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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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   401. Jimmy P Posted: April 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4101237)
There has been proof of referee biases (Crawford), and leaks (Donaghy). Just cuz the league didn't give them the attention they deserved doesn't mean those things haven't happened.

But that doesn't explain a conspiracy. You have a biased ref, and another that gambles. You don't have the league office dictating on high who's winning.

I'll repeat what I've said about this topic before: if there's a real conspiracy, the San Antonio Spurs would never have won a title. Much less four. In those four titles, they beat the vaunted New York media market twice and Lebron once. I'm sure the NBA wanted one of the smallest sports markets in the country with the most boring superstar ever to win four titles.
   402. robinred Posted: April 09, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4101240)
change the fact that they would have won if the games were called fairly.


That isn't a fact. It's two assertions. That the Kings missed 14 FTs on their home floor in the biggest game in franchise history is a fact.
   403. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4101243)
The reasons we can THINK of are weak. Doesn't mean there aren't better ones that we haven't thought of.
But you can't just assume that those reasons exist! There's no evidence that those reasons exist! This is why conspiracy theories are so stupid: they're built on assumed evidence, not actual evidence. And why can't we find the assumed evidence? Well, that's part of the conspiracy!

I asked this a few posts before and didn't get an answer: If Dallas was screwed in that series, does it really matter whether it was through malice or through incompetance?
Yes. Having human refs means that bad calls are going to be made, in the same way that umpires will make bad calls on balls and strikes. Malice suggests that the league is willing to expose their referring to suggestions of institutional corruption. I don't think the league is willing to risk the fundamental trust of its fans that games are being officiated to the best of their ability just because Mark Cuban complains a lot.

Well, the huge free throw disparity in the 4th quarter in favor of the Lakers helped fuel those conspiracy theories...
Again, intentional fouls, guys who draw a lot of fouls, etc. This is why conspiracy theories are so stupid. They don't need a good reason to be, they just need some people feel butt-hurt about an outcome.

There has been proof of referee biases (Crawford), and leaks (Donaghy)
There's evidence that an individual referee has a bias. There's been no proof of institutional league bias.
   404. robinred Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4101250)
Exactly. And isn't it at least possible that a league would rather a "nationally popular guy" and the "biggest marketing machine in the last 40 years" won instead of "two very boring stars?"


Sure, it's "possible." It is also possible that Stockton got away with all the dirty stuff he got away with on the court because he was a mild-mannered white guy.

By 1998, Jordan was such a consummate icon that I find it very hard to believe that losing would have hurt his career on or off the floor in any way other than his competitive pride. The league, I think, mostly wanted him to stick around another year or two more than it wanted anything else. Basically, I think the league is about making money. I see no reason at all to believe that a dramatic Game 7 loss by the Bulls in 1998 would have negatively affected ad or any other revenues.

Like Hombre, I am generally very skeptical about shadowy conspiracy theories, but I give them a little weight if there is an obvious power or money trail that we can see--as we can with the conference finals. I don't see that with the 1998 Finals.
   405. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4101284)
If anyone who's more computer savvy than I could find and post a link to the Eisley 3, it would be much appreciated.

Here you go.


Both are pretty damn close, but both are still clearly wrong with the benefit of replay. As were several other high profile ones that led to instant replay. Who knows how either impact the rest of the game were they called correctly. And who knows about any other close calls that game (perhaps they refs saw they blew the first one during halftime so they were more gun shy the next time it was close and the team involved didn't matter; who knows).

OTOH, my biggest problem with that video is being reminded how awful those Jazz jersey and warmups were. Ugh.
   406. JC in DC Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4101297)
OTOH, my biggest problem with that video is being reminded how awful those Jazz jersey and warmups were. Ugh.


Of course, Bull fan.

Can we put an end to this conversation and start something more important like, for instance, how the NY media will coercively force everyone to vote yet another Knick RoY? Congratulations, Iman!
   407. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4101301)
Of course, Bull fan.

You liked those?
   408. JC in DC Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4101305)
You liked those?


Gorgeous.

I was commenting on your "my biggest problem" comment.
   409. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4101309)
I think we can all agree that any problems with the Jazz unis stems from the fact that no team based in Salt Lake City should be called the "Jazz".
   410. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4101310)
Can we put an end to this conversation and start something more important like, for instance, how the NY media will coercively force everyone to vote yet another Knick RoY? Congratulations, Iman!
dcesn't kyrie irving have that locked up? and kawhi leonard would also seem like a better candidate. after that, iman would seem like a solid 3rd choice
   411. AROM Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4101313)
By 1998, Jordan was such a consummate icon that I find it very hard to believe that losing would have hurt his career on or off the floor in any way other than his competitive pride. The league, I think, mostly wanted him to stick around another year or two more than it wanted anything else. Basically, I think the league is about making money. I see no reason at all to believe that a dramatic Game 7 loss by the Bulls in 1998 would have negatively affected ad or any other revenues.


I agree with this. I can imagine a lot of situations where the league might prefer a certain outcome. But I can't see them ever fearing a game 7 of the NBA finals. As far as ratings go, it would have been one of the biggest, if not the biggest game ever. So let's say that the Jazz have their A games and Jordan/Pippen are tired, and the Jazz win game 7. All the people who have watched this game can't unwatch it.

Does it hurt the future of the sport's ratings? Even if people would have turned away after seeing Jordan lose (which I doubt), it sure would have hurt less than Jordan retiring. While that may not have been a guaranteed outcome after the 1998 playoffs, it wasn't a big surprise. They were headed toward the uncertainty of the labor situation and the superstars on the Bulls all were on expiring contracts. If the decision to favor Chicago on late game calls is debated by David Stern and his shadowy entourage before game 6, the logical decision is "Leave it be. If Chicago loses, take game 7 and be happy with it. We're all F'd next year anyway."

What I think happened is that Jordan was so freaking awesome that most everyone watching him was entranced by watching him. Including the refs. When he took that ball for the final shot just about everyone wanted to believe what they saw was real. It was a magical moment, you can't ruin that by calling an offensive foul.
   412. Booey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4101314)
But that doesn't explain a conspiracy. You have a biased ref, and another that gambles. You don't have the league office dictating on high who's winning.

All of you keep using the word "conspiracy." I haven't been. I don't really care if individual refs are blowing calls because of a personal bias against a team or if the orders to do so are actually coming from the league offices themselves. Either way, the best teams aren't always winning because of these calls.

And the fact that the league KNEW about a biased ref in Crawford and not only didn't fire him but actually allowed him to ref playoff games involving the team he was biased against, shows me that maybe they really do want certain outcomes to happen. I can't explain it any other way. Is there a reason only one person has bothered to address my Crawford/Spurs/2008 WCF question? You keep asking for proof rather than just wild conspiracy theories, and when I give what I consider to be a pretty good example of evidence of some kind of possible league sanctioned wrongdoing, it goes almost completely ignored.

I'll repeat what I've said about this topic before: if there's a real conspiracy, the San Antonio Spurs would never have won a title. Much less four. In those four titles, they beat the vaunted New York media market twice and Lebron once. I'm sure the NBA wanted one of the smallest sports markets in the country with the most boring superstar ever to win four titles.

And I'll repeat what I've said several times already in this thread: I don't believe that EVERY series is unfair or that the larger market team will always win. I've said that they seem to get a little unfair nudge in that direction when they're playing an essentially equal team where a few missed calls might make a difference. The 1999, 2003, and especially 2007 Finals that you're referring to were absolute mismatches. The Cavs got swept, and I was very surprised that the Knicks and Nets didn't also. A few botched calls here or there weren't going to matter in any of those series. A team that won almost 60 games in a stacked conference beat teams that won only 50 games in a much weaker conference? Surprise, surprise.

That isn't a fact. It's two assertions. That the Kings missed 14 FTs on their home floor in the biggest game in franchise history is a fact.

Fair enough. I phrased that sentence badly. It's not a provable fact that the Kings and the other teams we've talked about were unfairly screwed by officiating and they would've won if the games were called correctly. It's my opinion (and that of others). But with that correction made, I stand by my other points.

But you can't just assume that those reasons exist! There's no evidence that those reasons exist!

People have given two possible reasons why this could've happened. If you don't like either of them (and I don't either), fine. But they're both at least possible. And it all depends of your definition of "evidence." There's no "proof", no, as I acknowledged above. But that's why these "conspiracy theories" are called "theories." This isn't a court of law, and fans don't need to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt to have an opinion on it. Personally, I think the calls themselves in that series were evidence that something was amiss (again, not iron-clad proof). The Donaghy/Crawford situations were also evidence that some underhandedness has happened, IMO (again, my opinion, not claiming it as "proof"). So it all depends on what you consider to be evidence.

I think the league is about making money

Agreed. And that's one of the main driving forces behind the "conspiracy theories." If you don't think Jordan losing would have been bad for his image or the game, well, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. It wouldn't have been irreparably damaged, obviously, but I think going 5-1 in the Finals would've been slightly less awesome to marketers than 6-0. It's like his comeback with the Wizards; obviously it didn't erase everything he did with the Bulls, but I do think it tarnished his legacy a little bit. Rather than having his final shot be the game (and series) winner over Russell, what was his final shot now? Does anyone even know? (or care)
   413. AROM Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4101330)
If you don't think Jordan losing would have been bad for his image or the game, well, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. It wouldn't have been irreparably damaged, obviously, but I think going 5-1 in the Finals would've been slightly less awesome to marketers than 6-0.


For Jordan? Yes, his image would be slightly less. That might equate to less shoes sold after the great part of his career ended. For the league? Didn't really matter. Either way the next year they were stuck with trying to market brutal defensive matches between the Spurs and Knicks.
   414. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4101332)
It wouldn't have been irreparably damaged, obviously, but I think going 5-1 in the Finals would've been slightly less awesome to marketers than 6-0.

I don't think there's anyway to quantify this, but considering he was already the most marketable athlete - by far - before that last title, I highly doubt it would have had any effect whatsoever to marketers.
   415. Booey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4101335)
I think we can all agree that any problems with the Jazz unis stems from the fact that no team based in Salt Lake City should be called the "Jazz".

This has been discussed before. They have as much claim to that title as Los Angeles does to the Lakers.

It was a magical moment, you can't ruin that by calling an offensive foul.

"Fair" should trump "magical" every time. But as I've said earlier, that no call didn't bother me nearly as much as the shot clock miscalls. If it was just one of them, I would've just figured they missed it. But two in the same game in favor of the same team? A team led by the most popular player of all time, in what was widely assumed to be his last year? That's less easy for me to accept. The best player ever winning one last time in a hostile road environment before hanging it up for good (or so we thought) was a story worthy of Hollywood.
   416. AROM Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4101346)
"Fair" should trump "magical" every time.


I agree. But I think they were caught up in the magic because they are human, not because they were ordered to make it happen. A rational decision by a puppet master league obsessed with money would be to want a game 7.
   417. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4101349)
And I'll repeat what I've said several times already in this thread: I don't believe that EVERY series is unfair or that the larger market team will always win.
It's a conspiracy, except when it isn't.

It's not a provable fact that the Kings and the other teams we've talked about were unfairly screwed by officiating and they would've won if the games were called correctly. It's my opinion (and that of others). But with that correction made, I stand by my other points.
It's never your teams fault when they lose.

People have given two possible reasons why this could've happened. If you don't like either of them (and I don't either), fine. But they're both at least possible. And it all depends of your definition of "evidence."
This is the problem: It doesn't matter if something's vanishingly improbable, it just has to be "possible" to keep the idea of a conspiracy alive. I don't like those possible reasons not because I'm a Laker fan, but because those are bad reasons easily debunked. But since mere opinion constitutes "evidence" in these conversations, you can't ever get anywhere arguing against it. If the reasons for assuming a conspiracy are bad — and you acknowledge that they are — why should anyone give them any weight? They shouldn't.

But that's why these "conspiracy theories" are called "theories."
Conspiracy theorists treat their theories as facts the rest of us are too blind to see.
   418. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4101354)
This has been discussed before. They have as much claim to that title as Los Angeles does to the Lakers.
The alliterative nature of the name makes it work even when it makes no sense. Not so much the Utah Jazz.
   419. JC in DC Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4101361)
I was really trying to suggest we move on. How long does one discuss something you believe to be a conspiracy theory? Can't we just talk about the greatness of Shumpert?
   420. Jimmy P Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4101363)
Either way, the best teams aren't always winning because of these calls.

Now you're making the logical jump that the best team ALWAYS wins a seven game series. This is definitely not the case. In the NBA, it's more common for the best team to win, but it doesn't always happen. And it doesn't even have to be refs that ruin it.

dcesn't kyrie irving have that locked up? and kawhi leonard would also seem like a better candidate. after that, iman would seem like a solid 3rd choice

I would have to think that Kyrie, Rubio, Leonhard, Parsons, and Brooks all have much better cases than Shumpert.
   421. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4101369)
I would have to think that Kyrie, Rubio, Leonhard, Parsons, and Brooks all have much better cases than Shumpert.


I would say Faried has played himself into that conversation too.
   422. andrewberg Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4101396)
The reasons we can THINK of are weak. Doesn't mean there aren't better ones that we haven't thought of.


I can't believe I went back and re-read the whole NBA truther screed, but this line made it worth it. Gloriously Rumsfeldian.
   423. kpelton Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4101401)
Conspiracy theories may not be real, but the absence of Isaiah Thomas on these lists shows East Coast Bias is alive and well.
   424. Booey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4101405)
But I think they were caught up in the magic because they are human, not because they were ordered to make it happen

I never thought anyone was ordered to miss this call. I do think the Bulls were given the benefit of the doubt on the shot clock miscalls intentionally, but I don't know (or care) if it was the league or the individual officials that wanted the Bulls to win. They happened either way.

It's a conspiracy, except when it isn't.

So you're saying that either EVERY series has to have favoritism, or else it's proof that NONE of them do? I don't get that, sorry.

It's never your teams fault when they lose.

Really? I've watched the Jazz get eliminated in the playoffs probably 20 times, and I've thought they were unfairly treated by the officials in exactly two of those series. And as I mentioned before, I strongly disliked the 2000 Blazers and I absolutely hated the 2002 Kings, even worse than the Lakers. That series was actually the only one ever (until the 2004 playoffs when they had Malone) that I was rooting for the Lake Show. I did like the 1998 Pacers more than the Bulls, but I was actually hoping the Bulls would win cuz I wanted the Jazz to be the ones to finally knock them off. I was completely indifferent as to who won the 2006 Finals. I had no particular love nor contempt for either team. So yeah, your comment about "my teams" doesn't really work. I actually think "my team" - the 1998 Jazz - has the weakest argument of being on the short end of a screw job than any of the others we've talked about.

If the reasons for assuming a conspiracy are bad — and you acknowledge that they are — why should anyone give them any weight?

Cuz in the case of the 2006 Finals (and that's the only one where I acknowledged that the possible reasons were weak), the results simply speak for themselves. If the idea of intentional favoritism is so ridiculous, then why hasn't anyone come up with a good explanation for how a team of professionally trained refs could so completely and thoroughly forget how to handle a player when they've never had that much trouble with any similar players (or even that same player) before or since? "There's always been superstar calls," was the best response I've gotten so far. Yes, but it went well beyond that.

Conspiracy theorists treat their theories as facts the rest of us are too blind to see.

Except that I haven't been using the word "conspiracy" and I corrected a misphrased paragraph of mine above to point out that it's my opinions I'm expressing and I'm not claiming them to be statistical facts.
   425. Booey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4101419)
The reasons we can THINK of are weak. Doesn't mean there aren't better ones that we haven't thought of.

I can't believe I went back and re-read the whole NBA truther screed, but this line made it worth it. Gloriously Rumsfeldian.


Not my best phrased point, I agree. But I'm still waiting to hear a more plausible explanation for how the abomination that was the 2006 Finals was able to happen.

"The officials hated Cuban" or "The league wanted to market Wade as the next big thing." Weak reasons? Sure. But "Superstar calls have always happened" or "Refs are human, They make mistakes"? Even weaker. Sorry.
   426. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4101475)
So you're saying that either EVERY series has to have favoritism, or else it's proof that NONE of them do?
If it was so gloriously successful once, why doesn't it happen more often? If the league can engineer so successfully, why wouldn't they keep doing it?

But "Superstar calls have always happened" or "Refs are human, They make mistakes"? Even weaker.
But those are true. Superstars DO get calls, and the refs ARE human and make mistakes. We know this. On the other hand, for "NBA hates Cuban" and "NBA wants to promote Wade" to be true, there has to be a concerted effort by the commissioner and league officials and the referees to try and orchestrate an internationally televised fraud while making it look legitimate. Does that really sound more likely than "superstars get calls"??
   427. Maxwn Posted: April 09, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4101480)
3. LAL 35-22 6.5 gb
4. LAC 34-22 7.0 gb
5. MEM 32-23 8.5 gb
6. HOU 31-25 10.0 gb

These are the current standings in the middle of the West. Memphis plays the Clippers at home tonight in a game that will have a huge impact on the order that they finish. The remaining schedules for these teams is below:

LAL
@NOH, @SAS, DEN, DAL, SAS, @GSW, @SAS, OKC, @ SAC
5 on the road, 4 at home. 6 against playoff teams. 4 against SAS and OKC is pretty tough.

LAC
@MEM, @OKC, @MIN, GSW, OKC, @DEN, @PHX, NOH, @ATL, @NYN
7 on the road, 3 home. 6 playoff teams. 2 against OKC.

MEM
LAC, PHX, @SAS, UTA, @NOH, @MIN, NOH, @CHA, POR, CLE, ORL
4 on the road, 7 home. 3 playoff teams. 1 against SAS. 4 against the fairly tough group just out of the playoffs in the West.

HOU
@POR, UTA, PHX, @DEN, DEN, @DAL, @NOH, GSW, @MIA, NOH
5 on the road, 5 home. 4 playoff teams, 1 against MIA. Also 3 against the better Western Lottery teams.

Overall, I think Memphis has the easiest road out. If they win tonight, I think they should finish ahead of the Clippers, who probably have the toughest remaining schedule. If they lose, the Clippers will have a pretty good chance to hold on, even with their schedule. It will be interesting to see how much of the Clippers recent resurgence holds up as they go on the road to finish out. Just looking at schedules, I think MEM ought to be able to hold off the Rockets, but it certainly isn't a sure thing.

The Lakers will also be interesting. I think their schedule is overall a little easier than LAC, just because its not as road-heavy, but four games against SAS and OKC teams dueling for the 1 seed is pretty tough. They could definitely slip past LAC and even MEM. Houston's schedule also makes me think that it will be a dog fight between the 6-8 teams and PHX and UTA. There are a lot of games between those 5 teams in the last 3 weeks.

The next 4 will be huge for Memphis. I think they are 0-9 against those teams this year, although only 3 of those were at home. If they can go 3-1 or so by winning the home games, they can probably make a run at LAC and even LAL. If they drop a couple, they're probably stuck in the 5 seed and may have to watch out for Houston.
   428. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4101483)
Awesome:

Bill Ingram ? Kurt Thomas sitting in locker room talking about making Hickson better. I asked him about Thabeet. "I can't make wine out of water."

Bill Ingram ? He was going to town on Flynn, talking about being drafted too high. So Hickson says HE should have gone 4th. Kurt just glared.


saw this at BDL.
   429. madvillain Posted: April 09, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4101501)
But those are true. Superstars DO get calls, and the refs ARE human and make mistakes. We know this. On the other hand, for "NBA hates Cuban" and "NBA wants to promote Wade" to be true, there has to be a concerted effort by the commissioner and league officials and the referees to try and orchestrate an internationally televised fraud while making it look legitimate. Does that really sound more likely than "superstars get calls"??


Yea, Occam's razor here. There is no conspiracy, just plain old human errors. Refs have biases and don't always make the right call, it's that simple. Luck and officiating are part of the game and all teams deal with them as they come.
   430. robinred Posted: April 09, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4101510)
It wouldn't have been irreparably damaged, obviously, but I think going 5-1 in the Finals would've been slightly less awesome to marketers than 6-0.


Perhaps. But it also might have "humanized him" and created all kinds of new marketing angles--Michael telling everyone to get back up after they fall; new Nike ads, with a reflective and somber MJ working out etc. And as other guys said, Jordan perhaps losing a few mill out of his hundreds of mill in endorsements wouldn't have been a LEAGUE issue.

And if the Bulls had lost and he had come back in 1999, that would have been a gigantic boon to the post-lockout NBA: "Michael has unfinished business." "His Airness wants his throne back" etc etc etc. And all of those things don't even account for the intense interest there would have been in a Game 7, as AROM pointed out.

   431. andrewberg Posted: April 09, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4101517)
Yea, Occam's razor here. There is no conspiracy, just plain old human errors. Refs have biases and don't always make the right call, it's that simple. Luck and officiating are part of the game and all teams deal with them as they come.


Yeah, I agree. Individual refs getting caught up in "hey this guy is great! He's playing like the next Jordan!" is a far cry from the league actively or passively conveying that message to its staff/refs. It's possible that you don't mean to say any more than that, Booey, so I don't mean to put words in your mouth.
   432. madvillain Posted: April 09, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4101519)
And if the Bulls had lost and he had come back in 1999, that would have been a gigantic boon to the post-lockout NBA: "Michael has unfinished business." "His Airness wants his throne back" etc etc etc. And all of those things don't even account for the intense interest there would have been in a Game 7, as AROM pointed out.


Narrative can be created out of anything, as your post illustrates. The league really has zero incentive to mess with the competition.
   433. Booey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4101542)
If it was so gloriously successful once, why doesn't it happen more often? If the league can engineer so successfully, why wouldn't they keep doing it?

Well, it's been one of my points throughout this thread that it DID happen often in the late 90's and 2000's and that they DID keep doing it. That still doesn't mean every game or every series. I've also mentioned that I think the officiating has gotten better in the last few years. Was it because the Donaghy scandal served as a wake up call and the officials or league office or whoever was involved decided that people might start scrutinizing their calls a little more closely and they needed to clean up their act? I don't know. But whatever led to them deciding to make some changes with the way things were being done is okay with me.

But those are true. Superstars DO get calls, and the refs ARE human and make mistakes. We know this

Yes it is. But as I said, it went well beyond that in this case. And on a sidenote, for those that keep denying there's anything wrong with the officiating, isn't saying that "superstars have always gotten calls" acknowledging that there is? Why doesn't this bother anyone?

Lastly, even if you reject my idea that there's favoritism based on market size itself, people here have admitted that A) big markets are more likely to get/hang on to superstars, and B) superstars have always gotten favorable calls. Don't these two things add up? If large markets are more likely to get the big stars, then by definition wouldn't that mean they're more likely to get the calls that come with having these stars? It seems to me like it's arguing semantics if you say "team A gets calls over team B because team A has bigger stars, which they were able to get because of their big city marketability" rather than "team A gets calls over team B because they play in a bigger, more marketable city." Both those sentences are saying the same thing; the second one is just cutting out the fluff and getting straight to the point.
   434. robinred Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4101561)
Is there a reason only one person has bothered to address my Crawford/Spurs/2008 WCF question? You keep asking for proof rather than just wild conspiracy theories, and when I give what I consider to be a pretty good example of evidence of some kind of possible league sanctioned wrongdoing, it goes almost completely ignored.


You have ignored several points--like your factual error about Donaghy and about ten conceptual points about Jordan in 1998--so call that one even.

As to the specifics on Crawford, of course you may be right. Or you may be wrong. But like Hombre has pointed out, it is pretty hard to argue with this type of thinking. Basically, if you accept the Donaghy narrative/worldview, then Crawford being put in to "nudge" the Lakers/Spurs series makes sense: Donaghy would say something like, "The message was clear, and it was no secret that the TV networks wanted Lakers/Celtics." The Spurs had been in the Finals for three straight years with the ratings cratering, and there are people out there who believe that BOTH the Garnett and Gasol deals were both part of a Stern-driven conspiracy.

OTOH, Ginobili was hobbled, the Lakers had HCA, and the Spurs:

a) Shot seven more FTs in that game than the Lakers did
b) Went 7/24 on 3s

Also, Kobe shot no FTs in that game (he was 14/29 from the floor) while Duncan (10/26) shot 11. So, if Crawford was trying to get the Lakers a W there, he did it in a pretty sly, high-risk way.

You might consider reading some of the stuff Abbott and Arnovitz wrote about Donaghy on True Hoop back in 2009. It certainly doesn't "disprove" anything you are saying, but it does raise some qs about Donaghy.

And I absolutely think that Crawford should have gotten fired.
   435. Al Peterson Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4101579)
Back to the here and now...

Mavericks and Odom decide to part ways. Who takes a shot on him next year? He should have something left in the tank since he was well rested this year. Of course he could have got off the bench if he hit more than 35% of his shots.
   436. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4101580)
Well, it's been one of my points throughout this thread that it DID happen often in the late 90's and 2000's and that they DID keep doing it.
Except when they didn't, like when big TV draws Houston and San Antonio won championships. Basically, you're saying that championships were fixed when it fits your narrative, and not when it doesn't. How awesomely convenient.

And on a sidenote, for those that keep denying there's anything wrong with the officiating,
No one has said this. No one has denied that there's anything wrong with officiating, no one has said the officiating is perfect, or even really good.

Lastly, even if you reject my idea that there's favoritism based on market size itself, people here have admitted that A) big markets are more likely to get/hang on to superstars, and B) superstars have always gotten favorable calls. Don't these two things add up?
Yes, but that's a characteristic intrinsic to the free agent market. Players want to live in exciting places, and they want to win; you don't need some evil plot by the league to make guys want to sign with the Lakers. And that said, I don't even know how true (A) is. Minnesota kept Garnett forever and just signed Love to a long-term deal. Durant and Westbrook stayed in OKC, and Z-Bo and Gay are still in Memphis. Duncan, Manu, and Parker all elected to stay in San Antonio. On the other hand, James declined to go to Chicago when they had the chance, and Howard apparently has as well.

It seems to me like it's arguing semantics if you say "team A gets calls over team B because team A has bigger stars, which they were able to get because of their big city marketability" rather than "team A gets calls over team B because they play in a bigger, more marketable city." Both those sentences are saying the same thing; the second one is just cutting out the fluff and getting straight to the point.
Perhaps, but neither of those sentences even remotely says, "The league is secretly manipulating Finals outcomes."

I think the genesis of your argument grows from the simple fact that the Jazz couldn't get past Jordan's Bulls during their Finals runs. Don't feel bad. Neither could the last Magic Lakers team, Portland, Seattle, and Phoenix, not to mention Philly, Indy, the Knicks, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. Your team is not unique in its suffering.
   437. smileyy Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4101584)
I never expected 100+ posts to stem from "Its hard to get off the 'Successful, but lacking a superstar' treadmill".

OTOH, for our Michigan fan in the house, Trey Burke is returned to UM.
   438. andrewberg Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4101586)
To me, the Crawford thing seemed like an instance of Stern's bullheadedness (and his interest in creating an illusion of refs' unimpeachable integrity) than a willful way to squeeze the Spurs. While I didn't believe it, I took the message as being "Crawford made a mistake and learned from it, now he is back to being neutral and fair."

Lastly, even if you reject my idea that there's favoritism based on market size itself, people here have admitted that A) big markets are more likely to get/hang on to superstars, and B) superstars have always gotten favorable calls. Don't these two things add up? If large markets are more likely to get the big stars, then by definition wouldn't that mean they're more likely to get the calls that come with having these stars?


I see what you're saying, and it's a fair point, but there is a sizable gap between a confluence of factors that favorably dispose one group versus what previously sounded like a concerted effort to consciously promote that group. It's an input/output or manslaughter/murder type of thing. That's not to say it's an ideal outcome, either, but if we're in agreement that the two major factors that lead to this big market bias are both essentially components of human nature, then why burn any calories worrying about it? Our referee robots are still in development.

Also, this mish-mash of examples necessarily creates some inconsistency in the argument. If only the star players create problems, then the market is only related insofar as the stars are on the big market teams, and the the Sacto/Indy ratings stuff is all window dressing. If it's really about markets driving the league to encourage refs to reward certain teams, then the Jorda/Wade bias stuff is just an illusion. If it is a little of both, then the unified theory of bias has a lot of cracks in it because it really does start to look like case-by-case human error.

I say this as a person who firmly thought the NBA intentionally screwed Sacramento in 2002 at the time. In fact, that is about the time I started to dislike the Lakers (I even cheered for them against Indy in the finals out of dislike for Reggie). Over time, it just didn't seem as plausible that the league could coordinate such a big fix, especially since they gave up so many opportunities to create more great game 7s, etc.

You might consider reading some of the stuff Abbott and Arnovitz wrote about Donaghy


Strange bedfellows, indeed :).
   439. robinred Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4101594)
takes a shot on him next year?


Clippers, Heat. Kobe has also already talked about trying to bring Odom back to the Lakers, but for obvious reasons, that may be unrealistic.
   440. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4101596)
Mavericks and Odom decide to part ways. Who takes a shot on him next year? He should have something left in the tank since he was well rested this year. Of course he could have got off the bench if he hit more than 35% of his shots.


I believe the Mavs are making him inactive for the rest of the season, rather than buying him out, so they still have him under contract for next season. They could always buy him out, but the between-the-lines readings of it I've seen view it as them telling him to get his head and body right for next season. He had some serious personal stuff go down over the offseason and didn't work out at all, so I think he hasn't really gotten into game shape, rather than falling off of a cliff. (For everyone's sake, I hope this is the case.)

As far as the refereeing conspiracy conversation goes, kudos to everyone for keeping it polite, but I think the positions here are pretty established and no one is really going to convince anyone further. Can we agree to not entirely agree and get back to things happening now?
   441. Booey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4101597)
You have ignored several points--like your factual error about Donaghy and about ten conceptual points about Jordan in 1998--so call that one even.

I haven't "ignored" anything. Keep in mind that I'm debating against all of you whereas you're all only debating against me, so I have a lot more points to answer to. I've been posting a lot and with long posts trying to get to everyone's points. And I'm also at work. So if I miss a few, my apologies. You were right about Donaghy not officiating game 6. But again, that doesn't really prove anything if what he says about the refs that were is accurate (and of course that's up for debate). As for the points about Jordan in 1998, which ones did I miss? They were all basically opinions about narrative or what the league would have wanted. I gave my general opinion about the subject. I would have just been repeating myself over and over if I responded to each one seperately.

Yeah, I agree. Individual refs getting caught up in "hey this guy is great! He's playing like the next Jordan!" is a far cry from the league actively or passively conveying that message to its staff/refs. It's possible that you don't mean to say any more than that, Booey, so I don't mean to put words in your mouth.

I think people are taking some of my points a bit too literally. If I say that certain teams get favoritism, it doesn't mean I think that David Stern is sending down actual orders to the refs "Do what you can to make sure this team wins!" But if he's allowing refs with known biases to continue to work in his league (Crawford) and tolerating pure incompetance without consequences (2006 Finals), then yes, he's "responsible" for these officiating snafu's. Allowing injustices to continue may not be the same as actively encouraging them, but well, it's not entirely different either.
   442. robinred Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4101612)
Can we agree to not entirely agree and get back to things happening now?


I think we can have two or more conversations going on at once. People always bring in college issues etc.--like Trey Burke. I am mostly OK with guys being threadcops if people are getting nasty, but I think otherwise it should be post and let post.

They were all basically opinions about narrative or what the league would have wanted.


Sure, but not all opinions are exactly alike, in terms of either contextual support or framing.
   443. oscar gamble's afro pick Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4101618)
Look, Booey, you seem like a reasonable guy, but this thread is full of old-timers who've been through these issues, and who generally (and imo correctly) see NBA corruption/conspiracy theories as a product of the NBA's status as "least understood by the mainstream fan" pro sports league--the theories are, to many in the thread, the product of ignorance. (Basically half the college hoops fan/NBA haters of my acquaintance think the NBA is fixed.) At this point the only way to continue would be obsessive Zapruderesque frame-by-frame examination of 2006 Wade driving the lane footage. Can we all stop?
   444. smileyy Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4101619)
I mean, I'm bored with the thread, but that's on me, not anyone else. I was a lot more interested in it when it was about building successful NBA teams and large markets / small markets in that regard.

I'm guessing a lot of smaller market teams are very happy that they didn't have the opportunity to sign Amar'e Stoudemire.
   445. madvillain Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4101622)
OTOH, for our Michigan fan in the house, Trey Burke is returned to UM.


Thank god. Major feather in Beilein's cap. From the rumors, Burke had a foot out the door and was about to shut the door behind him when Beilein and the AD helped pull him back. Dunno how much was that and how much was the fact that Burke graded out as a 30-40 pick. He comes back, leads what should be a preseason top 10 team to an elite 8 or Final 4, and maybe he becomes a mid or late first rounder.
   446. Jimmy P Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4101625)
I'm guessing a lot of smaller market teams are very happy that they didn't have the opportunity to sign Amar'e Stoudemire.


Going with this, if you're the Knicks, catching Orlando seems highly unlikely. When it comes to the last few games, do you tank so that you get the 8 seed and play the Bulls in round 1?
   447. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4101627)
If you're a Knicks fan, all this talk about how the big markets get everything has to sting just a little bit.
   448. smileyy Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4101630)
[447] I figure the Ny Mets fans and Cubs fans are pretty immune to it by now.
   449. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4101633)
If you're a Knicks fan, all this talk about how the big markets get everything has to sting just a little bit.

Yeah...the posts were bizarre to me.

When it comes to the last few games, do you tank so that you get the 8 seed and play the Bulls in round 1?

I think you play as well as you can and hope the Heat beat the Bulls in their remaining matchups. I don't think the Heat are necessarily much better, or even better, than CHI, but I do think the matchup is a better one. MIA's perimeter defenders scare me more than CHI's interior guys given the present NYK roster construction.
   450. PJ Martinez Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4101636)
Mavericks and Odom decide to part ways. Who takes a shot on him next year? He should have something left in the tank since he was well rested this year. Of course he could have got off the bench if he hit more than 35% of his shots.

I'm not the first to make this point, but: Doesn't it now seem like LA knew Odom was going to fall off this year? I mean, that trade looked terrible at the time -- like a purely financial move that didn't even necessarily make financial sense, given how much it stood to hurt LA's chances to go far in the playoffs.

I haven't watched Odom at all this year and have no idea why he's been so bad, but I'm now inclined to think LA had reason to believe he would be.
   451. smileyy Posted: April 09, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4101638)
I suspect LAL saw the high likelihood of Odom switching from "Not In Shape, But Will Play Into Shape" to "Not In Shape, Doesn't Care Anymore" after the failed CP3 trade and made the right move.

If you can get Odom to care again, he probably still has some value.
   452. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4101650)
For those still interested in the college playing requirements before NBA argument, this is a must read.
   453. Booey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4101655)
Except when they didn't, like when big TV draws Houston and San Antonio won championships. Basically, you're saying that championships were fixed when it fits your narrative, and not when it doesn't. How awesomely convenient.

I don't see any comments I've made as fitting this description. I think you're putting my comments into much more black and white terms than anything I've said or implied.

Perhaps, but neither of those sentences even remotely says, "The league is secretly manipulating Finals outcomes."

Feel free to post quotes of mine proving me wrong, but I don't believe I ever used those words or anything even close to them.

I think the genesis of your argument grows from the simple fact that the Jazz couldn't get past Jordan's Bulls during their Finals runs

Nah. This is the answer small market fans always get in these discussions, but I've said that of all the teams we've talked about, I actually think the 1998 Jazz have the LEAST reason to complain. If it was all about the Jazz, I wouldn't be arguing in favor of teams I didn't care about and especially in favor of ones that I really disliked.

if we're in agreement that the two major factors that lead to this big market bias are both essentially components of human nature, then why burn any calories worrying about it?

Cuz that's what BBTF is all about! :) And I could use all the burnt calories I can get.

I think the positions here are pretty established and no one is really going to convince anyone further. Can we agree to not entirely agree and get back to things happening now?

Can we all stop?


Well, as Robin memtioned, there can be two conversations going at once. If people were bored with the "conspiracy" talk, then they were free to stop reading or participating at any time. We've all been very civil, so I don't really see a need for anyone to put an end to it rather than just letting it taper off on it's own. I've kept it going in large part because people keep asking me questions and I've been trying not to ignore anybody.

That said, I do believe I've expressed my opinion thoroughly and there's not much more I can say at this point that I haven't already. And apparently this talk is starting to bother/bore some people anyway, so I'm going to end my participation in it for now. If I show up again later, it'll be to talk about less controversial issues, I promise. :)

Thanks for the chat guys. :)
   454. andrewberg Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4101658)
Who can grab a rebound, and push the tempo,
Get in shape for playoffs, and film a tv show?
The Candy Man can't.
   455. madvillain Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4101659)
Can't we just talk about the greatness of Shumpert?


Kids a beast for sure. As much as anyone can be a "lockdown" perimeter defender, he's it. I think Deng might be slightly better positionally and in a team scheme, but Shump is quicker as has better hands.

I hated how much Chicago went hero ball yesterday. Rose was dead tired, he looked like he was about to pass out in the 4th quarter. He was clearly playing on adrenaline and why they didn't go to Boozer more is puzzling. Boozer also needs to demand the ball, but I just don't think that's his style.

Noah, as expected was garbage in the 1st half. NYC and a noon start is a recipe for disaster for Noah.

Knicks fans are the cockiest bunch of 8th seeds I've ever seen.
   456. PJ Martinez Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4101661)
I'm pretty excited for the Heat/Celtics game tomorrow. Don't get me wrong: I sincerely believe Miami will wipe the floor with Boston. But the Celtics have played well enough lately for me to at least hope it might go down differently, and that would be a lot of fun.
   457. smileyy Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4101680)
[452] I'm glad I could do the initial research for the article :D

[454] Am I the only one, when hearing a particular song, replaces the lyric with "I smell sex and...Michael Olowokandi". I am, aren't I?

Edit:


So, to Cuban's claims: There aren't "hundreds" of Lenny Cookes who've been chewed up and spit out through the NBA grinder. There are 23 Lenny Cookes. Including Lenny Cooke.


And how many of those Lenny Cooke's would have ended up being Lenny Cooke's after all (leaving college early, and not having any sort of pro career)
   458. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4101685)
I wonder if the Celtics try to take a flier on Odom come the offseason; they're desperate for some big depth. Of course, the front office seems to be angling for flexibility above all else until they can swing on an All-NBA sort. If the right contract isn't there, they won't hamstring that for Odom.
   459. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4101687)
Am I the only one, when hearing a particular song, replaces the lyric with "I smell sex and...Michael Olowokandi". I am, aren't I?

Not anymore.

Knicks fans are the cockiest bunch of 8th seeds I've ever seen.

The idea that a team 1 game from being out of the playoff picture should try to pick their first round opponent is preposterous. Of course, it was a Bulls fan that suggested it.
   460. PJ Martinez Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4101692)
Is there not a single Spurs fan on this thread? They've won 11 in a row!
   461. andrewberg Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4101694)
I think the Celtics might be one of the teams who is not necessarily angling for an all-NBA type. Remember when Cuban gave that interview a couple of months ago around the time of the Sloan conference and talked about how he thought there might be a new inefficiency for the mid-range guys due to the punitive luxury tax (ie- stars will still get paid so teams with 2+ stars will only be able to offer that 2m mini mid level, leaving non all-star level starters as possibly underpriced on the market). We talk all the time about what a unique talent Rondo is; maybe the plan is to find former midlevel guys whose skills fit with him and who are now getting 3-5m because the contenders can't pay their market value.
   462. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4101697)
Do we really expect the Heat to wipe the floor with Boston? The Heat haven't been very good lately (relatively speaking) and they don't have a true center type that can keep KG from roaming.
   463. Jimmy P Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4101700)
Do we really expect the Heat to wipe the floor with Boston?

Yes. Miami's defense is stifling. The Celtics are not a good offensive team, going up against a team that's going to stop all their perimeter players will not help.

The idea that a team 1 game from being out of the playoff picture should try to pick their first round opponent is preposterous. Of course, it was a Bulls fan that suggested it.

I think the Sixers are going to continue to drop, and I also think the Knicks are better than the Bucks.
   464. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4101710)
How is it that a bruise* is keeping Kobe out of multiple games, when torn ligaments and broken bones haven't bothered him one bit?

*I see today's ESPN story is calling it a shin inflammation. Regardless, this post is not intended to denigrate Kobe's current situation, but to point out how f'in crazy he is for playing through the previous injuries.
   465. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4101712)
Is there not a single Spurs fan on this thread? They've won 11 in a row!

It's been awhile since King Mekong has posted in the thread.

Yes. Miami's defense is stifling. The Celtics are not a good offensive team, going up against a team that's going to stop all their perimeter players will not help.

We're talking about a random regular season game here and not a playoff matchup, right? Because this happened only 8 days ago.

I think the Sixers are going to continue to drop, and I also think the Knicks are better than the Bucks.

They cannot count on the Sixers losing enough for them to play for the 8th seed.
   466. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4101713)
Also worth noting - Antoine Walker retiring from the D-League.
   467. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 09, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4101719)
I am very curious to see how the Celtics team progresses. They've been putting up otherworldly defensive numbers of late. If they can continue to do so, which is theoretically possible, with Avery Bradley starting and Ray and KG often playing with the second unit, they could scare the Heat/Bulls in the playoffs, especially if the Heat don't break out of their malaise/Rose stays gimpy. At the same time, their offense is terrible, so if the D slips even a little, that's untenable. They've got a daunting stretch coming up, so it should be revealing to see where things stand after their next 8-10 games.

Sad to see 'Toine call it a career. There was no real other way for it to play out, but I don't know where in the world he goes from here, and I'll always have a soft spot for the guy.
   468. Jimmy P Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4101748)
We're talking about a random regular season game here and not a playoff matchup, right? Because this happened only 8 days ago.


Oh, I thought we were talking playoffs.

   469. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4101752)
Is there not a single Spurs fan on this thread? They've won 11 in a row!


The Spurs are probably my favorite team over the past decade, but I'm more of a general NBA fan than a partisan. It's more like Moneyball-style respect for an intelligent organization, and I think both Duncan and Pop are incredibly underrated in the mainstream even as there are plenty of people calling them underrated all the time.
   470. Conor Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4101761)
The Knicks would be one of the tougher 8 seeds, right? Memphis was real good last year, and the Knicks have a better point differential right now than Memphis did. (Of course you are dealing with 55 games vs 82 or whatever). As hard as it is to believe, they are 5th in the Hollinger power rankings. I am not sure how much stock to put into them, but I don't think the Knicks are a typical 8 seed, or at least a typical Eastern conf 8th seed. That being said, I would still expect them to lose in 5 or 6 games in round 1.

Man, OKC had a +3.5 point differential in 2010 and was an 8 seed. That year the West was crazy tight.
   471. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4101777)
Is there not a single Spurs fan on this thread? They've won 11 in a row!


I think everyone still expects them to lose in the first or second round. At the moment, they would play Dallas, Denver or Phoenix in the first round. I wouldn't be shocked if any of those teams beats the Spurs.

I'm really skeptical of the Spurs after how they've gone out the last three years. Pop does such a good job of managing the regular season and the end of the bench--really, best coach in the business now that Phil's gone--but I don't know that they are really heavy favorites against either of those three teams.
   472. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4101783)
Really? I'd be surprised if they didn't get to at least the Conference Finals. They're absolutely destroying teams right now, and that's while conserving minutes for Duncan, Manu, Splitter, and Parker. They're clearly the deepest team in the league, they play great defense, everyone can shoot, they've got great chemistry, and they seem to be able to match up against anybody. They're completely scary.
   473. JJ1986 Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4101825)
I think the Spurs will be able to blow out any of their first round opponents, and would probably easily beat either LA team, but they'd have a lot of trouble with Memphis if they meet the Grizzlies in the second round.
   474. PJ Martinez Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4101834)
I think everyone still expects them to lose in the first or second round.

Really? I was not under the impression that anyone expects them to lose in the first round. Dallas seems potentially dangerous, but Denver or (especially) Phoenix?

If San Antonio is not the favorite to face OKC in the conference finals, then who is? The Lakers? The Grizzlies?
   475. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4101849)
Just to chime in, I'm going to concur that the Spurs seem likely to see OKC in the western finals. I'd put them as an underdog there, but not a huge one. I think there isn't much noise because they're always good, but this year I think they're contenders in a very real way.
   476. Maxwn Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4101872)
they play great defense

I suspect the Spurs will be pretty tough this year, but I just wanted to point out that at least by the numbers, this year they are actually a roughly average defensive team coupled with the best offensive team in the league. No idea what that means for their chances in the playoffs. I go back and forth on whether I'd rather play them or OKC in a hypothetical 2nd rd series and honestly right now I might lean towards the Thunder.

I am using hoopdata Off and Def Efficiency numbers, btw.
   477. PJ Martinez Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4101904)
I feel like watching basketball, but the early games tonight are TOR/IND, DET/ORL, and WSH/CHA. Each game is at halftime, and the closest one is IND/TOR; the Pacers are up by 14.

Thank goodness the later games are starting.
   478. Maxwn Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4101913)
Joey Crawford's crew is calling the Grizz-Clippers tonight. I'll let you guys know if he looks conspiratorial.
   479. smileyy Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4101923)
Joey Crawford's crew is calling the Grizz-Clippers tonight. I'll let you guys know if he looks conspiratorial.


I bet he frequently huddles together with his co-conspirators and talks so other people can't hear them.
   480. Maxwn Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4101926)
You know, I've got to admit, he really does have the Blofeld/Dr. Evil thing going on. Maybe there's something to all this ref conspiracy stuff after all.
   481. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4101930)
Denver are just a bunch of ####-eating dogs this past 40 games--with Gallo back and playing at full health, I'd qualify that description, but the roster as currently composed is not going to beat anybody in the West in a playoff series. Losing Nene and Gallo both has just killed their offense, and they give up a huge # of 3 attempts (and a high percentage), which makes the Spurs a particularly bad matchup for them imo....
   482. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4101949)
They're absolutely destroying teams right now, and that's while conserving minutes for Duncan, Manu, Splitter, and Parker.


Is it really 'conserving minutes' when you play Splitter less than 20 mpg for the season?

Edit: apparently I am alone in my evaluation of the Spurs. Apologies for the above.
   483. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4101951)
Did walker retire or retire from the d league? An Involuntary d league retirement might have been forthcoming regardless.
   484. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4101953)
The Spurs' winning streak should end tonight. They played the Jazz in San Antonio last night, and play the Jazz in Salt Lake tonight. Duncan, Parker, and Manu did not make the trip to Salt Lake, however. Of course it's the Spurs, so they'll probably win by 30+...

I'm sure the Rockets, Suns, etc. are annoyed by Pop's actions, but especially in this condensed season, I think he's making the right decision to give those three some rest. Sloan probably should have dome the same in 98-99...
   485. Maxwn Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4101961)
apparently I am alone in my evaluation of the Spurs. Apologies for the above.

FWIW, I have thought the same as you for most of the year, but they're playing so well right now I am thinking I might have been wrong.
   486. robinred Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4101980)
I may be wrong about the Spurs. They have some new weapons. But I think it is reasonable to be in "prove it" mode with them in terms of post-season at this point. They certainly have a better shot than the Lakers.
   487. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 09, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4102084)
8-8 scoreline after the first in Utah -- what the heck?

EDIT: Or 10-10? Nevermind. It appears my nba.com page is acting strange.
   488. Spivey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4102278)
The Spurs are all about health. Not to #### on Memphis' parade last year, because they were clearly a very good team when healthy, but Ginobili getting hurt was huge in that series. If he does that, or Parker, or Duncan then they will be in trouble.
   489. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: April 09, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4102290)
I'm going to assume I'm reading something wrong...

There are 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter in the DEN-GS game and Kenneth Faried has 15 rebounds...the entire GS team has 15 rebounds. Faried also has 25 points to go with those 15 boards in only 21 minutes of action.
   490. smileyy Posted: April 09, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4102334)
I wouldn't assume you're reading it wrong. Doesn't really look like Golden State showed up tonight. OTOH, GS does have 10 blocks.

Has a player ever out-rebounded an opposing team?
   491. Maxwn Posted: April 09, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4102347)
Not to #### on Memphis' parade last year, because they were clearly a very good team when healthy, but Ginobili getting hurt was huge in that series.

Not to make a big deal about this, but Manu missed one game in that series. He averaged 20 pts a game in the 5 he played. I think calling his injury huge is quite an exaggeration. If you want to point fingers at one of their big 3 being the difference, Tim Duncan is a much better candidate. He was pretty average/mortal.
   492. Spivey Posted: April 09, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4102358)
Not to make a big deal about this, but Manu missed one game in that series. He averaged 20 pts a game in the 5 he played. I think calling his injury huge is quite an exaggeration. If you want to point fingers at one of their big 3 being the difference, Tim Duncan is a much better candidate. He was pretty average/mortal.


We can discuss it. He was playing with a fractured elbow. I stand by my statement. The fact that he was able to have half decent numbers is a testament to how good he is, and that he would have probably torched Memphis otherwise. They also lost a game he was held out of.
   493. Maxwn Posted: April 09, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4102366)
We can discuss it. He was playing with a fractured elbow. I stand by my statement. The fact that he was able to have half decent numbers is a testament to how good he is, and that he would have probably torched Memphis otherwise. They also lost a game he was held out of.

His numbers were very similar to what he did in the regular season. He shot a little worse from the 3-pt line and turned the ball over a little more, but that was true of basically their entire team, so the Grizz defense may have had something to do with that. How good do you think he would have been healthy?

I'll grant that it was a factor, but I think you are overselling it quite a bit.
   494. King Mekong Posted: April 09, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4102373)
Here but been lurking. Haven't watched that many games this season as compared to last. Re last playoffs as manu was the spurs best player it seems likely that had he not been hurt the spurs would have won the first game. (one they barely lost) no disrespect to the Grizz who have a heckuva a team and were missing Rudy gay on their end.

The spurs have similar weakness this season as last, but Duncan seems spryer and splitter has progressed so I'm cautiously optimistic about their chances in the playoffs. They can match up with any team and have a lot of interesting lineup configurations.

Check out the spurs rebounding if you want to be shocked. They are controlling glass like crazy this year.
   495. robinred Posted: April 10, 2012 at 03:29 AM (#4102420)
As I said, I think the "lack of noise" about the Spurs is due more to their recent playoff history than anything else. They lost in RD 1 in 2009 and 2011 and were swept in RD 2 in 2010. If they had been in the Finals last year and had the record they have now then I think the MSM would give them more notice.

This team may be different--Jackson, Green, Splitter, Ginobili at 100% for once. Or it may not be. But the main characters are all the same guys. The narrative will change if they do better in the playoffs this time.

As to the Ginobili injury comments, (and the favoritism discussion) being older than most guys here, I have been a Lakers fan since the merger when I was still in elem school. In that period, the Lakers have been to the Finals 16 times, and every year, either Lakers fans (if the Lakers lost) or the fans of one or more of the other teams (if the Lakers won) had some reason, or reasons, involving either the refs or injuries or market size or all three, that their team didn't get it done. And, every year, looking at it either from the perspective of the Lakers or the other team, it is easy to find reasons why those narratives have holes and to find other reasons directly related to the team itself (roster construction, execution, coaching, straight-up talent) that caused that team to lose.

That is not to say Spurs fans shouldn't talk about Ginobili or Grizzlies fans shouldn't respond. But it is what it is, as the cliche goes.
   496. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: April 10, 2012 at 04:13 AM (#4102422)
With the caveat that I'm an irrationally big fan of Avery Bradley's game, I quite enjoyed this breakdown of his game. The comparison to a mini Shawn Marion on offense is interesting, especially if he can keep the efficiency up (how big an "if" that is being an open question); watching Rondo find him on all those cuts is all sorts of fun.
   497. JJ1986 Posted: April 10, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4102506)
Blake Ahearn got a 10-day contract (w/ Utah). I think he's a favorite of some guys here.
   498. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 10, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4102507)
Really? I'd be surprised if they didn't get to at least the Conference Finals. They're absolutely destroying teams right now, and that's while conserving minutes for Duncan, Manu, Splitter, and Parker. They're clearly the deepest team in the league, they play great defense, everyone can shoot, they've got great chemistry, and they seem to be able to match up against anybody. They're completely scary.

I'm biased obviously, but I think the Bulls are as deep if not deeper (so "clearly" is really the part I'm actually objecting to). I think the rest is true, but do understand others being hesitant about their success. OTOH, no way I see Denver or Phoenix beating them (Dallas of this season also probably shouldn't, but the same way others are hesitant to trust SA based on last year I'm hesitant to count out Dallas).

If San Antonio is not the favorite to face OKC in the conference finals, then who is? The Lakers? The Grizzlies?

Not only that, they are probably the one matchup that scares OKC the most. If SA and OKC face in the WCF, it's probably a toss up who wins.

----------------

Seriously:

Rose, for starters, tweaked an ankle at some point in Sunday's game, which he finished. The extent of the injury is unknown, however sources said Rose wore a walking boot on Monday and his availability for Tuesday's shot at redemption against the Knicks is a game-time decision.


Unreal.
   499. King Mekong Posted: April 10, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4102513)
It absolutely is what is. I'd add that narratives are always backwards looking and do little for prediction. Say the grizzlies win it all this year (gay Randolph and gasol all healthy playing like a big 3) everyone will point to last year as the year they moved over the hump and this year as the year they put it together. If they lose in the 1st or 2nd round nope. I think all of these narrative problems have more to do with how strong the west is than anything else.
   500. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 10, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4102514)
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