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Thursday, April 03, 2014

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014

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, which I forgot.

Have posts been building up inside you?

The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:26 PM | 2387 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1601. Publius Publicola Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4708561)
You realize he's been a center since Robinson retired 11 years ago, right?
   1602. King Mekong Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4708563)
I'm still terrified that they [SAS] will lose. KEEP PLAYING PERK FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING!
   1603. Publius Publicola Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4708569)
KM, why would you expect Perkins not to play, especially with Ibaka not available?
   1604. AROM Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4708573)
Duncan is inner circle if Shaq is. Duncan is a better player than Shaq, and I say this as a Laker fan. I'd put Duncan ahead on career or peak, Shaq ahead only for best single season.
   1605. theboyqueen Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4708582)
The fact that the greatest power forward ever has been a dominant center for 11 years harms his inner-circle-ness how exactly?
   1606. theboyqueen Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4708584)
He is the greatest player of his generation, the best between Jordan and Lebron. How much more inner circle can you get?
   1607. Booey Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4708588)
The fact that the greatest power forward ever has been a dominant center for 11 years harms his inner-circle-ness how exactly?


In fairness to Kevin, I think his stating that was more a dispute of "greatest power forward ever" rather than saying that it somehow hurt TD's status as an all time great. It's reasonable to conclude that Duncan can't be the greatest PF ever when he's played a position other than PF for 2/3 of his career.

Overall though, yes, it absolutely adds to his greatness that he could switch positions like this and still dominate to the extent that he has for as long as he has.
   1608. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4708618)
The fact that the greatest power forward ever has been a dominant center for 11 years harms his inner-circle-ness how exactly?
Not only that, but an argument can be made that Duncan was a center even during the Robinson years. The Spurs had two great centers, and convention demanded that they list one as power forward. If Duncan had been drafted by a team without a center, he'd have a C next to his name instead of PF.
   1609. theboyqueen Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:29 AM (#4708619)
All Detroit-ish team:

PG Magic Johnson
SG George Gervin
SF Dave Debusschere
PF Chris Webber
C Mel Daniels
   1610. theboyqueen Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:50 AM (#4708620)
All Sacramento team:

PG Kevin Johnson
SG Ryan Anderson
SF Matt Barnes
PF Jim Eakins
C Bill Cartwright
   1611. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: May 17, 2014 at 07:32 AM (#4708641)
1. The Phil Jackson-Kerr thing is a big deal because the Knicks are one of the name brand NBA franchises (and Forbes' most valuable NBA franchise) in one of the biggest cities in the world. Any/Everything involving them is always going to be heavily covered and their bad and good things will be amplified as a result. It was also a big deal because the entire "Yay, we got Phil Jackson" hype was based on the idea that (a) Dolan would be so impressed/in love with him he could do whatever he wanted and (b) Other people would be so impressed/in love with them it would allow the Knicks to lure all manner of talent they had no business luring on the merits. That the Knicks would not increase their offer to Kerr and that Kerr would spurn Phil despite their long history kind of blows a hole in all the Phil positivity.

2. I think everyone here who participated in the Top 50 project had Duncan between 5th and 9th, so it doesn't SEEM like he can get more Inner Circle.

3. It will be interesting to see how Brooks handles the Ibaka injury. As someone cheering against OKC, I would love to see moar Perk and possibly expanding the Perk playbook to take over Ibaka's role so we get some 18 footers and corner 3s to add to Perk's dominant first possession of the first and second half post plays. You also can't just put Adams/Collison in as those guys love to foul and won't stay in the game too long.
   1612. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 17, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4708647)
It was also a big deal because the entire "Yay, we got Phil Jackson" hype was based on the idea that (a) Dolan would be so impressed/in love with him he could do whatever he wanted and (b) Other people would be so impressed/in love with them it would allow the Knicks to lure all manner of talent they had no business luring on the merits.

Which seems like a reasonable narrative on the surface. But I was thinking about that the other day with the Kerr will he/ won't he thing going on. If you are Steve Kerr, and you have other options, why on earth would you want to go to the Knicks, with an underwhelming roster, and the prospect of having Phil looking over one shoulder, and Dolan over the other, both incessantly meddling... makes no sense. Any sane person would run as far away as they could.
   1613. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4708676)
I think everyone here who participated in the Top 50 project had Duncan between 5th and 9th, so it doesn't SEEM like he can get more Inner Circle.

I had him 3rd, so everyone else could just realize I was right...

---

I feel bad for the Thunder. Not as bad as I feel about the Bulls, but still. 2 years ruined now by fluke injuries. Simmons just wrote the other day about their window and now this.

   1614. theboyqueen Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4708688)
All Indiana:
PG Oscar Robertson
SG Rick Fox
SF Larry Bird
PF Shawn Kemp
C Clyde Lovelette

6th man Zach Randolph
   1615. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4708690)
I know it's not actually true, but the constellation of events really looks like a world plan to keep Scott Brooks employed. 2 years ago, well, it's lebron, can't blame him for losing to that. Last year, well, Westbrook got injured. This year the refs bailed him out a few times, the Sterling thing can't have helped, Z-Bo gets suspended, and now Ibaka's injury gives him a ready-made excuse if they lose. Also, the Harden trade is there to point to on a broader scale.

Q: does Brooks get any credit for Steven Adams' development?
   1616. theboyqueen Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4708709)
Washington DC is pretty amazing

PG Dave Bing
SG Adrian Dantley
SF Elgin Baylor
PF Kevin Durant
C Roy Hibbert
   1617. King Mekong Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4708719)
ESPN gets Mark Jackson back. Hopefully they get that 3 man booth back together.

Edit: saw that he is, this playoffs even.
   1618. Booey Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4708725)
It does seem a little odd that people keep insisting on calling Duncan a power forward even though he's played center for most his career and would've played center his entire career if he'd been drafted by pretty much any other team. Probably cuz "greatest power forward ever" sounds a lot more impressive than "3rd or 4th best center ever." The latter doesn't do him justice, even though his place in the all time overall rankings wouldn't change.

Take Timmy out of the conversation, and who becomes the best PF ever? Malone? Barkley? KG? Dirk? Two guys with no rings and two guys with only one. All fantastic players, but none of them really feel like they should be the best ever at their position, do they? Duncan feels like a more worthy heir to that title, hence people being willing to fudge the positional definitions a bit.
   1619. King Mekong Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4708727)
Re Duncan as power forward. My recollection is that at that time frame he did have a power forward type game. And even after Robinson retired the Spurs brought in Rasho Nestorevic, and even now Splitter has more of a center's game, so in many ways Duncan is still a power forward, but it's just a label, he's a basketball player. For a current example do you consider Anthony Davis a PF or a C?
   1620. King Mekong Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4708764)
Also, my "bracket" got busted as I only picked one out of 4 series correct in the 2nd rd. Prediction regression!
   1621. theboyqueen Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4708774)
Tim Duncan is thought of as a PF because during his peak years 2001-2003 he was a power forward and that peak is the best anyone has ever played at PF. I would take Garnett over the other guys, none of whom were effective enough defensive players to compare to these two.

Where would Rodman rank? He is so difficult to quantify but I would love to see what APM says about him.
   1622. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 17, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4708967)
There are also the tales of Duncan's wife insisting that Duncan be listed as a PF because otherwise he'd never be the WC All-Start starting center with Shaq around. Regardless, who gives a ####? There are really two positions in basketball, Big Man and Small Man. Duncan's a great Big Man. Sure, it's a gross oversimplification, but then again, claiming Duncan's not a center when he's been the center in every way but the title doesn't make sense either.
   1623. Quaker Posted: May 17, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4708973)
Malone is the best of that group by a fairly decent margin imo.
   1624. theboyqueen Posted: May 17, 2014 at 10:45 PM (#4708978)
That's interesting; I would put Malone last in the group. He compiled an incredible career but his peak is not as high as any of the others.
   1625. AROM Posted: May 18, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4708999)
To those who know basketball, I think 3rd or 4th best center is more impressive than best PF.

#3 means he's better than one of Wilt, Kareem, or Russell.

#4 means he's better than Shaq, Admiral, Hakeem

More impressive to me than saying he's better than Chuck, KG, Karl, and Dirk. No offense to those great players.
   1626. GregD Posted: May 18, 2014 at 01:02 AM (#4709004)
It has ever been thus. As a kid, I remember hearing people call Bob Petit the greatest power forward ever. I'm sure he was an impressive player, but I found that hard to believe. Sometimes you would hear Elvin Hayes.

Bird would have been near the top except they didn't need or want him to play it.

Obviously LeBron would be the greatest power forward ever but that's not where he helps the team the most.

McHale was tremendous but kept breaking down.

And lots of teams were happy to have a power forward who was just a bully and who could save the center from having to guard the other team's center all the time.
   1627. Spivey Posted: May 18, 2014 at 01:21 AM (#4709006)
I agree with both 1619 and 1622. Duncan really has played PF for most of his career, even after Robinson retired. But still, that doesn't *really* matter.
   1628. Booey Posted: May 18, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4709081)
That's interesting; I would put Malone last in the group. He compiled an incredible career but his peak is not as high as any of the others.


I hear that a lot, but unless people are counting "peak" as just "best individual season", or unless they're looking at entirely different stats than the ones I can find, I don't really see it.

Top 5 WS:

DN - 17.7, 16.3, 16.1, 15.6, 14.6 (16.1)
KM - 16.7, 16.4, 15.9, 15.5, 15.4 (15.9)
KG - 18.3, 16.1, 15.6, 14.9, 12.9 (15.7)
CB - 17.3, 16.7, 16.1, 14.4, 13.4 (15.6)

Top 5 WS/48:

DN - .278, .275, .249. .248, .224 (.255)
KM - .269, .259, .252, .249, .242 (.254)
CB - .269, .258, .253, .250, .242 (.254)
KG - .272, .265, .248, .242, .225 (.250)

Top 5 PER:

KM - 28.9, 27.9, 27.2, 27.1, 26.2 (27.5)
CB - 28.9, 27.6, 27.1, 27.0, 25.9 (27.3)
KG - 29.4, 28.2, 26.8, 26.4, 25.3 (27.2)
DN - 28.1, 27.6, 26.1, 25.6, 24.6 (26.4)

Malone matches or surpasses Barkley and KG in all 3 categories, and best 5 years actually puts Chuck, Garnett, and Dirk in their best possible light since all 3 drop off after that quicker than Malone does. The further you extend the comparison, the more Karl takes the lead. Best 10 years, for example, is pretty clearly in Mailman's favor.

I'm biased, obviously, but unless you give no credit whatsoever to career value, I'd give Malone the clear advantage over any of these guys, except maaaybe KG, since he's much more of a defensive anchor than Karl could ever be and I'm not sure how the stats account for that. But the lower peak argument people often mention, well, I just don't really see it.

Edit: or maybe people are basing their rankings more off playoff performance, where Malone really is at the bottom of these 4 (though KG drops off quite a bit too). It makes sense to factor in the postseason pretty heavily, though I think people over-do that sometimes as well.
   1629. King Mekong Posted: May 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4709104)
1628 - Yeah, I think the NBA needs something like JAWS for these discussions, and one of the components along with Peak/Career Value needs to be Playoff Value.
   1630. Spivey Posted: May 18, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4709108)
I agree with Booey here. Karl Malone seems to be pretty significantly undervalued historically, among both the media/Simmons types as well as hard core basketball fans.
   1631. Spivey Posted: May 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4709112)
According to basketball-reference, Tim Duncan has the nicknames "Death and taxes" and "Groundhog day". I have never heard either. Am I out of touch, or are those not really nicknames for Duncan?
   1632. theboyqueen Posted: May 18, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4709124)
I don't really have a statistical argument for why I would take Malone last of the bunch. He is the last I would take if I were constructing a team (so career value is really not that relevant to me). Defense is much more important for big guys than little guys. Nowitzki actually seems like more of a really tall wing player to me (not a great rebounder or defender). Nowitzki is by far the best offensive player of the bunch.

Malone -- murderous on pick and roll (helped by Stockton obviously), great from the post, good defensive player, mediocre free throw shooter which limited his effectiveness at the end of games. Definitely not as good in the playoffs.

Barkley -- incredible athlete, best rebounder of the bunch, murder from the post, great in playoffs, way too short to be an effective defender.

Garnett and Duncan are among the greatest defensive players of all time and the fact that they could both be effective centers makes them much more valuable to me.

I definitely think playoff stats should be counted at least as much if not more than regular season stats. The regular season almost doesn't matter after a certain level and it makes sense not to go all out all the time. The NBA playoffs are like a second season and guys like Jordan and Hakeem who were actually better in the playoffs against better competition should get tons of credit for this.
   1633. King Mekong Posted: May 18, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4709135)
I wonder if you could form a 73 win team with some combination of the above + a great PG. I'd try Duncan, Malone, Dirk, Barkley and a PG (Stockton/Nash/CP3). Maybe KG would be better than Malone for that team.
   1634. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: May 18, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4709137)
Malone -- murderous on pick and roll (helped by Stockton obviously), great from the post, good defensive player, mediocre free throw shooter which limited his effectiveness at the end of games. Definitely not as good in the playoffs.

Isiah Thomas killed Malone in one of those NBA roundtable discussions on NBAtv for this same reason. Malone was a career 74% FT shooter and while that's not great, that seems perfectly acceptable for a big. LeBron is a career 75% FT shooter and you never hear too much about his issues at the line.
   1635. King Mekong Posted: May 18, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4709138)
Also, looks like MIN is going to have to at least think about trading Love this offseason. Andrew, any idea of what the wolves would look to get if they decide to do that? I still think they are better off trading Pek, getting another 3pt shooting wing + D, install Dieng as a starter and trying to win now, hoping that convinces Love (plus the extra money they can offer).
   1636. theboyqueen Posted: May 18, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4709142)
Isiah Thomas killed Malone in one of those NBA roundtable discussions on NBAtv for this same reason. Malone was a career 74% FT shooter and while that's not great, that seems perfectly acceptable for a big. LeBron is a career 75% FT shooter and you never hear too much about his issues at the line.


The difference is that Lebron or Duncan do so many other things that contribute to winning. A post-up/pick and roll guy like Malone, playing in an offense that needs to get him the ball in order to work, becomes dead weight to some extent.

Anyway, Duncan's free throw shooting has definitely contributed to some playoff losses.
   1637. theboyqueen Posted: May 18, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4709144)
I've heard stuff about the Warriors trading Lee and Barnes for Love. Adding Love to that team would be a lot of fun. If that were to happen I might think about running a starting 5 of Bogut, Green, Love, Iguodala, and Curry and using Thompson as a 6th man.
   1638. andrewberg Posted: May 18, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4709168)
Those Warriors rumors have to be coming from their end. I'm pretty sure Lee has negative trade value at this point with his big contract. He is a similar player to Love without the few elite skills that make Love a star, so they'd be downgrading from their one great strength that still only got them to 40 wins. Barnes was considered a major prospect a year ago then lost playing time to Draymond Green and hardly developed. If I was a GM, I'm not sure I would take on those two for nothing. The Warriors also gave away whatever draft equity they had to dump salary on Utah.

You mention the option of trying to play well this year to make it enticing for him to stay. I like that idea, but given the difficulty they're having finding a coach, that might be tough. If they can actually find a wing who helps in a trade for Pekovic, that would be a good plan because I agree that Dieng is a better stylistic fit next to Love.

Chicago is mentioned as the other possible suitor and they seem to have more to offer. They have their own picks and that Charlotte pick, plus Mirotic and Butler as very attractive guys who would fit the system, and Boozer's salary to make it match. I think a package of Boozer, Mirotic, Butler, and one first round pick would be about the best return the Wolves could get and would not set them terribly far back.

Phoenix is mentioned as another possibility. Not sure how that would line up.
   1639. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 18, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4709187)
Nowitzki is by far the best offensive player of the bunch.


What's your evidence for this? Malone handle a higher usage rate and his TS% if about the same as Dirk's, and that's with playing until he was 40. Through age 35 Malone actually had the higher TS%. Barkley also has an argument for best offensive player, at least at his peak, as he was more efficient than either, though usually with a lower USG%.

For passing, I'd probably put Dirk last for the bunch, with Garnett first then Malone and Barkley essentially tied. Dirk has turned the ball over the least often, so at least he's not forcing passes he can't make.

mediocre free throw shooter which limited his effectiveness at the end of games.


Teams should be ecstatic to have a 74% free throw shooter on the line late in games.

The only guy I'd consider over Malone is Garnett. Malone was an excellent man defender, but he did not anchor a defense like Garnett did. Garnett is (to me) clearly the worst offensive player of the bunch though, so I'm not sure.

Playoffs do hurt Malone, but I think his combination of essentially equal peak combined with his insane longevity puts him comfortably above Barkley and Dirk.
   1640. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: May 18, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4709196)
Rubio on Love:
“He is a special player, his numbers are unbelievable but maybe our leader must be other player. He is our leader in points and another things but he can’t be or he doesn’t want to be our “voice” leader. Many kind of leaders. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been our leader, perhaps Kevin Martin could have been our leader because he had more experience, perhaps I could take a step ahead to be the definitive leader.”
   1641. theboyqueen Posted: May 18, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4709200)
Nowitzki is by far the best offensive player of the bunch.


What's your evidence for this? Malone handle a higher usage rate and his TS% if about the same as Dirk's, and that's with playing until he was 40. Through age 35 Malone actually had the higher TS%. Barkley also has an argument for best offensive player, at least at his peak, as he was more efficient than either, though usually with a lower USG%.


All that is true but Malone is a guy who dominated within a offensive system designed to get him easy points. This is the difficulty of using statistical arguments in basketball, because I am fairly confident Malone would not have had those numbers in any other context. I do think overall Malone is probably a better player than Dirk, due to defense and rebounding. Again, I'm not even sure it's fair to rate Dirk as a power forward.

But replace 2014 Nowitzki with even a peak Karl Malone on this year's Dallas team. I'm not sure that team is even .500

If we ever get historical adjusted plus-minus numbers, I would be very interested to see what they add to these debates.
   1642. smileyy Posted: May 18, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4709206)
I know the Bulls would have to give up stuff to trade for Love, but you really want to keep Butler, don't you? or can Thibs make a guy like Butler with the right raw materials?

   1643. Spivey Posted: May 18, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4709213)
You want to keep Butler. You don't think twice about trading Butler for Kevin Love though. And I'm not even that high on Love.
   1644. GregD Posted: May 18, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4709215)
I wonder if you could form a 73 win team with some combination of the above + a great PG. I'd try Duncan, Malone, Dirk, Barkley and a PG (Stockton/Nash/CP3). Maybe KG would be better than Malone for that team.
I would put Garnett over Malone since you'll need the extra defense when Chuck is getting schooled on the perimeter on D!
   1645. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: May 18, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4709235)
Terrible defensive game by MIA, LeBron was particularly bad.

EDIT: Bosh was also really bad on both ends.
   1646. Manny Coon Posted: May 18, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4709251)
Malone handle a higher usage rate and his TS% if about the same as Dirk's


Nowitzki's turnover rate is really low. TS% for the two is about the same, but because of the difference in turnover rate Nowitzki ends up clearly ahead. Another nice thing about Nowitzki's game is his ability to create for himself from all over the floor, which makes him harder to guard, almost like someone like Kobe or Durant.
   1647. villainx Posted: May 18, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4709264)
LeBron is a career 75% FT shooter and you never hear too much about his issues at the line.

I kinda remember this being a criticism on LeBron. But that could have been earlier on, and died after the 1st ring.
   1648. robinred Posted: May 18, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4709268)
From ESPNLA:

"Kevin Love has made it clear to the Timberwolves that he intends to become an unrestricted free agent after next season and has no interest in a contract extension to stay in Minnesota, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls are among the potential trade destinations that intrigue Love.

The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have likewise been mentioned all season as big-market landing spots that would tempt Love, but going to the best situation for immediate contention is said to be the power forward’s priority."
--

link
   1649. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: May 18, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4709271)
There are really two positions in basketball, Big Man and Small Man. Duncan's a great Big Man.

I think there are three: Playmakers, Wings, and Posts. Well, that's offensively. Defensively, there are five positions, and guys who can cover more than one of them are great to have.

Who are the guys who have been able defend the 1 through 5 (at some point in their careers)? Ron Artest, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion come to mind. I don't mean that Garnett ever would have spent an entire game checking Gary Payton, but I seem to recall the young Garnett matching up with the 1 for a few possessions, just to give different look or whatever.
   1650. andrewberg Posted: May 18, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4709288)
Rodman is the quintessence of guarding 1-5 in my mind.
   1651. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: May 18, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4709292)
[1649] I have memories of young Duncan locking up Charlie Ward. His ability to defend 1-5 was always lauded in the NY Daily News prior to any Knicks-Spurs games.
   1652. Booey Posted: May 18, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4709301)
According to basketball-reference, Tim Duncan has the nicknames "Death and taxes" and "Groundhog day". I have never heard either. Am I out of touch, or are those not really nicknames for Duncan?


I have never heard either of them. Probably for the best, too, as both would be amongst the worst nicknames for a superstar I've ever heard.
   1653. TFTIO can't talk like this -- he's so sorry. Posted: May 18, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4709308)
They're really going to trade Love for pennies on the dollar, aren't they. Jesus Creeping Christ.
   1654. theboyqueen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4709334)
All the switching people do now creates all kinds of weird matchups from possession to possession, but I get what you mean. Draymond Green is a modern guy who could probably passably guard 1-5. Rodman is the first guy that comes to my mind as well.
   1655. theboyqueen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4709335)
Another nice thing about Nowitzki's game is his ability to create for himself from all over the floor, which makes him harder to guard, almost like someone like Kobe or Durant.


Not only does it make these guys harder to guard, it makes their team offense in general harder to guard.

According to basketball-reference, Tim Duncan has the nicknames "Death and taxes" and "Groundhog day". I have never heard either. Am I out of touch, or are those not really nicknames for Duncan?


I have never heard either of them. Probably for the best, too, as both would be amongst the worst nicknames for a superstar I've ever heard.


I am disappointed that "The Big Fundamental" never got shortened to "Big Fun".
   1656. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:00 AM (#4709348)
All the switching people do now creates all kinds of weird matchups from possession to possession, but I get what you mean. Draymond Green is a modern guy who could probably passably guard 1-5. Rodman is the first guy that comes to my mind as well.


LeBron actually does guard 1-4 on a regular basis, and could certainly guard 5's (though they rarely have the personnel on the floor where this would make sense). I think Anthony Davis could do it too.
   1657. AROM Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4709420)
Lebron certainly qualifies. Two years ago he spent some time guarding Garnett. This was brought on by the Bosh injury and Miami having a shortage of big men, and he had some trouble with this (it led to him fouling out in one game, a rarity as Lebron is great at avoiding fouls).

Bill Russell could guard 1-5, and he could guard them all simultaneously. Pippen and Jordan could pull it off for limited stretches. Rodman could not only guard 1-5, but excel against each position. I remember him giving Shaq a lot of trouble when the Bulls swept Orlando back in 96.
   1658. GregD Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4709433)
Pippen and Jordan could pull it off for limited stretches
Did they guard centers very often? I don't remember that though I remember them otherwise guarding anybody and everybody.

Rodman, yes, could guard anybody.

Ron Artest could guard at least 1-4 and probably some meh centers.
   1659. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4709446)
Chicago is mentioned as the other possible suitor and they seem to have more to offer. They have their own picks and that Charlotte pick, plus Mirotic and Butler as very attractive guys who would fit the system, and Boozer's salary to make it match. I think a package of Boozer, Mirotic, Butler, and one first round pick would be about the best return the Wolves could get and would not set them terribly far back.

My initial thought is that's too much, but I'm not sure that's true. I've seen plenty of references on Bulls blogs where Mirotic would be drafted if he were in the draft this year (they usually say top 5, but I can't seem to find that opinion supported anywhere). It also seems like the picks the Bulls have (16, 19) might be worth a little more this year than the average year (well, at least more than last year). Butler is still on his rookie deal, so he's worth a ton on his own. If Mirotic's essentially a high lottery pick, that's a lot to give up for only one controlled year; it's definitely more than the Wolves got for KG and more than the Thunder got for Harden.

OTOH, Boozer does have negative trade value (still necessary for the deal to happen). Butler is only one season away from RFA, so he's going to get expensive. He took a huge step backwards last year offensively, so while he can recover some of that he's probably not as good as he looked in 12-13. Mirotic isn't guaranteed to come over, and when he does he can ask for any contract he wants (he still has a buyout, and while he's talked up playing with the Bulls perhaps he's close with Rubio or something and wouldn't mind going there). The Bulls also probably wouldn't really want 3 rookies in their rotation next year (the 2 picks and Mirotic), so it might not be a ton of value for next year they'd be giving up.

If the Bulls did that deal, you'd have Rose/Love/Noah with a bunch of question marks. Gibson and Dunleavy are a nice start to a bench; Dunleavy likely starts, so that's more holes to fill and Gibson is overpaid and underused with Noah/Love ahead of him (he makes a lot more sense as a caddy for Boozer than a standard backup). You'd be going away from the strong perimeter defender model that Thibs has very heavily relied on (that might be a good thing...).

Having said all that, Love would be a great addition to the Rose/Noah core. It's easier to fill in around them than to get another guy who can do what Love does.
   1660. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4709457)
Mozgov. Esquire Russia photo shoot. All the plaid shirts on the internet.
   1661. andrewberg Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4709486)
Having said all that, Love would be a great addition to the Rose/Noah core. It's easier to fill in around them than to get another guy who can do what Love does.


If a relatively healthy Rose joins Love and Noah (who are a perfect pair together), I think that's the best team in the NBA with even mediocre players around them. If they get some worn-down version of Rose back, I still think it's a team that could contend in the East.
   1662. Publius Publicola Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4709501)
It has ever been thus. As a kid, I remember hearing people call Bob Petit the greatest power forward ever. I'm sure he was an impressive player, but I found that hard to believe. Sometimes you would hear Elvin Hayes.

Bird would have been near the top except they didn't need or want him to play it.

Obviously LeBron would be the greatest power forward ever but that's not where he helps the team the most.

McHale was tremendous but kept breaking down.

And lots of teams were happy to have a power forward who was just a bully and who could save the center from having to guard the other team's center all the time.


Lots to deconstruct here:

1. Pettit won 2 MVPs and headed one of only two teams that were able to beat the Russell Celtics. Russell himself had tremendous respect for Pettit. Don't know why you would fail to believe Pettit was that good. There is no way one could have Elvin Hayes near the top. First, until he was traded to the Bullets, he was a center. Second, he was perhaps the worst black hole I ever saw. His teams had a tendency to underachieve in the playoffs. Third, one GM called him the worst person he ever met.

2. Bird played power forward the first 6 years he was in the league, and finished no lower than 3rd in the MVP balloting every one of those years, winning two. He got switched to the 3 position when they traded Maxwell for Walton and McHale was moved up to start. he also started at the 4 for a large chuck of the '86 season when McHale got hurt and Wedman had to start in his place. It didn't have anything to do with "want". It had more to do with how to manage the personnel best. Bird could play either forward position very well, though I think he was better as a 4 because he was quicker for that position than at the 3.

3. I think it remains to be seen if LeBron would be better as a 4. He just would need to be paired with a 3 that complimented him. I think that could work just fine with the right talent mix.

4. McHale had 5 seasons where he played every game. He was actually quite durable. You probably remember him from his last seasons, where he was hobbled. But the injury bug eventually bites everybody.

5. The power forward has to complement the center. If the center doesn't score, then the PF will have to be a threat. The Mailman is a good example fo that, or Aldridge with Portland. Having two high scoring players at the 4 and 5 is kind of a luxury.
   1663. smileyy Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4709521)
FWIW, bask-ref has LeBron listed as a PF this year. I'm not really sure what value those labels have, nor am I sure I could come up with anything "better".
   1664. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4709539)
FWIW, bask-ref has LeBron listed as a PF this year. I'm not really sure what value those labels have, nor am I sure I could come up with anything "better".

The designations are based on lineup data emphasis on the offensive side. LeBron has, more or less, played PF for the last 2-3 years in MIA's small ball lineups even though Battier usually defends the 4s.
   1665. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 19, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4709552)
Who knows about his location preferences, but from a purely basketball standpoint if I'm Kevin Love I'm pretty intrigued by the Raptors. When your highest volume guy is a 2-guard who isn't a 3-point shooter, having a stretch 4 is a great thing to have for floor balance; Toronto is also young, in the weaker conference, and has a GM who is thought very highly of.
   1666. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4709623)
Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) says major shakeup in Memphis is "forthcoming": asst GM Lash out, CEO Levien "poised to resign", futures of coach Joerger and VP Hollinger "uncertain".
   1667. theboyqueen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4709659)
What is the deal in Memphis? They seem even more dysfunctional than the Warriors.

And I think basketball positions have a lot more to do with who you defend than what you can do on offense.
   1668. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4709662)
Sources say longtime Grizzlies executive Chris Wallace, who has remained in the organization after the hirings of Lash and Hollinger, is likely to be re-installed as the head of the front office.


Am I misremembering, or does Wallace have a spotty record there? Is he the Grizz's version of Isiah Thomas?
   1669. Publius Publicola Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4709696)
I don't think he's nearly that bad, Moses. but he never struck me as someone who's performance is notably inspiring either.
   1670. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 19, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4709704)
Totally agree on positions, boyqueen.

Ideally, I'd take five minutes to look at his record before saying this, but I thought he was okay/so-so in Memphis. His rep was hurt by his work with Boston.
   1671. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 19, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4709705)
No one is that bad - not even Isiah (he has a pretty damn good record with the draft) - but it's meant more in the sense that a former, fired* executive that still has the ear of the owner. It's weirder in this case, since it's not the same owner.

*So not really fired in this case if he still worked there; re-assigned it would appear is technically accurate here.
   1672. Publius Publicola Posted: May 19, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4709710)
Washington DC is pretty amazing

PG Dave Bing
SG Adrian Dantley
SF Elgin Baylor
PF Kevin Durant
C Roy Hibbert


And Len Bias.

I think you should flip Durant and Baylor on the positions, even though Durant is taller.
   1673. kpelton Posted: May 19, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4709741)
I thought he was okay/so-so in Memphis. His rep was hurt by his work with Boston

Yeah, and the fact that Boston is, um, somewhat overrepresented in the national media.
   1674. Publius Publicola Posted: May 19, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4709745)
Didn't Pitino hire him though? And wasn't it Pitino that was calling the shots? I'm not sure how much you can blame all that on Wallace since he was just carrying water for his boss.
   1675. kpelton Posted: May 19, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4709763)
Pitino resigned in January 2001. Wallace remained in Boston through the end of the 2002-03 seasons, and I think we're referring to decisions made in between those times -- the 2001 Draft, which yielded Joe Johnson (No. 10) Kedrick Brown (No. 11) and Joe Forte (No. 21); trading Johnson to Phoenix for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers; and trading for Vin Baker.
   1676. theboyqueen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4709768)
I think you should flip Durant and Baylor on the positions, even though Durant is taller.


Given Baylor's rebounding, fair enough. Though other than Hibbert (and including Bias), DC seems to have a lock on guys who could play any position 1-4 and probably make it work, at least offensively. Bing, Dantley, Baylor, Durant, and Bias is like a who's who of undefinable, unstoppable offense.
   1677. Publius Publicola Posted: May 19, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4709784)
Bing, Dantley, Baylor, Durant, and Bias is like a who's who of undefinable, unstoppable offense.


Yeah, epic firepower there. Slashers, bombers, torture chamber artists and monster dunkers all mixed in there.
   1678. Publius Publicola Posted: May 19, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4709787)
I don't think the Delk and Rogers for Johnson was such a bad trade, seeing how they were making a playoff run and needed immediate help. Rogers really helped them that year.

The Baker thing- yeah. That alone should have gotten him fired.
   1679. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: May 19, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4709852)
Ron Artest could guard at least 1-4 and probably some meh centers.

I remember a Knicks-Kings game from several years ago when Artest defended Eddy Curry. Curry was a shitty player overall, but was a very good low-post scorer. Artest completely smothered him so that he couldn't even touch the ball.
   1680. Maxwn Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4709878)
Am I misremembering, or does Wallace have a spotty record there? Is he the Grizz's version of Isiah Thomas?


No one is that bad - not even Isiah (he has a pretty damn good record with the draft) - but it's meant more in the sense that a former, fired* executive that still has the ear of the owner. It's weirder in this case, since it's not the same owner.

*So not really fired in this case if he still worked there; re-assigned it would appear is technically accurate here.


I had a final tonight, so I'm not really up on all this yet, but I thought I'd chime in on this. As far as I can tell there's no real reason to think Wallace had the ear of Pera. There was no reason I'm aware of to think that was true before today. My guess is that its more likely this falling out with Levien happened and Pera needed someone to run the team right away in the meantime and figured it might as well be the experienced NBA GM he was still paying. I'm not totally sure why Wallace was still on the payroll, I guess it was due to some contractual thing where they figured they'd just as soon keep him around, at least notionally, if they were paying him and he figured he'd just as soon get paid. He hasn't been doing anything for them lately, I don't believe, but he's been the titular GM this whole time, I think.

As far as his record with the Grizz, I think it was pretty decent really. He mostly built this team. He supposedly pushed to get Marc in the Pau deal, he turned Darko into Z-bo, he got Tony Allen to sign. He got killed for the Conley extension at the time, but I think that has turned out to be a pretty damn good deal. He re-signed Marc. The Z-bo extension was pricy but I think they had to do it. The Rudy deal was objectively too much, but I'm not sure they had a better option at the time and I think it turned out reasonably ok. He hired Lionel I believe.

The main black spot on his tenure is the Thabeet pick, and probably the draft in general. There has always been a lot of talk that Heisley was heavily involved in that pick, so who knows to what extent it was really Wallace's call or not. They certainly haven't really done great in the draft in the last several years generally. The draft day trade of Kevin Love for Oj Mayo also turned out to be very bad in the end.

I guess I'd say that many of his major moves were not highly thought of at the time. People panned the Thabeet pick at the time and it was a legitimate disaster. The Mayo for Love trade I don't think was seen as a bad deal at the time, but wound up being one. The Pau trade wasn't popular but I think worked out pretty well for Memphis in the long run. People saw the Z-bo deal as a gamble and it was, but paid off well. Conley has been a big success both as a pick and as a extension. Tony Allen was a good gamble as well. That's a lot of the highlights.

To me that looks like someone who knows that compete in a market like Memphis you have to gamble and so he has. He's also at times had to do things for ownership for financial reasons or otherwise. It's possible many of his good moves have just been a matter of running good on gambles, but I think overall its a fairly creditable run of GMing. YMMV. They certainly wound up being a lot better than I think most people thought they'd be 5 years ago, and it seems like in fairness he ought to get some credit for that.

I have no opinion on his Boston tenure.
   1681. Maxwn Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4709888)
More generally on this move today, I'd liked what I saw out of the Levien regime so far and this perhaps indicates a bit more of a panicky meddling tendency from Pera than I'd really prefer, but I guess its possible this is just a one-off event due to the relationship between Pera and Levien. I'm not thrilled about it. Pera needs to pick his man and cool it for a while after that I think.

I hope that it doesn't cost them Joerger. If that happens, then Pera should have had this brainwave a year ago and just kept Lionel in the first ####### place. I also hope it doesn't cause Hollinger to leave, not because I really have any idea whether Hollinger is any good at basketball ops or not, but because that would reek a bit of appeasing the old-school mentality present amongst some of the fanbase and at least one of the beat writers. I don't think that would be an encouraging sign. As I sort of indicated in 1680, I'm reasonably bullish on Wallace if he winds up being back in the saddle permanently, I'm more or less ok with that, but there's no indication yet that he's anything other than a caretaker.

Anyway, why don't we get some people in the organization who can ####### get along?
   1682. Spivey Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4709900)
This has been an exciting game. OKC was smart to go big. Perkins is terrible, but without Ibaka they need him or Adams on the court pretty much always.
   1683. Spivey Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:03 PM (#4709905)
Danny Green is such a good role player.
   1684. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 20, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4710038)
I hadn't realized this 'til today, but... the D-League will have 18 teams next season. 17 will be single-team affiliates, the other (Fort Wayne) will be shared by 13 NBA teams. That's nuts.
   1685. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 20, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4710043)
I like that Kevin Love wants to be a Warrior, but I don't like that it's impossible Kevin Love will be a Warrior. Still, this might be the first time in my life a superstar wanted to head to GSW. That is weird.
   1686. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 20, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4710138)
To me that looks like someone who knows that compete in a market like Memphis you have to gamble and so he has. He's also at times had to do things for ownership for financial reasons or otherwise. It's possible many of his good moves have just been a matter of running good on gambles, but I think overall its a fairly creditable run of GMing. YMMV. They certainly wound up being a lot better than I think most people thought they'd be 5 years ago, and it seems like in fairness he ought to get some credit for that.

Thanks for the perspective. In one of those great "what if" scenarios, I wonder how the Grizz would look if they kept Love (and then never would have acquired Z-Bo).

Speaking of the Grizz:

Bill Simmons ?@BillSimmons 19h
Hearing that, if the Grizz totally clean house, the Memphis owner will look to trade for Tom Thibodeau + give him an SVG/Pistons-type deal.

Bill Simmons ?@BillSimmons 19h
PS: Bulls need assets for a run at Kevin Love, an extra 1st round pick would help. They'd hire Fred Hoiberg if Thibs got traded. Stay tuned.


He already had said this:
Bill Simmons ?@BillSimmons May 1
I feel good about this prediction: Thibs becomes this summer's Doc (traded for a future 1st round pick), then Chicago hires Fred Hoiberg.


The Thibs going elsewhere stuff just won't die, and neither the Bulls or Thibs are saying anything to stop those rumors. I do wonder about the Bulls and their obsession with Iowa St coaches.
   1687. andrewberg Posted: May 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4710147)
Another piece of fallout from the Memphis mess is that Dave Joerger would probably become Minny's top target if he is let go. He grew up in Minnesota and studied Flip Saunders in his early days. There is supposedly a mutual admiration between them, so that would possibly be a good fit. He seemed to play to the team's strengths and adapt on the fly better than Hollins did the year before (finding a way to get more shooters on the court), and I would be happier to have him than the other retread names I have heard.
   1688. robinred Posted: May 20, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4710162)
Lottery is tonight. Ford has a piece up about the combine; he said that Vonleh and LaVine's stocks went up and that NBA guys were disappointed that Embiid was not there, so there is still uncertainty about his back.
   1689. andrewberg Posted: May 20, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4710202)
Wolves have never improved their draft stock in the lottery. Tonight would be a great night to change that luck. I am also quietly hoping that Wiggins doesn't end up in the boring mess that is Milwaukee.
   1690. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: May 20, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4710208)
I am also quietly hoping that Wiggins doesn't end up in the boring mess that is Milwaukee.

Glad I'm not the only one.
   1691. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 20, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4710213)
Why doesn't ESPN have the balls to do a Mock Draft Lottery? Sure, there's Chad Ford's little game you can play over and over. And there's a few mock drafts up. But I want an actual "We just did a mock lottery and here's the results." Go all out, like they do for the NFL draft (they had a live 3 round mock draft that they televised, with their actual analysts analyzing each mock pick).
   1692. Maxwn Posted: May 20, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4710261)
So the word in the Memphis circles from the beat writers and the radio guys is that there are basically two competing versions of what happened in Memphis yesterday. First though, the initial reports(I think Stein had this) were that it was about Stu Lash getting axed and Levien quit because Lash was his protege. Now it seems that was inaccurate, it wasn't about Lash, he was just a casualty to the real conflict which was Pera and Levien. The two different narratives are: 1) Some attorney named David Minchberg(something like that) who is general counsel of the team or something was involved in a power struggle with Levien over control of the basketball operations. He was supposedly a former protege of Levien's and now he's close with Pera and so the story is he's stabbed Levien in the back and Pera has taken his side and here we are. 2) This is just how it goes with Levien. This is the 3rd team he's been involved with and he's never lasted more than 2 years with any of them. (Previously was involved in Sacramento and Philly). So the story is he is kind of slippery or something and Pera no longer trusted him just as happened both times before. One supporting piece of this story is Pera conducting his own end-of-season interviews with the players without the management, suggesting maybe he didn't trust Levien to tell him what was actually said.

The local media guys are basically saying they are hearing variants of both these stories, I guess it probably depends on who you ask. I don't know any of these people, so I have no idea what actually happened. I really don't care at this point. Sounds basically like people with lots of money and big egos and some sort of pissing match. Whatever. At this point I would just like them to sort it out now. I want Joerger to stay. Supposedly he's been told he is back. I want Hollinger to stay. Supposedly that is also going to happen. In the abstract I don't necessarily have any great desire for Chris Wallace to be the GM but given all the turmoil, I think I would just as soon he get the job on a permanent basis from here rather than shaking things up again in the next month or two with a new guy. His status is definitely still up in the air at the moment by all accounts.

I guess we'll see. Maybe this is just about Pera and Levien specifically, but this definitely a bit of indication that Pera might be from the hands-on, eccentric and perhaps arbitrary rich guy school of ownership. As we've seem many times before in various places, that type of ownership has incredibly high variance. Can be great, can be disastrous. I guess we'll see.
   1693. AROM Posted: May 20, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4710273)
Why doesn't ESPN have the balls to do a Mock Draft Lottery?


Here you go, I just took the odds and produced a quick random number generator:

14 Phoenix
13 Minnesota
12 Orlando (from Knicks)
11 Denver
10 Philadelphia (from NO)
9 Cleveland

Little crybaby Gilbert starts bawling. His son consoles him.

8 Detroit
7 Sacramento
6 LA Lakers

At this point I realize I need a new TV as mine has a beer bottle lodged in it.

5 Orlando

Even worse, Boston has moved up. So has Utah, but I'm mostly indifferent to that.

4 Philadelphia

Good karmic result for probably the most obvious tank job ever

3 Boston

At least they don't get #1

2 Utah Jazz

Jabari will get to play in land of Joseph Smith

1 Milwaukee Bucks

Boring. What fun is it when the most likely result prevails?
   1694. andrewberg Posted: May 20, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4710290)
Here is my mock based on your lottery.

1. MIL- Wiggins
2. Utah- Parker
3. Boston- Embiid
4. Philadelphia- Exum
5. Orlando- Gordon
6. LAL- Randle
7. Sacramento- Smart
8. Detroit- Anderson
9. Cleveland- Vonleh
10. Phi- Saric
11. Den- McDermott
12. Orl- Harris
13. Min- Stauskas
14. Phx- Lavine
   1695. Booey Posted: May 20, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4710332)
Dammit, AROM, now you're getting me all excited and setting me up for disappointment!

What time is the lottery?
   1696. AROM Posted: May 20, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4710337)
8:00 I think.
   1697. cmd600 Posted: May 20, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4710387)
9 Cleveland

Little crybaby Gilbert starts bawling. His son consoles him.


Gilbert has finally realized that being in the lottery is not something to celebrate, so he's not bringing his full entourage and parading his kid around again. Just a boring contingent of the GM and some chairman. As a Cavs fan, I would like him to have faced a question or two about having his kid tell everyone they wouldn't be back at last year's lottery.
   1698. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 20, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4710390)
As a Cavs fan, I would like him to have faced a question or two about having his kid tell everyone they wouldn't be back at last year's lottery.

Yeah that was a silly promise to make really. But hey, at least his promise about the Cavs winning a title before LeBron is still looking good, right?!
   1699. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4710408)
I would really laugh if utah wins with what would have been a pick for the knicks
   1700. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4710413)
Nothing against Utah, but I kind of hope they fall in the lottery just so they end up picking Doug McDermott because, you know, white.

I'm only rooting for that for the comic impact.
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