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Monday, April 01, 2013

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 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 Oxford comma and unspeakable criminal acts.

 

The District Attorney Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:27 AM | 1276 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4401314)
April 2014, huh? So, can Miami threepeat? Where is Lebron signing this summer?
   2. The District Attorney Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4401334)
Umm, whoops. Asked for that (and formatting) to be fixed.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4401343)
Oh thank goodness, the hideous visage and hair of DiLeo's Folly is gone.
   4. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4401344)
I'm not sure how'd I call that. Denver's got a favorable home/away split, but they don't play anybody else for the rest of the year who I would say is out-and-out terrible. The Grizzlies schedule is probably objectively the worst; they've got 5 on the road and an extra game compared to DEN and LAC, but I think they have a pretty important advantage in the one head-to-head against LAC. They'll both be on a back-to-back, but obviously the game is in Memphis.

Well, they got a nice gift tonight as the Spurs are sitting everyone again. Unfortunately for the Spurs, Manu is out 3-4 weeks with a real injury. Yesterday probably elminated them from getting overall HCA, but are they trying to duck the 1 seed in the west? And wouldn't it be funny if Miami and SA played in the finals, but both refused to play their stars on the road?

April 2014, huh? So, can Miami threepeat? Where is Lebron signing this summer?

And why has Derrick Rose still not returned?!?!?
   5. Booey Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4401373)
Yesterday probably elminated them from getting overall HCA, but are they trying to duck the 1 seed in the west?


If they know what's good for them - Jazz are on an epic 4 game winning streak that my phone psychic assured me was going to continue throughout the remainder of the regular season and deep into the playoffs!

Seriously though, why would the Spurs or Thunder want to do that? None of the candidates for 8th seed are fear inspiring, and the SA/OKC WCF rematch could very well be decided by homecourt.
   6. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4401391)
And why has Derrick Rose still not returned?!?!?
Hard to say. he's been medically cleared for over a year now.
   7. smileyy Posted: April 01, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4401482)
I was kind of hoping Chris Bosh's O-face would make it into the thread intro. Alas.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4401500)
TBJ on this:
What a prank! Prank of the century, probably! Just as long as everyone doesn’t realize that NBA free agents aren’t signed in April, that LeBron isn’t a free agent for another year and that he would obviously pick his next free agent destination on television, this is the perfect prank. Boy, are you gullible.

Of course, if you read the copy and the subtitle, this is pretty clearly the least committed-to prank in the history of April Fools’ Day. It’s like the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s editors were like, “Well, it’s April Fools’ Day tomorrow so we need to do something, but let’s not go overboard with it. In fact, make sure everyone knows we’re joking so we don’t have another “War of the Worlds” situation on our hands. Have you seen what people around here are capable of when they’re upset? Too scary.”
Sounds about right. They also suggest some other similarly funny "pranks".
   9. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4401512)
April 2014, huh? So, can Miami threepeat? Where is Lebron signing this summer?

Forget that...can the Marlins repeat as world champions? How about the Lions?
   10. RollingWave Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4401615)
20 point lead in the first quarter by the Rockets over Orlando. yeah it's the Magic and all but still... they're playing without Harden (foot) and Parsons (food poisoning huh) tonight
   11. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:57 PM (#4401723)
Roy Hibbert...jump shooter, I guess?
   12. Maxwn Posted: April 02, 2013 at 03:35 AM (#4401789)
LAC had a bad day today. Memphis squeaked one out on SAS and the Clips dropped one to IND that somehow wound up being a lot closer than I expected when I quit paying attention in the late 3rd. That probably just about does it for the Clips chances at the 3 seed. They are now 2 back in the loss column to DEN and MEM and DEN has the tiebreaker on them, so they have to essentially make up 3 games in the next 7(8 for DEN) to get the 3. Can't really see that happening. I think they could still catch Memphis for HCA, but they've got to have that game in MEM to do it.

Memphis and Denver are now all square with 8 to play. Memphis is really a game back though since they don't have the tiebreaker.

I'll be pretty impressed if Utah manages to hang on. Their five-game winning streak after the catastrophe that was most of March was just in time. I was pretty sure that they were toast before this run, so hats off to them. That said they still have DEN, @GSW, OKC, @MEM coming up in the last 7. They'll be doing good not to lose all 4 of those. Of course LAL still has games against MEM, @LAC, GSW, SAS, HOU, as well as DAL and @POR for that matter. The schedule is probably still advantage Utah. 3-4 down the stretch might be enough to get this done. ####, 2-5 might get it done.

I'll definitely be rooting for the Jazz on Wed against the Nuggets.
   13. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4401913)
Hard to say. he's been medically cleared for over a year now.

In case anyone is interested in reading anything more on what's going on, this is a pretty good summary. For those not interested in clicking through, here's the key section:

Co-host Terry Boers cited one of his infamous 'guys' who told him that the Bulls have stopped even trying to ask Rose to come back this season. They had been doing so in the past month, but it was interpreted as undue 'pressure' from Rose (or more accurately: his camp), so instead of even having a hint of friction (real or imagined), they've just stopped and hope Derrick decides to come back.

Boers emphasized that from the Bulls perspective, this has nothing to do with the Bulls competing this season, but only with Rose getting over this final phase of his rehab so that it's not pushed into next year. That this part of the process (playing through pain) was explained to him at the outset of the recovery, and in their final 'push' to him they had "3 different doctors" consult him on playing games as being necessary. They even offered to have other former ACL cases talk to him as well.

And again: from the Bulls side this was meant to be educational, not pressure. But since the Rose camp is taking it that way, they decided it was not worth the trouble to keep it up, so for now they've stopped. There's no incentive for the Bulls to rush him, so they're kind of miffed that it's being seen that way.


That is a bit more nuanced of a take than I've had recently; I've been firmly in the "He needs to play and the Bulls are clearly pressuring him to play" camp. If this is true, that isn't the case at all, and I have to commend the Bulls on how they're trying to handle this. I think the organization decided this was a holding pattern year based on their offseason moves, even if they won't publicly admit it. It makes sense to want him to play *this year* so he's ready completely at the start of *next year* and not for the slim chance of doing anything in the playoffs this year. The whole idea of playing in actual games as part of rehab has been clearly talked about from the start publicly, so I know them saying that now isn't just to cover face. Also, it would be good news to know that there isn't a rift growing between Rose and the team.

I totally believe now that he won't come back this year though. It's too late, and even if he all of a sudden feels ready, I wouldn't be surprised (warning, I'm about to start projecting) if he decided he didn't want his return to overshadow or distract from the rest of the team.
   14. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4401921)
rip greg willard (pancreatic cancer)
   15. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4401952)
[14] Ugh, terrible news.
   16. Booey Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4401965)
It's looking like the Jazz owning the tie-breaker over both LAL and Dallas may end up being a big deal after all. Like Maxwn pointed out in #12, Utah still has 4 very tough games left, but (1) they also have 3 very winnable games left (home vs NOH, and a home and away against MIN), and 3-4 could very well be good enough to get them in considering the tie-breaker and all, and (2) I don't think the Jazz are a sure bet to go 0-4 in the tough games either. DEN and OKC are both at home, where the Jazz are 28-9, and where they've already beaten both teams earlier this season. A split in these games isn't out of the question. And the Memphis game is the last of the season for both teams; I'm holding out hope that the Grizz will have their playoff seed set, bench their starters, and run out a lineup that all but features their towel boy and cheerleaders.

So I'm going to be optimistic and predict that the Jazz go 4-3 over their remaining 7, finishing at 43-39. That just might be good enough to get in and give me another 4-5 games of Jazz basketball before the long and agonizing offseason sets in.
   17. RollingWave Posted: April 02, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4401986)
If Laker miss the playoff it would be a lot more entertaining off season no?
   18. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 02, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4401996)
and a home and away against MIN)

I've noticed people lumping in MIN games as winnable for opposing teams the last few days. My memory may be off, but MIN has actually been quite competitive lately.
   19. RollingWave Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4402037)
they have, since Rubio's finally healthy and they have most of their guys outside of Love back. so they're not a given unless your a top half seed type team.

The Kings and Wizards are also two teams that's a lot more dangerous than their record shown lately.
   20. robinred Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4402073)
If Laker miss the playoff it would be a lot more entertaining off season no?


Not really. It will lead to more guys like you getting a few extra cheap jokes in, but unless Buss has tied D'Antoni's fate to finishing 8th or 9th/10th, (which I suppose is possible) what will determine what happens to D'Antoni is Howard, and the Lakers' off-season, and their foreseeable future, all depend more or less entirely on what Howard does. There are predictably already rumors that Howard will tell the team that he will walk unless they bring Jackson back. No idea if they have any legs.

So, unless Howard is going to make the decision based on whether they finish 8th or 9th/10th, (which, again, is possible but seems unlikely) where the Lakers end up probably won't have that much effect on the off-season. The off-season will be about Howard either way.

Short-term, I think they will lose out to Utah, either by a full game or by the tiebreaker.

On another note, Shaq's jersey goes up on the wall tonight at halftime. Howard has been saying nice things, as has Kobe, and Kobe recorded a video message that will be played on the scoreboard during the ceremony. Shaq has had time to prepare for this, but I doubt that he will try to get in any real zingers, particularly with Old Man Buss having recently passed away. But we will see.

Nash is not expected to play.
   21. Booey Posted: April 02, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4402122)
I've noticed people lumping in MIN games as winnable for opposing teams the last few days. My memory may be off, but MIN has actually been quite competitive lately.


They have actually, especially at home. And since the Jazz suck something fierce on the road, you're right that this game is far from a given. But I'm being optimistic, so I'm counting it anyway. :-)

Edit: coke to RollingWave. I posted my response before reading his
   22. The District Attorney Posted: April 02, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4402128)
There are predictably already rumors that Howard will tell the team that he will walk unless they bring Jackson back.
Really. Do they have a personal relationship, or does Howard just know Jackson is a great coach and want to work with him?
   23. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 02, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4402214)
Howard probably thinks that Jackson would (1) make him a first option, or at least a close second, and (2) be able to rein in Bryant.
   24. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 02, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4402234)
What are the best pieces of evidence I can provide to someone who thinks the NBA is engaged in a conspiracy to ensure that the Lakers get a playoff spot? Looking for articles along the lines of the 82games SAC-LAL Game 7 study.
   25. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 02, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4402235)
Just tell them to wait 8 games, and then you'll be able to say, "See?"
   26. Into the Void Posted: April 02, 2013 at 08:07 PM (#4402521)
Anyone else think the Warriors actually have a chance against the Nuggets in the first round? Lawson is banged up and Bogut didn't play against them in any of the regular season games.
   27. Booey Posted: April 02, 2013 at 09:05 PM (#4402586)
Anyone else think the Warriors actually have a chance against the Nuggets in the first round?


Nope. Sorry.
   28. RollingWave Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4402675)
Unlikely, though I suppose I can see the outside possibility of Curry dropping 3-4 40 point games on them or something.

   29. RollingWave Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:31 PM (#4402710)
Heat not playing LBJ / Wade / Mario again?
   30. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4402815)
Weirder things have happened, but this looks like the final nail in Dallas's coffin.
   31. andrewberg Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4402817)
Things getting a little dusty for the diesel between Kobe and Phil congrats on jersey retirement night.
   32. andrewberg Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4402820)
THAT'S Jeannie Buss? Zen Master, indeed.
   33. RollingWave Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4402821)
With the Laker's suspect defense, 15 point lead at the half is hardly a sure thing.
   34. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4402825)
Speaking of Dallas, Cuban's latest publicity stunt involves considering Brittney Griner for the NBA (which is of course absurd, and also presumably won't happen).
   35. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:27 AM (#4402835)
With the Laker's suspect defense, 15 point lead at the half is hardly a sure thing.


It's over. It's always been over.
   36. Morph Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4402839)
Carmelo had fifty points without turnover. Supposedly (according to a tweet whose origin I can't remember) that's only the eleventh time that happened. Also, none of his points came in the paint. Shot the lights out.
   37. OCF Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4402841)
Yeah, except it looks like the issue is the Laker offense, at least in the third quarter.
   38. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:21 AM (#4402857)
Hack-a-Dwight time.

EDIT: It's not working. Dwight's actually making his throws all of a sudden, 5 of his last 6.
   39. RollingWave Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4402859)
ok, Dallas is done now,

Has Dirk always been this prone to Technicals? he seem to be getting one every other game these days.

   40. OCF Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:27 AM (#4402862)
"Hack-a-Howard" alliterates. Oh, and Howard has a better free throw percentage this game than Nowitzki. (Because Dirk is 2 for 6.) Kobe hasn't been out of the game, and has a triple double. Lakers playing a 7-man rotation, and of those 7, Jamison has had an awful game.
   41. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:28 AM (#4402864)
8 man rotation! Robert Sacre came to pick up a minute.
   42. robinred Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:50 AM (#4402867)
Howard probably thinks that Jackson would (1) make him a first option, or at least a close second, and (2) be able to rein in Bryant.


Howard supposedly really wanted Phil as coach from the time they canned Brown and has never seemed to warm to D'Antoni.

Adding to this, the Triangle can be a very good offense for a mobile post player, in that he can post and re-post as the ball swings. Also, Howard has bittched a lot about how MDA never practices defense, etc. and Jackson has a good record as a defensive coach.

Howard does probably think that Jackson could "rein in Bryant", but Bryant's USG is actually the same as it was in the last two title years. One could argue that it should have dropped, of course, but I think that is also on MDA and Nash as well as on Bryant (if in fact one believes that).

Big nights for Anthony and Bryant--50 on 18/26 is 50 on 18/26, even with James out, and Bryant deserves a lot of credit for going 48 and putting up a triple/double in a big game at his age, regardless of his faults or any skepticism about the severity of his injuries. Not that I really blame him, given the situation and his personnel 8-12, but D'Antoni is coaching like a guy who thinks he has no future.

This does probably end things for Dallas for this year. I would put Utah about 60/40 to get the 8th spot over the Lakers.

I was amused by Shaq's own riff on "sports hate" in explaining his and Kobe's mutual dislike.

   43. jmurph Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:50 AM (#4402959)
Bryant deserves a lot of credit for going 48 and putting up a triple/double in a big game at his age, regardless of his faults or any skepticism about the severity of his injuries


RR, Hombre: You guys have probably already mentioned this, but there has to be some concern that these guys are going to be completely gassed when the playoffs roll around, right?
   44. AROM Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4402983)
RR, Hombre: You guys have probably already mentioned this, but there has to be some concern that these guys are going to be completely gassed when the playoffs roll around, right?


Absolutely. Kobe is the type of super-driven competitor who will come close to killing himself to win a ballgame. Problem is, Lakers don't really have much alternative, they are going to have play with everything they have just to get the #8 seed.

It doesn't really matter too much anyway, as I don't think any Laker fan on this board would even give them a 10% chance to beat San Antonio (or OKC) in the first round, playing on the road. A well rested Laker team (which cannot happen simultaneusly with beating Utah for #8) might take 1-2 games before losing the series. A tired Laker team gets swept.

Howard supposedly really wanted Phil as coach from the time they canned Brown and has never seemed to warm to D'Antoni.

Adding to this, the Triangle can be a very good offense for a mobile post player, in that he can post and re-post as the ball swings. Also, Howard has bittched a lot about how MDA never practices defense, etc. and Jackson has a good record as a defensive coach.


Damn I hate MDA. Howard is an immature crybaby, but if this is the case, Dwight is in the right. Lakers sure have played this season like a team that never practices defense, which is pretty much a requirement for getting a team with 4 HOF talents and finishing near .500. Didn't watch last night but box score looks like they played some D on Dallas, with Kobe even getting 4 steals and 2 blocks.
   45. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4402994)
"Hack-a-Howard" alliterates.
Smite-a-Dwight.
   46. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4403026)
Javaris Crittenton (who you may remember from the Arenas gun incident) has been indicted for gang-related murder. Sounds bad.
   47. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4403144)
Not that I really blame him, given the situation and his personnel 8-12, but D'Antoni is coaching like a guy who thinks he has no future.
I assume this was a directive from the front office The team started out 1-4, Brown got fired, and D'Antoli was probably told, "We're going to give you the ####### Lakers, with four Hall-of-Famers to tool around with. Make the Finals." "...Yeah, sure, I can do that."

And it's not just D'Antoni who thinks he might not have a future in L.A. Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak are looking at Howard and probably thinking that after this disaster of a season where he was, fairly or not, saddled with much of the blame for how things have gone, that he's out of here if they don't finish big. Bryant's contract is coming up, Gasol's contract is coming up, and they're really, really old. If Howard's gone, then the Lakers are pretty much going to be back to their post-Magic/pre-Shaq days when even the mighty Lakers couldn't sell out the Fabulous Forum.
RR, Hombre: You guys have probably already mentioned this, but there has to be some concern that these guys are going to be completely gassed when the playoffs roll around, right?
Yeah, but like ARom said, it doesn't matter. They need to burn at 150% just to make the playoffs.

Smite-a-Dwight.
This. I like this.
   48. bob gee Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4403145)
there was the same complaint about MDA (not practicing defenses) in ny, so what howard said might be true.

i've been surprised with how few players he has used on his roster this year. phoenix and new york weren't old/lots of injuries, but the lakers are. so although i don't think duhon should be in the nba, if he's on the roster on this kind of team, he should be getting *some* minutes.
   49. robinred Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4403151)
jmurph,

I pretty much agree with AROM there, so no, not really. I would rather that they get in than not, if for no other reason than they traded the pick away (a deal that I endorsed enthusiastically: I was worried about Nash's age and D, but still psyched--he's Steve Nash) The Lakers are 0-14 (yes, 0-14) in the 2nd game of b2bs, and there are of course no b2bs in postseason, so I think that could lead to their winning 2 against SA or OKC--but that's it. The main issue obviously is keeping Howard, so the playoffs matter mostly in terms of how that affects him (and D'Antoni). I have said to a couple of friends who absolutely think that MDA needs to go that they should probably root for 9th, as that might make it more likely he gets axed.

My concern is whether this will lead to Kobe's breaking down more next year. I think we have seen the effect of the heavy workloads and the offseason play catch up with Pau this season.

As far as the D12/Jackson stuff, I have no idea if it's true, but Howard does not have much of a poker face, and he usually looks like someone just farted when D'Antoni's name comes up. Howard of course does not want to add to his coach killer rep, but if Phil comes back (or even Shaw) and Howard re-signs, anti-MDA Lakers fans (about 75% of us, I think) will slobber all over D12, which Howard would probably enjoy.
   50. steagles Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4403167)
Javaris Crittenton (who you may remember from the Arenas gun incident) has been indicted for gang-related murder. Sounds bad.
i'm pretty sure this is not the first time he has been indicted on suspicion of committing murder.
   51. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4403203)
Taj Gibson reinjured his kneee last night, same one that kept him out a month already this season. Here's his quote about it afterwards:

"That's what happens when you rush back and try to help your team win."


Noah is still out. It's going to be a short first round.
   52. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4403251)
At this point they need to pack it in for next year sit noah, send deng to the operating table and turn the crapton into glue
   53. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4403289)
fwiw, the (public) word on crittenton as a collegian was that he was a really good kid, family focused, etc...
not that you expect kids to do this stuff, but i'd've never pegged him to turn out the way he has.
   54. jmurph Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4403300)
Re: Lakers: All good points. I didn't mean to imply they shouldn't be going all out, just noting the (probably obvious) point that it's got to really be wearing down the older guys. What Kobe, in particular, has done this year is remarkable for a guy with that many miles on him.

Re: the Bulls: I was at the game last night and I think Thibs might get my (fake) vote for coach of the year. With apologies to the resident Bulls fans, that is not an impressive collection of talent, and he has them really competing out there.

And last thing, speaking of the Bulls game last night: with a healthy roster, the Wizards are... the 8 seed? Is 7 too high? They're not good, don't get me wrong, but the East is that bad.
   55. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4403321)
Sure, its ESPN's Knicks Blog, but its pretty audacious to talk about the Knicks being serious contenders in the playoffs because of Carmelo's game without directly addressing the fact that the NBA's best defensive forward didn't play in the game.

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/40168/melos-magical-night-in-miami
   56. Morph Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4403330)
Felton wasn't right for about two months after his hand injury but he has played better in recent weeks, and the Knicks are really rolling. The Knicks won the season series with the Heat, and one of those games was without 'Melo, and in Miami. And if the immediate response is "that's when all their three pointers were falling," well, who cares? Yeah, if a talented team hits three pointers, they can win games on the road. Doesn't that just mean it's a very good team?

I'm pretty sure they could push the Heat to six games. It's a damn good team, especially Chandler and Melo. I'm not an expert on basketball by any means, but those two would have to qualify as two of the top twenty players in the league, no?

Oh, and one hyphenated word: K-Mart.
   57. andrewberg Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4403347)
And last thing, speaking of the Bulls game last night: with a healthy roster, the Wizards are... the 8 seed? Is 7 too high? They're not good, don't get me wrong, but the East is that bad.


That kind of begs the question of whether Wall could play like this for the full season (19-8-4, 45% fg, 39% 3, 84% on 6 FTA/G). If so, I think they're right with Milwaukee in the playoff picture, but it seems possible that he is benefiting from being more fresh than everyone else in the season's doldrums.
   58. andrewberg Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4403356)
I'm pretty sure they could push the Heat to six games. It's a damn good team, especially Chandler and Melo. I'm not an expert on basketball by any means, but those two would have to qualify as two of the top twenty players in the league, no?


I think it's easier to make the case for Chandler (great defensive value, some offensive value for efficiency) than for Melo (great offensive value, is on a team that plays defense). To wit: in what may go down as Melo's best year, he currently has 6.0 OWS and 1.8 DWS. Chandler has 6.5 OWS and 2.6 DWS. You could easily convince me that the offensive numbers are skewed, but any bump Melo gets defensively is at least partially attributable to having Chandler cleaning up his messes.
   59. AROM Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4403362)
but those two would have to qualify as two of the top twenty players in the league, no?


Close enough. By win shares Chandler is currently #14 and Carmelo is #22.

For what it's worth it's an interesting list. At #11-12 are two Pacers who I can't keep straight in my head, Paul George Hill. Stephen Curry at #9 is a bit of a surprise, but he is perhaps the best shooter in the game now. The top 8 (starting with Lebron and ending with Kobe) are the no-doubt about it superstars of 2013.

Some big names out of the top spots are D Wade #13, Duncan #23, Howard #32. Those are explained by 1) injuries and desire for rest keeps him from ranking too high in a counting stat 2) limited minutes to preserve an old guy's game and 3) an injury filled off-season.

Right now I'm reading West by West, and Jerry at one point says he thinks he should have won the 1970 MVP, which Willis Reed won. Jerry says he didn't think Willis was even the best Knick, that was Clyde. I don't know if Jerry is into these stats but looking up win shares for 1970 the top 3 are:

1. West
2. Frazier
3. Reed

Just thought that was interesting.
   60. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4403376)
The Knicks of recent vintage have beaten mostly a bunch of nobodies. They did win in Utah (in the middle of Utah's worst stretch of the season), and they beat the Grizzlies at home (with Gasol at 50%). Otherwise, it's lottery teams, the Celtics without Garnett (a.k.a. another lottery team), and the Heat without Lebron, Wade, and Chalmers. Nine in a row is still nine in a row, sure, but that's not exactly indicative of what they're likely to face in the playoffs (unless the Knicks get the 2 seed, theCeltics manage to hold the 7 seed, and Garnett doesn't come back for the playoffs).

They're a good team by Eastern Conference 2013 regular season standards (They'd be a 6 or 7 seed out West), but let's not pretend because they had some good fortune against Miami in the regular season that they've "figured something out". They still play mediocre team defense (though they do reasonably well defending the pick and roll with all the switching they do given they have the right personnel on the floor), and they still rely WAY too much on J.R. Smith. Even if they made the conference finals, they aren't to be taken seriously unless Lebron or Wade get hurt.

The Knicks are shooting 48% of 3 pointers in their three wins over Miami this season. I'll certainly grant that if the Knicks make 20 3s per game at a nearly 50% clip, they'll give anyone a series. Good luck with that, though.

Am I just naysaying here? I just don't see how J.R. Smith as 3rd best player + mediocre defense makes anyone even a notional contender.
   61. jmurph Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4403409)
That kind of begs the question of whether Wall could play like this for the full season (19-8-4, 45% fg, 39% 3, 84% on 6 FTA/G). If so, I think they're right with Milwaukee in the playoff picture, but it seems possible that he is benefiting from being more fresh than everyone else in the season's doldrums.


Good point about Wall. It's also worth mentioning that their entire squad seems to be fairly injury prone, so "injury-free" might always be a fantasy for them.
   62. Conor Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4403505)
To defend the Knicks a little, Chandler was out for every win but the last one. And Amare, though I'm not sure he really counts.

But I agree with the main point. The Knicks are only serious contenders to win the East if something happens to Lebron or Wade.
   63. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4403565)
I do think they can win two out of six from the Heat in a playoff, though.
   64. Honkie Kong Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4403844)
With today's loss, Hawks are probably out of the home court advantage race.

I am rooting for them to get the 6th/7th seed. If possible, avoid the Heat till the Conference finals.
They match up well against the Pacers, but not so good against the Knicks.
   65. Maxwn Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:50 AM (#4403949)
This is now the winningest season in Grizzlies history.

Nothing changed in the 3-4-5 race as all three teams won by 17+ tonight. Denver's got Dallas tomorrow night in Denver. MEM plays the Lakers in LA on Friday. and the Clips don't play until the Lakers on Sunday.

Also, on the John Wall thing, the Mike Conley experience has led me to believe that it is a big mistake to jump to conclusions on young point guards too early. Kid is still just 22. He was decent last year and when he came back this year the Wiz looked like they were going to win 10 games all year and now have 28. I don't know if they'll be any good next year, but I'm now pretty bullish that Wall could be one of the best couple players on a good team at some point in the future. In particular, the idea that this could be real improvement seems very possible to me given the ####### circus that was the Wizards during his first year and a half.

Also drawing on things I have seen with the Grizzlies, if the Wizards do climb into low lottery, fringy playoff team status there will probably be people who bemoan them getting into the no-man's land of being just good enough to get mediocre draft picks but I think they should just go with it. I've come to believe that nba fans/writers vastly oversell the wisdom of staying in the high lottery unless you can get actual good instead of just sort of good and vastly undersell the wisdom of being as good as you can and hope something bounces your way. In both cases you need to have some luck and in both cases the odds that you will get great if you aren't great already are not awesome. But I think trying to be good has beneficial effects on the young players you do have. I also think the odds of running into a trade like the Z-Bo deal or the Harden deal or nailing a mid-range draft pick that pushes you up into contender or contenderish status are probably not much worse than the odds of not only getting the right high lottery pick in a year where there is a legitimate game-changing talent available, but also successfully making the right pick when the you have the chance and then successfully assembling a team from scratch around the game-changer you just drafted.

To be an honest-to-god contender in the NBA you have to make good decisions and you also have to be lucky. Basically I'm unconvinced that trying to avoid that so-called no-man's land from around 6-10 in conference is a good strategy because it forces you to make not-good decisions for a while without increasing your luck enough to compensate. To stay out of that area means that you often are not signing or trading for guys who have actual value because while they can make you better, they can't put you over the top. And you are probably also unloading valuable guys you already have for the same reason. I don't think that is a great idea. The time to do the blow it up and suck for lottery picks strategy is not when you are goodish but not great, particularly if you have young players with some promise. It is when you are both old and terrible. That is the time to get rid of any veteran with value and go for the most ping-pong balls.

I will grant that the best possible team building strategy is probably to be good but randomly suck for one season because of injuries, etc and then draft Tim Duncan. Or I guess to get 3 top-30 guys to come sign below-market deals and play for you.
   66. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:31 AM (#4403959)
The Wall thing is fascinating. I haven't watched any of his games, but from the box scores it reminds me of the time when Derrick Rose in the middle of his 2nd or 3rd season realized he could use his athleticism to draw fouls and that opened everything else up.
   67. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4404007)
I'm not watching the Wiz, but how much of it is Wall having a credible jumper (which he workied on while he was hurt). He was an unimaginably bad "shooter" last year.
   68. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4404028)
we talked about assists and home scoring at one point, here's an (few month old) hoopdata article suggesting that the effect is real but not super big. i'm not thrilled with the methodology - teams could play differently at home and "earn" more assists accordingly, but it's something.
   69. RollingWave Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4404201)
who knows what we get from Wall, his shooting really REALLY peaked up last month but I'd like to see more than one month of it.

I think I generally worry about the charge in and draw foul type of style though, be it Harden or Rose or anyone else, the problem is that it's great on a individual game basis but it's not a great idea for a sustainable career a guard running into a bunch of big man 20 times a game is going to be risk obviously. you see it with Rose, Harden hasn't been totally healthy this year, and obviously Wall also had injury issue, I think it's a great thing to have in your back pocket, but it really shouldn't be your star players' plan A in the regular season most of the time.

Of course, Harden's game is a lot more complete than the other guys so you can see that he'll be fine even if he doesn't get to the line 5+ times a game. but for some others...
   70. robinred Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4404225)
I have always been a big pro-Wall guy, so to me this is "about time." But a key, as #69 says, is the shooting. Wall's always had the jock part wired.

65 is a good post; the kind of stuff you get from those high-falutin' Ph.D type-guys. I agree with a lot of it. I think as we move deeper into the new CBA-era, we will see more of Daryl Moreyish attempts at team-building: use scouting/analytics to collect a lot of cheap young guys who are decent/pretty good, and then try to leverage them into a Top 25 guy. Morey tried that with his thwarted Pau/Nene plan, chased Bosh as well, and then was able to switch to the Beard/Lin/Asik plan and will chase Howard this summer.

But the tough thing about team-building in the NBA is that so much of it will always come down to who gets James or Duncan or Shaq with the first pick and then who can sign them in FA.
   71. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4404230)
I think I generally worry about the charge in and draw foul type of style though, be it Harden or Rose or anyone else, the problem is that it's great on a individual game basis but it's not a great idea for a sustainable career a guard running into a bunch of big man 20 times a game is going to be risk obviously. you see it with Rose, Harden hasn't been totally healthy this year, and obviously Wall also had injury issue, I think it's a great thing to have in your back pocket, but it really shouldn't be your star players' plan A in the regular season most of the time.

I would never describe Harden, Rose or (old) Wall as the charge in and draw foul type of player.
   72. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4404319)
Harden totally is (though he's also more than that).
   73. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4404449)
Anyone else see the tweet today that said Howard has missed more FTs this season than Nash has in his 17 year career?

---

This is awesome. My current favorite .gif.

---

I would never describe Harden, Rose or (old) Wall as the charge in and draw foul type of player.

Neither would I. Sounds more like Wade to me. Rose's game really picked up when he started drawing more fouls though. Then his knee exploded and he developed scaredtoplayitis.
   74. jmurph Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4404469)
Anyone else see the tweet today that said Howard has missed more FTs this season than Nash has in his 17 year career?


Wow, that's hilarious. 332 to 322, if my quick look was accurate.

In the interest of balance, Howard guards more men on each possession (1) than Nash has in his entire career (0).
   75. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4404475)
re: gif in #73: He's-a spicy one!

Meanwhile, the basketball people I follow on Twitter are not talking about what is currently going on, but rather about Brittany Griner playing for the Mavs. The Royce White-esque "retweet someone who's being an idiot" maneuver is common. My reaction is:

A) dumb people say dumb things,
B) why should this be a basketball fan's main concern right now,
C) I almost hope it doesn't happen because the discussion isn't going to get any less stupid,
D) I also hope it doesn't happen if Cuban secretly agrees with me that she has zero chance to make the team and is just doing it as a stunt, but
E) if Cuban seriously feels she could make the team, and she is willing to put up with said idiots, then sure, go for it.
   76. smileyy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4404592)
A wing has to draw fouls at a certain rate to be effective, right? Otherwise you're jump shooting, or taking bad shots in the lane.
   77. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4404597)
yeah, in 2013 it's threes and frees...
   78. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4404630)
Der K, while Harden gets to the line a ton, I don’t think it’s because he “charges in and draws fouls.” A lot of the contact he generates is from showing the ball and having guys swipe at the ball or change of pace. Someone who charges in and draws fouls (at least when he is being aggressive) is Jeremy Lin. LeBron and young Wade are better examples of this player type as well IMO.
   79. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4404696)
I'd say it's both, but get your point.
   80. bob gee Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4404772)
75 - a woman might be able to play in the nba eventually, but she's only good in the context of being taller than everyone else in the league. i would suspect someone like taurasi was (i don't follow wnba) would have a much better shot at someday being in the nba than a 6'8 thin woman without great skills. problem i have with watching much of woman's basketball is the skill set isn't significantly better than people i've played with - and i'm only played in nyc a couple times, and not when the higher end guys were there.

i wish basketball would change the rules so that a player who initiates the majority of the contact gets the foul. but i know that's unlikely to ever happen.

   81. Booey Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4404865)
I would think that if a woman ever could play in the NBA, it would have to be a small, extremely fast point guard/ball handler type player who was quick enough to create their own jumpers (like say, Iverson or Nash) rather than a forward like Griner. I just don't see it ever working at a position that requires a lot of physical strength to be successful.
   82. Spivey Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:35 PM (#4404877)
I think it would have to be a poor woman's Steph Curry. I agree I don't see how a woman could bang down low, challenge shots from the likes of NBA wings driving at you, or rebound in the NBA game.

So they'd have to be one of the best shooters in the NBA. They'd always be weak defensively, but if they were extremely quick for a girl and was also tall for a girl, I could see them passing as a backup SG type.
   83. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4404885)
if the rumors are true, congrats to gary payton for making the hof
   84. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4404917)
Put it this way on athleticism: Brittney Griner is 6'8" and despite playing against much shorter players, only dunked like 15 times in 4 years with a smaller ball. She'd be hopelessly outmatched in NCAA D1, let alone the NBA.
   85. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4404944)
Gallo went down with a knee injury, taken off in a wheelchair and "screaming in pain" according to several sources in my Twitter feed. MRI tomorrow.
   86. RollingWave Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:31 PM (#4404946)
Yeah, if a women ever make it she needs to

A. be a Steph Curry / Ray Allen level 3 point shooter

B. be fast enough to get that shot off.

I think there are probably enough ladies with size that can guard a small PG, but forward..? unless Griner is going to try and play like Steve Novak I guess
   87. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4404951)
Her main advantage was that she was a lot taller then most of the other players, at her height she would be undersized and get killed
   88. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4404959)
I don't think a woman will ever come close to playing in the NBA. With the uber-elite athletes, the gap between men and women is huge. A quick google search tells me that there have been 2120 instances where a man has run a time of 10.09 or better. The best a woman has ever run is 10.49 seconds. I doubt that would rank in the top 5000 times ever run by a man.

   89. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4404971)
Likely torn ACL for Gallo, per Woj's Twitter.
   90. robinred Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4404975)
puck, Swisher, Coffee Man, any other DEN fans--that is a drag about Gallinari.
   91. puck Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4404984)
puck, Swisher, Coffee Man, any other DEN fans--that is a drag about Gallinari.

Yeah, ah crap. Just saw this news.
   92. steagles Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:00 AM (#4404993)
I would think that if a woman ever could play in the NBA, it would have to be a small, extremely fast point guard/ball handler type player who was quick enough to create their own jumpers (like say, Iverson or Nash) rather than a forward like Griner. I just don't see it ever working at a position that requires a lot of physical strength to be successful.
we're not talking about jackie robinson here. the first female NBA player is not going to open the floodgates through which hundreds of other female basketball players follow.


and while i would tend to agree with 87 w/r/t griner, i don't think it's reasonable to say that no woman will ever play in the NBA (88), because all we're talking about is one person, and if there are 3 billion women on this planet, i can't help but think that one of them, just one, somewhere, at some point in time, will be among the 450 best basketball players in the world.
   93. Maxwn Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:02 AM (#4404994)
My condolences to the Denver fans as well. Circumstances have sort of conspired to put the Grizz and the Nuggets interests at odds, but honestly I like the Nuggets more than any of the other top 5 Western teams. Both teams are sort of about the same project of winning without an obvious superstar. My preferred scenario has been that the Grizz get the 3 seed and then Denver beats the bejesus out of the Clippers in the first round. Hate to see anyone lose an important guy at this point in the season. Can't really say I'll be rooting for DEN for the rest of the regular season, but I'd rather see them go deep in the playoffs than the Clips for damn sure.

Speaking of injuries, what's the story on Ty Lawson? Is he supposed to be back sometime soon or is there a risk he's out for good too?
   94. robinred Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:36 AM (#4404996)
Guy at a Lakers blog posted the stat below today. It is not very surprising but is worth seeing:

Since the All-Star break the Lakers give up an average of 100.4 points per 100 possessions when Howard is their anchor, but an atrocious 115.8 when he's off the court.
   95. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:14 AM (#4405020)
Lawson went down injury the day I decided I was going to fly to DEN for one of their 1st round games. Gallo tears his ACL on my birthday. I haz sadz.
   96. AROM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:00 AM (#4405026)
"I think there are probably enough ladies with size that can guard a small PG, but forward..? unless Griner is going to try and play like Steve Novak I guess"

I think that would have to be it. The idea of a woman playing PG in the NBA is probably as unrealistic as a tall woman playing inside against Dwight Howard. The gap in speed and quickness is huge. Take someone with Griner's size, top of the line athleticism, and the skill to shoot 45% from NBA 3 range and you might have someone who could be an NBA role player.
   97. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4405028)
We won't see a woman in the NBA in my lifetime, but I wouldn't rule it out completely that my kids might see it. Women have only had equal legal access to coaching and equipment and court time for a generation or two. Of course, they were starting almost from scratch. My sister** played at Penn State in the early 70s (well was on the team, I'm not sure how many minutes she logged) and to make ends meet, she had to serve meals to the football team. Like waitress-style.

With increased access, more role models, etc., maybe more girls get exposed and participate widening the pool. Low level coaching would continually improve, etc. I agree with some of the previous posters that it would almost have to be a very fast, great shooting woman with length.

** In HS, it was a 6 player game, only 4 could be on one side of the court at a time. I think the reasoning was that too much running would hurt their female parts or something. Typically, teams played 2 permanent defenders, 2 permanent offensive and 2 rovers. Her HS team kicked butt, routinely scoring over 100 points. Their coach was an innovator, on a change of possession, the first two to the midcourt line would become offensive players, rather than only the rovers.
The rules changed either her senior year or the next.
   98. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4405156)
Talk right now is that Lawson won't be back on the floor til the last game or two of the season, maybe even later.......yeah, this sucks. There'sno way he will be at full strength or even close come playoffs, and without Lawson and Gallo playing well, Denver has zero chance against OKC in a series without home court. The Westbrook matchup has always been a tough one for Lawson anyway.
   99. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4405211)
The Nets suck, and are in for a long period of suck after last year. Losing at home last night, after leading big, to the Bulls who were without 5 of their top 7 players, is brutal. Considering I don't buy the Knicks at all still, is it at all possible that 6 East teams all lose in the first round, and the Pacers and Heat just have a bye to the ECF?
   100. GregD Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4405245)
Pitino in the HOF with Guy Lewis and Tark and Gary Payton (already leaked), according to the interwebs
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