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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 can feel the slow rot Posted: February 03, 2012 at 04:46 AM | 1392 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies, twins

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   801. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 17, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4063618)
And from Hollinger's post today:
New Orleans' handling of Eric Gordon's "bruise" on his knee has left us with a lot more questions than answers, most notably why a team would choose to go the Belichick route to such an extent when it already had become obvious to any fan with even a double-digit IQ that Gordon was no longer "day to day" with his "bruise."

Earlier this week, Gordon had surgery to fix the "bruise" and will miss six more weeks, if you find any reason to believe the team's current version of events. A quick glance at the schedule and the Hornets' place in the standings (second to last in the NBA) tells you there's a good chance he won't play again this season.
I didn't know he had surgery. That's terrible, and that trade with the Clippers is looking worse every moment.
   802. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4063647)
Is there any place that tracks the value (or tries to) of different types of shots? I know individual shooting percentages are broken down by distance from the rim, but I've always thought that driving layups from perimeter players were more valuable than any other type of shot because that type of shot has the best possibility of being rebounded and converted by a teammate. A low field goal percentage on those shots would mask the actual value of them to the team.


I'm almost positive that I've seen this and that there is a difference. I actually seem to remember 3PA as having the best OR% because they lead to longer rebounds (which are more unpredictable and therefore less dependent on position).

Oh, here you go! Found this from 82games. Lots to digest, but shots in the paint seem to have the highest OR%, followed by 3's, with long twos bringing up the rear.
   803. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 17, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4063699)
OTOH, I thought 3s also lead to more fast break opportunities for the opposition. Don't have a citation for this.
   804. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 17, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4063707)
Only tennis player who, sitting courtside, I ever saw literally outrun the ball on a hardcourt. Amazing.

I saw Chang a couple times from real good seats.

TV does not come close to showing you how good those guys are.
   805. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: February 17, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4063717)
Oh, here you go!

Thanks for that.

The other thing I would want to track is the conversion percentage after those offensive rebounds. While 3PA may yield nearly as many offensive rebounds, I would think offensive rebounds off of driving layups (particularly from perimeter players) would be converted at a higher rate than would 3PA offensive rebounds becasue the former are (typically) grabbed in, or near, the paint. Thereby making them easier to convert.

   806. kpelton Posted: February 17, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4063771)
This study has a higher level of specificity on rebounding by location:
http://www.countthebasket.com/blog/2008/03/29/rebounding-by-shot-location/

But that doesn't specifically address the question of interior shots by perimeter players versus interior shots by interior players.
   807. Squash Posted: February 17, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4063807)
There's an article on ESPN about how the Knicks can keep Lin (and Fields) in the offseason, involving various machinations of Bird and restricted free agent rights.

The article also touches on the Arenas Provision, named after Arenas's free agent departure from GS in 2003, which as a Warriors fan makes one think. The Warriors couldn't match Washington's offer because they didn't have the cap space, and didn't have the cap space because of their desire to give Adonal Foyle a big extension earlier that year because his 5 ppg and 6 rpg were very important to the team's long-term success, despite everyone knowing and widespread discussion of the fact that they wouldn't have room to extend Gilbert if they did so. I remember multiple articles, including some from the nascent Sports Guy, about how they could have one or the other but not both, and how dumb it would be to choose Foyle over Arenas. The Warriors of course seemed to be the only people in the world who didn't get this and with eyes wide open gave Foyle the extension, talked about it like it was a must ... and then that offseason seemed collectively stunned, just stunned, when indeed the thing that everyone said was going to happen happened and Arenas got offered a big contract by Washington and was gone.

I remember at the time wondering what exactly the Warriors FO was thinking - what did they think was going to happen? They were going to re-up Foyle, awesome, and then ... nobody was going to offer Arenas a contract, despite the fact that he was clearly a budding star, and the Warriors were going to get him back for the $600,000 or whatever they had left under the cap? Or was there (I suspected) no actual plan, and it was just a bunch of idiots throwing around TV money?

That was really dumb. Anyway, what makes me think is if you would have told me that 9 years later the Warriors would still be just as dumb of a franchise (I could list all their various stupidities over the last 9 years, but who cares) ... I probably would have believed you. That's how low my expectations were after the blithering 90s, which were then indeed followed up by the just-as-dumb-as-ever 00s and now 10s. There are other franchises out there that are just as snakebitten or just as unlucky, but I can't believe there's any franchise out there as collectively stupid as the Warriors have been for the last 20 years.

All right, that's enough of that!
   808. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 17, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4063810)
Second Eli link in as many days, I think.
Btw, am I the only person here who wishes color blind accessible charts were used more often? Just wondering...

At least GS is pretty good at finding guys like Arenas/Ellis/Curry and Morrow/CJW/Lin in the first place, even if they tend not to know what to do with them...
   809. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 17, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4063817)
Three turnovers in three minutes for Lin to start the game.
   810. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 17, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4063821)
Five turnovers in 10 minutes. Gravity is a harsh mistress.
   811. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: February 17, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4063828)
   809. Los Angeles ALBERT F. PUJOLS of Anaheim Posted: February 17, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4063817)
Three turnovers in three minutes for Lin to start the game.
   810. Los Angeles ALBERT F. PUJOLS of Anaheim Posted: February 17, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4063821)
Five turnovers in 10 minutes. Gravity is a harsh mistress.


At least didn't continue on his initial pace of 1 TO/min...
   812. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4063831)
7 in 20.
   813. Maxwn Posted: February 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4063839)
Nuggets without Gallo or Nene are getting run pretty hard in Memphis right now. Marc Gasol is seriously threatening a triple-double, he's got 10 pts, 6 rebs and 7 asts in the first half, and is just generally putting on a show.
   814. Maxwn Posted: February 17, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4063853)
The Nuggets have gotten back into this game because the Grizzlies have cooled off and Corey Brewer thinks he's Ray Allen or something. Gasol needs 2 asts for a triple-double, with a 16/12/8. Pretty much the offense has worked well when he is involved and not as much when he's not.
   815. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 17, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4063859)
Well, nobody's linfallible.
   816. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 17, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4063868)
   817. Maxwn Posted: February 17, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4063873)
Grizz win on a Dante Cunningham tip-in off a Rudy Gay miss with 0.2 left. I'd say it shouldn't have been that close, and it probably shouldn't have, but honestly the ridiculous heater the Grizzlies were on in the 1st was just counterbalanced by the Nuggets getting hot in the 2nd half. 2nd half, Nuggets seemed to be trying to deny Gasol the ball and keep him from having any passing lanes to cutters, and it worked pretty well. He finished with 16/14/8, but was a much bigger factor on offense in the 1st half.

Huge win for the Grizzlies. Gives them the tie-breaker over DEN for the season and probably guarantees that they are still over .500 when Randolph returns after the break, which he is apparently on track to do. I can't really complain about the season so far, they've been pretty schizophrenic, but they've stayed in the playoff hunt and gone 5 games over .500 since he went down. Definitely would have taken that no questions asked back in January.
   818. tshipman Posted: February 18, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4063881)
But that doesn't specifically address the question of interior shots by perimeter players versus interior shots by interior players.


Well, first of all, thank you for graciously responding after the Pelton Signal was thrown up. Second of all, it seems like a really interesting thing to look at--it's possible that a small "star premium" needs to be built into how we evaluate players. IOW, if a missed shot by Kobe, Carmelo or LeBron is actually worth more than a missed shot by Bruce Bowen.

Just throwing that out there, in case you feel like writing an article about it (I would totally pay for a full year of Basketball Prospectus for that article).
   819. puck Posted: February 18, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4063885)
Only tennis player who, sitting courtside, I ever saw literally outrun the ball on a hardcourt. Amazing.

I saw Chang a couple times from real good seats.

TV does not come close to showing you how good those guys are.


That's how I felt about seeing Michael Adams live. Man that guy was fast. Shot was just as ugly on tv, though.
   820. Into the Void Posted: February 18, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4063892)
The Sixers had an interesting second half tonight...
   821. Tripon Posted: February 18, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4063898)
So does Marc Gasol get this good if he was on the Lakers? And how often is it when the younger, goofier brother is the becomes the better player?
   822. tshipman Posted: February 18, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4063905)
So does Marc Gasol get this good if he was on the Lakers? And how often is it when the younger, goofier brother is the becomes the better player?


Marc Gasol (in his best year ever at 27): 49.9% shooting, 15 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.1 Blocks per game
Pau Gasol (in his worst year in 5 years): 50.1% shooting, 16.8 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.3 blocks per game

I'd say that Marc has some work to do for the second sentence to be true. He is almost certainly benefiting from the absence of Zach Randolph as well (7.7 defensive rebounds per game compared to 5.1 last year).
   823. rr Posted: February 18, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4063906)
Pau has handled it pretty well, but I do think he is distracted by all the trade stuff. The other factors, as I noted:

He misses Odom--they worked well together.
He misses the Triangle.
He and Bynum overlap some.
He is aging a bit.
The lack of a PG to get him the ball is a problem in the new system.

If the Lakers can get PG help without moving him, or if he is moved to a team with a good PG, I expect he will do a little better the second half of the year. And he is still a fine player as is.
   824. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 18, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4063942)
1. Missed last night's game and judging from the box score it seems like a good thing. Guess the JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony offensive reinforcements are arriving just in time.

2. Lin's conversion rate at the basket has really dropped over the last few games while his mid range numbers remain high and he seems to be finding a 3 pt stroke.

3. How much longer are we all going to not care that LeBron is putting up the greatest statistical season ever? The gap between LeBron (#1) and D-Wade (#2) in PER is roughly the gap between Wade and Brandan Wright (#27).

4. This Pekovic thing really deserves more attention as well.

5. *Reads box score* Iman Shumpert missed another layup last night. I'm going to go ahead and assume it was uncontested.

EDIT: 6. Kevin Durant is shooting 50.7% on long 2s. Wow.
   825. rr Posted: February 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4063958)
How much longer are we all going to not care that LeBron is putting up the greatest statistical season ever?


Until he is holding the O'Brien Trophy on a makeshift stage at center court in Oklahoma City after Game 5 of the Finals.
   826. kpelton Posted: February 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4064054)
The Warriors couldn't match Washington's offer because they didn't have the cap space, and didn't have the cap space because of their desire to give Adonal Foyle a big extension earlier that year ...

Hmm. This doesn't square with my memory, and according to this handy site, Foyle's new contracts with the Warriors were signed in 2000 (before Arenas was a gleam in Otis Smith's eye) and 2004 (after he was already gone). Certainly, Golden State did some dumb things to be over the cap in the summer of 2003, but I can't find any contracts they signed during the 2002-03 season that got them there. By the time they realized how good Arenas was, it was already too late.

Just throwing that out there, in case you feel like writing an article about it (I would totally pay for a full year of Basketball Prospectus for that article).

I don't know if I can figure out a way to run the numbers, but if I can, sure thing.
   827. steagles Posted: February 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4064058)
The Sixers had an interesting second half tonight...
that's three games in a row (and 4 in the last 7) where they just were not at their peak. they escaped with a win against the bobcats, but they got demolished in orlando when the magic hit 15/25 from beyond the arc, and they just did absolutely nothing against dallas's zone in the 2nd half.


i think there was a point last night where dirk scored more 2nd half points than the sixers. that point was with about 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter. it was just a bloodbath.


the road doesn't get much easier right now, either. @minnesota on sunday, and @memphis on tuesday, and @houston on wednesday. if this team continues to play with its head under water, they're gonna give up some major ground.
   828. madvillain Posted: February 18, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4064070)
Fire Everyone.

Sad state of affairs at ESPN and America when that #### somehow sneaks past everyone's common sense meter.
   829. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 18, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4064079)
How much longer are we all going to not care that LeBron is putting up the greatest statistical season ever? The gap between LeBron (#1) and D-Wade (#2) in PER is roughly the gap between Wade and Brandan Wright (#27).


Wait, Lebron is scoring 50 points and 25 rebounds a game? (Checks). Nope.

(Sorry, can't resist a chance to give Wilt his due).
   830. puck Posted: February 18, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4064082)
Sad state of affairs at ESPN and America when that #### somehow sneaks past everyone's common sense meter.


Seemed inevitable, though I wouldn't have thought it would happened at a top end outlet. (Makes you wonder how many people review the content before it's posted.) At least they got it out of the way early.

Edit: the phrase has also appeared in an interview segment...that one seems more understandable. The phrase gets used all the time and it's probably difficult to think on the spot, "I can use this phrase any time except discussing Chinese teams, the Patriots' secondary, and the Knicks..."
   831. madvillain Posted: February 18, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4064084)
Seemed inevitable, though I wouldn't have though it would happened at a top end outlet. (Makes you wonder how many people review the content before it's posted.) At least they got it out of the way early.


Someone on another board I read, who claimed to have once worked for ESPN, says this sort of racial punning is common, and usually goes up as a placeholder until the real headline is worked out.

Not sure how seriously to take his claim, but it sure lends even more evidence of ESPN's oft reported "good ol'e boy" workplace.
   832. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 18, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4064085)
An anchor said the same phrase on air + a web article regarding a us/prc Olympic hoops match some years back used the same line.
Edit: I agree wrt the announcer, puck.

Season has a ways to go, but... LBJ has a higher PER and WS/48 than wilt did that yr...
   833. puck Posted: February 18, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4064086)
Wait, Lebron is scoring 50 points and 25 rebounds a game? (Checks). Nope.


Heh. Lotta mind boggling numbers in that season...48+ minutes/game, too...
   834. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 18, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4064090)
Wow, kaj had three of the four top WS/48 season in history within a 3 yr span (w Mil, 70-73).
If season ended today, James would set single season PER mark, 2nd in WS/48.
   835. tshipman Posted: February 18, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4064092)
LeBron's season:

It's not much different than his 2010 season, is it? It's basically the same season except he takes two fewer three pointers per game. I guess that's why it doesn't seem like a big deal. He might have been better in 2010.
   836. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 18, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4064094)
I'd argue that this is his best year. His numbers are up a bit (shooting over 54%, btw) - league baseline is down.
Same neighborhood as earlier peaks though, just a bit different shape w the added and improved post play and rebounding.
   837. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 18, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4064104)
How much longer are we all going to not care that LeBron is putting up the greatest statistical season ever?


Until he is holding the O'Brien Trophy on a makeshift stage at center court in Oklahoma City after Game 5 of the Finals.


This is pretty much it, I think. The narrative is etched in stone right now. LeBron's a choker until he proves otherwise, and the only way to prove otherwise is for the Heat to win a title and for LeBron to play a huge role in the victory. We're officially at the point where there's nothing LeBron can do in the regular season to change any minds.
   838. Conor Posted: February 18, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4064115)
dit: the phrase has also appeared in an interview segment...that one seems more understandable. The phrase gets used all the time and it's probably difficult to think on the spot, "I can use this phrase any time except discussing Chinese teams, the Patriots' secondary, and the Knicks..."


Yeah that is what I was thinking last night as well. To use it in a headline in print regarding Lin is pretty much awful, since you would have the chance to look at it, read it to yourself, presumably have multiple other people look at it as well, etc. But it is a somewhat common phrase, and I have much less of an issue with someone using it in a spontaneous interview. (I'm assuming it was unintentionally used in the interview, if the person went out of his way to say it because he was referring to Lin that is also pretty bad).
   839. JC in DC Posted: February 18, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4064116)
Wow, kaj had three of the four top WS/48 season in history within a 3 yr span (w Mil, 70-73).
If season ended today, James would set single season PER mark, 2nd in WS/48.



We could nearly bring all these NBA threads full circle if I write, as I truly believe, that KAJ is one of the most underappreciated players to ever play.
   840. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4064122)
I know I underrate him - mental image of him is from when he was a zillion years old - I have trouble shaking that.
   841. rr Posted: February 18, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4064124)
Yeah, Simmons has him 3rd all-time, and talked about how a combination of timing/personality/style of play has made KAJ a bit underrated historically by many. The 71 Bucks, sandwiched among the 69 Celtics, 70 Knicks, and 72 Lakers, are forgotten. His big moments in Showtime were being gone in Game 6 in 80 and making the FTs in Game 7 as an old guy in 88. He stayed a year too long, and how good he was in 85 (Finals MVP at age 38) is mostly forgotten. Was in the news this year of course, for complaining about not having a statue put up before West and Magic. His peak was from 70 to 78--dead time in NBA history in many ways. But he had an awesome peak and phenomenal career value--definitely among the best ever to play.
   842. andrewberg Posted: February 18, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4064150)
Great sa vs lac game closing now. Manu not playing in the fourth, but the rest of the big boys are playing hard and well. Lots of passion for a game not on national TV.
   843. madvillain Posted: February 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4064159)
I am starting to get the feeling Rose missing all these games is going to cost Chicago HCA. God damnit, no lockout, no rushed camp and Rose probably never has these stupid back spasms. #### David Stern one more time for this ####.
   844. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 18, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4064169)
Great sa vs lac game closing now. Manu not playing in the fourth, but the rest of the big boys are playing hard and well. Lots of passion for a game not on national TV.

Crazy ending. Paul made a couple shockingly poor decisions down the stretch in OT.
   845. andrewberg Posted: February 18, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4064170)
Can't blame him for that over and back and it'd be nice if they called better plays, but yeah, pop neutralized them pretty well in ot by doubling Blake on the catch
   846. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 19, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4064360)
Knicks just finished off the Mavs.

So we're at the point where we stop being in awe of Jeremy and the Knicks, and start talking about them as a team with a real puncher's chance in the EC, right?
   847. PJ Martinez Posted: February 19, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4064366)
So we're at the point where we stop being in awe of Jeremy and the Knicks, and start talking about them as a team with a real puncher's chance in the EC, right?

Define "puncher's chance." If they put it all together, maybe they'll battle with the Sixers for the best team not headquartered in Chicago or Miami. And if Carmelo, Amare, Lin, and Smith click, they could be awesome offensively. But that's not a given, and Tyson Chandler is their only above-average defensive starter (happily, he's well above average, but all those other guys are ... not).
   848. tshipman Posted: February 19, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4064371)
So we're at the point where we stop being in awe of Jeremy and the Knicks, and start talking about them as a team with a real puncher's chance in the EC, right?


Do you think the 2006-2008 Suns would have a puncher's chance in this year's Eastern Conference? That's the best case scenario for this year's Knicks--if you just throw out the first 20 games of this year and last year and just say, this team is a 60 win caliber team going forward.

No. I don't think that team has a real shot at winning the East. The East this year, to me, has two excellent teams that are built to compete in the playoffs (MIA and CHI), and MIA, to me at least, is the clear favorite to come out of the East.

Can the Knicks have a run where they shoot 50% on threes for 5 games and knock out Miami? Yes, but it's not likely.
   849. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4064384)

Season has a ways to go, but... LBJ has a higher PER and WS/48 than wilt did that yr...


I assumed we were talking about raw stats -- points, assists, rebounds, etc. Otherwise, why qualify the statement with "greatest statistical season"? Why not simply "greatest season"?
   850. tshipman Posted: February 19, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4064387)
I assumed we were talking about raw stats -- points, assists, rebounds, etc. Otherwise, why qualify the statement with "greatest statistical season"? Why not simply "greatest season"?


I think PER and WS/48 are problematic in a lockout year, since they feature a baseline which is artificially low this year due to the schedule and abbreviated training camp. It's sort of like expansion years in baseball--people regard numbers in those seasons with some skepticism.
   851. Squash Posted: February 19, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4064395)
Hmm. This doesn't square with my memory, and according to this handy site, Foyle's new contracts with the Warriors were signed in 2000 (before Arenas was a gleam in Otis Smith's eye) and 2004 (after he was already gone). Certainly, Golden State did some dumb things to be over the cap in the summer of 2003, but I can't find any contracts they signed during the 2002-03 season that got them there. By the time they realized how good Arenas was, it was already too late.

You're right I have my timeline wrong on the contract. Clearly my memory is faulty. Thinking more about it, it was a trade deadline thing - they had a bunch of guys they wanted to move at the trade deadline for cap space, but Foyle was the only guy anyone wanted because he could block shots. They balked at including him, or wouldn't put him into a deal as a sweetener, or something like that, and therefore didn't have the room. Or something like that. That they then gave Foyle a huge contract that he clearly wasn't worth was the cherry on top.
   852. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 19, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4064398)
849-hey, I just cited #s that seemed pertinent - I'm making no claims about what is or isn't the greatest season by a player.
As for wilt - I love the guy, as longtime thread watchers know, but that was a super high pace era - we can't just ignore that.
850-I dunno, James had a short camp/accelerated season too. I might discount it for predicting the playoffs/subsequent seasons, but what happens, happened. Now, that it's less than 82 games - that's a separate issue.
   853. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4064401)
We could nearly bring all these NBA threads full circle if I write, as I truly believe, that KAJ is one of the most underappreciated players to ever play.

I think the underappreciation comes from the only one championship between 1971 and 1980. He had some bad luck in there and the top of the league was very strong, and you can't blame him, but that's probably the best explanation. They never should have, e.g., lost Game 7 at home in the '74 Finals. In his prime, he was almost impossible to stop and the sky hook is easily the most unstoppable shot ever deployed.
   854. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 19, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4064402)
It's amazing how the NBA salary cap can just make fans give up on a team for years on end. Every bad move is magnified by the opportunity cost. For years the Sixers seemed to be following the "trade for expiring contracts to rebuild" plan, but instead were acquiring washed-up guys with LONGER contracts. They got rid of Keith Van Horn, that was good. They traded George Lynch for Derrick Coleman. Then they traded Derrick Coleman for Corliss Williamson. Then they traded Corliss Williamson and Kenny Thomas (good!) for Chris Webber (bad!). Then when they finally traded Iverson, they traded him for Andre Miller. No! Rebuild, dammit!

Meanwhile the Samuel Dalembert contract on its own made fans shudder every time they saw him.
   855. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4064405)
And if Carmelo, Amare, Lin, and Smith click, they could be awesome offensively.

Is it me, or is Amare looking old? His defense was always bad, but he looks really slow out there. And I don't remember how many shots have been blocked in the low post. He doesn't seem to have the hops any more. Yes, I know he is coming back, but it is worrying.
   856. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4064408)
Is it me, or is Amare looking old? His defense was always bad, but he looks really slow out there. And I don't remember how many shots have been blocked in the low post. He doesn't seem to have the hops any more. Yes, I know he is coming back, but it is worrying.


Agree.
   857. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4064409)
[855] Amar'e looks terrible. Last year he was a terrible man defender, but was effective as a help guy. This year he's an absolute horror show on the defensive end and damn near incompetent offensively. Jared Jeffries should get all of his minutes. Never thought I would utter those words.
   858. Conor Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4064416)
Was I the only one surprised D'Antoni wasn't going offense/defense and subbing Jefferies in for Novak when the Knicks were on D? Guess it isn't that big a deal, since Chandler did a pretty good job on Dirk. (Chandler really is a much better player than I thought).

As for Amare, yes, he looks really bad this year.
   859. PJ Martinez Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4064417)
Then they traded Corliss Williamson and Kenny Thomas (good!) for Chris Webber (bad!).

But Chris Webber came with a free frogurt.

As for Amare: He grabbed an offensive rebound late in the 4th today and had to settle for pump-faking Nowitzki into a foul so he could go to the line. Having not watched him much this year, I was pretty surprised he didn't just rise up and dunk it from where he was. More evidence, maybe, that his hops are vanishing.
   860. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4064429)
As for Amare: He grabbed an offensive rebound late in the 4th today and had to settle for pump-faking Nowitzki into a foul so he could go to the line. Having not watched him much this year, I was pretty surprised he didn't just rise up and dunk it from where he was.
I know exactly the play you're talking about, and the exact thought when through my head as well. He went up for the ball, came down with it then did NOT go right back up for the dunk. He actually looked around for a split second before making a move. I'm used to Amare just crush the rim in that instance.

Until Linsanity, I hadn't really watched the Knicks much either. Wasn't Amare running and dunking as well as ever just last season? What's different now?
   861. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4064430)
Jared Jeffries should get all of his minutes. Never thought I would utter those words.

I wouldn't go that far. I think that Jeffries offense has improved a little, but he is still pretty bad on the offensive side of the ball.
   862. JC in DC Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4064431)
NJ's point rests on Jeffries D. Jeffries has been a major contributor since Lin arrived. Lin's dunk today was thanks to Jeffries pressure. So, if Amare's D is horrible, and his offense struggling, you may go D over O, especially with Smith, Lin, and Anthony all capable of providing O.

I feel for Amare. Seems like a real good guy. Handling all this well, but looks skittish to me.
   863. Conor Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4064432)
Amare injured his back in warmups before Game 2 of the Boston series last year. Seems like a different player since.
   864. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 19, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4064434)
I know exactly the play you're talking about, and the exact thought when through my head as well. He went up for the ball, came down with it then did NOT go right back up for the dunk. He actually looked around for a split second before making a move. I'm used to Amare just crush the rim in that instance.


Thirded, same thought here on that play.
   865. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4064439)
[863] Yep

[864] Jeffries D>>>>>STAT'S O>>>Jeffries O>>>>>>>STAT's D.
   866. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 19, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4064440)
I feel for Amare. Seems like a real good guy. Handling all this well, but looks skittish to me.

I agree with this. Unlike Melo, who I actively disliked before he came here and have only grown to hate more, STAT is a guy who I didn't like but have grown to really like (despite his insistence on showing up his teammates when the team gives up an easy bucket despite the fact a.) helllloooooo pot and b.) it usually is his fault).

In other news, today Sebastian Priuiti made me feel a way about Lin I imagine some of the Lakers guys often feel about Kobe (this is not to say Lin is on Kobe's level).
   867. baudib Posted: February 19, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4064446)
Hi guys, haven't been here in a while. I have to take the credit/blame for some of the multitude of bad Jeremy Lin puns that have appeared in tabloid headlines, most notably "COMMANDER-LIN-CHIEF" (on story that Obama is a Lin fan) and "LIN SOME, LOSE SOME" after Lin's first loss.

I'll go with a 15/6.5 season average for Lin. I think he needs more rest and is going to wear down pretty soon, but I think he can develop into a better 3-point shooter and be a legit starter.

   868. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4064460)
It's amazing how the NBA salary cap can just make fans give up on a team for years on end. Every bad move is magnified by the opportunity cost.


I think it's the guaranteed contracts more than the caP. Which leads to the question: many commentators over the past week have noted that the Lin story is so unusual in basketball because talent evaluation is so much less variable in basketball. But if that's the case, how to explain the huge number of bad contracts out there?
   869. andrewberg Posted: February 19, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4064503)
Can we get Steagles in here to tell me what a great win the Wolves just had over the Sixers? That has got to be better than the wins over Dallas and San Antonio, home/road or not.

The end of the game was interesting. They were down 1 with 29 seconds left and RA told them not to foul, they got the stop. Love took the inbound on the left wing with 3.6 left, drove to his left, got guys in the air, and got to the line to make 2 with .1 on the clock. Rubio had 14 in the first quarter in what was by far his most aggressive offensive night, and it helped that his shot was on. Other than that, three things were interesting. One, it was the first time Pek got double teamed, but it was on the bounce, not when he caught it. Second, JJ carried the offense for long stretches with the second unit not creating much. Third, Martel Webster replaced Wes in the crunch time lineup. Not sure if it is a matchup thing, as in he doesn't fear Iguodala on offense, but it was a welcome respite.

   870. puck Posted: February 19, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4064520)
I think Serge Ibaka just reached a triple double (pts/rebs/blocks).
   871. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 19, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4064523)
I think Serge Ibaka just reached a triple double (pts/rebs/blocks).


In a very entertaining game. How has Birdman not had a reality show yet?
   872. puck Posted: February 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4064526)
yeah, I should have mentioned it's a crackerjack game. The Nuggets are on the "Association" this season. Birdman hasn't been playing much this season.
   873. puck Posted: February 19, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4064528)
Durant is going crazy in this game.
   874. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4064530)
yeah, I should have mentioned it's a crackerjack game. The Nuggets are on the "Association" this season. Birdman hasn't been playing much this season.


I always thought Birdman didn't get his due. The guy is a freak show but he is a pretty effective basketball player.

Wow... Durant.
   875. puck Posted: February 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4064531)
Awesome: Up by 2, "Nuggets need a stop." Inbound to Durant, goes right around Anderson for a game-tying dunk.
   876. Tripon Posted: February 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4064533)


I think it's the guaranteed contracts more than the caP. Which leads to the question: many commentators over the past week have noted that the Lin story is so unusual in basketball because talent evaluation is so much less variable in basketball. But if that's the case, how to explain the huge number of bad contracts out there?


I don't know about that, we seen teams give bad contracts in baseball too, and baseball teams either try to ride out the contract,(Alfonso Soriano) trade the player, eating millions in the process(A.J. Burnett) or just outright cut him. (Andruw Jones)

In Basketball, due to the CBA and the cap, it incentives teams A) Sign players to contracts that may or may not reflect his true value, and then turn 'bad', and B) incentives them to trade these contracts for even worse contracts as Cripsix noted.
   877. puck Posted: February 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4064534)
Ugh, Andre Miller 3 turnovers in OT. Durant has 51, Westbrook 40.
   878. Squash Posted: February 20, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4064569)
In Basketball, due to the CBA and the cap, it incentives teams A) Sign players to contracts that may or may not reflect his true value, and then turn 'bad', and B) incentives them to trade these contracts for even worse contracts as Cripsix noted.

I agree, as long as there's cap space you feel like you HAVE to spend it someone, because if not you're playing at a disadvantage. A few other components: the NBA experienced explosive revenue growth that teams might not have been quite ready for, and there was no statistical revolution for a very long time - combine that with the salary cap, and when the 90s rolled around, I think teams really just had no idea what players were worth. Even now they don't really. You know you pay the top 10 players in the league as much as you possibly can, but other than that who really knows how much Rudy Gay is worth? (Just a name off the top of my head)
   879. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 20, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4064573)
I agree, as long as there's cap space you feel like you HAVE to spend it someone, because if not you're playing at a disadvantage. A few other components: the NBA experienced explosive revenue growth that teams might not have been quite ready for, and there was no statistical revolution for a very long time - combine that with the salary cap, and when the 90s rolled around, I think teams really just had no idea what players were worth. Even now they don't really. You know you pay the top 10 players in the league as much as you possibly can, but other than that who really knows how much Rudy Gay is worth? (Just a name off the top of my head)


Individual bad contracts are also amplified since a single star player is much more important to his team's success than a single baseball player (as has been mentioned before). First of all, you have 5 guys on the field and they are on both offense and defense, as opposed to baseball where you split between 9 hitters on offense and 8 or so pitchers on defense. Second of all, you can decide who gets the shots and who has control over the possessions, which you can't do in baseball. So the difference between a single player succeeding or failing can be much bigger in basketball. Also, since a single player can be so important, it makes sense to spend a greater percentage of your budget on one player, which of course also magnifies the effect if it turns into a bad contract.

Also, it is worth noting that there is a salary floor in basketball.
   880. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4064574)
Even now they don't really. You know you pay the top 10 players in the league as much as you possibly can, but other than that who really knows how much Rudy Gay is worth? (Just a name off the top of my head)


To play devil's advocate, the problem isn't so much that they don't know what Rudy Gay is worth, but that in the framework of the CBA Lebron James and Gay are going to be paid the same.

That there is no way to differentiate in pay between Lebron James, Durant, Rose, Wade and ... Melo and Gay and Gordon is a huge freaking problem.

There should be no max salary limit. Get creative with how teams can knock a % of that salary off their count against the cap.
   881. tshipman Posted: February 20, 2012 at 02:42 AM (#4064587)
In other news, today Sebastian Priuiti made me feel a way about Lin I imagine some of the Lakers guys often feel about Kobe (this is not to say Lin is on Kobe's level).


Is this about him posting stuff on Twitter about Lin during games? I checked his twitter feed, columns, can't figure this one out.

Prutti is right that Lin *never* and I mean NEVER goes to his left. Can't believe this hasn't been picked up on better yet. Makes me wonder if the lockout/compressed schedule is part of it.
   882. Squash Posted: February 20, 2012 at 02:55 AM (#4064592)
To play devil's advocate, the problem isn't so much that they don't know what Rudy Gay is worth, but that in the framework of the CBA Lebron James and Gay are going to be paid the same.

That there is no way to differentiate in pay between Lebron James, Durant, Rose, Wade and ... Melo and Gay and Gordon is a huge freaking problem.

There should be no max salary limit. Get creative with how teams can knock a % of that salary off their count against the cap.


Sure, but that's a different question. It doesn't change the fundamental strategy - pay the handful of superstars there are, the top 5 or 10, as much as you possibly can while still putting some sort of relatively competent supporting cast around them. It's what you do with everyone 10 and down that is the trouble. LeBron might actually be worth $30. But you can't pay LeBron $30, so you pay him whatever else. Gay may actually be worth $15. But we have no idea whether he is or not.

To get back to the cap question, I don't think the problem is so much at the top level as it is at the middle level. We all hear about the Gilbert Arenas or Rashard Lewis's, but those contracts are scarce. There aren't that many players making $15 million a year. There are a flipping ton making $5-8 million a year. The real problem contracts for most of the league are all those guys making $7 million who add nothing to the W column yet every team has three of them.

They can't properly value players because they still don't really know who the good players are. In the end they're still paid by some combination of PPG, RPG, APG, height, and narrative, with PPG being the most important and also the most misleading. Someone's got to take the shots. How much is Channing Frye worth? How much is Monta Ellis worth? How much is Raymond Felton worth? We know how much LeBron or Durant or Rose are worth - as much as you can offer. The other guys, we have no idea. If the Warriors let Ellis walk tomorrow how many more games would they lose this year than otherwise? No idea. Would it be worth $11 million? No idea.
   883. Howie Menckel Posted: February 20, 2012 at 02:55 AM (#4064593)
No reason to worry about a guy 50 pct ahead of the all-time record turnover pace, at 6.5 turnovers per game as a starter.

   884. rr Posted: February 20, 2012 at 03:22 AM (#4064596)
Just checked out Pruiti's Twitter feed, so I most certainly see where NJ is coming from on that.

Also, piggybacking on LAAFP: Lin/Melo will be fine. The problem, as PJ noted, will be the D. Still, NY has seemingly broadened their horizons hugely: from lottery mess to a good shot at the conference semis. But I am with those who still have MIA and CHI as being on a different level until I see some solid evidence to the contrary.
   885. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 06:05 AM (#4064606)
[881] His personal crusade about Lin's turnovers. Lin turns the ball over a lot, way too much. I get this and I'm pretty sure everyone gets this, but he just harps on it to an extent that, for me, is annoying because he's acting as though no one notices (For ####'s sake, in addition to their constant tallying of Lin's PT and AST totals, ESPN has graphics noting his record TO pace on all their telecasts as well). I mean, if the guy wasn't turning the ball over as much as he has he'd pretty much have played perfectly. It's doubly frustrating because this is the same guy who I really liked for taking people to task about harping on Westbrook's flaws (turnovers/decision-making) when he was bringing so much else to the table.

Prutti is right that Lin *never* and I mean NEVER goes to his left. Can't believe this hasn't been picked up on better yet. Makes me wonder if the lockout/compressed schedule is part of it.

I'm pretty sure everyone knows this by now. It was the main topic of discussion on Twitter during that first Nets game and the Jazz, in that very next game, sent double and triple teams with that specific goal in mind.
   886. steagles Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:48 AM (#4064614)
Can we get Steagles in here to tell me what a great win the Wolves just had over the Sixers? That has got to be better than the wins over Dallas and San Antonio, home/road or not.
that was just a really ####### shitty way to lose a game. it felt like minnesota was just dumping it into the post every possession in the 4th quarter, and the sixers only defended it by hacking and slashing, leading minnesota to a +18 advantage at the FT line.
and losing the game by 1 after love hit the game-tying and go-ahead FTs with .1 second left on the clock was just a ####### donkey shot to the balls.




   887. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4064618)
Let me phrase by comments another way. You're Sebastian Priuiti. Your niche is breaking down plays and explaining what teams are running and why things happen. You see Jeremy Lin matched up against one of the Top 5 defenses in the NBA and being primarily guarded by one of the elite defensive wings in the league. DAL is on a 6 game win streak built on their ability to cut the opposition off at the point of attack. Lin then goes out and puts up 28 and 14 against this team (yes, with 7 TOs) with +- numbers reflective of a.) the Knicks' uselessness when he's not on the court and b.) DAL's inability to really stop him. He does that with Mike D'antoni admitting that he called no plays from the sidelines (outside of SLOB sets coming from TOs/dead balls) and while playing a lot with a guy, JR Smith, that he and his teammates had never even practiced with. And, oh yeah, his shot chart looks like this. So, you take all that into account and you want to make his TOs the issue? Really? You don't think you could/should break down how the hell Lin was able to be effective instead?

/Hubie Brown
   888. jmurph Posted: February 20, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4064627)
Forgive me if this is an obvious observation, but Lin's turnovers don't seem to be based on bad decision-making or bad passing- he just doesn't seem to be a very good dribbler, which is sort of weird for a player at this level (forget going to his left, he barely even dribbles with his left hand). This seems to hurt him mostly in the half court game, especially when he's being doubled. But I think it also makes his performance to date that much more impressive, and I'm sure that more time as the primary ballhandler will bring an improvement on that front.
   889. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4064638)
[888] This was done prior to the DAL game, but a Knick fan actually went to the video on every single Lin assist and turnover. Usual caveats apply.
   890. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4064673)
I am starting to get the feeling Rose missing all these games is going to cost Chicago HCA. God damnit, no lockout, no rushed camp and Rose probably never has these stupid back spasms. #### David Stern one more time for this ####.

He should be back today they're saying. While they might win the game in Boston with him, Saturday's game was their first really bad game without him. 7-3 overall, but 3-2 in this recent stretch. If it costs them HCA, so be it. Wade missed a bunch of games, and there's a chance it happens again. There's plenty of season of season left, and most of the games are in Chicago.

How much longer are we all going to not care that LeBron is putting up the greatest statistical season ever? The gap between LeBron (#1) and D-Wade (#2) in PER is roughly the gap between Wade and Brandan Wright (#27).

And I still think he won't get MVP this year. Stories matter too much, and that fact that Lin is overshadowing everything else is amazing (and part of the reason this is going unnoticed). I still think it's Durant's to lose (from the voter's perspective), and games like last night aren't exactly hurting him.

Is it me, or is Amare looking old? His defense was always bad, but he looks really slow out there. And I don't remember how many shots have been blocked in the low post. He doesn't seem to have the hops any more. Yes, I know he is coming back, but it is worrying.

It's like you're describing Carlos Boozer.
   891. APNY Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4064675)
Last 9 games Knicks are at 15.9 TO/G. Not good but a nice improvement considering there full season number is still 16.8. Of course, if Lin cut 2 TO/G they'd be at 13.9, which would equal the 4th best rate in the league. So yeah, he's not perfect. Yet.

Edit: So according to post 883, Lin could cut his TO by 2/g, STILL set the TO record, and have his team play at a top 5 least TO pace. That seems to say a lot about his usage.
   892. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4064676)
It's like you're describing Carlos Boozer.

Minus the rebounding and the "hair."
   893. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4064682)
   894. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4064715)
That is the most well-written article ever to contain three instances of the phrase "the full [person's name]".
   895. tshipman Posted: February 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4064721)
Wow, this picture of Boozer's hair ... wow. I remember a line from a comic--that essentially all men with male pattern baldness don't leave the house until they see their hair from an angle in a mirror that makes it look good. Boozer shouldn't have left the house.


[888] This was done prior to the DAL game, but a Knick fan actually went to the video on every single Lin assist and turnover. Usual caveats apply.

That was an interesting read. I think that given the problems with the dribble, I'd start the half-court trap whenever Lin brings the ball up.

This seems to hurt him mostly in the half court game, especially when he's being doubled. But I think it also makes his performance to date that much more impressive, and I'm sure that more time as the primary ballhandler will bring an improvement on that front.


I'd be surprised if this were the case. Generally speaking, guys don't change that much at the NBA level--it's rare for a guy to add a 3-pt shot, or a big to just get good at defending the PnR. Kobe is a good example, in that I think by common acclaim, no one works harder at the game than him. However, he still has the same problems with losing his dribble/getting stripped as he did when he first came up.

The problems with the dribble are most likely here to stay for Lin. I wonder the extent to which defenses will take advantage of it, and to what extent the lockout is helping Lin.
   896. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: February 20, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4064732)
To my relatively untrained eye, the Mavs were trapping Lin (or at least trying) the entire 2nd half.

One of the more impressive things about Lin is that everyone knows he only goes right and he's still getting in the lane (so far).
   897. andrewberg Posted: February 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4064737)
I think that there are some people who think that Lin's turnovers are so bad that they overwhelm the positive contributions, specifically that he's only putting up these crazy numbers because he is allowed and encouraged to play with such reckless abandon that the team doesn't care if he turns it over 7 or 8 times. That is exactly why there are more advanced stats that weight the good against the bad, and he is doing extremely well in those stats- his PER is over 22 or 23 and his WS/48 is very high. I can see where the criticism is coming from, but I think it is a little misinformed.

   898. tshipman Posted: February 20, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4064747)
I think there's something to the idea that Lin's contributions are in part a product of D'Antoni's system, but obviously not just anyone can play in D'Antoni's system (see the last few years).

Nash's last three years in Dallas:
TOV%: 15.8%, 13.2%, 17.9%
AST%: 36.0%, 36.3%, 38.3%

Nash's first year in PHO:
TOV%: 20.3%
AST%: 49.2%

Lin's year so far in NYK:
TOV%: 21.6%
AST%: 50.0%

Obviously, this is a very simplified analysis, but Lin's been playing like Steve Nash in D'Antoni's system. I don't know how you would identify the kind of guy who plays better in D'Antoni's offense than in a standard NBA offense, but it seems to exist.
   899. andrewberg Posted: February 20, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4064752)
896- Lin had 1 TO in the first half when Dallas wasn't trapping, and 6 in the second half, when they were. He had 4 or 5 second half assists and plenty of points, but if he turns the ball over 12 times in a game, that probably goes past the equilibrium point.
   900. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 20, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4064754)
The East this year, to me, has two excellent teams that are built to compete in the playoffs (MIA and CHI), and MIA, to me at least, is the clear favorite to come out of the East.

Can the Knicks have a run where they shoot 50% on threes for 5 games and knock out Miami? Yes, but it's not likely.


I agree with this. One or two of the non-Bulls/Heat East playoff teams (PHI, NYK, IND, ORL, ATL, BOS) will be healthy and playing well enough come April that they would have a chance to beat the Bulls or Heat if they totally catch fire or if one of those teams has a key injury. The Knicks now look like they have a real shot to be that team, but I think we need to see a lot more from them before we call them a true contender. There are still far more questions than answers.

The East is still Miami, then Chicago, then everyone else.
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