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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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   901. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4358602)
flip
   902. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4358603)
I don't think people have necessarily soured on Gay, it's just that he is (and has been) just a slightly above average player. Then taking into account his salary, a not so hot commodity to have in my opinion.
   903. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4358607)
Then taking into account his salary, a not so hot commodity to have in my opinion.
Indeed, which is why I cringed when hearing rumors of Gay to Phx for Dudley and more.
   904. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4358610)
This is good for the Pistons, right? Seems really good.
   905. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4358622)
I'm not sure why Detroit re-upped Prince in the first place - I guess it wasn't that expensive. Calderon is just an expiring to them I guess, but they really have a jam at that 1 spot for now.

I laughed:

Bill Simmons ?@BillSimmons
2013's best sports moment: Automated Hollinger saying Human Hollinger's trade w/ Toronto made Toronto 6 wins worse. http://es.pn/TZ1pY4
   906. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:50 PM (#4358630)
Why does Memphis want Ed Davis? Nice player, but not much better than Darrell Arthur, and they have Z-Bo and Gasol as starters.
   907. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:51 PM (#4358631)
Heh:
"Their offense hasn't changed, their defense," James said of the Nets on Wednesday. "They just picked up the intensity level. You can tell that they like to play for P.J."

"It sucks that Avery (Johnson) had to take the hit of them not wanting to play at a high level," James added.
   908. Spivey Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:56 PM (#4358637)
I think Prince is a really good fit, assuming he's halfway the player he used to be. I don't know because really, who watches Detroit basketball these days. Having a 3rd good big is a nice luxury too, especially since the other two have had some health issues.
   909. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4358642)
I'm not sure why Detroit re-upped Prince in the first place - I guess it wasn't that expensive. Calderon is just an expiring to them I guess, but they really have a jam at that 1 spot for now.


A lot of fans have given up on the idea of Brandon Knight as a 1. Not sure what the team feels.
   910. Maxwn Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4358646)
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.

I think this is a fair point. With Rudy being the third option on the Grizzlies, it felt like a lot of his touches wound up being of the "here's the ball, Rudy, do something" variety instead of running something that plays to his strengths. He was really good though in 2010 before he got hurt, and I always thought that the small lineups they ran last year while Z-Bo was out where Rudy played 4 worked fairly well.

Anyway, even though I spent a lot of time yesterday talking about why they would trade Rudy and am mostly optimistic that this trade is an improvement, I am actually sort of bummed about this. I always liked Rudy. He seems like a good kid. He can occasionally be a space cadet on defense but otherwise he works hard and is a pretty entertaining player.

The first really big win that the Grizzlies got with this version of the team was early in 2010 against the new Super-Heat in Memphis. They were like 4-9 at the time. It might have even been in the immediate aftermath of that stupid Iverson debacle, I can't remember what year that was. Anyway, Rudy Gay won that game, hit a baseline jumper off the dribble at the buzzer, right over Lebron. I'll always remember that. He had several moments like that and I've always thought if he'd been healthy in the '10 playoffs they would have beat the Thunder in that second round series. I'll miss him and I hope he does well in Toronto.
   911. Maxwn Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4358649)
Why does Memphis want Ed Davis? Nice player, but not much better than Darrell Arthur, and they have Z-Bo and Gasol as starters.

Neither Arthur nor Randolph are exactly the most durable of people, so having a 4th big who is better than Hamed Haddadi is not really a bad idea. Plus he's young, so even if he doesn't add much to this specific team, doesn't mean he won't down the line.
   912. Maxwn Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4358651)
Also, I must admit, while I basically like the basketball side of this trade, I am mildly worried about the morale effects of trading Rudy. It probably won't be a big deal, but it's a bit of a concern.
   913. andrewberg Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4358660)
I don't dislike the trade for any of the three teams, actually. Toronto screwed up their cap by signing Fields and others, so losing cap flexibility for star potential seems like a reasonable tradeoff to me. Memphis got rid of a guy who couldn't play up to his contract in their scheme, improved their flexibility going forward, and got a couple of pieces that make plenty of sense for a fringe contender. Detroit seems to have made a wiser financial decision and even if it creates a PG logjam, Calderon seems like the only true PG of the bunch. I am least excited about Detroit's part, but they had the smallest role, so that makes sense.
   914. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4358681)
Joe C...where did you go to school?
   915. steagles Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4358686)
anyone know what'll happen with will bynum? if they have calderon now, in addition to knight and stuckey, it seems like he may be the odd man out. and he seems to be having a pretty solid year (44/37/81, with 7 assists per 36 minutes), and since the sixers have a pretty noticeable need for both a backup PG and a bench scorer, he'd really be an ideal acquisition.
   916. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4358690)
Uh. This is why you fire Colangelo instead of waiting for the end of the year to let his contract expire, or to make a decision in the off season.
   917. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4358700)
BU then Villanova for grad school, NJ.
   918. PJ Martinez Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4358713)
Not sure I've seen a team do less with the talent it has than the Sacramento Kings this year.

I don't like the trade for Toronto. Jalen Rose's point seems like a good one, but I'm still not sure Gay helps a team win, and boy is that a lot of money.
   919. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4358716)
Not sure I've seen a team do less with the talent it has than the Sacramento Kings this year.

The Lakers?
   920. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4358721)
Not sure I've seen a team do less with the talent it has than the Sacramento Kings this year.
On the rare occasions I watch the Kings, I make sure to pay attention to Boogie Cousins - and he's as bad as advertised. ######## to officials, zero effort, bad shot selection... you name it. There's glimpses of a stud player, but no way he'll break out in that environment.
   921. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4358724)
Did Reggie Evans get someone to put money on the Heat tonight?
   922. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4358732)
Also, I must admit, while I basically like the basketball side of this trade, I am mildly worried about the morale effects of trading Rudy. It probably won't be a big deal, but it's a bit of a concern.
This was my first thought, too. If the team stumbles after the trade, things could get unhappy.
   923. Maxwn Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:50 PM (#4358746)
Sports are a ##### sometimes. As the night's worn on, I've become more and more in favor of this trade from a basketball perspective and more and more bummed out that Rudy's leaving.

Rudy Gay @rudygay22 Thanks to the fans and my teammates in Memphis for the memories. Came in a 19 year old kid now leaving a 26 year old man..thank you!
   924. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4358753)
Not sure I've seen a team do less with the talent it has than the Sacramento Kings this year.
On the rare occasions I watch the Kings, I make sure to pay attention to Boogie Cousins - and he's as bad as advertised. ######## to officials, zero effort, bad shot selection... you name it. There's glimpses of a stud player, but no way he'll break out in that environment.


My friend and I watching Celtics-Kings tonight decided he was a cross between Antoine Walker and DC.

As @pflanns pointed out on twitter tonight, he got Courtney Lee switched onto him early in a possession. He proceeded to spend the remainder of said possession outside the three point line.
   925. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:52 AM (#4358766)
Expect to see an ugly game between the Suns and Lakers, and got exactly that, what with the Lakers on the tail end of a back-to-back and the Suns being bad. Both teams combining to shoot just under 41% , Lakers with 12 turnovers at the half. Eww.
   926. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:49 AM (#4358777)
Howard goes out, and Laker ball movement goes with him.
   927. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 02:24 AM (#4358782)
Javale McGee likes what he's seeing from Gallo.
   928. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 31, 2013 at 05:03 AM (#4358793)
Re: the trade, I enjoyed this gif of a Tayshaun Prince fan.
   929. RollingWave Posted: January 31, 2013 at 06:12 AM (#4358795)
http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/1/31/3935798/gregg-popovich-western-conference-all-star-coach

For a moment, I thought "OMG YOU CAN TRADE COACHES IN THE NBA??"

   930. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:44 AM (#4358824)
Woj (somehow) connects the Rudy Gay deal to LeBron's future (I honestly couldn't follow the logic) and takes time to destroy Hollinger:
The NBA's owners wanted to break up the super teams and create a system that'll assure Pera can mismanage the Grizzlies into oblivion and still make money on the enterprise. The max contract system makes James the most underpaid athlete on the planet, and soon it will do something else, too: It makes most precarious his future with the Miami Heat...
Levien is making these deals based largely on the recommendations of John Hollinger, a statistician who worked for a cable sports company. The San Antonio Spurs once used him as a consultant and regretfully took his advice to sign a free agent named Jackie Butler. It was such a disaster, the Spurs had to attach Luis Scola to a trade to get Butler out of town.
   931. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4358863)
Woj (somehow) connects the Rudy Gay deal to LeBron's future (I honestly couldn't follow the logic) and takes time to destroy Hollinger:
The NBA's owners wanted to break up the super teams and create a system that'll assure Pera can mismanage the Grizzlies into oblivion and still make money on the enterprise. The max contract system makes James the most underpaid athlete on the planet, and soon it will do something else, too: It makes most precarious his future with the Miami Heat...
Levien is making these deals based largely on the recommendations of John Hollinger, a statistician who worked for a cable sports company. The San Antonio Spurs once used him as a consultant and regretfully took his advice to sign a free agent named Jackie Butler. It was such a disaster, the Spurs had to attach Luis Scola to a trade to get Butler out of town.


I have no clue what was going on in that column.
   932. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4358872)
Jackie Butler!

My first take was Detroit wins, Toronto loses, and this move is justified for Memphis in terms of basketball reasons - though it's interesting to see the Grizz move away from some of what I consider their strengths (continuity, pressure/athleticism on the wing).
   933. PJ Martinez Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4358897)
John Hollinger, a statistician who worked for a cable sports company.

Dude works for Yahoo! and he's putting down ESPN? Woj is well connected, but he frequently comes off like a jerk.
   934. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4358899)
My first take was Detroit wins, Toronto loses, and this move is justified for Memphis in terms of basketball reasons - though it's interesting to see the Grizz move away from some of what I consider their strengths (continuity, pressure/athleticism on the wing).


Yeah, what does Toronto get out of this really? They give up Ed Davis, who seems like he'll be a nice rotation guy at least, plus Calderon, for Rudy Gay? That's the plan having Lowry, DeRozan, and Gay? I guess that's a lot of athleticism, and they can probably push the tempo with those guys, but they aren't stopping anyone at the other end.

Mildly concerned who picks up the scoring slack for Memphis, but given they were intent to dump Gay's contract, it seems they did well enough.
   935. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4358901)
The other question - if you've already dumped Speights for a pick, why also trade Gay? Did they need to make both of those moves? They had better hope Arthur can stay healthy or they are going to be perilously thin up front.
   936. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4358903)

Dude works for Yahoo! and he's putting down ESPN? Woj is well connected, but he frequently comes off like a jerk.


I wonder if there's a story here?
   937. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4358905)
That's the plan having Lowry, DeRozan, and Gay?

You left out Fields.

Dude works for Yahoo! and he's putting down ESPN?

I honestly had no idea this is what that dig meant until reading this comment. I thought Hollinger used to work for some sports-focused division of Cablevision/Comcast prior to his career at ESPN and this was what Woj was referencing. Makes it even more bizarre/childish to me now, why not just say ESPN?
   938. JJ1986 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4358909)
Luis Scola, at the time of that trade, had never played in the NBA; Woj makes it sound like he was LUIS SCOLA.
   939. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4358910)
Oh, by the way, NJ: now I know why you asked me where I went to school. You showed up in my "who you might know" and I was on a rampage of adding people already.
   940. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4358911)
Makes it even more bizarre/childish to me now, why not just say ESPN?


There's probably some unspoken (or perhaps spoken?) rule not to call out another media company in print?
   941. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4358914)
Mildly concerned who picks up the scoring slack for Memphis

Me too. Gay is an overrated player, but a solid fit for his old team.

Colangelo has definitely overstayed his welcome, right?
   942. PJ Martinez Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4358931)
There's probably some unspoken (or perhaps spoken?) rule not to call out another media company in print?

I think he's just trying to make Hollinger sound like an egghead with no real-world experience. The line doesn't work if you say "a statistician who worked for ESPN," because that makes him sound to the average sports fan like a guy with real qualifications.
   943. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4358938)
I like the deal for MEM. I'm thoroughly unimpressed with Rudy Gay (though in light of the difficulty of scoring for a wing playing with 2 bigs argument I would be interested in seeing Gay's numbers when either one or both of Gasol/Randolph are out of the game and whether his shot distributions change) so losing him isn't a big deal to me. I'm somewhat of an Ed Davis fan so I like that he allows MEM to at least begin kicking the wheels on moving Z-Bo. So, good deal for MEM.
   944. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4358968)
The other question - if you've already dumped Speights for a pick, why also trade Gay? Did they need to make both of those moves? They had better hope Arthur can stay healthy or they are going to be perilously thin up front.

That's why they got Ed Davis, right? But yes, I wonder this too. If the Gay trade happened first, would they have still done the other one?

Did Reggie Evans get someone to put money on the Heat tonight?

If so, great job of deflecting beforehand.

915. STEAGLES does what STEAGLES does for STEAGLES Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4358686)
anyone know what'll happen with will bynum?


This made me do a double take. I missed "will" the first time through. I like Bynum a lot, and I would figure his minutes would disappear now.
   945. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4358970)
That's why they got Ed Davis, right?


As soon as I posted that comment, I thought "Well, they *did* get Davis, you doofus."
   946. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4358977)
Bulls tried to blow another lead against the Bucks last night* - they were up 20 but the Bucks got it back down to 5, before Jennings blew up** and got ejected. Bulls won twice in Milwaukee and the Bucks won twice in Chicago.

*Bulls blew a 27 and 15 point lead in their 2 previous losses to the Bucks.
**Him and NateRob have developed a bit of a rivalry this year, with most of the jawing coming from NateRob. Robinson "drew" an offensive foul call, Jennings threw the ball at the ref and pointed in his face yelling. Probably not going to get a suspension though. And speaking of Robinson:

K.C Johnson ?@KCJHoop
Nate Robinson said his dunk means Richard Hamilton has to do 100 fingertip pushups, which methinks is code for "hundreds of dollars."


Very pretty play got him open for the dunk. It was in a half court set and not a fastbreak. Nate both annoying and incredibly fun to root for.

Lastly, the Jimmy Butler update: 27min, 18pts (8 of 12), 6reb, 2stl, 0 TO. And unfortunately, he's got Stacey King being all Stacey Kingish again - every time Butler scores, King's catchphrase is "the G stands for gets buckets."
   947. The District Attorney Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4358988)
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.
Jeez, I dunno. The theory seemed to be that Rondo tries hard when he's on national TV but doesn't otherwise. Are we buying this? I mean, it could be true, but what worries me is that it's what people would say regardless of whether it was true or not...

Levien is making these deals based largely on the recommendations of John Hollinger, a statistician who worked for a cable sports company.
Oh, boy. This is like the kind of stuff people would say about Bill James in 1985. I guess that's about where we're at now...
   948. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4358998)
I can see people being skeptical of a self-taught baseball statistician whose real job was night watchman at a cranberry silo or whatever Bill James was doing.

It sounds a little sillier to claim that someone is unqualified to handle basketball statistics because he was an ESPN basketball statistical maven.
   949. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4359004)
Van Camp pork and beans, I think.

Haberstroh trade grades: TOR C-, MEM B, DET A-
   950. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4359005)
Jeez, I dunno. The theory seemed to be that Rondo tries hard when he's on national TV but doesn't otherwise. Are we buying this? I mean, it could be true, but what worries me is that it's what people would say regardless of whether it was true or not...

I meant more in the sense that Rondo has elite player moments/games but in the aggregate the evidence is lacking.
   951. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4359012)
King's catchphrase is "the G stands for gets buckets."


UGGGGGGHHHH

   952. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4359057)
UGGGGGGHHHH

Jimmy gets buckets!
   953. bigboy1234 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4359058)
Rudy wasn't the third option on the Grizzlies by the way, he was the first option. That being said, he was at best the fourth best player on the team (I also prefer Tony Allen so fifth, love me some defense). The biggest negative to this trade for the Grizzlies is that it means the awful Pondexter will likely get even more playing time. Make no doubt about it, the Grizzlies do get worse this season from this trade with the downgrade that is Gay to Prince, but it is well worth it with the money you save getting out from that contract, and Davis should be a serviceable backup big, although he definitely shouldn't be a starter on a good team.
   954. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4359065)
Why did the Grizz get rid of Grievous Vazquez again? As one of the oldest rookies ever he certainly fit the "win now" design.
   955. Into the Void Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4359084)
And unfortunately, he's got Stacey King being all Stacey Kingish again - every time Butler scores, King's catchphrase is "the G stands for gets buckets."


When the Bulls played the Warriors I had to listen to King say "OOOOHHHHH the Butler did it!!" multiple times. In a blowout. I listened to them a lot when I lived in Chicago but King seems to get worse every year.
   956. kpelton Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4359098)
The theory seemed to be that Rondo tries hard when he's on national TV but doesn't otherwise. Are we buying this?


I don't have any links handy, but I'm pretty sure this has been studied and verified in terms of results, at least within small sample sizes.
   957. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4359117)
I don't have any links handy, but I'm pretty sure this has been studied and verified in terms of results, at least within small sample sizes.


I looked for some as well, but there really does seem to be an effect at least in terms of the numbers (I can't say anything about his effort or whatever). Something like 3/4 of his career triple doubles have come on national TV, not including games like last years 44/8/10 in Game 2 against Miami. He also averaged 21/7/11 in last years conference finals, a series in which every game was shown nationally.

This guy points out that in 15 regular season national TV games last year, Rondo averaged 17/6.5/12 - which means he averaged something like 10/4/11 when not on national TV.
   958. JJ1986 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4359125)
I would imagine that a large percent of Rondo's games on National TV come against the Heat or the Lakers or maybe the Knicks, teams who have not had good defensive point guards over the last few years.
   959. The District Attorney Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4359181)
I meant more in the sense that Rondo has elite player moments/games but in the aggregate the evidence is lacking.
I agree, but, what does the type of stuff Simmons and Grande were talking about add to that realization? We can tell that Rondo is not anywhere in LeBron's league because his stats aren't anywhere close to LeBron's stats, and/or by watching Rondo and observing that he's not at all a good shooter.

Perhaps Rondo has a higher standard deviation per game than a typical "four-star" player, such that he "looks like" a "five-star" player more often than you'd normally expect of a guy of his talent level. That'd be interesting to know (and seemingly not tough to figure out). But even if it were the case, I'm reluctant to conclude that the reason is that he tries in some games and doesn't in others.

The funny thing is that Simmons did say that Magic told Simmons that Rondo would have to "step it up" this year, and that Simmons' response was "this is who he is." But then the entire rest of the podcast was about how this doesn't necessarily have to be who he is.
   960. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4359227)
I agree, but, what does the type of stuff Simmons and Grande were talking about add to that realization?

Feel like this is getting needlessly pedantic at this point, but...what I took from the podcast (IIRC) was that there are certain games/things/biases at play that make Rondo seem better than he is. You seem to have taken their point as Rondo tries hard when he's on national TV but not as hard in his other games. I interpreted as Rondo has had several really awesome high profile games but most of the time he's not nearly that good. So, I was not as much concerned with the reasoning behind why Rondo may or may not play as well in national TV games as I was with the question of how good is Rondo really wrt the Celtics' season following his season-ending injury.
   961. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 31, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4359420)
Perhaps Rondo has a higher standard deviation per game than a typical "four-star" player, such that he "looks like" a "five-star" player more often than you'd normally expect of a guy of his talent level. That'd be interesting to know (and seemingly not tough to figure out). But even if it were the case, I'm reluctant to conclude that the reason is that he tries in some games and doesn't in others.


I think (based on zero hard evidence) that this is the case. I have also seen theories that it has to do with the pounding Rondo takes when he is consistently driving to the rim, and his unwillingness/inability to withstand that over the course of a full season.

Might this be a good thing? Obviously it would be better to have him be Playoff Rondo night in and night out, but if that's not the case, is it necessarily bad that he has nights when he gets 30/15/15, and other nights when he just seems to float, instead of a consistent 15/5/10? Especially given that he seems to consistently turn up his game for the playoffs, I'm not sure that this variance is a bad thing, however infuriating it may be to watch him and want him to harness it every night. (I vaguely remember studies showing that variance in pitching performance was potentially valuable for an average starter, rather than consistently average production. [I believe those studies were used to advocate for Oliver Perez, so some grains of salt are certainly warranted.])
   962. Maxwn Posted: January 31, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4359421)
Mildly concerned who picks up the scoring slack for Memphis

Me too. Gay is an overrated player, but a solid fit for his old team.

I was initially worried about this, but man the more I look at it, I can't help but think that Rudy Gay was hurting the Grizzlies on offense more than helping them. Might just be fanboy wishcasting, but Rudy was taking 16.4 shots a game on 40.8% shooting, scoring 17 a game. That shooting percentage is 123rd out of 136 for qualified players. True shooting, he's 274 out of 333. Both of those are from ESPN's stats thing. I'm not going to say that it will be a piece of cake to replace that, but at the same time, how likely is it that they really do much worse? Tayshaun Prince is taking 11 shots a game and shooting .444/.500 TS, scoring 12 a game. Maybe I'm crazy, but if he just does something like that, it looks like it would improve the Grizz offense not make it worse. Then you just need to replace something like 5 pts on 5.5 shots a game from somebody.

I realize that offense doesn't work exactly like that and it's an oversimplified version of what replacing Rudy this year actually means. My main point is that we aren't talking about some excessively high bar to clear here. His PER is below average, his ORrating sucks, WS says he's contributed 0.2 WS on offense this year.

The further point is that there seem to be a lot of articles and fans who hate this deal because they think MEM has thrown some sort of playoff run away this year. That seems to be the main point of contention since the massive money/cap/flexibility gain they made makes it pretty hard to argue that they're not in better shape for the future. I don't know what their odds of making of deep run in the playoffs were before this trade, probably not very great. They have been something like the 5th or 6th best team in the league with a great defense and an offense that frankly sucks. Maybe the hypothetical '13 Grizz with the best shot at a ring is the one where Rudy is playing good and has a more balanced role in the offense. That looked increasingly like make believe this season, so I think there is at least as strong an argument that they've taken a gamble that might improve their offense and therefore their odds of some sort of playoff run as one that has destroyed their chances. They are 23rd in Off. Eff. so far this year and they have to replace a bunch of shots at 41% shooting. How much damn worse could they possibly do?
   963. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 31, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4359458)
Adrian Wojnarowski needs to change his name. We don't have room for him in a world with Gene Wojchiechowski. Perhaps Adrian would prefer Lars Sexington?
   964. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4359468)
They are 23rd in Off. Eff. so far this year and they have to replace a bunch of shots at 41% shooting. How much damn worse could they possibly do?


Not wholly unlike the Celtics/Rondo "they are 27th in offense without him; how much worse can it get?" wishcast - though I think there is more substance to it in Memphis' case.
   965. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 31, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4359515)
Do you think Gay's performance to date this year is representative of his true talent / how you'd've expected he perform over the rest of the season? (Repeat for all other players in the deal.) If so, then - yes - he's very replaceable. If not, the deal is still worth doing (he was overpaid / inefficient going into the year too), but it's not as dramatic as some stats dudes are making it out to be.
   966. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: January 31, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4359532)
For what it's worth, Josh Smith for JaVale McGee works straight up, at least by the numbers. It would be a fascinating move on both sides, although Atlanta would have to be optimistic on JaVale's upside. It would let them play Horford at the 4, though.
   967. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4359550)
For what it's worth, Josh Smith for JaVale McGee works straight up, at least by the numbers. It would be a fascinating move on both sides, although Atlanta would have to be optimistic on JaVale's upside. It would let them play Horford at the 4, though.

Not sure this works for DEN from a talent-fit perspective.
   968. bigboy1234 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4359569)
Yeah, I only view Gay as very very slightly worse than I did coming into the season, coming into the season I thought he was the 5th best player on the team and still do.
   969. Maxwn Posted: January 31, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4359592)
Do you think Gay's performance to date this year is representative of his true talent / how you'd've expected he perform over the rest of the season?

I think it's possible that it's fairly representative of his talent on this team. The offense just seems to have calcified with Rudy in this role where he takes a lot of iso possesions and winds up shooting a lot of long 2s. I'm not really sure that it was all his fault. The post is awfully crowded and without much perimeter shooting, I guess Rudy taking jumpers is the way they decided to space the floor or something. I think it probably could be handled better, but maybe this was the best thing they could come up with to keep Rudy, Zach, and Marc all happy and spread the shots around. Rudy probably would have shot some better over the course of the season, but I think taking Rudy out of the equation might force the Grizzlies into finding some better uses for those possessions. Prince and the other new guys aren't going to demand the same number of shots and probably will be more willing to move the ball than Rudy was.

I don't know. I always liked him and Rudy and the Grizzlies worked well at times, but even when he was playing his best there was certainly an argument that he wasn't helping much. I had always thought that they would figure out how to use him like they did in the month or two preceding his shoulder injury, when the Big three were all playing really well, but then last year Randolph went out for a while and they were in a different configuration. This year they've all been healthy and Rudy's role just settled into to something fairly useless. As much as I like Lionel, sometimes I wonder whether he couldn't have done more to make Rudy fit in.
   970. steagles Posted: January 31, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4359594)
i know that i have a history with these things, but does this work for the teams that are involved?

lou williams is out for the year, so that makes the projected records kind of meaningless, but the the hawks get a jump on this summer by acquiring dwight howard (and also they clear cap space by shedding years 2 and 3 of lou williams contract), and the lakers get a jump on this summer by getting rid of dwight howard (they also get to move pau gasol back to center, and they add athleticism and defense in the form of josh smith, plus whatever it is that jason richardson is). and the sixers get rid of jason richardson while bringing back a player they shouldn't have let leave anyway and adding mike smith who is just a little favorite of mine going back to this past draft.


   971. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: January 31, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4359618)
I am excited to see what the bulls look like with a rose, butler, deng, boozer, noah line up can do.
Hearing wilbon on espn 1000 today he had a lot of good things to say, and that butler has made a great impression across the league amongst the players and coaches
   972. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:15 PM (#4359727)
969 - why would it be so much more representative than what he did last year with the same starters along side him? This is his worst campaign since his rookie year (and that might be charitable)... He was going to recover at least some of what he lost...

On huffpo, there's a thinkpiece on Girls by KAJ...so that exists.
   973. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4359734)
So, um, the Thunder are the obvious #1 West favorite at midseason, yeah?
   974. Spivey Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4359753)
How are the Thunder the obvious #1? They've got a worse record, worse SRS, worse pythag record than the Spurs.

Since this question has been asked, I think now is as good of a time as any to point out earlier in the year several people said the only teams with a legit (5% or greater) in the west were OKC and the Lakers. I thought that was bullshit then and I think that's especially clear now.
   975. andrewberg Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4359780)
On huffpo, there's a thinkpiece on Girls by KAJ...so that exists.


Somehow, I was sent this link thrice today. I disagree with him and think the show is more self-aware than he gives credit. Still, how did that happen?
   976. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4359782)
How are the Thunder the obvious #1? They've got a worse record, worse SRS, worse pythag record than the Spurs.


37-11 vs. 35-11 isn't a significant difference in record, their SRS is practically the same, and the Thunder actually have a better point differential. Then there's the fact that the Thunder have the two best players from among those teams, including the second best player in the world. They beat the Spurs The Spurs' three best players are 30, 35, and 36; The Thunder's are 23, 24, and 24. I think they have more going for them. I know who I'd rather face, if the Bulls, Pacers, and Heat are evaporated and the Celtics sneak into the Finals.

That's not meant as an insult to the Spurs, or to say they couldn't beat the Thunder head to head. They're obviously right in the mix and I agree that anyone who gave them a >5% chance to make the Finals at the start of the year probably undersold them. I just think Oklahoma City looks like the best bet through 40 some odd games.
   977. andrewberg Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:59 PM (#4359783)
I was wrong about the Lakers, but I don't think I underestimated the Spurs that badly. If I did, I apologize.
   978. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:03 AM (#4359785)
I was definitely wrong about the Lakers. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they still made the playoffs after all this, though.
   979. rr Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:06 AM (#4359786)
"Obvious" is a pretty subjective term. OKC is the favorite, but SA and LAC both have a real shot. I still think that OKC will miss James Harden in the money games; that would be the best reason to think SA can beat OKC this time. And, if Paul is healthy, I think the Clippers can definitely be in the Finals.
   980. rr Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:08 AM (#4359787)
If I did, I apologize.


?
   981. PJ Martinez Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4359790)
Judging purely from the results on the court so far, Thunder and Spurs are #1a and #1b in some order, with LAC at #2 and then what looks like a bit of a drop-off at the moment.

OKC and SAS have even split their two games so far, with the home team winning each time. Thunder feel like the favorites since they beat SAS in the playoffs last year and seem to be building toward a title. But they haven't proven clearly superior (or perhaps superior at all) to the Spurs so far.
   982. rr Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:13 AM (#4359791)
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they still made the playoffs after all this, though.


Fatalism, my friend. It is certainly not impossible, but with Howard having re-injured the shoulder, and with their having just blown the first game of the Grammy Trip to the worst team in the West, there is no particular reason to think that they will catch Utah or Houston. My predictions are usually wrong, but I did predict that Howard would re-aggravate the shoulder and get shut down, and I think that is what will happen.
   983. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:17 AM (#4359793)
And while I didn't search for comments making playoff predictions, I will say that of the ten of us who made formal predictions at the start of the season - the Spurs predictions were remarkably uniform. 9 votes for 3rd in the conference and 1 for 2nd, and of the seven win total predictions, we got 54 twice, 55 four times, and 56 once.

FWIW, Hollinger had them #1 in the West with 60 wins; SCHOENE had them 3rd with 53.
   984. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:19 AM (#4359794)
"Obvious" is a pretty subjective term.


Good point, I should have worded what that differently. I didn't mean to imply I think they're an overwhelming favorite or anything.
   985. Maxwn Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:32 AM (#4359797)
969 - why would it be so much more representative than what he did last year with the same starters along side him? This is his worst campaign since his rookie year (and that might be charitable)... He was going to recover at least some of what he lost..

It wasn't the same starters last year. Randolph blew his knee in like game 3 and missed half the season. When he came back he came off the bench for a long time. He only started 8 games. Rudy was playing with Speights and Gasol and that is a different sort of alignment. He also spent a fair amount of time as the nominal 4, where I always thought he was pretty good. As I recall they were closing a lot of games with Conley/Mayo/Allen/Gay/Gasol.

As to recovery, I assume that you are right and he would have bounced back some. As to how much, I don't know. If you look at his shot locations on the stats cube, the decline in his FG% is almost entirely because he is shooting both less and worse in the restricted area. I don't know whether that's just a shooting slump or if it is representative of him playing differently. At least observationally, he seemed to be attacking the basket a lot less, but that could be off. That's what I was talking about with his role calcifying.
   986. andrewberg Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:33 AM (#4359798)
If I did, I apologize.


?


To the basketball gods, for underestimating Popovich.

Robin, who do you have in the big Min-LA game tomorrow?
   987. rr Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:42 AM (#4359801)
Robin, who do you have in the big Min-LA game tomorrow?


Howard is "day-to-day"--how many of your guys are out (not a wiseass question; I am actually asking)?

Also, the real RR (Ricky Rubio) spoke up in the media for Pau, who has been in a pissing contest with D'Antoni about being used as 6th man/PT.

What made last night really special for me was that UCLA lost in Pauley in OT to a sub.500 USC squad while the Lakers were getting outscored 29-13 in the 4th by Phoenix. Spring training really needs to get here.
   988. Maxwn Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4359802)
Man, one thing I have decided, after thinking rather exhaustively about Memphis's offense the last day or two, is I wish Tony Allen could shoot at all. Overall, given his defense, he's still worth the playing time, but damn the Grizzlies offense would make so much more sense if Tony had a spot-up game. Of course if he could shoot and play defense, he probably wouldn't be in Memphis making half the mid-level.
   989. andrewberg Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:54 AM (#4359803)
Howard is "day-to-day"--how many of your guys are out (not a wiseass question; I am actually asking)?

Also, the real RR (Ricky Rubio) spoke up in the media for Pau, who has been in a pissing contest with D'Antoni about being used as 6th man/PT.

What made last night really special for me was that UCLA lost in Pauley in OT to a sub.500 USC squad while the Lakers were getting outscored 29-13 in the 4th by Phoenix. Spring training really needs to get here.


They're missing Love, Budinger, Lee, and Roy, so probably the healthiest they've been all year.

I saw Rubio's comment and it made me wish they could play together. Even with Pau's contract, I'd love to root for him.

I heard Walton going nuts about UCLA losing at home to USC on Reggie Miller night (he did the UW game tonight). As usual, he cracked me up.
   990. rr Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:11 AM (#4359807)
Pau's contract isn't so bad, in the sense that it runs out after next year, so I think a team could live with that. I think the bigger question is how much another squad thought that he could help them and where he could take them if he did help. I don't see a great match between Minnesota and the Lakers at this point on a Pau deal, although I think D'Antoni would love to have Derrick Williams. OTOH, I won't be that surprised if Brian Shaw is coaching the Lakers next year.

As to the game, if Howard plays and is this year's version of himself, I think the Lakers will win a close one. If he doesn't, Minnesota takes it.
   991. bob gee Posted: February 01, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4359844)
931 and others - read the woj piece today, wow, what a hit job on hollinger in there. if i didn't know better, i'd think adrian was a 75 year old afraid he was going to lose his job and start blogging out of his parents' basement.

jealous of hollinger much?

   992. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4359871)
Randolph blew his knee in like game 3 and missed half the season. When he came back he came off the bench for a long time. He only started 8 games. Rudy was playing with Speights and Gasol and that is a different sort of alignment.
OTOH, Gay had spent a few years with Randolph - it's not like we don't have evidence of how they play together. For that matter, the '10-'11 lineup was Gasol-Randolph-Gay-Allen-Conley - Rudy was fine then.

He also spent a fair amount of time as the nominal 4, where I always thought he was pretty good.

If a cursory glance at 82games is to be believed, he was more effective at the three last season than at the four + he wasn't playing that that much as a stretch four (a sixth of his minutes).

the decline in his FG% is almost entirely because he is shooting both less and worse in the restricted area.

You've seen him play infinitely more often than I this season, so it's hard for me to respond to this. Without a doubt, Memphis' lack of perimeter shooters (and attendant nudging Gay away from the basket) was a problem. I'm not rejecting your thesis that his role calcified (for whatever reason) - nor that trading him was wise - but I do think it's easy to overrate how not great he was.
   993. Booey Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4359910)
I was definitely wrong about the Lakers. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they still made the playoffs after all this, though.


I still suspect this might happen too. I'm more concerned about the Jazz losing their playoff spot to the Lakers than I am to the Rockets or Blazers, cuz the Lakers are definitely capable of playing much better than they have so far. I don't know if that's true of Houston or Portland. Despite the epic beatdown they put on us earlier in the week, I think the Rockets are only a .500 team or a few games over, and I think the Blazers have been playing over their heads a little. I don't suspect they'll finish the season with a winning record.

I saw a little of the LAL/OKC game, and Jalen Rose said at halftime that you'd need about 48 wins to get the 8th seed in the West (that's been the average over the last 5 years, pro-rating for last seasons strike). Wilbon pointed out that the Lakers would have to go 30-8 to do that, which ain't gonna happen. He's right about that, but Rose was wrong about needing 48 wins, at least this season.

My prediction is that the Jazz hold on to the 7th seed with around 45 wins and the 8th seed Lakers/Rockets get 42 or 43.
   994. bigboy1234 Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4359935)
Yeah, the Rockets have played a lot better than the Jazz/Blazers this year, despite their similar record. I see no way they don't make the playoffs. I also think the Lakers make it. To be honest I think it's a stretch to call the Jazz/Blazers average teams.
   995. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4359945)
I agree that the Blazers are a paper tiger and will probably finish below .500 unless they take a step forward somehow.

I disagree with Booey, though, on the Rockets. I think they're better than the Jazz - or, at the very least, I think they clearly have been so far, records aside. Houston has a more efficient offense, better D, and I think they'll end up making it. Not to say the Jazz couldn't finish ahead of them, but I don't see why you'd predict that based on their performances thus far, and it's not like we all expected the Jazz to be way better than the Rockets entering the season. Is there any reason (beyond rooting for your team) that you have for seeing the Jazz as looking better than the Rockets heading to the second half?

If I had to make the call now, I'd go Rockets 7, Lakers 8, Jazz 9, and the Blazers fade. Lakers had better get it going soon, though.
   996. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4359954)
If I had to make the call now, I'd go Rockets 7, Lakers 8, Jazz 9, and the Blazers fade. Lakers had better get it going soon, though.

This. I was starting to lay out my WC standings and I realized that with CP3's injury, MEM's recent moves, the return of Bogut and the evening out of DEN's schedule, there could be a lot of second half intrigue in the 3-4-5-6 slots.
   997. Manny Coon Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4359961)
This. I was starting to lay out my WC standings and I realized that with CP3's injury, MEM's recent moves, the return of Bogut and the evening out of DEN's schedule, there could be a lot of second half intrigue in the 3-4-5-6 slots.


I really doubt the Clippers will slip below 3rd, Paul shouldn't be out much longer and even without him they are 5-3 with Bledsoe starting.
   998. Booey Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4360008)
Is there any reason (beyond rooting for your team) that you have for seeing the Jazz as looking better than the Rockets heading to the second half?


Mainly cuz - like the Nuggets - the Jazz's early season record was misleading due to an incredibly road heavy schedule. After beating Detroit on January 12th, Utah was only 20-19, but they'd played 24 road games and only 15 homies. They're now in the midst of a 15/5 home/road split where if they don't crap the bed at home again like they did last Monday, they should be able to put some distance between themselves and their competition before the schedule starts balancing out again in March. 7 games into this favorable 20 game stretch the Jazz are 5-2 and still have 9 of their next 13 at home (and two of the roadies are very winnable games against Sacto and the shorthanded Wolves).

So we'll see. I could definitely be wrong about the Rockets, but from the few games I've seen, they seem like an all offense/no defense run-and-gun type team that could beat anyone when they're on but lose to anyone when they're not. Sort of like the 2007 Warriors, who went 42-40. But yes, like the 2007 Warriors, they'd be a much bigger threat to whoever they played in the first round than the current Jazz would, even if Utah had the slightly better record.

It all comes down to February for the Jazz. This is their chance to build a cushion, and if they don't have a great record this month, then I withdraw my prediction and agree that Houston has the inside track at the 7th seed. In that case I'll just keep rooting for Portland to fade and the Lakers to continue to struggle so my boys can at least hang on to the 8th spot. There's an odd sense of pride in making the playoffs, even if it just means we'll get pummelled in the first round again by the Spurs or Thunder.
   999. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4360056)
looks like the union issues are getting even more fun
   1000. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4360062)
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