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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - May 2013

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about straight NBA players, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: gay NBA players and craft beer.

Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:53 PM | 1929 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1. NJ in DC Posted: May 01, 2013 at 10:41 PM (#4431386)
Well done on the intro, well done indeed.

Continued form last thread, I agree with most of what you said spivey except I do think Durant is massively better than Harden. I have a hard time seeing HOU winning the series or even forcing it to 7.

Also, am I the only one who kept checking for the new thread to be posted because he was excited to learn the results of the awards vote?
   2. Maxwn Posted: May 01, 2013 at 10:56 PM (#4431396)
I agree with NJ in that I sort of agree with Spivey but not really. Houston isn't obviously that much worse than OKC without Westbrook except Durant really is some significant step better than Harden. He's no lockdown defender, but I don't think he's the sieve that Harden is when he's not guarding Ibaka. And as far as I can tell Durant is also the superior offensive player by a non-trivial amount. So I doubt Houston actually pulls this out. If they'd hung on in game 3, maybe, but since they lost that one, they have no more margin for error. Even if they are actual close to parity with OKC now, the fact that they can't lose again makes it pretty doubtful
   3. RollingWave Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4431399)
Am I the only person that could *conceivably* see Houston coming back and winning this series? I don't see much different between the teams. Durant is better than Harden, but it's not an obscene difference. Asik and Ibaka are pretty close, Parsons and Martin are pretty close, and Houston is a lot deeper.


If the series started 1-1 with Westbrook hurt then yes, but 0-2 it's not too likely, 0-3 no way.

And Parsons much better than Martin, but Harden's not very close to Durant at this point. Ibaka, despite some of the things we joke about him, is still a better overall player than Asik if only because he can actually score a little.

As for the Knicks, it's hard to really access them given their insane variance and that some of their main player right now didn't show up until super late in the season, but I'd say that if they play the Rockets in a series no one would be too surprised if they lost would they? (they'd still be favorites, but at a 6:4 margin at best.)

   4. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4431401)
--do you guys think the game is exceptionally physical today, where "physical" means some hard-to-quantify hybrid of "tough" and "dirty"? I would have thought that we are currently in a relatively NON-physical era of the game, but am by no means the oldest or wisest poster in this thread.
Jalen Rose, on PTI today, essentially said that if a ring is on the line then, yes, he's gonna hurt someone if he has to. Nobody's looking to end a career, of course, but I bet nobody in Denver is going to shed a tear if/when Curry sprains an ankle and has to be gimpy while watching the 2nd round of the playoffs from his living room.

EDIT: I am gay for this thread intro.
   5. Maxwn Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4431406)
As for the Knicks, it's hard to really access them given their insane variance and that some of their main player right now didn't show up until super late in the season, but I'd say that if they play the Rockets in a series no one would be too surprised if they lost would they? (they'd still be favorites, but at a 6:4 margin at best.)

No it wouldn't be that surprising, but I don't think it is that much of a slam on the Knicks. The Rockets are a decent team.. I don't really understand how they couldn't close the deal and get the six in the West.

More to the point, I think the Knicks were and are fairly described as a good team. As is Indiana. The East doesn't start descending down through decent into mediocre and down to bad until after Indiana.
   6. Maxwn Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:13 PM (#4431408)
tshipman is looking pretty fair on his argument that 2 of the West's top 5 going down in the 1st round was no worse than even money. DEN is in real trouble and if HOU holds on tonight, I'd say OKC is in at least some trouble.
   7. Spivey Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4431412)
tshipman is looking pretty fair on his argument that 2 of the West's top 5 going down in the 1st round was no worse than even money. DEN is in real trouble and if HOU holds on tonight, I'd say OKC is in at least some trouble.


No offensive to tshipman, who is a good poster. But I don't give any credit when the most durable player in the NBA goes down with a torn ligament on a freak play.
   8. Maxwn Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4431416)
No offensive to tshipman, who is a good poster. But I don't give any credit when the most durable player in the NBA goes down with a torn ligament on a freak play.

You should, since part of the argument involves the fact that stuff like that happens from time to time, even to seemingly durable players. Also, just for clarification, he doesn't need both of those teams to lose to be right.
   9. Spivey Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4431419)
You should, since part of the argument involves the fact that stuff like that happens from time to time, even to seemingly durable players. Also, just for clarification, he doesn't need both of those teams to lose to be right.


Well, that's a really poor and confusing way to word something. That said, I don't think there is anything *that* bizarre with saying it's roughly 50/50 that one of the top 3 teams would lose. Denver had significant injuries leading to the playoffs.
   10. Spivey Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4431420)
I have a feeling Durant is going to go all Dwyane Wade on us.
   11. Maxwn Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4431422)
That said, I don't think there is anything *that* bizarre with saying it's roughly 50/50 that one of the top 3 teams would lose.

There isn't. It's mostly a mathematical argument. But he got a fair amount of disagreement at the time.

Edit: I should note that I didn't really agree with him at time, although I did sort of defend the math of the argument with Booey for a while.
   12. Maxwn Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:34 PM (#4431424)
Well, that's a really poor and confusing way to word something

Also, my bad on this.
   13. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:36 PM (#4431426)
boylan out in milwaukee
   14. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:39 PM (#4431427)
Word is that Stan Van Gundy is the man the Bucks want to take over. I'm sure they'll give Phil Jackson a call, though.
   15. Maxwn Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:44 PM (#4431431)
Man if I was Stan, I'd kind of want to hang around a bit and see if something better comes up, such as the Clippers job.
   16. Spivey Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:47 PM (#4431434)
Whomever takes over the Bucks job needs to show the fortitude to let Jennings walk. That's one of the tricky things with them is they are actually in real purgatory. They won't have a lottery pick, may not have one next year, but they need a player to build their team around badly.
   17. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:50 PM (#4431435)
Spivey, didn't have Durant like 2nd or 3rd on your DPOY ballot? You can't think Harden is that close to him if you think Durant is that good defensively.
   18. RollingWave Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4431438)
No it wouldn't be that surprising, but I don't think it is that much of a slam on the Knicks. The Rockets are a decent team.. I don't really understand how they couldn't close the deal and get the six in the West.

More to the point, I think the Knicks were and are fairly described as a good team. As is Indiana. The East doesn't start descending down through decent into mediocre and down to bad until after Indiana.


Well the Rockets couldn't close because Harden and Parsons were limped in the final stretch, which left essentially Lin to carry them, he did very well in April (by far his best month, which makes his horrific play so far in the post season even more painful.) but obviously they can't do it with half of their main starters either limping or being out. That and of course the Lakers uhem... won every game in their final stretch, including one against the Rockets, If you agree that the refs probably gifted them at least one or two of those ...

I'd agree that if your saying the Knicks are a good team there's no issue with that, just that you would like the 2nd seed team to be a bit better than just good, the Spurs are pretty legit great team for example.

Harden's gone 7-7 from 3s(!!!!) tonight, so the Rockets are probably going to win this. which makes things at least slightly interesting. it's slso nice to see Aaron Brooks being at least mildly useful. hopefully this means he hang around the league .

Garcia is playing himself into a new contract from someone too
   19. Spivey Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:07 AM (#4431439)
Spivey, didn't have Durant like 2nd or 3rd on your DPOY ballot? You can't think Harden is that close to him if you think Durant is that good defensively.


I definitely have Durant as better, and measurably so. But I do have Harden as one of the best several players in the NBA. I don't watch Houston as much as most guys here but Harden has not appeared as bad defensively to me in my limited viewing - or to his defensive statistics - as people here make him out to be.

It may be a semantics thing. Either way, the PG and scoring support that Houston has puts Durant's cast to shame.
   20. Spivey Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4431441)
I think hack-a-big needs to be outlawed. It bothers me they got rid of the intentional foul. Presumably it was because they let intentional fouls go all the time at the end of the game, but that just means they need to call it.

I get the arguments that aggressively reaching for the ball can and will lead to fouls. I'm fine giving some judgement leeway here.
   21. Spivey Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4431442)
Asik and destroy!
   22. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:12 AM (#4431446)
EDIT: I am gay for this thread intro.


And yet you posted all month long in the last thread. Your actions clearly demonstrate that you are only bi for this thread intro.
   23. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4431449)
True story: In Ohio, if you're drinking a craft beer, you may as well be gay #Heathers
   24. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4431450)
well, you could put hombre's feelings on a continuum, tom...

has a team ever had more 3ptm than ast in a playoff game? houston has a chance.
edit: several have had ast = 3pm
   25. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4431452)
Nobody's looking to end a career, of course, but I bet nobody in Denver is going to shed a tear if/when Curry sprains an ankle and has to be gimpy while watching the 2nd round of the playoffs from his living room.


And if someone deliberately slides their foot into where Steph is going to land, trying to injure him, I hope he's watching the 2nd round from his living room too.
   26. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4431453)
Whomever takes over the Bucks job needs to show the fortitude to let Jennings walk.


I think he's a below median starting PG.
   27. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:24 AM (#4431455)
I think hack-a-big needs to be outlawed.


I think end-of-game fouls need to be able to be turned into 3 points. I'm down with a 3rd free throw if you hit the first two. Should make old-timers happy that FT shooting would become _really_ valuable.
   28. Spivey Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:25 AM (#4431456)
I think he's a below median starting PG.

On the one hand, I agree. On the other, if you don't have another guy that's better, you can be in serious trouble. Just ask OKC about shitty PG play.
   29. RollingWave Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:26 AM (#4431458)
The most amazing thing on this Houston win is that Harden only had 5 FT.

We had thought that one of the biggest advantage Houston had in this series was that Asik should be able to destroy Perkins, and finally some of that happened tonight.

Harden's D. it's hard to say, he makes some glaringly bad rotation miss at times, almost Kobian. but at other times he does steal the ball a decent bit and being a huge guard has it's advantages in terms of rebound and other aspect. but its still annoying as hell sometimes to see him get beat by text book plays or not contesting guys shooting right in front of him.
   30. Maxwn Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:28 AM (#4431460)
I'll be honest, I don't really get the uproar about hack-a-big nor end of game fouls. Neither bothers me, but obviously it irritates a lot of people, so to each their own, I guess. Particularly the hack-a-big, which I find amusing because I don't think I've ever seen it work in any real sense.
   31. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4431462)
asik did it last game too, rollingwave
   32. Maxwn Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:33 AM (#4431464)
I think Kendrick Perkins is quite possibly a below replacement-level center at this point.
   33. Spivey Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4431467)
Dwight Howard's lack of post moves has made Perkins dozens of millions of dollars.
   34. Maxwn Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:38 AM (#4431469)
I can't believe that I'm saying this, but it is not obvious to me from the numbers that Perkins is actually better than Thabeet.
   35. Maxwn Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:44 AM (#4431470)
Dwight Howard's lack of post moves has made Perkins dozens of millions of dollars.

I'd say KG, Ray, Pierce and Rondo also contributed to those dozens of millions.
   36. Morph Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:51 AM (#4431476)
I give the Celtics a ton of credit, and I do think the Knicks acted like clowns leading up to game five. That said, as a fan of the latter team, I'm really not that worried, and I actually think they'll win game six pretty comfortably. If the Celtics pull this off, I'll just have to tip my hat and call Boston my daddy at completing historic comebacks against teams I root for.
   37. tshipman Posted: May 02, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4431479)
No offensive to tshipman, who is a good poster. But I don't give any credit when the most durable player in the NBA goes down with a torn ligament on a freak play.


1. Thank you. Everyone who contributes to the NBA thread is a good poster, in my opinion.
2. I would say the better argument against my statement was that I saw the Spurs as the weakest team in the top 5, so ... yanno.
3. Injuries are part of the game. Kobe was the most durable player in the NBA until he blew out his Achilles.


I can't believe that I'm saying this, but it is not obvious to me from the numbers that Perkins is actually better than Thabeet.


This is too crazy to be true.
   38. Maxwn Posted: May 02, 2013 at 01:36 AM (#4431481)
I would say the better argument against my statement was that I saw the Spurs as the weakest team in the top 5, so ... yanno.

I think it's still possible that they are. Not likely, but possible. The Lakers had everything completely disintegrate on them in that series so I'm not sure that easily sweeping them really proves anything about anything.
   39. robinred Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:18 AM (#4431488)
I may be underrating San Antonio, but I think there is now a very good chance that the winner of the Grizzlies/Clippers series will play Miami for the title.
   40. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:00 AM (#4431499)
And if someone deliberately slides their foot into where Steph is going to land, trying to injure him, I hope he's watching the 2nd round from his living room too.
You'll get no argument from me; I have a hatred of Bruce Bowen a mile wide and twice as deep. I'm just saying that this is what they do.

And yet you posted all month long in the last thread. Your actions clearly demonstrate that you are only bi for this thread intro.
I love you guys. (But I'm not gay for you guys.)
   41. robinred Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:26 AM (#4431500)
Well the Rockets couldn't close


Because they weren't good enough to get the job done, even though they got the Lakers in game 82 without either Kobe or Nash. Fans of every team that like to make excuses sell ref and injury narratives. Lakers fans complained all year about Howard getting hacked to death in the paint, and of course about the injuries. Injuries are a drag, but like tshipman said, they are part of the game. As to refs, most of the time, if you check out team-based blogs during an emotional playoff series, you will see some fans on both sides complaining about the refs and talking about what a bunch of whiners/jerks/dirtballs the other team's players are. Those things, along with some fans of the losing team saying their coach is an idiot, are constants.

If Houston comes back and wins this series, OKC fans will "asterisk" it because Westbrook was out.
   42. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:31 AM (#4431501)
If Houston comes back and wins this series, OKC fans will "asterisk" it because Westbrook was out.
Houston needs to have their version of Bill Simmons write a big book on that.
   43. Maxwn Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:35 AM (#4431502)
I may be underrating San Antonio, but I think there is now a very good chance that the winner of the Grizzlies/Clippers series will play Miami for the title.

If Denver can manage to pull out their series, I think the Grizz/Clips winner would definitely have the best chance of taking the West of the 4 teams that would be left. If San Antonio can get GSW, I think it's still probably them, I guess. I don't know, I haven't really had a good feel for how good the Spurs are in a postseason sense for a few years.

Obviously I want the Grizzlies to go all the way because I'm a Grizzlies fan, but there's also the general sports fan in me that wishes that Z-Bo keeps putting up a 25/10 and leads them to a title just because it would be the greatest "nobody would have predicted this #### five years ago" championship in the history of the NBA.

I'm trying to avoid thinking in this direction though, because I'm still very wary of Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant, and the Spurs. It's not even worth worrying about Miami at this point.

That said, if you're trying to make a run like this, being the best defensive team is not a bad place to start.

Really wish I was still in Memphis for this game 6 on Friday. Weekend playoff games on Beale are awesome.
   44. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 02, 2013 at 05:16 AM (#4431506)
Obviously I want the Grizzlies to go all the way because I'm a Grizzlies fan, but there's also the general sports fan in me that wishes that Z-Bo keeps putting up a 25/10 and leads them to a title just because it would be the greatest "nobody would have predicted this #### five years ago" championship in the history of the NBA.
I'm now rooting for Memphis to go all the way because

(1) I hate everyone else in the West
(2) I don't want to see the Clippers farther than the Lakers
(3) I want to see the team that made the Pau trade with LAL get rewarded
(4) Z-Bo/Gasol would be a big match-up problem for Miami
   45. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 06:32 AM (#4431514)
Of the presently remaining WC teams I'd be happy, on some level, with all of them winning the title...except GSW and OKC. SAS for Duncan and Pop. MEM for Hollinger. LAC for Paul. DEN because I hate Melo. HOU for Morey.
   46. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 02, 2013 at 07:58 AM (#4431537)
Iron Law of the Universe: If you depend on Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith, you are inevitably going to be disappointed.
   47. jmurph Posted: May 02, 2013 at 08:26 AM (#4431550)
(quoting from last thread)
I know this is, like, really funny because Knicks (ha!) but I'd love to see an objective measure that from this season that paints the Knicks as less than "good" this year.


Well I specifically said that comparatively, yes, they are clearly the second best team in the conference. Objective measures are ranking them against their peers, so obviously somebody has to be the second best team in a conference. I just think they're pretty damn far below the normal standards of a 2 seed. I'd take last year's top 4 seeds in the East over this year's Knicks squad, for instance. Is this really controversial? The East was terrible this year? I didn't think it was. All teams at full strength, how far down in the West do you have to go to find a team the Knicks would be favored over in a series? At least 5 (I'd say 6, after Denver), right?
   48. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4431563)
Is this really controversial? The East was terrible this year? I didn't think it was. All teams at full strength, how far down in the West do you have to go to find a team the Knicks would be favored over in a series? At least 5 (I'd say 6, after Denver), right?

The East was terrible this year, but the Knicks were also good. Against the Western powers their record was: OKC 1-1, SAS 2-0, MEM 1-1, DEN 1-1, LAC 0-2. By SRS they were the 7th best team in the league. They're obviously not as good as MIA (last year's 2 seed) was heading into the playoffs, but they're clearly better than seed 3 on down from last year based on their body of work. They were also clearly the 2nd best team in the East this year. At full strength I would take SAS, OKC, MEM, LAC, DEN and I think they are a coin flip with HOU (which I've stated in the past on this thread) but that speaks more to the strength of the West than the Knicks IMO.

EDIT: I went back to the '08-'09 season on Bask-Ref and quickly skimming and making judgments on rosters and SRS I would say this year's Knicks team is about the quality of a typical 4 seed in the EC over the past half decade. In addition, if we are using the full health qualifier, all of the aforementioned numbers underrate the Knicks due to the stretches they played without Melo/Felton this year as what makes them good is their offense and without one or both of those two they have a hard time running that offense.
   49. jmurph Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4431566)
At full strength I would take SAS, OKC, MEM, LAC, DEN and I think they are a coin flip with HOU (which I've stated in the past on this thread) but that speaks more to the strength of the West than the Knicks IMO.


That's fair. I think using "good" was bad word choice on my part. The 7th or 8th best team in the league is probably fairly described as good.
   50. Kurt Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4431569)
I think end-of-game fouls need to be able to be turned into 3 points. I'm down with a 3rd free throw if you hit the first two. Should make old-timers happy that FT shooting would become _really_ valuable.


There should be a double bonus, where each foul after X gets you three free throws. Best way to deal with both end-of-game fouls and hack-a-big.
   51. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4431572)
Running through the "at full health" mental exercise made me realize that it's pretty obvious a healthy or close to healthy GSW team would be really good (which I think was the reaction on the board at the time of the Ellis-Bogut trade). If David Lee's your 3rd best player (and you've got pretty solid depth outside of that) you probably can consider yourself a title contender, right?
   52. jmurph Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4431574)
I can certainly imagine a world in which a healthy Warriors team pushes the Spurs and Miami, especially considering how good Curry is right now.
   53. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4431587)
Knicks had some things working for them that are part of what their success this year. They forced turnovers, avoided turning it over themselves, and got some offensive rebounds. As a result they took 11 more shots than Boston, and 3 more free throws. Problem is they just didn't hit those shots.

It's frustrating to watch Carmelo on a bad night where he's constantly chucking up long, contested jumpers and missing them. But Pierce was doing the same thing, and hitting his shots. The real problem was that the Knicks couldn't hit anything, even when they were wide open.

Anyone see the play where Kidd drove to the basket, his man pretty much fell down, leaving him with an uncontested layup, and he missed it? It was like a computer game where the character is zeroed out in layup ability, so that he cannot be allowed to make one no matter what the circumstances.

If game 6 looks like this as far as opportunities, the Knicks will win. Even if their shooting completely stinks, I can't see Boston going 11-22 from 3 twice in a row. But something tells me they are in for a lot more trouble, playing on the road. Maybe a turrible shooting night where Boston keeps the TO margin even.

The whole Celtic funeral BS was epically stupid. Knicks have some old players who damn well should know you don't display that kind of hubris. If they do end up as the first NBA team to blow a 3-0 lead, they've basically done all the work for a chapter in Bill Simmons' next book.
   54. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4431595)
If Houston comes back and wins this series, OKC fans will "asterisk" it because Westbrook was out.


I like Simmons' book, but I think the asterisk thing is the worst contribution to NBA writing. It's the norm, not an aberration, for unexpected things to change the postseason end result. If there has ever been a postseason where every team was 100% healthy, no freak moments happened at crunch time, and the best teams won, I am unaware of it.
   55. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4431597)
Anyone see the play where Kidd drove to the basket, his man pretty much fell down, leaving him with an uncontested layup, and he missed it? It was like a computer game where the character is zeroed out in layup ability, so that he cannot be allowed to make one no matter what the circumstances.

Think I know what you're talking about. It was maybe late 3rd quarter/early 4th? Ball went careening off the backboard at a high angle?

The whole Celtic funeral BS was epically stupid. Knicks have some old players who damn well should know you don't display that kind of hubris. If they do end up as the first NBA team to blow a 3-0 lead, they've basically done all the work for a chapter in Bill Simmons' next book.

This aspect is overblown IMO. Didn't the Mavericks have some sort of shtick exactly like this in '11? Also vaguely remember the '06 MIA team doing something. I guess those teams don't look bad because they ended up champs, but that's hindsight.
   56. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4431605)
I'll be honest, I don't really get the uproar about hack-a-big nor end of game fouls. Neither bothers me, but obviously it irritates a lot of people, so to each their own, I guess. Particularly the hack-a-big, which I find amusing because I don't think I've ever seen it work in any real sense.

Doesn't bother me either. It actually worked for the Bulls this past Saturday against the Nets. Down 14 with just over 3 left, they fouled Evans (0 for 2 FTs) and Wallace (0 for 2) on purpose away from the ball. The first foul was right before NateRob's 12-0 run.

Running through the "at full health" mental exercise made me realize that it's pretty obvious a healthy or close to healthy GSW team would be really good (which I think was the reaction on the board at the time of the Ellis-Bogut trade). If David Lee's your 3rd best player (and you've got pretty solid depth outside of that) you probably can consider yourself a title contender, right?

Yes, I believe I said that at the beginning of the year in our predictions. And right now is really the first time it seems Bogut is really healthy (and why they've been able to deal with Lee's injury).
   57. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4431606)
AROM/54: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Hack a big doesn't bother me - but I don't think it's good for the game. Slows and make discontinuous the action, makes the game fundamentally different than the preceding minutes.
Teams should be able to decline fouls, possibly with some additional penalty applied (like being allowed to have 'x' seconds taken off the clock).
   58. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4431609)
Knicks have some old players who damn well should know you don't display that kind of hubris.

Actually, they don't know it. Kenyon Martin, JR Smith, and Carmelo Anthony are knuckleheads.
   59. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4431610)
Jalen Rose, on PTI today, essentially said that if a ring is on the line then, yes, he's gonna hurt someone if he has to.


Sure Jeff Gilooley would listen if he called.
   60. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4431612)
[59] Rose has been consistent on that stance. He's previously admitted to trying to step under Kobe's jumper as Kobe was landing when IND played LAL in the Finals.
   61. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4431630)
Then he's a sackless wuss. Someone should tell him there's an entire sport dedicated to trying to injure your opponent and see if he's interested in taking his chickenshit thug act into the appropriate arena. Kendall Gill gave it a shot.
   62. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4431632)
Actually, they don't know it. Kenyon Martin, JR Smith, and Carmelo Anthony are knuckleheads.


Yeah, but apparently Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby, despite having played against the likes of Tom Gola and Slater Martin, don't know any better either.
   63. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4431638)
I can certainly imagine a world in which a healthy Warriors team pushes the Spurs and Miami, especially considering how good Curry is right now.


That's too far fetched for me to imagine. Well, at least the Miami part. If they got in trouble they'd just tell Lebron to make sure Curry doesn't get off a shot. And a healthy Warriors team against Miami? Would that mean David Lee in the middle? SLAM DUNK.
   64. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4431642)
I'm pretty sure stuff like the funeral nonsense is quite common, it's just not widely advertised. Hell, the Heat's ####### pep rally after The Decision was 100x worse.

I liked Thibs quote about Blatche and Wallace saying the Nets are clearly the better team than the Bulls: "If we have to rely on that . . . to me, it's meaningless."
   65. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4431646)
And a healthy Warriors team against Miami? Would that mean David Lee in the middle? SLAM DUNK.

Bogut.
   66. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4431648)
Larry Drew thought the three technicals the Hawks got showed a lack of discipline. That's a fair point, but I think taking 32 two-point jumpers vs. 13 three-pointers was a far more damaging form of indiscipline. The latter wasn't Josh Smith's fault. In a lesser of two evils thing, he at least took half of his six jump shots from beyond the arc.
   67. Conor Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4431656)
Think I know what you're talking about. It was maybe late 3rd quarter/early 4th? Ball went careening off the backboard at a high angle?


It had to have been in the first half, because I'm almost positive the Knicks were going toward their own basket. (Just realized, I know the play you are thinking off; that was in the fourth qtr I believe. Martin got called for a push in the back on the rebound tip in).

That play was hilarious, I don't think the man really fell down (i'd have to watch it again to be sure) I think he just thought there was no chance Kidd was going to shoot it and he went to cover Martin instead who was going to be the recipient of the pass and Kidd had a wide open layup that he probably never thought he was going to have to shoot
   68. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4431660)
[67] Yeah, the Martin foul is the play I'm thinking of. I thought Kidd's defender got out of the way because Kidd raised his knee on the drive. I missed the first half of the game so I didn't see the other layup attempt.

EDIT: I may have a ticket to Game 6 in Boston if anyone is interested. I won't be going and you'd have to sit with a bunch of HBS students.
   69. tshipman Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4431687)
If Denver can manage to pull out their series, I think the Grizz/Clips winner would definitely have the best chance of taking the West of the 4 teams that would be left. If San Antonio can get GSW, I think it's still probably them, I guess. I don't know, I haven't really had a good feel for how good the Spurs are in a postseason sense for a few years.


I also find this hard to evaluate. If you look at the West, what do you have?

1. OKC with a missing Westbrook. They were the clear favorite before the injury. If they had missed Westbrook all season, they are a 53 win team or so. To me, that is a little bit below Memphis.

2. SAS without Splitter (for half their next series). Their big 3 also have a questionable ability to increase their minutes. Parker seems back to normal. This is a good team that also has a history of disappointing in the playoffs recently. They *should* be the overwhelming favorite to come out of the west.

3. Denver--a paper tiger who relied on other teams B2B schedules to pile up a lot of wins. This is a 49 win team in my opinion.

4. Memphis/LAC--on the one hand, Memphis's best player to close games is Mike Conley. On the other hand, Vinny Del Negro is the head coach of the Clippers. Memphis is a defense first-team that has a questionable ability to play both ways. The Clippers' head coach is Vinny Del Negro. Memphis is a very balanced team, and those teams have always seemed more susceptible to getting bounced from a few bad games. The Clippers' head coach is Vinny Del Negro.

I suppose I think of SAS as the favorite to come out of the west, but I'm not really happy about it.
   70. Booey Posted: May 02, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4431767)
I suppose I think of SAS as the favorite to come out of the west, but I'm not really happy about it.


It doesn't really even matter though, since any one of them will lose to Miami in the Finals.

I've been trying hard to stay positive about this years playoffs, but really, when was the last time one team had to be considered such an overwhelming favorite to take home the title? The 1996 Bulls? That's partly a compliment to the Heat's dominance, but also partly a slight against the weak competition in the East and the hobbled/flawed would-be-contenders-in-most-years in the West. Either way, from my POV the normal drama of the playoffs just ain't there this season. Ah well.
   71. RollingWave Posted: May 02, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4431782)
Because they weren't good enough to get the job done, even though they got the Lakers in game 82 without either Kobe or Nash. Fans of every team that like to make excuses sell ref and injury narratives. Lakers fans complained all year about Howard getting hacked to death in the paint, and of course about the injuries. Injuries are a drag, but like tshipman said, they are part of the game. As to refs, most of the time, if you check out team-based blogs during an emotional playoff series, you will see some fans on both sides complaining about the refs and talking about what a bunch of whiners/jerks/dirtballs the other team's players are. Those things, along with some fans of the losing team saying their coach is an idiot, are constants.

If Houston comes back and wins this series, OKC fans will "asterisk" it because Westbrook was out.


Yeah, that's another way to put it I guess, in the 26 game after the trade deadline, Houston was 15-11, a .576 clip (they were at a .536 clip before that), but before that final 4 game stretch they were 14-8, a .636 clip, that's the difference between a top 4 seed team and more of a 6-7 seed team, I suppose the final stretch is more of a correction since by all realistic measure while Lin was better towards the end (especially compared to November.) and they had Beverly, they still had no real answer to the PF question. and were in fact somewhat worse there as non of the guys they shifted through was on par with Patrick Patterson. who was at least a decent one on most nights. instead they basically played whoever had the hotter hand between Smith / Dmo / Jones / Delfino. (ironically though Francisco Garcia have been great so far in the series.)

If Houston comes back the NBA will asterisk it too since that breaks a previously unbroken record. I'm still doubtful, the 4 game after game 1 were all pretty close, and really rested on some random bounces (even with Westbrook, game 2 in OKC was pretty close too.), I suppose the coin flip could be that the Rockets win 2 more, it's just not that likely though. even if you assume that the Rockets have at best a 25% chance to win.

But really, they won game 5 with Harden shooting 7-9 from 3, and 7 for the first 7, most of those was of the contested step back variety, that's not going to happen again.

Though one should note one thing, if this series tells you anything, it's that Kevin McHale is probably underrated as a coach and Scott Brooks overrated. even before Westbrook went down, it was already clear that McHale was making adjustments that worked and Brooks wasn't countering.


   72. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 02, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4431783)
3. Denver--a paper tiger who relied on other teams B2B schedules to pile up a lot of wins. This is a 49 win team in my opinion.
I disagree with this vehemently. Denver went 3-1 against OKC, and none were part of an OKC B2B. They went 2-2 against the Spurs, one of those wins being the impossible B2B @ Denver. Now, I'll grant that without Gallinari that's not the same team, but Denver piled up wins because they're good, not because of some gimmick.
   73. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4431794)
Denver--a paper tiger who relied on other teams B2B schedules to pile up a lot of wins. This is a 49 win team in my opinion.


How many Denver opponents were on the second part of a B2B? How does this compare to other teams? Is this a split that can be found on bb-ref, or another site?
   74. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4431814)
From a quick look at bbref, it would be easy to see how many B2B a single team has played, but to see how many times their opponent was on B2B would take a lot of work, and doing it for every team so that you have something valid to compare would probably take me all day. My guess is if there's anything at all to this, an average team might play 20 something games and a lucky team might get 25. If it's a good team their expected record in those extra 5 might go from 3-2 to 4-1. If the magnitude is greater than that please show data, or link to someone who has.

What I did notice is that Denver had a losing record against only 2 teams last year. Miami was one. Can anyone guess the other without peeking?
   75. puck Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4431892)
What I did notice is that Denver had a losing record against only 2 teams last year. Miami was one. Can anyone guess the other without peeking?

Is last year 2011-12 or 2012-13? I think they lost both of their games to the Bullets in 2012-13. Or it was someone bad.
   76. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4431921)
Yeah, I meant 2012-13. And we have a winner, the Bullets beat Denver twice.
   77. andrewberg Posted: May 02, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4431939)
Memphis's best player to close games is Mike Conley


I don't know. They're one of the few teams that really does not run everything through one player late in games. Earlier in the series, Q-Pon was getting big shots down the stretch because they moved the ball and he got open. Even in the last game, Gasol, Z-Bo, and Conley shared the responsibility pretty equally. I enjoy watching Memphis and I find myself pulling for them without any prior rooting interest. #gng
   78. andrewberg Posted: May 02, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4431947)
I've been trying hard to stay positive about this years playoffs, but really, when was the last time one team had to be considered such an overwhelming favorite to take home the title? The 1996 Bulls?


I don't think of it that way. Miami is going to have to fight through some tough series one way or another. There is no guarantee of their health either.

Kevin McHale is probably underrated as a coach


That's what I keep saying.
   79. Jimmy P Posted: May 02, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4431955)
Kevin McHale is probably underrated as a coach


I've thought this for a long time. He's pretty terrible as a GM, but he always gets the best out of his players.

Scott Brooks overrated

He'll have the Westbrook injury to shield some of the criticism, but OKC is falling apart. They've looked totally lost, and even without Westbrook, they should be able to put Houston away. I've always thought Brooks gets a bit too much credit, this series isn't changing that.
   80. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4431981)
Kevin McHale is probably underrated as a coach


It is hard to get past his GM days and look at his coaching unbiased.
   81. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4431986)
Denver--a paper tiger who relied on other teams B2B schedules to pile up a lot of wins. This is a 49 win team in my opinion.


Don't forget they are missing their #2 scorer, and despite all of the regular season talk of their potential to make a run without an All-Star/superstar, those teams tend to have short postseason stints.
   82. Booey Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4431999)
Miami is going to have to fight through some tough series one way or another. There is no guarantee of their health either.

I hope so (that they'll have some competitive series, not that they'll have health issues). Cuz I could see them having a playoff run almost on par with the 2001 Lakers or 1999 Spurs (one of the most underrated teams of all time, IMO). It seems to me that everything is falling into place for a truly uneventful ride to the title - great team with the best player in the league at the top of his game, weak conference, injuries to key competitors, etc. The Westbrook injury may have removed their most serious threat from the discussion.

16-3 is my prediction. I actually do hope I'm wrong.
   83. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4432002)
Regarding Denver's B2B, I looked at this about a month ago. I believe they have the best record v. other playoff teams as any team in the West, and there was a criticism that it was piled up on B2Bs. My recollection was that looking at the data, their VERY GOOD record against playoff teams was equal when they played them with the other team coming off an off day vs. back-to-back.

Regarding Anthony, one of his fatal flaws seems to be that when the going gets tough, he: a) tries to take over the game; b) does it by shooting long jumpers. Every superstar should do a), but most have multiple ways of doing it - going to the rim, playing better D, driving and dishing (in addition to filling it up). Remember the criticism of LeBron a few years ago, he passed too much in the 4th? (See also Durant last night.) Can you imagine that criticism levied against Anthony?

He can get hot from the outside, but his outside shooting percentage keeps dropping by game and his strategy remains the same.
   84. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4432029)
Denver--a paper tiger who relied on other teams B2B schedules to pile up a lot of wins. This is a 49 win team in my opinion.


I smelled the BS in this statement but now I can prove it, even though I've only scratched the surface of the data.

Denver played 18 games where the opponent was coming off a back to back. They won 14 of those. That means they were 43-21 when the opponent had at least 1 day of rest - that's a 55 win pace.

I don't know if 18 games is more or less than most teams get. Doesn't really matter though, the idea that a team can look 8 wins better than they really are because of playing in favorable B2B is impossible.
   85. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4432033)
As far as the west goes, the top 5 teams all won 56-60 games. That's hardly a significant difference, though Oklahoma's +9.2 point differential puts them ahead of the pack. Denver is not 100% healthwise, but neither are OKC, Clippers, Spurs, or Warriors.
   86. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4432052)
Regarding Anthony, one of his fatal flaws seems to be that when the going gets tough, he: a) tries to take over the game; b) does it by shooting long jumpers. Every superstar should do a), but most have multiple ways of doing it - going to the rim, playing better D, driving and dishing (in addition to filling it up). Remember the criticism of LeBron a few years ago, he passed too much in the 4th? (See also Durant last night.) Can you imagine that criticism levied against Anthony?

Seems to be some basis for it this year though:

Couper Moorhead ?@CoupNBA 3h
As one of the league's best offenses during the regular season, the Knicks used 15.9 isolations per game. In the playoffs, it's been 26.6.

Couper Moorhead ?@CoupNBA 3h
Compare that to the playoffs last season, when the Knicks didn't have guards that could pass to Melo vs. Heat. They used 24.8 iso's then.

Couper Moorhead ?@CoupNBA 3h
Further, those 26.6 isolations per game for NYK would be the most for any playoff team since at least 2004 (as far back as Synergy goes).

Couper Moorhead ?@CoupNBA 3h
Also, those 26.6 isolations per game? The Knicks are scoring .707 points per possession with them. Lowest of any playoff team.


I doubt Melo is the only culprit though.
   87. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4432056)
Miami is going to have to fight through some tough series one way or another. There is no guarantee of their health either.


If Bulls win, the next series will be a fight. Regardless of whether the Bulls are any threat to win the series, it will literally be a fight, and Miami may be bruised up going to the ECF. Would not surprise me at all if when they get to the ECF, they'll have to face Boston again. Which reminds me of the worst part about the Knick's antics: What does a funeral mean to the undead? Boston was written off so many times last season and somehow they make it one game away from playing in the finals. You have to put a stake through the heart, fill the mouth with holy wafers, immerse them in running water on a bright sunny day. And then hope they don't start crawling after you, find an improbable bounce to an unsuspecting player who chucks it up for 3 points.

In the west, San Antonio - Memphis is as the most likely as a WCF matchup, thanks to all the injuries, but there's no reason to think injuries are done. It would not take much to derail Memphis - a Mike Conley injury would pretty much render them unable to score points.
   88. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4432059)
I doubt Melo is the only culprit though.


No, but he's by far the biggest one. What is this synergy I see people referring to? Is this a site that we can access or is it only for teams/reporters/subscribers?
   89. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4432075)
He'll have the Westbrook injury to shield some of the criticism, but OKC is falling apart. They've looked totally lost, and even without Westbrook, they should be able to put Houston away. I've always thought Brooks gets a bit too much credit, this series isn't changing that.
Brooks deserves credit for getting that team to where it's gotten to — the Finals is a pretty big deal — but he's never been the greatest guy when it comes to in-game strategy. When Durant and Westbrook are on the floor, that's usually not a big deal, but Brooks was just awful last night, terrible, terrible.
   90. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4432076)
I've been trying hard to stay positive about this years playoffs, but really, when was the last time one team had to be considered such an overwhelming favorite to take home the title? The 1996 Bulls?


I think a couple more games from Miami will make this more apparent. Even without Wade, I'll take the Heat in any series, and as title favorites (but I'm not sure if I'd pick them over the field). I think LeBron & Bosh is enough, with their vastly improved and somewhat underrated supporting cast.
   91. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4432077)
If Bulls win, the next series will be a fight. Regardless of whether the Bulls are any threat to win the series, it will literally be a fight, and Miami may be bruised up going to the ECF. Would not surprise me at all if when they get to the ECF, they'll have to face Boston again.

Well, I still think it'll be a surprise if the Celtics win this series, much less beat Indiana*. And Indiana is the team that will really try to physically beat on Miami.

*That Pacers/Hawks series is the least interesting bonkers series I can remember in some time.

What is this synergy I see people referring to?

Synergy.
   92. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4432080)
Is this a site that we can access or is it only for teams/reporters/subscribers?

Both (there are different levels of access). It's also great - costs $45.
http://mysynergysports.com/
   93. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4432082)
Remember the criticism of LeBron a few years ago, he passed too much in the 4th?


And before that, pounded the ball into the wood outside the 3-point circle, waiting for all 5 defenders to get into the lane.

Its interesting that Anthony falls back to jumpers, even after seeing LeBron be devastating in the post, and playing more PF this year himself.
   94. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4432098)
Thanks guys. I might just have to subscribe.

Its interesting that Anthony falls back to jumpers, even after seeing LeBron be devastating in the post, and playing more PF this year himself.


Yeah, it just seems too obvious a solution. If he did that not only could he be shooting some free throws, but getting some of the opponents in foul trouble too. But Carmelo's solution to a shot not falling is to try a tougher shot.

I think a couple more games from Miami will make this more apparent. Even without Wade, I'll take the Heat in any series, and as title favorites (but I'm not sure if I'd pick them over the field). I think LeBron & Bosh is enough, with their vastly improved and somewhat underrated supporting cast.


I think I'm pretty close to picking Miami over the field. As they sit back, relax and rest, and watch everyone else get hurt.
   95. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4432105)
I would take Miami over the field, with Westbrook out. And I find this not a good thing. Oh well.
   96. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4432111)
I can see BOS, CHI, IND and NYK taking MIA to 6 games in the East. I can see MEM or SAS beating MIA in a potential Finals matchup.
   97. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4432122)
BOS, CHI, IND and NYK taking MIA to 6 games


No, No, Yes, No, IMO. Unless you're assuming no Wade or a very limited Wade.
   98. NJ in DC Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4432125)
No, No, Yes, No, IMO. Unless you're assuming no Wade or a very limited Wade.

BOS and CHI always give MIA trouble. Don't see the leap there. NY's playing styles matches well against MIA's weaknesses. As for IND, I have absolutely no idea how/why one could see IND giving MIA trouble but can't see the same with the Knicks. Perhaps I'm being a sensitive Knicks fan but it seems that Indiana is overrated and New York is underrated at this point (says the guy who was probably higher than most on IND heading into the season).

Where the hell are the award results?!
   99. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4432150)
I think sentiment here is waaaaay overreacting to the DEN-GSW series. While the playoffs are probably more relevant in basketball than in baseball at assessing team quality relative to the regular season, 7 games is still not that long a series and winning 3 out of 5 games (one road win) and scoring 10 more buckets over 5 games does not mean *that* much. Gallinari is injured, which hurts, and Bogut is back, which helps, but there is a lot of randomness here. I don't think the W's are contenders. Even if we give them a healthy Bogut and play this season out 100 times, I doubt they win more than 1 title at most.

Granted, I don't think the Gallo-less Nuggets are really contenders either, but I think folks are overreacting to a small sample size. FWIW, Vegas has the Nuggets favored by 2.5 in Oakland tonight, so that tells you what the market thinks.
   100. AROM Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4432172)
I have been impressed by GSW and especially Curry, but I don't think they are better than Denver. At this point I'd pick them to win the series only because winning one game is easier than winning two.
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