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Saturday, March 01, 2014

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - March 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: whether civilization peaked during the reign of Queen Victoria, or the reign of Jimmy Carter.

Sadly, LeBron will have to get used to disappointment.

The District Attorney Posted: March 01, 2014 at 09:03 PM | 789 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   301. robinred Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:30 AM (#4671294)
I'm not sure that either the Knicks and the Lakers are behind the 76ers in this ranking.
#1. The Sixers have the worst roster in the league.
#2. They have Young, Carter-Williams, and Wroten. Then you get to picks & Noel who is just as unproven as a draft pick.
#3. The Sixers are completely unproven, except that they can figure out how to lose really well. I can tell you I'd have more confidence in the Knicks with Jackson in that position than I do in the 76ers. And the Lakers will always be a free agent destination team.


It is debatable, but:

1 and 2: The 76ers have two lottery picks this year and one next year, and they have Noel and Carter-Williams. If things break right, a team could emerge from that. In addition to other roster problems, the Knicks do not have their pick this year and the Lakers' 2015 pick is not theirs if it lands outside the Top 5.
3. The Knicks' management issues are well-documented. WRT the Lakers, I have been involved in numerous, often very testy, discussions, about the Lakers' management and coaching on Lakers blogs this year. It is not fair to Dolanize Jim Buss yet, as some are doing--The Veto is a huge caveat--but there are many reasons to be concerned, and Magic and Kobe both went off on management this week. In addition, the Lakers have an enormous amount of money tied up in Kobe and there is almost no chance that it will work out well. Hinkie and Brown are unproven, but I think most Lakers and Knicks fans would, shall we say, just as soon have them as Buss, Dolan, Mills, D'Antoni, and Woodson. The Lakers' fanbase is still mostly behind Kupchak.

As far as the "destination" narrative, that has always been oversold to an extent, as I have pointed out, and this is a very different time than the 1990s or the 1970s. A few people here got in my grill a little when I said (as far back as December of 2012) that Dwight Howard was bailing, and Kevin Love shitt on the Lakers a few weeks ago when asked about it (although he obviously had to be careful of course, in answering, on multiple levels). Very simply, no one wants to play for a crappy team which is seen as having a chaotic, anachronistic management situation contaminated by nepotism and reality-show family strife, no matter what market the team plays in or how many banners it has on the wall.

The Lakers can certainly bounce back within 2-3 years, but it is not going to be easy and the odds are actually against it, although I think that most of the fanbase, and a lot of LakerHaters, (not meaning you) don't really get that yet. Any team losing Chris Paul to a league ruling and Dwight Howard uncompensated in FA within two years (as well as making some other mistakes and having some other bad luck) is a good bet to be down for a long time.
   302. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:12 AM (#4671316)
“He's the greatest of all time. His skill is second to none. Him and MJ are neck and neck as far as skill,” Durant said. “Kobe is the top two best ever in just having skill, footwork, shooting the 3, shooting the pull-up, posting up, dunking on guys and ball handling. Kobe and Jordan are 1 and 1A."


What should also be considered is that Durant is only 25. He was barely in his teens when Jordan moved out of his athlete-dunk-over-everything phase of his career, and the rules of the game with respect to defensive hand checking changed significantly. The Jordan Durant saw does not tell the whole story. I am too young to recall seeing the showtime lakers or healthy Larry Bird, let alone anyone before that. Makes it really tough to get a handle on someone when you haven't seen them play.
   303. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4671336)
In case anyone missed them, Simmons' recent podcasts with Steve Nash and Bob Pettit are pretty good. Stay away from the Rick Fox one though unless you're a Celtic fan.
   304. AROM Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4671342)
In addition, the Lakers have an enormous amount of money tied up in Kobe and there is almost no chance that it will work out well.


I think the best it can work out is to keep the Lakers above the minimum salary next year while they tank for another top 5 pick in 2015. It's going to be ugly, Kobe is going to hate being a part of the losing team and it doesn't seem like the ideal environment for the young draft pick to develop in.

What's the alternative though? I read something yesterday about the idea of trading this year's pick for Kevin Love and bringing back Gasol. Even if this is possible, and even if Kobe plays at his 2012-13 level, the upside is you get a very good offensive team that can't defend anyone, a lower playoff seed and a likely first round exit. Then 2 years later Kobe is gone, you have no young talent, and then you start losing, acquiring draft picks, and trying to bring in the next big free agent.

I'd rather see them lose 2014-15, then sign Love as a free agent. You'd still have Kobe and two top draft talents - maybe make a playoff run in Kobe's last year, then have the talent base to build a good team around.
   305. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4671370)
What's the general feeling about Kobe's contract amongst Laker fans? I feel like at the time it was signed there were some people thought it was a lot, but also people who thought, he's Kobe and the Lakers have monitored his comeback and are confident, but has the injury issue since really dampened that outlook?
   306. AROM Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4671436)
I just figured the contract was a payment for everything he's done in the past, and because they don't want him to wear another team's jersey. Kobe will play next year, and he might even be OK, but I'm 99.9% certain that I've seen the last game Kobe the Great has ever played.

This year's injury hasn't changed my outlook for next year. If he had been able to play this year (but still recovering from the Achilles) I don't think the Laker's record would be much different than it is today. He couldn't defend last year, so I don't see any reason to think he'd be a defensive asset this year. Offensively, he'd score his points, but probably not with much more efficiency than the group of players taking the shots right now.

Amazing how similar the careers of Kobe and Derek Jeter have been.

- Started around the same time
- storied franchises
- count teh ringzz
- leaders
- great offense, no defense (though young Kobe played D, not so much for Jeter ever)
- moved Shaq to Miami, moved A-Rod to third base
- great season at advanced age, playing every day in playoff push, ends in a leg injury
- comeback season doesn't go so well
- both players simultaneously overrated and underrated

Kobe's got the heroball haterz and also people saying he's 1A with Jordan. Jeter's got some people calling him the greatest ever SS, some defensive analysts think his D is so bad he's not a legit HOFer.
   307. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4671560)
“He's the greatest of all time. His skill is second to none. Him and MJ are neck and neck as far as skill,” Durant said. “Kobe is the top two best ever in just having skill, footwork, shooting the 3, shooting the pull-up, posting up, dunking on guys and ball handling. Kobe and Jordan are 1 and 1A."

Basketball players fetishize the ability to make special plays with little or no regard for efficiency. Hit a fallaway on the baseline over two defenders and they'll be wowed, with nary a thought about the two-thirds of the time that shot doesn't go in. That's the Bryant-as-remotely-comparable-to-Jordan explanation in a nutshell.
   308. Booey Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4671582)
Amazing how similar the careers of Kobe and Derek Jeter have been.


I remember noticing this back in 2002 or so, when Kobe got his own 3-peat to match Jeter's. It really is neat to see how well that trend has held up in the dozen years since.

The "count da ringzz" aspect of their careers is almost identical - both have played in 7 World Series/Finals and won 5. Both were perfect in the WS/Finals early in their careers (including a 3-peat), then lost 2 before finally winning again years later with a mostly different supporting cast. They even both won titles at the bookends of the 2000's decade (2000, 2009).

Jeter WS history
Won 4 (1996, 1998-2000)
Lost 2 (2001, 2003)
Won 1 (2009)

Kobe Finals History
Won 3 (2000-2002)
Lost 2 (2004, 2008)
Won 2 (2009-2010)
   309. robinred Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4671599)
Yeah, I had a long post about a year ago, pointing out that Bryant is in many respects a combination of Jeter and Bonds. That is why you still get reactions like #307 when Bryant gets praised by a guy like Durant, when, of course, what Durant thinks, while interesting on some level, is pretty much irrelevant to everybody except hopeless Kobe Fanboyzz and to their opposite numbers. Durant is not being paid for his analytical skills, and James is piling up enough MVP awards to satisfy even Henry Abbott.

As to Kobe's deal: most fans except the hardcore faithful are against it. My personal POV about it is that the big problem isn't the money, but the second year. Giving KB another big "thank you" payment, while not that smart, would have been Ok for just one year. James isn't coming here, and even if Anthony wanted to, bringing him in would not be a good idea. The hope for the Lakers is to nail the draft pick, add a high-quality second-tier FA, and then to get a big-time FA in 2015. But unless health forces Bryant into retirement, he will be there in 2015, taking up 30-35% of the cap and bringing whatever other baggage there is, for him and the org, by that time. It is very unlikely to work out well.
   310. smileyy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4671603)
Basketball players fetishize the ability to make special plays with little or no regard for efficiency. Hit a fallaway on the baseline over two defenders and they'll be wowed, with nary a thought about the two-thirds of the time that shot doesn't go in. That's the Bryant-as-remotely-comparable-to-Jordan explanation in a nutshell.


That seems like an overly simplistic reduction. Otherwise there'd be a lot more talk of the greatness of Rudy Gay.
   311. smileyy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4671605)
The Kobe deal seems like the Lakers trying to have it all / give it all. You can pick one of:

* We can't let Kobe play anywhere else
* We should let Kobe play as long as he wants

...but to pick both will lead to lunacy.
   312. AROM Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4671612)
I think the 2008 Finals game where the Lakers went up 20 in the first quarter and then blew it to Boston was Kobe's equivalent of Jeter's 2004 ALCS. Not so much for individual performance - neither player was great in those games, but neither was a goat, but just for the general sucky experience of blowing a big lead in a huge game/series. And even worse, blowing it to Boston.
   313. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4671622)
Otherwise there'd be a lot more talk of the greatness of Rudy Gay.

The same Rudy Gay who was viewed as a star for years despite being terrible?
   314. AROM Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4671634)
I've got to hope that the downturn is a short one, that 1-2 top draft picks + free agent cap space will bring them back. But this could be a long one.

How much of a free agent magnet will they be? It's still LA, and they still have all the championship banners, but Jimmy Buss does not inspire the same respect his father did. And state tax rates + salary max puts them at a disadvantage.

They really need to nail this upcoming draft pick.



   315. robinred Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4671645)
They really need to nail this upcoming draft pick.


Indeed. IMO, this will be the most important pick that the org has made since 1980. Even back in 82, it was Worthy or Wilkins (you can actually argue that Wilkins would have been better, although I probably wouldn't--Worthy was a perfect fit).

But yes, if they fall too low to get an impact guy or miss at 2-5, then they are probably pretty much toast for the foreseeable future. Also: assuming Phil takes the Knicks gig, there will be reasons to question how well he will do at the job, but I think he will be a plus in FA recruitment when New York has money again.
   316. andrewberg Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4671660)
There are many complicating factors for the Lakers that did not exist before. Many of their rebuilding efforts have started from a higher floor (as RR has noted, the cupboard was far from bar when Shaq came in, or when they acquired Pau). Howard walking away was an historical anomaly and it changes their outlook considerably. On top of that, the Clippers have never been this good and this attractive to fans/other players, which at least makes it harder to fill in the gaps with veteran players who can fill in the blanks. Even more, I question whether most players even want to play for D'Antoni. I doubt the coach usually factors in too heavily, but he could be a slight negative. Then again, it will certainly be easier to attract a free agent there, than, say Milwaukee, who is also screwed with less scrutiny.
   317. JuanGone..except1game Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4671735)
I'm always confused by the concern-trolling of the Lakers from non-Lakers fans. I started as a fan in about 1983, when I was 8 and have been lucky enough to see my team win 8 championships and get to the NBA finals a number of other times. Obviously, I'd like to see th Lakers win every single year, but the though that the Lakers might be enter a little lul because they choose to pay Kobe a couple of more years or make a few bad decisions just doesn't have me sitting in the same empty place, as say Bucks fans. Obviously Jimmy Buss is a huge concern, but I doubt that they don't find themselves back in the hunt relatively soon given our history. I'm sure Jeannie will pull a Micheal/Fredo at some point if she needs to.

I just started Showtime by Jeff Pearlman, and I give it my highest recommendation. Great book on the history of the Lakers with a ton of info that I, as a pretty hardcore Lakers fans wasn't aware of. One being, how much of a historic ass-hole that Jack Kent Cooke was. Mugabe might have been less of a tyrant.
   318. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4671743)
[317] Not sure if you were referring to me, but I'm not concern trolling. One of the things i like about this board is that there are fans of teams who aren't the Knicks here and almost all of you all are very reasonable. So when interesting things are happening with those teams why wouldn't I ask about Kobe's contract or the Bulls' resurgence or whatever?
   319. robinred Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4671753)
JuanGone,

I am as twitchy as Lakers fans come, so I hear you; and NJ, berg, and I have had our differences. But they're not concern-troll kind of guys. They are just talking ball.

As to Showtime...I was there and know a lot about those teams already, and about JKC, so I am not sure Pearlman would have new information for me, plus I dislike Pearlman. But for younger people interested in those teams, it might be a good read.
   320. Srul Itza Posted: March 14, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4671920)
I haven't been around this thread much lately, so I am curious as to what our basketball cognoscenti think: Aside from the millions he will pocket, does anyone else think Phil Jackson is out of his mind to become associated with this Knick Regime, at this time in his life?

   321. robinred Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4671940)
Srul--

A few of us have been talking about it. My armchair psych read is that:

1. Phil likes the spotlight.
2. Phil likes money. (Yes, 1 and 2 are obvious).
3. Phil sees it as an opportunity to one-up Pat Riley and put the finishing touches on his career by returning to NYC. Phil leads Riley in rings 13-9, but Phil has 0 as an Exec and winning one in NY would be doing something that Riley couldn't.
4. Phil wants to stick it to Jim Buss (people can make a Simmonsish Jeanie joke here if so inclined).

As to whether it will work out on the basketball floor...as noted, I personally have doubts about Phil's general engagement level and his engagement levels with advanced stats and rebuilding in general, as well as some aspects of his personality. OTOH, Phil is a very smart man, his gravitas and hardware may help with FA recruitment, and he is the one guy available who is a big enough name to maybe get Jim Dolan to back off.

And if it doesn't work out, well, hell, he will have millions more dollars, will probably still have Jeanie Buss, and he will still be Phil Jackson.
   322. yo la tengo Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4671970)
If it doesn't work out in NYC Phil can lay the blame on Dolan. If it works, he soaks up the glory.

   323. yo la tengo Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4671972)
Is it likely that the NCAA committee will get cute and set up a possible FLA - Louisville matchup for the Donovan / Pitino angle and the reigning nat'l champs against the likely #1 seed this year?
   324. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4671976)
the sixers are not just bad, they're so bad they break math.
If the Sixers are really right now a .039 team, I mean, my God. This actually breaks Bill James' Log5 method for estimating single-game win probabilities in some cases. It's too low. For example, plugging in the Sixers as a .039 team gives them a -3.6 percent probability of beating the Pacers in Indiana. I mean, that actually sounds right, but ... you know, you can't have a negative probability of winning a game. The worst you can have is a 0 percent probability of winning a game.

   325. stevegamer Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4671985)
Re #301. I think D'Antoni & Kupchak are reasonably proven to be able to have success. As a 76er fan, I'd swap Hinkie/Brown for that combo in a millisecond.

I agree the 76ers ownership of their own picks helps a lot, since they suck, and they will suck for a while, based on what I see. The big issue they have is that they are so bad, that they could fall to the #6 attraction in town from #5 (they are already behind Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, and college basketball) if they don't get things going. Of course this could be a "tank and move the team" situation.
   326. tshipman Posted: March 15, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4671998)
Re #301. I think D'Antoni & Kupchak are reasonably proven to be able to have success. As a 76er fan, I'd swap Hinkie/Brown for that combo in a millisecond.


I'm a Kupchak fan, not so sure I'm a D'Antoni fan. At this point, D'Antoni has had success in exactly one place in the NBA. And that success was limited, and dependent on a very particular style. And they lost in the WC finals twice, then before then twice.

So, I'm not really that blown away. D'Antoni gets credit for anticipating the trend of going small, but now that everyone goes small, what does he bring to the table? He's supposed to get the most of his guys, but Pau's looked like dogshit and Nash looks old.

I continue to believe that Brian Shaw was the correct hire.
   327. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 15, 2014 at 01:21 AM (#4672002)
If the Sixers are really right now a .039 team, I mean, my God. This actually breaks Bill James' Log5 method for estimating single-game win probabilities in some cases. It's too low. For example, plugging in the Sixers as a .039 team gives them a -3.6 percent probability of beating the Pacers in Indiana.


This is weird. Log5 can never spit out a negative number by its definition (it's the ratio of two positive quantities). I guess if you subtracted like .050 for HFA from .039 you would start with a negative team strength, but that's not right.

To nitpick.
   328. robinred Posted: March 15, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4672104)
Lowe on the Knicks and the Lakers:

link
   329. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4672106)
   330. robinred Posted: March 15, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4672109)
Also, Abbott, unsurprisingly, says that Phil probably won't get it done:

It’s too late. The league is changing too fast, learning too much, and Jackson, for all the open-mindedness that once led him to the novel and wonderful triangle offense, has been telegraphing his incuriousness for more than a decade.

This is not just basketball’s boom time for analytics, it’s also, as Nate Silver wrote recently in ESPN The Magazine, when analytics become basketball necessities, as opposed to niceties. From the stew of SportVu, Catapult and Vantage comes things that really matter: which pick-and-roll defenses stops which ball handlers, which offenses generate the best-quality looks, who plays good defense, the right number of hours to sleep before a big game and, increasingly, which players need to come out of the game right now before their fatigue-induced injury risk skyrockets.

It’s not that any one person knows ALL the right answers. It’s that no ONE person knows all the right answers. Much of this new stuff will prove to science bunk, but the best of it is exponentially better by the day. The only right answer is to be curious.

And at that, the league has passed Jackson by. All his books, all those interviews, all that insight into his thinking, and has he ever even once told of finding value in insight from a younger generation? Or, indeed, from anyone beyond his chosen short list of apostles?

Jackson spoke at this year’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. As he did, I took notes, but I soon stopped. There was no point. Other than a rude joke about needing a “grain elevator” to weigh Shaq, these were all things told previously. The oft-recited Gospel According to St. Phil. His conversation was a museum piece, the recurring soup of the words “Michael Jordan,” “Kobe Bryant” and “Scottie Pippen” that Jackson has been ladling out forever.


link

My own take on the analytics movement is that you certainly want all the information that you can get, but winning in the NBA remains for the most part, A Game of Stars and IMO probably always will. And as Lowe notes, and as some here have already said, Jackson may be able to do some Rileyesque recruiting. What Abbott leaves out here, because Abbott is at heart a storyteller with an emotional agenda, not an analyst, is that the team on top at the moment is run by a dinosaur of Jackson's generation, Pat Riley, who got three stars together, including the the guy who may be the GOAT. Yes, Miami is a smart team that has made use of analytics to plan their team and approach, but the whole thing still comes back to James. And everybody, from SportVu geeks to guys who have never heard of TS%, knew back in 2010 that where James decided to play next would change the league. Abbott also leaves out that Daryl Morey, the Dork Elvis of the analysts, leveraged some of his assets into a very traditional inside-out combo of All-Stars, James Harden and Dwight Howard, and, again, everybody who follows the NBA knew that would put Houston in contention.

It is not that Abbott doesn't have a point--he does, and I said that Phil's level of engagement with advanced analytics is one of the concerns about him, and Phil may not make it work in NY. And there is also no doubt that statistical analysis is changing the way the game is played in some ways, particularly in relation to shot selection. But the NBA is still in many ways about having the horses, and then getting them to buy in to a system--whatever it is--and play hard. And Phil Jackson knows more about that stuff than just about anybody.
   331. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 15, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4672185)
more on the sixers:

after trading evan turner to the pacers, GM sam hinkie literally drove him to the airport to get him out of town.
   332. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 15, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4672249)
330- Abbot sounds like a member of a cult in that passage.
   333. theboyqueen Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4672325)
Prime Kobe would probably be the best 1 on 1 player ever, which other than the championships may be why the other players respect him so much.
   334. Spivey Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4672339)
I don't think Prime Kobe would have a chance 1v1 against Prime LeBron or Prime Jordan, for what it's worth.
   335. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4672376)
I don't think Prime Kobe would have a chance 1v1 against Prime LeBron or Prime Jordan, for what it's worth.


Agreed. Bird and Dr. J would destroy Kobe 1-on-1 as well. Maybe Kobe could make it interesting against Dr. J because Dr. J just had an average jumper but Bird could either shoot right over the top on Kobe or punish him inside. Kobe-Magic would be interesting. Kobe would have an outside advantage but Magic the inside advantage. All of the players listed would have a size advantage on Kobe. And then you have really big guys who can shoot like Lanier and Reed and Akeem. How would Kobe do against those guys? I think their size would be a problem for him.

Prime Kobe would probably be the best 1 on 1 player ever, which other than the championships may be why the other players respect him so much.


That's a funny quote because calling someone a one-on-one player is a streetball way to diss a guy, the implication being his game isn't disciplined and well-rounded.
   336. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4672412)
And then you have really big guys who can shoot like Lanier and Reed and Akeem. How would Kobe do against those guys? I think their size would be a problem for him.
Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest 1-on-1 player of all time. Bryant would certainly hold his own against any backcourt player, and Prime Kobe was an excellent defender. It's not a stretch to see him beating Bird or Magic, not with his defense, but with his offense — neither Bird nor Magic were exactly known for their great iso defense, while Prime Kobe was crazy athletic and acrobatic with an endless arsenal of scoring moves. It's a mistake to wave off Kobe; he's the second greatest shooting guard of all time for a myriad of reasons.

That's a funny quote because calling someone a one-on-one player is a streetball way to diss a guy, the implication being his game isn't disciplined and well-rounded.
A great guard or swingman is almost always a great 1-on-1 player. Kevin Durant is a great 1-on-1 player. Lebron James. Chris Paul, Stephen Currey, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Tony Parker, Wade, Kobe. Michael Jordan was a great 1-on-1 player. So was Erving, Wilkins, English, Bird, King, Cousy, West, etc. It's used as an indictment when the team doesn't win (Carmelo Anthony, Alan Iverson, Vince Carter), but the Hall of Fame is packed with great 1-on-1 players because people will conveniently forget that part of what makes most players great is their ability to score when their team needs a basket.
   337. GregD Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4672414)
Agree robinred. Phil will not help the Knicks win the coveted Most Efficient Use of Dollars trophy. Even more so than in baseball, it is not clear how important that trophy is in the nba. It is also not clear that having a supernerd as your deputy GM is that much less useful than having a supernerd as your GM or president. If he doesn't bring on a cap expert and stat guy then he's foolish but I think it is foolish to say that those guys have to be the president or GM. There are other aspects of that job that matter too.

The #1 job is managing Dolan and anyone who can't do that will be a failure no matter how brilliant. #2 is getting free agents. Everything else comes into play after that
   338. GregD Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4672416)
I can't imagine judging his hire based on what kind of notes were taken by the audience at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT. That passage exhibits zero self awareness
   339. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4672417)
I'd enjoy seeing prime Kobe and prime Shaq go one-on-one, providing that they carry the grudges from later in their careers.
   340. robinred Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4672425)
GregD,

Good points. According to Zach Lowe, New York already has some smart stat guys on board, but the problem has been that Dolan and his surrogates have always stepped in and taken over too much. Basically, I think Phil should bring in people on the same page with him philosophically, like, say, Steve Kerr, and then let the coach and GM handle the day-to-day stuff with analytics guys, and the little/medium decisions, and involve himself (Phil) in being the franchise's face, the franchise's voice, in the big moves, and obviously, with FA recruitment.

At the moment, I think one problem NY has (and NY fans should correct me if I am wrong) that when people, including players and agents hear "Knicks" they think "Dolan/f'd up mess." If instead, they think "Phil Jackson and Steve Kerr/Triangle" then that is an upgrade.

And, FWIW, it was pretty clear that Anthony and Chandler are pretty happy that Phil was hired, based on the short video I saw.
   341. theboyqueen Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4672430)
I'm guessing in a one-on-one battle Shaq would get the ball stolen on his first possession and then Kobe would run the table (no way is Shaq or any other big man quick enough to deal with his offense). If anyone thinks a center could take Kobe one-on-one, then why don't centers guard Kobe (or any other great guard) during games?

The idea that Larry Bird could beat Kobe is laughable; Bird is a brilliant player but his game is not suited for one-on-one at all (slow, not a great ballhandler, poor defense). Magic is in the same boat.

For what it's worth, it seems like every great, somewhat contemporary basketball player (including Bird, Magic, and Jordan) picks Kobe over everyone except Jordan. I don't agree with this at all but I find it interesting. Part of it has to be aesthetics (I would compare Kobe to Hakeem in this respect -- beating people with balance and footwork is prettier than beating them with brute strength) and he also isn't known as a flopper or a whiner on the court.

Here's a youtube that might be instructive.
   342. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4672435)
You really think Melo is happy based on that interview??? I thought it seemed he'd have preferred having knitting needles stuck in his eyes.

I can't imagine the two of them coexisting. I think Melo's gone.
   343. GregD Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4672444)
I can't imagine the two of them coexisting. I think Melo's gone.
That may be the whole point of the exercise. Phil gives them the cover to say they have a plan when they let Melo walk.

Or maybe not? Maybe Phil wants to build around Melo. But that doesn't seem to fit Phil's vision of basketball.
   344. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4672448)
Shocked, SHOCKED! that Beverley got under Battier on that 3 right there.

EDIT: That dunk was pretty nasty though.
   345. yo la tengo Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4672453)
Question - Do any of the Florida Gators starting five have an NBA future ahead of them?
   346. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4672456)
I can see all of them save Yeguete getting a second round or even late first round pick. They're not quintessential NBAers, but they all bring something, and it's not like that part of the draft is fertile territory.
   347. GregD Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4672457)
Walker for sure, right? Though possibly next year's draft. Maybe Young as a backup type banger?
   348. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4672459)
Walker's not a starter, but yeah, he's UF's one sure NBA draft bet, which is amusing.
   349. yo la tengo Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4672462)
Walker is struggling to get 10 minutes a game at this point. I see Young being useful and Prather and Wilbekin carving out careers
   350. yo la tengo Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4672463)
UF a 1 seed even if they let this slip away, right?
   351. GregD Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4672470)
UF a 1 seed even if they let this slip away, right?
I would think so. I don't think the committee overvalues conference championship game performance among likely #1 seeds. They have slotted a bunch of teams as #1 seeds that lost in the conf tourney.

I also don't think Florida will let this one slip away.
   352. GregD Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4672474)
The committee does reward underdog teams that win the conference so I could see a UK win--still unlikely--bumping them from a 6-7 to, say, a 4.
   353. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4672504)
HOU-MIA was one of the more poorly officiated games I've seen this season. LeBron got away with a ton of stuff and still had an uneven game.
   354. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4672524)
I'm guessing in a one-on-one battle Shaq would get the ball stolen on his first possession and then Kobe would run the table (no way is Shaq or any other big man quick enough to deal with his offense). If anyone thinks a center could take Kobe one-on-one, then why don't centers guard Kobe (or any other great guard) during games?

Where's the revolutionary guard-on-center defense been all our lives, then, if guards can simply take the ball from centers whenever they'd like? The logic you use to defend your second claim self-evidently contradicts the first.

It is, in fact, centers who are more equipped to defend guards, because they have no obligation to get abused on the perimeter when they could simply park themselves in front of the basket, turning away drives and rebounding any missed jump shots, whereas the guard has no choice but to get abused in the post, as the center plays father-and-son-in-the-driveway offense, keeping his body between the guard and the ball, backing him down until he gets a point-blank look.
   355. AROM Posted: March 16, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4672540)
#354,

That's pretty much how I figure it would turn out. If Shaquille only has to worry about one defender, he turns his back and backs Kobe down. Kobe's not going to steal the ball, he'd have to circumnavigate Shaq's ass. Shaq on defense just keeps Kobe from driving the lane. He'll make plenty of shots, but sooner or later he'll miss a jumper, lose the ball, and Shaq's not giving it back.

The rules of the hypothetical 1 on 1 matter a lot. Can Kobe just make Shaq shoot free throws all day? That would be to his advantage.
   356. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4672545)
Anthony Davis is so so so good. If the Pelicans can luck their way into the draft this year that would be huge for the future picture of the West.
   357. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: March 16, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4672554)
Joe Sheehan has been obnoxiously trolling the selection committee AND the computer rankings guys (mainly Ken Pom) on Twitter since the start of the selection show. He whined about some of the seeds, but then ripped on people who were citing the better numbers by saying that those numbers are irrelevant since that's not what the committee looks at. We have a guy who makes a living off his reputation as an advocate of the numbers criticizing a group of people for ignoring the numbers. Then, when someone else uses the numbers, he criticizes that person for being unrealistic about the way the process works. He even ripped on the NIT selectors. Someone then pointed out that the seeds were fairly consistent with the advanced rankings, Sheehan somehow managed to scoff at the selectors and the comment in one fell swoop.
   358. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4672566)
Here's a video from the early 70's that's even more instructive.

They actually had a tournament in 72 and 73. Lanier beat JoJo White in '72 and Geoff Petrie beat Barry Clemens in '73. Lanier just backed White down and abused him. Lanier also beat Pete Maravich, Mike Riordan and Mike Newlin, three more guards, and I suspect Shaq would do the same thing to Kobe. Kobe is a fine one-on-one player but he isn't any better than Maravich was.
   359. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4672583)
Joe Sheehan is part of the reason baseball insiders are reluctant to accept SABR-types.
   360. theboyqueen Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4672602)
Where's the revolutionary guard-on-center defense been all our lives, then, if guards can simply take the ball from centers whenever they'd like?


Centers are not driving from the top of the key to try and score, in team basketball they operate from inside position. I think this is obvious. Demarcus Cousins is a guy who tries the former, and often gets stripped leading to a bunch of turnovers. The big guy using his ass to back down the smaller player is a tactic that would work, but it would make for some very ugly one-on-one. Remember the whole origin of this conversation is trying to figure out why Kobe is so highly regarded amongst fellow players, and I think aesthetics are a big part of the reason.

The rules of the hypothetical 1 on 1 matter a lot. Can Kobe just make Shaq shoot free throws all day? That would be to his advantage.


There are no free throws in one-on-one!
   361. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4672604)
There are no free throws in one-on-one!


Then I think there's a chance that Shaq just punches Kobe in the face and spend the rest of the game talking trash at his unconscious body.
   362. AROM Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4672606)
Actually, in the link Kevin shared above Lanier does shoot a free throw.

Thanks for the link, I had no idea the NBA ever did that.
   363. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4672609)
Anthony Davis is so so so good. If the Pelicans can luck their way into the draft this year that would be huge for the future picture of the West.


He's tremendous. See the 1st post of this months' thread; there is no other player as good as him at his age in league history by one statistical measure. Doesn't make him the best 20 year old ever per se, just underscores how great he's been so far. 40 and 21 tonight**, and he's averaging 32 and 14 with 3 blocks on 58% shooting over the past seven games.

Drummond has the potential to be a DPOY and will probably win a few rebounding titles, but you take Davis over him every time because:

1) Davis also has the DPOY potential
2) Unlike Drummond, you can build your offense around him, as he's near unstoppable in the pick and roll already.
3) Unlike Drummond, you aren't playing 4 on 5 with him at the end of games because you don't want him to get fouled.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I was actually pretty surprised there was anyone willing to take Drummond long term when that conversation was happening a few weeks ago. Davis has a chance to be a top 20 all-time guy*** - Drummond almost certainly will never have that level of offensive capability.

** Against a Celtics frontline that ranges from barely passable to hilarious on defense, but still, 40 and 21!

*** All I am saying is he has shown the talent and still has the remaining upside that such an outcome is not outside of the realm of possibility.
   364. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4672611)
Maybe I'm missing something, but I was actually pretty surprised there was anyone willing to take Drummond long term when that conversation was happening a few weeks ago. Davis has a chance to be a top 20 all-time guy*** - Drummond almost certainly will never have that level of offensive capability.

Agreed.
   365. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:50 AM (#4672624)
Re: player size and in 1-on-1, I remember hearing about a USA Olympic team about a decade back had a big 1-on-1 game of king of the court. IIRC, Garnett ran the table twice, and lost to McGrady after winning 17 straight or so.

Also, this is just wizardry. I can't stop watching.
   366. Booey Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:21 AM (#4672626)
Spurs win 50th for 15th year in a row (and it would be 17 if not for the strike in 1999). That's gotta be a record, right?

Crazy to think that Duncan could actually retire without ever having a sub-50 win season in his career (again, 1999 caveat).
   367. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:23 AM (#4672627)
Also, this is just wizardry. I can't stop watching.
thank you for not linking to justin bieber.
   368. theboyqueen Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:29 AM (#4672630)
That 1970s one-on-one tournament they seem to be playing loser's outs. I've never seen that in one-on-one. Also, Jo-Jo White somehow did make it to the final; I assume he beat some bigger players to get there.
   369. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:49 AM (#4672631)
Maybe I'm missing something, but I was actually pretty surprised there was anyone willing to take Drummond long term when that conversation was happening a few weeks ago. Davis has a chance to be a top 20 all-time guy*** - Drummond almost certainly will never have that level of offensive capability.

I said that I might take Drummond if he ever learns to shoot free throws at an acceptable rate. I just like the fact that Drummond has 50 pounds on Davis. I can imagine a situation where Davis is just pushed by a very physical center. Again, I did say that I might do it if Andre learned to shoot free throws. Right now, Davis is clearly better.

I also understand that statement could like really bad in a few years.
   370. Amit Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:02 AM (#4672632)
Also, Jo-Jo White somehow did make it to the final; I assume he beat some bigger players to get there.
White beat Jack Marin, a 6-7 small forward, Connie Hawkins, a 6-8 forward, and Jeff Mullins, a 6-4 guard, to reach the finals. Paul Silas, Bob Kauffman, and Rudy Tomjanovich were a few other bigs in the field.
   371. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4672659)
Garnett ran the table twice, and lost to McGrady after winning 17 straight or so.


KG has the size and all around game that I could see him be really good. Plus he is so crazy competitive that he likely cared more than the others.
   372. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4672670)
Plus he is so crazy competitive that he likely cared more than the others.


I think that's what the players are alluding to in the link in #341. Wall says as much about LeBron - 'depends on how he plays'. Kobe vs Garnett would result in fists/shoving approx 95% of the time.
   373. AROM Posted: March 17, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4672708)
Drummond being 50 pounds bigger works to Davis's long term advantage. Drummond can't get much bigger without having negative effects. Davis adding more muscle is just going to make him even better. And he's definitely been adding muscle since his KY title run 2 years ago.
   374. sardonic Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4672759)
Steph Curry doing Steph Curry things, bringing the W's back from 18 down on the road in Portland in the 3rd Quarter, 37 points on 24 shots, 6-12 from 3. Zach Lowe readers will love a move toward the end where he fakes using a screen, cuts the other way, almost breaks Lillard's ankles before pulling up for a 3.

Also, do other teams have such awesome highlights for every game so quickly?
   375. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4672777)

Also, this is just wizardry. I can't stop watching.


I thought any ball that hit the sides or top of the backboard was an automatic dead ball?
   376. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4672816)
I thought any ball that hit the sides or top of the backboard was an automatic dead ball?


No. The back of the backboard is the only part that is out of bounds. All 4 sides are in play. Hitting the top usually involves either the ball falling behind the backboard, which puts it out of bounds, or hitting the 24-second clock or some other apparatus attached the the backboard which is out of play.

That's why Bird's over the top shot was disallowed. It went up over the back of the backboard. Bradley's was allowed because in the judgement of the ref, it didn't pass behind the backboard.
   377. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4672826)
The idea that Larry Bird could beat Kobe is laughable; Bird is a brilliant player but his game is not suited for one-on-one at all (slow, not a great ballhandler, poor defense).


OK, this statement disqualifies you from further comment. Don't ever become a basketball scout.

Bird was a brilliant ballhandler and an excellent defender. He wasn't a shotblocker (he got an average number of blocks for his position) but his positional defense and footwork were superb. He made second team all-defense three years in a row and even led the league in defensive win shares three times. Criminly, he'd be amongst the league leaders in steals playing power forward.

Really, how is Kobe going to stop Bird from scoring? Assuming they were both playing in their prime, Bird would be bigger, stronger, and a better shooter. He could take Kobe inside, outside and mid-range.
   378. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4672846)
It's a mistake to wave off Kobe; he's the second greatest shooting guard of all time for a myriad of reasons.


Well, the myriad couldn't include defense. There are a whole host of 2-guards who were better- West, Sloan, Havlicek, Moncrief, Pressey...

Personally, I would take West and Havlicek over Kobe. They were both much better defenders and could even play a passable 1. Kobe's game is sort of uni-dimensional for a superstar. Superstars are expected to excel in all aspects. Kobe really doesn't do that.
   379. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4672855)
When Curry and Thompson have it going, the Warriors are so much fun to watch.
   380. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4672877)
Larry Bird used to beat Dr. J one-on-one all the time on my IBM PC.
   381. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4672888)
Superstars are expected to excel in all aspects. Kobe really doesn't do that.
OK, this statement disqualifies you from further comment. Don't ever become a basketball scout.
   382. AROM Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4672891)
Kobe has been a poor defender for a few years now. Doesn't mean he was always one. Kobe was first team all defense 9 times in his career.

I don't think he beats Bird though. His biggest advantage on Bird is speed. That doesn't matter much in a half court setting like 1 on 1.
   383. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4672907)
Good lord, I'm not even going to address the asinine notion of Larry Bird being an "excellent" defender when I'm contending with a Celtics fan who just seriously posited that John Havlicek > Kobe Bryant. Thanks for the best laugh I'll have all week. You start the St. Paddy's day drinking early there in Boston.
   384. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4672920)
I said that I might take Drummond if he ever learns to shoot free throws at an acceptable rate. I just like the fact that Drummond has 50 pounds on Davis. I can imagine a situation where Davis is just pushed by a very physical center. Again, I did say that I might do it if Andre learned to shoot free throws. Right now, Davis is clearly better

This is how guys like Thabeet go 2nd in the draft. Not that Drummond is at any risk of Thabeeting on us, but valuing size over skill above all. What Davis is doing is all-time stuff right now, Drummond can become a multiple time All-Star and still fall well short of Davis's ceiling. Davis might not be a fulltime 5 - he could be a smallball-ish center like Duncan or KG, both of whom are much better comps for him than someone like Shaq (who is probably a better comp physically for Drummond).
   385. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4672921)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday after injuring his left biceps during Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Irving could miss the rest of the season.
   386. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4672934)
OK, this statement disqualifies you from further comment. Don't ever become a basketball scout.


Phil Jackson on Kobe:
Kobe had to screw up the game and start energizing the team by going one-on-one. That takes the rest of the guys out and as a consequence, that didn't bring us back in.


Jerry West on Kobe:

It pained me to see how much of a struggle it was for me,’ West writes, ‘how unwilling Kobe was to defer to Shaq in any way


Highly unusual for a superstar to be ripped by people in his own organization. You're disqualified too.


What is Kobe good at?

Is he a great rebounder? He's a good rebounder, probably not a great one (5.2/36 min). Moncrief's numbers were a little better (5.6), Jordan's a lot better (6.2). Tony Allen gets 5.3 so he's about as good as Tony Allen on the boards.

Does he steal the ball a lot? No, not really. He steals the ball some but Jordan and Bird stole the ball a lot more.

Does he block shots? His blocks are a little higher than his positional average, maybe about 5-10 a year so not enough to make a real difference.

What about his playmaking? Is he an exceptional passer? No, he doesn't see the court real well, doesn't run the pick and roll, doesn't create for others. He mostly uses his teammates for picks and decoys so he can shoot himself.

Well then, is he an exceptional shooter? No. He can make spectacular shots but his percentages are low- .454/.335/.838. For comparison, Bird was .496/.376/.886. Jordan .497/.327/.835 (hmm. closer than I thought). Magic .520/.303/.848. I think the difference is a little too quick to pull the trigger.

Well, what about intangibles? Does he make the players around him better? Wow. If your own front office is always complaining about your leadership abilities, it's time to put your bigboy pants on and take a look in the mirror.

Kobe was first team all defense 9 times in his career.


Kobe all-defense = Jeter GG.
   387. jmurph Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4672937)
Oh yay, more of this. Super.
   388. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4672942)
I'm not even going to address the asinine notion of Larry Bird being an "excellent" defender


You're disqualified too
   389. jmurph Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4672945)
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Irving could miss the rest of the season.


Whoever "wins" the opportunity to pay him max money in a couple years is probably going to regret it.
   390. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4672969)
That makes me sad because Irving's a really talented guard.
   391. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4672973)
Oh yay, more of this. Super.
It's almost hard to believe Kevin's pushing for a Celtic and hating on a Laker. Then again, it's Kevin, and any of his words by definition are hard to believe.
   392. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4672976)
In case anyone is interested:

1. I came up with a different way of scoring NCAA bracket predictions. The short version is that it evaluates picks based on how likely they are to occur (so picking a 1 over a 16 gets less credit than picking a 14 over a 3, if you're right). The long version is here.

2. If anyone would be interested in having a BTF bracket competition that's scored by this method rather than the standard ESPN-Yahoo-etc one, I should be able to run it.
   393. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4672977)
You're disqualified too


Larry Bird played over 40,000 NBA minutes. I'm pretty sure I could make a 14-minute package of defensive highlights for literally any NBA player with that much playing time to cull from. But since YouTube highlight reels are apparently primary sources for defensive excellence now...
   394. theboyqueen Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4672980)
Jesus man...I love Larry Bird! If I were starting a team I would take Larry Bird over Kobe Bryant in a heartbeat. Kobe's career is better only because of durability and longevity. If you are making arguments about who is a better NBA player, you are engaging in a debate with yourself.

What does "positional defense" have to do with one-on-one? Larry Bird could beat Kobe, but he would have to make an awful lot of jump-shots and jump-hooks to do it. Kobe's skillset is similar enough, he is just way quicker.

The quotes from Phil and West are non-sequitors as they relate entirely to team basketball. I am merely interested in why Kobe is SO highly regarded by other basketball players, seemingly out of proportion to his actual performance.
   395. theboyqueen Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4672982)
I would also argue that Larry Bird is very highly regarded by other basketball players, seemingly out of proportion to his actual performance, with many of the same factors at play.
   396. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4672983)
What about the blocks, steals and rebounds? Just 40K minutes of luck?
   397. AROM Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4673040)
All time one on one champ : Kareem

He's a good enough free throw shooter that you can't just foul him, sky hook was unstoppable, and his length makes shooting against him an impossible task.
   398. Publius Publicola Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4673041)
Bad ballhandler though. In one-on-one, you have to start at the 3 point line. Kareem couldn't shoot from that far and his ability to work his way closer would be a problem. Same with Wilt. Once they got close enough though... I suppose it would depend on who they were playing. If it was another guy who couldn't steal the ball, then they would do fine.
   399. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4673051)
In case anyone is interested:

1. I came up with a different way of scoring NCAA bracket predictions. The short version is that it evaluates picks based on how likely they are to occur (so picking a 1 over a 16 gets less credit than picking a 14 over a 3, if you're right). The long version is here.

2. If anyone would be interested in having a BTF bracket competition that's scored by this method rather than the standard ESPN-Yahoo-etc one, I should be able to run it.
i don't really have any interest in this, but my personal final 4 is villanova, creighton, VCU and wichita state.

   400. theboyqueen Posted: March 17, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4673061)
How quickly we forget Kareem lost to Bruce Lee.
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