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Saturday, February 02, 2013

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - February 2013

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: abstinence and William Howard Taft.

The District Attorney Posted: February 02, 2013 at 11:56 AM | 1151 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   101. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4364074)
Flip
   102. Conor Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4364093)
Yeah, for Durant, at this point, the sky is pretty much the limit, right? Lebron is going to go down as one of the two or three greatest players ever, right? (Assuming his career continues down the path it is, which is a huge if of course, but if just take the first 10 years of Lebron, he ranks with with just about anyone I'd think). And Durant is 24 and is probably just barely behind Lebron this year.

I still can't believe Durant has a 65% true shooting. At his level of usage I can't even fathom it.
   103. bigboy1234 Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4364177)
All this Durant love is all well earned and fine, but let's talk about the player who gets overlooked as being an all-time great. Let's name all the players who have at least 3 seasons of a 26+ PER and .275+ WS/48:

Michael Jordan
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Wilt Chamberlain
Lebron James
Chris Paul

All have 4 seasons of this (if you are including Paul and James' current seasons), with the exception of Jordan who has 6.
   104. smileyy Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4364182)
CP3 really needs a Finals appearance. Hell, even a conference Finals appearance.

Edit: not saying he needs that to make him great, but he needs it to get appreciated more.
   105. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4364368)
Matt Moore reports that the Grizzlies are having some post-Rudy Gay trade friction, including a Chad Ford rumor that they may be shopping Z-Bo.

I hope that this is all overblown, as I really like this Grizz team as currently constructed, but it'll be interesting to see if this fizzles out or explodes.
   106. smileyy Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4364381)
Is Adrian Wojnarowski always this bad? http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--rudy-gay-trade-shows-lebron-james-the-future--super-team-era-ending--065716242.html

SuperTeams are a little more viable when you can pay LeBron James $17,545,000, and less well when you're paying Rudy Gay $16,460,538.
   107. Jimmy P Posted: February 06, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4364494)
Pau has a partial tear of his plantar fascia. He's out AT LEAST six weeks.
   108. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 06, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4364500)
Any word on when D12 comes back? That's quite a lot of length (and chunk of money) wearing street clothes on the bench.
   109. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 06, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4364501)
Kaman on concussion testing.
Is the issue that it's a dumb test or that he might never be able to pass such a test? This is Chris Kaman...
   110. Jimmy P Posted: February 06, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4364525)
Is the issue that it's a dumb test or that he might never be able to pass such a test? This is Chris Kaman...


Usually it's a pretty simple test that you take in the preseason. It's then compared against your current state, and you have to meet that level to pass.

It's just another macho athlete that's too stupid to protect the thing inside their own skull.
   111. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 06, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4364531)
Usually it's a pretty simple test that you take in the preseason. It's then compared against your current state, and you have to meet that level to pass.


I think Peyton Manning once admitted to tanking the pre-season test so he'd have a lower baseline during the regular season if his bell was rung, which strikes me as a perfect example of cleverness in the service of incredible stupidity.
   112. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 06, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4364537)
Sheridan Hoops says the Spurs are the frontrunners for Al Jefferson, with a possible return of Patty Mills, Erazem Lorbek, Tiago Splitter, and Stephen Jackson.

I'm skeptical, because Sheridan's "sources" seem to be basing their idea that the Spurs are frontrunners because the two FOs are close, rather than any specific trade talk. Maybe that's not the case, but that's how Sheridan presents it here. Even if they are frontrunners, that trade seems a bit much, at least if Lorbek really is a good asset. Personally, I'd rather have Splitter on the Jazz than Jefferson, if only because he won't demand as much PT, so Favors and Kanter can actually get more minutes. Finally, I just don't see Jefferson as a Spurs target. He's horrible defensively, and despite his improvement with the Jazz, still a poor passer, so I don't see him fitting in well with Pops.
   113. PJ Martinez Posted: February 06, 2013 at 10:49 PM (#4364645)
Re: the earlier debate about how much Rondo helps (or doesn't help) the Celtics, Zach Lowe has a good piece about Boston's offense with and without him, and Brian Robb actually has an even more interesting look at the same subject on CelticsHub.

The likely conclusion from those two pieces: Rondo has his limitations as a player (obviously), but they are magnified by the offense Boston has been running the last few years, even as Pierce and Garnett have declined and Allen has been replaced by a very different player. If Boston is not better with Rondo offensively on the floor at this point (and that appears debatable), the responsibility seems to lie partly with Rondo, partly (or maybe even mostly, depending on your analysis) with Rivers, and partly with Ainge.
   114. PJ Martinez Posted: February 06, 2013 at 10:53 PM (#4364651)
Also, the Celtics and Lakers both have little winning streaks (5 games for the former, 3 for the latter) on the line facing each other tomorrow night in Boston. A rather small matter, obviously, given where each of those teams is at this point, but it adds another little something to a matchup that will always be interesting to some of us, at least.
   115. Maxwn Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4364657)
I am now really worried about chemistry/morale issues with the Grizzlies, mostly because Lionel Hollins seems to be going out of his way to make them worse. He's been the best coach they've ever had, but if he can't get the #### over it and coach the team he's got, then he's got no business as a head coach in the league.

Basically what Kelly Dwyer said: Ball Don't Lie on Hollins
   116. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4364713)
Holy hell this oop to LBJ.
   117. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:14 AM (#4364736)
Also, the Celtics and Lakers both have little winning streaks (5 games for the former, 3 for the latter) on the line facing each other tomorrow night in Boston. A rather small matter, obviously, given where each of those teams is at this point, but it adds another little something to a matchup that will always be interesting to some of us, at least.
For the fans, sure, but the overall picture is pretty bleak for the game. Gasol is out for at least six weeks and Howard at least the rest of this road trip. The Lakers are pretty much going to lose out the rest of this road trip (including at Charlotte) then they have the Suns, Clips, Celtics and Blazers at home. Mavs and Nugs on the road. Wolves at home. If Howard is severely limited when he returns, I can easily see the Lakers losing out the rest of the month. You can't win in the NBA with a front line of Sacre, Clark, and Peace. You just can't.
   118. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:43 AM (#4364742)
Hollins is really screwing up his reputation here. Ed Davis is a center, you bozo. And if you liked Hamed Haddadi so much why has he been on the bench in every important moment for his entire career? (or in the NBDL)

And the reason Speights was traded is that you preferred to give his playing time to Arthur. Now you don't like Arthur.
   119. Booey Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:56 AM (#4364744)
I just don't see Jefferson as a Spurs target. He's horrible defensively, and despite his improvement with the Jazz, still a poor passer, so I don't see him fitting in well with Pops.


I actually think the Spurs might be the perfect team for Jefferson. His defensive shortcomings won't be quite as damaging with Duncan in the middle to pick up the slack. Al could concentrate on what he does best - scoring and rebounding.

You can't win in the NBA with a front line of Sacre, Clark, and Peace. You just can't.


When your guard line is Kobe and Nash, you still have a chance.
   120. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 07, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4364922)
When your guard line is Kobe and Nash, you still have a chance.
It's nice to see the permanent fear that the Lakers have instilled in the rest of the league come to the fore this season, but there's no Prime Kobe around, dragging Kwame Brown, Smush Parker, and Brian Cook into the playoffs with him.
   121. rr Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4364940)
no Prime Kobe around


Right. If this were 2006, maybe. Now? No. The best play for the Lakers is to shut Pau down, shut Howard down, pick up a big off the scrap heap, and ride it out as best they can. If I worked for Dwight Howard, I would probably rec to him that he get the surgery. He is going to get max offers from the Lakers, Dallas, and Atlanta, and probably some other teams, even if he doesn't play another game this year and is in rehab when he hits FA.

From the Lakers' POV, if Howard walks, they put Pau back at the 5, sign Clark to play the 4, play out next year, and go into summer 2014 with a mostly clean cap and their pick. If Howard stays and they keep D'Antoni, then they explore trading Pau.

Also, while I don't think he was in serious danger, Pau's injury is probably a security blanket for D'Antoni. I think that even with all the problems, Kupchak and Buss still expected the Lakers to get the 8 seed and to play a competitive, if not winning, series against either OKC or SA. Had the Lakers stayed reasonably healthy and still finished 9th or 10th, that, added to the fact that Howard obviously doesn't like D'Antoni, and Pau gave a long interview with Simers talking about, among other things, his issues with D'Antoni, I think MDA might have been in some trouble. He still may be at some point, but I think they will almost certainly keep him now.
   122. Booey Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4364944)
It's nice to see the permanent fear that the Lakers have instilled in the rest of the league come to the fore this season,


Nah. The Lakers haven't been scary good for 3 years. But only their fans seem to think that you can't win with "only" two superstars. It has been kind of interesting though to see the reverse homerism that's been happening this season; the non Laker fans on this site have been a lot more optomistic about LA's chances of making a low seed playoff push.

I'm not saying they're going to be good or even average, but I suspect you're overstating things by thinking they have a serious shot at losing out the rest of the month. I expect them to win in Charlotte, at home vs the Suns and T-Wolves, and split the homies vs the Celtics and Blazers. C'mon, now. Those first three teams are bad and the last two are only .500.

So 4-6 the rest of the month. That's my prediction. And that's if Dwight isn't full strength.
   123. Manny Coon Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4364951)
Sheridan Hoops says the Spurs are the frontrunners for Al Jefferson, with a possible return of Patty Mills, Erazem Lorbek, Tiago Splitter, and Stephen Jackson.


Are Sheridan's sources the voices in his head? This rumor seems like Chris Sheridan sitting around in his underwear and playing with the trade machine since he has nothing else to do since getting canned by ESPN.
   124. rr Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4364955)
reverse homerism


As you said, "Nah." That is more fatalism from guys who really want the team to lose, but assume since it's the Lakers, they will figure something out. It is sort of like people outside the fanbase who assume that Howard is staying, when it is very clear that he might not. I really admire Nash and like having him on the team, but based on his performance this year, he is nowhere near being a superstar anymore, although his rate stats are still good. His D has been very bad, although he does try. Kobe, according to Zach Lowe, who is mostly even-handed about the Mamba, is still about "6-10" on a ranking list but his D has been , at times, terrible. Gasol and Howard have both dropped off a lot, particularly on D. What has happened to the Lakers has many causes but is pretty simple. The team was based on the premise that Howard, Nash, Gasol and Bryant would

a) Play 65-80 games apiece
b) Play at their recent historical levels
c) Play well together

For a variety of reasons--age, injury, fit, chemistry, coaching--this has not come close to happening, which has exposed the roster construction issues as related to the defense and the bench.
   125. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4364957)
I'm sympathetic to how Hollins and the remaining Grizzlies players presumably feel about the trades. The front office has clearly indicated that the team wasn't good enough to win a title/justify the investment in salary. Now, I think the front office is correct but Hollins and the players are correct in thinking they had a good team and pretty much had to buy in to an inflated sense of collective worth in order to maximize their performance. So it's got to be tough to have your bosses say you're wrong about what was, to some extent, motivating you. Not that that justifies Hollins' apparent inclination to wallow in disappointment and lash out publicly.
   126. Booey Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4364983)
That is more fatalism from guys who really want the team to lose, but assume since it's the Lakers, they will figure something out.


For me it's just that they simply have too much talent to be this bad. It doesn't really have anything to do with the logo on their jerseys or the franchises past history of success.

Gasol and Howard have both dropped off a lot, particularly on D.


True, but that's part of why I'm not sure that Pau's injury will be as catastrophic to the Lakers record as some are predicting. This isn't Gasol 2010. He was already unhappy coming off the bench, wasn't really being used right in the offense (from my limited observations), and wasn't putting up the numbers he used to anyway. It's a big blow to a team with little depth already, obviously, but Howard's status is much more important, IMO.

For a variety of reasons--age, injury, fit, chemistry, coaching--this has not come close to happening, which has exposed the roster construction issues as related to the defense and the bench.


Agreed, but all these things are reasons why the Lakers aren't the title contenders we all thought they'd be (in our preseason predictions I had them winning 59 games and making the Finals), but I still don't see these issues as being SO great that they can't even be a .500 team.
   127. andrewberg Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4365008)
From the Lakers' POV, if Howard walks, they put Pau back at the 5, sign Clark to play the 4, play out next year, and go into summer 2014 with a mostly clean cap and their pick. If Howard stays and they keep D'Antoni, then they explore trading Pau.


These are extremely sensible suggestions and I agree with them. The only way I would deviate from that plan is if Howard shows enough health before the deadline, in which case I would shop Gasol to see if there is a prime return out there for him at this point. That has less to do with the possibility that the Lakers could contend for a title this year with Nash, Kobe, Howard + return for Gasol than it does with my concern that Gasol is doing irreparable damage to his value (through poor health and ineffectiveness) as time passes.

Pau gave a long interview with Simers talking about, among other things, his issues with D'Antoni


Of all the surprising things with the Lakers this year, the MOST surprising to me has been the inability for Gasol and D'Antoni to find good chemistry. I would have bet large sums that D'Antoni would help guide Nash and Gasol to great success with one another regardless of what was happening around them.

Sheridan Hoops says the Spurs are the frontrunners for Al Jefferson, with a possible return of Patty Mills, Erazem Lorbek, Tiago Splitter, and Stephen Jackson.


Add me to the list of people who think this would do more harm than good for the Spurs. Mills and De Colo are probably mostly a wash at the bottom of the roster, Jackson only matters if Leonard gets hurt again, and their roster composition obviously makes them more concerned with winning this year than whenever Lorbek would eventually help them. Still, Jefferson is a pure anchor who does one thing very well (score in low-block isos) and has a reasonable midrange game. They would definitely lose defense without Splitter, and they have enough bigs to mix and match based on need that could cover for what Jefferson would provide. Bonner spaces the court better, Blair rebounds better, Splitter defends better (and does a competent job replicating his offense), and Diaw passes better. I suppose the motivation would be that Jefferson in the lineup would force Ibaka into more dangerous one-on-one defensive assignments (not his strength) and prevent him from roaming for blocks, but I think they can get a lot of the same value by playing Bonner or Diaw because those guys could punish OKC for leaving them.

The front office has clearly indicated that the team wasn't good enough to win a title/justify the investment in salary.


I interpreted it as the front office saying that the marginal gain in championship probability that Gay provided over Prince + Davis was far less than the marginal loss in future payroll flexibility from being over the luxury tax. I can see how one would interpret it as you said, but I do not think it is the clear and only interpretation.

True, but that's part of why I'm not sure that Pau's injury will be as catastrophic to the Lakers record as some are predicting. This isn't Gasol 2010. He was already unhappy coming off the bench, wasn't really being used right in the offense (from my limited observations), and wasn't putting up the numbers he used to anyway. It's a big blow to a team with little depth already, obviously, but Howard's status is much more important, IMO.


Gasol was not playing very well, but the deeper you get into the Lakers' big rotation, the uglier it gets. Gasol playing at 75% is still miles ahead of what they'll get out of Sacre.
   128. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4365022)
Gasol playing at 75% is still miles ahead of what they'll get out of Sacre.


Not to mention that every minute Sacre plays is a minute he isn't celebrating on the bench.
   129. Manny Coon Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4365033)
True, but that's part of why I'm not sure that Pau's injury will be as catastrophic to the Lakers record as some are predicting. This isn't Gasol 2010. He was already unhappy coming off the bench, wasn't really being used right in the offense (from my limited observations), and wasn't putting up the numbers he used to anyway. It's a big blow to a team with little depth already, obviously, but Howard's status is much more important, IMO.


I thought Gasol was doing much better with Howard out of the lineup, they did just win three straight road games with him as the starting center and he's had much better numbers at center all year. I they are better without Howard than they are without Gasol.
   130. andrewberg Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4365038)
Not to mention that every minute Sacre plays is a minute he isn't celebrating on the bench.


No kidding. The dual damage to team morale caused by having him on the court rather than the bench is immeasurable.
   131. rr Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4365044)
It's not just "Pau's injury"--it is the way everything is connected. Pau put up a 22/10 on 8/15 FG against Minnesota and followed that with a 23/12 on 10/18 against Detroit. He was not doing as well against Brooklyn, a better team than MIN or DET--6/16 with 4 REBs--but with Howard gone, playing next a guy like Clark, who has many limitations but who complements Pau well, Pau was having success.

Now, if Howard had just tweaked an ankle and would be back at 100% tonight, you might be right. But Howard by his own admission can't even sit comfortably on the bench or in a chair without having numbness and tingling in his legs, and in addition to that has a torn labrum for which surgery has been recommended. His decline in defensive activity and mobility has been well-documented, and is very visible through the eye test as well as in the numbers. And, partly because they are paying Kobe, Pau, Howard, and Nash a combined 62M, the primary big behind Pau and Howard is, as Hombre notes, Robert Sacre. And, as I said, and berg just mentioned again, the Lakers have very poor perimeter D--which will be magnified with no rim protector.

As to the fact that just about everybody (statheads,MSM guys,neutrals,fanboys,haters) picked the Lakers to win a bunch of games and contend for the title, I think the takeaway there is that while predictions are fun and sometimes carry some weight, they are in many ways still just educated guesses. I picked the Lakers to go 55-27, but I had a long post about them in preseason in which I detailed the many obvious ways the season could go wrong: Age, injuries, Howard's back not being ready, D, bench, coaching. I also said that the best way to deal with fit issues would be a two-star platoon system, with a Kobe/Pau team and a Nash/Howard team, which I still think would have been the best call. Neither Brown nor D'Antoni agrees.

So, while few thought this would happen to the Lakers, it was clear that it could happen. The "talent" is concentrated in four guys, and only one of them has really given the Lakers what they needed in terms of durability and overall production.
   132. tshipman Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4365048)
True, but that's part of why I'm not sure that Pau's injury will be as catastrophic to the Lakers record as some are predicting. This isn't Gasol 2010. He was already unhappy coming off the bench, wasn't really being used right in the offense (from my limited observations), and wasn't putting up the numbers he used to anyway. It's a big blow to a team with little depth already, obviously, but Howard's status is much more important, IMO.


I agree. Pau has been in decline for some time, and even at his peak was never really a superstar. He's not the guy from 2010-2011.

***

In separate news, the league has solicited a proposal from my place of employment. I am outrageously excited about this. (Is this vague enough to not get fired?)
   133. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4365050)
Just saw Nash's comments. I gotta think, if I'm Dwight Howard, HOU/ATL is looking better every day. I am not a fan of Dwight Howard the person/personality, but it really seems his teammates are doing everything they can to make him hate his time in LA.

On a related note, I saw mention of HOU pursuing Bynum if Howard doesn't work out this summer, do any of the CHI guys (or anyone else) think Asik could play the 4?
   134. rr Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4365070)
Nash's comments


I think you mean Kobe, unless Nash said something that I don't know about. Kobe's comments are understandable given his age, career arc, personality, and how many injuries he has played through. But Howard is almost eight years younger than Bryant is, about to hit FA, and not everybody has the same pain/compartmentalization thresholds, so there is no real reason for Howard to listen to Bryant or to come back if he doesn't think he can go.

I thought that when Howard came here, Nash and Howard would get along and connect on-court but according to people arwound the team, that hasn't happened. Instead, Nash and Bryant supposedly get along well, break down video together, etc.
   135. JC in DC Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4365072)
What Nash comments?
   136. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4365076)
[134, 135] According to some tweets I saw, Nash made comments at practice today echoing Kobe's sentiments.

EDIT:
RT @MedinaLakersNBA Steve Nash on Dwight: "I think everyone has got to play through some pain in this league."
   137. rr Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4365079)
According to some tweets I saw, Nash made comments at practice today echoing Kobe's sentiments.


Hmmm. Howard fired back in Boston at shootaround, supposedly. If Nash said something, that makes Howard look a little worse.
   138. smileyy Posted: February 07, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4365086)

I interpreted it as the front office saying that the marginal gain in championship probability that Gay provided over Prince + Davis was far less than the marginal loss in future payroll flexibility from being over the luxury tax. I can see how one would interpret it as you said, but I do not think it is the clear and only interpretation.


There's a delicate balance that one has to keep between "We're all in this together/Us-against-the-world/Ubuntu" stuff, and the fact that basketball is a business and a job.
   139. smileyy Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4365088)
and even at his peak was never really a superstar


Weren't there arguments that he was the best player on at least one of the Lakers championship teams? From a production point of view, it seems like its hard to not be a "superstar" when you're the best player on a championship team.
   140. smileyy Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4365089)
I am not a fan of Dwight Howard the person/personality, but it really seems his teammates are doing everything they can to make him hate his time in LA.


Like you said, Dwight Howard has come off as a guy who makes everyone hate their time around him.
   141. smileyy Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4365090)
Instead, Nash and Bryant supposedly get along well, break down video together, etc.


This doesn't surprise me at all.

Its also the kind of thing that makes me think that Duncan and Garnett would get along on the same team.
   142. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4365093)
Weren't there arguments that he was the best player on at least one of the Lakers championship teams? From a production point of view, it seems like its hard to not be a "superstar" when you're the best player on a championship team.

Yeah, I was going to comment on this but left it alone.
   143. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4365101)
Through Age (24-ongoing for KD)

LeBron: 27.5 PTS, 7.0 REB, 6.7 AST, 26.2 PER, .213 WS/48
Durant: 26.6 PTS, 6.7 REB, 3.0 AST, 23.3 PER, .183 WS/48

Through Age (28-ongoing for LJ)

LeBron: 27.6 PTS, 7.2 REB, 6.9 AST, 27.4 PER, .236 WS/48
Jordan: 32.3 PTS, 6.3 REB, 6.0 AST, 29.8 PER, .275 WS/48
21+LBJ: 28.6 PTS, 7.5 REB, 7.0 AST, 29.0 PER, .263 WS/48

I really wish League Pass was around in the Jordan Era.*

*-And that I was able to see through my seething hatred of His Airness and appreciate what he was doing.

EDIT: Added a 3rd line removing LBJ's first two years. And obviously Jordan kills everyone in narrative, rings, etc.
   144. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4365122)
EDIT: Added a 3rd line removing LBJ's first two years. And obviously Jordan kills everyone in narrative, rings, etc.


Not through age 28 he doesn't...
   145. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4365130)
I'm sympathetic to how Hollins and the remaining Grizzlies players presumably feel about the trades. The front office has clearly indicated that the team wasn't good enough to win a title/justify the investment in salary. Now, I think the front office is correct but Hollins and the players are correct in thinking they had a good team and pretty much had to buy in to an inflated sense of collective worth in order to maximize their performance. So it's got to be tough to have your bosses say you're wrong about what was, to some extent, motivating you. Not that that justifies Hollins' apparent inclination to wallow in disappointment and lash out publicly.


Right you are.

Interesting that Hollins is lamenting the lack of big men. Not the lack of Rudy Gay. All the moves made were because Rudy Gay was the big-money guy who was not essential to the team. Based on their amazing playoff run without him, it was thought that WITH him the team could be a contender for #1 or #2 seed. It turned out that somehow the presence or absence of Rudy Gay did not have a big impact on the team's success.

So to get rid of Rudy Gay they had to make these other moves, swapping Speights for Ed Davis and in effect swapping Gay for Tayshaun Prince. I thought Prince would be viewed as a valuable veteran presence. Maybe he will be. Is the absence of Marreese Speights really going to destroy the team spirit? I guess Davis will have to prove himself.
   146. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: February 07, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4365152)
The Hollins reaction/MEM tailspin since Hollinger arrived is reminding me, in ways, of Depo and the Dodgers. At least on a superficial level.
   147. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 07, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4365165)
NBA teams make trades ALL THE TIME for no reason other than finances. They can't have four players making $14 million a year for the foreseeable future! How is this the one trade that gets blamed on stathead nerdism?
   148. rr Posted: February 07, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4365168)
Crispix is either laying some sarcasm on us or has forgotten that Memphis hired Hollinger. I admit I am not sure which it is.
   149. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 07, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4365172)
Why aren't the Rockets demoralized by their GM attending the annual Harvard Stats Extravaganza, and being famously called a "Dork" by his pals in the media?
   150. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: February 07, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4365182)
NBA teams make trades ALL THE TIME for no reason other than finances. They can't have four players making $14 million a year for the foreseeable future! How is this the one trade that gets blamed on stathead nerdism?

I think it's because Hollins and the players hadn't experienced a failure. Contrast their perception of their situation with the Hawks players after the Joe Johnson trade. Repeated playoff losses (granted, extra shots becoming available to pending free agents can't be entirely discounted either) seemed to produce a "Hey, we lost a good player but we have to try something different."

Plus, if you're Hollins or the players, who are you better off venting about: the rookie executive or the new owner who collaborated on the deals? The owner has to be more likely to have the longer tenure/greater influence in the league.
   151. rr Posted: February 07, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4365209)
I expect that Simmons will write a long piece on Lakers discord in the next 2-3 weeks. He can work his LA sources and the situation is perfect for long-distance mind-reading, faked conversations, etc.
   152. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: February 07, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4365217)
[151] 2-3 weeks?! There's a LAL-BOS game tonight. If that isn't tailor made for a Simmons Friday column on the state of these two franchises and what this game meant column I don't know what is.
   153. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 07, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4365219)
I think it's because Hollins and the players hadn't experienced a failure.
Sure, but had they really experienced any serious success? The entire support for the Griz being a top-flight team comes the 2010-11 season in which it played well down the stretch, beat a Spurs team that, IIRC, matched up poorly with Memphis and then took OKC to seven games in the semis. That's it.
   154. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: February 07, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4365253)
Sure, but had they really experienced any serious success? The entire support for the Griz being a top-flight team comes the 2010-11 season in which it played well down the stretch, beat a Spurs team that, IIRC, matched up poorly with Memphis and then took OKC to seven games in the semis. That's it.

I agree, but they're not objective observers. I think their default mindset has to be "We haven't yet" rather than "Despite somewhat favorable circumstances, we haven't yet and we probably can't."
   155. madvillain Posted: February 07, 2013 at 05:50 PM (#4365273)
I must say I'm getting a great level of joy out of the Howard Saga. As Rob Parker would say, Howard is a cornball brotha. Unlike RG3, it's accurate in Howard's case. That he didn't see this onslaught of the LA media coming is par for the course for him, he's never been a guy I can respect or like. I can respect Garnett and Rondo and Kobe even though I think they are ########. Howard doesn't even come across as an #######, he just comes off as a flake with zero self awareness and lacking the fire that the top competitors have in them.
   156. smileyy Posted: February 07, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4365297)
Howard was tone-deaf from Day 1 of dreaming about putting a Christian crucifix on the official NBA ball.
   157. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: February 07, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4365351)
do any of the CHI guys (or anyone else) think Asik could play the 4?

No. But if they're going to sign Bynum, he won't have to.

*-And that I was able to see through my seething hatred of His Airness and appreciate what he was doing.

To be fair, Knicks fans had it particularly hard. They were probably the biggest victim of his dominance. Had Starks made a couple more shots, perhaps it wouldn't have been as bad.

Jordan: 32.3 PTS, 6.3 REB, 6.0 AST, 29.8 PER, .275 WS/48
21+LBJ: 28.6 PTS, 7.5 REB, 7.0 AST, 29.0 PER, .263 WS/48


I think/feel/believe that LeBron right now is better defensively than MJ ever was, and that he's been consistently better than MJ throughout his career on that end. Once Pippen was in his prime, he took the tougher defensive assignments from MJ. What LeBron is doing on the defensive end plus the offensive brilliance puts his individual peak higher than MJ's. Whether that peak lasts as long and translates into team success will determine whether I ever consider LBJ the GOAT (I think he can and will get there). I stayed out of the LBJ/KD discussion, because it's really hard to comprehend how good KD already is now that I'm comfortable with how good LBJ is.

The Hollins reaction/MEM tailspin since Hollinger arrived is reminding me, in ways, of Depo and the Dodgers. At least on a superficial level.

Ditto.
   158. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: February 07, 2013 at 07:46 PM (#4365378)
The Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors have engaged in exploratory trade discussions on a deal that would swap the Bulls' Carlos Boozer for the Raptors' Andrea Bargnani, according to sources familiar with the discussions.


Huh?

I mean, I guess I can see this, but I'm not sure about it. I have to think about it some more.

K.C Johnson ?@KCJHoop
Told Bulls initiated. And unlikely. RT @ESPNSteinLine: Sources say Bulls, Raptors have had talks on trade featuring Boozer, Bargnani.


From the mouthpiece...
   159. madvillain Posted: February 07, 2013 at 08:18 PM (#4365391)
Would the Raptors just amnesty Boozer then? I guess Chicago is just exploring their options, see if there is any interest in Boozer before they amnesty him this offseason, right?
   160. Jimmy P Posted: February 07, 2013 at 08:19 PM (#4365392)
I mean, I guess I can see this, but I'm not sure about it. I have to think about it some more.


It's a few million cheaper per year. Which you and I both know Jerry would love. It would add another spacer in for when Rose gets back, especially if their going to be playing Butler at Hamilton's expense.

Not sure how I feel about it either, though.
   161. madvillain Posted: February 07, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4365398)
Not sure how I feel about it either, though.


It would have to mean they either don't think Mirotic is coming over before 2015 or they are going to flip Bargs, right? Dunno, maybe it's for...wait for it...flexibility!
   162. smileyy Posted: February 07, 2013 at 09:00 PM (#4365407)
Would the Raptors just amnesty Boozer then?


Am I wrong in thinking that a team can only amnesty a player that was on the roster when the CBA was signed?
   163. madvillain Posted: February 07, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4365412)
Yea you're right Smileyy, time to refresh myself on the amnesty rules courtesy of Larry Coon.

WTF does Toronto want with Boozer then, I have no idea.
   164. Manny Coon Posted: February 07, 2013 at 09:30 PM (#4365415)
WTF does Toronto want with Boozer then, I have no idea.


Probably more about not wanting Bargnani than wanting Boozer.
   165. andrewberg Posted: February 07, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4365450)
Vintage Pierce-Kobe duel going on in the third quarter. We won't see many more of these.
   166. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 08, 2013 at 12:26 AM (#4365485)
Pierce is averaging 17, 10, and 6 since Rondo went down.
   167. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: February 08, 2013 at 12:42 AM (#4365489)
What kind of interior defense does Chicago have? Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler played 29 minutes in the first half, sharing the 4 (and obviously some time at 3 & 5), and scored 33 points on 13-14 shooting.
   168. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 08, 2013 at 12:46 AM (#4365490)
boozer and noah are both coming off injurys, other then that all they have is taj
   169. bigboy1234 Posted: February 08, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4365494)
Reggie and Harlen trying to equate the Nuggets with the Pistons. The Nuggets don't have anyone near as good as Ben Wallace or Chauncey Billups. Reminds me just how underrated those two were on that team. This being said I love watching the Nuggets play, Gallo is one of my favorite players, Iggy is a great defender, McGee is an athletic freak, and just very solid other players.

On another note, can't wait to see what James White has in store for the dunk contest.
   170. Maxwn Posted: February 08, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4365502)
The Hollins reaction/MEM tailspin since Hollinger arrived is reminding me, in ways, of Depo and the Dodgers. At least on a superficial level.

One big difference in the situation is that I'm pretty sure if somebody gets fired over this rift in the offseason, it ain't going to be Hollinger.
   171. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: February 08, 2013 at 01:08 AM (#4365503)
I said a month ago that one of the keys to the Nuggets the rest of the way is Iguodala being content being a "stat-line filler" instead of a big time scorer. In the first 30 games, he tried to hard to score on his own. He's really settled into a 15 points a game scorer, with a lot of his points in transition, and adding 5-6 rebounds, 3-4 assists. And of course, the defense. But, that has led to both Lawson and Gallinari being more aggressive on offense. The Nuggets are a lot more balanced, and as a result, more dangerous. Will be interesting to see whether they can play this way in February when they have more road games.
   172. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 08, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4365505)
that got ugly quick
   173. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: February 08, 2013 at 01:32 AM (#4365509)
Following the Bulls-Nuggets on Yahoo. This sequence captures it well:

3rd quarter
1:50 Denver Nuggets DEN Wilson Chandler makes a 25-foot three-pointer from the right wing. Assist: Corey Brewer 70-95
1:24 Chicago Bulls CHI Daequan Cook misses a 14-foot running jumper from the right wing
1:23 Denver Nuggets DEN Ty Lawson defensive rebound
1:17 Denver Nuggets DEN Ty Lawson drives to the hoop for a layup 70 - 97
:51.4 Chicago Bulls CHI Turnover: Shot clock violation
:40.5 Denver Nuggets DEN Layup by Wilson Chandler 70 - 99
   174. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 08, 2013 at 01:46 AM (#4365514)
It has been kind of interesting though to see the reverse homerism that's been happening this season; the non Laker fans on this site have been a lot more optomistic about LA's chances of making a low seed playoff push.
As tonight's game showed, it's not reverse homerism, it's just reality.
   175. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 08, 2013 at 02:00 AM (#4365518)
As tonight's game showed, it's not reverse homerism, it's just reality.
Upside for the Suns: Multiple lottery picks!

Downside for the Suns: Weak draft.
   176. jmurph Posted: February 08, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4365565)
Last night was the first full Celtics game I've seen since Rondo went down. Let me first make it clear that I realize the Lakers have a lot of defensive problems right now, including playing with a clearly hobbled Howard. So I don't want to pretend that last night is the new normal for Boston, or that they can do that consistently against teams playing at a higher level than LA is currently playing. But I think there was still a lot of great things happening. This is what a lot of us expected to see when they added all of that (too this point only theoretical) depth in the off-season. More ball movement, better spacing from Lee and Terry, good perimeter defense. If they can play at anywhere near this level for the rest of the season, it's going to be very difficult to plug Rondo back in next year (not to mention his value will almost surely plummet).
   177. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 08, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4365615)
Its also the kind of thing that makes me think that Duncan and Garnett would get along on the same team.


Yeah I am sure they would be fine together (and back in the day would have been great to watch together).
   178. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: February 08, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4365631)
What kind of interior defense does Chicago have?

Usually, outstanding. I didn't get to see a minute of the game thanks to the "storm" (I also didn't see any of the Illini upset, but that was because I don't care), but the twitters talked about how Noah was clearly not 100%.

The more I think about a potential Bargs/Boozer swap, the more I come around to it. Bargs has a lot of defensive weaknesses, similar to Boozer, but at least Boozer knows and plays in Thibs system. That'll take some time for Bargs. Boozer really doesn't play inside much these days, so they're not losing a lot there. Boozer is still a good rebounder, so Deng and Noah will have to pick up some slack there. But that would make for an interesting big rotation.

Of course, like Jimmy says, the real reason the Bulls are considering it are purely financial. It would likely also have to include a NateRob for JL3 swap just to irritate me, but it would get the Bulls under the luxury tax. I think it minimizes whatever small chance the Bulls would have to compete this year, but might help them next. It does sound like Jerry really doesn't want to amnesty Boozer because he'd have to pay him to play somewhere else. So I think this deal happens if Toronto agrees to it (and I'm not sure totally why they would).
   179. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 08, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4365633)
what are the best basketball podcasts?
   180. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 08, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4365682)
what are the best basketball podcasts?


My favorite is easily The Basketball Jones. They are stats friendly, knowledgable, entertaining, and all clearly seem to love watching and talking about the NBA.
   181. andrewberg Posted: February 08, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4365712)
The Celtics seemed really fired up last night because they knew they could beat the Lakers and the fans got into the game. It was like a 2nd tier big game- neither team is very good, but they are rivals and they are both fighting for low playoff seeds.

I do not see why the Raptors would want Boozer, either. Boozer is a name, but he is a terrible return on investment, and unilke Gay, there is no chance that he magically becomes more producitve outside of that system (nor is he young).
   182. Manny Coon Posted: February 08, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4365728)
I do not see why the Raptors would want Boozer, either. Boozer is a name, but he is a terrible return on investment, and unilke Gay, there is no chance that he magically becomes more producitve outside of that system (nor is he young).


On the other hand, a 7-footer who shoots 40%, averages less than 5 rebounds per 36 and has no defensive game at all, is great to have around. Boozer is paid about $5 million more a year than Bargnani, their contracts run the same length. So instead of looking at whether he's worth $15 million, is he worth $5 million?
   183. rr Posted: February 08, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4365732)
Gotta give Boston some credit here. Playing well.

OTOH, I have a theory (can't prove it) that teams often do well for a short period of time after a star goes down. I think other guys get excited by getting more opportunities, coaches make adjustments, opposing teams don't have time to gameplan.

But eventually, I think that turns around, and the limitations of the guys stepping in become apparent, and the opponent makes adjustments of his own.
   184. rr Posted: February 08, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4365733)
Without looking into it deeply, off the cuff, I don't think Boozer/Bargnani sounds that good for either Chicago or Toronto.
   185. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 08, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4365757)
The more I hear the less I like about it. They don't need a 7ft guy who plays outside they need a big guy in the middle to help noah and taj.

Just keep boozer and amnesty him as planned.
   186. andrewberg Posted: February 08, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4365758)
Well, Boozer's best skill is rebounding. Bargnani's best skill is shooting from range for his size. With Noah, Deng, and GIbson in tow, I can see why Chicago would see some utility in Bargnani at a lower price (I know the $$ is key).
   187. jmurph Posted: February 08, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4365762)
RR 183: I think that's right, I'd buy your theory without too much evidence. But I do think there is a chance that this team isn't the best fit for a dribbler like Rondo. But yes, I agree that it's totally fair to wait several weeks or months before concluding anything important.
   188. smileyy Posted: February 08, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4365764)
[184] I subscribe to that theory too.
   189. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 08, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4365765)
My favorite is easily The Basketball Jones. They are stats friendly, knowledgable, entertaining, and all clearly seem to love watching and talking about the NBA.

I kind of forgotten about them and had just started listening to it when I asked the question. I like them a lot.

Me too, rr.
   190. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 08, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4365789)
OTOH, I have a theory (can't prove it) that teams often do well for a short period of time after a star goes down. I think other guys get excited by getting more opportunities, coaches make adjustments, opposing teams don't have time to gameplan.


This theory needs a name! :)
   191. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 08, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4365791)
I agree that the Celtics are playing over their head right now, but I also think that their roster's wing players have a lot of ability to spread the point guard responsibilities in a way that could limit the loss of Rondo's negative effects. Pierce, Bradley, Lee, Terry, and Barbosa can all bring the ball up the court, and the ball movement they've been using in their offense doesn't seem unsustainable. I don't buy any of the "Are the Celtics better off without Rondo?" talk, but I think the loss of Sullinger's size may be as big an issue as Rondo's injury, especially if the reports from his agent that it may only be a partial ACL tear are borne out.

Edit: Unless, of course, Fab Melo is the unicorn I want him to be. (He isn't.)

Also, I third the Basketball Jones as a good NBA podcast. It's really the only one I listen to consistently. Are there other solid ones out there that I don't know about?
   192. smileyy Posted: February 08, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4365817)
I don't buy any of the "Are the Celtics better off without Rondo?" talk


No, but I think it is fair to talk about how high-leverage a guy is to a team, given the rest of the team's skillsets.
   193. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 08, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4365871)
No, but I think it is fair to talk about how high-leverage a guy is to a team, given the rest of the team's skillsets.

Oh, absolutely. That was meant to address the larger discourse around it, not anyone's comments in this thread. I think Rondo is overrated in some ways, underrated in others, and that parts of this Celtics team may do better without him, while others will miss him. (I think Terry, for one, will really do well without Rondo.) I just also think that the current win streak has led to some overblown talk of him perhaps being more expendable/low-leverage to the team than I think is true.
   194. madvillain Posted: February 08, 2013 at 06:01 PM (#4365879)
This theory needs a name! :)


Yea there might be something to the theory, remember when Ewing went down and the Knicks picked it up?
   195. rr Posted: February 08, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4365905)
I am well aware of the "Ewing Theory", which, IIRC, was not really an analytical thing, since it came from Simmons. I am talking about something that could be seen as a pattern through specific game analysis, in multiple cases, were it to be studied. That ain't what Simmons does.
   196. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 08, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4365921)
Lakers getting blasted in Charlotte. For those of you saw my prediction about the Lakers getting trampled in Charlotte had thought, "Oh, that crazy Hombre and his fanboy fatalism, he's just crazy,"... yeah, I'm not crazy.
   197. PJ Martinez Posted: February 08, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4365923)
Long ways to go in that CHA/LAL game. (Though I cede the larger point: The Lakers are a rundown mess right now.)

Ainge with some thoughtful quotes on Rondo and the Celtics without him: "Rondo is a terrific talent. So the question is, 'Is Rondo doing this, or are we allowing Rondo to do this?' Are we as players, as coaches, as management, relying on him too much?" That's tactfully vague and diplomatic, but I think he's getting at the right questions.
   198. GregD Posted: February 08, 2013 at 09:37 PM (#4365928)
multiple sites reporting "discussions" between Charlotte and Brooklyn about Ben Gordon for Humphries. I suspect Kanye's involvement
   199. bigboy1234 Posted: February 08, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4365929)
For the first time this season I'm actually considering the fact the Lakers may miss the playoffs.

And Andre Drummond out at least for the rest of February it looks like. :(
   200. Booey Posted: February 08, 2013 at 09:49 PM (#4365931)
Lakers getting blasted in Charlotte.


20 down halfway through the 3rd, now within single digits entering the 4th. Never underestimate the ineptitude of the Bobcats...
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