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Sunday, April 01, 2012

OT: NBA monthly thread: April 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: JoePo leaving SI and Mike Sweeney endorsing Rick Santorum.

News link is to story on Jeremy Lin’s injury.

baudib Posted: April 01, 2012 at 05:35 PM | 2013 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. smileyy Posted: April 01, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4094412)
Sure, but who does Mike Sweetney endorse?
   2. steagles Posted: April 01, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4094423)
Sure, but who does Mike Sweetney endorse?
and what about mark sweeney? the world demands answers.
   3. steagles Posted: April 02, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4094511)
the sixers are on pace to set a few NBA records this year.

for one, they're on pace to set the record for fewest turnovers per game.

they're also on pace to set the record for fewest FT attempts per game.

and as a corollary to that, they're also on pace to set the record for fewest made FTs per game.


and all of that is in addition to leading the league in D-rating and opponents eFG%, and it's piled on top of the likely historic late game struggles that have defined the last two months of the season.

i know i'm biased, but at some point, this year's sixers team are going to make for a fantastic case study.


also, for the latest dose of excremental sixers blogging, i give you philadunkia:

I don’t know how many more times I have to say that the Sixers need a true big man. Their best bet is to tank the rest of the year to get a shot at either Jared Sullinger or John Henson in the draft. If they don’t tank then enjoy watching the team choke in big moments, consistently lack consistency, not figure out playing time, get overpowered offensively and defensively in the paint, give owner Josh Harris a full head of gray hair, sit productive players such as Nik Vucevic and Lavoy Allen for a slow/ineffective Spencer Hawes, and come draft day take another unpolished shooting guard or big man who will prove to be nothing more than a role player in the NBA. The love affair with this team is over. It was good while it lasted.
   4. baudib Posted: April 02, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4094514)
The Sixers lack a dominant big man and a dominant scorer. Their best two offensive players are bench players. I don't know if anyone ever thought they should be real contenders. Competing for a division title is very likely near best-case scenario for this group, and that shouldn't shock anyone.
   5. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 02, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4094586)
The Sixers lack a dominant big man and a dominant scorer. Their best two offensive players are bench players. I don't know if anyone ever thought they should be real contenders. Competing for a division title is very likely near best-case scenario for this group, and that shouldn't shock anyone.

Just one person did, as far I can tell.
   6. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 02, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4094602)
Are the Heat just going through a blip, or do they have real issues that are being exposed? It looks like they're not going to have home-court throughout (3.5 behind Chicago, 2.5 behind OKC). If their issue is containing penetrating point guards--the Lakers won some titles with the same deficiency, but they rarely played anyone as good as Rose and Westbrook.
   7. tshipman Posted: April 02, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4094633)
If their issue is containing penetrating point guards--the Lakers won some titles with the same deficiency, but they rarely played anyone as good as Rose and Westbrook.


Nash, Kidd, Deron Williams, all in their prime?

I don't think Miami has a significant weakness with containing penetrating point guards. I also don't *think* they need HC, but then I've picked LeBron's team to win the finals the last four years or so, so I might just be wrong about him. I think this is the year that I start jumping ship on LeBron. If he doesn't win it all this year, he's off the Basketball Mount Rushmore.
   8. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4094642)
As was the tradition, the thread link should be to the previous month's thread.
   9. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4094648)
I don't think Miami has a significant weakness with containing penetrating point guards. I also don't *think* they need HC, but then I've picked LeBron's team to win the finals the last four years or so, so I might just be wrong about him. I think this is the year that I start jumping ship on LeBron. If he doesn't win it all this year, he's off the Basketball Mount Rushmore.

I don't think they have that weakness either - I mean, they used LeBron to stop Rose in last year's playoffs and have used it this year too (I didn't see yesterday's Boston/Miami game). I also don't think they need HCA, but they are oddly 16-12 on the road. Although, now that I look at it, only the Bulls, Thunder, and Spurs have better road records; the schedule seems to really favor home teams this year. Who knows if that will have any carryover in the playoffs.

LeBron is still in his prime. So while he does need to win multiple championships to cement his place in history (or whatever), I don't know that the clock is ticking yet.
   10. Booey Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4094657)
LeBron is still in his prime. So while he does need to win multiple championships to cement his place in history (or whatever), I don't know that the clock is ticking yet.

Agreed. He's still younger than Jordan or Shaq were when they won their first titles.
   11. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4094666)
Agreed. He's still younger than Jordan or Shaq were when they won their first titles.


More mileage though-Jordan and Shaq both played 3 years of college, while LeBron played three full NBA seasons at the same age. Don't know if that matters much anymore-guys are routinely staying effective well into their 30s.

Nash, Kidd, Deron Williams, all in their prime?


Kidd never scored as much as any of the other guys. Nash is actually 2-1 against the Lakers in NBA series if I'm looking right, and the Jazz were routinely ousted by the Lakers.

Anyway, my point was that not being able to keep PGs out of the lane isn't a crippling deficiency that will keep you from winning the title.
   12. Spivey Posted: April 02, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4094692)

I don’t know how many more times I have to say that the Sixers need a true big man. Their best bet is to tank the rest of the year to get a shot at either Jared Sullinger or John Henson in the draft. If they don’t tank then enjoy watching the team choke in big moments, consistently lack consistency, not figure out playing time, get overpowered offensively and defensively in the paint, give owner Josh Harris a full head of gray hair, sit productive players such as Nik Vucevic and Lavoy Allen for a slow/ineffective Spencer Hawes, and come draft day take another unpolished shooting guard or big man who will prove to be nothing more than a role player in the NBA. The love affair with this team is over. It was good while it lasted.


I assume he's being ironic when he pines for John Henson, and then later in the paragraph says the team will probably take an unpolished big man.
   13. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 02, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4094708)
As is the idea that this was an easy game for the Thunder — ask the Heat or the Magic how they were without Rose. The Bulls were 7-2 without Rose and had held opponents to 86 per game over that stretch. OKC had 80 after 3 quarters. If Rose had played today, OKC's biggest lead would have been 16 instead of 30.

Trying to draw any conclusions or to imply anything about the quality of either team based on yesterday's game is pointless and would be inaccurate. The Bulls have also lost at home to the Nets and current Blazers without Rose; what does that tell us (they also barely beat the Raptors twice*)? The Bulls beating the Heat without Rose doesn't mean the Bulls will beat Miami with Rose, just as the Thunder absolutely destroying the Bulls without Rose doesn't mean they'd still beat the Bulls with Rose.


I wasn't drawing a conclusion about anything other than yesterday. OKC was making everything against a really tough defense; when they're having a game like that, they'll beat anybody by double digits, including a Chicago team with Rose. I know a bunch of us picked OKC to come out of the West, but I still feel like we're sleeping on just how good those guys really are.
   14. madvillain Posted: April 02, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4094744)
I know a bunch of us picked OKC to come out of the West, but I still feel like we're sleeping on just how good those guys really are.


Why, because they were making a ton of jumpers and ran an overmatched Chicago team out of the gym?

CJ Watson and Deng are playing hurt. Rose and Rip are out. The team has been decimated by injuries and yet thanks to Thibs, this loss dropped them down to...the best record in the league.

OKC is an elite team, I don't think any argument can be made based on this game that they are better than Chicago or Miami. Chicago swept Miami last year in the regular season and it did them no good.
   15. smileyy Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4094793)
It's worth remembering that OKC is down a reserve too -- Eric Maynor.
   16. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4094803)
CJ Watson and Deng are playing hurt. Rose and Rip are out. The team has been decimated by injuries and yet thanks to Thibs, this loss dropped them down to...the best record in the league.
That's sort of my point, and I think Bulls fans are taking my propping up OKC as a slap at Chicago when it's not. The Bulls, despite injuries, have been playing great ball, especially on the defensive end, so we shouldn't talk about this game as if it were some easy gimme for OKC going in. OKC made it a gimme because they stepped all over that great defense yesterday, part of a stretch where they've also trounced the Lakers and Heat (which apparently is no big deal right now).
   17. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4094937)
I think we're beyond the point that Rip Hamilton being out should be viewed as some sort of excuse.
   18. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 02, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4095103)
After watching him.play tonight it just might be. Good passong and creatong a few shots so far
   19. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 02, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4095116)
Errrrr 2-7 for 6 points, 3 assists, 5 TOs.
   20. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 02, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4095141)
3 min left in the first half when i said that. Spoke a little too soon
   21. madvillain Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4095151)
I think we're beyond the point that Rip Hamilton being out should be viewed as some sort of excuse.



Trust me, any Bulls fan would gladly take a trade of no Rip the rest of the way in return for Deng's wrist healing and Rose's groin, um, healing as well.

I'm just ready for the playoffs. This year has been a total #### job. From the lockout to the injuries, just start the ####### playoffs and let's do this ####.
   22. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4095164)
Matt is the most miserable fan of 42-13 team I have ever witnessed.
   23. steagles Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4095170)
this one's gonna stick, right? i mean, god help calipari if something turns up in terrence jones' past and vacates these last two years.
   24. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4095176)
When you're 0-2 on legitimate Final Fours, there's going to be a stink about you no matter what.
   25. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4095182)
Chicago Sun-Times reported a while ago that Anthony Davis got 200K to come to Kentucky.

Terrence Jones probably isn't a bad place to look either since he decommitted from Washington out of nowhere and the current NCAA president came from UW.
   26. andrewberg Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4095188)
Decommitted at his commitment press conference, no less. Pretty shady indeed.
   27. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:31 AM (#4095197)
I don't know about the hanky panky, but Davis was tremendous tonight. I know everyone is saying it but it really is amazing how he can dominate the game while shooting 1-10.
   28. GregD Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:54 AM (#4095198)
Eat it, Duke!

Perhaps Calipari will vacate but it is worth noting how many other schools were involved with both David and Jones. Is the idea that only Calipari pushes the rules? That the schools his targeted players also considered were totally on the up and up while he was crooked? That doesn't hold water.
   29. tshipman Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:30 AM (#4095200)
Perhaps Calipari will vacate but it is worth noting how many other schools were involved with both David and Jones. Is the idea that only Calipari pushes the rules? That the schools his targeted players also considered were totally on the up and up while he was crooked? That doesn't hold water.


Also that the whole set-up of college basketball is corrupt and exploitative. So there's that.
   30. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4095220)
Ok, how does this KY team fare if they went into the NBA together as a Lexington expansion team?

I know that even scrubs at the end of NBA benches were college stars, so for this exercise assume the top 6 guys in minutes form the core of the team, and they are able to fill the 7-14 spots with free agents who are typical for NBA reserve players.

I say they beat the Wizards, but would be a 20-30 win team in a regular schedule. That's the first year, if they stay together as they develop they could be a contender.
   31. GregD Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:48 AM (#4095221)
I love UK but think the Wiz would drill them.

No problem with idea that NCAA is corrupt to the core, but think it's weird to point at Calipari as the exceptional cheater. Does Terrence Jones crying after his press conference and calling Cal prove that UK cheats more than Washington? Why doesn't it prove the opposite? Duke now is just a rotating door for guys who go one and done to the NBA. The difference is that they recruit those guys and they aren't winning with them.
   32. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4095258)
Big Mike Sweetney is currently in Puerto Rico which doesn't have any electoral votes.
   33. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4095273)
I really like Doron Lamb. Maybe it's just something about the last name "Lamb" because every time I look at one of these draft projections I can't believe he and Jeremy Lamb aren't higher than wherever they're ranked.
   34. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4095295)
Here's my comparison of the KY starters vs. the Wizards:

PG: John Wall #1 pick, .239 WS48 during his season at Kentucky. Teague is projected by draft express at #18, and .122 WS48. Big advantage to Wizards.

SG: Jordan Crawford drafted #27, WS48 .226 his last year of college. Lamb is projected at #34, with .211 WS48. Small advantage to Wizards.

SF: Vesely drafted #6, no U.S. college. Kidd-Gilchrist WS48 of .242, projected as #3 pick. Slight advantage to KY based on draft position.

PF: Singleton drafted #18, WS48 .254 his last year at Florida. Jones projected at #11, WS48 of .267. Slight advantage Wizards.

C: Hilario no U.S. College, but he has had a comparable NBA career to Al Horford. Horford had a WS48 of .341 his final year. Hilario was the #7 overall pick. Anthony Davis has a ridiculous WS48 of .445, and will be the #1 overall pick. Advantage Davis for long term, but if he's playing 30 year old Nene when he's 19, he'll get his butt kicked a few times before the learning curve sets in.

Verdict: Wizards win mostly with John Wall dominating his successor. But Kentucky holds their own at many positions and plays a solid game. The condition would require either a functional NBA bench to back up the KY guys, or else the rule is 5 on 5 with no substitutions. The Wizards would blow them out if benches were considered, as every scrub on the Wizard's bench was once a college star, and some of the Wildcats are (gasp) actually there for academics and will never sniff the NBA - though Miller is a prospect himself and Wiltjer looks decent.
   35. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4095309)
No problem with idea that NCAA is corrupt to the core, but think it's weird to point at Calipari as the exceptional cheater.


Why is that weird? He's the only one to lead 2 schools to Final Fours, get them revoked then leave as the program turns to rubble. I hate the excuse that "oh, well the NCAA is corrupt, and they should be getting paid anyway." That's fine for another argument, but it holds no weight here. Until every program is paying the kids it's an uneven playing field, and as long as the NCAA is content with the status quo, the cheaters will always win. Kentucky will take down their banner in 5 years, and Calipari will still be referred to as a NCAA champion. The broadcast last night made note of the Final Fours he (didn't) took UMass and Memphis to.

Your Duke point is irrelevant. One and done =/= cheating.
   36. tshipman Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4095319)
Until every program is paying the kids it's an uneven playing field,


I have good news for you.
   37. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4095322)
Yes, Nebraska is paying their kids 200,000/year.
   38. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4095323)
What is the best statistical element for the true-talent gap between Kentucky and the second best team? I know Kentucky was only favored by 6 over Kansas, but from the subjective/seatofthepants looks of it, no one this year was within 10 points of them, in a 48 minute game played at Kentucky's typical pace.
   39. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4095355)
Kentucky will take down their banner in 5 years, and Calipari will still be referred to as a NCAA champion. The broadcast last night made note of the Final Fours he (didn't) took UMass and Memphis to.


Thankfully College Basketball Reference keeps those games up there instead of pretending they didn't happen. They leave it as a sidenote that the final record was adjusted to whatever.

The NCAA is such a massively stupid and corrupt organization that they have zero credibility with me. I honestly don't care one bit about what Calipari pays his players, whether Shaq had to take a paycut to go into the NBA, or what kind of cars I saw Syracuse players driving when I was in Junior High there back in the 80's. I could not begin to care about the NCAA rules unless they gained at least a minimum amount of common sense in how they enforce them.

If Calipari gets busted he should be suspended from coaching. The team should be able to pay him a portion of his salary so he's got enough to live on while they also have to pay another coach, with the rest of it going to a charity or something. Treat him like MLB treats Manny Ramirez - he can't serve the suspension by retiring or going to the NBA or such, the suspension stands until he serves it. Instead, he jumps schools, faces no punishment, but the school does. They kids involved in whatever scandal are long gone by the time an investigation is complete, so you are punishing a new group of kids who were 12 years old when whatever rules were broken.

This makes as much sense as it would for police to see me running a red light at 120 MPH through a school zone, giving up on the chase, going into the school, pulling a random kid out of class and fining him $2000.
   40. Jimmy P Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4095369)
Why is that weird?

Because he's not the only one that cheats. I'm really not sure he even cheats.

And, you can say what you want, but he's never actually been proven to be a cheat. He has taken three schools to Final Fours. There's nothing on his record. The UMass thing was Camby and an agent, and Memphis was Rose not wanting to waste time with the SAT. Sure, you can say Calipari knew, or should've known, but that's a huge jump in slandering someone with no proof.

The only school so far that's in trouble and punished is UConn. And no one throws them out as an example for "all that is wrong with college basketball." No one disparages their Final Four trips and titles.

People don't like Calipari because he doesn't hide behind the farce that college basketball is about education. He knows it's about winning and making money, and he doesn't care about anything else. He also doesn't hold himself up as some moral ideal because he knows that winning keeps you employed. You can graduate a ton of players, but coaches don't get paid in the top 10 with tons of job security for graduating players. If they did, there'd be plenty of professors on campus that would be much higher paid.
   41. Spivey Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4095389)
I think this Kentucky team wasn't an all-time great. Most all of the good to very good teams they played were close games. They had a relatively easy run in the tournament as well. I think they were very lucky that Ohio State melted down against Kansas, because I think they could have played Kentucky tough. The PREDICTOR Sagarin ratings had Ohio State as very slightly better than Kentucky coming into the tournament.
   42. Chicago Joe Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4095392)
Yes, Nebraska is paying their kids 200,000/year.


But K-State is paying their coach 1.5mil/year. !
   43. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4095393)
Matt is the most miserable fan of 42-13 team I have ever witnessed.

The highs and lows and just higher and lower for him. After his last "what an awful season" post, we got a "what a wonderful season" post a few days later.

It was not a good loss last night. The Bulls started slow in the first (down 7), completely dominated the 2nd until the last 2 minutes (up 15, until a late Rockets run closed it to single digits) and got blown out after that. Rip looked awful - well, you can still see how having him changes the offense, but he was not on the same page as anyone else. And it was like his turnovers were contagious. Houston is still without Lowry and Martin, but Dragic looked like a star last night. The best part of the game was seeing JL3 tower over Earl Boykins. And for the sake of completeness:

KCJHoop: This is Bulls' first consecutive regular-season losses since Feb. 5-7, 2011, snapping their streak of 86 straight games. 2nd longest ever.


this one's gonna stick, right? i mean, god help calipari if something turns up in terrence jones' past and vacates these last two years.

I'm sure it's just as dirty as the others, but if you believe the NCAA is going to take a more generous approach dealing with a blueblood and an actual champion, then yeah, it's more likely to stick.

Has any actual champ had their title vacated in basketball?
   44. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4095405)
And, you can say what you want, but he's never actually been proven to be a cheat. He has taken three schools to Final Fours. There's nothing on his record. The UMass thing was Camby and an agent, and Memphis was Rose not wanting to waste time with the SAT. Sure, you can say Calipari knew, or should've known, but that's a huge jump in slandering someone with no proof.


If Cal didn't have bad luck, he'd have no luck at all. I for one am sick and tired of these weasel kids taking advantage of Cal and sullying his good reputation.
   45. Spivey Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4095408)
The only school so far that's in trouble and punished is UConn. And no one throws them out as an example for "all that is wrong with college basketball." No one disparages their Final Four trips and titles.

Who is no one? The windbags on ESPN? Fans that follow college basketball that I know seem to roundly despise UConn.
   46. Jimmy P Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4095411)
If Cal didn't have bad luck, he'd have no luck at all. I for one am sick and tired of these weasel kids taking advantage of Cal and sullying his good reputation.

Right. The NCAA uses everyone and treats people unfairly, but punish the one guy who bothers to not toe the company line. Spare me.


Who is no one? The windbags on ESPN? Fans that follow college basketball that I know seem to roundly despise UConn.

No one in the media does. Sure, Calhoun is usually not looked at kindly because he's a more outright ass than the other coaches (who also are asses, just not as outright about it), but no one holds them up as what's wrong. The general perception is that whatever team Cal is coaching is the morally wrong one, Duke is morally right, and everyone else leans more to right than wrong.
   47. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4095415)
Haha, yes it's a vast NCAA conspiracy against John Calipari.
   48. Jimmy P Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4095424)
Haha, yes it's a vast NCAA conspiracy against John Calipari.


Well, ####, if we're going to slander people and punish them for things they haven't been proven to have done, where do we start? I hate IU, let's start with those ########. Tom Crean buys hookers for all his players. He took every test for Wade at Marquette. He paid for Steve Novak to attend college.
   49. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4095426)
Who is no one? The windbags on ESPN? Fans that follow college basketball that I know seem to roundly despise UConn.

No one in the media does.


Gregg Doyel (notice the dates of each article).
   50. Maxwn Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4095427)
but Dragic looked like a star last night.

Dragic lit the Grizzlies up last Friday night as well. He seems like a really talented player. I'm not sure that trading him for Aaron Brooks was very wise on Phoenix's part.
   51. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4095464)
[34] did you see the analysis BaskPro did? Kentucky projected out to 2-3 wins over an NBA season, mostly over the Bobcraps. The Wizards are bad, but they're not this years standard for awful.
   52. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4095467)
I'll be happy when many of Calipari's potential recruits are in the NBA where they should be.
   53. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4095485)
They had a relatively easy run in the tournament as well. I think they were very lucky that Ohio State melted down against Kansas, because I think they could have played Kentucky tough. The PREDICTOR Sagarin ratings had Ohio State as very slightly better than Kentucky coming into the tournament.


I was hoping for that matchup, too, but the way Kentucky played last night they might have run OSU off the court. The Bucks are not a fast team. There were a lot of loose ball scrums right under Kansas' basket, and it seemed like Kentucky came away with all of them.
   54. andrewberg Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4095508)
Right. The NCAA uses everyone and treats people unfairly, but punish the one guy who bothers to not toe the company line. Spare me.


Cal gets the brunt of it because he is a figurehead for the NCAA's shift away from school-based identity to gigantic, corporate brand loyalty. Some coaches make overtures or even legitimate efforts at balancing the school's tradition or academic integrity with winning, but Cal dismisses the latter more brazenly than anyone else (and I will say "more," not "as brazenly").

   55. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4095526)
[34] did you see the analysis BaskPro did? Kentucky projected out to 2-3 wins over an NBA season, mostly over the Bobcraps. The Wizards are bad, but they're not this years standard for awful.
I heard on sports radio yesterday afternoon that a sports handicapper in Vegas did a little work on this, and put the spread for a hypothetical Wizards-UK game at 30 points to start. I personally don't think the best college basketball teams in 2012 win a single game against any healthy NBA teams against any NBA teams over the course of a season, 0-everything, over 82 games.
   56. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4095556)
[34] did you see the analysis BaskPro did? Kentucky projected out to 2-3 wins over an NBA season, mostly over the Bobcraps. The Wizards are bad, but they're not this years standard for awful.


I looked that up, but not the full article as I don't subscribe. I did qualify my statement that the matchup has to be limited to the starting 5, or maybe starting 5 + 1-2 subs. Put everyone on the same level by requiring them to play 48 minutes (you'll get tired, but so will your opponent) and the starting 5 of Kentucky compares reasonably well by college WS48 stats and by average (or expected) draft position to the current Wizards.

But make the full roster of KY play the full roster of the Wizards, and the Wildcats would have no chance, there's just too much dropoff from the soon-to-be NBA first rounders to the guys who will actually need their college degrees.
   57. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4095581)
I don't think it's particularly rare for a top college unit to have a talent level that can match an NBA unit. Part of that is the huge impact that one top player can have on a team. Nobody else from 1987 Navy was an NBA prospect, but their center by himself was worth an extra 30 wins to his NBA team.

Looking back at 1991-2 Duke, you had an NBA caliber 5 man unit. One superstar in Hill, an above average player in Laettner, and role players in Cherokee Parks, Antonio Lang, and Bobby Hurley.
   58. andrewberg Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4095608)
Even so, it takes college players multiple years to fully adjust to the NBA game. Guys can rarely shoot NBA 3's optimally out of the gate, they often foul like crazy for the first year or two, and they turn the ball over way too much. If you put this nucleus together for 3-4 years with NBA coaching, NBA subs, and an NBA training staff, I think they'd rise all the way up to merely a "bad" team at their peak. I think Davis will be a star and MKG will be a good contributor, but they'd have a backcourt of marginal role players and very little scoring.
   59. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4095640)
[55] A college team would die in an NBA season. Unless they steal one early, they're going 0-82.

But the Bobcats are really really really bad. For God's sake, Derrick Brown leads the team in WS/48. Kemba Walker is the only player with PER > 15. Less than half the roster has an ORtg > 100. No one has a DRtg < 104. 35 year old Eduardo Najera might be the best player on the team.
   60. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4095682)
[57] 2008 UCLA? Two superstars (Love, Westbrook), a starter (Collison), a rotation guy (Mbah a Moute), and, well, a replacement-level or below guy (Josh Shipp)

I realize some of those players have developed since leaving college, but if you want the best college team to play an NBA team, that's not a bad start.
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4095691)
The Onion had a good Strong Side / Weak Side on Calipari. I liked:
Makes a mockery of higher education by helping students find multi-million dollar careers in their chosen profession.
   62. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4095704)
Yeah UCLA would be a good one. Other options would be a team with a dominant superstar, like a Kareem/Robinson/O'Neal/Olajuwon type, as long as you could find any NBA caliber role players to surround them. But again I have to stress that I'm only looking at best possible 5 man lineup. The best college teams go 4-5 deep, and the worst NBA teams go 10-14 deep.
   63. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4095711)
But the Bobcats are really really really bad. For God's sake, Derrick Brown leads the team in WS/48. Kemba Walker is the only player with PER > 15.
Yeah, so? Those guys were stars at the college level.
   64. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4095713)
1983-84 North Carolina could have gone pro:

G Jordan, Kenny Smith
C Brad Daugherty
F Sam Perkins, Joe Wolf, Dave Popson

That's a better supporting cast than Jordan had to work with in Chicago until they brought in Grant and Pippen. Take the core 4 of that team, keep them together for 4-6 years of development, and round out the roster with NBA role players, and you could win a championship.
   65. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4095724)
[64] Isn't that missing the point? The debate was never about which college squad if given time to mature/age would beat an NBA team, it was whether or not the college squad could beat an NBA team at present.
   66. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4095754)
[63] That's a great point. Well...stars is questionable, outside of Kemba (who's also open to debate). But they were good (and possibly the best) players on good teams in college. But that also underscores your point. Kentucky has just one guy who looks like an NBA star, and would probably be the best player on the Bobcats.

I think Kentucky would really struggle to score against an NBA team. Withey is certainly a very good defender, but Davis would see a lot of those in the NBA.
   67. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4095759)
To even out rule disparities, etc, I think you'd have to use the college 3-point line for such an experiment. It removes a handicap on the college players, but might also give advantages to the pro players who can hit 20' jumpers if only they were worth it. Then again, the NBA's experiment with a shorter 3 point line was kinda ugly.
   68. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4095761)
If you can take another player from the NC team two years earlier you could add James Worthy - he was teammates with Perkins and Jordan but not Smith and Daugherty.

Even without Worthy, that lineup would have been able to beat a lot of NBA lineups right off the bat. Maturity would make them championship contenders.
   69. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4095766)
Kentucky has just one guy who looks like an NBA star, and would probably be the best player on the Bobcats.


And in a few months, he might be just that.
   70. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4095774)
So what if we change the equation to the 15 players on the All-American teams? In some years, you're probably looking at a playoff contender, if the team is anchored by an impact superstar.

Ok, the 2010 team would still be a brutal NBA team: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_NCAA_Men's_Basketball_All-Americans#By_team
2009 is a little better, with Steph Curry, James Harden, Tyler Hansbrough, Dejuan Blair and Blake Griffin as the first team, but not much depth. But those guys were pretty raw in their rookie seasons. They'd probably end up still the worst team in the NBA.
   71. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4095813)
Depends on the year. That 2010 team may not do very well. But take the 1984 team: Jordan and Stockton in the backcourt, Barkley and Perkins at forward, Olajuwon in the middle. That team wins the NBA title as rookies and then again for the next 15 years.

OK, Barkley and Stockton aren't listed as all-americans. So instead you'd have to do with Wayman Tisdale, Michael Cage, and Chris Mullin as forwards - nice ability to mix and match for inside scoring, outside shooting, or pure rebounding. Plus you'd get Patrick Ewing as your backup center.
   72. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4095822)
1984 Draft as NBA expansion team:

C Olajuwon, Bowie (backup role from day one couldn't hurt, but it might not keep him off the DL)
F Barkley, Perkins, Thorpe, Willis, Kersey, Cage, Ron Anderson - Willis and Perkins can backup center when Bowie is hurt
G - Jordan, Stockton, Alvin Robertson, Vern Fleming, Jay Humphries
   73. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4096032)
Fact or Fiction: LeBron James would be a worse player if he had been forced to go college for a year.

Fact. Not substantially worse, but he developed more in the NBA in his first year than he would have in college. His career would have been set back by a year.

Edit: This is a response to David Stern
   74. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 03, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4096046)
It'll happen eventually. The only people that don't want it have no say in the matter.
   75. andrewberg Posted: April 03, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4096047)
Yeah, Lebron isn't the example you would want to use when trying to justify the age floor. You would want to point to the high school guys who hired agents and didn't get drafted or washed out within a month or two. Sometimes it is good for the teams to see a guy a little more (maybe Bender or Kwame don't go so early with another year to scout them against better competition). In other cases, it is better for the player to have a chance to develop before quickly washing out (Korleone Young? Leon Smith?). Of course, maybe those guys made more money than they would have if they had gone to college in the first place, but that's an unanswerable question.
   76. Booey Posted: April 03, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4096056)
Fact or Fiction: LeBron James would be a worse player if he had been forced to go college for a year.

Fact. Not substantially worse, but he developed more in the NBA in his first year than he would have in college. His career would have been set back by a year.


Probably true, but he does seem to be somewhat of an exception. Unless I'm forgetting somebody, LeBron was the only high schooler from the post Jordan era to be an all star caliber player right from the get go. The others - Kobe, Garnett, McGrady, etc - all took a year or two to develop. Feel free to correct me if my memory is faulty (I'm too lazy to look it up, sorry) but I think those 3 guys were all in the 8-11 point range in their rookie seasons, whereas the stars who went to college were 20 point scorers or close to it right off the bat (Duncan, Iverson, Carter, Melo, Wade, Durant, Griffin, etc).
   77. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4096059)
Maybe I err too much on the side of wanting the best NBA-capable talent playing and developing in the NBA, and I'm in denial about the cost of the inevitable misses.

FWIW, Korleone Young's career doesn't seem that much different than a typical 40th overall pick. It looks like he played about 6 years of professional basketball. Who got "hurt" there?
   78. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4096069)
In their first year, the players need to be above replacement level, right? (I realize there's some economics of rookie salaries, # of max contracts, etc.) Its the second year that matters -- are they better in their second year than they would be after a year of college and their then rookie season?

Some of your examples don't seem to apply. Duncan stayed in school for 4 years, Wade for 3, and probably weren't NBA draft prospects coming out of high school.
   79. Booey Posted: April 03, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4096077)
Some of your examples don't seem to apply. Duncan stayed in school for 4 years, Wade for 3, and probably weren't NBA draft prospects coming out of high school.

Yeah, I wasn't really paying attention to how long each player stayed in school. If you were referring only to one-and-done college careers compared to straight from high school stars, then yeah, the difference between them is likely closer than what I was thinking.

I still agree with post#75 though, that LeBron isn't the best example to use. Dude is just a physical freak of nature.
   80. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 03, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4096082)
From ESPN:
The 12 members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2012, seven of which were announced Monday:

• Reggie Miller: 5-time All-Star; 1996 Olympic gold-medal winner
• Don Nelson: 5-time NBA champion as player and winningest coach in league history
• Ralph Sampson: 3-time NCAA player of year, 4-time NBA All-Star
• Jamaal Wilkes: 2-time NCAA champion, 4-time NBA champ, 3-time All-Star
• Katrina McClain: 2-time All-American, 1988, '96 gold-medal winner
• Hank Nichols: Refereed 10 Final Fours, six national title games; coordinated NCAA officials
• All-American Red Heads: Female version of Harlem Globetrotters

Five members of the class already had been announced: Nike co-founder Phil Knight, ABA star Mel Daniels, 7-time NBA All-Star Chet Walker, Olympian Don Barksdale and Lydija Alexeeva, who led Soviet Union to two Olympic gold medals.
   81. JC in DC Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4096109)
All-American Red Heads: Female version of Harlem Globetrotters


When I was in the 9th grade, so about 1981-82, the Red Heads played an exhibition game at my high school against our basketball coaches. It was a close game, but our coaches were up just a few at the half. Right before the end of the first half, I got hit by a bout of Montezuma's revenge. I rushed into the men's lockerroom to do my business. The half ended, the coaches came into the lockerroom to cool off and talk strategy. They were led by our Varsity coach (who had also been my 7th grade math teacher [sidebar: he was my favorite teacher ever, just a great, great man who could dunk, btw]). The entire "strategy" session consisted of reminding them to keep the game close and let the Red Heads win. Which they did.
   82. andrewberg Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4096113)
The entire "strategy" session consisted of reminding them to keep the game close and let the Red Heads win. Which they did.


To be fair, that was also Nellie's coaching strategy during that last stint in Golden State.
   83. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4096114)
Most important question: Hot or not?
   84. JC in DC Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4096120)
the Red Heads? Decidely not. Horribly unhot. This seems about right.
   85. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4096123)
Probably true, but he does seem to be somewhat of an exception. Unless I'm forgetting somebody, LeBron was the only high schooler from the post Jordan era to be an all star caliber player right from the get go.


This guy was pretty good right out of HS.

Unrelated note, Steve Nash is in the best shape of his life (err... this decade) and wants to sign a 3 year deal.

EDIT: Amare was pretty solid right out the gate as well.
   86. steagles Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4096124)
Fact or Fiction: LeBron James would be a worse player if he had been forced to go college for a year.

Fact. Not substantially worse, but he developed more in the NBA in his first year than he would have in college. His career would have been set back by a year.

Edit: This is a response to David Stern
i disagree. i don't think it's out of the question that lebron would have developed a stronger killer instinct if he had had to play a year in college. and maybe he'd have been able to spend more time refining the weaker parts of his game (3 point and FT shooting) while playing against competition that is woefully overmatched.

and i think it's important to note that, to an NBA team, the difference between a player coming into the league at 19 and one coming in at 20 is that they're paying the 19 year old for his age 19 season, whereas they're paying the 20 year old for his age 24 season. it's just significantly more economical to make players wait a year. and that's not even getting into the difference between scouting a player in high school against high school level competition and scouting the player in college against collegiate competition.


the league is just much healthier when they make players wait a year to enter the league. it sucks for lebron, and it pisses me off that the rule funnels talent into the NCAA, but for the NBA itself, this is just a much, much better alternative.
   87. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4096129)
while playing against competition that is woefully overmatched.


And thus likely not developing the rest of his formidable skillset against NBA competition.

FWIW, I agree with the economic reasons in the 2nd paragraph why it'll never happen, and am in sad agreement about the third. The worlds greatest athletes are being Harrison Bergeron'ed.
   88. bobm Posted: April 03, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4096138)
[80]

The 12 members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2012, seven of which were announced Monday: ...

• Ralph Sampson: 3-time NCAA player of year, 4-time NBA All-Star


Ralph Sampson is associated with a funny story about statistics:


Citing the mean in cases like this can be misleading. For example, in 1984 the University of Virginia stated that the average starting salary of students graduating from its program in rhetoric and communications was US$55,000 ... per year! This was not a lie; however, one of the graduates was a talented basketball player, Ralph Sampson, whose starting salary for the Houston Rockets NBA team was probably not representative of students in the program. (Source: Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith (1993), The Cartoon Guide to Statistics. New York: HarperCollins.)


http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/stat/node46.php
   89. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 03, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4096141)
The NBA really does need it's own Hall of Fame. Having Ralph Sampson in the same pantheon as Magic Johnson just feels so wrong.
   90. JC in DC Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4096146)
Baron Davis just killed the Knicks.

Why do people hate on Ralph Sampson so much? The guy was a great player whose career got shortened by injury.
   91. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4096147)
[90] Its a moral failure to not live up to others expectations of you?

And speaking of guys who probably should have played in the NBA immediately..
   92. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4096150)
Isn't Ralph Sampson India Arie's dad, too?
   93. JC in DC Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4096151)
I've decided I hate Baron Davis.
   94. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4096157)
i disagree. i don't think it's out of the question that lebron would have developed a stronger killer instinct if he had had to play a year in college. and maybe he'd have been able to spend more time refining the weaker parts of his game (3 point and FT shooting) while playing against competition that is woefully overmatched.

#### the what?
   95. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4096158)
Does anyone else kinda want Anthony Davis and Brittney Griner to have kids?
   96. steagles Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4096169)
#### the what?
i'm just saying that he's not perfection incarnate. he's a career 33% 3P shooter, and a career 75% FT shooter. there's room for improvement there.
   97. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4096171)
they would have eyes like 70s black velvet kiddies...
   98. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4096177)
but I came here to ask: ok, in today's Simmons MVP piece, does anybody think the "friend in Dallas" who told him the LeBron story really exists?

   99. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4096184)
i'm just saying that he's not perfection incarnate. he's a career 33% 3P shooter, and a career 75% FT shooter. there's room for improvement there.

I'm just honestly baffled at the idea that somehow playing college basketball, where there would have been less reason for him to work on weaknesses since his strengths would have been so overwhelming (and not to mention worse training/less time to practice overall), would improve those things.

but I came here to ask: ok, in today's Simmons MVP piece, does anybody think the "friend in Dallas" who told him the LeBron story really exists?

Pretty sure he's given this anecdote a few times before, FWIW.
   100. Tripon Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4096185)
What's the LeBron story?
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