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Friday, November 01, 2013

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - November 2013

Welcome to the 2013-14 NBA season!

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: trolling.

The District Attorney Posted: November 01, 2013 at 02:49 PM | 1127 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   201. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 06, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4595003)
Apparently ORL might be able to get either their choice of either the DEN or NYK first rounder (in addition to their pick). Not sure. I'm assuming this has to do with the Iggy trade.
   202. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4595014)
Assuming Chandler comes back on 12/23 and eyeballing the schedule, I have the Knicks going 9-12 in his absence, which puts them at 10-15 about 1/3 through the season, which leaves room to come back and make the playoffs. Reasonable worst case scenario for that stretch is 5-16, which would put them at 6-19. THAT would probably mean no playoffs. Of course, this assumes no one else goes down and that Chandler comes back in 6 weeks with no complications.

Considering there was semi-serious, non-STEAGLES discussion* about the Sixers maybe having a shot at the playoffs, I don't see any reason why the Knicks would be out of contention even if they go 5-16. Remember the bb-pro projections had the 7th and 8th seeds in the east at like 8 games under .500.

*Ok, maybe it was just me, and only half-serious.
   203. just plain joe Posted: November 06, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4595015)
Jazz are doing 4 games in 5 nights this week too. 4 different cities, all on the road. Gonna be a painful week. *


This has long been a "feature" of the NBA schedule, especially for teams located on either coast. I was in California for a few years back in the seventies and followed the Warriors. It seemed to be SOP for a team like the Celtics to play Wednesday in Seattle, Thursday in Portland, Friday in Oakland, have Saturday off, play in LA on Sunday and then finish with San Diego Clippers on Monday. The same thing happened in reverse for the Warriors; they would make an East coast swing and play in Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and maybe Atlanta on the same trip. Teams complained out it then as well; I always assumed that this schedule was an attempt to lessen team travel costs.
   204. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4595018)
Bulls/Pacers should be a good one tonight, BTW. Already played two close, hard fought games in the preseason that both teams tried to win (starters in at the ends, fouling, etc). Bulls won both of those, but they were close, and Derrick Rose wasn't sucky then.
   205. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 06, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4595020)
[202] 5-16 leaves them at 6-19. To win 37 games (and finish 8 under .500) they would need to go 31-26 or a 45 win clip over a full season. I can't remember exactly where the projection systems had them prior to this season but I believe it was below that.
   206. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 06, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4595032)
Phoenix media getting grouchy at the Suns for having the nerve to win.
   207. rr Posted: November 06, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4595040)
Jazz are doing 4 games in 5 nights this week too. 4 different cities, all on the road


Houston just did that, although one was at home, I think, and went 3-1. Their win over Portland last night was a very simple object lesson/reminder in why you want stars: 4th game in 5 nights, on the road, decent opponent. Howard and Harden combined for 62 points, going a combined 21/31 from the floor, and both made big plays late.

Portland has some good players, and their bench is much better, but as noted, they have some problems with D.
   208. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 06, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4595041)
Howard and Harden combined for 62 points, going a combined 21/31 from the floor, and both made big plays late.

And about 25 turnovers, approximately.

Houston is gonig to end up playing 9 games in 14 days over the first 2 weeks of November. That seems like a lot but I have no comparison point for how common that sort of strech is.
   209. rr Posted: November 06, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4595044)
And about 25 turnovers, approximately.


Well, we talked about Houston's ball security issues yesterday. Might bite them in the playoffs. I said before the season that the West may hinge on which contender can make a nice in-season move, since all of them have a hole or two. I think it might be more exciting with no moves made--several interesting teams, none of which is bulletproof, going at it. We will see. But I could see one of them making a Rasheed 2004 or Pau 2008 kind of move that puts that team in the driver's seat.
   210. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4595057)
Outside of Rose, I haven't really looked at stats yet to see how players are doing. Still too soon. But this was somewhat eye-popping to see:

George's play (remember: it's only been four games!) has been pretty phenomenal. He's averaging 27 points and 8.8 rebounds a game. He's shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 45.2 percent on an insane 7.8 attempts from three-point range. He's averaging 6.3 free throw attempts, nearly three more than last season.


So yeah, if he does that he's a top player and the Pacers don't have as many questions about their offense. It'll come down, though, I wonder how much (and hopefully starting tonight).
   211. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4595061)
It will be played without the neck tape Rose has used to support his sore neck the last two games. Rose said the NBA told him he had to stop wearing the tape.

"I swear I don't know," Rose said, when asked why.


Really? But they had no problems with Wade's ridiculous leggings from a couple years back? That seems like something the NFL would do.
   212. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4595064)
Also seems like quotes like these would previously be cleaned up by the Trib, but weren't:

"Oh hell nah," Rose said, when asked if he thought he'd struggle to open the season.


"Just try to be aggressive," Noah said. "Try to front his big ass as much as possible and make him run around."
   213. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 06, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4595084)
"front his big ass"


pickup game with Mark Aguirre?
   214. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 06, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4595090)
Really? But they had no problems with Wade's ridiculous leggings from a couple years back? That seems like something the NFL would do.

The NBA's done stuff like this in the past. Wasn't there an issue with Rondo wearing his headband upside down or something?

[210] Didn't want to say anything for fear of jinxing our guy, though obviously your allegiance is complicated.
   215. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 06, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4595113)
Woodson got on the radio today and said something along the lines of "it's been proven since I've been here that the small lineup PROBABLY works." Emphasis mine.

In other news, the Knicks' new lineup with Bargnani at the 5 and Melo at the 4 should provide lots of comedic value.
   216. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4595120)
The NBA's done stuff like this in the past. Wasn't there an issue with Rondo wearing his headband upside down or something?

That sounds right, but makes sense. What could possibly be the explanation here? "You look stupid and that tape probably doesn't do anything anyway"?
   217. aberg Posted: November 06, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4595121)
Portland has some good players, and their bench is much better, but as noted, they have some problems with D.


The NBA.com boxscore for that game inverted the headings for the fouls and blocks category, so I briefly thought each of Portland's frontcourt players finished with 4-5 blocks and they had upwards of 30 as a team.


Well, we talked about Houston's ball security issues yesterday. Might bite them in the playoffs. I said before the season that the West may hinge on which contender can make a nice in-season move, since all of them have a hole or two


The Warriors' ball security is also a serious issue, as is the Clippers' interior defense and the Grizzlies' shooting. The fact that 4/6 teams considered contenders in the west have such glaring issues really does support the argument that we are going to see some changes before the postseason.

A couple of stray observations from last night:

-I think James Harden is in sub-optimal shape. I do not have any definitive proof, but consider the circumstantial evidence- his defensive effort is lacking and became notably worse when he had to play more minutes and he has a reputation as a guy who likes to party.

-Cody Zeller's floor is a less intuitive, longer version of Nick Collison. Sorry for the white-on-white comparison.

-Denver is a mess. They're supposed to be able to wear teams down with their homecourt altitude, but San Antonio looked comfortable during their comeback in the fourth while Denver completely failed to protect the ball.

-Ben McLemore is a better fit in the NBA with open spacing and a faster pace. He is a smarter player than he got credit for at Kansas.

-Luis Scola helps to mitigate the absence of a real creator on Indy's second unit because he has nifty ways to score from a few places on the floor. He's not a point-forward by any means, but he can generate baskets against a set defense in the half court.

-As much as I love Anthony Davis, he is being asked to do A LOT in New Orleans right now. He and Holiday stood out as the only guys who did anything with the ball in their hands last night against a poor opponent. I think they might have been better off making no splashes this offseason (keeping Noel and Vasquez) and waiting until he showed his progression to start adding pieces around him.
   218. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4595122)
Great breakdown of the Bulls' offensive problems so far (beyond Rose sucking) and why it probably isn't something to worry about.
   219. Larvell B Posted: November 06, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4595126)
No. No franchise makes all of those who aren't fans of that franchise laugh as much.

When you take into account the small number of decisions and the high-leverage impact of nearly all of them in pro basketball, and mix it with Dolan's eccentricities, meddling, vindictiveness and general putridity as an owner, the Knicks could literally be the worst organization in pro sports.

Keep in mind that this going-absolutely-nowhere-with-a-mortgaged-future product is where they've wound up after having enough cap room for two max free agents and all their draft picks in hand a mere three years ago -- the summer of the best free agent class in NBA history.

And they've traded Donnie Walsh for Steve Mills in the GM chair since then. You almost have to be doing it on purpose to #### things up this badly.
   220. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 06, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4595128)
I think James Harden is in sub-optimal shape. I do not have any definitive proof, but consider the circumstantial evidence- his defensive effort is lacking and became notably worse when he had to play more minutes and he has a reputation as a guy who likes to party.

Not sure what you mean.

Cody Zeller's floor is a less intuitive, longer version of Nick Collison. Sorry for the white-on-white comparison.

He caught my eye a few times in the game last night. He had trouble keeping guys in front of him, seemed slow laterally, but was shockingly fast end to end. Also seemed to have a good touch from mid range and solid moves near the basket. I was impressed overall.
   221. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4595137)
He caught my eye a few times in the game last night. He had trouble keeping guys in front of him, seemed slow laterally, but was shockingly fast end to end. Also seemed to have a good touch from mid range and solid moves near the basket. I was impressed overall.

I think his offense is better than his defense. Wouldn't that make Collison a poor comp?
   222. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 06, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4595142)
You almost have to be doing it on purpose to #### things up this badly.
The Sports Illustrated feature on Dolan from a few years ago, the word almost everyone (anonymously) used to describe him: stupid.
   223. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 06, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4595143)
What could possibly be the explanation here? "You look stupid and that tape probably doesn't do anything anyway"?

You're not allowed to wear your headband upside down seems just as ridiculous to me. Regarding the usefulness angle, I (again) half remember Cuban making a big fuss about how happy he was that the NBA stopped endorsing those energy bracelet things or whatever that don't do anything.
   224. aberg Posted: November 06, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4595144)
I think his offense is better than his defense. Wouldn't that make Collison a poor comp?


I try not to judge rookies too harshly on their assimilation into the team defense, but I think he has the physical tools and understanding of the game to pick it up fairly quickly.
   225. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4595149)
You're not allowed to wear your headband upside down seems just as ridiculous to me.

I'm not saying I agree (cause I don't), but at least there you can say the NBA is trying to advertise their brand/products/whatever.

I (again) half remember Cuban making a big fuss about how happy he was that the NBA stopped endorsing those energy bracelet things or whatever that don't do anything.

I watch Shark Tank, and Cuban has ranted about that several times on the show for any products in that vein. For example.
   226. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 06, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4595215)
More on the neck tape:

However, Dr. Kenzo Kase, the Japanese inventor who developed the tape more than 30 years ago, has admitted that although he believes in its healing powers, no scientific evidence supports his claims.

"Your pain sensors are located between the epidermis and the dermis, the first and second layers of your skin," Kase told the Guardian. "I thought that if I applied tape to the pain it would lift the epidermis slightly up and make a space between the two layers. This would in turn allow blood to flow more easily to the injured area. But you can use the tape in lots of ways, depending on the width and the amount of stretch.


Oh, and now they're letting him wear it.

Someone has too much time on their hands.
   227. RollingWave Posted: November 06, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4595266)
apparently that's a super star thing, since I saw Patrick Patterson complain that when he first saw Rose wore it that he wore it once too and immediately the NBA told him not to.

As for turnover issues on the Rockets and Warrior part, I'm not sure how a trade could possibly change that. Given that the biggest offenders for each team is you know... James Harden and Steph Curry. And trading for guys your even less familiar with can't help matters.

Also, report of Larry Sanders being suspended due to bar fight, oh god this is turning into a god awful season for him quickly.
   228. Publius Publicola Posted: November 06, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4595300)
CJ Watson just delivered a dagger 3. Pacers look tough.
   229. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 06, 2013 at 09:42 PM (#4595311)
Also, report of Larry Sanders being suspended due to bar fight, oh god this is turning into a god awful season for him quickly.


Whoa, the story at that link is no joke. From the article:

A fight where Sanders allegedly threw punches and broke champagne bottles over the heads of people while security tried to break up the fight.


Not good if true.
   230. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 06, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4595337)
So I got some last minute tickets to the Wolves v Warriors game (Free even). Blech. The wolves looked terrible on offense and defense. They would play OK in bursts and then there would be huge breakdowns. Trying not to let one game bias me overly, but ...
   231. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: November 06, 2013 at 11:24 PM (#4595344)
I believe his name is spelled "LARRY SANDERS??!??:-("
   232. RollingWave Posted: November 07, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4595371)
In the battle of Kursk today between Boston and Utah, both team pulled out all the stops as Boston started Jordan Crawford at PG and Utah one upped them with a 8 point quarter.

   233. Publius Publicola Posted: November 07, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4595399)
What's even more disturbing is that Boston won for the first time by inserting Crawford at point.

I feel really, really bad for Utah fans.
   234. Rally Posted: November 07, 2013 at 08:42 AM (#4595409)
If the alternative is Bradley at point, then Crawford can't possibly be much worse.
   235. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 07, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4595488)
CJ Watson just delivered a dagger 3. Pacers look tough.

The downgrade the Bulls made from Watson to Hinrich has been very noticeable. The Bulls would have had to pay Watson $3.2mil last season if they'd picked up his option (he made just under $1mil with BKN, and signed a 2yr/$4mil deal with Indy this past offseason). Instead, they gave Hinrich a 2yr$8mil deal last year and hard capped themselves (since they're so tax averse, that also means they paid more in tax by having Hinrich instead). A terrible transaction all around, due to an overreaction to a bad playoff series vs Philly after Rose's injury and the Bulls' inexplicable love of Hinrich (who they probably wish they never traded in the first place). It's even worse when part of the reason the Bulls said they preferred Hinrich was because they thought he could play better alongside Rose, and if not for the emergence of Butler, Hinrich would probably be starting at SG this year.

As for last night, it was equally sloppy and tough for both teams for just over 3 quarters, and then the Pacers stopped playing sloppy and stopped missing and the Bulls got even sloppier (those 2 Rose TOs were killer). I thought Thibs stuck with the backups and Rose/Noah on the bench for way too long in the 4th. Then again, Noah was awful after the first 5 minutes and got totally dominated by Hibbert. The Bulls played like they were scared of Hibbert all night, so credit to him. Rose looked good early, and got progressively worse. That's a good win for Indy, especially with Hill out.
   236. Booey Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4595529)
I feel really, really bad for Utah fans.


Eh, the season is going pretty much as we all expected. Our young core is finally getting PT and doing well (50 pts on over 50% shooting with 17 boards for Hayward/Kanter last night), while we're still positioning ourselves for a good pick and potential star in the draft. We knew from the beginning this season was going to be ugly in the short term but critical to our long term future.

It's like 2005; the 26-56 season was painful to sit through, but it netted us D-Will, and just two years later we were in the conference finals. The 52 wins a year and 4 playoff series victories from 2007-2010 was a direct result of that one awful season.

Next year, Wiggins should fit nicely into our now experienced Hayward/Favors/Kanter core. :-) Throw in a real coach and some actual NBA caliber reserves we'll be able to afford since the Jefferson/Biedrins contracts will be coming off the books, and our potential future looks pretty good to me.
   237. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4595543)
[236] Oh, how I wish I could have this.
   238. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4595579)
I am a bit confused on a couple of the plays from last night.

I don't understand how Rose was called for a clear path foul on the deep throw to Watson. One, Watson didn't have the ball. Two, I'm not even sure it should be a foul at all, it looks like their feet got tangled. But they went to replay and confirmed it. The rule:

two free throw attempts and possession of the ball on the sideline nearest the spot where play was interrupted if an offensive player, or a teammate, is fouled while having a clear-path-to-the-basket. The ball and an offensive player must be positioned between the tip-of-circle extended in the backcourt and the basket in the
frontcourt, with no defender between the ball and the basket when the personal foul occurs. However, if a defender is ahead of the player being fouled and has the opportunity to position himself between the ball and the basket, there is no clear path foul. Additionally, if the defensive player who commits the foul is ahead of the player with the ball who he fouls when that offensive player enters the frontcourt, no clear path has occurred regardless if he is fouled from behind or on the side. There must be team possession and the new play must originate in the backcourt, including throw-ins, and the offended team must be deprived of an opportunity to score.


It doesn't clearly state you have to have possession (it says "team possession", which applies since it was on a pass), but I thought that was implied. The clarification from this year:

On clear path to the basket fouls, it will no longer be considered a clear path foul if at any point before the foul is committed, the defender who commits the foul is positioned ahead of the offensive player in the frontcourt.


That doesn't apply to this play.

Anywho, the refs didn't call a single delay of game penalty on either team, though there were ample opportunities for both. One play involved a Pacer dropping the ball so quickly in an attempt to avoid the call, the ball rolled past the stanchion and should have definitely been called even before this year's emphasis.
   239. aberg Posted: November 07, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4595616)
So I got some last minute tickets to the Wolves v Warriors game (Free even). Blech. The wolves looked terrible on offense and defense. They would play OK in bursts and then there would be huge breakdowns. Trying not to let one game bias me overly, but ...


Yeah, the Wolves were baaaaaaad last night. Bogut played a great game- he was agile and quick to go with his size. That really messed up Pek around the basket and Rubio trying to get inside to create for others. Rubio continues to play in a funk. Love and Martin were their normal selves, but they need more than two guys playing ok offensively to compete with a team with GS's offensive firepower. Bad matchup and a bad performance, but I don't think it's the end of the world.
   240. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 07, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4595805)
Rubio continues to play in a funk.


A friend I went with last night declared he was done with Rubio. Never plays well and not impressive I declared. I admit I had a hard time defending Rickey, despite being a fan of his. Oh well.
   241. Publius Publicola Posted: November 07, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4595951)
I don't think he's been the same since the knee injury. He's kind of slow and unathletic now. When he crosses over, the defender can still stay with him. And I think the knee injury is in his head, and it's affecting his play.
   242. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4595966)
[241] I just think he can't shoot and the rest of his issues stem from that.

EDIT: Which is to say Rubio is as good/bad/indifferent as ever in my mind. The knee injury affected him early last year, but he got his groove back towards the end of the season. Since he can't shoot he's just going to have these really ugly/dispiriting games/stretches every now and then.
   243. kpelton Posted: November 07, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4595971)
This is the same Ricky Rubio that had 31 assists and 11 steals in their 3-0 start?
   244. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 07, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4595977)
I just think he can't shoot and the rest of his issues stem from that.


I Rickey became even a good shooter he would be, well one of the best players in the league. In my fantasy life he improves as much as Love did and then ... well then I wake up :(

Seriously though I do love Rubio's game, but the shooting is a problem. And yes his defense and passing ability is exactly why I love him so.
   245. rr Posted: November 07, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4595985)
but I don't think it's the end of the world.


Seen Minnesota twice; I still see them as a 6-7 seed with normal injury luck.
   246. The District Attorney Posted: November 07, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4595987)
Goldsberry:
through five games, [Monta] Ellis looks like a different player, and if this keeps up — and I hope it does — I think it has the potential to present a scathing indictment on the state of NBA analytics...

A few decades ago baseball sabermetrics had its revolution in part because analysts realized the game was only technically a team sport, and that it was more aptly dissected as a sequence of outcomes that involve sovereign performers competing in one-on-one encounters. But basketball exhibits the exact opposite nature and is in desperate need of a very different kind of analytical revolution. Unlike home runs or strikeouts, almost every basket, made or missed, in the NBA is the product of teamwork — coordinated and connected actions by multiple actors behaving (or in some cases, attempting to behave) as a unit. As a result, every basketball analysis that fails to account for the natural ecology of the game is inherently flawed — and to this point, almost all “advanced” analyses make no such ecological considerations.

There’s no way to accurately characterize an individual basketball player without considering his situational habitat.
Umm, yeah. I thought that was the problem that the advanced stats were supposed to be solving to begin with. Is this really just occurring to us now??
   247. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4595992)
[246] Normally love Goldsberry's work but this struck me as...odd. A lot of the Basketball Twitter folks I follow agreed that Goldsberry is kind of beating up a straw man here.
   248. Publius Publicola Posted: November 07, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4595998)
The other thing I notice about Rubio's jumper is that he holds the ball too low and the trajectory is too flat. I think he's watching the ball instead of the rim when he releases. He has to break himself of that habit.

Reggie Miller says he looked at the ball instead of the rim when he shot, which boggles my mind.
   249. aberg Posted: November 07, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4596000)
This is the same Ricky Rubio that had 31 assists and 11 steals in their 3-0 start?


Exactly. That's why I'm not freaking out. He was outstanding for 2.5 games and has struggled for 2.5 games since then. I disagree with PP's assertion that he has been different since the knee injury because he was distinctly better and played his best NBA ball in the last 30 games or so last season. It bothers me that he is on a bad run right now, but it is overly visible because it is so early in the season. It's the inverse of Chris Shelton or Kelly Johnson leading the league in April HRs.

[246] Normally love Goldsberry's work but this struck me as...odd. A lot of the Basketball Twitter folks I follow agreed that Goldsberry is kind of beating up a straw man here.


No kidding. There is a big difference between saying that the analytics community evaluated Ellis's play over the last few years as poor and saying that the analytics community did not know Ellis could be good.

Also, it's 5 games, he's turning the ball over 4.4 times each game, and the only area of "improvement" is in shooting percentages. We'll see if that continues or he goes back to his old ways of shot selection and execution.
   250. Manny Coon Posted: November 07, 2013 at 07:10 PM (#4596076)
Normally love Goldsberry's work but this struck me as...odd. A lot of the Basketball Twitter folks I follow agreed that Goldsberry is kind of beating up a straw man here.


I don't think it's a complete strawman, the WP fanatics still act like context is unimportant and they have pretty loud voice for some reason, even if most good analysts have clearly rejected it.
   251. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: November 07, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4596084)
Good point, manny
   252. RollingWave Posted: November 07, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4596090)
From casual observation player's profile rarely change that much outside of initial improvement periods and / or injury related stuff. The one exception to the rule is when they play with top 5 type players.

(Which Ellis is doing now.)

   253. rr Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4596177)
I don't know that I remember seeing a team shoot 78% on 3s for a half before. Houston will still probably win the game.
   254. aberg Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4596186)
The fact that Miami can beat good teams with Lebron in total coast through the regular season mode is impressive.

Blake got lots of unnecessary crap from Reggie and Greg Anthony tonight. He kept them in the game.

Houston's such a work in progress. The games count, but I think these early games mean more for our narrative perception of teams than their actual title hopes.
   255. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:13 AM (#4596196)
[254] Before we call LeBron out for coasting:
"I'm doing everything I can to get back to my normal self," James said after the game. "I've had a history of (back issues), but I always keep a good eye on it."

James has played in all six of the Heat's games this season and heading into Thursday's action had averaged 25.6 points, 8.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 58 percent from the floor.

"The good thing about it," James said, "is that it's not the first time I've had a back issue so I should be all right."
   256. aberg Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4596200)
Yeah, I noticed his heat wrap. Whether his inactivity is intentional or not, good job by the other Heats.
   257. aberg Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4596203)
Those laker sgs do it every time.
   258. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4596204)
Ah, such a sweet victory for us Dwight haters. Make your free throws, assclown.
   259. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:38 AM (#4596206)
I don't wanna pile on, but... I'm lying. Suck it, D12.
   260. rr Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4596207)
Howard 5/16 at the line. Lakers fans will enjoy the karma on this one. Don't think it means much big-picture, but Howard is always an issue late in close games.

   261. RollingWave Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:49 AM (#4596208)
They might wanna put Asik in for that 5 min to 2 min stretch.

But it's an all around awful game for Houston, I'm starting to get a little worried bout Chandler Parsons, he's trying to do too much now.
   262. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:52 AM (#4596209)
They might wanna put Asik in for that 5 min to 2 min stretch

He's also a terrible FT shooter so all you're really doing is increasing TO likelihood given the...quality...of Asik's hands.
   263. rr Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4596210)
Houston's such a work in progress. The games count, but I think these early games mean more for our narrative perception of teams than their actual title hopes.


Yes and no. Howard's missing a bunch of FTs is not something that is going to change; I don't see anyone on Houston who seems way off his game, except maybe Parsons from the arc. Harden had an off night from the field, but he still got to the line 16 times and scored 35. If by "work in progress" you mean "Morey might improve the roster" then I agree. I do agree that this loss does not reflect much, if at all, on any hopes Houston has for a long playoff run. Houston is 4-2 with a nice point differential. That seems to me to be who they are. They had an off night from the arc and they lost to a far less talented team. It will happen again.

And, fun as it was for Lakers fans, this really doesn't help the Lakers. It means D'Antoni will keep starting Steve Blake at the 2 until Kobe come back, and it may be a win that fools people for awhile. Guys like Henry, Johnson, Meeks and Farmar will go up and down; how the Lakers look on a given night will depend on how many of them are "up" and how many 3s drop. I think the bad nights will outnumber the good. 2 of the Lakers' 3 wins are by one point, and Blake probably hits that shot 25% of the time.

That said, Howard can in fact suck it, just for tonight.
   264. tshipman Posted: November 08, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4596211)
I'd like to note that Houston lost despite being +37 (!) in FT attempts.
   265. rr Posted: November 08, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4596212)
Wade really stepped up, and credit to him. But as amazing as James is physically, his having lower back trouble this early would worry me a little if I were a Heat fan.

And yes, I only saw about 35% of the game, but the TNT guys gave Blake Griffin way too much crap IMO.
   266. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: November 08, 2013 at 01:16 AM (#4596213)
And, fun as it was for Lakers fans, this really doesn't help the Lakers. It means D'Antoni will keep starting Steve Blake at the 2 until Kobe come back,


I'm not a Laker fan, just a Dwight hater, so ... this is a win-win for me.
   267. RollingWave Posted: November 08, 2013 at 01:24 AM (#4596215)
Well Garcia was stone cold from 3 as well, which didn't help matters when the entire Lakers team had a midas touch, some of it was bad D on the Rockets part, but they were also draining closed out 3s.

As for Asik, he's been much more consistent from the line since last year. As for turnover, when he's there they won't throw him the ball anyway, which may actually make the team less TO prone than risking going to Howard. who while have much less trouble catching the ball, does in fact turn it over at an absurd rate when he try to do anything with it.
   268. Maxwn Posted: November 08, 2013 at 02:19 AM (#4596220)
As for turnover, when he's there they won't throw him the ball anyway, which may actually make the team less TO prone than risking going to Howard. who while have much less trouble catching the ball, does in fact turn it over at an absurd rate when he try to do anything with it.

I am skeptical of this hypothesis. I feel like the negative effect on turnovers from we're spotting the other team one whole guy that they don't really have to guard probably outweighs the positive effect from we have one guy who can't turn the ball over because we don't throw it to him. I guess i could be wrong though.
   269. aberg Posted: November 08, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4596365)
If by "work in progress" you mean "Morey might improve the roster" then I agree.


One way or the other, the rotation they are using now will not be the rotation they are using in the playoffs. As Kerr pointed out last night, you don't need +/- to tell you that Howard/Asik do not work together. I was on board with the idea that having Asik as the backup center was worth a lot in terms of not falling off defensively when Howard leaves the floor, but I think we're seeing that they give back even more offensively when they share the court. They either need to just use Asik in a backup role (which is not optimal because he's too useful to be a 12 MPG player) or trade him for a player who can play with Howard.
   270. rr Posted: November 08, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4596374)
They either need to just use Asik in a backup role (which is not optimal because he's too useful to be a 12 MPG player) or trade him for a player who can play with Howard.


I mostly agree with that, and I checked out a Rockets' blog last night, and they said the same thing. Neither Howard/Gasol nor Howard/Hill (Hill is basically a 15 MPG smallball center) worked all that well for the Lakers; Howard's game is such that his effectiveness is diminished when he plays with another guy who is best around the basket. Herman Munster apparently doesn't trust either Montiejunas or Jones, and I do not know enough about either player to disagree with him, so since he sees them all the time, I will assume that he is right.

But, I do think that both Houston and the Clippers each need to make one personnel move to get their teams where they want them to go. The Clippers simply lack good defenders.
   271. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 08, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4596379)
McHale reminds me of D'antoni where he has "his guys" and if you're not one of them...there's very little patience for you in terms of getting minutes. Makes it hard for guys like Jones to break in or, if they do get into the rotation, there's a short leash on them as far as mistakes/effectiveness (Lin).
   272. Yardape Posted: November 08, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4596384)
The Clippers simply lack good defenders.


Yeah, Asik would fit with the Clippers. Not only do the Clippers lack defenders, they lack post depth in general (the two go hand-in-hand, of course). Of course, Asik and Jordan would be a pretty bad combination too, so you'd have a mini-version of Houston's problem.
   273. The District Attorney Posted: November 08, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4596387)
It's tough to trade Asik when you need a very specific player: A) a stretch 4 who is B) very good. If not Ryan Anderson, who are you going to get? Ilyasova's one. Anyone else?

I was telling my Rocket fan friend that I'd start Beverley PG, Casspi PF. Start out with that old-Orlando approach of four three-point shooters (well, really three, but you're not gonna bench Harden) plus Dwight. Even if Casspi is "a worse player" than Montejunas/Jones, I think it's more synergistic to have a teamwide strategy that you're attempting to execute. Then you try to give Lin 25 minutes that overlap as little as possible with Harden (although of course they won't entirely overlap since Harden is playing 35 minutes a game), and Asik 25 minutes that overlap as little as possible with Howard (ditto).

EDIT: Wait, they kind of do this? They only played eight guys last game, and one of them was Casspi? Well, carry on, I suppose.
   274. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4596403)
The Clippers simply lack good defenders.
When/if the Suns training staff does its usual miracle work on Okafor, at the trade deadline the Clips would be stupid not to get him by any means available.
   275. aberg Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4596404)
It's tough to trade Asik when you need a very specific player: A) a stretch 4 who is B) very good. If not Ryan Anderson, who are you going to get? Ilyasova's one. Anyone else?


Just thinking of other guys who could play in Houston's lineup and be a better fit- Paul Millsap, Brandon Bass (not good enough by himself, but he'd fit), Kirilenko, Derrick Williams, Thad Young, Gallinari, Patrick Patterson again, Mark Morris.
   276. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 08, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4596408)
If the Rockets are looking for a stretch big, Channing Frye can be had.
   277. JC in DC Posted: November 08, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4596490)
I don't think I've ever been as uninterested in the NBA as I am now. It's a combination of smaller things, and one big one: the Knicks repulse me. I hate them. There's no one, except Iman, that I remotely care about. I hate 'Melo. Hate his game, his attitude, his BS. I empathize with Amare, but he can't play anymore. There is no hope for this team. No hope in anything they've done. I try to conjure interest in other teams (SA, Indiana, even Boston), but I can't do it.
   278. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: November 08, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4596504)
I don't think I've ever been as uninterested in the NBA as I am now. It's a combination of smaller things, and one big one: the Knicks repulse me. I hate them. There's no one, except Iman, that I remotely care about. I hate 'Melo. Hate his game, his attitude, his BS. I empathize with Amare, but he can't play anymore. There is no hope for this team. No hope in anything they've done. I try to conjure interest in other teams (SA, Indiana, even Boston), but I can't do it.


Wolves!
   279. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 08, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4596515)
Wolves!


Room on this bandwagon. Always room.
   280. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: November 08, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4596537)
I hate 'Melo. Hate his game, his attitude, his BS. I empathize with Amare, but he can't play anymore. There is no hope for this team. No hope in anything they've done. I try to conjure interest in other teams (SA, Indiana, even Boston), but I can't do it.

My hope is that the Knicks will be so bad this year that he decides he can't take more of this and bolts town.
   281. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 08, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4596545)
Seeing the Knicks in such disarray warms my heart. Anything that brings ridicule upon Dolan is A-OK by me.
   282. rr Posted: November 08, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4596561)
Melo


The Lakers will have cap space; there has already been low-level spec about it.
   283. Kurt Posted: November 08, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4596563)
I don't think I've ever been as uninterested in the NBA as I am now. It's a combination of smaller things, and one big one: the Knicks repulse me. I hate them


I grew up a Knicks fan, and that's exactly what happened to me, in the days of Sprewell.
   284. rr Posted: November 08, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4596569)
I try to conjure interest in other teams


The Lakers don't repulse me, but they are in bad shape and not that interesting. I root for Memphis when they are not playing the Lakers. Minnesota has a pretty fun team.
   285. aberg Posted: November 08, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4596580)
The Bucks are fun, too.
   286. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: November 08, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4596586)
Wizards! We got John Wall on the violin, Beal and Martell will be joining in. We've got Booger Nene on the mean guitar and a rap by little old Marcin Gortat.. BREAK



   287. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 08, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4596595)
I get to see the Jazz lose to the Bulls tonight. Anyone have any recommendations for food or beers in the United Center?
   288. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: November 08, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4596600)
Go with the Hawks.
Millsap and Horford are easy to love, Schroeder's game is eye catching, Nogueira has all-pro hair, everybody (but me) loves Pero Antic, and no one will accuse you of bandwagoning.
   289. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 08, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4596603)
Just thinking of other guys who could play in Houston's lineup and be a better fit- Paul Millsap, Brandon Bass (not good enough by himself, but he'd fit), Kirilenko, Derrick Williams, Thad Young, Gallinari, Patrick Patterson again, Mark Morris.


Speaking of Millsap, has anyone noticed how good he has been thus far? 20 PPG, .629 TS%, PER 27.3, and WS/48 .236. If the Rockets had him instead of say Asik, I think they'd be favorites in the West.
   290. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: November 08, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4596627)
Go with the Hawks.
Millsap and Horford are easy to love, Schroeder's game is eye catching, Nogueira has all-pro hair, everybody (but me) loves Pero Antic, and no one will accuse you of bandwagoning.

Also (until last night) positive contributions for Cartier Martin and, eventually, Gustavo Ayon. Plus, there's the great feeling of self-control every time you don't mock another Hawks fan who expresses genuine concern about why John Jenkins isn't playing.
   291. Publius Publicola Posted: November 08, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4596632)
Millsap has always been good. Being in Utah, he was just flying under the radar.

I dig watching the Warriors. I love all the outside bombing and up tempo stuff.
   292. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: November 08, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4596665)
Zach Lowe has (iirc) called the Warriors the most watchable team in the league - that's probably true.

Are Hawks fans^ happy with Millsap (I don't frequent any team blogs)? Stray comments I've seen suggests that they aren't.

^ [yes, we exist.]
   293. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 08, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4596668)
Much to the surprise of everyone (including myself), the Suns are quite watchable.
   294. rr Posted: November 08, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4596678)
^ [yes, we exist.]


Just email the other six and see what they think about Millsap.
   295. aberg Posted: November 08, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4596682)
Looking through some early season stats, a few worthy of note:

Love is up to 4.4 APG so far.
Iguodala leads the league in raw +/- so far.
Anthony Davis is shooting 92% on a significant number of FTs.
Lillard is shooting more 3's than anyone and making a higher percentage than almost anyone (48.5%, better than Curry).
Sacramento has the top 2 foulers in the league (Boogie and Thompson).
Worst raw +/-: Marcus Thronton, Joakim Noah, Derek Rose.
   296. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: November 08, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4596694)
Just email the other six and see what they think about Millsap.

Oh, we don't talk to each other. If we did that, we might decide to go to a game or something.
   297. rr Posted: November 08, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4596700)
I have always liked Millsap.
   298. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: November 08, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4596725)
   299. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: November 08, 2013 at 07:35 PM (#4596769)
I think most everybody always has, robinred.

Steagles - feel free to post it here ... I can't read your link in my phone
   300. Publius Publicola Posted: November 08, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4596772)
Anthony Davis is shooting 92% on a significant number of FTs.


What's he shooting on the unsignificant ones?
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