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Sunday, March 03, 2013

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - March 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: hunting and apostrophes.

The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2013 at 05:37 PM | 843 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   601. robinred Posted: March 20, 2013 at 08:32 PM (#4393125)
They probably will not hold this lead, but it would be funny if Miami's streak ended in Cleveland. Cle. is up 48-33 with 4:24 left in the half, as per ESPN. I am guessing the crowd is pretty raucous for a mid-March lottery team home game.
   602. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: March 20, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4393133)
Echoing what's been said here, but a good discussion of the seeding process, as well as a summary of the schedules down the stretch for Denver, Memphis, LAC:
Link
   603. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4393150)
Looks like the streak is going to end tonight. Miami down big in the third quarter.
   604. RollingWave Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4393152)
and it's ending in the least expected of all places too... a Irvingless Clevland .

Meanwhile, the Rockets look like they're about to seal the coffin on the Jazz's season.

   605. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4393155)
going to heat-pistons friday night!
   606. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4393164)
I will be at the Wolves/Bulls game Sunday. And excited, I guess.
   607. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4393170)
Jazz should just pull a Warriors and tank the rest of the season.
   608. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:31 PM (#4393175)
Looks like the Heat are making a game of it.
   609. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:35 PM (#4393180)
And tied up. Nice try, Cavs
   610. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4393181)
"Do you FEEL in charge?"-LeBron James
   611. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:39 PM (#4393183)
?@WindhorstESPN The Heat now have the lead, the run is 40-12 over 10:30.
   612. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:39 PM (#4393184)
37-10 in like 9 minutes for the Heat. Or, if you prefer, 29-6 in ~7 minutes.
   613. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:41 PM (#4393187)
And now some guy has run on the court. Heat by 4. Bizarre!
   614. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4393189)
Poor Cleveland.
   615. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4393191)
@nicolas88batum Watching Miami vs Cleveland... Lebron is really somebody else.
   616. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4393194)
Apparently, a fan ran on the court in Cleveland with a shirt that said "We miss you, LeBron." LeBron tapped him on the head.

Maybe the Heat are trolling everyone.
   617. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4393198)
Livingston is having a nice game.
   618. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4393201)
Cleveland fighting back hard. Gotta give them credit.
   619. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4393202)
CLE refusing to die. Great game.
   620. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:04 PM (#4393203)
They can't do this but when possession isn't clear, they should have a jump ball.
   621. PJ Martinez Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4393205)
LeBron really seems more comfortable and gracious speaking on camera than he used to. Maybe it's maturity, maybe it's media training, or maybe he's just better speaking at from the position of a champion. But he used to have an A-Rod-like uneasiness that I haven't seen in a while.
   622. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4393209)
Agreed, pj
Wow, Cleveland was down by 27(!)
   623. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4393211)
Up by.
   624. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM (#4393214)
What a great NBA night. First Heat@Cleveland, then Boston@Hornets, and now OKC@Memphis. Thrill-a-minute!
   625. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4393217)
Thanks, hombre
   626. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4393234)
Oooooh, bad possession for Memphis with less than 30 seconds left. Great defense out front by OKC.
   627. Maxwn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4393238)
Marc Gasol!
   628. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4393239)
MARC GASOL.
   629. RollingWave Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4393240)
Lebron James : trolls the NBA

Utah lost despite the Rockets shooting 26% from 3, Lin and Harden basically just layup them to death.

starting backcourt Utah 11 points Rockets 51.
   630. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM (#4393248)
The Western Conference is so ####### awesome man. It's really ###### up that at least 1 of SAS, OKC, MEM, DEN, LAC will be going home after the 1st round.
   631. Maxwn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4393252)
After the game, the local tv post-game guy asked marc about the last shot and he said "I just tapped it and it went in. ####."

Also Royce Young pointed out that OKC had a 20 left. 0.8 left on the clock, you gotta call that time out. When you have Durant, 0.8 secs might be all you need.
   632. Maxwn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:17 PM (#4393254)
Gasol didn't say ####, he said ####, just in case you were wondering.
   633. Maxwn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4393256)
The Western Conference is so ####### awesome man. It's really ###### up that at least 1 of SAS, OKC, MEM, DEN, LAC will be going home after the 1st round.

Seriously. If the 4-5 matchup, both second round series and the WCF don't all go 6 or 7, I will be a bit surprised.
   634. tshipman Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4393259)
The Western Conference is so ####### awesome man. It's really ###### up that at least 1 of SAS, OKC, MEM, DEN, LAC will be going home after the 1st round.


I would say the odds are better than 50/50 that two of them will.
   635. Booey Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4393265)
Jazz should just pull a Warriors and tank the rest of the season.


Would it even be worth it though? With 34 wins, they'll have one of the best records of the lottery teams, even if they lose out the rest of the season. The chances of a worthwhile pick for their efforts aren't very good.
   636. Booey Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4393267)
I would say the odds are better than 50/50 that two of them will.


Really? I think GSW/HOU/LAL are clearly on a lower level than any of the top 5.
   637. Maxwn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:36 PM (#4393269)
Would it even be worth it though? With 34 wins, they'll have one of the best records of the lottery teams

Yeah, I don't think so either. Realistically, I am doubtful they can get underneath anybody but Dallas and Portland. They're just a game back of LAL in the loss column. The way things have been going, it probably ain't happening, but hell who knows? Might as well try.
   638. Maxwn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:39 PM (#4393271)
Really? I think GSW/HOU/LAL are clearly on a lower level than any of the top 5.

Yes, but as tshipman is probably getting at, I think all 3 top seeds have to be about 80% favorites for what he said to not be true mathematically. If SAS and/or OKC are even bigger favorites than that, then the 2 and/or 3 seeds could be a little less so, but for the odds to be above 50% that all 3 top seeds win in the 1st round, they need to be pretty enormous favorites.
   639. Booey Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:43 PM (#4393273)
for the odds to be above 50% that all 3 top seeds win in the 1st round, they need to be pretty enormous favorites.


I'd argue that they should be considered exactly that.
   640. Maxwn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM (#4393284)
I'd argue that they should be considered exactly that.

Well, how enormous? The calculation is pretty simple.(If I screw this up off the top of my head, I'm going to be pretty angry.) P(No Top-3 seed Loses) = 1-P(All Top-3 seeds win) = 1-[(P(1-seed wins) * P(2-seed wins) * P(3-seed wins)].

Tell me what your estimates are of each top 3 seed winning in the first round, and I can tell you what is probability that at least 1 of them loses.

Note: I'm not totally sure you're wrong as 1-seeds have traditionally not lost very often at all in the first round and both OKC and SAS are very close to normal 1-seed strength, and right now the 3-seed would play the easiest matchup in the first round. But you have to be really damn sure that each of them will win for tshipman to be wrong.
   641. Maxwn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4393288)
Countervailing my point about OKC and SAS being essentially 2 1-seeds is the fact that HOU and maybe a healthy(or at least sort of healthy) LAL are arguably a fair bit stronger than your normal 7-8, at least from my perception.
   642. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4393290)
P(No Top-3 seed Loses)
P(All Top-3 seeds win)

Those are the same thing. (P(1-seed wins) * P(2-seed wins) * P(3-seed wins) is all you need.
   643. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 21, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4393292)
I don't know that any team can be considered an "enormous" favorite over Denver or Memphis, not even SA or OKC. Favorites, of course, but it's closer to 60-40 than 80-20.

Smart cokes all around.
   644. Maxwn Posted: March 21, 2013 at 12:04 AM (#4393293)
Those are the same thing. (P(1-seed wins) * P(2-seed wins) * P(3-seed wins) is all you need.

You're right, I was making this more complicated in my head for some damn reason. I forget why.

Edit: I was trying to answer the question of how likely it is that at least one of them loses which would be P(at least 1 loses) = 1-P(all Top-3 seeds win) but then I screwed up what I called it.
   645. Maxwn Posted: March 21, 2013 at 12:06 AM (#4393297)
I don't know that any team can be considered an "enormous" favorite over Denver or Memphis, not even SA or OKC. Favorites, of course, but it's closer to 60-40 than 80-20.

Yeah, but that doesn't matter in this scenario. What we care about is how favored SAS, OKC, and whichever of MEM/DEN/LAC is the 3 should be over whichever of GSW/HOU/LAL/UTA is 6-7-8. Forget the 4-5 game, it doesn't matter for these purposes.
   646. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:14 AM (#4393320)
Hou / LAL / GSW all seem to be teams that have the talent to go insane for a couple games and knock guys off. yeah their flawed teams , but they're also very high variance teams.

I think most would agree that if Hou / GSW were in the east, they're probably a #2 or #3 seed team. (hell both might still finish with better record than the eastern #2 seed.)

   647. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:23 AM (#4393322)
I think we should all be pretty confident that GSW will knock off whoever they play first. I mean, they haven't lost in the first round in almost 20 years. Why would this year be any different?
   648. Maxwn Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:43 AM (#4393328)
I think most would agree that if Hou / GSW were in the east, they're probably a #2 or #3 seed team. (hell both might still finish with better record than the eastern #2 seed.)

I'm not sure I would agree about GSW. I'm unconvinced that they are actually much good rather than a middling team riding a hot 2 month start all the way in (it's arguably unfair and bad analysis to parse the season up like that however). They have gone like 18-11 against the East if I did the math right, which is ~.620 basketball, so maybe so. I don't feel like looking at who from the East they played though. Hmm, their overall strength of schedule is the 4th toughest in the league according to BBref so maybe I'm underrating them. They would be 5th in the East in SRS.

I buy Houston a bit more, I think. They are actually 5 games under .500 against the West but have played ~.700 against the East. I also don't feel like checking which teams in the East they've played. Now that I looked at conference splits, honestly, it seems like GSW playing better against the West should be more impressive than who beat up the East more. Their SOS is 10th in the league. They would be 3rd in the East in SRS.

In conclusion, I think 2 seed probably not, Indiana is probably better than either. Maybe.

When you look at the SOS, you really see the difference in conferences. The hardest schedule of an Eastern team is Charlotte at 12th. I assume one thing that makes Charlotte's schedule the hardest in the East is that they don't get to play themselves. A similar dynamic may be part of why OKC and SAS are the lowest ranked Western teams. There are 10 Eastern teams with easier SOS than any Western team.
   649. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 21, 2013 at 02:01 AM (#4393333)
Would it even be worth it though? With 34 wins, they'll have one of the best records of the lottery teams, even if they lose out the rest of the season. The chances of a worthwhile pick for their efforts aren't very good.


Well "tanking" for Corbin would lead to more wins since it'd presumably lead to more minutes for the young players.
   650. Maxwn Posted: March 21, 2013 at 02:15 AM (#4393336)
On another note, having been in the building for a blown 27-pt 2nd half lead, in the playoffs no less, I must say that I really feel for the Cleveland fans. Walking out of that game was basically the worst I have ever felt about sports. It was about 1 in the morning on Sunday and I had to work at 7, I think. ####### Nick Young.

At least this one wasn't the playoffs.
   651. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 02:41 AM (#4393338)
@648 yeah I think Indiana is probably the better team, but the margin is very small, in a playoff series it seems like one of those either side win wouldn't surprise you type.

Golden State is weird since they have had a huge peak and valley type of season. Though I'm intrigued by Bogut now finally playing with a semblance of health this month , though the stats haven't bare it out yet, and the GSW's recent small surge may be more due to weak schedule then not. But Curry's basically a top 5 PG this season, when he's on he'll set the world on fire and if they get a semblance of D presence with Bogut they certainly should be as good as any second teir team.
   652. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: March 21, 2013 at 03:16 AM (#4393339)
Golden State is weird since they have had a huge peak and valley type of season. Though I'm intrigued by Bogut now finally playing with a semblance of health this month , though the stats haven't bare it out yet, and the GSW's recent small surge may be more due to weak schedule then not. But Curry's basically a top 5 PG this season, when he's on he'll set the world on fire and if they get a semblance of D presence with Bogut they certainly should be as good as any second teir team.

They're actually not bad defensively in terms of challenging shots. They hold opponents to a pretty reasonable fg% (both on 2s and 3s). I think their big weaknesses are that they don't cause a lot of turnovers or grab a lot of offensive rebounds, and they give up a bunch of both. Bogut should help some with the rebounding, but the turnovers are still going to be a big problem (especially when they run into good and intense playoff defense).
   653. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4393448)
I think most would agree that if Hou / GSW were in the east, they're probably a #2 or #3 seed team. (hell both might still finish with better record than the eastern #2 seed.)

Definitely not.

Hou / LAL / GSW all seem to be teams that have the talent to go insane for a couple games and knock guys off.

Lakers, yes. Rockets and Warriors, no.

---

My wife is going to the Bulls game tonight. I'm going to be pretty pissed if Rose wakes up today and decides he's ready to play.
   654. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4393457)
I think most would agree that if Hou / GSW were in the east, they're probably a #2 or #3 seed team. (hell both might still finish with better record than the eastern #2 seed.)


No offense to our resident Rockets fan, but no. They might (might) be a 4.
   655. AROM Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4393460)
Lakers, yes. Rockets and Warriors, no.


I agree with that. When the Lakers got Howard and Nash I had them down for dominating the west, on par with the way San Antonio and OKC have played. Obviously that has not happened, with this team becoming the poster boys for how bad chemistry and poor coaching can mitigate great talent.

At this point though, I'm locked in, I'm going down with the team. I still think the talent is there to the point where if they gel and get healthy (very big ifs) they can play on a level of the top 2 and be better than LAC/DEN/MEM. Kind of a moot point though, as it's unlikely they'll play any of the 3-4-5 teams. They'll be playing SAN or OKC in the first round, and without home court. Even being as good as the top 2 is not enough, they need to be better. Their upside is probably a valiant 6-7 game losing effort with a bunch of close games.
   656. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4393464)
No offense to our resident Rockets fan, but no. They might (might) be a 4.

The Knicks are the likely 3 seed and as someone who has watched most of both team's games I'm confident when I say the Rockets are, at worst, just as good.
   657. AROM Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4393466)
Well, at least the modern poster boys for bad chemistry. Lakers had a good start but can't compare to the SF Warriors of 1962-63, a team that had 26 year old Wilt Chamberlain leading the league in points and rebounds, Guy Rodgers leading in assists, and only won 31 games to miss the playoffs. Two years later they started 11-28 before trading Wilt mid-season.

In the middle they had a 48 win season, went to the finals to lose to Boston, with pretty much the exact same roster.
   658. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4393483)
playing the devil's advocate a bit, the Pacer's score differential is actually only marginally higher than the Rockets, granted, that's mostly because the Rockets put up crazy points from time to time, and obviously if two teams are with similar differential you always rather have the better defense one in a playoff series.

But yeah, unless Knicks suddenly return to 1st Month Knicks, I also don't see how they're better than the Rockets right now. even if they're mostly healthy (which they aren't and is rather unlikely to be this year).

Memphis actually match up very poorly against the Rockets for a variety of reason too, if that's the matchup there is a outside chance of the Rockets taking them down, then again, it looks like the 3rd seat now might end up being the Nuggets. so who knows.

Realistically, if the Rockets make the playoff this season it's already a wild success, anything after that is just gravy.






   659. Booey Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4393495)
Well "tanking" for Corbin would lead to more wins since it'd presumably lead to more minutes for the young players.


Sad but true.

I'd argue that they should be considered exactly that.

Well, how enormous?


Eh, math is hard. And mathematically tshipman is probably right. I just don't see it happening in real life. And AROM and Moses have a good point - MAYBE the Lakers could pull an upset if they hit the playoffs on a hot (and healthy) streak and got to face the 3rd-5th seeds. But they won't. They'll face #1 or #2 without HC, and I don't see an upset happening in that scenario (and I think HOU and GSW just plain aren't good enough to beat their first round opponents).
   660. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4393501)
This discussion has reminded me that I think we were, as a collective board, much higher on HOU post-Harden deal than the projection systems were. IIRC, then score one for us. In my head most systems had them as mid to high 30s in wins and a lot of people here thought it brought them to fringe playoff contention, which is more or less where they find themselves. Apologies if it turns out I'm making all of this up.
   661. Maxwn Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4393525)
No offense to our resident Rockets fan, but no. They might (might) be a 4.

Based on what? I'll grant Indiana, but what reason is there to think that New York or Brooklyn are better than the Rockets?

They're .700 against the East. Everything I can think to check about team quality(SRS, Efficiency margin, regular point differential) other than just plain record has them above everyone but MIA and IND in the East. They are 10-2 against the 3-8 seeds in the East, including 8 wins by 10+. 3-4 by 20+.

It's enough of a counter-factual that I can see that it's not totally clear cut, but I really don't see how anyone could be remotely confident that the Rockets are worse than New York, much less Brooklyn.
   662. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4393603)
I'd agree that HOU / GSW probably isn't good enough to beat any of the top 4 teams in the west, i'd just point out that they have guys who can literally go off and score 40+ a night which gives them a better chance at pulling offsets than your garden variety lower seed teams in the east anyway. (then again, you can say that for Mil too.)

On a side note, HOU's poor half court game partly explain why they don't do as well as their SRS suggest, because in close and late situation when all the fouls and time outs slows down the pace by default, their main weapon simply have no way of working. They need to run better half court sets to be sure. (or like, any half court sets would help.)

But here's a hilarious quote from Lin on the Rockets offense last night on exactly that.

http://www.nba.com/rockets/news/nothing-random-about-it

“Variety is hard because we’re random and you can’t really structure randomness,” said Lin after the game. “But you can impose certain guidelines or themes that you want to do in your randomness. The coaches are doing a great job of teaching us to vary it up and to change looks so that we don’t hit them five times in a row with the same one because that’s when (opponents) adjust and figure it out.”

Leave it to the Harvard grad to flip a basketball question on its head by providing a response that leads one perilously close to the rabbit hole of chaos theory. But the big picture truth within Lin’s answer is clear enough: the Rockets came one step closer to reaching their playoff goal Wednesday night while taking a potentially more significant step toward becoming the team they’ll need to be if they want to wreak a little havoc once they get there.


   663. AROM Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4393605)
Rockets as #3-4 in the East sounds reasonable to me. But let's not go overboard on the Rockets' 19-8 record against the East. While that is better than anyone in the East except Miami, the Rockets' record against the West is 18-23, which is worse than the Pacers, Knicks, Hawks, and Celtics. About the same as Brooklyn, and ahead of Chicago.
   664. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4393613)
[663] It doesn't even take that level of record parsing, just look at the performance as a whole and look at the rosters. The Rockets clearly would be in the race for the 3 seed in the East IMO.
   665. AROM Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4393636)
It doesn't even take that level of record parsing, just look at the performance as a whole and look at the rosters. The Rockets clearly would be in the race for the 3 seed in the East IMO.


I agree, they'd be in the mix for #3. Not clearly better or worse than the NY teams. But I'd trust the numbers more than any conclusion gained by looking at the rosters - I'm a Laker fan.
   666. Maxwn Posted: March 21, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4393656)
It doesn't even take that level of record parsing

Yeah, I was mostly just bringing that stuff up as additional color. All the full season stats and team quality indicators point the same direction.
   667. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 21, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4393748)
I'm wondering if the Bulls and Rose are intentionally lying in the weeds here, and he's going to come back for the playoffs with no one having a scouting report on how he looks. I guess he probably needs a few actual games to work his way back into the rotation, but having a player that no one has seen in a year (could be superstar, could be severely limited, could have worked on different aspects of his game in the time off) might be an interesting trump card. If anyone can get into game mode without having to play in actual games to do it, it's probably Rose (and I'm guessing Thibs' practices are hardcore, which helps).
   668. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 21, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4393768)
royce white left rgv, reportedly on the advice of a team physician. his PER w/ the vipers: 10.8
   669. robinred Posted: March 21, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4393797)
Obviously that has not happened, with this team becoming the poster boys for how bad chemistry and poor coaching can mitigate great talent.


In part. My Pringles experience has been paradoxical, in that I think he has done a pretty crappy job but I have still defended him at times.

One key point that I think gets overlooked is this:

PER/WS/48

Howard 2013
19.1/.129

Bynum 2012
22.9/.183

Bynum, as the pic on the lead-in shows, has become even more of a punchline than he already was, but he played 60 of 66 games last year, missing 4 for the suspension and game 66 with the Lakers locked in. There is noise in that data, but it tells you something. 2013 Howard has not IMO really been a notable upgrade on 2012 Bynum. Also, there are other basic roster construction issues that I have discussed before.

That said, the Lakers are 3rd in the NBA in Pace Factor, and 3rd in 3PA. They are 15th in 3P%. Hombre read the MDA hire better than I did, pointing out at the time that the Lakers have neither the speed nor the shooters to play SSOLball. I thought MDA would adapt more than he has.

The guy who runs the ESPN Lakers True Hoop site, anticipating the possibility of Kobe and Pau returning tomorrow, added his voice again to the many calling for a two-star platoon system, with a Nash/Howard team and a Kobe/Pau team. I do not think MDA will do that, but if the nine guys he is willing to give run to, including Earl Clark, are all available, I still think it should be tried.

As to the playoffs, as I said, I was not anticipating Utah having problems to this extent, but I do think the Lakers will get in now, and if all nine guys are healthy, they will be dangerous with no back-to-backs. But "dangerous" is a ways away from actually being good enough to beat SA, OKC, LAC, MEM or DEN four times without HCA.
   670. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 21, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4393816)
57.5 PPG so far in the NCAA. But, you know, the NBA is boring.
   671. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:46 PM (#4393935)
royce white left rgv, reportedly on the advice of a team physician. his PER w/ the vipers: 10.8


To be fair, he did have a string of about 3-4 good games before this and most of that horrific PER was the result of his first 3-4 games.

But yeah, it's been a fugly disastor so far, Mark Cuban said in sloan conf that he would have taken him if the Rockets didn't and handled it better... I wonder how really.

Still, looking at his few good games in the RGV it's not hard to see why people would take a gamble on him, his passing and court vision is really something else.

But at the end of the day, if he or any NBA player really, doesn't want to play, no one can really make them.
   672. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 21, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4393943)
But at the end of the day, if he or any NBA player really, doesn't want to play, no one can really make them.


I don't know that want to play is the real problem. Clearly he has issues though.
   673. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4393953)
For his sake though, if he really want to run his cause , he needs to produce. otherwise he'll be forgotten by this time next year.
   674. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 21, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4393967)
Worse than forgotten. Nobody's going to give him a second chance after seeing what he's done with a team that not only burned a first round pick on him, but, from all reports, seems to have done all they can to work with him.
   675. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4394003)
Bulls suck.
   676. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4394008)
Nuggests looks like their streak is in trouble... down 6 with 2 min left against the.. Sixers???? at home????
   677. steagles Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4394014)
I don't know that want to play is the real problem. Clearly he has issues though.
i think something that gets overlooked is that there were a lot of people who didn't even like him as a basketball player before accounting for his personality disorders.

he's an interesting guy to follow, sure, but he's too short to be a 4, too slow to be a 3, he doesn't rebound all that well, he's a terrible shooter, a mediocre defender and he turns the ball over a ton. there's noone who looks like him or plays like him, but i don't think that's a particularly positive thing in white's case.



also, the denver nuggets (who are 30-3 at home) are down 5 to the sixers (who are 6-23 on the road) with about 14 seconds left in the 4th quarter despite the sixers being terrible and denver having a 14 game win-streak and philly being on the second half of one of those dreaded B2Bs that end in denver.
   678. steagles Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:25 PM (#4394015)
also, the denver nuggets (who are 30-3 at home) are down 5 to the sixers (who are 6-23 on the road) with about 14 seconds left in the 4th quarter despite the sixers being terrible and denver having a 14 game win-streak and philly being on the second half of one of those dreaded B2Bs that end in denver.
yeah, for some reason that ending was not at all unexpected.
   679. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4394016)
Nuggests looks like their streak is in trouble... down 6 with 2 min left against the.. Sixers???? at home????

They seem to be competing with the Heat for highest degree of difficulty.
   680. Maxwn Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4394018)
Oh, good lord, Philly.
   681. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4394021)
he's an interesting guy to follow, sure, but he's too short to be a 4, too slow to be a 3, he doesn't rebound all that well, he's a terrible shooter, a mediocre defender and he turns the ball over a ton. there's noone who looks like him or plays like him, but i don't think that's a particularly positive thing in white's case.

it's pointless to debate this if he isn't even on the floor, but I'd hazard to say that the NBA these days position is no longer strickly defined as it use to. and on the Rockets your not even sure who's what except for Omer as the C , both Lin and Harden are basically 1+2 , Parsons's mostly 3 but also a bit of 4 etc..

Guys who can pass really well is hard to overlook. In his few good games in the later RGV season he looked like he was pretty agressive down low, not flashy moves but were getting it done, and also grabbing a good number of boards. but yeah it's the D-League.

IN short. he's got issues, if he work very hard he probably should be able to play in the NBA to some extend. but again, if he's acting like this, even if he's Lebron James the second he's still not going anywhere.

   682. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:43 PM (#4394028)
Having watched Philly sports for a period of my life, I've known to expect them to always fail comically at certain points of the season. You know they'll always try to put together a good team, but they're like the Coyote in the Road Runner cartoon.

The Flyers , the Sixers, Phillies, Eagles, all the same. well the Phillies in 08 was kinda of the rare exception I guess.

But look at the Flyers, they're one of the highest winning % team in the NHL of all time, and they havn't won a cup in like 40 years.



   683. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4394195)
Having watched Philly sports for a period of my life, I've known to expect them to always fail


My Minnesota fandom snears. Without the twins and their brief moments in the sun in 87 and 91 MN would only have its four super bowl losses to define it*. At least I am also a fan of San Fransico teams (grew up there) to consol me.

EDIT: * And pof course the "well run" Timberwolves. Pleh.
   684. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4394201)
White is kind of like Boris Diaw.
   685. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4394280)
My Minnesota fandom snears. Without the twins and their brief moments in the sun in 87 and 91 MN would only have its four super bowl losses to define it*. At least I am also a fan of San Fransico teams (grew up there) to consol me.


Sorry, as someone with no dog in the fight, Cleveland will always win here. That's kind of what you'd get without those WS championships, except they have an even longer history of failure, both heartbreaking and abject.

Basketball: 43 seasons, no titles. Most relevant historically for the Stepien rule, Jordan's shot against them, and a historically great player dicking them over by announcing a move to warmer climates on national TV.
Football: Post-merger, 42 seasons, no titles. "Highlights": Elway's Drive against them, Byner's goal-line fumble, losing their team for 4 years and having the team that moved win two Super Bowls while the Browns have not gotten back off the ground in the 15 years since their new team.
Baseball: Won a title! 65 years ago. Since then, one finish above 4th in a 34-year period (1960-93), ten-cent beer night, Mesa's blown WS game 7.

Yeah, Cleveland wins.
   686. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4394287)
Agree, Cleveland has it worst. Not to understate the woes of a Buffalo or Minneapolis or whatever, but it's definitely Cleveland.
   687. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4394306)
Agree, Cleveland has it worst.


Well yeah. I assumed we were arguing for second place, like you do for greatest musical group.
   688. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 22, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4394393)
Behind Styx?
   689. robinred Posted: March 22, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4394419)
Got a buddy from Cleveland, and yes. Couple of adds:

1. Steelers have emerged as one of the NFL's flagship brands, and have now passed SF and DAL for number of Super Bowl Titles with six. The Browns have never even appeared in the Super Bowl.
2. The two guys who are arguably the two greatest basketball players ever both specifically F'd Cleveland in different ways. "The Decision" was unprecedented, and in view of the shitt James caught for it, will probably never be repeated.

Plus, Cleveland is a Rust-Belt city that some people make fun of anyway.
   690. steagles Posted: March 22, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4394436)
Plus, Cleveland is a Rust-Belt city that some people make fun of anyway.
burn on, big river
   691. cmd600 Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4394507)
two greatest basketball players ever both specifically F'd Cleveland in different ways


As someone who is from Cleveland, I don't see James as effing us. If people in town weren't such jersey-burning crybabies about it, it would be treated similar to Howard (who did try to eff his team by demanding a trade to one specific team). Sure, it was a spectacle, but that's because everyone wanted a spectacle. Yeah, it sucked that he left, but that was always a very real possibility, and part of the reason it stung so much was that the team didn't have that talent to get Lebron a ring or be competitive without him on the roster.
   692. robinred Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4394515)
I was one of James' most vocal defenders when some people were going off on him here after the telecast, but the "f" part was going on TV to do it, and playing it the way he did. As I said at the time, I don't think he meant anything malicious by it, but it showed remarkable tone deafness at best. And, ultimately, regardless of what "everybody wanted", James himself made that call.

Also, "f'd" was being used colloquially. Jordan didn't F Cleveland either, unless he drew up the 1989 playoff schedule himself.
   693. Jimmy P Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4394546)
Kevin linked to this article about Shabazz Muhammad on Twitter. Fascinating. His dad is sounds like a real piece of work, and it came out that Shabazz is a year older than he's been saying.
   694. cmd600 Posted: March 22, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4394564)
Yeah, sure, he is/was remarkably tone deaf. But I think a big part of the problem was bad advice. Jim Grey/Maverick Carter were the masterminds behind it, and because Lebron trusted his old high school buddies instead of working with professional handlers, he never got to hear "no, that's a really dumb idea". He's improved a lot since that presser after losing to Dallas.

And, yes, I know f'd was colloquial; and maybe I'm just seeing it differently. Lebron didn't screw over the fans (except those who viewed him as their personal property) or cost this team a championship, he carried a mediocre roster kicking and screaming to 60 wins, and that they never won it all was on the front office (namely the Paxson one who traded away the 2005 and 2007 first round picks for garbage before Lebron was ever on the roster).
   695. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 22, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4394594)
[693] Really interesting read, thanks for the link. Wonder if teams reading that will be shied off of Shabazz -- I'd have to worry about how motivated a guy pushed so hard by his dad is going to be once he is in the pros.
   696. RollingWave Posted: March 22, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4394714)
Well Rockets took care of business and took apart the Cavs by 38 points, though Lin had a very quiet night, probably because they had Livingston on him. but their front court just abused the depleted Cavs. Harden and Lin only combined for like 24 points this time.

Heat trolled us some more, give up some early leads to the Piston and then obviously steamrolled to victory.

Utah holding a small lead on the Spurs in the 4th... hmm
   697. RollingWave Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4394746)
oh my, this is a devastating series of losses for Utah isn't it.

A. lost to a completely depleted Knicks, most notably 40 year old Kurt Thomas playing on a completely broken body somehow demolished their front court.

B. went into Houston and got beaten by the Rockets, especially exposing their weak backcourt

C. Now lost to the Spurs in OT in a game where the Spurs weren't really playing well.

   698. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:05 PM (#4394749)
No mention of the fact that this might be the first time that the Lakers Big Four is healthy this season?
   699. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 23, 2013 at 12:46 AM (#4394820)
What an unbelievably horrific, brain-dead decision by MWP with 31 seconds left.
   700. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 23, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4394821)
Gasol didn't look good out there tonight. Bryant's looked a step slow all night — given his ankle, understandable and expected — and he couldn't hit from mid-range or even the free throw line late. Howard has looked better over the last few weeks, but Nene really took it to him in those last two minutes.

Bad loss for LA. Granted two key guys are hobbled, but that was a very bad loss for the Lakers. The funny thing is, given how well Washington's played lately, you could totally kind of see this coming. After the first quarter, LA looked very old and very slow compared to Washington. It's impossible to believe that this group was supposed to dominate anything this season.

And I just want to add: I'm so sick of watching MWP in a Laker uniform.
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