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Friday, February 03, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, February 2012

I estimate that there may be more than 10-12 Primates who want to talk about the inevitable dominance of the Philadelphia 76ers, and with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: the pharmaceutical industry, allergies, and obscure movies.

Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: February 03, 2012 at 03:46 AM | 1392 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies, twins

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   1301. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4072726)
RJames: So, your argument isn't that the players were better in the 80s, but that talent was more concentrated?

Forget, DK. It's k-town.

He's been the favorite to win the title for the last 4 years at least and hasn't done so. In not winning the title, he's had some really weird and inexplicable games.

He needs to win a few to put that to rest. Like I said above, I think he's getting pretty close to top 5 all time, but the way he's failed to win titles is starting to get weird.

If he never wins a title in his prime, I'm not sure what to make of him. Titles matter a lot more to me in hoops than in any other sport.


I agree with this response. He is an all-time great. But to really be considered top 5, he just has to win. Of course, it may not make much of a difference (hell, Wilt won twice and still has vocal critics).

I'll buy that for last year (& this year), but I'm gonna call BS on anyone outside of Ohio ever thinking the Cavs were favorites to win the title, even when they were PLAYING for the title. LeBron made them a contender, obviously, but that's all.

Nope. They were clear favorites at least his last 2 seasons in Cleveland. Hell, go back to the first NBA thread here. The Cavs were a very flawed team, and that's even more obvious in retrospect, but this is revisionism.

I don't remember his body language but he did listless his way to 27-19-10 (with 9 turnovers) in that game.

Go back to this thread and re-read after the game. He was criticized before the game was even over.
   1302. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4072729)
Can anyone link to the relevant place in that thread?
   1303. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4072730)
As long as we're criticizing uberstats, the complete lack of schedule adjustment is bound to overrate players who, say, spent their entire careers in the laughably bad Eastern Conference of the past decade.
   1304. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4072736)
As long as we're criticizing uberstats, the complete lack of schedule adjustment is bound to overrate players who, say, spent their entire careers in the laughably bad Eastern Conference of the past decade.

Player A: 27.8 ppg, 7 rbg, 6.8 ast, 48% FG, .318% 3fg 75% ft
Player B: 27.6 ppg, 7.3 rbg, 7.2 ast, 49% FG, .356% 3FG, .732

One of those is LeBron against the WC and the other is him against the laughably bad EC.
   1305. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4072742)
Can anyone link to the relevant place in that thread?


Start here. This is the day of game 5 of Cavs/C's.
   1306. Jimmy P Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4072745)
On the subject of Lebron, he absolutely embarrassed the Blazers last night.

38 pts, 13-22 (2-2 from 3), 11 Rebounds, 6 Assists, 5 Steals, 1 Block, 1 Foul, 0 TOs (and one crazy finish of a Wade alley-oop)

That's pure domination.

Blazers are sinking. There should be some trades here. Reports around here are that they are looking into just about every point guard on the market.
   1307. Yardape Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4072746)
They were clear favorites at least his last 2 seasons in Cleveland. Hell, go back to the first NBA thread here.


I agree. I was in (or reading) the NBA thread at the time and everyone expected the Cavs to win that first year. I recall that Sam H. warned they were vulnerable after they destroyed the Hawks, but most people wrote him off as a sore loser.

I do think his final year in Cleveland is a bit odd, however. Yes, they were the favourites, but would they have been if we had known what the Celtics were doing? At the time it looked like the Celtics had gotten old and bad. In retrospect, it appears that they just shut it down in the regular season and geared up for the playoffs. So while it may be accurate to say LBJ has been the favourite and lost three years in a row, I think it's a little unfair.
   1308. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4072748)
Thanks Moses.
   1309. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4072773)
Trying to figure out why this is/was necessary.


It was a tweak but an accurate one. Recall how this started: you going off on people grouping James and Jordan with Johnson and Bird as "absolutely fuc king ridiculous" (was that rhetoric "necessary"?)and your attitude about Bryant is well-established.

______________

As far as the 15 vs 42 games, sure. But again, the Hombre was saying that the Johnson took a middling team and put it in the Finals, which is true. And as I said, I disagree with some of his other characterizations.

As to PER, it has many limitations. It is, however, useful for thumbnail analysis, which is what this is. And, as noted by me and others, since PER favors high-usage guys, the PER knife cuts both ways in this discussion.
   1310. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4072780)
Though - in crunch time, I'm seeing a lot of isos for him (you watch them more than I do - tell me if I'm wrong).


You're not wrong, and Lakers fans have been bittching about it all year. It is part of the "Brown is a chickenshit" narrative, along with the refusal to bench Fisher. The problem with it in terms of this discussion is that a lot of the internet guys talk about Kobe's late-game numbers and shot totals without even mentioning Brown's name, which is not really "analysis."

I don't talk about the NBA at the water cooler and I live in SoCal, but I will say that IMO "Kobe is a selfish gunning bastard" is as common a meme as "Kobe is as good as LeBron" or as "LeBron is a choker."

____

On Post-Magic Lakers:

Those numbers will be affected by many things. The Lakers had EXACTLY the same team, except they had a decent replacement for Magic in Threatt. Had the situation been more like James in Cleveland--replacing him with nothing--the numbers would have been bigger. The Lakers got worse the next couple of years after that until West started getting some new blood in.

And, of course, we have discussed the 94 Bulls, which are sometimes used by people who don't like Jordan as a point against him. We have also discussed why that is wrong (Pippen took over as the high usage guy; Pete Myers was actually good on D and took up some slack there, Kukoc and Steve Kerr joined the team).
   1311. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4072787)
Uh, I thought they were the favorites


Most people here picked them in 2009 and 2010. I didn't really make a pick in 2009, but I picked them without hesitation in 2010, in spite of the fact that I thought Jamison would make them worse, not better. Sam H as noted picked Orlando to beat them in 2009. And of course most people here picked Miami in 2011, including me.

In 2010, Cleveland took Boston in Game 1 by about 8-10 points, and I recall Joe C more or less resignig himself to Boston not being able to beat them, and I said something similar--"just too much LeBron" etc. Had they beaten Bpston, I think they would have been favored (slightly) over Orlando and had they been in the Finals, would have also been favored (slightly) over the Lakers.

I think very,very few people saw Boston taking them out like that coming.
   1312. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4072791)
Blazers are sinking. There should be some trades here. Reports around here are that they are looking into just about every point guard on the market.


Devin Harris has been looking better...God I would love Batum, but I don't know what the Jazz could/would offer to make it work.

I was looking at Lebron's BR page today and noticed this piece on Karl Malone under pressure linked.
   1313. aberg Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4072795)
If there was any question about whether the Cavs were supposed to win the East in 09, remember those Kobe vs. Lebron puppet commercials? You don't launch a marketing campaign based on a possible rivalry unless you're really confident it will come to fruition in the post-Dan vs. Dave era.

F Amar'e Stoudemire finally acknowledged issues he's having with explosion around the rim and attributed it to the 20 pounds of muscle he added during the offseason as a means to handle the physical battles in the paint that wore him down last season. Stoudemire said he is making an effort to get leaner and vowed to rediscover his trademark athleticism around the basket. "Stay tuned," he said. "Stay tuned." Stoudemire didn't have it against the Cavs, as he had 14 points and just five rebounds on 4-for-11 shooting in 27:49.
(Yahoo! Sports)


I do mean to toot my own horn when I said that he looked too heavy and that I thought his added muscle was his biggest problem this year. Contrast with Love, who lost a bunch of weight and has gained explosiveness without apparently losing much strength.
   1314. hokieneer Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4072797)
By the way, I agree with the point that they were the favorites those last two years in CLE and lost, so that is 3 years in a row where they have been "upset" and that IS a legitimate mark against him.


I'm a lurker around here, but the way I remember the last 3 LeBron postseasons:

'09 ECF: Magic got hot from 3 for the entire series. Lebron average something like 35/8/7 for the series, magic still won. Even though the Cavs were one of the 2-3 favorites, this really can't be a knock on James.
'10 ECSF: Lebron had an amazing game 3 to put the cavs up 2-1. And then in games 5 & 6 he appeared to be very listless in the games and never even tried to assert himself as the best player on the court. At first I just assumed this was the elbow, but when you combine that with what happened the following year, I'm not sure.
'11 Finals: Yeah we all know about this.

I don't think the last 3 years are in any way equal in terms of "black marks" on James. His teams might have been favorites, but the circumstances of their upsets were different.
   1315. Jimmy P Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4072799)
God I would love Batum

That's just not happening. He's been on fire since moving into the starting lineup (about a month too late). He, Aldridge, and Pryzbilla are the only ones that are almost guaranteed to not move. And it surely wouldn't happen for Devin Harris.
   1316. aberg Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4072800)
Blazers are sinking. There should be some trades here. Reports around here are that they are looking into just about every point guard on the market.


How about Beasley and Ridnour for Mathews and the rights to Patty Mills?
   1317. Jimmy P Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4072806)
How about Beasley and Ridnour for Mathews and the rights to Patty Mills?


Ridnour they've talked about (especially since he went to UO). But Mathews would probably take more talent (the Vulcans love him) and they aren't taking a PG without dumping Felton.
   1318. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4072807)
The question I had looking at LA's first post-Magic season was: was their effort level the same afterward? Their D really fell off and it's hard to imagine that a lot of that is Johnson directly.

Speaking of LeBron's elbow, I think he hurt it (though not too badly) last night.

That Malone bit was how I got to the clutch numbers I posted last page...

No SSAC talk?
   1319. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4072810)
Joe Johnson's going to miss at least two more games due to his left knee tendinitis. Handing out $120+ million for the age 29-34 seasons of an above average player who'd played at least 38 minutes a game for the previous seven seasons is going to work out even worse than everyone outside the employ of the team predicted.
   1320. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4072811)
LeBron didn't have a very good series against Boston by any means. But he was hurt, and he got absolutely let down by his team. Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, etc. could not make open shots to save their life. It's also fair to point out that was a Boston team that went to game 7 of the Finals and when they had a healthy team (including Perkins) they appeared to be the best team in the playoffs.

That said, he does need to win. But he's young, and I think he will.

----

The very fact that Magic was replaced by a roughly average player and the team was average shows that his supporting talent wasn't middling. You take the best player off of a team and most teams are going to be below .500. Hell, half the teams are .500 or below even with their star player.

   1321. aberg Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4072813)
Joe Johnson's going to miss at least two more games due to his left knee tendinitis. Handing out $120+ million for the age 29-34 seasons of an above average player who'd played at least 38 minutes a game for the previous seven seasons is going to work out even worse than everyone outside the employ of the team predicted.


I went back and read some of that thread from two years ago. It's hilarious that we were talking trash about the idiotic Joe Johnson contract then, well before it had been signed- and it has not let up in the least.

Another thing that stood out was how much I hated Mike Brown. Maybe I underrated how well he coached Cleveland's defense.
   1322. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4072817)
Their D really fell off and it's hard to imagine that a lot of that is Johnson directly.


Maybe he was better on D on a team-level than the numbers show due to his size.
Maybe they missed his leadership.

Also, recall that back then, most people thought he was going to DIE within a year or two. It wasn't a typical retirement. That may have affected their effort. They started off 10-3, winning some very close games, and "playing for Magic." But without him there to "grind out" baskets as Hombre said, they were just an average team.
   1323. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4072819)
I went back and read some of that thread from two years ago. It's hilarious that we were talking trash about the idiotic Joe Johnson contract then, well before it had been signed- and it has not let up in the least.

Yeah, I could have cross-posted in the miserable sports city thread.
   1324. Manny Coon Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4072820)
Lebron was crazy good in the 08-09 playoffs, he had a PER over 37 in the playoffs that year. Even in the series against Orlando who were the best defensive team in the league, he had 3 40 point games (Cleveland lost all 3) and 2 more of over 35, in his bad game that series he still went for 25-7-7. They managed to lose a game where he went 20-30 for 49 points, with 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks and only 2 turnovers.
   1325. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4072821)
The very fact that Magic was replaced by a roughly average player and the team was average shows that his supporting talent wasn't middling. You take the best player off of a team and most teams are going to be below .500.


Not seeing it. The Lakers were a 58-24 Finals team with Magic, and a .500 team with Sedale Threatt with the same collection of players. Seems about as straightforward as these things can be.

(including Perkins)


Ahhh.
   1326. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4072827)
@ 1324

Yes, I posted that number earlier. James does not get enough credit for his work against Orlando in 2009. One can also argue in retrospect that the fact that James put up those numbers and Cleveland lost anyway should have alerted Cleveland's FO that they needed to try to add someone better than Shaq or Jamison. I expect that a future Simmons "What If" may be "What if Cleveland had traded for Amare Stoudemire at the 2010 deadline?"

Might have made no difference, of course.
   1327. Manny Coon Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4072829)
I can could definitely see Magic being a good team defender, he was very smart and had excellent length, so he likely had the tools to be very good at closing down on rotations, he also had the size to handle switches on pick and rolls or similar situations and he had the size and length to challenge shots in help situations. He very well could have been an elite team defender or at least very good. He was also an elite defensive rebounder for a guard. Defensive +/- data from that era would interesting to see. Bird could also probably guard a few different positions and was well known for being a smart player, so he might have been pretty good defensively as well.

Defense isn't just about athleticism, especially if you're smart and have good size, people were questioning Rubio's defensive ability coming into the league, because they though he might not be athletic enough, but he's possibly already one of better defenders of either guard positions in the league.
   1328. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4072832)


Not seeing it. The Lakers were a 58-24 Finals team with Magic, and a .500 team with Sedale Threatt with the same collection of players. Seems about as straightforward as these things can be.


Several people have mentioned this already, but look closer. They were a .500 team without him. If a supporting cast can go .500 over a large sample without their best player they are basically by definition a better than middling supporting cast. If a team is league average without their best player, that by definition means that their 2nd to 10th best players are on equal footing with most team's 1st to 9th best players. That's extremely significant, and I don't see how that isn't straightforward.
   1329. Manny Coon Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4072843)
So who was the most middling supporting cast of championship team? 02-03 Spurs? 93-94 Rockets? 99-00 Lakers?
   1330. Rally Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4072845)
To explain to you part of the reason the narrative that apparently bothers you enough that you are posting stuff from Chasing23 exists. Kobe's team came back and won in the biggest game of his career, against their hated historic rivals, and although Kobe shot badly overall,he played pretty well late in the game, and his team got the streamers and the parade and the banner.


I concur. Kobe had a game where his shot just would not go down. So he battled in every way he could to get his team on top anyway. 15 rebounds, 15 free throw attempts, and strong defense. I can't remember if he was mostly guarding Pierce (5-15) or Allen (3-14) but either way he and Metta shut them both down.

That game was ugly, but beutiful in a way, in that both sides played with maximum effort for the entire 48 minutes and didn't hold anything back. I watched the whole thing, felt emotionally engaged the whole time, and while I've always respected Kobe, that game did nothing but enhance my opinion of him on the court.

It's a good thing the game did not go overtime. Somebody probably would have died from exhaustion.
   1331. Rally Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4072849)
Since some people brought up basketball metrics, one thing I love about WS/48 is that if you multiply it by 1000 you have a metric that can be compared to OPS+ or ERA+. Since average WS/48 has to be .100 by definition (10 players, 48 minutes, one win).
   1332. Jon T. Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4072854)
Kobe guarded Rondo a lot in game 7 and basically played a one man zone in the lane, that's one of the reasons he was able to get 15 rebounds
   1333. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4072860)
Looking at one of the old Barry/Cohn annuals last night (btw - publishers - I would so buy books like these today), it said of Bird (paraphrasing), 'not a good man to man defender, but you want him on the court defensively for the last possession of the game' - rated him an A (they use a weird AAA to D scale, B is average. Magic was a B (same logic).

Btw, who did LeBron guard in that game 6? Pierce struggled, Garnett did well. If Pierce, this isn't that different (on paper) from the game AROM is describing (19 rebounds, 12 free throw attempts).

I dig that too, AROM (1331).
   1334. Jon T. Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4072862)
I should also say I agree with pretty much everything else Arom says about that game and Kobe's performance
   1335. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4072872)
If a team is league average without their best player, that by definition means that their 2nd to 10th best players are on equal footing with most team's 1st to 9th best players.


The phrases "without their best player" and "1st to 9th best" don't do much for me. They replaced Magic with a league-average (slightly above, actually) PG. So, they had league-average and slighly above players 1-9, and had a league-average or slightly-above team, based on W-L, winning 43 games. With Magic Johnson on that team--that exact team, more or less--instead of Sedale Threatt, they won 58 games and made it to the Finals. If they had replaced Magic with 2012 Derek Fisher, they would probably have gone about 34-48.

When a star leaves or goes down, you look at:

1. Who takes over his usage (Pippen/Jordan is the best example. Kukoc and Kerr also got more usage).
2. Who takes over his actual position and what that guy does.
3. What other changes are made.
4. Team numbers on O and D.

Finally, the Lakers were probably lucky to go 43-39. Recall what I said about their 10-3 start being based on some close, last-shot "win it for Magic" wins. Here are the numbers:

ORTG/DRTG/PYTH

91 112/5TH 105/5TH 59-23 lost in Finals

92 108/13TH 109/17TH 38-44 lost 3-1 in 1st round

Major performance drop-offs on both sides of the basketball, in the won/loss record, and in the post-season. And Sedale Threatt was not a stiff; he was a legit NBA player.


   1336. Rally Posted: March 02, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4072882)
Btw, who did LeBron guard in that game 6? Pierce struggled, Garnett did well. If Pierce, this isn't that different (on paper) from the game AROM is describing (19 rebounds, 12 free throw attempts).


Yeah, that game for Lebron does look like Kobe's game 7. On paper it looks like a valiant effort in defeat. Even the 9 turnovers at least show a guy trying to make things happen. I don't think I watched it, mostly because I was so disgusted by what I saw in the game 5, where Cleveland pretty much quit in the second half.

Which is the same thing that happened to the Lakers in game 6 of 2008. In that one Kobe didn't rebound, or get to the line, and as for defense, they let the Celtics score 73 in the second half. That only happens in A) a talent mismatch or B) one team gives up and the other wants to rub their noses in it.
   1337. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4072885)
while I've always respected Kobe, that game did nothing but enhance my opinion of him on the court
.

Simmons was right about the effect on fans of that game, in retrospect (Jon T, a Boston fan, making the type of comment he did down below yours, shows this) in that the way the game went down, rather than settling the Kobe wars, has flamed them. Kobe played 45 tough minutes, came through when he had to, and helped to get his team what may well have been the biggest win in the history of the franchise, which of course is really saying something when you are talking about the Lakers. He got as many rebounds by himself as Pierce, Garnett, and Allen did combined.

But, he also shot 6/24, and needed a once-a-career game from Artest for his team to win, and of course Boston fans/haters will always have the Perkins injury narrative to fall back on.


So, as Simmons predicted, for a lot of people, he is more polarizing than ever.

   1338. Rally Posted: March 02, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4072894)
A 15 game drop off is about what you should expect when you replace an all-time great still at his peak with an average player.

In Larry Bird's career:
Celtics went from 29 to 61 in his rookie year.
Dropped from 57 to 42 when Bird got hurt and only played 6 games one year.
Improved by 10 when Bird came back
They dropped by only 3 when Bird retired, but he only played 45 games his last year so the team had already lost much of the impact of a peak Bird.
   1339. Jon T. Posted: March 02, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4072916)
Robin,

It's just a fact that he did not guard either Pierce (Meta) or Allen (Fischer), and that by sagging way off Rondo he was already in the lane and able to get more rebounds. 15 boards is a lot of rebounds no matter what he was doing on defense and he certainly should get credit for that, but there is no way he gets that many if he was guarding Allen or Pierce.
   1340. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: March 02, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4072926)
It was a tweak but an accurate one. Recall how this started: you going off on people grouping James and Jordan with Johnson and Bird as "absolutely fuc king ridiculous" (was that rhetoric "necessary"?)and your attitude about Bryant is well-established.

1. I apologize for my rhetoric being over the top, but I am still having a hard time seeing on what basis two brilliant offensive players who may have been underrated defenders can be easily chosen over a brilliant offensive player who is also a brilliant defender.

2. What exactly is my attitude towards Kobe? I think he's overrated by the mainstream media and I have a personal dislike for him, not as much as I did Jordan, but I still think the guy is one of the handful of best players ever and probably a Top 5 player right now. Going back to my LeBron point (and to something I hinted at when I brought up the greatest Laker ever discussion) I have a hard time seeing Bird or Magic as clearly better than Kobe and I think they are regarded as such as well. Perhaps I'm overrating the ability to play both sides of the ball.
   1341. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 02, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4072953)
Reading that old thread is fun. A couple of posts I enjoyed:

Moses Taylor demands to be housewarmed Posted: May 14, 2010 at 06:13 PM (#3532961)
I think it's more than whether or not he's sentimental. If he leaves, his home state will turn on him with extreme prejudice. Whether it's deserved or not. He will be seen as a total traitor, especially going out like this. That's why I still think the most likely result is him resigning.

I dunno, maybe he's ready to be done with it once and for all (although I can imagine a scenario where he leaves, wins a handful of titles, and comes back to the Cavs in a decade for the last year or so of his career, almost as a peace offering and one of the biggest redemption stories).


For the 2nd paragraph.

11241. robinred Posted: May 14, 2010 at 01:49 PM (#3532576)

Like most people, I thought if the Cavs lost, it would be to Orlando, in a six-or-seven game war. And in that scenario, I thought that James might say he has "unfinished business" and stick around on a max deal with an out clause, and the Cavs would fire Brown. Losing this way, in this round, to the Celtics, I think dramatically increases the chances that he walks. I think what this does is increase the chances of a "team-up" with one of his Redeem Team buddies, Wade or Bosh. Miami has about 40M in cap space; one rumor that I have seen is that Bosh, Wade and James have talked privately about all playing there together, on slightly less than max deals, so they can all fit under the cap.


I think that's our first superfriends post. Someone else in there, robin says he thinks he's going to Miami. Looks like he was first in the thread right on that one.

11271. tshipman Posted: May 14, 2010 at 03:42 PM (#3532701)

6. Mike Brown is an awful coach. People talking about the supporting cast are missing the point. They won 60 games with this team! two years in a row! It's not like they had a bunch of scrubs. I refuse to accept that it's Jamison or Moe Williams' faults when they have zero plays in their offense.


Ouch.

---

We also talked a lot about LeBron's elbow injury in that series. IIRC, nothing else came out about that and he never had surgery.
   1342. RJames Posted: March 02, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4072957)
Btw, who did LeBron guard in that game 6? Pierce struggled, Garnett did well.


Pierce. Pierce and LeBron almost always guard each other.

Not surprisingly, Pierce struggled offensively but played excellent defense.
   1343. smileyy Posted: March 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4072961)

38 pts, 13-22 (2-2 from 3), 11 Rebounds, 6 Assists, 5 Steals, 1 Block, 1 Foul, 0 TOs (and one crazy finish of a Wade alley-oop)


And the block was a classic LeBron chasedown block. And that ridiculous 4th quarter steal/save.
   1344. madvillain Posted: March 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4072971)
It's interesting what the interlopers in the thread seem to think about basketball. Sorta confirms the whole "the casual fan has a lot of misconceptions" thing. I guess that's true of any sport.

Sure, the EC wasn't as good as the WC for a solid decade, but it's not like we are comparing MLB to the Cuban league. More like the AL East against the AL West.

And basketball doesn't even have that unbalanced of a schedule.
   1345. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 02, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4072972)
That's just not happening. He's been on fire since moving into the starting lineup (about a month too late). He, Aldridge, and Pryzbilla are the only ones that are almost guaranteed to not move. And it surely wouldn't happen for Devin Harris.


Of course. I was wondering if the Jazz would offer up a more valuable piece along with Harris, but still hard to see it work as good as Batum has been.
   1346. Manny Coon Posted: March 02, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4072984)
I don't think there is any real evidence Kobe is a better defender than Bird or Magic. He looks good defensively and has a great reputation, but the stats have never really backed it up. His steal and block numbers are basically the same as Bird (Magic got more steals but less blocks) and his defensive +/- numbers have never really showed any significant impact. Generally the Lakers have best off defensively with someone like Ariza, Artest or even Fox and Harper as the lead wing defenders and quality bigs behind them to protect the basket.

I think his All-Defensive team are awards a similar to a great hitter with above average fielding winning a ton of gold gloves.

Kobe is certain hall of famer, but I think he still tier behind Magic and Bird, although I'd probably have both of them behind Michael Jordan and bunch of boring big men. Kobe isn't done yet though and his durability could add a lot more career value yet. Lebron is still just barely starting out, Jordan and Shaq both won their first titles at 27 and Duncan won his first as the unquestionable best player on his team at 26, so Lebron is basically on pace with the rest of the best if the Heat win this year.
   1347. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 02, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4072985)
Wow, I didn't realize that an off-handed comment on sometimes picking Magic over Jordan or James ("I would pick Magic Johnson over Lebron. Depending on the day, I might pick him over Jordan.") would be so controversial. I didn't think it was, and I still don't.

Who are the greatest players (retired) at their respective positions?

PG: Magic
SG: Jordan
SF: Bird
PF: Malone
C: Chamberlain / Jabbar

Yes, there's some gray area and you can make arguments for other guys, but this is generally the list. Of the guys listed, I believe there's a case to be made for any of those six guys listed for Greatest Player Ever, especially for Johnson, Jordan, Chamberlain, and Jabbar. I'm looking at retired guys only; Lebron will likely take over at SF, and Tim Duncan at PF (even though he's really a C), and I think both those guys have an argument for greatest ever as well.

At this level, I don't believe the metrics work at all. How much better than Wilt was Magic — or was he? How much better than Malone was Bird – or was he? Does coaching matter? What positional adjustments do we make? How much does coaching matter? Current guys get an extra half-step; how much does that matter? I don't know, and I'm confident that nobody else really does either. We're all just guestimating at that level.

I would pick Magic Johnson over Lebron. Depending on the day, I might pick him over Jordan.
   1348. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 02, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4072987)
And for what it's worth:

Chicago Bulls, 1992-93, 57-25, won in the Finals
Chicago Bulls, 1993-94, 55-27, lost in Game 7 of the EC Semis

That's not a very big drop-off. Anyone want to argue that diminishes Michael Jordan's status?
   1349. Kurt Posted: March 02, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4072989)
I would love to see the case to be made for Karl Malone as the Greatest Player Ever.
   1350. Jimmy P Posted: March 02, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4073019)
Who are the greatest players (retired) at their respective positions?

PG: Magic
SG: Jordan
SF: Bird
PF: Malone
C: Chamberlain / Jabbar


That PF is Duncan's spot, but we have to be able to find someone that was better than Malone there.
   1351. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 02, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4073026)
That's not a very big drop-off. Anyone want to argue that diminishes Michael Jordan's status?

Am I missing something, or is the extent of your argument for Magic over MJ the team record the year after they left?
   1352. Rally Posted: March 02, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4073030)
"And for what it's worth:

Chicago Bulls, 1992-93, 57-25, won in the Finals
Chicago Bulls, 1993-94, 55-27, lost in Game 7 of the EC Semis

That's not a very big drop-off. Anyone want to argue that diminishes Michael Jordan's status?"

There are a bunch of reasons for the relatively small drop off.

1. They were a bit lucky, by pythag it was 58 to 50
2. Adding Kukoc. He was no Jordan but he was a very good player
3. Pippen was capable of doing more, being out from under Michael's shadow forced him to become more than just a great sidekick, but a great player in his own right. I think this paid off down the road, that the 96-98 teams were better because both Jordan and Pippen had shown they could carry a team.

There definitely seems to be diminishing returns at work. Bird could improve the 29 win Celtics by 32 games, but if he gets added to a 50 win team there's no way they go undefeated.
   1353. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 02, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4073040)

Chicago Bulls, 1992-93, 57-25, won in the Finals
Chicago Bulls, 1993-94, 55-27, lost in Game 7 of the EC Semis

That's not a very big drop-off. Anyone want to argue that diminishes Michael Jordan's status?


Yes, it does. It's a point against him, although there are some mitigating factors as AROM notes.

I wasn't paying attention to basketball then, but looking at the 91-92 Lakers, Threatt was good, but also Worthy missed 28 games and Divac 46, I assume w/ injury, so ISTM that you can't credit all the decline to Magic anyway.
   1354. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 02, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4073049)
Am I missing something, or is the extent of your argument for Magic over MJ the team record the year after they left?
That's not my point at all, and in fact I've implied (twice now in two days) that you'd have to catch me on an off-day day to claim that Magic was better than Jordan. (If that was unclear from my comment, let me make that clear now.)

My point is that those people arguing that perhaps Magic Johnson wasn't as great as I'm making him out to be by using the different in the Lakers' 1991 and 1992 campaigns aren't using a good example. Nobody sane would make the argument that Jordan is overrated based on the 1994 Bulls. Why some think a similar argument WRT Magic and the 1992 Lakers, I'm not sure.
   1355. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: March 02, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4073050)
That's not a very big drop-off. Anyone want to argue that diminishes Michael Jordan's status?

Yes. Of course. How can it not?

I can see LBJ one day surpassing everybody, but he needs something akin to Game 6 1980 Finals to even get in the conversation with Magic as GOAT.

RR's 1990-91 example is very good, because it points out something alluded to in a similar thread -- it's nearly impossible to imagine Magic on a bad or even mediocre basketball team.(*) The Michigan State program he joined was terrible. His freshman year they advanced to the Elite 8 where they lost a close game to eventual NC Kentucky and they won it in his sophomore year. He left, and Sparty promptly descended back to the same suctackularity he singlehandedly lifted them from.(**) Magic would have been the #1 pick coming out of high school (in an era of less precociousness) and was just ... well ... better than everybody.

Magic walked onto a team that had Kareem and yeah, Kareem remains almost criminally underrated ... but how good were the Lakers from '75 to '79 before Magic got there? And when Kareem went down in the '80 Finals, who replaced him at center and had one of the best games it's possible to have?

Magic was also more revolutionary than LBJ, great as LBJ is. The guy was a 6-9 point guard. Who'd ever heard of such a thing?

I have nothing but good to say about LBJ and I fully expect him to go on a big playoff run in the next few years, and I hope he does. He has it in him to surpass Magic and Jordan.

(*) We don't need the imagination with MJ -- he was on some brutal teams.

(**) And, of course, back then really good upperclassmen stayed much longer in college.
   1356. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 02, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4073052)
[1354] It's just a question of context. It's certainly relevant that the team declined by 15 games. So I think it's relevant to ask whether 15 games is a lot, or a little, and my personal opinion is that it isn't a huge number.
   1357. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: March 02, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4073059)
In the famous Game 6 1980, the Lakers went 8 "deep," their "bench" being composed of Mark Landsberger (19 minutes), Brad Holland (9 minutes), and Marty Byrnes (1 minute). Norm Nixon played 40 minutes and went 1 for 10 from the floor. Michael Cooper, a rookie, moved into the starting lineup and played 39 minutes, shooting 4 for 9. The legendary Jim Chones was the starting 4. Silk Wilkes was obviously a very good player and Cooper was a good off the bench defender, but those six running mates for Magic and Silk, collectively, were some pretty major bow wow wow.
   1358. Manny Coon Posted: March 02, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4073070)
Most the stats that try to measure players in terms of wins value superstars around 15-20 wins, so the 15 win differential isn't too interesting. The Lakers improved by 13 wins Magic's rookie year, WS values him at 10 wins and Cooper at 4, around time Magic retired it valued him at around 15, so it mostly adds up.

Bird's first year saw a bunch of veteran players on Celtics play much better than the year before on both ends of the floor, but also involved a coaching change. There wasn't a similar effect at the end of his career though, so I don't know how much you can attribute to Bird. They dropped fairly standard 17 games when he was injured in his prime in 88-89.

David Robinson might be the king of single season improvement and decline, they improved 35 games his rookie year, dropped 39 games the year he was injured and bounced back 36 games when he returned. He had a long slow decline though, so the end of his career didn't have such a major impact.

   1359. aberg Posted: March 02, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4073076)
We don't need the imagination with MJ -- he was on some brutal teams.


Only if you mean "on" in the most literal sense. He won 38 as a rookie (and sneaked into the playoffs). He played 7 games the next year, the only truly "brutal" team, but still put the fear of God in the Celtics with a 44-6-6 playoff performance. He won 40 the next year (43 Pyth) in what was his true sophomore year, then never had another non-dominant season until he was an old man on his Wizards vanity project. Aside from that minor quibble, I really enjoyed that post.
   1360. aberg Posted: March 02, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4073083)
The Robinson thing is weird. Their yearly wins: 55, 62, 59, 20, 56, 61 (prorated), 53, 58... ad finitum. Robinson played 6 games that year on a strict minute limit, and they still went 3-3 in those games. The fact that Sean Elliott was also limited to 39 games probably makes a big difference. In fact, Avery was the only guy who started more than 58 games for them that year. Even VDN, who had been their third best scorer the year before, had an across-the-board drop off despite what would seem like more opportunities.

Notable: Pop took over that year, and Avery, VDN, and Monty Williams all went on to become head coaches from the group.
   1361. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: March 02, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4073138)
one thing that i didn't really mention about wednesday's thunder game was that iguodala and holiday both did a hell of a job defending durant and westbrook. the two were a combined 14/38 from the floor, and scored just 45 combined points. westbrook was held without a FG for the 2nd half, and he had 7 turnovers through the game.

as a team, the thunder were held to 10 points in the 3rd quarter, and the 92 points they scored in the game was the third lowest total for the team on the season.


but all of that went to #### on the glass and at the FT line.
   1362. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 02, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4073142)
There definitely seems to be diminishing returns at work. Bird could improve the 29 win Celtics by 32 games, but if he gets added to a 50 win team there's no way they go undefeated.


That's true. But you look at teams collapsing when guys like Robinson and LeBron leave. These were teams that were high 50 to 60 win teams. Falling apart.

The fact that Sean Elliott was also limited to 39 games probably makes a big difference.

It's definitely a difference, but Elliott was never going to be able to strap that team on his back. They were going to be awful, awful. Someone else made a good point that happened a bit to the post-Magic team as well.

I think prime Admiral is better than prime Magic. Yeah, Magic is likely the best PG of all time, and even a big Robinson homer like myself will grant he isn't the best center of all time. But centers are more meaningful, and the differences for when Robinson played and when he didn't bear that out. Looking at the Olajuwon Rockets are the same - you look at these guys and before Drexler/Duncan they're guys who have about as bad supporting casts as a guy can have.

My point is that those people arguing that perhaps Magic Johnson wasn't as great as I'm making him out to be by using the different in the Lakers' 1991 and 1992 campaigns aren't using a good example. Nobody sane would make the argument that Jordan is overrated based on the 1994 Bulls. Why some think a similar argument WRT Magic and the 1992 Lakers, I'm not sure.

By and large people arent using this to diminish Magic, but to give credit to his supporting cast. The MJ thing is weird, and I do think it does raise a legitimate question or two about MJ and if he is truly the GOAT. But we knew he had a kickass supporting cast (and Kukoc). He played his prime with prime Pippen. Kukoc was quite good. Horace Grant was in his prime. I look at that mainly as validation that you can look at that season thinking Pippen being on par, or very close with Bird.
   1363. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 02, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4073143)
I would love to see the case to be made for Karl Malone as the Greatest Player Ever.


I realize Malone wasn't the main point of the post, but that was my immediate reaction too. I've never been able to decide whether Malone or Stockton was the best player on those Jazz teams. Does anyone else struggle with that? Is there a consensus that Malone was better? Since I consider Duncan fundamentally a center, I guess there's a good argument that Karl Malone is the greatest PF ever, but I think you could justify ranking Malone, Barkley, KG, and Dirk in any order.
   1364. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 02, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4073149)
Peak Garnett beats Malone, but Malone kills Garnett on career and that's important too. Malone had like a 13 year stretch where only once did his seasonal WS fall below 13. That was the shortened season, when he lead the league in WS. A 13 WS season for Garnett would be the 5th best season of his career. And anything you want to say about Malone in the playoffs goes for KG too, and it goes for much of Dirk's career as well.

Basically, Malone was a lock for 25/10 for his entire career, including the playoffs. I hated the Jazz with a passion as a kid, but I respect what Malone brought to the table.
   1365. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 02, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4073154)
I absolutely love Malone and I don't think I could even fake an argument for him as the greatest player ever. Even if MJ isn't the greatest -- and I'm pretty sure he is -- I have no doubt he was better than Malone.

So is there an argument for Robinson over Shaq? I didn't think so, but looking at BR The Admiral is only 3 WS behind Shaq in about 220 fewer games. I know Shaq was no slouch defensively in his peak, but I have no doubt Robinson was much better.

I have to say I'm happy this thread has been discussing this. I had no idea how good Kareem actually was; I thought he was something of a compiler rather than in the discussion for greatest center ever.
   1366. tshipman Posted: March 02, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4073163)
11271. tshipman Posted: May 14, 2010 at 03:42 PM (#3532701)

6. Mike Brown is an awful coach. People talking about the supporting cast are missing the point. They won 60 games with this team! two years in a row! It's not like they had a bunch of scrubs. I refuse to accept that it's Jamison or Moe Williams' faults when they have zero plays in their offense.


I stand by this (except for being embarassed that I called Mo Williams "Moe"). Jamison has had a 17 PER for the last two years. Watching Brown up close has not given me a greater appreciation for his ability to run an offense.
   1367. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4073168)
three things about tonight's game:

1, this is the first time the sixers have scored 100 points in a game since they did it against washington back on january 23.

2, for a team that won by 20, they still played like ####. i guess they tightened up a bit in the second half, but they were just awful in the first one. they were way too loose with the ball, and the offense got bogged down way too often.

and 3, the sixers won by 22 tonight, but evan turner could still only get 16 minutes on the floor. i think the worst part about this is that he's accepted this role. he's content to be a team player, to not rock the boat, and while that's a very admirable quality for a parson to have, it's also a character trait that is almost completely antithetical to becoming the best in the world.

as much as i want to see it happen, if turner isn't fighting for the playing time himself, i don't know how much sense it makes for anyone else to continue to harp on it. it's just very disappointing at this point.
   1368. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4073173)
Jazz may not be good...but anyone looking for James to take over in the 4th quarter should watch this. He's been filthy. Heat were down by 15 about 2/3 through the 3rd but since then James has just taken over.
   1369. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4073178)
Ha, but of course he just passed instead of taking the final shot of the game so the narrative will not be interrupted. It was a good pass, but I'd rather have James shoot than Haslem shoot that far out.
   1370. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4073179)
Unbelievable win for the Jazz. LeBron hit a circus shot that looked to put the game away, but then Jefferson scored on a put-back, Wade missed a free throw, and Devin Harris converted a 3-point play to give the Jazz a one-point lead with 4.5 seconds left. LeBron got Haslem an open mid-range jumper at the buzzer, but Haslem missed it. The Jazz commentators are mercilessly ripping LeBron right now for passing the ball, including saying that Kobe never would've gone down like that.
   1371. tshipman Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4073182)
while that's a very admirable quality for a parson to have


I agree that English vicars should be complacent.
   1372. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4073184)
Until the last 20 seconds, LeBron outscored Utah in the fourth.
   1373. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4073185)
for berg: had the Lakers on the car radio coming back from dinner. They have a celebrity guest in the "third chair" with Thompson and Ireland during the 2nd q for home games. Tonight's guest: Ric Flair. Mychal Thompson is a huge wrestling fan, and called meeting Flair "my greatest night as a Laker."
   1374. smileyy Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4073186)
Can anyone look good playing the Warriors?
   1375. rr Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4073187)
Fun night for Jazz and Bulls fans.

Kobe is certain hall of famer, but I think he still tier behind Magic and Bird,


Correct. Don't know, though, that I'd have Bird and Magic below big men.

_________

Mike Bresnahan reported that the Lakers turned down a Sessions deal based on not wanting to part with the pick they got from Dallas. I am going to wait until 3/16, but...not liking how things look in BussVille.

Thompson just called Flair the "Muhammad Ali of wrestling."
   1376. smileyy Posted: March 02, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4073188)
Ew. 35-32 Clippers at halftime? $#@% this season.

Blake Griffin looks tired on his jump shots.
   1377. rr Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4073191)
It's just a fact


Sure. And it's also "just a fact" that in a game of enormous magnitude, he got as many rebounds as Boston's Big Three did--combined. That was my point: the game played out in a way such that people could pick out things about him that worked for them based on their perceptions of him and how they felt about him going in. If Kobe had gone 12/24 and the Lakers had coasted home by 15 points, that would have shut up a lot of Haters for a long while. If a few more of Boston's shots had dropped or if Artest's had not dropped, and Boston had won, that would have shut up a lot of Fanboys for a long while and would be a permanent Hater talking point. As it was, there was something for everyone--the game was sort of a Kobe Rohrschach Test.

Simmons' narrative about the game, which I have dissected here several times, is a great example. I am not a "microcosm" guy in general, but I thought the game showed all Bryant's strengths and weaknesses perfectly. In the hands of the right writer, an excellent Nine Innings or The Echoing Green type book could be written about Game 7.

1. I apologize for my rhetoric being over the top, but I am still having a hard time seeing on what basis two brilliant offensive players who may have been underrated defenders can be easily chosen over a brilliant offensive player who is also a brilliant defender.


No need to apologize at all. I can be twitchy as hell, too. But I would point out that all I have said is that I think I would personally go with Bird or Magic over James in the pick-a-guy at age 20 scenario, while acknowledging that James is better on D and I wouldn't argue with someone that went with him. It wasn't a putdown of James. I have actually defended James vigorously at times on this thread (particularly after LeDecision).
   1378. rr Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4073192)
Until the last 20 seconds, LeBron outscored Utah in the fourth.


Haven't caught the highlights yet. Did it appear he made a mistake by not shooting?
   1379. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4073194)
Haven't caught the highlights yet. Did it appear he made a mistake by not shooting?


I think so. He found Haslem open, but it's Haslem and Jamees still had time to continue his drive.

Here's the video of it. And watching it again I just noticed Haslem set an obvious illegal screen to get James free on the inbound. There's no way the refs could have missed that...
   1380. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4073197)
I think that's a clear pass situation. Haslem's a good midrange shooter and I don't think James really had anywhere to go, he was basically being doubled.
   1381. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4073198)
I love the announcer saying "He passed it again!" Only after Haslem missed the shot to win the game, of course.
   1382. aberg Posted: March 03, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4073203)
Fwiw, the pass looked like the right pass to me at the time. Haslem was all alone from 15'.

The flair thing is good
   1383. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 03, 2012 at 02:04 AM (#4073207)
Was at the Jazz/Heat game tonight and it was probably the only time I've been disappointed about my team winning (though, as my buddy pointed out, I wouldn't have felt that way if my favorite Jazzman-AK47-was still here).

A few thoughts: LBJ sleepwalked through the first 3 quarters. He looked like he was tired or just disinterested, and he definitely got frustrated with his teammates numerous times. I thought it was going to be like the Spurs/Jazz game, where the Jazz lead for awhile, but end up loosing because they allow a bunch of fastbreak, wide open 3's to guys they shouldn't leave wide open (Bonner in that game, Battier in this). But they built quite a lead, up 16 with 2:30+ left in the 3rd. Then LeBron took over. He dropped 17 in the 4th quarter on 8/9 shooting (his only miss was a block shot). He also started rebounding with authority and ran point for most of the quarter. The circus two-pointer was crazy. I think even the Jazz players cheered when he made that. Kidding, kind of.

Wade sat out quite a bit tonight, including the first half of the 4th quarter. Wade went down hard on his knee early in the game, I don't know if that's the reason he got so much rest or not. He played well in the first half, probably the 2nd best Miami player behind Shane Battier. But, he also had a pretty terrible 4th quarter. He made two dumb late fouls: one where he fouled Devin Harris about a full second after he shot a three, and the other one on Harris's game winner. He shot 1/4 in the 4th quarter and missed that second free throw that would have made it a 3 point lead. But this doesn't fit the narrative...

Crowd was probably 65:35 pro Jazz. LBJ was booed just about every time he touched the ball; but most of those same people were going nuts when LBJ was on his tear in the 4th. Pretty neat atmosphere.
   1384. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 03, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4073208)
Haven't caught the highlights yet. Did it appear he made a mistake by not shooting?


I agree with Spivey and andrewberg: It wasn't really there and Haslem was wide open for that 18 footer he seems to make regularly.
   1385. Maxwn Posted: March 03, 2012 at 02:21 AM (#4073210)
I also thought it was the right pass at the time. Haslem's guy was completely ignoring him and essentially doubling LeBron. Haslem has shot like ass from mid-range this year and LeBron might have been able to draw the foul or score if he drove, but it still seems like a toss-up at best to me. I can't kill a guy for calling heads on a coin-flip.

Particularly when he has now put up a 35/10/6 and no turnovers in 2 straight games. And the stupid pass issue is letting DWade off the hook for two bad fouls, one of which was a 3 shot foul, a couple of mediocre offensive possessions and a missed free throw in the last couple of minutes.

That said, I would also mention that if they won, LeBron would have gotten a ton of props and ESPN highlight reel credit for making one of the worst shots I can remember seeing someone take this year. An off-the-dribble, driving-left, one-legged, foot-halfway-over-the-3-pt-line 22.75 ft jumper with, I believe, 26 secs left. I suppose I can halfway see the argument that if you're going to take and make that shot, you might as well put up the contested 15-footer at the buzzer.

   1386. Tin Angel Posted: March 03, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4073212)
Funny thing is that if Kobe takes that shot and misses, a fadeaway jumper while double teamed, the story is what bad shot selection it is and how Kobe won't pass when he should. When LeBron does the opposite and passes to the open man he's weak and lacks the 'killer instinct.' These guys just can't win with the media.
   1387. rr Posted: March 03, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4073213)
Watched the video. Couple of thoughts:

1. Doesn't look like James considered shooting once Haslem's guy came towards him.
2. Harris closed nicely on Haslem--it wasn't a totally clean look although he did it get it off pretty easily.
3. Had James shot, it would have been contested, but by Millsap, who is neither all that tall nor a great leaper.
4. James would have been shooting off a left-hand dribble.
5. It was a very slick little pass by James.

I wouldn't call it a mistake, but I would just as soon take my chances on a contested 15-footer by LeBron James as on a "pretty open" 18-footer by Udonis Haslem.

Abbott is at SSAC but he might write about this.

Read that three NBA teams--Miami, Utah and the Clippers--do not have reps at SSAC. Jeannie Buss, incidentally, is there for the Lakers.

   1388. rr Posted: March 03, 2012 at 04:00 AM (#4073218)
Windhorst on James. Kind of an odd article:

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12766/lebron-takes-a-pass-at-crunch-time
   1389. JC in DC Posted: March 03, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4073244)
I agree with Spivey and andrewberg: It wasn't really there and Haslem was wide open for that 18 footer he seems to make regularly.


I completely agree. That's the right play, the high-odds play. Guy just missed a shot he needs to nail. Lebron played sick again. 0 turnovers. I can't stand him, but he's really damned no matter what he does, and tonight he did everything, including the right thing on that pass.
   1390. PJ Martinez Posted: March 03, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4073253)
Jalen Rose had a persuasive take on the play: LeBron was right to pass in that situation -- but Spoelstra should have called for a LeBron isolation on that final play, not a pick and roll. That way, the final shot likely would have been LeBron's, and the way he was shooting, that was the Heat's best chance.

P.S. Simmons did a good podcast recently with Bob Ryan, a guy I've always liked, who goes off on how overrated Karl Malone is.
   1391. Jimmy P Posted: March 03, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4073254)
But, he also had a pretty terrible 4th quarter. He made two dumb late fouls: one where he fouled Devin Harris about a full second after he shot a three, and the other one on Harris's game winner. He shot 1/4 in the 4th quarter and missed that second free throw that would have made it a 3 point lead. But this doesn't fit the narrative...


This. If Wade's going to play like this and Lebron's going to put up arguably the two best games of anyone this season, then he just won't win. ESPN's got full court on Lebron being a choker. Nice. Haslem makes this, nothing.

I love how Jordan took every last second shot EVER. Never passed to Kerr, never passed to Pax. Guy was a machine. Made em all, too.
   1392. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4073288)
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