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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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   1901. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4711874)
.131 > .128.
I think the 0.003 difference in WS/48 is pretty definitive, guys. The difference between greatness and embarrassing overratedness.

Of course, Westbrook's WS/48 these playoffs, even with the last two bad games, is .139. I don't know what to make of that.
   1902. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4711878)
If Paul George misses Game 3 (or is ineffective), the Heat's charmed postseason will continue.


This is the third time in recent memory that Wade has taken out a key opposition player with what he would call "incidental contact" but what I would call deliberate aggression. First, he pulled down Rondo and dislocated his elbow. Then, he went after Kobe and broke his nose when he had no clear path to the ball. And then the one the other night against George. It was very similar to the Rondo play. He lost the ball off the dribble by getting it poked away, then tried to recover by going after the player rather than the ball.
   1903. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4711879)
So apparently we're going to have the 2013 Finals over again. My money's on it turning out the same.

Response to 1902: I didn't think it was really a secret that Wade is a dirty player.
   1904. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4711881)
I think the 0.003 difference in WS/48 is pretty definitive, guys.


1147. jmurph Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4700565)
I've got Westbrook somewhere between wildly and dramatically better than Rondo.


Take it up with jmurph.

Westbrook's WS/48 these playoffs, even with the last two bad games, is .139. I don't know what to make of that.


This is what I make of it:

.155 > .139.

   1905. Publius Publicola Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4711882)
Response to 1902: I didn't think it was really a secret that Wade is a dirty player.


It's not but it's annoying as hell just the same. I was kind of hoping he'd learned his lesson when the league slapped him with that suspension but I guess not.
   1906. King Mekong Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4711890)
As I said back in 1129
Seems like the goalposts keep moving on this Westbrook conversation.
   1907. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4711896)
This is what I make of it:
.155 > .139.
If we're just cherry-picking best post-season WS/48s, Westbrook had a .208 in 2010.

I've got Westbrook somewhere between wildly and dramatically better than Rondo.

Take it up with jmurph.
Let us compare. What's Rondo doing these playoffs? This season? Last playoffs? Last season?

Yeah, I'd say Westbrook's somewhere between wildly and dramatically better than Rondo, too.
   1908. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4711899)
My God, we're STILL arguing with Kevin about Westbrook? Like 800 posts later? Why? Why???
   1909. greenback calls it soccer Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4711901)
Why?

Nobody can find the OTP thread until Yankee Clapper posts a poll update?
   1910. steagles Posted: May 23, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4711980)
   1911. Booey Posted: May 23, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4711991)
#1910 - No surprise there. It's often said that God hates Cleveland. Apparently now everyone else does too.
   1912. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4712004)
For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required - and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
   1913. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4712031)
If there has to be a draft then just chuck everyone who didn't make the playoffs into the lottery with equal chances. Simple and much better than the current system. Accidentally creating a dynasty because a good team suffered an injury, went 35-47 and luckboxed the #1 pick is far from the worst thing in the world, and losing should not be meaningfully rewarded.

I hold this same opinion on all sports' drafts.
   1914. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4712064)
Shelly Sterling to negotiate sale
Disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has agreed to allow his wife, Shelly, to negotiate a forced sale of the team, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

Shelly Sterling and her lawyers have been negotiating with the NBA since her husband was banned for life by commissioner Adam Silver on April 29. While the league has yet to formally accept this arrangement, sources said if she is willing to sell the team in its entirety, this could bring a startlingly quick end to what appeared to be a protracted legal battle.
   1915. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4712073)
Accidentally creating a dynasty because a good team suffered an injury, went 35-47 and luckboxed the #1 pick is far from the worst thing in the world, and losing should not be meaningfully rewarded.


And accidentally creating a dynasty because a poorly-run team had mixed success with multiple #1 picks and luckboxed the #1 pick yet again is far from the worst thing in the world.
   1916. Booey Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4712074)
If there has to be a draft then just chuck everyone who didn't make the playoffs into the lottery with equal chances.


Problem with that is then you'd just see the fringe playoff teams tanking at the end of the year rather than the bottom feeders. Would you fight for the 8th seed and a chance to get crushed in the first round if you had an equal chance of getting the top picks in the draft instead?
   1917. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4712087)
Would you fight for the 8th seed and a chance to get crushed in the first round if you had an equal chance of getting the top picks in the draft instead?

Yes. Playoff money. In fact, there's no reason to not try at all if it's all equal.
   1918. puck Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4712089)
A painted portrait of Adam Silver is on the Sports Illustrated cover this week; he's the subject of the main story.

The linked story above has an image of the cover; my copy of the magazine makes him look curiously dark, far darker than that image.
   1919. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4712096)
Would you fight for the 8th seed and a chance to get crushed in the first round if you had an equal chance of getting the top picks in the draft instead?

Yes. Playoff money. In fact, there's no reason to not try at all if it's all equal.

You're misreading: It's not equal between playoff and non-playoff, it's equal between all non-playoff teams, with playoff teams removed from consideration. Fringe teams should absolutely tank for a 1-in-14 chance at the number one pick and 1-in-5 at a top-three.
   1920. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4712104)
The linked story above has an image of the cover; my copy of the magazine makes him look curiously dark, far darker than that image.
Thanks, Obama.
   1921. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4712108)
Since the NBA has a salary cap they should just get rid of the draft altogether. It might be chaos but I would love to see a 5 year experiment to see how it would work.
   1922. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4712114)
Since the NBA has a salary cap they should just get rid of the draft altogether. It might be chaos but I would love to see a 5 year experiment to see how it would work.


If it was an auction - i.e., the player was mandated to sign with the team that bid the highest, it could definitely work.
   1923. jmurph Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4712116)
Agree with Lance and Booey, I think every team would rather be in an equal-chance lottery than finish 7 or 8 in most years. There will always be exceptions- like Memphis or Dallas this year, for instance, or any team in a bad draft year- but increased chances of a top 3 or so pick would be waaaaaay more valuable than getting swept by Miami.
   1924. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4712118)
If there has to be a draft then just chuck everyone who didn't make the playoffs into the lottery with equal chances. Simple and much better than the current system.


If all non-playoff teams had an equal shot, that would have increased Cleveland's odds this year and the odds on pick that led to Kyrie (which was the Clippers and had a ~3% chance of #1). The "the lottery is broken, because Cleveland" thing is either arguing that the draft is rigged or arguing against random chance, as if a prior outcome should affect the current outcome and needs to be corrected for. What am I missing here?
   1925. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4712119)
A painted portrait of Adam Silver is on the Sports Illustrated cover this week; he's the subject of the main story.

I wouldn't advise those who've at any point questioned Silver's determination to rid the league of Sterling to read that SI article. He clearly took Sterling's comments just about as personally as any NBA player.
   1926. jmurph Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4712121)
Zach Lowe on twitter alluded to Ibaka coming back for game 3. Interesting.
   1927. andrewberg Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4712126)
Maxwn, if you come by, would you mind posting a few thoughts about Joerger? I watched the Grizz some during the regular season and in all of those postseason games, but I would love to hear the impressions from someone who followed the team closely.
   1928. puck Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4712127)
Thanks, Obama.


It's like a reverse OJ.
   1929. steagles Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4712142)
my lottery reform idea:
teams that get the #1 pick are barred from the lottery for 3 years.
teams that get the #2 or #3 picks are barred from the lottery for 1 year.

basically, cleveland won the lottery last year, so instead of getting more ping pong balls this year, they would instead just get slotted according to their w/l total. they couldn't win the lottery, but they'd still pick in the lottery, if that makes sense.

that would eventually create an issue where 5 of the teams in the lottery wind up being ineligible to win it, but it does kind of help to spread the wealth around the bottom of the league. and because fewer of the really bad teams would be guaranteed top 5 draft picks, you might find good young players actually playing on good teams.
   1930. Booey Posted: May 23, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4712162)
Yes. Playoff money. In fact, there's no reason to not try at all if it's all equal.


What 1919 said.
   1931. andrewberg Posted: May 23, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4712165)
I don't know if this is reliable, but it is something that has always interested me:

NBA Playoff Money Payments Pool
NBA teams receive bonuses for winning the championship, finishing at certain playoff seeds, and for other accompliments. These are the NBA playoffs pool breakdowns for 2006:

Best Record in NBA: $288,421
Best Record in Conference, $252,369 each: $504,737
Second Best Record in Conference, $202,842 each: $405,684
Third Best Record in Conference, $151,421 each: $302,842
Fourth Best Record in Conference, $119,000 each: $238,000
Fifth Best record in Conference, $99,158 each: $198,316
Sixth Best Record in Conference, $67,632 each: $135,263

Teams Participating in First Round, $149,243 each: $2,387,895
Teams Participating in Conference Semifinals, $177,579 each: $1,420,632
Teams Participating in Conference Finals, $293,447 each: $1,173,789

Losing Team, NBA Finals: $1,173,474
Winning Team, NBA Finals: $1,770,947
Total Playoff Pool (2006): $10,000,000
   1932. rr Posted: May 23, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4712172)
The Derek Jeter thread currently at 262 posts has turned into a Russell/Chamberlain thing--with mostly 50 and 60-something Primates talking it over again.
   1933. andrewberg Posted: May 23, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4712177)
The Derek Jeter thread currently at 262 posts has turned into a Russell/Chamberlain thing--with mostly 50 and 60-something Primates talking it over again.


Rondo > Jeter > Westbrook.
   1934. Booey Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4712186)
The Derek Jeter thread currently at 262 posts has turned into a Russell/Chamberlain thing--with mostly 50 and 60-something Primates talking it over again.


Heh. Yeah. The basketball talk started when people were trying to figure out who Jeter's best NBA comp would be when you factor in ability, narrative, reputation, etc, and then it kinda took off from there. Now it's a full out classic hoops debate.
   1935. Booey Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4712190)
And I think the best answer anyone came up with for Jeter's NBA comp is Havlicek. Kobe and Duncan have lots of similarities too, but I think both of them are significantly higher on their sports all time greats list than Derek is on his, so Hondo is a better match ability wise (while still maintaining the narrative, reputation, rings, etc).
   1936. King Mekong Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4712192)
I like Steagles' idea. I think something like it could really work.
   1937. Publius Publicola Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4712194)
I don't like the Hondo comparison because he was a better defensive player than offensive and he had no obvious weaknesses like Jeter does.
   1938. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4712195)
The basketball talk started when people were trying to figure out who Jeter's best NBA comp would be when you factor in ability, narrative, reputation, etc, and then it kinda took off from there.

Is the answer obviously James Worthy or am I missing something?
   1939. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4712198)
I've always felt like Jeter-Kobe was a pretty good comp. Really good players on historically prominent franchises. Won lots of rings and their reputation tends to outstrip their performance. Legendarily durable. Jeter's Gold Gloves are like Kobe's last 4 or 5 All-D selections. Kobe may be higher on the NBA's all time list, but baseball has been played much longer and has lots more players.
   1940. rr Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4712203)
Won lots of rings and their reputation tends to outstrip their performance


--

...and as Booey said/suggested in the thread, and as I have explained here, their weaknesses often get an equal amount of over-hype and people on both sides get intensely emotional about them.

For every traditional MSM article giving them blow jobs, it is easy enough to find a saberish guy on the net or a guy on a team blog or a personal blog going off on them. There have probably been 100-plus threads at BTF that largely involved people talking about how they feel about Jeter and media coverage of him, and almost every time Kobe comes up here, even now, we have a guy or two doing drive-by posts about how he is overrated, or a sociopath, or a rapist, or whatever. And in the early days of the thread, there were any number of discussions about him and all these issues, of course.

Like I said when we talked about this here: Kobe is in many ways a combination of Jeter and Bonds.

   1941. jmurph Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4712211)
Kobe may be higher on the NBA's all time list, but baseball has been played much longer and has lots more players.


This is a fair point, though I think Kobe had more seasons near the top of his sport than Jeter did.
   1942. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4712217)
Is the answer obviously James Worthy or am I missing something?

(It's apparently too late to edit my post so I'll put my edit here.) Ahh, Kobe is another good one. Jeter's probably right in between Kobe and Worthy in terms of actual value. He's like Kobe in that he was often treated like the best player in the league when he wasn't quite at that level. He's like Worthy in that he has a reputation for being super-clutch though his playoff numbers aren't much different from his regular season numbers, and the reputation probably comes from a few memorable great performances and otherwise confirmation bias as he was always winning. The Yankees and Lakers are the marquee franchises of their respective leagues.

Unrelatedly, does anyone think the Heat Big 3 will each take a pay cut, stay in Miami, and try to attract another significant free agent this summer? I initially dismissed that idea but it seems to be gaining some traction in the media.
   1943. Booey Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4712220)
Kobe may be higher on the NBA's all time list, but baseball has been played much longer and has lots more players.


Right, and I mentioned that in the thread as well. Being in the top 100 baseball players of all time is probably more impressive than being in the top 50 NBA players of all time. Still, Kobe is probably top 15 or so on the all time NBA list. Jeter is what, top 75 maybe on MLB's all time list? I doubt he's top 50. I think Mamba is better relative to their sports.

   1944. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4712223)
[1940] I was moreso focusing on the MSM POV, since I thought that was the point of the discussion, but I agree with you regarding the other audience.

This is a fair point, though I think Kobe had more seasons near the top of his sport than Jeter did.

The size thing still applies. 30 MLB teams plus 25 roster spots is 750 players. 30 NBA teams plus 12 (?) roster spots is 360 players. So someone having a Top 5 NBA season is roughly equivalent to a Top 10 MLB season. Not sure if this stands up to scrutiny.
   1945. andrewberg Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4712245)
Unrelatedly, does anyone think the Heat Big 3 will each take a pay cut, stay in Miami, and try to attract another significant free agent this summer? I initially dismissed that idea but it seems to be gaining some traction in the media.


I think the reason it is hard to anticipate that is just that nothing quite like it has ever happened before. Who are the superstars in their prime who have taken big pay cuts together?
   1946. steagles Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4712250)
Unrelatedly, does anyone think the Heat Big 3 will each take a pay cut, stay in Miami, and try to attract another significant free agent this summer? I initially dismissed that idea but it seems to be gaining some traction in the media.
if i were wade, i would not give miami the opportunity to walk away from my contract. once he opts out, what stops miami from taking the money they promised him and giving it to pau gasol?


also, why isn't anyone talking about the possibility of lebron and bosh opting out and signing together as free agents with a third team?

MCW / wiggins / lebron / bosh / noel
   1947. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4712253)
Unrelatedly, does anyone think the Heat Big 3 will each take a pay cut, stay in Miami, and try to attract another significant free agent this summer? I initially dismissed that idea but it seems to be gaining some traction in the media.

How much of a pay cut are we talking about here? The Heat have an amazingly clean salary cap after this season; Norris Cole is the only non-option contract on the roster: Big 3 have ETO, Haslem/Birdman have PO, Justin Hamilton has a non-guaranteed deal and everyone else is an UFA. Never say never when it comes to Riley, but if none of the Big 3 exercise their ETO and both Haslem/Birdman opt-in, the Heat are already over the cap and have 7 roster spots to fill. They'd essentially have to half their contracts (all are due around $20.5mil next year) and the Heat would have to essentially renounce everyone else to have max room. If they each go down to $15mil or so each, they could fit a $15mil or so contract (but would be under the cap, not have the MLE avail, and would be filling out the rest of the roster with minimum deals).

So no, I don't think they take a pay cut, or I should say significant pay cut. Especially if they win again.
   1948. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4712254)
Bledsoe / Dragic / LeBron / Frye / Bosh
   1949. jmurph Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4712257)
if i were wade, i would not give miami the opportunity to walk away from my contract.


I say the same goes for Bosh, to some extent. I think the more likely scenario would be bringing them both back, but I'd have to think they'd at least explore it, or see what kind of sign/trade offers exist that player and team would be amenable to.
   1950. jmurph Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4712258)
Lebron/Bosh/Rondo... awww #### it I can't even get to 5 good starters even with those guys. Dammit.
   1951. steagles Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4712259)
Bledsoe / Dragic / LeBron / Frye / Bosh
c'mon, at least try to be realistic. dragic is already making money, and bledsoe/frye are both lined up for free agency this offseason, so there's no way they can put that together.

also, isn't their owner notoriously cheap?
   1952. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4712261)
also, isn't their owner notoriously cheap?
More of a money-mismanger. Refusing to pay Joe Johnson and then paying through the nose for Marcus Banks.
   1953. rr Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4712264)
[1940] I was moreso focusing on the MSM POV, since I thought that was the point of the discussion, but I agree with you regarding the other audience.


--

Well, I think in the digital era, the term MSM is a little grey, at least for me. I mentally divide it into "Traditional Generalist MSM"--Adande, O'Connor, Wilbon, Poz--guys like that; and "Saberish MSM", Haberstroh, Arnovitz, Keri, Lowe, Mahoney et al.
   1954. rr Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4712279)
Miami: I think they will stick together one more year, win or lose this year. After that, no idea what will happen.
   1955. Publius Publicola Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4712297)
also, why isn't anyone talking about the possibility of lebron and bosh opting out and signing together as free agents with a third team?

MCW / wiggins / lebron / bosh / noel


Now there's something that would piss Wade off.
   1956. steagles Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4712318)
Now there's something that would piss Wade off.
that team would be fierce on defense. maybe you also sign birdman, shuttlesworth and mike miller to come off the bench. you're looking at:

MCW / wiggins / lebron / bosh / noel
wroten/allen/miller/thad/anderson

who wouldn't want to see that?
   1957. Maxwn Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:36 PM (#4712348)
Maxwn, if you come by, would you mind posting a few thoughts about Joerger? I watched the Grizz some during the regular season and in all of those postseason games, but I would love to hear the impressions from someone who followed the team closely.

First, in fairness, I should say up front that I didn't follow them quite as closely this year as most years. I'm not in Memphis any more and many of my evenings were taken up with class, so I didn't catch all the games like I usually do. With that caveat:

I think Joerger appears to be a pretty good coach. He seems intelligent and thoughtful and he's got a pretty interesting background as far as basketball coaches go, with several years basically running a team in the minors as Coach/GM/etc before he spent the last several in the more traditional NBA assistant route to the top.

As far as this season goes, I think if you only have the 1 season to go on for a new coach, then the best thing you could see would be a team that got a lot better under the new guy. Well the Grizzlies were already pretty good and so that was probably a pretty tall order. But the second best thing you could see, I think, would be a really good team staying really good. And Joerger did that in my opinion, despite getting hit with a really unfortunate injury early on with the loss of Gasol. I don't know, honestly I guess its nice when a guy wins more with a team than they were expected to win, but its pretty hard to outwin your talent long-term. The main job of an NBA coach is to win when you have a team that should win, and Joerger basically did that this year.

As far as his general tendencies/philosophy as coach, honestly I really don't know, but I think that's largely to his credit. He talked about making some changes, pushing the pace, less iso, early on, but after they scuffled early, I think they largely went back to being who they were before. They basically seem like the same team they have always been to me. I don't really know what he'd do if he went somewhere without a real identity and had some years to work on one. I think that is largely to his credit though, because the Grizz are good and have an identity and also have personnel that dictate what they are more or less. He seems to have realized that early and decided not to get too cute and overthink himself.

That said, I though there were times, when Gasol was out and they were playing a lot of different guys, and later after Gasol came back when they had different lineups out there with him and Conley, when you saw flashes of a more fluid offensive team that they might could become in the future, built more around Conley and Gasol and less around Randolph. It's that sort of thing that makes it my gut feeling that Joerger is probably a better offensive coach than Hollins was. But it's just a feeling at this point, there's not enough solid to go on yet.

I think he showed a lot of flexibility dealing with all the injuries. They avoided any truly devastating injuries like losing Gasol for the season, but they had a lot of smaller ones that kept guys in and out of the lineup all year. He got decent minutes out of a number of new guys and adjusted to all of that pretty well. Overall he won 50 games in a tough conference as a rookie coach and overcame the early struggles and injury issues to have them playing about as good as anybody at the end of the season. Then the early losses meant they drew one of the true contenders in the first round, but he still gave the Thunder all they wanted in that series.

I am not happy about possibly losing him. I think the odds are good that he will be a pretty successful coach in the league for a long time. I think I'd take him right now over all but a couple of the guys without jobs right now, if I was a team like the T-wolves.
   1958. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 23, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4712364)
I like Steagles' idea. I think something like it could really work.

I still prefer an auction draft over a lottery. It eliminates / reduces most of the big problems with the lottery, while maintaining the core purpose. Plus it has the bonus of being entertaining as hell.
   1959. puck Posted: May 23, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4712373)
Is the answer obviously James Worthy or am I missing something?

James Worthy, the leader and captain of the 80's Lakers championship teams?
   1960. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4712392)
Ryen Russillo’s NBA Draft Confidential: Real Scouts on Wiggins, Randle, Embiid, and Parker
Scout 2: I think in the draft, if Embiid is healthy, Wiggins goes no. 3. He will be lost in an NBA half-court offense. He is great in transition, but he has no ball skills. All right hand, no idea what to do without the ball. He struggles with confidence. He actually reminds me more of Gerald Green than any of these studs he’s compared to.
Ouch.
   1961. Publius Publicola Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4712394)
that team would be fierce on defense. maybe you also sign birdman, shuttlesworth and mike miller to come off the bench. you're looking at:


STEAGLES, why don't you just get it over with and have the Heat and Sixers trade rosters?

Gotta love your passion though.
   1962. rr Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4712404)
Grantland short (heh) on Shawn Bradley, called "Posterized", featuring Jeff Van Gundy:

link

Took the filmmakers a long time to catch up with Bradley, who is, it seems, a really nice guy leading a very fulfilling life. JVG comes off well also IMO--self-aware and insightful.

Buddy of mine sent me the link. It is not great, but it is good, and worth a look if you are interested in Bradley.

   1963. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4712434)
Reviving an old topic (sorry about that): Were all non-playoff teams given equal lottery odds, I don't believe any teams in contention for a low seed would tank it. Owners would invariably be more interested in the money two home playoff games would generate than in a lottery ticket that generates only a 1-in-14 chance at the #1; and players are going to play hard for a playoff spot also (players aren't the ones doing the tanking as it stands anyway, it's done by sitting your best players with bogus injuries).

The proposal to limit the access of lottery winners to future lotteries would only partially solve the problem. In years when a no-doubt talent or two is coming, teams are going to tank as usual (other than whichever teams picked #1 the last few years). In more lackluster years no one would tank, and in fact teams would try hard to avoid winning the lottery (and thus potentially excluding themselves if the next LeBron comes down the line in two years).

Just give all the non-playoff teams equal chances. It's simple and it'll work.
   1964. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4712440)
[1963] This is, of course, what the NBA used to have through 1989. I believe this was changed after accusations of the lottery being rigged continued to mount (Ewing / Knicks being the conspiracy theory one). There was pretty mild weighting at that point, then after the Magic won the Webber lottery (and traded down) despite having a .500 record the weighting was ramped up to basically what it is today.
   1965. thok Posted: May 24, 2014 at 07:27 AM (#4712494)
Wait: people are comparing Derek Jeter to NBA players and they aren't using Reggie Miller as a comp? Because that seems the best comp (good offense for position, meh defense, long career, plus some ridiculous playoff moments.)
   1966. steagles Posted: May 24, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4712511)
I still prefer an auction draft over a lottery. It eliminates / reduces most of the big problems with the lottery, while maintaining the core purpose. Plus it has the bonus of being entertaining as hell.
the biggest problem with an auction is that it violates a central tenet of capitalism: don't pay labor anything more than you absolutely have to.

STEAGLES, why don't you just get it over with and have the Heat and Sixers trade rosters?

Gotta love your passion though.
because those sixers would be a whole lot more talented than the heat currently are. why take all of the heat roster, when you can just sign the best parts as free agents?
   1967. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 24, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4712520)
#1964: Yeah, good point; you would have to do something to demonstrate the lottery isn't rigged to make equal chances work. I don't know how to pull that off.
   1968. GregD Posted: May 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4712526)
the biggest problem with an auction is that it violates a central tenet of capitalism: don't pay labor anything more than you absolutely have to.
With the salary cap, an auction would just be about redistributing income from older to younger players, right?

Which means the reason it won't happen is that it violates basic self-interest. Players currently in the union would be crazy to support a plan that takes money from them and gives it to players who aren't currently in it and aren't able to vote on union-league contracts.
   1969. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 24, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4712534)
It would be quite simple to replace any sport's current draft/lottery system with an open market wherein each team is capped on how much money it can spend on amateur free agents this year--much like MLB's slotting system, but without the, y'know, draft.

In MLB or the NFL, where apart from 0-3 megaprospects each year nobody really knows who the stars will turn out to be, this would be very interesting as teams would have to make strategic decisions on what to do with its pool, how much to spend on this guy if it means we might not get this other guy, and so forth. It's exactly why when a bunch of guys who know each other are doing a fantasy draft, an auction draft is always WAY more fun than a slotted draft.

In the NBA having a superstar on your team is far more important to your title hopes than in any other sport, so teams will universally bid their entire pool for the top prospects almost every year. Seeing what the losers of that sweepstakes do with the second-tier talents would still be interesting, though.

The upside is that this would be a lot more fun for fans. The downside is that it would be a metric ####-ton more work for front offices. I think that's the big reason it will never happen.

Another potential downside (big-time for the NBA, not so much for MLB) is that probably the biggest talents would never sign with Cleveland or Minnesota or such even if they could bid the most money; they'd take less money to sign with L.A. or Miami or Dallas or, if they ARE willing to abide cold winters, New York.
   1970. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4712540)
the biggest problem with an auction is that it violates a central tenet of capitalism: don't pay labor anything more than you absolutely have to.

With the salary cap, an auction would just be about redistributing income from older to younger players, right?

Woah you have it all wrong. I don't mean a money auction. You pay rookies same as now. Instead of draft picks and lottery ping pong balls, you get draft chips instead.

So for example:

1. Each team gets a set number of draft chips based on their ranking in the final standings. Say 100 per spot just to keep it simple for now. So the team with the best record gets 100, the second best gets 200... and the worst 3000.

2. You can carry over unused draft chips to the next draft.

3. You can trade current or future (probably with restrictions, so that some teams don't mortgage away their next 20 years worth of draft chips) chips.

4. Teams submit blind bids for each pick in the draft. Trades can be submitted with the bid (other teams won't find out til the winner of that pick is announced), but are final, even if the bidding team does not win the draft pick.
   1971. Booey Posted: May 24, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4712541)
Wait: people are comparing Derek Jeter to NBA players and they aren't using Reggie Miller as a comp? Because that seems the best comp (good offense for position, meh defense, long career, plus some ridiculous playoff moments.)


Miller is a good comp ability wise, but we were talking about the entire package, including narrative and reputation. Reggie has no rings and was never one of the most popular players in the game or (mistakenly) thought of as an upper level all time great. You wouldn't ever see a league wide blow fest during his final season like you did with Jeter.
   1972. thok Posted: May 24, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4712564)
was never one of the most popular players in the game or (mistakenly) thought of as an upper level all time great. You wouldn't ever see a league wide blow fest during his final season like you did with Jeter.


I'm pretty sure that Reggie was one of the five most popular players in the NBA at his peak. It's hard to find jersey sales info from before 2002, but Reggie was 8th in jersey sales in December 2002, which is a good proxy for popularity.

(Also, Reggie didn't really get put in a position for the league wide blow fest, since he delayed his retirement announcment until near the end of the season; he was busy cleaning up the mess caused by the Brawl at the Palace.)

I will admit Reggie doesn't have the rings. By that standard you want Derek Jeter as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (and Kareem did, in fact, have a league wide blow fest retirement tour.)
   1973. steagles Posted: May 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4712572)
how about tony parker? they're both really good, they're both kind of overrated and underrated at the same time. they're both field general-ish. there's a natural comparison between their positions, in terms of leadership.
   1974. Booey Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4712609)
By that standard you want Derek Jeter as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (and Kareem did, in fact, have a league wide blow fest retirement tour.)


But then the ability part of the comp doesn't match up. Kareem was WAAAAY better in his sport than Jeter was in his. Jabbar actually does have a valid argument as to being the best ever. Jeter isn't close.
   1975. Booey Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4712610)
how about tony parker? they're both really good, they're both kind of overrated and underrated at the same time. they're both field general-ish. there's a natural comparison between their positions, in terms of leadership.


And I wouldn't want either of them within 500 feet of my wife! :-)

Not a bad comp.
   1976. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4712625)
how about tony parker? they're both really good, they're both kind of overrated and underrated at the same time. they're both field general-ish. there's a natural comparison between their positions, in terms of leadership.


I don't know. I think Jeter might be more of a Blake Griffin or Klay Thompson.
   1977. Manny Coon Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4712627)
Kobe is probably a good comparison for Jeter, both are easy hall of famers who get too much credit for their teams championships and elevated to all time great status despite not really being the best of best, but merely very very good.
   1978. rr Posted: May 24, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4712654)
Kobe is probably a good comparison for Jeter, both are easy hall of famers who get too much credit for their teams championships and elevated to all time great status despite not really being the best of best, but merely very very good.


--

Two points:

1. Again, with Bryant, it depends on who you listen to. If you listen to a lot of internet saberishguys and guys from opposing fanbases, he pretty much rode along on Shaq's massive coattails, hurt the development of every Lakers young player between 2004 and 2008, and is one of the most overrated players of all time--because most of the guys saying that listen to traditional MSM guys and complain about Lakers fans who try to tell you that Bryant was better than he really was, and can't stand Bryant themselves.
2. As far as the "merely very very good" line, if you go on career value, Bryant is probably the 2nd or 3rd greatest 2-guard ever, and one of the Top 20 or so players ever. He is 17th in career WS; James is right behind him and will blow by him next year, but all the other guys right behind him are long since retired. Peak, he doesn't do as well, which is why I personally had him 13th on my career list and didn't even consider him for my peak list (both lists in my case went down to about 20, not 50, like other guys). He is 34th on the WS/48 list and his best season is 208th on the WS/48 list. "Great" is a subjective term as well, but if you don't see Bryant as a great player, your list of guys who are is going to be pretty short

As far as the idea that he gets "too much credit" for the championships, well, I am not sure how much you think he should get, but the Lakers needed him to win all five of them, and he put up PERs of 25.0, 24.7, and 26.8 during the runs to three of them; and while the gap between him and Pau was not as great as many believe, he was probably the best player on the 2009 and 2010 teams.

"Count the ringzzzzz" arguments are weak, and can easily be misused. But considering that one of the primary knocks against Bryant has always been that his playing style and personality dragged his teams down, I think the fact that teams he was on actually did win five times should count strongly in his favor, within certain limits.

   1979. rr Posted: May 24, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4712910)
Simmons on Embiid, FWIW. I am assuming this is not a put-on:

Q: Wait … what? You watched Joel Embiid work out last week?

A: Yes — at a secret location in Santa Monica. He wasn’t playing against anyone, just going through a two-hour workout with Will Perdue. Here’s what I can tell you: He moves around as effortlessly as a 7-foot Serge Ibaka; he’s such an athletic freak that he’s one of those “still going up as he’s finishing the dunk” guys; his freakish wingspan might make Jay Bilas pass out; he has been playing basketball for only four years (which seems impossible); he gave up a world-class volleyball career; he has 3-point range; he can shoot jump-hooks with both hands already; he couldn’t have seemed more coachable/agreeable/likable; he’s a hard worker with a goofy sense of humor; his voice is just a touch Mutombo-y (deep with a heavy African accent); and his friends call him “Jo-Jo.” And again — his back seemed totally fine.

News flash: As I said on TV before the lottery, Embiid was always going first. None of these teams was passing on him. Repeat: none of them. The amount of smokescreening going on in April and May was high comedy.
   1980. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 24, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4712936)
It's probably not a put-on... but if I were Embiid's agent I'd be willing to pay a lot of money to get Simmons to say that.

Then again, if Embiid really is healthy there's no need to pay anyone to report as such.
   1981. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 24, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4713019)
Simmons has used that "7' Serge Ibaka" line a few times now. Serge is 6'10". Is a 7'0" Serge really that much more exciting than saying he moves like Serge?
   1982. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 24, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4713027)
Are we sure Embiid is not, in fact, just Serge Ibaka?
   1983. smileyy Posted: May 25, 2014 at 05:26 AM (#4713056)
DX's measurements on Embiid put him at 7' with a 7'5" wingspan. That's a 1.06:1 wingspan/height ratio, which is average for the NBA. There are no measurements for Ibaka that I can find.
   1984. Squash Posted: May 25, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4713099)
Dissatisfaction with the lottery is the price the NBA pays for its extra night of must-see TV and weeks of discussion to follow. If the league really wanted to go with works "best" it would go with a simple slotting system like every other sport has (worst team gets the #1 pick, second-worst team gets the #2 pick, continue into infinity). Introducing any sort of random chance in the process is always going to create some odd runs (such as Cleveland over the last few years) or surprise gifts like Ewing to the Knicks, Webber to the Magic, Duncan to the Spurs, etc. that change the world.

What seems odd to me is that the solutions to fix the lottery mostly focus on how to make it more complicated (the insane wheel solution being the best example) rather than how to make it less complicated. People seem to want some level of random chance in the lottery (i.e. that it's a lottery at all) but then go hogshit wild when random chance manifests itself (Cleveland again being an excellent example). Do you want it to be exciting or do you want it to work? People seem to want the worst teams to get the best picks, but then set up a system where most of the time (without checking the two worst teams get something like 40% of the ping pong balls) the worst teams are not going to get the #1 pick. The issue seems to be that we want the worst teams to get the best picks, but not the same worst teams. The solution is simple: go to a normal slotting system. The same team is rarely the very worst team in the league multiple years in a row. We've had a different worst team every year for the past 10 years (as in no team has been the worst team by record twice in the last 10 years - it's 10 different teams). Give those teams the #1 picks. Problem solved. Immediately! It'll cost you ping pong ball night. But it will work.

Though it may seem the reverse, tanking is also an artifact of the lottery. Tanking happens in tiers. Nobody's tanking from the #6 spot to the #1 spot. You have to truly suck to get into the #1 slot in a pure slotting system. You may have 2-3 teams battling it out for the #1 slot every year but these are already 20-win teams nobody's watching except the true die-hards anyway. It doesn't matter if one wins 18 and the other wins 22. They tank just by playing games. Where tanking is most insidious is 35-win teams that aren't really that bad and have good, entertaining players sitting because the team is trying to drop down a few spots and grab a few more ping pong balls. That's a lottery artifact - you get a few more balls and you might win the big one. But tanking your brains out to get to the #6 spot from the #7 spot in a pure slotting system probably just isn't really worth all the negative pub. You're getting pretty much the same player. In a lottery, different story.
   1985. rr Posted: May 25, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4713136)
Ibaka is apparently going to try to play tonight.
   1986. AuntBea Posted: May 25, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4713151)
DX's measurements on Embiid put him at 7' with a 7'5" wingspan. That's a 1.06:1 wingspan/height ratio, which is average for the NBA. There are no measurements for Ibaka that I can find


I really don't want to have to defend any point that Simmons makes. But, I would be inclined to think that the average wingspan decreases with height in the NBA, because 7 footers are valuable even with a smaller wingspan ratio then, for example, 6'4'' players are. I do know that a 1.06 to 1 wingspan ratio is certainly abnormal for society at large. So it could still be true that a 7'5'' wingspan is "freakish" for a very athletic guy. Of course I have no idea what the actual numbers say.

For example, look at this list I found. Most of the tallest guys have among the smallest wingspan ratio (though certainly the correlation is somewhat rough). http://www.slcdunk.com/2013/5/17/4342356/nba-draft-combine-which-players-had-the-worst-wingspan-to-height.

On this list, it looks like one can expect the average 7 footer to have a wingspan about 7'2 or 7'3, so 7'5 really wouldn't be that freakish, but would be above average. http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?page=averages
   1987. MikeOberly Posted: May 25, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4713178)
Are we sure Embiid is not, in fact, just Serge Ibaka?


He's the 7 foot Serge Ibaka!!! Worst case!! And his back is fine because Simmons watched him shootaround an empty gym with not even a chair defender!!!11!!

(his back may be fine, who knows, not me, and not Simmons, but Simmons has been extra annoying on this issue and the draft in general)

(oh, and btw, Simmons, his worst case is he has serious back issues, and has an unfortunate NBA career -- and then you can second guess the team that took him in the draft in your usual snarky manner. Win-win for you)
   1988. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 25, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4713185)
On the Dan LeBatard radio show last week (I know, I know), Simmons was on for a few segments, and the show's producers played a montage of Simmons soundbites, all terrible predictions. Everyone understands Simmons is a Boston homer, but until you hear it with your own ears, it's hard to put into words just how completely homerific and biased he is, and that doesn't even take into account how wrong he's been about so, so, so many things NBA. As a Laker fan, that makes him nigh-unlistenable, and that's before all the cable television and stripper references.
   1989. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: May 25, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4713212)
Is there a clip of that available? If not, is that segment posted in podcast form of some type?
   1990. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 25, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4713216)
Didn't Simmons relentlessly (and correctly, as it turns out) mock the footage of Yi Jinlian practicing against a chair in an otherwise empty gym?
   1991. Maxwn Posted: May 25, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4713237)
Apparently now Joerger is staying in Memphis after him and Pera somehow came to a meeting of the minds at the eleventh hour. I'm damned if I know what the hell all this has been about.

I like Joerger so if he and pera are on the same page now, then that is good, but what a circus this has been/continues to be.
   1992. Kurt Posted: May 25, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4713251)
Didn't Simmons relentlessly (and correctly, as it turns out) mock the footage of Yi Jinlian practicing against a chair in an otherwise empty gym?


In fairness, there's a difference between evaluating a workout for health and evaluating a workout for skill (I don't think Simmons is basing all that other stuff about Embiid on the workout).
   1993. Spivey Posted: May 25, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4713267)
Ibaka seems reasonably healthy.
   1994. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 25, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4713269)
Perkins in foul trouble. Nightmare scenario for the Spurs.
   1995. Spivey Posted: May 25, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4713285)
Ibaka doesn't look so healthy right now.
   1996. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 26, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4713325)
Everyone understands Simmons is a Boston homer, but until you hear it with your own ears, it's hard to put into words just how completely homerific and biased he is, and that doesn't even take into account how wrong he's been about so, so, so many things NBA. As a Laker fan, that makes him nigh-unlistenable, and that's before all the cable television and stripper references.

Simmons does seem willing to admit when he's wrong. For instance, I think he has a video online right where he is "eating crow" about a bet he made with Jalen Rose. He is a homer but I do think he's passionate about basketball. That doesn't necessarily make him a good analyst but for someone like me who may watch 1-2 games per week during the season and a little more than that during the playoffs, he's an interesting read.

Here's a question I'd like everyone's opinion on.

How much better would the Thunder be if James Harden were still on the team?

That might sound like a silly question because Harden is really good player. The reason I ask it is because Harden is a great offensive player who is a horrible defensively. The thing is, the Thunder already have some great offensive options already and there are only so many shots. Basically, Harden is most valuable on a team that needs offense but the Thunder already have that.

I'm not asking about whether the Harden trade was a good move. That was obviously a bad move.
   1997. smileyy Posted: May 26, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4713393)
They'd be a lot better. This page or a few before was lamenting how the Thunder only have 2 guys who can create shots. More offensive pressure would open up more opportunities.
   1998. kpelton Posted: May 26, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4713438)
The reason I ask it is because Harden is a great offensive player who is a horrible defensively.

Thing is he wasn't horrible defensively in Oklahoma City.
   1999. smileyy Posted: May 26, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4713447)
I'll amend my statement. They'd be somewhat better, and when you're in the Finals and conference Finals, you really want to be "somewhat better".
   2000. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 26, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4713471)
Thing is he wasn't horrible defensively in Oklahoma City.


Any idea why that is? Is it just effort? Does Brooks deserve some credit?
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