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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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   101. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4405282)
flip
   102. Booey Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4405306)
Congrats to The Glove. I always liked him.

Not sure who Guy Lewis is and I don't follow college ball enough to really have an opinion on Pitino. I just remember him as a mediocre NBA coach.
   103. OCF Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4405329)
Guy Lewis was the coach at the University of Houston. Clyde Drexler. Phi Slamma Jamma. Akeem the Dream (back when his name was misspelled that way).
   104. GregD Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4405348)
I get why they do it, but it is strange to me to elect still-active coaches to the Hall.
   105. rr Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4405392)
Pitino is a great college coach; he may get another title this year.

Lewis' coaching in the '83 NCAA title game against NC State was very questionable.
   106. GregD Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4405410)
I agree on Lewis. If you coach a long time and have a memorable team and a good reputation, you will get in eventually. I don't think anyone ever thought Lewis was a master tactician though he did make Final Four 3 years in a row.
   107. jmurph Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4405514)
Without looking at the numbers, if you had to choose one of Kidd, Payton, or Stockton in their primes (roughly peers minus the undead Kidd, who will never retire), who are you picking? Let's say not career, but one season, or one playoff run.

EDIT: Yes, I know roster composition would matter, but let's say all things being equal. Who is your guy?
   108. smileyy Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4405517)
Akeem the African Dream? Was he kind of like an early Kevin Love?
   109. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4405518)
Without looking at numbers, I'd say Payton.
   110. The District Attorney Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4405545)
It's a good question, because Stockton -- a super-efficient scorer, and all-time great passer -- has gotta help your offense more. But then you've got defense, and Payton surely has more of an advantage on Stockton defensively than Stockton does on Payton (who could definitely score) offensively. So then it depends what the appropriate offense/defense split is. It can't be 50/50, because certain players (i.e., shotblockers) have more defensive responsibility than others. Has cagermetrics come up with anything on this?

I wonder if Payton will make an interesting speech. I suspect he'd play it safe, but he didn't always during his career ;-)

(I at least wonder if he'll comment on the Seattle/Kings situation. But again, probably not.)
   111. andrewberg Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4405566)
I think I would go with Payton if we are setting aside roster construction. He has a huge defensive advantage over Stockton, and he could more easily adapt to different offensive needs than Kidd, who would basically need to have a better scorer on the court with him.

Edit: Looking at the numbers, Stockton has way more DWS than Payton year to year. I don't buy that.
   112. rr Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4405601)
Stockton has way more DWS


The year that Malone, at 40, played here with the Lakers, I was very impressed by his low-post/interior D. I have talked a few times about how one of the keys to the Lakers turning around the WCSF series with the Spurs in 04 was Malone's D'ing up on Duncan.

So, maybe Stockton and Malone helped each other in more ways than the ones usually talked about. OTOH, Stockton may also have simply have been better on D than I thought.
   113. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4405621)
Gallo does have a torn ACL. Brutal news. Kills this season and next; though Nuggets fans can hope he comes back next February or March.
   114. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 05, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4405670)
Stockton got really strong defensive ratings in the old Barry/Cohn annuals
   115. Booey Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4405754)
Stockton got really strong defensive ratings in the old Barry/Cohn annuals


As someone who watched Stockton literally hundreds of times, young Stock really did seem like a very solid defender to me (I was a kid though, so take that for what it is). Not GP in his prime, obviously, but light years ahead of the Nash types. His D dropped off badly by the tail end of his career though, and since he had a long decline phase, unfortunately that seems to be what people remember most. But late 80's - mid 90's Stockton was never considered a defensive liability as far as I can remember.

I wonder if Payton will make an interesting speech. I suspect he'd play it safe, but he didn't always during his career ;-)


I will be very disappointed if Payton's speech doesn't include some trash talking. Just for old time's sake.
   116. GregD Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:43 PM (#4405825)
Spencer Haywood and Bernard King into the HOF, too, according to the interwebs
   117. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4405981)
Pau Gasol looks positively young tonight. The Brothers Gasol definitely get jacked up for each other.
   118. Booey Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4405994)
Come on, Grizz. Help us out a little tonight...
   119. Maxwn Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:45 PM (#4406004)
It looked like the Grizz figured out that their best plan is to have conley and bayless attack steve blake and run, run, run.

This is the first time that I have personally seen the Lakers this year where Dwight looks lively enough to be a real threat in the half court defense. He basically no-showed the first 2 grizz games, although I think he might have left with an injury in one of them. They need to get them out in transition and make em run, even though the Grizz usually play pretty slow. If Kobe's gonna try to play 40+, make him earn it damn it.

Also, no more Jerryd Bayless on Kobe. Allen, Prince, Conley, anybody'd be better than Bayless. Maybe not Randolph.
   120. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:47 PM (#4406006)
With the guys that the Heat have been sitting lately, Mike Miller has been getting a lot more minutes. He has averaged 15.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, and 4.3 rpg in his last three games while playing about 30 minutes a game. He has shot 60% from three point range.

I wonder if the Heat will use him more during the playoffs. He has largely been glued to the bench as he only played 23 minutes in the entire month of February. The Heat have obviously had a lot of success with their current 9 man rotation so there's the argument that you don't fix what isn't broken. But Miller is certainly capable of providing a spark if needed.
   121. Maxwn Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:13 AM (#4406013)
The Lakers entire offense is Kobe Bryant doing stuff. This is some seriously virtuoso #### right now from Kobe.
   122. Maxwn Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4406015)
And I'm not talking about just jacking up tough jumpers either. I don't think a Laker scored a point in the 3rd that wasn't a result of Kobe breaking down the defense and getting him an easy bucket.

On the other side, Mike Conley is killing blake. I hope Mike keeps it going and Kobe runs out of gas soon, but I don't know.
   123. Spivey Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4406019)
I take Stockton over Payton. I think Stockton's defense has become seriously underrated. Also, I know the question was more peak than career, but when it's close and one guys peak was about a decade longer, I'll take him every time.
   124. rr Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4406026)
Lakers were fortunate to win. Memphis is a very good defensive team.
   125. Maxwn Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:07 AM (#4406027)
Hats off to Kobe on this win. The Lakers would have had no shot without him doing what he did.

I'm not one to ##### about officiating but it irritates me to no end that NBA refs won't call #### like Dwight's foul on Conley on the last play when it's the last play. I didn't even think that one was even particularly close to being a no-call situation if it wasn't 4 secs left.

Oh, well, #### happens. The Grizzlies probably need to win out to have a shot at the 3 now and they better not blow the game to the Clippers if they want home court.
   126. Maxwn Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:15 AM (#4406028)
Alternatively, if the Lakers would do us a favor and beat the Clippers on Sunday, that would be swell.
   127. Manny Coon Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:31 AM (#4406030)
Stockton had a few seasons with a TS% around 65% to go along with assist rates over 50%, that is just crazy good. 87/88 is particularly impressive .645 TS, assist% of 54.8 and league leading steal% of 4.0. Good as Payton was at his peak, I just don't think he can compete with that, even if you're very generous about him being a better defender.
   128. Booey Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:35 AM (#4406031)
Alternatively, if the Lakers would do us a favor and beat the Clippers on Sunday, that would be swell.


Nah. I'd prefer it if they lost that one.
   129. puck Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4406132)
The usage stat is interesting. I don't know much of what to make of it. I notice the Nuggets are one of the few teams without a regular rotation guy at 25%. The Nuggets, Pacers, and Grizzlies (Gay was at 25.7, I wonder if anyone is at 25% since he's left) are the only teams with winning records. A lot of the other teams that are close (teams with their > 25% guy being hurt, like Love in Minnesota) are having horrible seasons.
   130. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 07, 2013 at 02:08 AM (#4406524)
Rick Adelman won his 1,000th game tonight. If he weren't constantly running up against Phil Jackson's and Greg Popovich's championship teams, he'd be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
   131. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 07, 2013 at 06:54 AM (#4406532)
congrats to milwaukee for making the playoffs

playing miami is a ridiculously tall order. but hey if you want to be the champ you need to beat the champ.
   132. GregD Posted: April 07, 2013 at 07:21 AM (#4406535)
Spencer Haywood report to the HOF was false. Haywood understandably floored. link

Ed to add: Claims someone from the NBA told him on Friday he had made it.
   133. thok Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4406552)
I agree on Lewis. If you coach a long time and have a memorable team and a good reputation, you will get in eventually. I don't think anyone ever thought Lewis was a master tactician though he did make Final Four 3 years in a row.


It seems like Lewis is getting in more on innovator cred than coaching. He was one of the first people to recruit black athletes in the south, he organized the Game of the Century, which was both the first nationally televised college basketball game and the first college basketball game played in a monster arena and he was one of the first coaches to recruit outside the US. He helped popularize the fast break/fast paced style at the college level. These are not minor things, even if they don't directly relate to winning games.

That said, if I have a problem with him being in the Hall of Fame, it's that Guy Lewis seems to have been a much better recruiter than tactician.
   134. thok Posted: April 07, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4406591)
Fake Edit since the site doesn't want to let me real edit: The Game of the Century was the first nationally televised regular season game, not the first nationally televised college basketball game.
   135. Morph Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4406671)
Watchoo gonna do when Melo Mania runs wild on you, brother?
   136. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 07, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4407031)
There are certainly situations where the Lakers give the Spurs, Nuggets, and Grizzlies tough series but they have no shot against the Thunder or Clippers.

Kobe Bryant, minutes played last four games: 48, 47, 43, and 47. The man is 35 years old.
   137. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 07, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4407088)
Guy Lewis seems to have been a much better recruiter than tactician.

guy lewis was lou Henson's big brother if you will

Henson wasn't a disaster as a tactician. that would be an insult to disasters

but he could recruit
   138. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 07, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4407101)
RIP Marty Blake
   139. AROM Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4407162)
"Kobe Bryant, minutes played last four games: 48, 47, 43, and 47. The man is 35 years old."

34, until next August. But no worry, he'll have plenty of rest over the summer. Utah up by 8 as I type.
   140. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4407166)
Poetic license isn't worth four months? It sounded better as 35.
   141. RollingWave Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:44 PM (#4407170)
They need to send Arod to whoever that German doctor was for Kobe.
   142. Booey Posted: April 07, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4407187)
Jazz picked the perfect time to win 2 consecutive road games for the first time all season (seriously). Also only their 3rd road win against teams with winning records (LAL and BKN are the others).

Oh, and Steph Curry is terrible. The Warriors should trade him to the Jazz for Jefferson ASAP. :-)
   143. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 07, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4407190)
Big day for Utah's chances; it may have been the pivotal game of the stretch run for them. The Lakers weren't ever going to beat the Clippers, but the Jazz going on the road to GSW was a tough game and a critical win.
   144. RollingWave Posted: April 08, 2013 at 04:48 AM (#4407244)
Utah's remaining games: vs OKC, vs Min, @ Min, @ Mem

LAL's remaining games: vs NOH, @ POR, vs GSW, vs SAS, vs HOU

hard to call, given that Utah has the tiebreaker if they win 2 games that means Lakers need to win 4 right? I don't think that's too likely, though obviously the Wolves are not a given, (but Utah matches up better against Mem than most teams.) but even assuming Lakers win both NOH and POR games (not a given really) , GSW / SAS / HOU is pretty brutal, even if it's all at home.

Should go down to the wire, so it's interesting, the good news for the Lakers I guess is that those last 3 games the opposing team may have reasons to rest starters.

   145. Booey Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4407373)
Should go down to the wire, so it's interesting, the good news for the Lakers I guess is that those last 3 games the opposing team may have reasons to rest starters.


Yeah. It's always hard to predict what's going to happen with playoff teams in the last few games cuz you never know who's actually going to play. Luckily for the Jazz, the same thing could happen with Memphis in their last game. I'm hoping the Grizz's seed is set and they rest everybody who's even remotely decent.
   146. AROM Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4407420)
Has their been controvery in the past about playoff-locked teams resting their stars in late season matchups where the #8 seed is at stake? Lakers battling for the spot is a bit more high profile than the typical situation, both because of fanboys and schadenfreude, not to mention the concept of "I'd rather be in the lottery than get hammered out of the first round" does not apply since the Lakers have already traded their pick.

For Utah my guess is:
OKC: loss
MIN: 2 wins
MEM: (resting starters) win

For a total of 44.

Lakers would need to win out. They should beat New Orleans, Portland, GSW at home. Will San Antonio bring their starters for a chance to knock the Lakers out before the playoffs even begin? I'm going to guess they will, as they've already rested them plenty and will look at this game as a chance to get themselves back up to speed, with a desperate Laker team serving as a good proxy for playoff intensity. If this happens while Utah beats Memphis reserves, expect a good deal of complaining from Laker fans.

I won't be among them though. This team had their chances, and all the blame should be internal.
   147. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4407434)
I see UTH losing to OKC, splitting with MIN, and MEM is going to depend entirely on rest/play. So I will say 1-2 with the 4th game a toss up, which gives them a total of 42-39 heading into Game 82. LAL should beat POR and NOH. I think GSW is a toss-up and then the SAS and HOU games depend on whether those teams are resting or not. If they are not resting I would expect the Lakers to lose both. Seems to me UTH has sizable advantage unless LAL see a lot of resting playoff teams. If that allows them to slide in their will definitely be quite the uproar.
   148. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4407443)
Bulls lost to the Pistons last night, ending a streak of 18 straight wins over them. Noah and Bellinelli both came back from their injuries to a minutes limit, while Deng got a much deserved night off. The Bulls' seeding is in no means secure, so I'm shocked Thibs let Deng sit. Noah looked good, but the Bulls' offense was just bad yet again. And still no Rose.

The Bulls need to stay in the 5th spot if they want any chance of winning in the first round, as the Nets are quite vulnerable. Not sure what that means or does for them beyond that though, unless it just means more games for Rose to mentally recover.
   149. rr Posted: April 08, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4407460)
The Lakers were at 50/50 before Utah won at GS; now, they are about 35/65. I am about 95% sure that they will lose in Portland. Their chances will depend a lot on how hard HOU, GS and SA go in the final games, and on how seriously Minnesota takes the two games against Utah.

I have defended MDA some this season (not here, but to other LAL fans) but having Kobe go 47 again yesterday was inexcusable, and if they run out of gas late and lose the NO game tomorrow, a lot of that will be on D'Antoni, IMO. Darius Morris probably shouldn't be in the NBA, but having him go 15-18 yesterday and telling him to bust his hump on D wouldn't have made the Lakers much worse off, and might have helped a little with the Tuesday game. We'll see.
   150. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 08, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4407482)
Corollary to my Knicks naysaying: if Carmelo is going to keep up his reasonable impression of Bernard King for the next six weeks, and it turns out this is his King in '84 season in which he carries a not so talented team as far as he can against the eventual champs (see the 1984 ECSF vs. the Celtics), then I can absolutely imagine a scenario where the Knicks push (push, not beat) the Heat hard in a series.
   151. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 08, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4407493)
RIP Marty Blake

I met him once at an NCAA tournament game in 1989. He was an #######.
   152. AROM Posted: April 08, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4407550)
I put together a quick simulation of the Laker-Jazz race, using current W% and home court to estimate each team's chances for each game. For home court I'm adding or subtracting 50 points, so Lakers are .569 at home and .469 on the road. No adjustment for the unknown of which opponents are going to rest stars.

Results show Lakers with about a 44% chance of winning, better than I would have guessed.
   153. Conor Posted: April 08, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4407561)
The Knicks are 4-0 @ OKC, San Antonio, and Miami this year. (Granted one of the wins @Miami saw Lebron/Wade/Chalmers not play). Those teams have combined to go 100-11 in the other home games.

And, as a knicks fan, I still don't think they would have much of a chance against Miami.
   154. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 08, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4407577)
[153] Everyone in my office is telling me how the Knicks are ready to face the Heat and give them a hell of a time in the ECF. Meanwhile, I'm not sure they get past BOS in Round 1.
   155. AROM Posted: April 08, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4407582)
Me too. Pierce and Garnett have rested plenty. They are going to be quite a different force than we've seen over the regular season. NY will have home court, but then again so did Atlanta last year.
   156. Conor Posted: April 08, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4407604)
I would predict the Knicks to get past Boston. Man I would really hate to lose to them in the playoffs again.
   157. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4407606)
The rested and as healthy as possible Celtics definitely feel like the worst possible draw for the Knicks of teams sitting 4-8.
   158. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 08, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4407609)
[157] No. The Bulls would be a lock to beat them.
   159. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 08, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4407628)
The Celtics are, as in the past few seasons, the Wild Card in the EC playoffs this year (unless Rose comes back, then it's the Bulls). Obviously, they can't beat Miami under any reasonable circumstances, but they can beat anyone else and at least make Miami work for it. Then again, they can also lose to anyone (even Milwaukee, if the Heat plane crashed), and they could very easily be done in round 1. They will be different for sure - going from 28 minutes of Garnett to close to 40 makes a huge difference in the team defense. Even as an admitted Celtics homer, my head says Knicks in seven if that's the matchup, simply because the Knicks have been on a roll and they have HCA. That said, assuming Garnett is healthy, that's about as close of a 2/7 matchup as you'll get in the NBA playoffs. Celtics in six surely wouldn't surprise me.

Jeff Green since Rondo's injury: 34 games, 33 MPG, 16.6/4.6/2.4/0.9/1.3, 51/43/81 shooting. No, that's not a star; he still doesn't rebound as well as a 6-9 guy with his athleticism should, he still disappears and/or seems to lose confidence if he starts slow, but it's a huge step forward for him in terms of efficiency. I don't think he can maintain those shooting percentages, but if he can stay around his season numbers (47/38/81), he's a valuable piece, if (duh!) still not a franchise cornerstone.
   160. jmurph Posted: April 08, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4407638)
Jeff Green since Rondo's injury:


I just want to point out my wildly homerific pick of the year was for Green to be worth the money this year (let's ignore my pick of Boston to finish 2nd...).

I like Green and Bradley defensively against Melo and JR. In fact I like those matchups a lot. Could be an interesting series.
   161. Conor Posted: April 08, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4407678)
I know the Bulls are really banged up right now, but after the number they did on the Knicks this year three times, I'd still rather not face them in round 1.
   162. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 08, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4407683)
   163. andrewberg Posted: April 08, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4407684)
One thing to consider in the Wolves-Jazz games: Minnesota made a big push to get to Adelman's 1000 wins. He got it and they threw him a big celebration, so I am not sure if their motivation will be as heightened for these last few games, especially since it looks like Love will not be coming back at all.
   164. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4407747)
I know the Bulls are really banged up right now, but after the number they did on the Knicks this year three times, I'd still rather not face them in round 1.

The only player that's totally healthy in their top 8 right now is Boozer. Rose ain't coming back, Noah is likely to get re-injured, Deng is held together by duct tape, Hinrich is a zombie, Rip sucks even if his back wasn't broken, Gibson might not be back until midway through the 2nd round, and Bellineli has a painful sounding oblique problem that screams reinjury potential. But Butler, Robinson and Mohammed are all totally healthy (same with the bench warmers Teague, VladRad and Thomas). The Bulls would have a pretty big coaching advantage, I'd guess.

I guess they'd have a chance, but it looks like the Knicks have the 2 about locked and so the Bulls would have to fall to 7th and that's not likely. Even still, the way the Bulls have been snakebit I expect another season ending injury or 2 to happen in the first round again.

EDIT: Since I posted this, twitter is telling me Noah has suffered a setback and is reinjured. He's not going to be healthy in the first round.
   165. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4407757)
Since that last post, twitter is telling me Noah has suffered a setback and is reinjured/out indefinitely. He's not going to be healthy in the first round.
   166. smileyy Posted: April 08, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4407763)
The only player that's totally healthy in their top 8 right now is Boozer.


And yet below you mention that Jimmy Butler is completely healthy. Jimmy Butler is one of the 8 best players on that roster.
   167. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: April 08, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4407802)
Haven't been on since Gallo went down - was at the game when it happened.

The Nuggets have had 1.5 impressive games since then, coming back on Dallas after Gallo got hurt, and blowing out Houston Saturday. The Rockets game was really impressive, 40 assists!

I think Wednesday's game at home v. the Spurs will dictate a lot of what will happen in the next 6 weeks. Denver is up 1 on Memphis for the 3rd spot, and own the tie breaker. The Grizz have a tough B-2-B this weekend, @HOU/LAC. Figure they lose 1. Denver can then lose 2 of the following and keep the 3rd seed: SAN, @DAL, @MIL (end of B-2-B).

I think from the 3rd spot, they can win the first round without Gallo and with little or nothing from Lawson. I think they have a puncher's chance against San Antonio in round 2 if Lawson can get to 80%.

The key though is getting the 3rd seed. I do not like their chances if they drop to the 5th seed and have to play the Clips in round 1.
   168. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4407829)
And yet below you mention that Jimmy Butler is completely healthy. Jimmy Butler is one of the 8 best players on that roster.

I assume he'd still be in the top 8 if everyone were healthy, but Thibs is one of those guys who lets injured players have their role back when they're healthy. When Deng came back after being hurt earlier - during our initial JIMMY BUTLER! phase - he went from playing 40+ to less than 20. And he should be playing ahead of Rip, but we'll see how that guys when Rip comes back.
   169. Booey Posted: April 08, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4408052)
Why aren't there any games today?

And now what am I gonna do? Spend time with my family?
   170. RollingWave Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4408089)
isn't there no games today because of the NCAA finals?

   171. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:49 PM (#4408096)
And now what am I gonna do? Spend time with my family?


Reminds me of a great Simpsons line:
Announcer: Your cable TV is experiencing difficulties. Please, do not panic. Resist the temptation to read or talk to loved ones. Do not attempt sexual relations, as years of TV radiation have left your genitals withered and useless.

   172. Booey Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:12 PM (#4408113)
Announcer: Your cable TV is experiencing difficulties. Please, do not panic. Resist the temptation to read or talk to loved ones. Do not attempt sexual relations, as years of TV radiation have left your genitals withered and useless.


(checks) I'll be damned...

That line makes me laugh no matter how many times I hear it.

See what happens when there's no basketball to talk about? :-)
   173. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4408272)
Listened to the Simmons-Lowe podcast this morning, some things that caught my ear:

-Lowe thinks the Knicks are the definite #2 and wouldn't be surprised to see them push MIA to 6 games

-Simmons generally agreed but also thought BOS could beat NYK in Round 1 and that BOS has been angling for that matchup (I agree with Simmons)

-Lowe is in the Woodson for COY spot

-Simmons thought DEN stood a good chance of upsetting OKC in Rd 2 prior to the Gallo injury

-Lowe thinks without a healthy Lawson DEN is ripe for a Rd 1 upset and without Gallo they are going down in Rd 2 (I agree)

-Lowe thinks coming out of the West will be tough but OKC should do it. MEM is his darkhorse.

-Both guys see MEM taking the series with LAC (I think LAC is the biggest variable in the WC. I'm curious about how real their defensive improvement is. I also think, despite the fact that I've probably been the low one on them all season, that they may be underrated in the sense that Paul and Griffin have probably played the least minutes out of all the Star duos in the league. They may benefit the most from playoff rotation tightening, but that assumes VDN can manage that and that their bodies, Paul's in particular, can hold up.)
   174. AROM Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4408290)
-Simmons generally agreed but also thought BOS could beat NYK in Round 1 and that BOS has been angling for that matchup (I agree with Simmons)


I agree that Boston could beat them. But it seems strange to me that they would prefer that matchup. Everything changes in the playoffs as Kevin Garnett in particular has treated this whole season as an extended training camp to prepare him for the REAL SEASON. That being said, Boston has played much better against the Pacers this year than the Knicks.

   175. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: April 09, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4408585)
Re: #173
Not a slight on Lawson, because he's been the Nugget that had the biggest impact on the team during their winning streak.

But, the Nuggets are 6-1 without him, including wins over BRK, UTA, DAL, & HOU. They came back on DAL and beat HOU without Lawson and Gallo. As I said in 167, I do think they have a shot in round 2 if they get San Antonio, though it would be tough. Hard to see them losing in round 1 even if Lawson is out.

As young as the Nuggets are, they still have a lot more experience that GS or HOU.

By the way, here are game averages for Lawson (season) and Fournier (over the last 4 games)

Lawson 28 6.2 13.5 16.7 6.9 2.6
Fournier 21 5.3 9.5 14.3 3.0 1.0

The "French Mamba" has been impressive to watch. Very good feel for the game and, so far, not intimidated.
   176. Booey Posted: April 09, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4408596)
I think the Nuggets playoff run all depends on seeding. Hanging onto the 3rd seed is crucial for them, IMO. There's a big dropoff from the top 5 seeds in the west vs 6-8, and I'd expect Denver to beat GSW/HOU even without Gallo or a healthy Lawson. But I don't think they'd beat MEM/LAC without them, so a 4th or 5th seed would likely mean another first round exit.
   177. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4408617)
Haven't watched Fournier lately, but he looked very shaky on the floor in the first part of the season. I understand that he is/was a rookie, but I would need to see more before feeling as confident as you do. Also, of the teams you listed in the 6-1 stretch, only HOU counts as a quality win. The rest of those teams are mediocre at best. The one reason I am confident they can/will/should beat HOU is Igoudala being able to lock up Harden. I could see GS beating them though just based on matchups. I will be absolutely shocked if they make it past Round 2.
   178. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 09, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4408662)
See what happens when there's no basketball to talk about? :-)


Always good to fit in some relevant Simpsons discussion.

Blazers game was already a likely Lakers win, but should be a gimme now even if Nash is out:
Joe Freeman ?@BlazerFreeman 11m
Coach Stotts says Wesley Matthews (right ankle) will not play and Nicolas Batum (right shoulder) is doubtful tomorrow vs the Lakers.
   179. Morph Posted: April 09, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4408685)
I think the Knicks' have a puncher's chance against any team in the NBA, but I really couldn't envision them beating the Heat. I believe they could takeout the Thunder or the Spurs if they played at a high level through the seven game series. Keep in mind, I think more highly of Anthony than anybody here, probably, and I'll be quick to point out that since getting his knee drained, he's been spectacular, and his only real stretch of inconsistency took place when the knee was bothering him. I truly believe he's leveled up.
   180. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4408689)
Dan Bernstein
#Bulls source tells me Rose is dominating in practice, looking "better than ever." It's why the team is "exasperated" that he won't play.

Steve Aschburner ?
@dan_bernstein He looking better or they're just getting more broken down and can't keep up?

Dan Bernstein ?
@AschNBA "Better than ever." Direct quote. Said his crossover is making defenders fall down.


Sigh.

Tonight, the Bulls are playing the Raptors without Rose, Rip, Deng, Gibson and Noah. That's what, the 2nd or 3rd best lineup in the conference just not playing?
   181. andrewberg Posted: April 09, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4408706)
I wish someone would STEAGLES the Knicks. All of their fans are saying that they hope they can push the Heat or give them six good games. What fun is that? Aim high.
   182. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4408711)
Dan Bernstein
#Bulls source tells me Rose is dominating in practice, looking "better than ever." It's why the team is "exasperated" that he won't play.

Steve Aschburner ?
@dan_bernstein He looking better or they're just getting more broken down and can't keep up?

Dan Bernstein ?
@AschNBA "Better than ever." Direct quote. Said his crossover is making defenders fall down.


BSOHL
   183. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 09, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4408726)
BSOHL


Yeah, I had the same thought. I also heard through Twitter sources that Rose made 94 of 100 28-footers during warmups, has grown three inches, and blocked every one of Jimmy Butler's shots in one scrimmage.
   184. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4408735)
Yeah, I had the same thought. I also heard through Twitter sources that Rose made 94 of 100 28-footers during warmups, has grown three inches, and blocked every one of Jimmy Butler's shots in one scrimmage.

So you've never seen VladRad play defense? I totally believe he falls down on everyone's crossover.
   185. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: April 09, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4408838)
@NJ in NY
I'd obviously much rather have an 80% Lawson than Fournier in the playoffs, but Fournier's been a really pleasant surprise. He looks like a typical Euro (the good kind), plays solid D, confident in shooting the 3, not super athletic, but can get to the rim with just a little bit of an opening.

As a fan, I just want the Nuggets to get the 2nd round and take their chances. I agree that GS is tougher matchup for them than HOU, but still like them even without Lawson (or half Lawson). I'd be real concerned though if they dropped to the 5th slot.

Nuggets' magic number is 4, with home games v. SAN, POR, and PHO, road games @DAL, @MIL
   186. RollingWave Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4409132)
oh goodie the Rockets are doing their "forget how to play against horrible teams" thing again, down by 2 at the half against the Suns at home
   187. AROM Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4409195)
"Yeah, I had the same thought. I also heard through Twitter sources that Rose made 94 of 100 28-footers during warmups, has grown three inches, and blocked every one of Jimmy Butler's shots in one scrimmage."

And if he were here, he'd consume Miami with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.
   188. bob gee Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:55 PM (#4409206)
lin and harden have both played 32 out of the first 36 minutes.

mchale's on court substitutions are really confusing.
   189. steagles Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:07 PM (#4409224)
I wish someone would STEAGLES the Knicks. All of their fans are saying that they hope they can push the Heat or give them six good games. What fun is that? Aim high.

you know, if andre iguodala had been 100% healthy in 2010 instead of only 85% healthy, i firmly believe the sixers would have beaten the heat in the first round despite the fact that they lost the series in 5 games, got blown out in 3 of them, and only won game 3 because of a circus shot by lou williams, and the fact that i never really liked iguodala to begin with and spencer hawes played like complete ass.


but you know, other than that, the sixers we're <this> close.
   190. RollingWave Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4409226)
lin and harden have both played 32 out of the first 36 minutes.


and neither have played well, both are missing a ton of shots and Harden's turning it over by the bushels

   191. RollingWave Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4409277)
WTF, the Rocket win on a buzzer beating.... goaltending??!?!?!?
   192. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4409281)
That was...different.
   193. smileyy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4409330)
I can't remember if I've posted this already, STEAGLES...will Philly really have twice the Hawsomeness? http://nbadraft.net/extended-nba-mock-draft-30 (see pick 11)
   194. Maxwn Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4409341)
If San Antonio takes care of business at home against Denver tomorrow, then MEM-DEN will be tied up with 4 to play. Memphis needs to win one more in that stretch than the Nuggets to get the 3. It's conceivable, but Denver's schedule is not too bad, so I'd probably be hoping they lose @DAL or @MIL on a b2b and the Grizz win out. I'd say it's probably down to 30% or so that the Grizz get ahead of Denver, maybe worse. If Denver pulls out a win tomorrow against the Spurs, that'd be more or less a done deal I think.

For the Clips and Memphis it's all gonna come down to the head-to-head game I think. Memphis has a game on them now, but the Clips schedule other than Memphis is pretty easy, so whoever wins that game will almost certainly get home-court.

Bad news for the jazz is that one or both of these races could very easily come down to the last game, so there's a really good chance the Grizzlies are playing to win next Wednesday.
   195. RollingWave Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:19 PM (#4409355)
Jazz lose, Rockets officially clinch, only the 8th spot left.

good news for them is that the Hornets are making it close so far.
   196. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:33 PM (#4409368)
Lakers melting away against the Hornets.
   197. RollingWave Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4409378)
The Hornets actually have the making of a very good team, I think they'll surprise a lot of people next year.

having said that... yeah. when the Lakers don't get more FT than the other team they're in huge trouble.
   198. steagles Posted: April 10, 2013 at 12:04 AM (#4409386)
I can't remember if I've posted this already, STEAGLES...will Philly really have twice the Hawsomeness? http://nbadraft.net/extended-nba-mock-draft-30 (see pick 11)
if the draft works out that way up to the sixers pick, give me this guy:

Gobert has struggled to put up consistent numbers in the French League. So the question is whether teams will be willing to look past the lack of productivity and draft him on potential. He has ridiculous length with a reported 7 foot 9 wingspan. He also possesses good shooting touch and appears to have a body that will allow him to add strength and eventually battle in the paint in the NBA. His mobility and athleticism are average by NBA standards and he still needs to get tougher and develop a better feel for the game. NBA Comparison: Shawn Bradley
   199. smileyy Posted: April 10, 2013 at 12:58 AM (#4409425)
You just want to call him "Go-gurt".

Also, how do you comp a guy who's only 7'1" to Shawn Bradley. NOBODY wants 7'1" Shawn Bradley.

Edit 2: Even though I'm sure it's pronounced "Go-bear". Go Bear or Go Home?
   200. Morph Posted: April 10, 2013 at 01:25 AM (#4409464)
Knicks roll to the Atlantic Division title. SI.com did have the Knicks taking the division before the season, but there's a funny graphic circulating on the Knick interwebs of literally not one ESPN columnist tabbing the 'Bockers. I don't take it personally, I just find it interesting how anyone could think the 76'ers were better than the Knicks before the season. Was the condition of Bynum's knees really that much of a mystery before training camps opened?
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