the Lakers, and I have not seen one thing this year to dissaude me from that opinion.
   804. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4356586)
Makes sense that KG got a no-trade clause. He's still such an effective player that it seems obvious that he should be getting a max deal. He took much less than that, so a no-trade is a reasonable concession to a player who likes where he is. Seriously, any player in any sport that signs for a home town discount should only do so if he gets a no trade clause. If you don't, then don't be surprised when the team sees you as a marketable asset, full of surplus value, and decides to cash you in.

It's different in the NBA. There's a lot of restrictions on who is even eligible to get one, so that what's I was surprised he had one. It's just not a negotiable option in the NBA like MLB.
   805. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4356592)
Welp.

Were the Celtics headed anywhere this season? Depends on what you mean. Were they winning the title? Well, no. They weren't getting past the conference finals even at their best without injuries to at least one of Miami's big 3 (recall that if Bosh doesn't come back last year, that game 7 may very well end differently). And, even if they got the luck required to get to the Conference Finals in the 1st place, *and* somehow also get by Miami, they'd be cooked upon reaching the Finals. The thing is, as a Celtics fan, as ugly as this team can be to watch sometimes offensively, and as remote as their title or even Finals chances actually were, they were sure a beast to deal with in a playoff series. I'll miss the fact that the playoff run this year at least had a notional possibility of being special. It seemed like everyone had counted them out of the race between 2010-2012 (myself included sometimes), and yet there they were within a few points of a title in 2010 and a quarter of the Finals in 2012. After those postseasons, no matter what they looked like at midseason, I felt like you couldn't count them out as a team who could win any (even if probably not *every*) playoff series.

Now, that's over. We'll get a sense of how valuable Rondo was to the offense now, I suppose. My gut says they are going to be even worse in terms of efficiency; Rondo really did seem to get guys open shots quite a bit. The real problem is having your top scorers rely on a bunch of 18-20 footers - no way to really be efficient with that as the basis of your offense.

My personal hope for this season is still to make the playoffs. If they do make it, they'll likely have one of the worst records of the playoff teams, and I don't see them cratering so much that they end up in the bottom five or something. Considering that this draft doesn't seem especially strong or deep, I'd prefer to watch these old bastards play another playoff series together. Actually, if I could choose one outcome - it would be to somehow get the 7 seed and have the Knicks get the 2. I think the Knicks are the weakest of the notional East contenders - I prefer Indiana and Chicago's defense come playoff time - and thus of the teams a 7th or 8th seeded Celtics team might play in round 1, they'd easily be my pick. Winning one round and disappointing Spike Lee would be as good of an outcome from this season as I could hope for at this point.

As for KG and Pierce, neither will be traded in season. Pierce will only be traded if he asks to go, and KG of course has the no trade clause. If he is traded, I hope he either goes to OKC (though not for the package suggested on the last page, ugh) or to Chicago (just so we can see Bulls fans do a total 180 on him in about three seconds).
   806. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4356599)
Chicago (just so we can see Bulls fans do a total 180 on him in about three seconds).

I loved him until he got to Boston - or more specifically, his 2nd year in Boston. Going back to loving him would be much easier than it was growing to hate him. If that trade were to happen, I'd enjoy C's fans learning to love Noah (and I'd enjoying getting to hate him again).
   807. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4356602)
I loved him until he got to Boston - or more specifically, his 2nd year in Boston.


Coincidentally, the year the Celtics and Bulls played a heated seven game 1st round series. :-) Odd how my dislike of Noah ramped up right around then too...
   808. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4356605)
Coincidentally, the year the Celtics and Bulls played a heated seven game 1st round series.

Of course, he didn't play that series. But it wasn't just one thing with him that year that got me to that point, although that didn't help him either.

Odd how my dislike of Noah ramped up right around then too...

There's a new commercial series the Bulls are running entitled "Chicago Basketball." One of them is centered on the Noah dunk on Pierce in game 6. Noah was in full preening mode that day.
   809. smileyy Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4356645)
On the Wizards: Bradley Beal's putting up 15.7, 3, and 2.5 in his last 14 games...


Goodbye Jordan Crawford's job.
   810. smileyy Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4356648)
Shopping [Garnett] seems risky and somewhat likely to blow up.


I can also see him getting bitter, angry and unproductive if he's on a team with a couple losing seasons in a row. Maybe he walks away at that point, maybe he makes guest appearances on contenders.
   811. smileyy Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4356651)
As much as I dislike the Celtics and really dislike Rondo, it still sucks to see him hurt like this.


As soon as I heard about it, I was astounded that it wasn't Dwyane Wade that caused the injury. Only mostly kidding.

To previous comments about when he tore it: normal people can function without an ACL -- your quadricep muscles can support your knee. Depending on the severity of the tear, many athletes have such freakishly developed quads that their quads can support their knee even during athletic play for a little while.
   812. AROM Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4356687)
I can also see him getting bitter, angry and unproductive if he's on a team with a couple losing seasons in a row. Maybe he walks away at that point, maybe he makes guest appearances on contenders.


If Garnett is on a losing team for 2 seasons (assuming the Celtics finish this year with a losing record) then he'll be 38 years old with a season left on his contract. Whether he's happy and productive or not, he'll be getting real close to joining Shaq, Kenny, and Charles in the broadcast booth.
   813. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4356724)
To previous comments about when he tore it: normal people can function without an ACL -- your quadricep muscles can support your knee. Depending on the severity of the tear, many athletes have such freakishly developed quads that their quads can support their knee even during athletic play for a little while.


The strangest thing I read was Rondo thinking it was his hamstring. He was had no idea it was an ACL until he went to the gym Sunday, where the trainer ran a couple of simple tests and basically said "uh, that's defintely not your hamstring, and probably your ACL. We're sending youfor an MRI." Rondo hadn't even expected to miss the game.

Whether he's happy and productive or not, he'll be getting real close to joining Shaq, Kenny, and Charles in the broadcast booth.


With apologies to Chris Webber, he should be taking Shaq's job with those guys (if he wants it).
   814. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4356746)
With apologies to Chris Webber, he should be taking Shaq's job with those guys (if he wants it).


Somebody needs to lure Shaq to basic cable with a talk show yesterday. I want CWebb to get the job, but more than that I just want Shaq out. He actively drags that team down. If we could get him and Reggie Miller off of my television, I would be ecstatic.

I can also see him getting bitter, angry and unproductive if he's on a team with a couple losing seasons in a row. Maybe he walks away at that point, maybe he makes guest appearances on contenders.


Given how Garnett in Minny played out, I suspect he's more likely to double down on his intensity. He seems to value loyalty over just about everything else. I highly doubt he'll take the hired gun route to end his career. (Not that I'd begrudge him the choice if he goes that route, just that I don't think he's wired in a way where he'd consider it.)
   815. smileyy Posted: January 28, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4356821)
Not that I'd begrudge him the choice if he goes that route, just that I don't think he's wired in a way where he'd consider it.


If there's one thing I know about people, its that their values can change dramatically and quickly. I'm not saying its going to happen, just that I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Is there any reason to think that Garnett can't be effective from 38-40? He seems like he has a game that ages well -- tall jump-shooter, help-side defender, defensive organizer. I mean, he can't take another knee injury, and his minutes would be limited, but I could see him being a leader of a defense-oriented second unit.
   816. steagles Posted: January 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4357048)
marc gasol is a hell of a player. 27, 7, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks on 10/15 shooting and 6/6 from the FT line.
   817. Tripon Posted: January 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM (#4357055)
I know we talked about it before, but Marc Gasol is easily the better Gasol now.
   818. Maxwn Posted: January 28, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4357058)
marc gasol is a hell of a player. 27, 7, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks on 10/15 shooting and 6/6 from the FT line.

That last block he got probably saved the game too. I have seen too much Nick Young against the Grizzlies, so I'm pretty sure he was about to make that damn three at the buzzer when Gasol blocked it.
   819. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: January 28, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4357077)
Noah is having a heck of a night as well so far 18 rebounds 7 assists 3 blocks and a handfull of steals. Thats to go with 12 points
   820. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 28, 2013 at 11:41 PM (#4357088)
He finished with 5 blocks. But Jimmy Butler...

Luol Deng was back tonight, and played 31mins. But Butler also played 31mins (Rip and Marco were both down to 15). Butler led the Bulls in scoring (19 on 7 of 10), 6reb, 2ast. He still needs to work on his jump shot - it's a little flat and he doesn't really have good range yet - but the Bulls may have backed into their SG (who has SF size, but can guard 1's - 3's). Obviously I'm getting ahead of myself, it's only 6 games, but it's fun to watch him develop. I'm looking forward to a Rose/Butler/Deng/Boozer/Noah lineup, think it could be a good crunch time group.

Oh, and Boozer had a flashback moment, rolling to the basket on a PnR and dunked lefty on Biyombo. I can remember only one other finish like that with him on the Bulls.
   821. RollingWave Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:06 AM (#4357100)
to say that the Rockets are torching the Jazz tonight is an understatement.... they have a chance of winning by 50 points.
   822. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:13 AM (#4357106)
The rockets' turnover total tonight (5) is like that by lin during last year's streak... that and the 16 threes goes a long way.
   823. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:16 AM (#4357109)
gazing at truehoop: part 1, part 2

haberstroh: "The Rockets won by so many points tonight (45!), it raised their average point margin from +1.5 to +2.5. In one game."
   824. PJ Martinez Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:43 AM (#4357115)
Zach Lowe wrote a smart piece for Grantland about Rondo's game, Boston's offense, and where the Celtics go from here.
   825. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4357118)
I totally forgot to mention the best stat from the Bulls game - NateRob had 3 blocks.
   826. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:02 AM (#4357124)
Deleted for inaccuracy
   827. PJ Martinez Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4357125)
I'm excited Bogut's back. Really curious to see what GSW can do -- if they can keep everyone healthy. (Curry left tonight's game after tweaking his ankle.)

Supposedly Toronto and Memphis are having serious talks about Rudy Gay. I'd be nervous if I were a Raptors fan.
   828. Maxwn Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:07 AM (#4357130)
I totally forgot to mention the best stat from the Bulls game - NateRob had 3 blocks.

That appears to be ~10% of his career total.
   829. RollingWave Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:13 AM (#4357131)
Why exactly is Memphis seem to be in a hurry to take apart what is a pretty good team? they seem to be borderline elite already and its hard to see how there's going to be much trade that could make them that much better.
   830. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:14 AM (#4357132)
Bad closing seconds for Paul George. Although going ISO on Iggy is a really dumb idea, I thought Iggy should've been called for a block. Instead, turnover.

And then on the inbounds lob to Iggy, it didn't look like George fouled. Instead, FT, intentional miss, good night.

George finished with a line of 23-10-5-4 stl.
   831. Maxwn Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4357135)
Why exactly is Memphis seem to be in a hurry to take apart what is a pretty good team?

They aren't. They made that Cavs trade more or less to keep from having to make a bigger move to stay out of the tax this year. I'd say its still probably 60% or more they don't move Rudy before the deadline. But everyone knows that Rudy or maybe Randolph is going to go after the season, so teams are making offers. I guess if one really blows them away they'll do it.

As to why they need to trade anyone, the luxury tax is why. They've got like $50m committed to Rudy, Z-Bo and Gasol the next two years, so they are going to be in it then almost certainly. They traded Speights, et al, to get under this year so they don't stay above it 3 years running. They need to move Gay or Randolph after this season to give themselves flexibility to address weaknesses like their perimeter shooting or just offense in general. Memphis is not a big enough market to live above the tax long-term, especially not with the more stringent version from the new CBA.
   832. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:24 AM (#4357137)
Most career blocks by a sub-six footer: Terrell Brandon 226 (including 3 years w 30+, the top four single seasons, as well as #7 and 8. Spud Webb has seasons 5 and 6).
   833. Maxwn Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:32 AM (#4357140)
Also, as far as making trades to get better, I'd say it's sort of unclear the extent to which Rudy Gay actually makes them better. I tend to take a mildly positive view of Rudy's contribution, so I'd just soon them not make a move this year and make a run with this group. But it wouldn't be totally shocking for them to move Rudy for a package of lesser names and actually get better, if they get the right kind of players.

When Rudy is playing like he did tonight or even 75% of what he did tonight, he definitely makes them better, but there's a fair percentage of the time when he isn't playing well. When he's not going, he's a high-usage, low efficiency turnover-prone player who tends to float quite a bit on defense. Like I said, I tend to think that the net result is positive, but it's an open question how much talent would actually have to come back to be a win for the Grizzlies on the basketball side, and that's without even getting into the financial aspects.
   834. Maxwn Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:36 AM (#4357142)
I should also say that I am certain that he made the Grizzlies better last year and the year before, maybe even a lot better. But he's not having a good year this year and many of his worst tendencies have been a little more pronounced. If anyone has got to go, he is probably the choice, particularly if they manage to pull a decent package out of somebody.
   835. PJ Martinez Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:51 AM (#4357144)
Supposedly Toronto wants to build a trade around Calderon and Ed Davis for Gay and Darrell Arthur. Davis seems like the best player in that trade (judging purely from numbers; I haven't watched Davis or Arthur much), meaning you'd have to think about it if you're Memphis, even if you don't need to move Gay.
   836. Booey Posted: January 29, 2013 at 02:11 AM (#4357147)
Usually it's cool to witness something historic when you attend a game in person, but not when your team suffers their worst home loss in franchise history. And they didn't just break the record - they shattered it (previous worst was 33, and that was over 32 years ago). Holy shiite was that game a trainwreck...

Jazz have only lost 5 home games this season, and I've been to 3 of them, out of 4 total games I've attended. Awesome. Maybe I should do the team a favor and just stay home. Or since my fiance came with me each time, I can assume she's the jinx rather than me and start going with my brother instead. Sorry Hon. It's for the good of the team.
   837. Maxwn Posted: January 29, 2013 at 02:15 AM (#4357149)
Davis seems like the best player in that trade (judging purely from numbers;

While I see what you are saying and have just been spending a lot of time talking about Rudy Gay's weaknesses, I'm not sure I'd go that far. Admittedly, I know very little about Ed Davis or his future projection.
   838. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:23 AM (#4357166)
[830] Well George 100% fouled Gallo on the previous drive and wasn't called for it.
   839. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:32 AM (#4357167)
Sean Grande (Boston PBP guy?) was on Simmons' Post Rondo ACL Podcast yesterday and made the point I believe regarding this Celtics team: this Rondo injury changes the perfect world ceiling for this Celtics team but it doesn't change their average/most likely outcome.

EDIT: This podcast is pretty much nailing all of what I view as the holes in the "Rondo is elite/the best player on the Celtics" theory.
   840. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 29, 2013 at 08:48 AM (#4357189)
The Warriors get Bogut back and Steph Curry gets hurt. They are the Corsican Brothers, I swear.
   841. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 29, 2013 at 09:03 AM (#4357195)
Most career blocks by a sub-six footer: Terrell Brandon 226 (including 3 years w 30+, the top four single seasons, as well as #7 and 8. Spud Webb has seasons 5 and 6).


This whole post is one of the most amazing stats things I have seen in a while. Never in a millions years would I have guessed this.
   842. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4357250)
Me neither, BM
   843. PJ Martinez Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4357265)
EDIT: This podcast is pretty much nailing all of what I view as the holes in the "Rondo is elite/the best player on the Celtics" theory.

Agreed -- though both guys on the podcast say Rondo was pretty much the only guy on this Celtics team who was likely to win you a playoff game or two by himself. He is sporadically "elite/the best player on the Celtics." But on a day-to-day basis it's not entirely clear just how much he's really been helping the team.
   844. Spivey Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4357276)
As far as Memphis goes, they need to do whatever they can to keep Marc Gasol (and to a slightly lesser extent, Randolph) long term. If they have to trade Gay early, so be it.
   845. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4357288)
Sean Grande (Boston PBP guy?)


Radio PBP guy, yes.
   846. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4357301)
Agreed -- though both guys on the podcast say Rondo was pretty much the only guy on this Celtics team who was likely to win you a playoff game or two by himself.

Yeah. So, I guess the best explanation is that Rondo is a high variance guy who, because when he's on he can be spectacular, is very valuable and has the look/feel of an elite guy but on the whole there's legitimate questions as to his value. And his standing is helped by the fact that there seems to be some level of truth to the National TV Rondo theory. Really interesting player to think about.

Radio PBP guy, yes.

Thanks.
   847. AROM Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4357373)
Is there any reason to think that Garnett can't be effective from 38-40? He seems like he has a game that ages well -- tall jump-shooter, help-side defender, defensive organizer. I mean, he can't take another knee injury, and his minutes would be limited, but I could see him being a leader of a defense-oriented second unit.


As a defender he relies a lot on having exceptional quickness for a big man. He can't be a defensive force because of his size alone, like Mutombo was. It won't be easy to keep that quickness to 38-40, but I can't count him out. Garnett is a maniac about staying in shape, and since I'm surprised he's lasted this long as a defensive force I can't say he won't be able to do it.
   848. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 29, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4357462)
Yeah. So, I guess the best explanation is that Rondo is a high variance guy who, because when he's on he can be spectacular, is very valuable and has the look/feel of an elite guy but on the whole there's legitimate questions as to his value. And his standing is helped by the fact that there seems to be some level of truth to the National TV Rondo theory. Really interesting player to think about.

Yeah, this is about right. I never got the whole "Rondo is a top 10 in the league" or "Rondo is an MVP candidate" movements, and I am as big of watching Rondo play as you'll find. He's definitely valuable, a deserving All-Star (if perhaps not as starter; that's certainly debatable at the least), and a very good player who is occasionally elite. At his best, he is better than any other current Celtic's best - but he doesn't bring it night to night, his jumper, while improved (he was shooting 48% on midrange jumpers this year, comparable with the best guards in the league; as Zach Lowe pointed out though, this is somewhat misleading because he shoots basically all of those shots wide open, and doesn't shoot them very often), his defense is hit or miss and seems to have dropped off in the past year or so, and for a guy with his speed, quickness, and ballhandling ability, he doesn't shoot nearly enough free throws.

So, yeah, he's elite when he's at his best for sure - his 21/7/11 averages on 49% shooting during last year's Miami series was Magic-esque - but he's not that guy consistently. All of this is a longwinded was of agreeing with NJ - he's very good overall, but only occasionally great, and thus you can't count him as truly a top tier (not counting Lebron and Durant, who are their own tiers) player.
   849. andrewberg Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4357659)
Most career blocks by a sub-six footer: Terrell Brandon 226 (including 3 years w 30+, the top four single seasons, as well as #7 and 8. Spud Webb has seasons 5 and 6).


Any anomalies in the "steals by 7-footers" rankings?
   850. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4357679)
on the whole there's legitimate questions as to his value


Also, Rondo forces you to examine just what you mean by value. Rondo will not win you a lot of regular season games-- if he's got the talent to feed shots to*, they'd win a fair number without him, anyway, and he's not willing or able to play his best every night until the playoffs start. But once they do, he's been among the best in the league for a few years running. Which will make both the rest of the season and the playoffs (assuming they make it, which I don't think is much of a stretch) very, very interesting to watch as a Celtics fan. For what it's worth, I don't expect the win-loss record to get any worse, and may well pick up some-- this team will defend extremely well. But I don't see them making the conference finals without favorable matchups en route and would be VERY surprised if they could beat the Heat.

* This, of course, demands some questions about roster construction. Specifically, the Celtics have no athletic roll men a la Chandler or any Clippers big or healthy Amar'e or Drummond to suck in the defense and free up 3-point shooters. It's all very well to say that the Celtics don't draw many free throws or shots at the rim, but how are they supposed to get them with this roster? Rondo looked very nice setting up Shaq before he fell to pieces; the optimist in me is gazing longingly up to Maine, where there is a coordinated 7-foot pogo stick learning basketball.
   851. AROM Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4357700)
Steals by 7 footers:

Using the basketball-reference play index, the top 11 seasons in steals are all by either Hakeem or the Admiral. They have 16 of the top 20 seasons, with Rich Kelley, Vlade Divac, Kareem, and Ewing all having one season in there.

One problem with that is Hakeem was in no way, shape, or form an actual 7 footer. Robinson was legit, Ewing and Divac probably were, Kareem was well over 7 feet, and I don't know anything about Rich Kelley.
   852. smileyy Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4357723)

Any anomalies in the "steals by 7-footers" rankings?


Well, Hakeem wasn't 7' tall.

Edit: Coke to AROM. I don't believe there are official measurements on Olajuwon. He's listed at 6'10" in DX and Wikipedia, but its unclear if that's barefoot height or in shoes, or rounded up or down at all.
   853. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4357743)
Hassan Whiteside, arguably the best -shotblocking- prospect in recent memory, is now the 4th big for Rio Grande, which has to be a bitter pill. Strange thing is - everybody ahead of him has a decent claim for that role ... third big is Macklin (recent NBAer, 12-6 in 22 min), starters have been Ohlbrecht (future NBAer, 14-7 in 28 min, shooting 60% from the field and 85% from the line) and the alternating Rockets Jones (19-10-2)/Motiejunas (20-10-3). (Jeff Adrien played well there too, earlier in the season.)

In 200 minutes this season, Whiteside has 117 points (4-75 fg, 25-42 ft), 100 rebounds, and 29 blocks, while committing only 22 fouls. PER: 31.4
   854. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:01 PM (#4357747)
I think you got a typo in there, he must be 46 of 75. I was ready to claim that PER was broken if you could have a 31.4 PER while shooting 5%.

---

Too little, too late?

Billy Hunter has informed players that he's dismissed family members from the union staff and terminated a contract with his son's financial company in the wake of a scathing report that impugned the executive director's nepotism practices and conflicts of interest.

In a letter to a six-member special committee formed to oversee an independent review of the National Basketball Players Association's finances and business practices, Hunter said that he has secured the resignation of his daughter Robyn, the director of player benefits, and terminated a lucrative union contract with Prim Capital, the financial firm for which Hunter's son, Todd, is a director.

Robyn Hunter's last day on the union staff was Friday. His daughter-in-law, Megan Inaba, will remain with the union through All-Star weekend, where she is responsible for planning and organizing player events.

"Hopefully this decision will alleviate any concerns related to their employment," Hunter wrote in the letter, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported the firings. "These measures are being taken although the report noted that both of them were highly qualified, not overpaid, and were contributing members of the NBPA staff."
   855. smileyy Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4357769)
Hassan Whiteside, arguably the best -shotblocking- prospect in recent memory, is now the 4th big for Rio Grande, which has to be a bitter pill.


I know there were work ethic questions (which aren't good for a guy with reportedly 0 NBA offensive skills)...but what's keeping him out of the NBA? Can he not defend at an NBA level?
   856. steagles Posted: January 29, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4357828)
Too little, too late?
who do they have that can step up? with the MLBPA donald fehr picked michael weiner to be his successor. with the NHLPA, the union broke in the 2004 lockout, so bob goodenow got the axe. and with the NFLPA, gene upshaw died.


i'm sure there are tons of lawyers who could match and/or exceed hunter's performance as union head, but he's not stepping down any time soon, and young millionaire athletes don't seem to me to be the demographic to step into the meat grinder that is labor relations to oust their union leader.
   857. Howling John Shade Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4357872)
Watching Kent Bazemore and Draymond Green play defense together is fun. Bear in mind that as a Warrior fan for the last 20 years I haven't really seen competent defending, so I may be overrating them.

Also, without Curry, Bogut, Barnes and Landry, the Warriors are comfortably beating the Cavs.
   858. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4357875)
Klay Thompson, doin' work.
   859. JJ1986 Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4357895)
If I were a player, I'd be more concerned that Hunter got his ass kicked in the CBA negotiations than with the nepotism stuff.
   860. Squash Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM (#4357925)
Most career blocks by a sub-six footer: Terrell Brandon 226 (including 3 years w 30+, the top four single seasons, as well as #7 and 8. Spud Webb has seasons 5 and 6).

Blocks seem to be an interesting skill in that players either got it or they don't. Many great defenders don't block a ton of shots even accounting for their position. LeBron James blocks fewer shots (not this year, but it's close) than Dwyane Wade, who is four inches shorter than him and rarely guards in the post. There are 7-footers who can hardly block a shot at all. There are 6'9" guys who block a ton.

Also, without Curry, Bogut, Barnes and Landry, the Warriors are comfortably beating the Cavs.

I'm glad they were able to get all those guys a rest last night and still pull out the W. What a great year for Bay Area sports. 49ers, Giants, A's, Warriors, looking like the Sharks. Yowza.
   861. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:26 AM (#4357972)
Dwight Howard has ZERO rebounds so far with just 2:36 left to go in the first half. Lakers up by 12 anyways.

Make that 15. I don't recognize this team at all.
   862. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM (#4357976)
Kobe's last 2.5 games:

100 minutes
39 ended possessions (FGA+TO+(FTA/2))
41 points
33 assists
22 rebounds

Has he finally learned to play team basketball!?!?

Not surprisingly the Lakers have looked great since this began, but how long will it continue is the question.
   863. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4357979)
Steve Smith just saying Kobe is the best player in basketball, I don't know why but things like that and Charles Barkley saying Carmelo is the best scorer in basketball bother me way too much when I hear it. I think it's just the degree of wrongness is what does it.
   864. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:52 AM (#4357985)
Has he finally learned to play team basketball!?!?
It's amazing, the way he's been able to hang around the league for so long without a clue as to what constitutes winning basketball.
   865. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4357990)
Yep, 17-25 is losing basketball, very astute.
   866. Into the Void Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:18 AM (#4357993)
From an ESPN interview with Kobe last week: "Why have you only won one MVP?"

A: Because I played with Shaq. It’s that simple. A lot of the time we cancelled each other out. I sacrificed a lot playing with him. I really did. I did it for the success of the team. If I never played with him, my numbers would have been ridiculous."

First of all, he would have three less titles if he had never played with Shaq. Second, he seems to forget he ran Shaq out of town because he hated sharing the ball and the result was his numbers went up- and those teams he "led" didn't make the playoffs.

As I said to a friend recently- as an all around basketball player, Durant is already better than Kobe ever was.
   867. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:44 AM (#4358002)
Yep, 17-25 is losing basketball, very astute.
Good point. It's too bad Bryant doesn't have any other seasons for us to look at.

First of all, he would have three less titles if he had never played with Shaq.
The question wasn't about titles, it was about MVP, and MVP voting is based on numbers. Bryant is dead right: the two seasons right after Shaq left town, his numbers were massive. Note that Bryant doesn't claim he'd have won as just as many championships without Shaq.

As I said to a friend recently- as an all around basketball player, Durant is already better than Kobe ever was.
I don't have a quarrel with anyone who wants to say that KD is better than Player X. The idea that Kobe Bryant doesn't know basketball, however, is dumb.
   868. rr Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:02 AM (#4358005)
New Orleans actually has a pretty good team right now. As with Wall in WSH, Gordon has made a huge difference.

Bryant only took 12 shots, and had 11 ASTs and 2 TOs. But the Lakers still had to scramble to hold on because the Pellets scored 64 points in the second half; so, the issue is still, and will continue to be, the defense and pace factor, whether Bryant takes 25 shots or 10. Gordon had a great night from 3, going 6/8, but Vazquez had a 15/14 with only 1 TO. Even so, Blake is a bit better than Chris Duhon. Whether the Lakers actually have a real chance to get in will depend a lot on the Grammy Trip,which starts tomorrow and is:

@
PHX
MIN
DET
BKN
BOS
CHA
MIA
   869. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:05 AM (#4358006)
Shaq's fat ass ran Shaq's fat ass out of town.
   870. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:06 AM (#4358007)
I'm not saying Kobe doesn't "know basketball" or have "a clue as to what constitutes winning basketball" I'm saying Kobe thinks very highly of Kobe and that isn't always what is best for his team.

I also like how originally I said team basketball and you interpreted that as winning basketball to try to make a point. You have to be crazy to think Kobe often plays optimal team basketball.
   871. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:20 AM (#4358008)
Playing with the released RAPM stats, just totaling (too lazy to properly weigh it) players top 3 seasons , players with a 20+ score:

TOT Name
32.7 LeBron James
32.0 Shaquille O'Neal
31.4 Tim Duncan
28.6 Kevin Garnett
28.0 Dwight Howard
27.3 David Robinson
25.8 Andrei Kirilenko
25.5 Ben Wallace
24.7 Dwyane Wade
24.3 Chris Paul
22.3 Dirk Nowitzki
21.1 Manu Ginobili

It seems Kirilenko gets quite forgotten. Maybe because the injuries which line up perfectly for this 3 year thing, or just because defense goes undervalued in general. Also, damn RAPM hates Jordan.
   872. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:21 AM (#4358009)
I'm not saying Kobe doesn't "know basketball" or have "a clue as to what constitutes winning basketball" I'm saying Kobe thinks very highly of Kobe and that isn't always what is best for his team.
Actually, what you said was, "Has he finally learned to play team basketball!?!?" The man's been at the core of five championship teams, so I think he knows an enormous amount about playing team basketball... unless you think Kobe Bryant can win championships all by himself, in which case, you might think more highly of Kobe than perhaps even Kobe does.

I also like how originally I said team basketball and you interpreted that as winning basketball to try to make a point. You have to be crazy to think Kobe often plays optimal team basketball.
I don't want to re-write my scree on how people should not expect Bryant to be Magic Johnson for three quarters and Michael Jordan for the 4th. Kobe's Kobe, and you take the bad with the good because there's so much good there. Bryant's been a winning basketball player an awful lot, and he's proven that you can win games building around him instead of asking him to bend overmuch. On the other hand, if you prize "optimal team basketball" over winning basketball, then I guess you don't take Kobe Bryant.
   873. Maxwn Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:23 AM (#4358010)
As I said to a friend recently- as an all around basketball player, Durant is already better than Kobe ever was.

See I think this is funny because I don't think this sentence as written is actually true, at least not without using "all-around basketball player" as an essentially meaningless phrase. The last clause might be true on its own, but the whole sentence is wrong I think. At a minimum it is not obviously true.

"All-around basketball player" implies to me that his skill set is broader than Kobe's, but is it really? Durant rebounds a little more than Kobe did, but he's also got at least 4 if not 5 inches on him and plays a notch lower on the position continuum. Kobe's passing numbers as far as I can tell are actually quite bit better than Durant's have been, although maybe you even that out like the rebounds because Kobe is higher on the position continuum. Kobe also turns the ball over a little less. Then we get to defense. It's certainly not obvious to me that Durant is a better defender than Kobe was over the course of his career, especially not Kobe in his hey day.

So then we get to scoring. It seems to me that if Durant is better than Kobe was, and he very well may be, it is because he is a better scorer. He shoots the three more efficiently, he shoots in general more efficiently, and he's a little better from the line. Indeed, when I think about Durant, I think of him as being one of the very best pure scorers of all time. That leads me to conclude that the last clause of the sentence might be true: "Durant is already better than Kobe was." But it doesn't have anything to do with him being a more "all-around" player than Kobe was/is, it's because he's better at the thing that Kobe was best at.
   874. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:24 AM (#4358011)
Actually, what you said was, "Has he finally learned to play team basketball!?!?" The man's been at the core of five championship teams, so I think he knows an enormous amount about playing team basketball... unless you think Kobe Bryant can win championships all by himself, in which case, you might think more highly of Kobe than perhaps even Kobe does.

Yes, because the extra exclamation and question marks meant that was totally serious with that comment.
   875. Maxwn Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:24 AM (#4358012)
On the other hand, if you prize "optimal team basketball" over winning basketball, then I guess you don't take Kobe Bryant.

This. If optimal team basketball doesn't mean the most winning kind of basketball, then who gives a ####.
   876. rr Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:25 AM (#4358014)
Maxwn-

How is the doctorate program working out for you so far?
   877. Maxwn Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:36 AM (#4358019)
Robin,

I'm enjoying it so far. The lifestyle is a lot different than what I was doing previously, so that took some getting used to, but overall I am glad I did it. I went through a long period where I was doing a lot of other stuff so I haven't been around the thread as much. Thanks for asking. I hope everything is going well with you, Lakers not withstanding.

Actually the thing I miss the most about Memphis is going to games. It will be a little bittersweet if the Grizzlies make any kind of noise in the playoffs this year, since I probably won't make any games, while I caught every home game of that stupid Clips series last year. Such is life, I guess.
   878. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:20 AM (#4358024)
Drummond watch: 18 & 18 in 28
   879. Booey Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4358241)
The question wasn't about titles, it was about MVP, and MVP voting is based on numbers


Not entirely. Team record seems to hold just as much weight to MVP voters as individual numbers do, and Kobe didn't get MVP in either of his huge years without Shaq (2006, 2007) cuz the Lakers didn't win enough. So even though his personal numbers might have been a little lower sharing the spotlight with guys like O'Neal or Gasol, it may actually have improved his MVP chances rather than hindering them.
   880. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4358247)
Buddy of mine who's really into college and the NBA is currently trying to tell me that he thinks Nerlens Noels has a chance to be Hakeem on the defensive end due to an off the charts steal%. Anyone here get a chance to see Noels play?
   881. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4358267)
I'm immediately skeptical of any comparisons to unique talents like Hakeem.

But a quick look at numbers has me expecting he'll measure with an impressive wingspan at pre draft measurements.
   882. OCF Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4358269)
One of the characteristic sights of the last decade or so on Los Angeles area streets and highways has been the purple/gold Laker flags held in car windows fluttering above those cars. Sometimes you'd even see a car with four of those flags, one in each window - the general's staff car look. This morning (in Long Beach) I saw a car with a red flag. I was facing early-morning sunward glare, and I couldn't make out what the flag said. Could it have been a Clippers flag?
   883. Spivey Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4358289)
I watched Kentucky play against Miss St a week or so ago. Noels was absolutely ridiculous - he gets off the floor so quick. I think he's more Kirilenko or Tyrus Thomas than Hakeem though. His offensive game is really raw, and I worry about his ability to adjust to the pros as a result.
   884. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4358294)
Carlos Boozer will not participate in shootaround because of a hamstring injury. He is a game time decision tonight.

— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 30, 2013


Well, he was due for an injury, after not missing a game since early in the 10-11 season. He was the only player on the Bulls to start every game this year (3 others have also played in every game) and the only player to start every game last season (2 others played every game). It's almost hard to remember how minor injury prone he is.

KC Johnson says 123 straight starts.
   885. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4358296)
How does Noel compare to Davis, who was called the best defensive prospect in years just last season?
   886. GregD Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4358302)
Noel is a terrific shot blocker and is ridiculously quick off his feet. Much faster off his feet than Davis. Davis had great timing and knowledge and those insane go go gadget arms. One of the Ole Miss forwards said that Noel was a better shotblocker than Davis. He ain't gonna break Davis' record though.

Hakeem is a weird comparison; what made Hakeem Hakeem was, after the first year or two, one of the most-interesting post games this side of McHale. That Dream Shake to fallaway jumper was unguardable, and while he got tired of ducking under people, he developed the footwork to do it enough to keep the defense honest.

Noel has almost no offensive game at this point, much less than Davis'.

   887. Spivey Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4358315)
Davis was stronger and seems more like a big rather than just a tall guy. He also had offensive polish, which Noels doesn't.
   888. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4358337)
To clarify, my buddy was making the comparison strictly on the defensive end and was trying to say he thinks Noel has a great chance to control passing lanes as well as shot selection.

He ain't gonna break Davis' record though

Just clarifying, this was meant to be a dig at Kentucky's team performance this year, right?

How does Noel compare to Davis, who was called the best defensive prospect in years just last season?

Davis has him on REB%, basically even on BLK%, Noels huge lead on STL% and Noels leads in DRtg.
   889. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4358345)
Its "Nerlens Noel" (not Noels). Sorry, I'm a pedant.
   890. AROM Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4358397)
Blocks seem to be an interesting skill in that players either got it or they don't. Many great defenders don't block a ton of shots even accounting for their position. LeBron James blocks fewer shots (not this year, but it's close) than Dwyane Wade, who is four inches shorter than him and rarely guards in the post. There are 7-footers who can hardly block a shot at all. There are 6'9" guys who block a ton.


Besides height, leaping ability, and quickness, I think a big factor in shot blocking is having longer arms than one would expect for your height. It's the surprise factor. Take a quick, athletic 7 footer, but with arms 2 inches shorter than typical for his height, and I don't think he gets a lot of blocks. People see the big guy coming and assume they have to get the ball way over him to avoid a block. They might underestimate a guy who is 6'9 but with the wingspan of a 7 footer, thinking they can shoot over him until they find out they can't.
   891. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4358405)
I'll be interested to compare combine stats for Noel and Davis.
   892. PJ Martinez Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4358435)
This Chuck Klosterman piece about Royce White is pretty interesting.
   893. andrewberg Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4358525)
This Chuck Klosterman piece about Royce White is pretty interesting.


I am going to jump through a few layers of this article because there is something I mentioned before in White's approach that seems askew. I continue to be perplexed at where in the mental health profession White is getting the advice that "stress" is a fixed and discrete thing that can either be accumulated or avoided. I think there is pretty good research to support the argument that most activities become less stressful as they become more familiar. His argument is based on the premise that it is inherently unhealthy to expose oneself to stress and that the NBA and American business at large have shifted the equilibrium of stress and success (or achievement, dedication, or whatever you want to call the complement) to an unhealthy place on the continuum. The argument collapses if stress is variable and dynamic.
   894. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4358548)
White's certainly a unique guy. You don't see a lot of pro athletes who think and talk like him. What exactly that means...I don't know, but White is absolutely someone I'm going to be following.
   895. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4358554)
I second the White article.

This breakdown of how Iguodala defends, written by Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm and featuring several very enlightening quotes by Iguodala himself along with video is one of the best NBA pieces I've read all year.
   896. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4358573)
Rumor
Rudy gay, Haddadi for Calderon and Davis
   897. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4358588)
Rumor
Rudy gay, Haddadi for Calderon and Davis


@aa000G9: naaaaawwww b


That's Tony Allen. Lots of smoke here.
   898. andrewberg Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4358592)
Sounds like Calderon is going to be routed somewhere that can send Memphis a piece that fits better on the wing (possibly Dallas for VC or Detroit for Prince).

I may be in the minority on this one, but I like the trade for Toronto. Even though people have soured on Gay because he isn't the best player on the team and makes a ton of money, I still think he is closer to a star than anything Toronto has. Also, Jalen Rose made the point that he plays with two low post bigs in Memphis, which contributes to his somewhat inefficient shot selection (more long twos, harder to drive with two defenders around the paint). If he can address the getting to the rim issue anywhere, it would be with Bargnani.
   899. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4358595)
DET giving up Tayshaun and a 2nd-rounder.
   900. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4358600)
DET giving up Tayshaun and a 2nd-rounder.

Because Memphis flipped Calderon to them.
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