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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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   401. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4367933)
Thanks AROM. I've heard a lot that Thomas upped his game in the playoffs and I'd seen similar evidence to what you posted to validate it, so that accounts for some of the discrepancy. I still think the amount of credit some people seem to be giving for this is overblown though, since a lower caliber player can improve his game in the playoffs yet still be putting up lower numbers than a better player that didn't up his game at all or even saw it drop off a bit (notice Stockton STILL ranking a spot above Isiah).

Interesting list in 394, though. Billups is indeed a surprise.
   402. smileyy Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4367987)
Chauncey Billups is still incredibly underrated.

Re: Jay Williams/pot, I think both takes are probably right: (1) he has an axe to grind with someone (Jamal Crawford?) so he's pointing fingers without naming names, and (2) Eddy Curry smokes pot

Edit: So when do Seattle and Colorado teams push for exemptions in states where pot is legal? Or push for in-season alcohol testing?
   403. AROM Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4367996)
Bill Simmons makes a big deal about a pissed off Thomas destroying John Stockton after the dream team was announced. It happened. But it was only one game.

BB-ref allows you to search for head to head matchups. When Stockton played Isiah, 19 regular season games, no playoffs:

Stockton 13.3 pts, 2.5 reb, 11.7 assists, 2.3 TO, 1.8 steals, .462 shooting.
Thomas 22.7 pts, 3.5 reb, 7.8 assists, 3.3 TO, 1.5 steals, .500 shooting.

Thomas is scoring more and doing so with greater efficiency, but Stockton is getting more assists while losing fewer turnovers. I'd probably take the Thomas stat line there, but it's not a huge deal. In a simplified PER calculation* I get Thomas 21.2, Stockton 20.0. Since the field goal percentages were just about the reverse from what these 2 did against the field, it suggest that Thomas was a pretty good defender, Stockton not so much. So that consideration should shift Thomas up a bit from the value rankings we derive primarily from offensive stats. I could see given a defensive adjustment and playoff performance putting Thomas a bit ahead of Stockton on peak. Stockton cleans up in any career ranking though. Simply because Stockton played 9 years after Isiah's last, at a high level to the end, despite being only 11 months younger.

*1 point for poits, reb, assists, steals, blocks, -1 for fg misses, TO, -.5 for FT misses, fouls. I can't keep the correct weights in my head anymore.
   404. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4367999)
Re: Jay Williams/pot, I think both takes are probably right: (1) he has an axe to grind with someone (Jamal Crawford?) so he's pointing fingers without naming names, and (2) Eddy Curry smokes pot

Oh, Eddie Robinson was my first thought. But Corrie Blount (as Dwyer noted) is the best answer, for several reasons.
   405. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4368013)
Pistons season over before the all-star break. Again. But the plan forward is clear:

1 - Re-sign Calderon.
2 - Win the lottery.
3 - Profit!

Better make the playoffs next year since they gave the pick away just to get the Bobcats to take Ben Gordon off their hands.
   406. smileyy Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4368017)
I was just trying to think who Jay Williams wants to throw under a bus without actually saying his name. I don't think Williams would care about calling out Corie Blount.
   407. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4368025)
I had Stockton as a very good defender - is that wrong?
   408. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4368036)
Re: Bulls smoking pot, I read somewhere recently that NBA players are only tested four times in-season, so guys know that as soon as your fourth test happens, you're scot-free for the rest of the season. So it's hardly impossible Jay Williams is telling the truth, although I'll agree with those who don't really get why he's bringing this up now.
   409. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4368069)
Since the field goal percentages were just about the reverse from what these 2 did against the field, it suggest that Thomas was a pretty good defender, Stockton not so much. So that consideration should shift Thomas up a bit from the value rankings we derive primarily from offensive stats. I could see given a defensive adjustment and playoff performance putting Thomas a bit ahead of Stockton on peak. Stockton cleans up in any career ranking though.

Yeah, and that last line is what I've got a problem with. Simmons and many others have said they'd prefer Isiah's peak over Stock's longevity. I get the peak vs career argument and agree that it's a valid consideration in many cases, but in this one, if Thomas has any peak advantage at all it's by a sliver, whereas the career difference between them is a chasm, in Stockton's favor. Someone would basically have to throw out numbers altogether and rank players based on nothing more than 'gut feelings' to put Thomas ahead. But that's exactly what most lists I've seen seem to be doing. Stats matter...until they contradict what someone "knows" to be true. Then they should be disregarded (and I'm not implying that anyone here does that). It's the Jack Morris argument - "Look, I saw these guys play - and this guy was better. Trust me. The stats are wrong." Aargh.

Ah well.

   410. AROM Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4368072)
I had Stockton as a very good defender - is that wrong?


Stockton was a great ballhawk. Steals are the only defensive stat around for point guards from the early 70s (when they started tracking it) to whenever play by play analysis came around, the last 10-15 years or so. But steals are just one aspect of defense, and there is some trade off (gambling for steals can leave your man open if you don't get the ball).

I don't think Stockton did especially well in stopping opposing PG, but I don't have the numbers to back that up.
   411. The District Attorney Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4368078)
More like Corie BLUNT!!!!

#yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
   412. AROM Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4368081)
One more thing on Stockton vs Isiah, Stockton's team won 11 of the 19 matchups.

Another matchup of interest is Stockton vs. Gary Payton. Simmons I think says that Payton got the better of him, but I don't see it.

49 regular season games: Jazz record: 27-22

JS: 14 pts, .506 fg%, 10.1 ast, 2.9 TO
GP: 17 pts, .485 fg%, 6.6 ast, 2.7 TO

Playoffs: 21 games, 11-10 Jazz
JS: 12 pts, .445 fg%, 10.6 ast, 3.0 TO
GP: 16.9 pts, .469 fg%, 5.3 ast, 2.6 TO

Stockton's getting 5 fewer points but 5 more assists. Looks close enough to an even match.
   413. AROM Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4368084)
Oh, and I'm shocked, shocked I say, to discover that there may have been weed smoking among NBA players.
   414. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4368085)
   415. AROM Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4368103)
The head to head finder is pretty fun and addictive. Check out Stockton vs:

Magic: Magic better in regular season. In playoffs (88 playoffs the only time they faced each other) Stockton had an incredible series, but his team came up short.

Terry Porter: Stockton better in regular season, Porter better in playoffs.

Kevin Johnson: Stockton played better in regular, destroyed KJ in playoffs.

Bill Simmons in his book makes Stockton out to be an opportunist who put up stats playing against Matt Maloney. Not fair to Stockton at all. I enjoy Simmons' writing but the Stockton chapter is an effort to obscure truth in order to support a pre-determined point.
   416. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4368123)
#415 - His comments about Malone are rarely flattering either. Simmons was/is clearly not a Jazz fan.
   417. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4368124)
I kind of feel like Stockton is hurt in people's rankings by the fact that he's a white guy.
   418. andrewberg Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4368126)
Bill Simmons in his book makes Stockton out to be an opportunist who put up stats playing against Matt Maloney. Not fair to Stockton at all. I enjoy Simmons' writing but the Stockton chapter is an effort to obscure truth in order to support a pre-determined point.


When I read that chapter, I distinctly remember thinking that his dislike for Malone spilled over into his analysis of Stockton. But that seems backward- if you don't like Malone, you should revere Stockton and say Malone only succeeded because of him.
   419. kpelton Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4368134)
I also think Simmons' analysis that the Jazz was a "survivor" in the West more than anything sells Jeff Hornacek short. Jeff Malone for Hornacek is one of the great trades in NBA history in my book.
   420. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4368165)
Jeff Malone for Hornacek is one of the great trades in NBA history in my book.


Agreed. Horny was the perfect compliment to Stockton and Malone, and the perfect fit for a Sloan system that emphasized getting open through screens and hitting your open jumpers. I always thought of him as a slightly poor mans Reggie Miller.

One thing I think is interesting is when you hear people talk about the 50/40/90 club (FG%, 3pt%, FT%) and Horny never actually accomplished it for even a single season, despite a career line of .496/.403/.877. The damn free throws were his undoing; he was ridiculously consistant, finishing at 88 or 89 percent literally almost every year, but he only topped 90% once (.950 in his final season). Them's the breaks, I guess.
   421. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4368167)
Simmons has been taking shots at Malone for as long as I've been reading him. He seems to file the Mail Man in roughly the same category as Ewing and other Guys Who Never Won a Title, which is to say as targets of scorn and derision.
   422. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4368168)
I kind of feel like Stockton is hurt in people's rankings by the fact that he's a white guy.


I always thought the 'unathletic' comments I used to hear may have had something to do with this. In his prime he always seemed really fast to me. There's more to athleticism than just jumping high and dunking.

Edit: Nash is another that I've often heard called unathletic, but he seemed crazy quick in his Dallas and Phoenix days. Maybe my perception is just off on these kinds of things.
   423. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4368184)
Simmons has been taking shots at Malone for as long as I've been reading him. He seems to file the Mail Man in roughly the same category as Ewing and other Guys Who Never Won a Title, which is to say as targets of scorn and derision.


I actually do like Simmons as a writer; I think he's funny and I like that he's a fan first and foremost rather than just a numbers spewing robot. And his fanboy opinions don't bother me at all. I don't care when he says that Stockton and Malone were boring or dirty or whatever. I wouldn't even care if he flat out said he hated them. What does kinda annoy me is when his biases spill over into what should be impartial analysis, and that's when I think it starts to hurt his credibility as a serious analyst.
   424. AROM Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4368185)
In his prime he always seemed really fast to me.


Me too. I remember him being mentioned, when he started, as one of the very fastest players in the NBA. Probably didn't have great footspeed at the end of his career. But at 40, who does? I'm sure he could have outraced the 9-years-retired Thomas when they were both 40, just on the basis of being in condition to run every day while Thomas was busy destroying leagues and franchises.
   425. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4368193)
I don't think Stockton did especially well in stopping opposing PG, but I don't have the numbers to back that up.

I feel like the defensive #s he had in the Bellotti books were pretty good and I know some of the Barry/Cohn books gave Stockton great marks (while laying into other ballhawk points, like Micheal Williams).

Having said that, I suspect that it's easy to overrate Stockton by just looking at his regular season stats - that he benefited from some home town cooking / stat inflation and fell off by more than his peers in the postseason. Occasionally watching a lesser version of him in Jose Calderon probably doesn't matters either. :)

Jeff Malone for Hornacek is one of the great trades in NBA history in my book.

That one blew my mind at the time ... Hornacek was one of my favorites, Malone the opposite.
   426. madvillain Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4368209)
Can a Pistons fan tell me why they would re-sign Calderon? Why wouldn't they just let him expire? He can't be traded again this year, right? I just don't think that highly of him, yea he can run an offense, but he also loses a lot of value on the other end. He's on the wrong side of 30 and will almost certainly be paid more than he's worth by a substantial sum.
   427. andrewberg Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4368223)
Can a Pistons fan tell me why they would re-sign Calderon? Why wouldn't they just let him expire? He can't be traded again this year, right? I just don't think that highly of him, yea he can run an offense, but he also loses a lot of value on the other end. He's on the wrong side of 30 and will almost certainly be paid more than he's worth by a substantial sum.


I guess it is a way to kick the cap room down the road if the contract is relative short. That might make sense if they don't think they can get what they want/need out of this FA class or want to show that they are competitive before starting to bid.
   428. AROM Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4368227)
Having said that, I suspect that it's easy to overrate Stockton by just looking at his regular season stats - that he benefited from some home town cooking / stat inflation and fell off by more than his peers in the postseason.


The home town cooking is way overblown. Everybody gets more assists at home. He doesn't benefit more than contemporary passers. The best assist/game guys of his era were Magic and Kevin Johnson, and Thomas.

Stockton had 11.2 assists per game at home, 10.4 on the road, an 8% gain. Magic gained 7%, KJ 14%, and Thomas 13%.
   429. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4368242)
I guess it is a way to kick the cap room down the road if the contract is relative short. That might make sense if they don't think they can get what they want/need out of this FA class or want to show that they are competitive before starting to bid.

How much rope does Dumars have to right the ship?
   430. steagles Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4368263)
you know, i don't often think of the bulls, but something interesting did come into my head this afternoon. going back to the 2010 offseason, it might not have been likely, but wasn't there a scenario where chicago would sign both chris bosh and lebron james, and add them to their core of rose, deng, and noah (not to mention asik and gibson)?

i'm just thinking that the bulls are playing without derrick rose and with deng and noah hobbled and with marco belinelli and kirk hinrich seeing extended minutes, and they are still 9 games over .500.

could you imagine what that team would look like now if they'd have been able to put that deal together that summer? they almost undoubtedly would have been the most dominant basketball team since john wooden's prime UCLA teams (well, at least until they would have run into the buzzsaw that was last year's sixers in the first round of the playoffs), and while i'm sure that even this fictional bulls team would have some letdown games, with thibodeau, i can't imagine that they'd have very many, and even if they did have one, with thibodeau's propensity for playing his best players 40+ minutes per game, i think they'd still be able to pull a lot of those out.


this may not have actually been all that close to happening, but rose, noah, gibson, and asik were all still on their rookie-scale contracts, so it would have been that perfect storm where they had a window with multiple young stars under contract for peanuts, and a ton of cap room, and arguably the greatest player in the history of basketball on the free agent market, along with his close friend who's averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds over his NBA career and both of them were still in their prime.


   431. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4368268)
Big mea culpa to Stockton on his home assist #s: After I posted, I realized I was thinking of Nash. (Though that will now be proven wrong as well, no doubt.)

Dumars/rope: Not much, I'd think. The recent drafts of Monroe + Drummond are his best argument to stay, right?

STEAGLES, now fast forward to the Bulls trading away Noah and friends for picks/cap and tax relief...
   432. jmurph Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4368272)
could you imagine what that team would look like now if they'd have been able to put that deal together that summer?


Lebron playing in Thib's defensive system is moderately terrifying to ponder for the rest of the league.
   433. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4368306)
The home town cooking is way overblown. Everybody gets more assists at home.


This. I do remember hearing a few people complain that the home town scorers were always a bit generous with Stockton's assist totals, but I've also heard the exact same criticism leveled at Magic, Kidd, Nash, and most recently, Rondo. So basically all the top assist guys.

Can it be something so simple as that most teams score more at home, so there's more assists to go around? Or is there something else to it? I haven't actually looked at any of the numbers.
   434. AROM Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4368314)
"Can it be something so simple as that most teams score more at home, so there's more assists to go around? Or is there something else to it? I haven't actually looked at any of the numbers."

I think it is exactly that simple. Just as batting averages are higher for the home team.
   435. kpelton Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:58 PM (#4368320)
I'm nearly 100 percent simple the home scoring trend holds if you look at A/FGM.
   436. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4368334)
you know, i don't often think of the bulls, but something interesting did come into my head this afternoon. going back to the 2010 offseason, it might not have been likely, but wasn't there a scenario where chicago would sign both chris bosh and lebron james, and add them to their core of rose, deng, and noah (not to mention asik and gibson)?

Both would have had to take big discounts (much bigger than what they took going to Miami) or Deng (most likely) would have had to been traded. The Bulls had somewhere between $25mil and $30mil in cap space, and those Bosh/LBJ got about $32mil combined that first season. They did talk about it (signing 2 max guys) as a possibility, but only Miami (and maybe Sacramento) actually had the cap room to sign 2 max guys without any shenanigans or other subsequent moves that had to be made. I guess Miami actually had room for 3 (but Wade did take less).

Is there a good site for historical caps? Most sites update each year, so I had to back into/guess the numbers (Boozer got about $15mil that year, Korver and Brewer were right around $5mil, Bogans was $1.5mil or so and all fit under the cap).

Dumars/rope: Not much, I'd think. The recent drafts of Monroe + Drummond are his best argument to stay, right?

It's the only positive argument from the last 5 or so years. Maybe this Prince deal.
   437. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:35 PM (#4368346)
I always thought the 'unathletic' comments I used to hear may have had something to do with this. In his prime he {Stockton] always seemed really fast to me. There's more to athleticism than just jumping high and dunking.
I always thought the 'unathletic' comments stemmed from him being white. It takes some serious athleticism to play point at the NBA level. Stockton may not have had Nate Robinson hops, but passing takes athleticism, and nobody was better. Durability is also a physical skill, and Stockton played a full schedule 16 times.

Stockton's not quite Stan Musial, but he's become similarly underappreciated in his own time.
   438. steagles Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4368347)
Is there a good site for historical caps? Most sites update each year, so I had to back into/guess the numbers (Boozer got about $15mil that year, Korver and Brewer were right around $5mil, Bogans was $1.5mil or so and all fit under the cap).
by my rough estimate (based on the information at storytellers here), the bulls had 39 million to spend that summer with gibson, noah, deng, and rose under contract. if you add 29 million for lebron and bosh (which is what they got in miami), they'd still have enough room under the cap to fill out their roster with kyle korver or ronnie brewer or cj watson or kurt thomas or mike miller.
STEAGLES, now fast forward to the Bulls trading away Noah and friends for picks/cap and tax relief...
yep.
   439. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4368354)
Durability is also a physical skill, and Stockton played a full schedule 16 times.


Ahem - 17 times, counting the 50 game lockout season in '99. :-)

I know I'm a homer, but to play 19 seasons and only miss games in 2 of them barely even seems possible. Especially considering he was adding playoff games every year too.
   440. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4368355)
Wasn't the free agency narrative at the time about Chicago luring in hometown hero Dwyane Wade and thereby LeBron, not LeBron and Bosh? That creates overlap with Deng, but I believe the idea was to then trade him for a piece. (And such a team could always have stuck LeBron at the 4 defensively and terrified everyone...)
   441. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4368356)
by my rough estimate (based on the information at storytellers here), the bulls had 39 million to spend that summer with gibson, noah, deng, and rose under contract. if you add 29 million for lebron and bosh (which is what they got in miami), they'd still have enough room under the cap to fill out their roster with kyle korver or ronnie brewer or cj watson or kurt thomas or mike miller.

Totally forgot about Watson and Thomas. Yeah, I guess there was more room than I remember. I do remember that partially because of Deng (among other reasons), the Bulls thought they had a better shot at Wade/Bosh than LBJ/Bosh (or LBJ/Wade). iirc, Bosh and Wade did a lot of visits together (and they announced their signings together too, right?). I think I floated the idea here of Deng being flipped to Toronto in a S&T for Bosh and the rest of the money being spent on a SG and depth.

STEAGLES, now fast forward to the Bulls trading away Noah and friends for picks/cap and tax relief...

One of Asik or Noah would have been dumped before extensions (maybe both, considering what they're making). The Bulls, especially with that roster, could have dealt with the tax stuff (but doesn't mean they would have...damn you, Jerry). But that year, when both were cheap...
   442. kpelton Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:05 PM (#4368364)
John Stockton coming back from microfracture at age 35 after two months and not missing a game the rest of the season remains borderline unbelievable.
   443. Booey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4368395)
John Stockton coming back from microfracture at age 35 after two months and not missing a game the rest of the season remains borderline unbelievable.


Or for the next 5 seasons, up through age 41. That microfracture surgery at the beginning of the 97/98 season were actually the last games he missed in his career.
   444. The District Attorney Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4368404)
Yeah, I heard more Wade-to-Chicago than Bosh for sure. I think the theory was not only that Wade was from there, but that his babymama lived there as well, and she had custody. (Hey, let's start a thread about whether custody law is fair...)
   445. steagles Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4368413)
nerlens noel may have just been marcus lattimore'd. he's down on the court clutching his knee and he had to be literally carried off the floor by his teammates.
   446. andrewberg Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4368424)
nerlens noel may have just been marcus lattimore'd. he's down on the court clutching his knee and he had to be literally carried off the floor by his teammates.


By Marcus Lattimore'd, do you mean he did not have his draft status changed one iota?
   447. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4368446)
(Hey, let's start a thread about whether custody law is fair...)


I laughed.
   448. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4368448)
LeBron, if I heard correctly, became the 1st player in NBA history with 6 consecutive games of 30 or more points and 60% or better FG.
   449. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4368461)
I'm nearly 100 percent simple the home scoring trend holds if you look at A/FGM.

Hmmm. That doesn't jibe with what I remember looking at back in the day, nor what I thought I remembered from the ol' apbrmetrics board. Having said that, first link I pulled up agrees with you.
   450. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4368493)
The Lakers put up nine points in the third quarter against the Suns. Nine. Against the Suns.
   451. OCF Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:46 AM (#4368497)
Well, Kobe did get his first field goal of the game - with 2:12 left.
   452. RollingWave Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:55 AM (#4368498)
Warrior lost 5 strait to close out the first half, and their rebounding seem to be slipping badly despite getting Bogut back... cause of concern?

   453. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:10 AM (#4368502)
Watching Kobe refuse to shoot once in the first half, Gold Wife and I were speculating upon what weird Kobe point he was trying to make and to whom.
   454. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:15 AM (#4368504)
cause of concern?
I never quite bought the Ws as having truly made the leap that high in the West's hierarchy. Fringe playoff contender (which would be a nice improvement!) but not a 55-game winner, like how they played until past Xmas.
   455. Booey Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:27 AM (#4368507)
The Lakers put up nine points in the third quarter against the Suns. Nine. Against the Suns.


And won anyway, despite only 4 points from Kobe. Suns are...not good. When was the last time Bryant had as few as 4 points?

Despite all their problems, Lakers are 8-3 in their last 11.

Warrior lost 5 strait to close out the first half, and their rebounding seem to be slipping badly despite getting Bogut back... cause of concern?


I'm starting to think (hope?) the Jazz might actually have a chance to leapfrog into the 6th seed. And wins like tonight only help fuel my possibly unrealistic optimism (yet every time I start to get too confident, they go and lose to someone like the Kings just to put me back in my place).
   456. steagles Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:58 AM (#4368513)
it's been a while since the last edition of terrible writing on 76ers blogs, but today, we have a treat:


There's an episode of Firefly where Mal gets captured by a baddie. Said baddie tortures Mal literally until he dies, then revives him so he can torture him some more. That's what this game was like.

Ordinarily, after a loss such as this, I'd take solace in the famous opening line of the first edition of The American Crisis, Thomas Paine's third-most famous published work: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

In 2006, I saw a movie called Just My Luck in the theater. It was a rom-com starring Lindsay Lohan and a pre-Star Trek Chris Pine. The conceit of the movie was that Lohan's character was the luckiest person in the world, Pine's the unluckiest (and both lived in New York City, in a case of typical narcissistic Manhattanite myopia). Their fortunes, however...actually, it's not worth explaining the plot of the movie.

The point is that this was, apart from Pootie Tang, the worst movie I've ever seen. I'm a firm believer in even the worst movies having some redeeming value, even if it's only for the purposes of intentional comedy. After all, I own Logan's Run on DVD. This was the exception. There were no laughs to be had, even at the expense of the film itself. No cockles were warmed, no heartstrings pulled. Just My Luck was shallow, stupid, poorly-acted, more-poorly directed and even more-poorly written. It was a tour de force of cheesy tone-deafness, a finger in the eye of anyone who plunked down seven dollars to see it. It was a traumatic experience that's now burned into my memory the the brand on a cow's hindquarters. It had no redeeming qualities.

So I'm not going to write a recap. Because screw this.
   457. Maxwn Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:52 AM (#4368518)
Underrated benefit of the Rudy Gay trade for the Grizzlies: He scored 20 off the bench in his Toronto debut in a beatdown of the Clippers and then he hit the game-winner against the Nuggets with 4 secs left. Unfortunately it looks like the only other Western "contender" the Raptors play this season are GSW later in the year and the Grizzlies next Wednesday. Hopefully he won't put the hurt on us.

I must say, Rudy in Toronto is really putting the exclamation point on all the reasons why some people think he's awesome and why others think he's badly overrated. He's shooting ~41% on something like 20 shots a game, but he's scoring 20 a game, has had several highlight reel dunks and they've won 4 of 6(3 against pretty damn good teams) with him hitting game-winners in two of those games. If that's not a microcosm of the Rudy Gay experience, I don't know what is.

As an aside, if you ever wind up guarding Rudy Gay on a potential game-winning play, for god's sake don't let him go right if you can help it. I've seen him hit several over the years, and nearly every one I can remember of the top of my head, he drives right and tries to pull up for a 15-17 footer near the baseline. The shot against IND on Fri, the shot tonight against DEN, the one against Miami in '10 that I mentioned earlier in the thread, the one in that famous "not this guy" video against TOR; all those are from basically the same exact spot on the court. So maybe make him go somewhere else. Easier said than done, obviously.
   458. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4368579)
When was the last time Bryant had as few as 4 points?


According to the game writeup, 2005, when he left a game in the first quarter and did not return. Kobe likes to play these games with the Suns.
   459. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4368616)
I can't remember the last time I was as excited about a regular season game as I am about MIA-OKC on Thursday.
   460. andrewberg Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4368722)
I never quite bought the Ws as having truly made the leap that high in the West's hierarchy. Fringe playoff contender (which would be a nice improvement!) but not a 55-game winner, like how they played until past Xmas.


FWIW, their pythag is that of a .500 team, so fringe contender is not that far off. As long as Lee and Curry are healthy with decent supporting players like Thompson and Landry, they can probably stay at that level. They exceeded it with some unsustainable late game heroics from Jack (whose TS% and eFG% spiked big time in the first half this year).

I must say, Rudy in Toronto is really putting the exclamation point on all the reasons why some people think he's awesome and why others think he's badly overrated. He's shooting ~41% on something like 20 shots a game, but he's scoring 20 a game, has had several highlight reel dunks and they've won 4 of 6(3 against pretty damn good teams) with him hitting game-winners in two of those games. If that's not a microcosm of the Rudy Gay experience, I don't know what is.


They also got Valanciunas back at about the same time. He has not played up to the level I thought he would, but he has been better the last handful of games and having a legit big man instead of Aaron Grey makes a huge difference.
   461. The District Attorney Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4368751)
Random thoughts:

- One of my big issues with Bill Simmons is that he does ping-pong between fan and analyst/reporter depending on what's most convenient at the time.

"I'm just a regular guy who's a Celtic fan. Nonetheless, here is hundreds of pages of largely fact-based analysis attempting to rank the greatest players of all time. What? You think my presentation of those facts was affected by my allegiance to the Celtics? Hey, I never claimed not to be a fan!"

"I'm just a regular guy who's frustrated with the way the media presents the PED issue. What? I run one of the most popular sports sites in the world and could totally be the driving force in creating the type of reporting I'm advocating? Hey, that's not my job, I'm just a fan!"

- I thought the Suns had made the best of a bad situation, put together a good "Ken Phelps All-Star Team" (what would be the basketball equivalent here? Carl Landry All-Star Team?), and would be decent. Whoops.

- If you spent money to go see Just My Luck, what the hell were you expecting? (Pootie Tang, on the other hand, was good.)
   462. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4368790)
Zach Lowe with a great Dirk Q&A:
Kobe’s footwork in the post is obviously legendary.

Oh yeah. The athleticism, the balance in the air, the lefty shots. He made a 3 on us one year in the corner. The shot clock was winding down, and he had to spin around and just shoot it lefty. To me, he's the no. 1 player over the 15 years I've been in this league.

No. 1 over Tim Duncan?

Duncan to me is obviously so solid, but to watch him play …

Oh, you mean, just in terms of style.

Yeah. Duncan is probably the best power forward ever to play this game.

You don’t feel like you have a place in that discussion?

Oh, no, no. I'm not. He's got four rings.
   463. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4368796)
The research paper finalists from the Sloan Conference have been announced. Four of the eight are NBA-related, including one on interior defense analytics co-authored by Kirk Goldsberry.
   464. Maxwn Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4368826)
That Lowe piece with Dirk was awesome.
   465. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4368838)
Dirk always seems like this super likable, thoughtful dude.
   466. jmurph Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4368878)
Is there a commonly accepted $ per WAR metric for the NBA? Like Fangraphs does for MLB (though I guess that isn't technically "commonly accepted...")?
   467. AROM Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4368894)
Win shares for NBA is pretty equivalent to WAR, because every year there will be a few players getting playing time and zero (sometimes even negative) WS. Maybe replacement level is actually 1-2 WS/ full season, but close enough.

So the average team has 41 wins and spends about 65 million. ~1.6 per WS. To take it to the next step subtract out the wins and $ going to the players on the rookie scale, and you get the going rate for free agents.

My guess is you'd get around 2 million per win, so Lebron with no max salary restriction would get 40 million. Which seems low if anything, considering that 15 years ago Jordan was making 30 million.
   468. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4368908)
(though I guess that isn't technically "commonly accepted...")?


Not in my eyes - I've never quite bought the premise that $/WAR is linear - though I'll cop to never having done the research to back that up, and I guess it's possible it's right or at least close enough for shorthand on a message board.
   469. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4368912)
[467] In the recent Per Diem series triggered by LeBron's comments about being underpaid a win was pegged at somewhere between 1.6 and 1.8 million I think.
   470. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4368924)
I can't believe that $/WAR is linear either. Though I could see an argument that across baseball FAs, most players fall into a $/WAR band where its "linear enough" for conversation. The 14-15 players who see roughly equal usage on a baseball team, however, is a far different model than the NBA, where usage varies from player to player.
   471. Jimmy P Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4368941)
By Marcus Lattimore'd, do you mean he did not have his draft status changed one iota?


Lattimore's status was really hurt. He was probably a 2nd or 3rd round back before the injury, and now he'll be late.

Noel will be hurt. He was a top 3 pick, now he'll slide down the lottery. Look at Dejuan Blair. He wasn't hurt at all and he slid due to injury.
   472. jmurph Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4368949)
Thanks AROM and NJ.

I think I'm in agreement on the skepticism of the Fangraphs method, though I have to admit to a lack of facility with the math. I do appreciate the short hand of $ to win, though, even if it's not gospel.
   473. andrewberg Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4368956)
Lattimore's status was really hurt. He was probably a 2nd or 3rd round back before the injury, and now he'll be late.

Noel will be hurt. He was a top 3 pick, now he'll slide down the lottery. Look at Dejuan Blair. He wasn't hurt at all and he slid due to injury.


We'll see about Lattimore. The fact that he came out anyway was a signal to me that he thinks he will be picked in a favorable position, but I could be wrong. I also think there is a difference between a torn ACL (better recovery rates than ever) and not having ACLs, which they anticipated cutting Blair's career short altogether.
   474. andrewberg Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4368958)
Also, the cap and max salaries complicate the $/WAR calculation. Lebron and Joe Johnson are paid the same, but not because the market dictates that they are.
   475. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4368961)
Noel will be hurt. He was a top 3 pick, now he'll slide down the lottery. Look at Dejuan Blair. He wasn't hurt at all and he slid due to injury.

I think there's a big difference. I don't think Blair ever was a top of lottery pick due to his size, and I don't know that teams really dock guys that much for having had ACL surgeries (obviously it's a little different here since they won't see him play again before the draft). I think it might be a lot like the Kenyon Martin situation.
   476. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: February 13, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4368984)
Lebron and Joe Johnson are paid the same


Joe Johnson makes about 2.2M more this season, per shamsports.
   477. Jimmy P Posted: February 13, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4369011)
We'll see about Lattimore. The fact that he came out anyway was a signal to me that he thinks he will be picked in a favorable position

I just think it means that he's tired of tearing his ACL for free and wants to get paid. Even if he's not making as much as he could or would. This is his second time through this.
   478. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4369021)
At least Kenyon Martin had a choice in the matter. He chose to return to school.

Maybe Nerlens Noel tears his ACL in his rookie season in the NBA, and his future prospects are impacted in the same way. But at least he would have been getting paid to take that risk.
   479. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4369074)
But at least he would have been getting paid to take that risk.


FWIW, he is apparently insured.
   480. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4369082)
So now he's getting paid not to play basketball? Lucky Ducky!

(this is in jest)
   481. Jimmy P Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4369132)
FWIW, he is apparently insured.


These insurance policies are only for career-enders. If he attempts a comeback, the policy is voided.
   482. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4369154)
At least Kenyon Martin had a choice in the matter. He chose to return to school.

I mean he was injured, and was drafted while hurt/rehabbing/before played again. And he still went first overall (it wasn't his ACL, but there were immediate questions whether or not it would hurt his draft status). Unless I have the timeline messed up.
   483. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:46 PM (#4369159)
[482] Yeah, that timeline is right. He broke his leg before the NCAA tournament of his final year of eligibility. My point was that Kenyon Martin could have entered the NBA draft after the previous season if he had wanted to.
   484. The District Attorney Posted: February 13, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4369171)
Sporting News @sportingnews

Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic has been suspended without pay for 20 Games by testing positive for methenolone, via @NBA
I expect a minimum of garments rendered.
   485. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 13, 2013 at 08:40 PM (#4369180)
That would explain all those homeruns.
   486. Tripon Posted: February 13, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4369184)
The NBA probably has a bigger PED problems at this point over MLB. Might be much bigger.
   487. steagles Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4369194)
i do not think there could possibly be a worse game for NBAtv to broadcast than chicago-boston. between the style of play, the absence of 2 all-star PGs, and the announcers, it is not pleasant viewing.
   488. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:33 PM (#4369205)
Jazz look even worse offensively than they did in the Houston blowout. Luckily Minnesota isn't doing great either.
   489. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:52 PM (#4369213)
Hedo Turkoglu looks more like a methadone user than a methenolone user.
   490. madvillain Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4369229)

Hedo Turkoglu looks more like a methadone user than a methenolone user.


Which once again proves the whole "he looks like a juicer" thing is ####### retarded.

___________________

Just finished the USA Today Profile of Rose. Is it required that every profile of Rose mentions that he "doesn't like to lift" because Derrick says he doesn't? I mean, LOOK AT HIS BODY

For a guy that doesn't like to lift, he seems to you know, do it a lot.

Also, the Blogabull led paranoia about Adidas or his management team controlling when he comes back is a Dorner level conspiracy theory. Yea, Derrick Rose, who would play basketball for free probably, will not come back this season because his "management team" tells him it might be too risky. Now I've heard it all.
   491. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4369237)
i do not think there could possibly be a worse game for NBAtv to broadcast than chicago-boston. between the style of play, the absence of 2 all-star PGs, and the announcers, it is not pleasant viewing.

I'm not sure at what point of the game this was posted, but this might be the most correct thing ever posted in any of these nba threads.
   492. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:50 PM (#4369247)
Checked in on Chicago-Boston. I thought that was a 3rd quarter score. I was wrong. Oh, man.
   493. steagles Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4369254)
I'm not sure at what point of the game this was posted, but this might be the most correct thing ever posted in any of these nba threads.
and it was posted by STEAGLES, no less.

and i posted it right around the end of the first quarter.
   494. Into the Void Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4369255)
Portland shooting 32% and down by almost 40 to...New Orleans.
   495. Ebessan Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4369260)
The NBA probably has a bigger PED problems at this point over MLB. Might be much bigger.

And there's basically never been public suspicion of it, either. It's the most personality-driven, most "traditionally athletic" major league sport, and nobody seems to think that there's something going on there?
   496. steagles Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:13 PM (#4369263)
has any team had a pair of "0"s on the floor (or even on the roster) at the same time? because the sixers now have 00 spencer hawes and 0 jeremy pargo and i cannot remember ever seeing that before.
   497. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4369274)
has any team had a pair of "0"s on the floor (or even on the roster) at the same time? because the sixers now have 00 spencer hawes and 0 jeremy pargo and i cannot remember ever seeing that before.


You know, I always thought the choice between 0 and 00 was...a style choice. I didn't even know you could have both on the same team.

Anyways, Jazz overcome their horrendous 1st quarter and annoying refs to beat the Wolves. I feel pretty confident they'll end up with a better record than the Warriors this season. Hopefully they don't let Houston and/or LA pass them, though.
   498. steagles Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4369277)
that may have been the most sixerest lost of all sixers losses this season. 5 seconds left, down 2, jump ball in the offensive zone between 6'8 luc mbah a moute and 6'4 jrue holiday. holiday wins, tips the ball to royal ivey, and then when ivey looked to make a cross-court pass back to jrue (and it should be noted that the sixers still had 2 timeouts at that point, so he could/should have just used one), mbah a moute tipped the pass, chased it down to the sideline and then stays in bounds, as he's running full speed into the scorers table, tips the ball back into the halfcourt and the game ends without a shot.

Adam Aron ?@SixersCEOAdam

Agony.
   499. madvillain Posted: February 14, 2013 at 12:07 AM (#4369284)
That was brutal. Just amnesty Boozer for god's sake, who in the right mind would give anything of value for him.
   500. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 14, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4369285)
Clippers with 46. In the first quarter.
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