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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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   601. thok Posted: March 23, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4675894)
i don't really have any interest in this, but my personal final 4 is villanova, creighton, VCU and wichita state.
so....that worked out well.


Makes you want to flip the table?
   602. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 23, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4675900)
this may be blasphemy, but i think this first weekend of the NCAA tournament has sucked.

what made march madness great (aside from the finishes, which it still has going for it) was that there were always 3 or 4 games going on simultaneously so you could always find one that was exciting. but that's not true anymore.

admittedly, i wasn't focusing on this tournament (i spent a lot of time watching the NCAA wrestling tournament (which was pretty awesome) and a couple of flyers games (ditto) instead), but between the staggered tip offs, all of the timeouts, the extended commercial breaks, extended halftimes, lengthy wait times between games, i was lucky if i found one game that was actually in progress, and not at halftime or a commercial break when i was channel flipping.

#1stworldproblems...but still.
   603. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 23, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4675906)
[602] The staggering made me unable to stop watching during the first two days...and I hate college sports. Every time one game came to its (inevitably nailbiting due to the kids' incompetence) finish another would be heading into its (inevitably nailbiting due to the kids' incompetence) finish. I assume that was the intent.

Wiggins played awful today. Probably the worst game I've seen from him.
   604. starksy Posted: March 23, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4675908)
Wiggins played awful today. Probably the worst game I've seen from him.


Was in downtown StL for this; yeah, really bad game all around for him. To my extremely untrained eye, he seemed way too passive in both games. Julius Randall put up some sneaky good numbers, but Cleanthony Early looked like the best player on the court
   605. VoodooR Posted: March 23, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4675913)
Too bad Early didn't get the ball in his hands on the final possession.

That Iowa State -- North Carolina games was really good. I think this has been a great opening weekend. Though I do agree that the way the schedule has evolved since the CBS-Turner partnership is kinda weird. A game is starting at 9:40 EST on a Sunday night; feels really odd.
   606. Eddo Posted: March 23, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4675921)
I love the staggering of the games on Thursday and Friday, but they really could move some of the late Saturday and Sunday games to during the day. I don't get why there is only one game at 11:15 central and another following that, then they start having multiple at one time.
   607. robinred Posted: March 23, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4675934)
Glad that UCLA is going to the Round of 16 (I think playing in SD may have helped them). Unfortunately, they have to play Florida when they get there.
   608. Rob_Wood Posted: March 23, 2014 at 10:55 PM (#4675964)

just want it on the record that the worst half of ncaa tournament basketball that I have ever witnessed was the first half of the st Louis-Louisville game (totally unwatchable)

carry on
   609. Publius Publicola Posted: March 23, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4675966)
STEAGLES, you sure the reason it sucked isn't because you drew the golden sombrero on your final 4 picks?
   610. Publius Publicola Posted: March 23, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4675968)
BTW, this is for Bruins fans: how have the Weir twins worked out for them? Haven't seen them play this year.
   611. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:00 AM (#4675999)
STEAGLES, you sure the reason it sucked isn't because you drew the golden sombrero on your final 4 picks?
nah; as i said, i don't really care about that. i actually find it pretty amusing, which is why i went back 2 pages to quote it.
   612. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4676150)
just want it on the record that the worst half of ncaa tournament basketball that I have ever witnessed was the first half of the st Louis-Louisville game (totally unwatchable)

carry on


Did you suffer through the Dayton-Syracuse game? Miserable.
   613. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4676157)
Still love the tourney....but man, I would love a rule change to eliminate teams that have just scored from being able to call a timeout and/or reduce the number of timeouts that each team has. The ends of these games takes forever.
   614. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4676167)
Shorten the shot clock. That's the number one thing that needs to change with college basketball.

The coach calling a TO after a made basket right before the next scheduled TV timeout is also very, very annoying.
   615. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4676172)
My pet peeve is that a called timeout after the 16, 12, 8 or 4-minute marks doesn't count as the media timeout. A coach calls a timeout at 7:15 left in the half, we get a full-length commercial break, game starts up again, there's a foul 15 seconds later and we finally get the "media" timeout and another full commercial break.
   616. AROM Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4676181)
It's frustrating, because they are stacking all these timeouts right at the end of the close games. That's exactly the point where we aren't going to pull away, they are milking our attention as much as they can.

I've taken the opportunity to DVR the games and watch them on 30 minutes delay or so, that way I can fast forward through the 15 minutes of stoppage for every final 1:00 of clock time. I don't do this all the time, especially when I'm switching between multiple games. But it's a great opportunity when there other things to do to say "OK, I'll just record this" instead of "OK, right after this game ends".
   617. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4676199)
Yeah, CFBF, that's what I was talking about. But in addition to that, the very specific situation where the coach of the team that just scored can call a TO - he really shouldn't be able to stop play there, possession has switched to the other team. I'm pretty sure you can't do that in the NBA.
   618. smileyy Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4676203)
Agree, Moses. I'm guessing that because the clock stops, and some sort of quasi-dead ball before the visiting team takes possession out of bounds, that the timeout is considered to happen in that interval.

Speaking of end-of-games, I like the fact that the NBA has the "advance the ball" rule, but I'd hate it in college basketball.
   619. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4676214)
I've taken the opportunity to DVR the games and watch them on 30 minutes delay or so, that way I can fast forward through the 15 minutes of stoppage for every final 1:00 of clock time. I don't do this all the time, especially when I'm switching between multiple games. But it's a great opportunity when there other things to do to say "OK, I'll just record this" instead of "OK, right after this game ends".


Its obviously not easy to do with with all the concurrent games at the start of the tourney, but DVR'ing sports is ####### fantastic. There really is no other way to watch basketball, football, or baseball.
   620. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4676219)
The tournament, which I love, is getting worse and worse. It's amazing that anything produced by the NCAA has remained this good for this long; their logic goes something like "Well, it's so good people will watch anyway, so let's make it worse and squeeze some more money out of it...."

I think the current domination of slow-tempo, grind-it-out styles is another problem. A final four of Virginia, Florida, Arizona/Wisconsin, and Tennessee could produce some tedious basketball.

I agree with whoever loved the UNC-Iowa St game; not the greatest play (though I'm a bitter Tar Heel game) but a vastly more watchable style...
   621. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4676225)
I think the current domination of slow-tempo, grind-it-out styles is another problem. A final four of Virginia, Florida, Arizona/Wisconsin, and Tennessee could produce some tedious basketball.

FWIW, Wisconsin tied for the most points scored in any of the Sat/Sun games. Tenn was right behind with 83. Though of course, that doesn't mean anything but it is funny to point out.

Again though, it comes down to the stupid ####### shot clock.
   622. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4676230)
yeah, Wiscy is only the 5th slowest left, I think....
   623. theboyqueen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4676234)
I think it's a combination of zone defenses, the short three point line, and the long shot clock. In combination, these really discourage aggressive play especially if you don't have much offensive talent. I see a real lack of structured offense, just a bunch of flinging the ball around the perimeter for thirty seconds until someone decides to do something.

I definitely miss the early 90s LMU/UNLV thing.
   624. kpelton Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4676258)
A coach calls a timeout at 7:15 left in the half, we get a full-length commercial break, game starts up again, there's a foul 15 seconds later and we finally get the "media" timeout and another full commercial break.

Better known as a "Howland."
   625. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4676268)
Florida's the only college basketball program I follow closely enough to speak on this, but it is interesting to see how Donovan and the program have evolved over the last 15 years or so. When UF burst onto the scene in the 2000 tournament, they did it by playing a relentless up-and-down style. "Billy Ball," it was oh-so-cleverly dubbed. Perpetual press, running from end line to end line, constant motion and a rotation that went nine or 10 deep. Gator fans still talk about running Duke into the ground in the '00 Sweet 16.

As others have mentioned on this thread, Florida has changed drastically since then. UF still presses, but the halfcourt offense, while fairly intricate and well-crafted, is absolutely content to go as deep in the shot clock as possible, miss a shot and then play oppressive defense. Donovan's been playing about seven guys since the back-to-back teams. To what extent these changes reflect a shift in philosophy, a shift in recruiting or a temporary change to take advantage of the specific personnel available right now (Scottie Wilbekin is an absolutely ferocious defender) is hard to say. But the idea that a Florida team under Billy Donovan would distinguish itself purely by playing tough, hard-nosed defense for 40 minutes would have been unthinkable in the early parts of the aughts.

A Florida-Arizona championship game would be well-played, well-coached and might just kill any casual interest from people who aren't diehards of those programs. First to 50 wins.
   626. theboyqueen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4676275)
I wish FIBA would switch to the NBA goaltending rule, and then have all leagues play by FIBA rules.
   627. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4676292)
RIP Quinton Ross, found dead stuffed into a trash bag and buried in a shallow grave in NY.
No truth to the rumor that Philly is now looking to sign him to a 10-day deal.
   628. kpelton Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4676306)
Given that Arizona has probably two of the 10 most exciting players in the NCAA, I think we're being a tad too pessimistic about Arizona-Florida. Now Virginia-Wisconsin, on the other hand ...
   629. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4676309)
RIP Quinton Ross, found dead stuffed into a trash bag and buried in a shallow grave in NY.
Jesus. I saw that guy play dozens of times, interview tons. Always seemed like a decent dude, played hard, carved himself a bit of a career in the NBA. #######.
   630. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4676315)
apparently its a different person by the same name.
   631. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4676320)
Good! - QR always seemed like a decent enough guy.
(Er, condolences to that other dude's family of course - that's a really ###### thing.)
   632. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4676349)
I don't think folks have watched Wisconsin this season. the defense is less impressive while the offense has improved significantly. kenpom has them as the 4th best adjusted offense. over the last 10 games Wisconsin has scored 70 or more points 8 times and the two times they didn't the team scored 69 and 68.

contrast that with seasons past where Wisconsin breaking 60 points was a sign the badgers had won the game.

not saying that bo ryan has them playing an up and down pace. but they are not slogging it out like prior seasons

would have thought folks here would have noticed (non-casual fan)
   633. kpelton Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4676368)
Well, that depends how exciting you consider a score with <5 on the shot clock. Wisconsin is 336th out of 351 in average possession length; Virginia is 347th in average possession length on defense.
   634. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4676381)
post 633

I understood the animus against the d8ck Bennett style of play which was truly ponderous coupled with the fact that the guys played in your hip pocket defense which many fans claim was abetted by clutching/grabbing.

but bo ryan's teams have also played defense and even with folks howling that Wisconsin 'fouls every play' the badgers don't have players foul out at an inordinate rate nor are the opposition free throws crazy high.

this year's badger team has much less 'ugly' basketball associated with its play.

personally, I find it puzzling that fans love football defense but gripe about basketball defense so never had issue with any of this stuff. mostly because I thought the point was to try and optimize one's chances of winning.

   635. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4676449)
underwhelming comparisons for likely lottery picks:
andrew wiggins = michael kidd-gilchrist
jabari parker = yi jianlian
joel embiid = ekpe udoh
julius randle = marreese speights
marcus smart = oj mayo
aaron gordon = charlie villanueva
noah vonleh = anthony randolph
doug mcdermott = marcus morris
willie cauley-stein = bismack biyombo
kyle anderson = otto porter
   636. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4676452)
I object to the FT contests that the game is increasingly becoming in college. I do think that might improve in another year or two, under these 'new rules' for hand checks, etc as I would hope players/coaches would adjust. Otherwise, God help us.

I do agree with HW, this is the best UW offense I've seen in some time, and definitely a less than impressive defensive club.
   637. stanmvp48 Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4676454)
I am surprised nobody is as pissed off as I am about the end of the NC/Iowa St game. And I absolutely had no rooting interest in the game.
   638. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4676462)
I am surprised nobody is as pissed off as I am about the end of the NC/Iowa St game. And I absolutely had no rooting interest in the game.
that's the one where the clock started late, stopped at 0.0 when a timeout was called and then the officials somehow ruled that the game was over when they went back to look at the tape, right? would you have preferred a recreation of the 1972 olympic gold medal game?
   639. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4676469)
I am surprised nobody is as pissed off as I am about the end of the NC/Iowa St game. And I absolutely had no rooting interest in the game.

I thought the officials got that one right. What did you want them to do?

By the way, the ridiculous/hilarious thing to me about that ending was Kane walking around with his arms raised and making no attempt to play defense when the opposing team is inbounding the ball down 2 with almost 2 seconds left.
   640. stanmvp48 Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4676471)
Actually the clock stopped late after the ISU basket, costing NC about .3. I am fairly sure if you go back and look at all the clock stoppages in the games, you will find many that were off by a few tenths of a second. The point is the player has a right to assume that the clock he is looking at is correct. What if, instead of trying to call a time out, he had seen the clock running out and heave up a shot which went in. Would the officials rule that, even though the shot occurred before the clock ran out, the clock was wrong and the basket didn't count?
   641. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4676478)
The point is the player has a right to assume that the clock he is looking at is correct.

I have no problem with that, but I don't see this as an issue where the player at the start of the play knows there are about 2 seconds left and chooses to try and dribble his way up the court for several seconds.
   642. stanmvp48 Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4676484)
No doubt a dumb play.
   643. stanmvp48 Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4676491)
"thought the officials got that one right. What did you want them to do?"


Recognize a timeout which was called before the clock expired.


   644. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4676500)
since this was a previous topic of discussion, royce white has now played in an NBA game, meaning that he's no longer the only non-foreign non-deceased 1st round pick to have never played a game in the league. or something.

on the downside, he's now one of the 15 worst players in NBA history according to WS/48.
   645. Rob_Wood Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4676557)

I watched so much college basketball over the last four days that I cannot remember which team it was, but one team's defensive strategy was to never foul. On any shot they either left the shooter alone or jumped straight up with both arms extended vertically (maybe even backwards). They never harassed a dribbler and never ever reached in on a driver. While their opponents' fouls put them in the bonus halfway through the half (common in college ball), I believe they never put their opponents in the bonus. And, yes, they won the game. Whothehell plays/coaches like that (not that there's anything wrong with it)?

Oh, and another unwatchable game was the one with 61 fouls called. That is enough to foul out both starting fives.
   646. VoodooR Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4676559)
Oh, and another unwatchable game was the one with 61 fouls called. That is enough to foul out both starting fives.


Gonzaga/Oklahoma State.

It was the worst reffed basketball game I've ever seen. Ridiculous foul after ridiculous foul called. Many away from the ball. Atrocious calls on both sides.

It was the most fouls in a NCAA game since 1975.

How the powers that be can think that having more fouls called and more play stopage is a good thing is beyond me.
   647. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4676564)
I watched so much college basketball over the last four days that I cannot remember which team it was, but one team's defensive strategy was to never foul. On any shot they either left the shooter alone or jumped straight up with both arms extended vertically (maybe even backwards). They never harassed a dribbler and never ever reached in on a driver. While their opponents' fouls put them in the bonus halfway through the half (common in college ball), I believe they never put their opponents in the bonus. And, yes, they won the game. Whothehell plays/coaches like that (not that there's anything wrong with it)?
that was probably michigan. wofford only shot 4 FTs against them.
   648. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4676579)
Andre Drummond had himself a pretty good first half today. 16 points on 8-8 shooting with 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 18 minutes.
   649. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4676581)
by the way, did anybody see this from Simmons?

Q: How far would the 2014 Sixers go in the NCAA tournament?
—At Least 50 Readers This Week

SG: That was the most popular question in a while. Philly wouldn’t get past the Sweet 16 — this is the worst NBA team I’ve ever seen. I think every 1- and 2-seed would beat them; I think Syracuse, Duke, Louisville and Michigan State would beat them; and I think Arizona and Florida would blow them out. Maybe this would be a good NBA lottery wrinkle: Every NBA team that can’t win 20 games has to play the NCAA champ in a 40-minute game. If they can’t beat the college team, they can’t get a top-three pick.


He's totally serious about this. I detect no exaggeration. And he knows much more about basketball than me. But he's obviously wrong! We need a name for this, the "eye-test fallacy"? Sure, the Sixers look like #### nightly; but put them on the floor against Duke and watch them look very, very different.

Seriously, replace any #16 seed with the Sixers and Philly wins the whole thing what, 90% of the time?
   650. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4676583)
he knows much more about basketball than me.
Apparently not.
   651. robinred Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:24 PM (#4676584)
Kevin Pelton (3:58 PM)



I wrote about the Sixers vs. Florida (and a D-League team) in yesterday's Per Diem. While they wouldn't win the NCAA tournament 100 percent of the time, they would probably win about 2/3 of the time.

   652. Rob_Wood Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4676589)
I'd say closer to 95%.
   653. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4676603)
i'd take the under on 95%.
i'd take the under on 67%.
i'd take the under on 33%.


i think people underestimate the increasingly apparent fact that this team was built to lose. it's not just that they lack talent, it's that their guards can't shoot, their forwards can't rebound and because they've done a masterful job of churning the roster, noone has any idea what they're doing on defense.

this team isn't just bad, it's been purposely designed to have debilitating flaws. and while i'm sure they'd beat a lot of good college teams, i absolutely do not think they'd be able to beat 5 of them in a row to win a championship more than 33% of the time.
   654. smileyy Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4676604)
Problem is, you don't have to play 5 good teams to win the title.

Bad as the Sixer's are, a college team would be thrilled to have even the worst players in the NBA on their roster.
   655. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4676605)
Problem is, you don't have to play 5 good teams to win the title.
you do if you're wichita state.
   656. Rob_Wood Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4676609)

okay, you have a good point. the counter-argument is that the sixers look so bad because they are playing nba teams (which, I hope we all can agree, are much better than the typical college basketball team).

you would have to make the case that the current sixers are by far the worst nba team ever for them not to be heavy favorites to win the ncaa tourney.
   657. Manny Coon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4676614)
Byron Mullens is one of the worst NBA players I've ever seen, but even he was good in college, he shot 64% his one year. Thaddeus Young is likely better than every player in the NCAA.
   658. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:19 AM (#4676615)
I think Pelton's 2/3 is about right - maybe a hair low.
   659. robinred Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4676616)
Pelton wrote a piece ranking the Top 10 guys in the NBA, focusing on the metrics and focusing on this year. It is on Insider, so I can't put the list up, but Love is #3.
   660. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:41 AM (#4676623)
Everyone laughed when the Sixers brought in Jarvis Vanardo, but he was a defensive force in college, albeit a somewhat limited offensive player.
   661. Maxwn Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:09 AM (#4676626)
I think I tend to agree with those who think the Sixers would be heavy favorites to win the tourney. So here's a different question: How many of the tourney teams would you need to combine before you got a team that was favored against the sixers straight up? Can you even do it with a tourney all-star team or is it possible with just a couple of the powerhouses? Does it make a big difference if its college rules(40 mins, short arc, etc) vs NBA rules?

I watch essentially no NCAA basketball so I have no idea what my answer would be. I could see it being superficially plausible that the answer is anywhere from you can't do it at all to you can do it with a handful of the best teams. So i am curious what people who watch a lot of both think. For the purposes of this discussion, I'd say limit it to the teams in college basketball this year. I can imagine there have been periods in the past where you could find a combo of teams that would beat the bejesus out of this sixers team.

Feel free to specify if you think there's a specific coach that would have the best shot at coaching this hybrid team.
   662. Rob_Wood Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:29 AM (#4676630)
okay, it is kinda fun to think of the worst nba players you have ever seen. of course, this is highly subjective. for completely different reasons, these three guys stick out for me (I will continue to think about this even though I won't want to). Henry Finkel, Toby Kimball, and Chris Washburn.

Finkel had a fairly long career with the Celtics as a backup center. He followed Bill Russell and took a lot of heat from Celtic fans for not being Bill Russell. He was a tall skinny white dude with a funky mustache. He could not score and his defense and rebounding were mediocre. In a vacuum he wasn't that bad of a player (on some absolute scale), but in the circumstances he was considered dreadful. I guess Finkel is somewhat like Horace Clarke among Yankee fans. Finkel was a star in college at Dayton. (I just looked him up on Basketball-Ref and it says he was a righty but I remember him as a lefty.)

Kimball was an undersized power forward who was white and, what I recall vividly, bald as a cue ball. He sometimes wore a droopy mustache that made him look especially silly. He never did much in the pros though he was a star at UConn. By the end of his career, he really could not play. He was on the Bucks in the early 1970's, where I saw him play.

Washburn's story is well-documented. He was a highly regarded draft pick out of North Carolina State. Due to nagging injuries, rampant drug problems, a staggering lack of talent, and a crappy attitude, he was a complete zero in the pros (I mean a complete zero). The Warriors brought in Joe Barry Carroll to tutor Washburn on attitude and center play. Go back and reread the sentence again. Chris Washburn was so dreadful that the Warriors brought back the previous-worst player in their franchise history (especially with regard to attitude) to work with him. How bad do you have to be to have Joe Barry Carroll be your tutor?

Anyway, I have seen plenty of guys worse than these three over the years. Many just lacked the talent (quickness, ability, size, etc.) to play in the NBA. But these three guys stood out for reasons given above.
   663. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4676632)
You could throw Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and (a healthy) Joel Embiid onto one super college team and have a hell of an NBA-caliber front line.
   664. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:47 AM (#4676634)
Joe Barry Carroll

I know that he was the first pick and didn't live up to expectations (Joe Barely Cares) but he did average 18 points, 8 rebounds on 47% shooting and played 11 years in the NBA and one in Italy. He was a relatively durable guy as well. He had a good career.
   665. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 06:00 AM (#4676638)
It amazes me that people that watch basketball regularly don't realize that the best college teams will produce maybe 1 or 2 guys capable of making a mark in the NBA or being solid in the D-League and NBA teams, even the Sixers, have many of those guys. That alone should tell you who is more than likely going to win in the hypothetical bad NBA team of the moment vs student athlete matchup. Wroten, Thad Young, MCW and Anderson should be more than enough to get the job done.
   666. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 25, 2014 at 08:13 AM (#4676645)
Crazy stuff happens, but the 76ers would win ~95% of their games, making them roughly 75% to win the whole thing (wild guess).

The classic question is best college team versus worst pro team. On a Football thread a while back someone was convinced a college team had a good chance against a pro team. The pros have more talent, more experience and more practice time. The college kids have ... um spirit I guess.
   667. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4676692)
You could throw Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and (a healthy) Joel Embiid onto one super college team and have a hell of an NBA-caliber front line.

In about 2 or 3 years maybe. Not quite yet though.

It amazes me that people that watch basketball regularly don't realize that the best college teams will produce maybe 1 or 2 guys capable of making a mark in the NBA or being solid in the D-League and NBA teams, even the Sixers, have many of those guys. That alone should tell you who is more than likely going to win in the hypothetical bad NBA team of the moment vs student athlete matchup. Wroten, Thad Young, MCW and Anderson should be more than enough to get the job done.

Right. I think the gap between the Sixers now and the best college team* is greater than, or at worst equal to, the difference between the average 1 seed and average 16 seed. I think the odds say a 16 seed should have won at least once by now, right? I think the same thing would happen in a college/NBA matchup. We're talking both physical and mental advantages that would be very hard to quantify.

*There's no consensus top team, and most of the best teams left have at most 1 legit pro prospect (and there isn't a single guaranteed NBA All-Star left in the tourney).
   668. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4676705)
Bulls got one of their regular season outwork a clearly better team wins last night at home against Indy. Pacers beat the Bulls pretty easily Friday in Indy, but the Bulls got their "revenge" last night. Only real take away from that is how thoroughly Noah dominated Hibbert. I believe there wasn't any time Hibbert was out there against anyone else, and Noah held to him an 0 for 5 night, 5reb, 0ast, 3TO, 0 blk/stl while putting up a 10/8/8, 3blk, 4stl 2TO. Great, great work from Noah against a bigger/stronger guy that usually gives him problems.

I haven't talked about it much, but Jimmy Butler has taken a pretty big step back offensively this year. His defense is still great, but he's had injury problems (maybe a minutes thing*) and his regression has been significant. His overall FG% has dropped from 46.7% to 39.1% and his 3's dropped from 38.1% to 28.4%. On a per minutes basis, his rebounds are also down, but assists, steals, and turnovers are up.

*Primer RT:
Jeff Mangurten ?@JeffGurt 13h
Because of foul trouble, tonight will be just the 16th time in 56 games this season that Jimmy Butler will play under 35 minutes.
He played 33 min.
   669. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4676716)

It amazes me that people that watch basketball regularly don't realize that the best college teams will produce maybe 1 or 2 guys capable of making a mark in the NBA or being solid in the D-League and NBA teams, even the Sixers, have many of those guys. That alone should tell you who is more than likely going to win in the hypothetical bad NBA team of the moment vs student athlete matchup. Wroten, Thad Young, MCW and Anderson should be more than enough to get the job done.


Yea, the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats is pretty much a best-case scenario for a college basketball team, and that produced a legit All-Star (Anthony Davis) a couple of okay starters (Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), and three bench guys (Darius Miller, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb). And then you have bench guys who would have no business playing in the NBA (Eloy Vargas if Davis gets into foul trouble!). That team would get beaten most nights by even a bad NBA team.
   670. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4676717)
[669] That's a good example. And even if you point out how good AD is, he wasn't quite that good 2 years ago. Also, Marquis Teague is one of the worst players I've seen in a while (I assume he hasn't magically improved in Brooklyn yet).
   671. a fatty cow that need two seats (cough, cough) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4676718)
He's totally serious about this. I detect no exaggeration. And he knows much more about basketball than me. But he's obviously wrong! We need a name for this, the "eye-test fallacy"? Sure, the Sixers look like #### nightly; but put them on the floor against Duke and watch them look very, very different.


At least this gets him away from pushing the Entertaining as Hell Tournament for a few sentences?
   672. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4676723)
This Sixers team seem to represent a snapping point for Simmons with regards to tanking, and not unreasonably so. But I'm pretty sure that he would give credence to the theory that the Sixers' management had hijacked the Malaysian Air jet as part of some elaborate scheme to ensure they draft Wiggins.
   673. GregD Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4676759)
Sporting News' 2013-2014 All-American team is
Nick Johnson, AZ
Sean Kilpatrick, Cinci
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Jabari Parker, Duke
Russ Smith Louisville

Shabazz Napier, UConn
Marcus Paige, UNC
Nik Stauskas, Mich
T J Warren NC State
Andrew Wiggins, KU

Kyle Anderson UCLA
Aaron Gordon AZ
DeAndre Kane, Iowa State
Fred Van Vleet Wichita
Scottie Wilbekin Florida

Now if you were plotting an NBA roster, you'd add some size and go with Randle over one of the guards, at least off the bench.

Even with that, I'm not sure that NCAA all-Am team would beat the Sixers.

Right now, Thaddeus Young would be the best player on the court. Down the road, Jabari or Wiggins or someone else might have a shot. It is not self-evident to me that MCW wouldn't be 2nd, right now.

The one shot the NCAA team would have against the Sixers is that the Sixers don't have the typical terrible NBA team advantage inside. Most terrible NBA teams would destroy a very good NCAA team inside (as the Eloy Vargas for UK scenario shows), but the Sixers are an anomaly that way.
   674. Spivey Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4676779)
Really, see I think a bit differently. Sure, not with Russ Smith or a couple of those guys. But with a lineup of Embiid, Jabari Parker, and Wiggins I'd say that college potentially has the 3 best players. I'd put Gordon, Anderson, and a few of the other guys above much of the Sixers roster as well.

I think Steagles is a lot closer than we may be giving him credit for. The Sixers have purposely put together a roster of players that are either at or sub-replacement level.
   675. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4676784)
Yea, the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats is pretty much a best-case scenario for a college basketball team, and that produced a legit All-Star (Anthony Davis) a couple of okay starters (Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), and three bench guys (Darius Miller, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb). And then you have bench guys who would have no business playing in the NBA (Eloy Vargas if Davis gets into foul trouble!). That team would get beaten most nights by even a bad NBA team.


I'd go with the '95-'96 Kentucky team. Stacked with NBA talent:

G Tony Delk
C Nazr Mohammed
G/F Derek Anderson
F Antoine Walker
F Ron Mercer
F Scott Padgett
F Walter McCarty
C Jamaal Magloire
even had a 3rd C to 'play' in the NBA - Mark Pope

That team has a chance to beat Philly.
   676. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4676788)
Really, see I think a bit differently. Sure, not with Russ Smith or a couple of those guys. But with a lineup of Embiid, Jabari Parker, and Wiggins I'd say that college potentially has the 3 best players. I'd put Gordon, Anderson, and a few of the other guys above much of the Sixers roster as well.


Joel Embiid has a ton of potential, but there is an enormous, enormous gap between his average level of competition and the average NBA level. He's averaging 19/14/2 with 4.5 blocks, 1.5 steals, and 4.1 turns per 40 but he's going up against stiffs the vast majority of the time. He's also playing 23 minutes a game, which is less than half of an NBA game; how would his production scale even in a one-off situation? If he's turning the ball over 4.1 per 40 against the random scrubs (by NBA standards) in the big 12, how is he going to fare against a coordinated NBA defense with NBA caliber athletes, or even the Sixers? He's gonna turn the ball over 6-7 times a game easy.

I love his potential longterm, but there is a world of difference in the level of competition he's facing. The all-star college team would absolutely struggle to score against anything resembling an NBA defense. Just look at how few rookies have a real impact, and that's after an NBA training camp and an NBA offseason (weights, etc.) each of which is far more grueling than anything they go through in college.

I think the Sixers would be 30 point favorites and in a 48 minute game I'd expect a final score of 110-80 or so.
   677. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4676805)

Even with that, I'm not sure that NCAA all-Am team would beat the Sixers


I think an All-American team would fare okay. The Sixers would probably win most nights, but it wouldn't be dominant, maybe 60-40.

Like, if you look back at an old AA team, it looks not that different from a decent NBA team. Now admitted, these are guys before they have developed into good NBA players.

For example, the 2009 AP All-American Team:

DeJuan Blair, Blake Griffin, Tyler Hansbrough, James Harden, Steph Curry
Hasheem Thabeet, Jodie Meeks, Luk Harangody, Jerel McNeal, Ty Lawson

But 2010, eek:

DeMarcus Cousins, Wesley Johnson, Scottie Reynolds, Evan Turner, John Wall
James Anderson, Sherron Colins, Jon Scheyer, Greivis Vasquez, Da'Sean Butler

Goin small, and losing em all.

   678. Manny Coon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4676806)
How many college players this year are really better than 09/10 James Anderson at Oklahoma State? Since then he's had 4 years of full time NBA experience, including coaching by the Spurs and Rockets, and he's still incredibly unremarkable NBA player.
   679. AROM Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4676814)
Anderson had 6.9 win shares that year. Only 7 players this season had more. When you count in the experience gained, I would think that if Anderson were allowed to play as a 25 year old 8th year senior he'd be the best player in college basketball.
   680. The District Attorney Posted: March 25, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4676829)
you would have to make the case that the current sixers are by far the worst nba team ever for them not to be heavy favorites to win the ncaa tourney.
It'd be difficult to argue that the "current" Sixers (i.e., not the team that won 15 of its first 46, but the team that remained after they tossed Turner and Hawes into the garbage) aren't the worst team ever. I mean, let's not overthink things: That roster has been together for about 1/5 of an entire season and hasn't won a game yet.¹ I still don't think it's even a question.

Like #665 says, it almost can't be the case by definition. Putting aside any specifics, just the facts that League A is much smaller than League B, and that League A is created by annually "stealing" the top few players from League B, make it vanishingly unlikely that a team from League A could ever get so bad that it would lose to a team from League B.

Lowe does have relatively strong words in his article:
One thing is clear: Change is coming. The current lottery system probably isn’t going to last much longer...

¹ Turner and Hawes were there for about the first half (so far...) of the losing streak.
   681. AROM Posted: March 25, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4676834)
Back before all the top prospects in college were 1 and done, I think it's conceivable that a top college team would beat a bad NBA team. Depth would still be a huge problem, but if it's one game for big stakes then these guys can suck it up and give you 40 (or 48) minutes, as long as they can avoid foulings.

Take 1983-84 North Carolina:
G Kenny Smith
G Michael Jordan
C Brad Dougherty
F Sam Perkins
F Joe Wolf

Add in James Worthy (graduated 2 years before) and that team would be a championship contender if they came into the league as an expansion franchise, and were merely allowed to sign minimum salary veteran role players to round out the roster. That's a better core than Jordan actually won titles with.
   682. Manny Coon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4676839)
Back before all the top prospects in college were 1 and done, I think it's conceivable that a top college team would beat a bad NBA team.


If you go even further back, I think there is a good chance guys like Kareem, Walton and Russell were basically the best players in the world even when they were still in college.
   683. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4676842)
Between this:
Add in James Worthy (graduated 2 years before) and that team would be a championship contender if they came into the league as an expansion franchise, and were merely allowed to sign minimum salary veteran role players to round out the roster. That's a better core than Jordan actually won titles with.

and this:
Anderson had 6.9 win shares that year. Only 7 players this season had more. When you count in the experience gained, I would think that if Anderson were allowed to play as a 25 year old 8th year senior he'd be the best player in college basketball.

we're really starting to blur the lines of the initial question. It's hard to mentally separate Michael Jordan with NCAA MJ (who is nowhere near as good of a player). That team (which you're cheating to get Worthy on) isn't a championship contender if all those guys are rookies, for a number of reasons. But that's a totally different question than if that actual team, that year, could beat the worst team that year (the Pacers; not to mention compete with say the champ C's).

I'd go with the '95-'96 Kentucky team. Stacked with NBA talent:

G Tony Delk
C Nazr Mohammed
G/F Derek Anderson
F Antoine Walker
F Ron Mercer
F Scott Padgett
F Walter McCarty
C Jamaal Magloire
even had a 3rd C to 'play' in the NBA - Mark Pope


I was going to go look at minutes played, etc, of this team (for example, Nazr played an avg of 6min/g in only 15 games, so not sure how much he helps you), but you seem to be mixing a couple years together.
   684. AROM Posted: March 25, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4676851)
It's hard to mentally separate Michael Jordan with NCAA MJ (who is nowhere near as good of a player).


Jordan as a rookie was 28 PPG, .515 shooting. It looks like a huge leap from his Junior year of college (19.6 PPG, .551 shooting) but I don't think he improved all that much, more like Dean Smith wouldn't let one player take that many shots. I see Jordan's actual talent as making slow, steady improvement from his first year in college to his NBA peak.
   685. AROM Posted: March 25, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4676853)
If you go even further back, I think there is a good chance guys like Kareem, Walton and Russell were basically the best players in the world even when they were still in college.


Absolutely. Russell especially, since he was the one who changed the game. Wilt came into a league that had Russell, Kareem into a league that had Wilt, Walton into a league that had Kareem, etc.
   686. robinred Posted: March 25, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4676872)
IIRC, I read that when Kareem was at UCLA as a freshman, the freshman team beat the varsity, which had won the national title, by about 30. So, yes, Russell, Chamberlain, and Abdul-Jabbar were probably the best players in the world at age 20 or so, and Walton I am sure was up there as well.

If the age limit is increased, IMO we will see some more college superteams at places like Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas.
   687. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4676889)
I don't think we have any Pacers fans, but do we have anyone that's watched them regularly that would care to discuss their recent swoon and the extent to which this can be corrected by the playoffs?
   688. AROM Posted: March 25, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4676894)
If the age limit is increased, IMO we will see some more college superteams at places like Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas.


Good point. When you've got superstars like Laettner and Hill and they play 4 years, it makes you really tough to beat. A world with top players doing 1 and done but plenty of good players who are not guaranteed to be first round draft picks playing out their 4 years, means a lot of parity in the tournament. When Kentucky is an 8 seed and UConn a 7, then either the seeding process is messed up or else there are a lot of really good teams.
   689. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 25, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4676904)
I value parity more than great basketball, but I can see others with different values. The current system seems to enforce parity, while limiting the amount of excellence you have in CBA.
   690. kpelton Posted: March 25, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4676954)
I think the evidence of one and done impact on upsets is mixed at best. See, for example, this infographic on upsets by year since the tourney went to 64 teams: http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24491643/infographic-upsets-by-round----1985-2013
   691. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4676959)
If the age limit is increased, IMO we will see some more college superteams at places like Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas.

It seems like the NCAA is maybe trying to influence that already in other ways:

The main change from what NCAA underclassmen were accustomed to in the past (prior to 2012) involves the NCAA's unilaterally imposed “early-entry withdrawal deadline” of April 15th.

According to NCAA Proposal No. 2010-24, “student-athletes interested in 'testing the waters' of the NBA draft [are required] to remove their name from consideration before the first day of the spring National Letter of Intent signing period.”

The first day of the spring National Letter of Intent signing period is April 16th this year, meaning that any player that makes himself eligible for the NBA draft before then must remove it by April 15th in order to retain his collegiate eligibility.

What this essentially means is that there is no “testing the waters” anymore.

The reason for this change, in the NCAA's words is: “to help keep student-athletes focused on academics in the spring term and to give coaches a better idea of their roster for the coming year before the recruiting period is closed.”
   692. smileyy Posted: March 25, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4676961)
IOW: *($#@ you, players.
   693. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4676963)
KU's Wayne Selden announces on Twitter he is coming back next year, then deletes the tweet.
   694. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4676964)
I don't think we have any Pacers fans, but do we have anyone that's watched them regularly that would care to discuss their recent swoon and the extent to which this can be corrected by the playoffs?

Offensive limitations. The dregs of the season. "Difficulty handling the success."
   695. robinred Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:41 AM (#4677084)
The Lakers scored 51 points in the third quarter against the Knicks. The teams combined for 82 points in the quarter.
   696. robinred Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4677087)
The 51 points is a Lakers franchise record--so this team, the worst team they have had since moving to LA--did something, small though it was, that none of the many great Lakers teams has done.

I am sure that D'Antoni is really enjoying this, since it is against the Knicks and Phil.
   697. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4677239)
I just want to say that Dirk Nowitzki is a great player, has been a great player for a long while, and is likely to be a great player for the next 2-3 years at least. In the next year or so, he has a really good chance of passing Shaq for sixth all-time in points scored. 7-foot guys who can shoot threes very well are basically guys who can play forever.

   698. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4677249)
I just want to say that Dirk Nowitzki is a great player, has been a great player for a long while, and is likely to be a great player for the next 2-3 years at least. In the next year or so, he has a really good chance of passing Shaq for sixth all-time in points scored. 7-foot guys who can shoot threes very well are basically guys who can play forever.


Larry Bird or Dirk Nowitzki...discuss!

I'd go with The Diggler. He's got the injury free career that Bird didn't.
   699. theboyqueen Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4677268)
Dirk's advantage on Bird is that he's taller. Bird was a much more versatile, and tough player. I agree that the injuries hurt his career quite a bit. Dirk, Bird, Durant, Gervin seem to fit a similar profile of tall wing player that is basically unguardable.

Very good article by Goldsberry on the Mavs on Grantland right not. Dirk's shot chart is ridiculous. Also talks about how important Monta Ellis has been for this team.

I find it interesting that Monta developed a reputation as an inefficient chucker. People seem to forget (it's not even mentioned in the Goldsberry article) that in 07-08, as a 22 year old, he had about the most efficient season a player of his type could possibly have (based entirely around driving/slashing and midrange jumpers -- a style that is quickly becoming extinct save for him). I remember him shooting 60% one month that season; he looked for all the world to be the new Sidney Moncrief. The Warriors famously won 48 games but did not make the playoffs that year.

Then he signed a big contract, had his weird moped injury, and got traded eventually to the Bucks. One of the points of the Goldsberry article is that basketball is not baseball, and context matters a good deal. It is very difficult to reconcile individual numbers and team value. Monta is probably a perfect example. I think basketball is a much more interesting sport than baseball in this respect; it makes the discussions and debates more fun.
   700. Jon T. Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4677276)
Flip

Peak or Career? Bird for peak, Dirk has passed him in career value though
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