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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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   1801. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 21, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4711054)
Has Cleveland hired a coach yet?
   1802. jmurph Posted: May 21, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4711059)
Re-posted for the flip:

The Cavs plan is "to try to get radically better much quicker". Who knows whatever the hell that means exactly, but if it's taken at face value, I'd guess it means they are going hard after Love, who they've wanted, but never had close to the ammo to get, for a while.


How about Irving and the number 1 plus salary filler for Love and Rubio?
   1803. cmd600 Posted: May 21, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4711061)
How about Irving and the number 1 plus salary filler for Love and Rubio?


Add the Wolves pick this year, and I'm interested, but guess that the Cavs would give up everything but Irving.
   1804. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4711062)
How about Irving and the number 1 plus salary filler for Love and Rubio?


That just moves the Wolves to Cleveland and the Cavs to Minneapolis. Doesn't really help either of them, though
   1805. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4711063)
How about Irving and the number 1 plus salary filler for Love and Rubio?


Would the Cavs team post-this-trade be any better than the Wolfs were this year? They might even be worse -- I'd take Minnesota's squad outside of Love and Rubio over Cleveland's outside of Irving, Deng notwithstanding (wonder if this changes his situation... he seemed like a lock to leave before this development).

Admittedly, that's probably a 3 seed in the EC.

Also, berg's dreams continue to progress: Minny to interview Joerger.
   1806. jmurph Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4711068)
Well yeah Minny would definitely get worse, but they're obviously in a tough spot with Love. The number one would be huge.

And while I'm sure CMD is right that Cleveland won't trade Irving, I think that trade would make them significantly better right now than Irving + whoever goes #1, and they seem committed to the present.
   1807. cmd600 Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4711073)
Would the Cavs team post-this-trade be any better than the Wolfs were this year?


I'd say yes. The Irving-Waiters backcourt pairing has been awful for the Cavs. The Irving-Thompson pairing is ugly too. Moving to a PG who looks to pass first and can actually defend might create enough synergy with the rest of the pieces to be a significant plus for the roster.

Like AS said, they're challenging for the 3 seed.
   1808. theboyqueen Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4711077)
A Lebron, Love, Irving trio would be pretty damn easy to build a juggernaut team around, if that could happen somehow.
   1809. rr Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4711078)
Paul George has a concussion:

Indiana Pacers All-Star swingman Paul George was diagnosed with a concussion Wednesday just hours after he took a hit to the head from Dwyane Wade during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, the team announced.George now will begin the NBA-mandated protocol for return to action, the Pacers said. There is no timeframe to complete it.




link
   1810. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4711080)
I'd say yes. The Irving-Waiters backcourt pairing has been awful for the Cavs. The Irving-Thompson pairing is ugly too. Moving to a PG who looks to pass first and can actually defend might create enough synergy with the rest of the pieces to be a significant plus for the roster.

Like AS said, they're challenging for the 3 seed.


Yeah, I have no doubt that this trade improves the Cavs, since the Wolves last year were a lot better than the Cavs. It just seems like what Jimmy said, that you are basically just becoming the Wolves. I guess the point is that you still have some upside on guys like Waiters and Thompson and some cap room (or Deng?), and maybe challenging for the 3 seed is A-OK with Cavs fans / management.

Still, I feel like if you are trying to win a championship, you are better off taking Wiggins (or Embiid if you believe in him) and letting it ride.
   1811. rr Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4711084)
I assume that people are basing this on a scenario in which Love and Rubio both commit to signing long-term in Cleveland, which is hard for me to picture actually happening. I think Cleveland should keep things as simple as possible-just take Wiggins or Embiid, make a competitive offer to Deng and/or to another FA they like better.
   1812. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4711093)
Phoenix fans still getting on the team for not putting together a proper tank-job.
   1813. rr Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4711097)
Phoenix fans still getting on the team for not putting together a proper tank-job.


Really? If so, that just shows that (shockingly) every team has some really dumb fans. I think the "try-to-get-good-enough-and-have-assets/cap space-to-go-for-the-big-fish-when-the-time-comes" model is probably as viable in today's NBA as what the 76ers did. Neither way is easy; both ways require luck and timing as well as smarts. That is just how the NBA has always worked and will probably always work to a great extent.
   1814. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4711100)
McDonough's assets-and-money plan seems far more sound than whatever the hell Lance Blanks was doing.
   1815. cmd600 Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4711104)
Still, I feel like if you are trying to win a championship, you are better off taking Wiggins (or Embiid if you believe in him) and letting it ride.


They have cap space to go after a big FA, maybe that changes with the trade, but I think if you can another good piece, you look like a 50 win team in the East, and that's worth going after.
   1816. steagles Posted: May 21, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4711112)
They have cap space to go after a big FA, maybe that changes with the trade, but I think if you can another good piece, you look like a 50 win team in the East, and that's worth going after.
i'm sure derek fisher would listen if cleveland called.
   1817. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4711117)
They have cap space to go after a big FA, maybe that changes with the trade, but I think if you can another good piece, you look like a 50 win team in the East, and that's worth going after.


If only that cap space could move them somewhere Not Cleveland. Then they'd really have a chance of getting people to go there.
   1818. andrewberg Posted: May 21, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4711121)
Also, berg's dreams continue to progress: Minny to interview Joerger.


I like to dream small.

I don't think Irving gets involved in a trade with the Wolves, but I could see a Love + filler for #1 pick, Varejao, Waiters offer that makes some sense both ways. Rubio would facilitate Waiters's scoring rather than getting in the way of it, Varejao would pair defensively with Pekovic in a passable way (as and aside- Pekovic has been getting crapped on a bit, but he's a very, very talented player with 3 straight years of 20+ PER), and then they can use those semi reasonable pieces to build around Wiggins. I don't actually think that's a good trade for Cleveland, but they seem to have the goal of trying to win as quickly as possible.
   1819. cmd600 Posted: May 21, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4711122)
Yeah yeah, I already know more Cleveland jokes than you'll ever hear. They'll have to overpay, but playing with Love in this Eastern Conference is not a bad position for upcoming FAs.
   1820. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 21, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4711130)
I could see a Love + filler for #1 pick, Varejao, Waiters offer that makes some sense both ways.


If Love is really gone then this is better for the Wolves than I could have hoped and I would be overjoyed.
   1821. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4711140)
Yeah yeah, I already know more Cleveland jokes than you'll ever hear. They'll have to overpay, but playing with Love in this Eastern Conference is not a bad position for upcoming FAs.


They can't overpay. And, I've yet to see stars move to team for a chance to contend willingly. They go places TO contend. Melo's not going to Cleveland. Lebron's not going to Cleveland. Love's not willingly going to Cleveland. Take away it being Cleveland, but they're a clownshoes organization that can't do anything right. They can't even seem to fail upwards, which even Donald Sterling has managed to do.

Plus, look at the teams that are going to be able to have space and/or assets to move around this offseason to lure the big players: Chicago, Golden St, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Boston. That's not even really considering teams that could go all crazy and start trading big pieces or having guys opt-out (Bosh leaves Miami a good example).

Free agency hasn't ever really proven to be the panacea in the NBA, but with the recent CBA's, it's become almost impossible. Especially for a bad team or a team that's in an undesirable city.
   1822. cmd600 Posted: May 21, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4711152)
If the salary cap is going to be $63M, they could add Love and Rubio for Irving and the #1 and still find themselves close to $20M under, so yes, they could overpay. And I'd say they failed upward by getting the #1 pick in this draft. Absolutely agree on the clownshoes organization part though. But it's not just Melo, or just Lebron, or just Love. It's Love and another max or near-max player. They'll be going there to contend, even if they'll still clearly be a step below Miami and Indiana.
   1823. Howling John Shade Posted: May 21, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4711153)
Is Love really worth #1 pick + Varejo + Waiters right now? If Love and his 1yr/$17mil contract were available in the draft, would he go first? How about if he signed a max extension for 5 years?

I guess he would go first with the extension. It depends on how certain you are that one of those top 3 players is a sure thing and how desperate you are to win next season.
   1824. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 21, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4711167)
is there any chance utah could make derrick favors available if it nets them jabari parker? i know they want him, but do they want him badly to do that?


I don't think so. He's the only good defender they have, put up a 19 PER as a 22-year old, and actually seems happy in Utah.

Kanter would be a definite yes, but I agree is not enough for the Sixers. Maybe Burks would be (I certainly value him a lot higher than Kanter), but I'm sure the Sixers would prefer a better shooter to pair with MCW, and I don't think that the Sixers would be able to extend Burks (or Kanter) pre-free-agency.

favors is good, but he's a fringe top-50 guy right now, and if they think parker is gonna have a lebron/durant type peak, that might be worth it, from a basketball perspective. plus, that'll probably make them worse next year, so they'll be able to add another high lottery pick to their burke/parker/kanter core.


but i'd probably be willing to give up a bit more. favors would make thaddeus young kind of redundant and utah would have an opening at PF, so that swap might make sense. and the sixers do have some more ammunition in the draft (picks #10, 32, 38, 47, 52 and 54) that they could dangle. plus there's cap room that they could rent out to get a pick, a la anthony randolph to MIN in the carmelo deal.


it'd be pretty sweet if the sixers could come out of draft night with MCW/smart/anderson/favors/noel


I don't think anyone sees Parker as having that kind of upside. Even if he's close offensively at his peak, which I doubt, every scouting report I've seen has him as a big negative on defense. Adding Young to the deal definitely makes it worthwhile to consider, but I think I'd still oppose it if it's to draft Parker. I really like the idea of pairing Vonleh with Favors though, so nabbing Parker may be far less important to me than the Jazz FO.
   1825. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 21, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4711172)
Bennett was obviously a shitshow and the draft sucked, but are people actually high on Oladipo? I don't see it -- why do we think he is even a long-term NBA player let alone a building block? There are some mitigating factors (bad team, being shoehorned into PG), but this is a guy who is shooting 33 percent low-volume on 3's, 45 percent on 2's; bad A/T ratio; not a rebounder. He gets to the line and converts at a decent rate, and he has some steals, but I really don't see anything in his profile to suggest he's actually going to be good (and he's 22 right now; this is obviously not a fair comparison, but he's a year older than Anthony Davis).


He's supposed to be a great perimeter defender, no? I think a .516 TS% with a pretty high usage from a rookie on a bad team who was playing a new position on offense is pretty good, especially when his best skill is defense. He also sounds like a great fit in the backcourt with a good shooting/scoring horrible defensive PG like Irving. EDIT: I don't think passing on Oladipo is too big of a deal either though. I probably mostly agree with you guys in that I don't think he's going to be a star or a huge deal, but I think he likely ends up as a decent starter.

As for last year's draft, who would you guys take #1?
Noel? MCW? Oladipo? Giannis?
   1826. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 21, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4711185)
Has Cleveland hired a coach yet?

Nope, going on 13 months now.
   1827. jmurph Posted: May 21, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4711196)
As for last year's draft, who would you guys take #1?
Noel? MCW? Oladipo? Giannis?


After seeing how the year played out, I'd have to go with Noel. Again, I won't be shocked if Oladipo and/or MCW turn into good starters, but I don't see star potential there at all. Noel is still an unknown.
   1828. RollingWave Posted: May 21, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4711203)
Giannis, I see some star potential there, and more over, he sucked enough this year to make sure you'd have another good pick anyway.
   1829. RollingWave Posted: May 21, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4711231)
I'm going to go on a limb and say that this WCF might be pretty short with the way things are going.
   1830. Spivey Posted: May 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4711240)
OKC is very, very difficult to beat on the road. A series isn't seriously in danger for a team until they lose a home game.

That said, Ibaka is/was such a huge part of what made OKC difficult for the Spurs.
   1831. RollingWave Posted: May 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4711245)
Yeah, but if they lose game 3 then it's 99.9% over.

And they're down 30, it's hard to imagine them being really in the same class as the Spurs right now. It's not like they lost 2 close contest, they are going to get blown out of the water (by some of the largest margin of any series in this playoff so far.) 2 strait game.
   1832. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 21, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4711260)
Yeah, the Spurs look unbeatable. 5 rings for Timmay!
   1833. theboyqueen Posted: May 21, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4711265)
Durant 5 FTA. Westbrook 0 FTA. Amazing discipline from the Spurs; those guys normally live on the free throw line.
   1834. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 21, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4711273)
The Spurs look unbeatable right now but they looked eminently beatable against the Mavs. They have to be considered the favorites right now but it's not a lock at all.

It is amazing that the Spurs are likely to meet the Heat in the finals and are probably a better this year than they were last year despite the fact that their core is ancient in NBA terms.
   1835. theboyqueen Posted: May 22, 2014 at 12:09 AM (#4711280)
The amazing thing is how ancient the Heat's core seems sometimes. Half the time Bosh and Wade seem just as old as Duncan and Ginobili (who doesn't really seem like part of the core anymore anyway). In fact, Duncan seems downright spry compared to Bosh, who is playing old man basketball at this point, drifting further and further away from anything requiring physical exertion.
   1836. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4711306)
I'm still betting on the two-time champs with the best player alive. FWIW, Vegas has them as roughly even.
   1837. RollingWave Posted: May 22, 2014 at 07:19 AM (#4711321)
Yeah, Heat vs Spurs again would be interesting, as Spolstra showed he can at least hang with Pop, but as others mentioned, Popovich in his entire career have only lost to one coach in a playoff series twice. and that's Phil Jackson.

   1838. AROM Posted: May 22, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4711353)
The amazing thing is how ancient the Heat's core seems sometimes. Half the time Bosh and Wade seem just as old as Duncan and Ginobili (who doesn't really seem like part of the core anymore anyway). In fact, Duncan seems downright spry compared to Bosh, who is playing old man basketball at this point, drifting further and further away from anything requiring physical exertion.


Duncan is amazing. He's the equivalent of Mariano Rivera. He plays fewer minutes than at his peak, but his per36 averages are right in line with his career numbers. He actually did have some dropoff in WS48, a career low .164, but has been at .211 so far in the playoffs.
   1839. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4711381)
Duncan is amazing.


Basketball is fundamentals.
   1840. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4711391)

Duncan is amazing. He's the equivalent of Mariano Rivera.


Surely Kareem is a more apropos comparison?
   1841. theboyqueen Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4711412)
I think Mariano fits better actually. Kareem probably had the highest peak of anyone ever, and had a long very gradual decline during which his game evolved quite a bit. He was really a role player towards the end of his career. Duncan still seems like the same player he was 10 years ago, the only thing that's really changed is his minutes.
   1842. jmurph Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4711417)
I see it, but Duncan's career has been a touch more valuable than a closer's, even the best one ever.
   1843. AROM Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4711418)
I was going for a more recent example. Mo is older than Duncan, but then basketball players don't last as long as baseball players at the extremes.

Kareem is a good example - he was still a dominant player at 37, declined into a role player after that. Robert Parish is another one.
   1844. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4711421)
I think Mariano fits better actually.


Except he doesn't play the same sport...

He was really a role player towards the end of his career.


Sure, but he played until he was 41. When he was 37, he played 33.3 MPG, 22.9 PER. Duncan this year played 29.2 MPG, 21.3 PER.

Edit ... and somehow Kareem is behind Patrick Ewing in the Basketballreference.com fan ELO rater. People really don't like Kareem, don't they?
   1845. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4711422)
I like the Duncan-Rivera analogy. Both players also have seen reduced playing time in the regular season and then more aggressive usage in the playoffs.
   1846. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4711455)
It's interesting to see different opinions on what the Wolves should/will get for Love in a trade. For example, here's the Bulls deals from those 3 links:

1. Taj Gibson, Carlos Boozer, Tony Snell, draft picks
2. Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, the rights to Nikola Mirotic, Ronnie Brewer, Nos. 16 and 19 picks in 2014
3. Taj Gibson, Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler and a 2015 first-round pick (lottery-protected); plus Bulls also acquire J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved.

#2 is obviously written from someone with a Wolves rooting interest, and is by far the best deal for the Wolves of those 3. Depending on the picks, #1 is the best for the Bulls. I think something like this, with the Bulls also sending the rights to Mirotic plus a future pick and/or the Cleveland pick/swaps would maybe be swallowable for both teams (obviously, this is biased from a Bulls fan perspective). Bulls would keep Butler, still have picks to fill out their rotation (Bulls could include a pick from this year if the deal is before the draft instead of a future one), maybe Thibs can work some magic with Barea or Shved. Giving up Gibson and Mirotic sucks, but they aren't playing ahead of Noah/Love. For the Wolves, Mirotic is the lottery ticket, plus Gibson is a good player on a good deal. Maybe Snell turns into something, and hey, picks. Actually, this is pretty depressing return for the Wolves. But I don't think they're getting a high lottery pick for Love; those Irving/#1 ideas are so unrealistic, IMO. I guess they'd really have to love Mirotic - which could be possible.

Outside of that Harper article, most of the trade ideas in the other 2 threads are pretty depressing. But to compare that to other recent big trades for guys in similar boats, it's probably in the same boat (KG, Pau, Harden, Dwight, CP3).
   1847. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4711456)
John Stockton was another guy who was very similar on a per minute basis late in his career as he was in his prime, at least offensively.
   1848. jmurph Posted: May 22, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4711465)
those Irving/#1 ideas are so unrealistic, IMO.


Just for the record, as the guy who started that line of thinking in the thread, I 100% agree. Cleveland would obviously not do that. I'm just saying if they're really motivated to compete now, they should be willing to consider it because A. I don't think Irving is very good, certainly not elite, and B. they're never getting a free agent of Love's caliber to sign there on their own. But again, totally agree that it's unrealistic in the real world.

   1849. Jimmy P Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4711469)
Outside of that Harper article, most of the trade ideas in the other 2 threads are pretty depressing. But to compare that to other recent big trades for guys in similar boats, it's probably in the same boat (KG, Pau, Harden, Dwight, CP3).


This. Even Melo. For as good as this deal was/is, it still wasn't "fair" value. No team is ever going to get fair value for one of the top 10-20 (?) players in the NBA.

It's kind of a Catch-22. Most teams want to get something, but if you go the Denver route and get too much, you'll be a mediocre team. The best bet is probably doing what Orlando and Phoenix did, get a few young players and tons of future assets. You're going to slide back and stink, try and set up the rebuilding for a few years away.

If the Bulls are going to make a run at Love, I'd offer package 1 and hold to it. No reason to start giving up assets just because. Minnesota doesn't have much leverage until multiple teams are in.
   1850. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4711475)
I think something like this, with the Bulls also sending the rights to Mirotic plus a future pick and/or the Cleveland pick/swaps would maybe be swallowable for both teams (obviously, this is biased from a Bulls fan perspective)


That's not too bad. I think Butler and Mirotic are the keys, though. Whatever goes around them is workable.
   1851. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4711479)
You're going to slide back and stink, try and set up the rebuilding for a few years away.


Not to be too cynical but at this point it might be hard to tell what this looks like for the Wolves. Sigh.

If only their health had been better the last two years and Rubio could shoot a bit better. Then this might all be different.
   1852. AROM Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4711489)
Minnesota had the points scored/allowed numbers of a 48 win team. I'd say just put the best team you can together, make one playoff run, and if Love wants to go, then worry about the rebuild. It just doesn't seem right to tell fans who have been waiting for almost a decade that you choose to go back to ground zero.

Edit ... and somehow Kareem is behind Patrick Ewing in the Basketballreference.com fan ELO rater. People really don't like Kareem, don't they?


Younger fans didn't see him play. Fans who started watching in the 80's remember Kareem's skyhook, but other than that he was a non-physical center who got 6 rebounds per game. People who were watching in the 70's remember Kareem's dominant prime, but there just aren't as many of them.

Even though the baby boom generation is numerous and would have been right there to see it, the NBA just wasn't nearly as popular before Magic/Bird and then Jordan.
   1853. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4711500)
It just doesn't seem right to tell fans who have been waiting for almost a decade that you choose to go back to ground zero.


I feel that way, and although I'm not in the middle of it, I get the impression that a lot of my friends in Minnesota have basically given up on the team built around Love and want to move on.
   1854. Jimmy P Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4711514)
I feel that way, and although I'm not in the middle of it, I get the impression that a lot of my friends in Minnesota have basically given up on the team built around Love and want to move on.


If Love wants to leave, and it sure does look that way, then they have to decide whether they want to get a decent amount of assets or a token amount of assets. Which could also be nothing if he goes the Dwight Howard way. I think the Magic have done the best job of getting a good return. They got some good young role players, some draft assets, and they stayed bad enough to be in the top of the lottery. This is the issue with what Denver got. Denver got a ton of good role players, but they're just a bit too good to help the Nuggets get a true difference maker.

I know that we all love advanced metrics, but if the Wolves performed so far below their record, especially in close games, I think that points to a structural issue with their team. Either coaching decisions or player faults, but something. They had so many late game failures that I'd really struggle just accepting that it's randomness and to roll the dice next year with the same team.
   1855. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4711517)
I haven't checked Westbrook's playoff shooting % lately. Anybody know how he's doing?

There was an interesting clip that was commented on last night by the studio guys. Durant dribbled into a turnover and during the ensuing timeout, Westbrook looked overat him and pointed to his eyes, like "others were open".

This from a guy that shot 7-24 and had a -34 +/-.
   1856. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4711520)
That's not too bad. I think Butler and Mirotic are the keys, though. Whatever goes around them is workable.

I didn't include Butler in that deal, and I think the Bulls are going to be extremely hesitant to include him. So much of the Bulls defense under Thibs has involved getting 40+ minutes a night from Deng and/or Butler. If everything works out, they're still gonna have to deal with LeBron and/or Durant, and while I didn't anticipate Butler becoming as good as he is defensively after his first year, I don't think Snell is ever going to approach where Butler is now (Butler is significantly stronger, faster, more athletic, though Snell is taller and has more length).

That's why I think Gibson would work; even though he's not as cheap/young as Butler, he's better and isn't overpaid at all. He's a great platoon guy to have with Mirotic, and would fit with Pek/Dieng as well.

If the Bulls are going to make a run at Love, I'd offer package 1 and hold to it. No reason to start giving up assets just because. Minnesota doesn't have much leverage until multiple teams are in.

Multiple teams are in it. If he really has limited the teams he wants, the Bulls could beat the Warriors' best offer unless they included Barnes and Thompson. The Bulls best chance is Love refusing to go places like Houston or Cleveland and focusing on fewer teams. Love should also be a much higher priority for the Bulls than the Melo stuff.
   1857. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4711531)
but there just aren't as many of them.


I beg your pardon.
   1858. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4711533)
The Thunder are down to two scoring threats. Russ's TS% for the 2014 playoffs is .521.
   1859. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4711534)
The Thunder are down to two scoring threats.


And so the question is - Why are they down to only two scoring threats?

If the Spurs can get 21 points from Danny Green, why can't the Thunder do the same with Sefolosha or Jackson?

Russ's TS% for the 2014 playoffs is .521.


Westbrook has 7 teammates who are beating that. 7.
   1860. rr Posted: May 22, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4711535)
It just doesn't seem right to tell fans who have been waiting for almost a decade that you choose to go back to ground zero.


--

I think this depends to some extent on where Love's head is, and we can't really know that. If Love went to Saunders and said, more or less, "I don't care if we're good next year. I am bailing", then you probably have to move him. But if Love is still undecided, and just leaning towards bailing, you can make a case for holding on to him and trying again.

The realistic ceiling for Minnesota next year is probably winning 48-52 games and winning a playoff series. I think that could happen, given their metrics, some luck, and some good roster management. Anything beyond that, and I think you are in the territory of saying stuff like, "Maybe Chris Paul gets hurt in April"--pure hope and conjecture.

So, one big question for me if I ran Minnesota would be whether a good season like the one I described might get Love to re-up.

Also, not talking about people here but in general, my exp. with stuff like this is that sometimes fans get caught up "What my team can do or cannot do" and sort of forget what "unrestricted free agent" means. Yes, there are limitations, and Minnesota has control of Love's contract for another year, but ultimately, Love will be the one who makes the call on where he signs his next contract. He may have strong preferences about this already; but, then again, he may not.
   1861. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4711540)
I know that we all love advanced metrics, but if the Wolves performed so far below their record, especially in close games, I think that points to a structural issue with their team. Either coaching decisions or player faults, but something. They had so many late game failures that I'd really struggle just accepting that it's randomness and to roll the dice next year with the same team.


We have been down this road many times, so I won't rehash the whole thing, but the Love/Pekovic defensive pairing is a serious part of the problem. If they want to run it back one more time with Love, I think they have to try to flip Pekovic for some support on the wing and roll the dice with Dieng in a bigger role. That's doubly risky because Pekovic is a real asset if Love is gone and he could obviously still leave in a year. In any case, I don't think they will win close to 48 games if they come back with the same starting 5 unless the coaching is a lot better on the defensive end.
   1862. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 22, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4711589)
And so the question is - Why are they down to only two scoring threats?



Roster management and, to a lesser extent, coaching. Half their rotation is almost literally incapable of scoring 20 points (Sefalosha, for instance had a season high of 14, only 12 double figure games). Same with Kendrick Perkins, Steven Adams, and Nick Collison.
   1863. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4711601)
Roster management and, to a lesser extent, coaching.


Not considering the possibility of a point guard who isn't a distributor, huh?

I guess you're OK with a point who takes 8 more shots than the league MVP while shooting 29% in a 35 point loss.
   1864. AROM Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4711612)
I beg your pardon.


I didn't say non-existent. Just fewer in number than those who started watching the NBA now, or started in the 80's - just because the NBA was not as popular then.

Anybody else here on this thread who was watching the NBA when Kareem was named Lew Alcindor?
   1865. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4711620)

Anybody else here on this thread who was watching the NBA when Kareem was named Lew Alcindor?


I was, assuming that I'm correctly recalling he was still Alcindor when the Bucks won the title his 2nd season. (Looking back, my switch of allegiances to the ABA began with the following season. Experts believe a rookie class of guys like Julius Erving & Artis Gilmore was involved.)


Edit: And Wikipedia says he announced the name change the day after they completed their sweep of the Bullets.
   1866. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4711624)
The guy's in the top-10 in assists every year. Somebody's gotta take the shots, and on this team he and KD are asked to take a lot of them.
   1867. AROM Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4711627)
If the Spurs can get 21 points from Danny Green, why can't the Thunder do the same with Sefolosha or Jackson?


Because Green is a high percentage 3 point shooter and those guys are not.

   1868. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4711629)
And so the question is - Why are they down to only two scoring threats?
Not considering the possibility of a point guard who isn't a distributor, huh?
It's his passive-aggressive way of arguing that Rondo is better.
   1869. jmurph Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4711637)
The implied notion that a team, let's call them the Coston Beltics, wouldn't trade Rondo straight up for Westbrook is of course crazytown. Ainge would pull that trigger all day every day.
   1870. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4711638)
It's his passive aggressive way of arguing that Rondo would do better.


There's was nothing passive about it. Westbrook is a point guard who doesn't point.

And who wouldn't do better? Westbrook took 24 shots, making 7. Durant took the next highest, taking 16. Caron Butler were the highest after that, with 8 each, taken during garbage time. Fi you're a Spurs defender who doesn't have to cover either Westbrook or Durant, you basically have the night off.

To make matters worse, Westbrook uncharacteristically couldn't guard Parker either. Parker kicked his ass, losing him repeatedly on picks, and not making the proper switch, which led to numerous wideopen Green 3's.
   1871. AROM Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4711640)
OKC could really use some extra shooting on the floor. Best bets I see are Butler and Lamb.

I would try:
C Adams/Collison/Perkins (< 5 minutes)
PF Durant
SF Butler
SG Lamb
PG Westbrook

Mix in Thabo, Fisher, and Mr. October. Focus on offense though. A lineup with Durant and SF, 2 big men, and Thabo is focusing on defense, but it's not working. They can't stop the Spurs. So just put in your best offensive lineup and try to win a shootout. I'd pressure the perimeter and encourage the Spurs to feed the ball to Duncan so he can put up a monster game in the post against overmatched defenders. This accomplishes 2 things:

1. Holds the Spurs to 2 points instead of 3 on offense
2. Tires Duncan out, so maybe he'll be less effective on defense.

Hope that Westbrook/Durant can get hot and go crazy, but have the shooters on the floor to punish the Spurs if they put too much help defense on them.
   1872. JJ1986 Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4711641)
Westbrook has 7 teammates who are beating that. 7.


Perkins and Adams; Jones and Lamb in about 40 minutes each; the injured Ibaka, Durant and Jackson. I agree Jackson should be taking more shots.
   1873. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4711642)
The implied notion that a team, let's call them the Coston Beltics, wouldn't trade Rondo straight up for Westbrook is of course crazytown.


Weren't you the one who said Rondo isn't anywhere near Westbrook in value, only to check the numbers and find that Rondo and Westbrook in a dead heat?

That's crazytown.

   1874. jmurph Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4711644)
Weren't you the one who said Rondo isn't anywhere near Westbrook in value, only to check the numbers and find that Rondo and Westbrook in a dead heat?


Surely you don't honestly think this is what happened?
   1875. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4711645)
OKC could really use some extra shooting on the floor.


You can't shoot if you aren't passed the ball, AROM. OKC is doing an abysmal job of finding the open man and balancing the floor, hence the butt-fugly shooting %'s.
   1876. AROM Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4711647)
And who wouldn't do better? Westbrook took 24 shots, making 7. Durant took the next highest, taking 16. Caron Butler were the highest after that, with 8 each, taken during garbage time. Fi you're a Spurs defender who doesn't have to cover either Westbrook or Durant, you basically have the night off.


Yeah. He's terrible. He is to point guards what David Ortiz is to designated hitters. 0 for 5 last night. Anybody can do better than that! And he didn't even try to play defense. Every time the Blue Jays came to bat he just took a break.
   1877. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4711648)
Surely you don't honestly think this is what happened?


No, I don't. You never have bothered to check the numbers. I had to do that for you.

If you did, you would never have written something so silly.
   1878. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4711649)
There's was nothing passive about it. Westbrook is a point guard who doesn't point.
Yeah, he's a shoot-first point guard, but... three conference finals and an NBA Finals appearance so far in four years. Hard to get too worked up about Westbrook's deficiencies.
To make matters worse, Westbrook uncharacteristically couldn't guard Parker either.
Almost nobody can guard Parker.
   1879. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4711651)
Yeah. He's terrible.


He's overrated. And he's playing like crap right now when they really need him to step it up.
   1880. AROM Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4711657)
You say it like it's an ongoing thing. Westbrook had an awful game. Up to that point he was having an excellent playoff run. We'll see on Sunday whether this is a trend or a blip.
   1881. jmurph Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4711662)
No, I don't. You never have bothered to check the numbers. I had to do that for you.


What actually happened is that you were complaining about Westbrook turning it over too much. Then I posted turnover numbers showing that he takes care of the ball better than Rondo does. Then you changed topics.

Against my better judgement:

Rondo career PER: 17.1
Westbrook career PER: 21.1

Rondo career WS: 45 (in 8 seasons)
Westbrook career WS: 42.3 (in 6 seasons)

Rondo career WS/48: .130
Westbrook career WS/48: .136

Rondo's career peaked in 08-09 and has, unfortunately, been declining ever since, some of that due to health, of course. As a Celtics fan I hope he turns it around next year, with a fully healthy season. But Westbrook is, by far, the better player now and, by far, the better bet going forward.

I look forward to learning why these numbers don't matter.
   1882. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4711667)
I look forward to learning why these numbers don't matter.


That's an easy one. Regular season numbers don't matter at all, because any team with one of these guys on it is going to make the playoffs every year. Plus, of course, the East has been a lot stronger than the West over the course of their careers.
   1883. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4711669)
And who wouldn't do better? Westbrook took 24 shots, making 7. Durant took the next highest, taking 16. Caron Butler were the highest after that, with 8 each, taken during garbage time. Fi you're a Spurs defender who doesn't have to cover either Westbrook or Durant, you basically have the night off.
If you're a Spurs defender, you know you can help on Durant or Westbrook because you don't have to cover Perkins or Collison or Thabo at any point. The Spurs are doing a great job of picking up Durant early and forcing the ball out of his hands. If I were Westbrook and my options were Thabo or Perkins, I'd keep the ball, too.
Westbrook had an awful game. Up to that point he was having an excellent playoff run.
Westbrook was at 26.6/8.4/8 through the first two series, average game score over 20. (Including the last two games, average game score just over 19.) Rondo's never had a run like that in the playoffs, even with three other 24,000 point scorers around him to pass to.
   1884. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4711671)
The Thunder are a team with flaws that have been pointed out here many times (giving minutes to guys like Fisher, Perkins, Thabo; the coaching questions that surround Brooks) who lost one of their best players. Again, the coach is notorious for not being able to adjust, is it really a surprise they can't figure out what to do with Ibaka out?

---

Russ's TS% for the 2014 playoffs is .521.

We're all wasting our time here and ruining a good thread, but....

That .521 is better than Rondo has ever put up in the playoffs, including this year. Russ's WS/48 is .139, which is higher than Rondo's career mark.

   1885. rr Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4711673)
Ian Levy on the Thunder at 538:

lineup of Nick Collison, Steven Adams, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson could bend the court to its will.

Over the next 15 minutes of play Thursday night, they scored 42 points and allowed just 24 points on 41 percent shooting, turning a 7-point deficit into an 11-point lead. Extrapolated to a 100-possession pace, the lineup’s point differential was +64.3.

Small sample size, of course, but whoa, what a sample.




   1886. rr Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4711674)
   1887. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4711676)
Russ's WS/48 is .139, which is higher than Rondo's career mark.


Check the playoff numbers, Moses.
   1888. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4711677)
Rondo's career peaked in 08-09 and has, unfortunately, been declining ever since


Now you've gone completely off the deep end.
   1889. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4711684)
Russ's WS/48 is .139, which is higher than Rondo's career mark.

Check the playoff numbers, Moses.


.131 for Rondo.
   1890. Yardape Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4711690)
Check the playoff numbers, Moses.


Those are the playoff numbers.
   1891. jmurph Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4711691)
It's insane to me that, in the middle of the Conference Finals, there are two consecutive days with no basketball. And that each series has 3 off-days between games 2 and 3 (really it's just about 4 days if you start from the end of game 2 to the beginning of game 3).
   1892. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4711694)
I was about to post the same thing! I've gotten into the hang of a game every night. If Paul George misses Game 3 (or is ineffective), the Heat's charmed postseason will continue.
   1893. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4711697)
It's insane to me that, in the middle of the Conference Finals, there are two consecutive days with no basketball. And that each series has 3 off-days between games 2 and 3 (really it's just about 4 days if you start from the end of game 2 to the beginning of game 3).
Ratings are higher on the weekends. That said, I agree that it's stupid. Empty days during the playoffs? You want to build viewership through momentum, and you can do that without games.
   1894. jmurph Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4711698)
I think the lack of a Thursday night game is especially painful. Thursday night and Sunday afternoon seem like they should be locks.
   1895. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4711699)
Rondo's career peaked in 08-09 and has, unfortunately, been declining ever since

Now you've gone completely off the deep end.
Both Rondo's WS and WS/48 have declined every season since.
   1896. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4711726)
lineup of Nick Collison, Steven Adams, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson could bend the court to its will.


The funny thing is that those are their two best guards, their two best (healthy) forwards, and their best center. As much as we hammer Brooks for being stubborn and uncreative, the fact that he just "discovered" that lineup is humorous.
   1897. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4711797)
.131 for Rondo.


.131 > .128.
   1898. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 22, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4711837)
The best bet is probably doing what Orlando and Phoenix did, get a few young players and tons of future assets. You're going to slide back and stink, try and set up the rebuilding for a few years away.
What I don't understand about the Suns fans' complaints is, if you sucked bad enough to land a high draft pick then isn't there a danger of having a roster consisting of promising youth and a bunch of crap? Look at the Sixers. Next season, they'll have three rookies (Noel included), MCW (who may have to be broken of bad habits, from what Simmons says) and... what? That's supposed to give the fans hope?

Say the Suns had lost 60 games this season. Well, that probably meant a few, if not all, of the following happened: The styles of Dragic and Bledsoe didn't mesh; Channing Frye couldn't come back from his cardiac issues; Gerald Green, once again, didn't "get it;" the young talent (Plumlee and the Morri) didn't develop. Even with three 1st-round picks and cap space, doesn't sound very promising.

This is probably a long way of asking, again, the question I posed a few pages back: Is it easier to build a team around a superstar, or to bring in the superstar once you've got the supporting cast in place?
   1899. Spivey Posted: May 22, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4711848)
Can everyone just put Kevin on ignore and get back to our regularly scheduled programming?
   1900. Spivey Posted: May 22, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4711849)
I am also shocked that there is not a game on right now. It's Thursday ####### night!!
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