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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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   801. jmurph Posted: March 28, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4398673)
Wojo is only known to be the big-man coach, as strange as that sounds


I guess that explains Plumlee's energy level.


There is a distinct lack of floor-slapping, however, so I'm not convinced of Wojo's coaching prowess.
   802. Jimmy P Posted: March 28, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4398694)
From Twitter:

@Pacers: BREAKING NEWS - http://on.nba.com/10hIggE - Danny Granger will miss remainder of season to undergo surgery on his left knee
   803. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 28, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4398697)
I think they are something like 28-3 since they brought in Chris Andersen, and he is probably the best big guy they have had during The Decision Era, excluding, obviously, Bosh. So, yes, I think they are a little better than they were last year, and I expect that will be plenty good enough, regardless of what Derrick Rose does. I thought Spoelstra should have used the Birdman a little more last night.

I agree that the Bulls wouldn't have a significant chance of beating the Heat in the playoffs even with Rose, and I also agree that the Heat should have a cakewalk into the Finals. My point is that they're the same team they've been, and the Finals should be a coin flip just like the past 2 years.

I completely disagree on Chris Andersen. The belief that Chris Andersen is a difference-maker strikes me as an attempt to explain the streak, with the idea being that something must have clicked for the Heat, and his arrival coincides with their winning. However, Chris Andersen plays 13 minutes a game, and the Heat have been a few points better with him off the court than on. Based on point differential and strength of schedule the Heat played at the same level for the past 28 games as they had before then. The streak is a product of the Heat being a very good and motivated team playing a very soft part of their schedule, along with a considerable amount of good fortune in winning every close game for a while. Does the fact that they've been winning more of their close games demonstrate improvement? The statistical viewpoint is generally no, but there's a reasonable argument that it does.
   804. rr Posted: March 28, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4398712)
However, Chris Andersen plays 13 minutes a game, and the Heat have been a few points better with him off the court than on.


Other stats tell a different story. Andersen's base metrics, across the board, are mostly better than those of Miami's other spare big men. As with SRS, all numbers have a lot of caveats and noise. His Simple Rating is pretty bad, -1.2, but it is better than Anthony's and far better than Haslem's. Looking at the 5-man unit breakdowns at 82games.com, Andersen does not appear to get much time with both Wade and James on the floor with him, and he seldom seems to play with Bosh:

http://www.82games.com/1213/1213MIA2.HTM


Earlier in the thread, I compared the Andersen acquisition to the 1997 Bulls picking up Bison Dele. Dele was not spectacular, and he only played about 18 MPG in the playoffs (I will speculate that that is about where Andersen will be in the money games) but he provided some basic things that the Bulls' other bigs lacked. When you have the main ingredients, sometimes the right spices can upgrade a meal and be the proverbial finishing touch.

So, while I wouldn't objectively tie the streak to Birdman's presence, I do not think that we have evidence to simply dismiss it as coincidence. It may be, for example, that Andersen is allowing the Heat bench to do a little better when the big dogs are off the floor by adding some activity in terms of interior defense. And, to keep it simple, I think most observers would agree that Andersen is probably a better bench big than either Anthony or Haslem.

   805. rr Posted: March 28, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4398713)
Note: Bryant is 35 points away from Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list.
   806. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 28, 2013 at 09:43 PM (#4398847)
Lakers with 15 turnovers with 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. That's pretty ugly.
   807. RollingWave Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4398873)
Bucks pulling away from Lakers

Pacers leading Dallas though, so that's some good news for them. but the Mavs still have time to comeback from that one
   808. RollingWave Posted: March 28, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4398919)
Lakers and Dallas both lose, Dallas running out of time to tread water.

   809. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4399346)
1. For next month's thread can we NOT have a giant picture at the top? Makes it tougher for me to waste time on here during the work day.

2. Goldsberry had a cool piece on LeBron's efficiency over at Grantland. Simmons also did a piece on the winners and losers of the win streak. My takeaway from Simmons' piece was that it's funny he's still holding on to Bird as better than LeBron. I noticed this earlier in the week when he had Bob Ryan on a podcast and they were discussing the 5 man team they would pick to face a group of aliens and Ryan said he would choose LeBron over Duncan at PF. Simmons referenced that discussion in today's column and affirmed the decision.
   810. PJ Martinez Posted: March 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4399583)
@kpelton Tied at 92 with 2:57 left. The stakes: Utah makes playoffs in 33.7% of sims with win, 16.2% with loss.
   811. Booey Posted: March 30, 2013 at 02:01 AM (#4399595)
@kpelton Tied at 92 with 2:57 left. The stakes: Utah makes playoffs in 33.7% of sims with win, 16.2% with loss.


Watched the game at a sports bar and grill with Enes Kanter (k, not really, but he was sitting just two tables down from us, so I'm counting it, dammit!). Big win for the Jazz - breaks a 9 game road losing streak and (likely briefly) moves them back into the 8th slot. I still wouldn't bet on them making the playoffs, but the current stretch they're in the midst of (6 of 7 at home, 5 of 7 against lottery teams) at least gives them a shot if they can avoid any more letdowns.
   812. RollingWave Posted: March 30, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4399630)
I guess Kevin McHale trying to prove the point that he doesn't specifically hate any of his player by benching the entire starting unit for most of the 2nd half against the Grizz, granted the b team played much better, worst game by Harden in the entire season .

   813. bob gee Posted: March 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4399644)
@812 - upside is that harden and parsons aren't run into the ground on the first night of a back to back.

mchale's doing a great job (cough) of building his young players confidence!
   814. AROM Posted: March 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4399649)
The thing about Birdman is that he completes this roster, in making them resemble the late 1990s Bulls. Lebron/Wade do the best Jordan/Pippen combination since, well, Jordan and Pippen. But they lacked a tattooed freak who can defend, rebound, and be a complete zero on offense.
   815. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 30, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4399761)
Watched the game at a sports bar and grill with Enes Kanter (k, not really, but he was sitting just two tables down from us, so I'm counting it, dammit!).


How many dates did he have with him?
   816. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 30, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4399829)
   817. Booey Posted: March 30, 2013 at 09:57 PM (#4399940)
How many dates did he have with him?


Just one, unfortunately. And it was a dude.


(and just to make sure I'm not inadvertently starting rumors, it didn't really look like a date)
   818. RollingWave Posted: March 30, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4399952)
@812 - upside is that harden and parsons aren't run into the ground on the first night of a back to back.

mchale's doing a great job (cough) of building his young players confidence!


And of course, they crush the Clippers tonight without Harden. this team is so hilariously random
   819. Spivey Posted: March 30, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4399963)
Derek Fisher is a disgrace to the NBA.
   820. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 30, 2013 at 10:27 PM (#4399965)
Ugh. Sacramento has 30 on the Lakers... in less than 9 minutes into the first quarter.
   821. bob gee Posted: March 30, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4399967)
was surpised that del negro did hack-greg smith with 20 seconds left in the first half, down 3 or 5? didn't make much sense to me.

   822. RollingWave Posted: March 30, 2013 at 10:31 PM (#4399969)
Well Greg Smith is a pretty terrible FT shooter, but yeah that play didn't make much sense espeically since their team was already in a lot of foul trouble.
   823. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 30, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4399973)
And Kobe passes Wilt on the scoring list.
   824. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 30, 2013 at 11:19 PM (#4399983)
And Kobe passes Wilt on the scoring list.
   825. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4399984)
Dammit.
   826. bob gee Posted: March 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4399985)
kobe's played all 24 minutes in the lakers game; it's at halftime now.

i wonder if minutes played in the nba / injuries becomes the equivalent of pitch counts in baseball. i don't like mchale's riding harden and parsons into the ground, but i know it's not completely unique to him. d'antoni did that lots with the knicks (see lin going from DNPs to 40+ minutes in 3 games) and has been riding a short bench in phoenix/ny/la, woodson used stoudamire for a decent number of minutes when recovering, and there's lots more. popovich is way ahead of the curve with how he plays his veterans.

is popovich one of the top 5 coaches of all time? i think there's a good argument for top 3...
   827. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 30, 2013 at 11:31 PM (#4399991)
Nash can't go, so it's pretty much Kobe as the lone ballhandler for the team. Otherwise, you're going with Chris Duhon, and nobody wants to see that.
   828. OCF Posted: March 31, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4400023)
Well, Kobe went all 48, had 14 assists, and the Lakers won - barely.
   829. RollingWave Posted: March 31, 2013 at 01:32 AM (#4400032)
wow, Kobe went all 48...
   830. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 31, 2013 at 03:49 AM (#4400049)
Bryant had 14 assists, just one turnover. Gasol also had 10 assists. They've been running a lot of offense through Gasol, something very un-SSOL of D'Antoni.

The Lakers' remaining schedule:
vs Dallas
vs Memphis
vs Clippers
vs New Orleans
at Portland
vs Golden State
vs San Antonio
at Houston

A bunch of home games, but aside from maybe the Hornets, everything else is a coin flip or worse. With Nash gone for now (hamstring), Bryant can expect to play close to 48 pretty much every game. It's hard to see this team beating Memphis, the Clippers, Golden State or the Spurs, or Portland on the road on the 2nd of a back-to-back. I didn't expect them to rise up into the playoff slot before, and now that Utah seems to have righted the ship a bit, I don't expect the Lakers to play well enough here to get in.

It's possible the Spurs sit all their starters in that 2nd-to-last game. Depending on the standings, Houston might in that last game. It's hard to see where the Lakers are going to win five games here if that doesn't happen. They need Utah to completely melt down.

Utah's remaining schedule:
vs Portland
vs Denver
vs New Orleans
at Golden State
vs Oklahoma City
vs Minnesota
at Minnesota
at Memphis

Slightly easier for Utah, with the two games against the TWolves. The Jazz also have the tiebreaker, so if they just win the games against the Wolves and Hornets, and just one against the rest of the schedule, they're in great shape to hold on to the 8th spot. Even if they just go 3-5, they're a decent bet to get in.

Dallas' remaining schedule:
at Lakers
at Denver
at Sacramento
at Portland
vs Phoenix
vs Denver
at New Orleans
vs Memphis
vs New Orleans

The Mavs trip west could be a death march; they get Denver and Sacramento back to back on the road. It's hard to see Dallas breaking through past the two teams in front.
   831. rr Posted: March 31, 2013 at 05:12 AM (#4400055)
"Danny Ainge needs to shut the f--- up and manage his own team," Riley said in a statement released through a Heat spokesman. "He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing and I know that because I coached against him."


"I don't want to mess up his Armani suits and all that hair goop. It would be way too expensive for me," (Ainge) said.




Asked if Rivers believes Riley's statement could further stoke the Miami-Boston rivalry, Rivers noted, "Not unless they are playing. Really, I just think it's talk both ways. I'll let those two grown men handle their own grown-men argument. I'm going to stay out of it. On a side note, it just gives me a smile and it's interesting. I think it's fun. It's a flashback."


   832. PJ Martinez Posted: March 31, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4400153)
So, can teams sign guys from the D-League and elsewhere right up until the end of the season? And if they do, are those guys eligible for the playoffs?
   833. steagles Posted: March 31, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4400245)
Derek Fisher is a disgrace to the NBA.
i'm not sure why this was brought up now, but the sentiment has really flown under the radar. considering the way that he's manipulated himself off of 3 different teams (houston, utah, and now dallas), i really don't think he's hated by enough people.
   834. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: March 31, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4400303)
Lebron and Wade out at SA, if im the Spurs, I get the league to fine em for sitting them!
   835. PJ Martinez Posted: March 31, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4400312)
i'm not sure why this was brought up now, but the sentiment has really flown under the radar. considering the way that he's manipulated himself off of 3 different teams (houston, utah, and now dallas), i really don't think he's hated by enough people.

If an employee wants to move on, he should move on. Unless Fisher has done something unethical or illegal, I don't see why fans should judge him harshly for that (though I'm sure some will). If he was really cynically using his child's need for medical attention as a pretense, then OK, that's not the best thing ever. In general, though, I don't think players have any responsibility to be loyal to teams, since it's a business, and teams are rarely loyal, in any terribly meaningful way that I can see, to them.

Fans are loyal, but that's irrational, and not something we should project onto the players.

Edit: By the way, I'm still curious about the question in #832. Anyone know the answer?
   836. Booey Posted: March 31, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4400331)
Lebron and Wade out at SA, if im the Spurs, I get the league to fine em for sitting them!


I'm sure Stern isn't too happy about that. But I love Pop. Per ESPN news:

Popovich pretended to be stunned by the news.

"What kind of s--- is that?" the Spurs coach said after stepping a few feet backward in mock astonishment. "Are you kidding me? Who would think of something like that? That's below the belt. There's no place for that."
   837. Booey Posted: March 31, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4400343)
If he was really cynically using his child's need for medical attention as a pretense, then OK, that's not the best thing ever.


From everything I've read, that sounds like exactly what he did with the Jazz. His daughters treatment center was in New York, and he asked then Jazz owner Larry Miller if he could let him out of his contract so he could sign somewhere closer to that. Then he signed with LA, which is like 1000 miles FURTHER from New York. I'm sure LA has good cancer treatment centers too, but that wasn't the original agreement, AFAIK.

That said, I never liked Fisher and I was glad he was gone. It removed Sloan's temptation to misuse him. On the 2007 Jazz, Fisher should have been our backup PG, not our starting SG. But Jerry loved his veterans. I remember that we had 50 points dropped on us by players 4 times that season (IIRC it was the first time that had happened to a single team in like 20 years or something), and they were all shooting guards (Kobe, Ray Allen, Gilbert Arenas, and Michael Redd). A backcourt of DWill and DFish was just too small.
   838. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 31, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4400476)
Chris Bosh reminds everyone that he although he's the third best player on his team, he's still a great player.
   839. Maxwn Posted: April 01, 2013 at 03:29 AM (#4400626)
The 3-4-5 race in the West is basically in the same position that it has been for a month. 1 game separates the 3 from the 5. Well actually, 1 game separates the 3 from the 4 because of the stupid division winner thing, but I'm just going to call Memphis the 4 right now because they effectively have a 1/2 game on LAC for home court. Remaining schedules go like this

Denver
@UTA
DAL
HOU
SAS
@DAL
POR
@MIL
PHX

Memphis
SAS
@POR
@LAL
@SAC
CHA
@HOU
LAC
@DAL
UTA

Clippers
IND
PHX
LAL
MIN
@NOH
@MEM
POR
@SAC

I'm not sure how'd I call that. Denver's got a favorable home/away split, but they don't play anybody else for the rest of the year who I would say is out-and-out terrible. The Grizzlies schedule is probably objectively the worst; they've got 5 on the road and an extra game compared to DEN and LAC, but I think they have a pretty important advantage in the one head-to-head against LAC. They'll both be on a back-to-back, but obviously the game is in Memphis.

Big advantage for DEN is that they have the tiebreaker on both teams, I think. I don't know, my guess is probably that they all finish between 54-56 wins, probably with DEN the 3, LAC the technical 4 but MEM with HCA over LAC. Maybe something like DEN 6-2, MEM 6-3, LAC 5-3. I don't know though, if LAC beats IND tomorrow, they might be able to win out, or maybe just drop the 1 in MEM and pass the Grizzlies anyway. It's going to come down to the wire.
   840. Maxwn Posted: April 01, 2013 at 03:32 AM (#4400627)
I bet it takes at least 56 to get the 3 in the west, maybe even 57.
   841. kpelton Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4400887)
So, can teams sign guys from the D-League and elsewhere right up until the end of the season? And if they do, are those guys eligible for the playoffs?

Yep. The only restriction on playoff rosters is that the player cannot be on another team's roster as of March 1.
   842. smileyy Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4401004)

Chris Bosh reminds everyone that he although he's the third best player on his team, he's still a great player.


Anything that gives us more Chris Bosh Triumphant Roar Face can't be a bad thing.

Horrifyingly, I'm now speculating about his O-Face.
   843. The District Attorney Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4401306)
And on that note, new thread.
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