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Friday, June 01, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, June 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: overwrought, acrimonious discussions about having where to put the site’s overwrought, acrimonious discussions.

Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:58 AM | 2704 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1301. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4154923)
   1302. AROM Posted: June 12, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4154938)
the Thunder don't have those elite one-on-one defenders


They've got Thabo. He'll probably cause a lot of trouble for Wade. But he's just not big enough to play Lebron.
   1303. Booey Posted: June 12, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4154951)
Would the story change if he played that game brutally hung over? Because I suspect most of the issue was fatigue and dehydration.


Altitude sickness is the most common explanation that I've heard. There's a pretty big jump in elevation between Chicago and Park City, where the Bulls stayed the night before the game.
   1304. Zipperholes Posted: June 12, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4154954)
Hollinger's slight preference for the Thunder came from the fact that the teams appear evenly matched, but that . . . (b) Miami can keep their bench shorter, which is another relative weakness that won't show up in this series.
How do we know having a shorter bench will be a positive, as compared to the regular season? Do we have enough data on these players' extended minutes, particularly when doing it over several consecutive games, to know they would outperform the bench?
   1305. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4154956)
How do we know having a shorter bench will be a positive, as compared to the regular season?

Because the guys on the bench generally suck and their minutes are going to LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Durant, Westbrook, Harden.
   1306. Zipperholes Posted: June 12, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4154984)
Because the guys on the bench generally suck and their minutes are going to LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Durant, Westbrook, Harden.
So, any minutes played by bench players would be better used by starters? I find that hard to believe, considering teams use their bench.
   1307. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4154988)
So, any minutes played by bench players would be better used by starters? I find that hard to believe, considering teams use their bench

Teams use their bench because (in the regular season) they have to. A tired LeBron is better than a fresh James Jones.
   1308. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4154992)
So, any minutes played by bench players would be better used by starters? I find that hard to believe, considering teams use their bench.
Unless you're bringing Manu or Harden off the bench, then yes, starters being better than bench guys isn't a revelation, and you can shorten rotations in the playoffs because of all the days off.
   1309. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4154996)
How do we know having a shorter bench will be a positive, as compared to the regular season?

Because the guys on the bench generally suck and their minutes are going to LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Durant, Westbrook, Harden.


I do think that my one caveat for the bench minutes argument is that MIA's weak bench means that Lebron's minutes not just for the Thunder series, but for the last 2 as well have been insane. He average 45+ mpg in the BOS series because the Heat couldn't afford him to come out of the game. I think that if this series goes past 5, that you are likely to see a less effective Lebron towards the end of the series similar to last year.
   1310. Zipperholes Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4154998)
Unless you're bringing Manu or Harden off the bench, then yes, starters being better than bench guys isn't a revelation, and you can shorten rotations in the playoffs because of all the days off.
It's not a question of whether starters are better than bench guys. It's whether Lebron's minutes 41-48 are better than Mike Miller's minutes 1-8 (or 11-18, or whatever). The no back-to-backs is a good point. I'm not sure one way or another whether it causes better play with the extra minutes. It's possible the grueling task of having all the games against an elite team could counteract that.
   1311. andrewberg Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4155002)
So, any minutes played by bench players would be better used by starters? I find that hard to believe, considering teams use their bench.


The important part in this series is that the deep bench for Miami is worse than the deep bench for OKC. If both teams stick to 7-8 man rotations with minutes heavily going to their top 5 guys, the ones who are cut out for OKC are likely Nazr Mohammed, Daequan Cook, Royal Ivey. They aren't great, but they all do certain things well. You also probably see slightly fewer minutes for Sefolosha, Collison, and Fischer. The guys cut out of Miami's rotation entirely are guys like Pittman and Turiaf, who are worth nothing. Maybe Mike Miller, too, who is playing like total crap. Again, it's not a huge difference, but it definitely works in Miami's favor.

I think that if this series goes past 5, that you are likely to see a less effective Lebron towards the end of the series similar to last year.
'

Definitely possible, though I think part of what wore him down last year was Marion's excellent defense and having to contend with Chandler in the middle. No combo of guys from OKC are nearly as physical.
   1312. JC in DC Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4155005)
I agree, and remember this being the MO for reports on Jordan, particularly during the height of his playing days. Every little cough or sniffle was reported and then became a part of the story, particularly when the Bulls won. For a super star athlete, he seemed to be sick once a week. As a Pistons fan attending the University of Illinios in the early 90s, I thought it was just my bias showing through. But when a friend down the hall, who breathed Bulls basketball, noted the same issue, I realized it was not just in my head.

My memory is notoriously faulty, but this is not my memory at all. I don't recall him being a faker, or being constantly ill, or that day seeming like a typical sniffle. I thought he was legit sick.
   1313. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4155007)
I do think that my one caveat for the bench minutes argument is that MIA's weak bench means that Lebron's minutes not just for the Thunder series, but for the last 2 as well have been insane. He average 45+ mpg in the BOS series because the Heat couldn't afford him to come out of the game. I think that if this series goes past 5, that you are likely to see a less effective Lebron towards the end of the series similar to last year.

Semi-related...is there a historical comp for LeBron in terms of anchoring the defense as well as carrying a huge offensive load? What I’m looking for/thinking about is the highest usage rate maintained by guys who were also acknowledged as THE guy for their team defensively. I’ve often thought of the LeBron wore down excuse as a silly one because I was focused on the minutes he played and didn’t think they were that far off the charts. However, today it occurred to me that perhaps I should focus more on his role while playing however minutes he plays.
   1314. JL Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4155015)
My memory is notoriously faulty, but this is not my memory at all. I don't recall him being a faker, or being constantly ill, or that day seeming like a typical sniffle. I thought he was legit sick.

I don't think he was a faker, and I am sure that there were times he was legitimately sick. But if he any signs of the flu, it always seemed to get mentioned. Part of this, I am sure, was the celebrity of Jordan and the media following his every move. But after awhile, it seems like part of his persona - the driven winner who could overcome everything. My perception was that this really took off after the Pippen migraine game, but admit that is very likely my bias altering my memory.
   1315. baudib Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4155017)
Semi-related...is there a historical comp for LeBron in terms of anchoring the defense as well as carrying a huge offensive load?


Jordan, Duncan, and a lot of centers, Hakeem, Robinson, Ewing, Kareem, Wilt. Among other wings, not so much. Kobe at times. Walt Frazier.
   1316. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4155022)
I guess I'm picking OKC in 7. This is probably the most excited I've been for a finals not involving the Jazz or Knicks, and since I like OKC and want Lebron to win a ring, I'll be happy as long as the series is competitive. Am I the only one who thinks OKC gives Miami matchup problems? Even if Wade guards Westbrook, that still leaves Harden without an elite defender on him and Miami doesn't have much of an inside presence.
   1317. smileyy Posted: June 12, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4155025)
Kobe, for the most part, has had defensive help in the paint.

Jordan usually got the #2 defensive assignment, didn't he? I thought Pippen usually took the #1 assignment.
   1318. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4155026)
Am I the only one who thinks OKC gives Miami matchup problems? Even if Wade guards Westbrook, that still leaves Harden without an elite defender on him and Miami doesn't have much of an inside presence.

You're not the only one.

Jordan usually got the #2 defensive assignment, didn't he? I thought Pippen usually took the #1 assignment.

This is my recollection as well.
   1319. smileyy Posted: June 12, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4155027)
Am I the only one who thinks OKC gives Miami matchup problems?


Miami will be able to juggle defenders a bit, but yeah, their stars are going to have a big defensive load to carry. Miami ought to be able to use LeBron, Bosh and Battier on Durant, and LeBron, Battier and Wade on Harden and Westbrook.
   1320. andrewberg Posted: June 12, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4155028)
Am I the only one who thinks OKC gives Miami matchup problems? Even if Wade guards Westbrook, that still leaves Harden without an elite defender on him and Miami doesn't have much of an inside presence.


I think that's true. I think the reason it is not mentioned more is that it is essentially what makes OKC good. Having three distinct creators is extremely unique and no team is going to be able to totally shut down their combination of shooting and penetration. On the other hand, we kind of take it as a given. It is kind of like saying, "I don't see how OKC is going to keep Lebron and Wade off the line." Well, they're not. Both teams have the ability to put points on the board.

With that said, I think Miami will do as well as anyone at defending those three guys. I think the plan is to start with Wade on Westbrook, Battier on Harden, and Lebron on Durant. Battier will probably have the most trouble of the group, but Harden is also the least explosive of those three. Plus, even if Miami does not have an elite help defender, they have the advantage of being able to play lineups where they can switch every PNR- that's a unique and distinct advantage and I think it is a big part of their defensive team success. Both Durant and Harden like to shoot right off of screens, and a lot of their complementary players get their points on rolls/pops (esp Ibaka), which are going to be much more contested than they were when Duncan had to hedge on the ballhandler to let Manu/Parker recover.
   1321. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: June 12, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4155034)
Jordan usually got the #2 defensive assignment, didn't he? I thought Pippen usually took the #1 assignment.

I seem to recall Jordan always taking the opposing SG, whereas Pippen would typically be assigned to the SF, but if the SF wasn't particularly dangerous, Pippen might take the PG, PF, or just chase the ball.
   1322. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 12, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4155037)
I think that's true. I think the reason it is not mentioned more is that it is essentially what makes OKC good. Having three distinct creators is extremely unique and no team is going to be able to totally shut down their combination of shooting and penetration. On the other hand, we kind of take it as a given. It is kind of like saying, "I don't see how OKC is going to keep Lebron and Wade off the line." Well, they're not. Both teams have the ability to put points on the board.

With that said, I think Miami will do as well as anyone at defending those three guys. I think the plan is to start with Wade on Westbrook, Battier on Harden, and Lebron on Durant. Battier will probably have the most trouble of the group, but Harden is also the least explosive of those three. Plus, even if Miami does not have an elite help defender, they have the advantage of being able to play lineups where they can switch every PNR- that's a unique and distinct advantage and I think it is a big part of their defensive team success. Both Durant and Harden like to shoot right off of screens, and a lot of their complementary players get their points on rolls/pops (esp Ibaka), which are going to be much more contested than they were when Duncan had to hedge on the ballhandler to let Manu/Parker recover.


Excellent response, thanks. I was probably misunderstanding the argument, reading it as Miami can handle the big 3 rather than Miami can do a better job defending them than other teams. I do think either Harden or Westbrook will do better than even most in this thread expect, at least if Chalmers continues to get 35 MPG.
   1323. andrewberg Posted: June 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4155042)
at least if Chalmers continues to get 35 MPG.


That largely depends on whether OKC goes big (Perkins/Collison) or small (Fisher) with the 5th guy next to Durant/Westbrook/Harden/Ibaka.

What I was getting at is that OKC's advantage is built in, and nobody will truly be able to "stop" their perimeter scoring, but Miami can probably handle better than most, and they have their own advantages at the other end.
   1324. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 12, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4155083)
Excellent response, thanks. I was probably misunderstanding the argument, reading it as Miami can handle the big 3 rather than Miami can do a better job defending them than other teams. I do think either Harden or Westbrook will do better than even most in this thread expect, at least if Chalmers continues to get 35 MPG.


I don't think it matters. I'm not sure people have noticed, but Battier's defense has slipped dramatically this year and even more so in the playoffs. I'm not sure that he's even a league average defender at this moment, and I think that he or Chalmers is going to get absolutely torched by the Harden minutes.
   1325. The District Attorney Posted: June 12, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4155105)
It's definitely the first NBA Finals between two teams whose nicknames don't end in an 's'.
First finals in any of the traditional Big 4 US team sports.
   1326. smileyy Posted: June 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4155130)
Battier's defense has slipped dramatically this year and even more so in the playoffs. I'm not sure that he's even a league average defender at this moment


If that's the case (which it very well may be), then Miami has done about as good a job of roster construction around James as Cleveland did.

Edit: Ok, hyperbole, but there are issues to be taken with that roster, as has been pointed out here.
   1327. Zipperholes Posted: June 12, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4155148)
Vegas consensus:
Series: OKC -165, MIA +145
Game 1: OKC -5.5, O/U 195.5, ML: OKC -240, MIA +200
   1328. steagles Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4155173)
Game 1: OKC -5.5, O/U 195.5, ML: OKC -240, MIA +200
i'm not a huge gambler, but that line screams bet big on miami to me. with how good they can be, i think it's insane that they're 2:1 underdogs for game 1.
   1329. Squash Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4155178)
Very, very passive first quarter for James so far. Settling for jumpers, no energy on defense, and just completely loafed getting back on Durant's transition and-one. Not a good sign for Miami.
   1330. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4155184)
Why doesn't Spoelstra get a haircut?
   1331. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4155187)
Won't be the least bit surprised if we see a Battier/Harden double flop along the lines of the historic Ginobili/Harden double last round.
   1332. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4155191)
Missed most of the 1st quarter - did they have James and Durant guarding one another?
   1333. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4155194)
Primer RT:

@Pflanns: It's almost as if the Heat aren't playing against the best team defense in the NBA.


(They are also playing a team that doesn't struggle to score 90, however.)
   1334. JJ1986 Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4155197)
My God Wade is lazy. He can't beat Derek Fisher (with the ball) down the court.
   1335. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4155199)
I have gone from seething hate to grudging respect for Derek Fisher.
   1336. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4155201)
My God Wade is lazy. He can't beat Derek Fisher (with the ball) down the court.

I thought Fisher made a nice hesitation move there to throw off his timing on the block.
   1337. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4155208)
Primer RT:

@netw3rk: Perkins gathering to jump is like waiting for a drawbridge to open.
   1338. JJ1986 Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4155209)
I thought Fisher made a nice hesitation move there to throw off his timing on the block.


On a second look, I think you're right, but I hate Fisher and refuse to credit him for anything.
   1339. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4155214)
[1338] JJ, I feel you.
   1340. rr Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4155233)
Right there (two drives by James)is why I think Miami will probably win this--all tendencies, etc. aside.
   1341. Zipperholes Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4155238)
Wait, what? How was that a shooting foul? Durant fouled Lebron at the free throw line and it culminated in a layup.
   1342. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4155240)
Wait, what? How was that a shooting foul? Durant fouled Lebron at the free throw line and it culminated in a layup.

I feel the same way. Van Gundy seemed to think it was the right call - but if it is, that's a stupid rule.
   1343. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4155246)
Westbrook is absolutely fearless and relentless. I love the way he never stops attacking, no matter how badly things might be going for him early on.
   1344. tshipman Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4155250)
How much longer is Wade going to put up these absolutely horrible games and receive absolutely no criticism?

His last really good game was in the Pacers series. This is the third or fourth best player in the NBA!
   1345. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4155251)
Do the Heat have any other option than to play Miller? I imagine they don't want to extend Battier's minutes. Any bench guys that can at least stay in front of someone defensively for 7 minutes? (EDIT - Wow, didn't realize Battier was already playing that many minutes.)
   1346. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4155253)
This is the third or fourth best player in the NBA!

Are we sure about this?

(I agree, though, with your point. Wade has stunk.)
   1347. JJ1986 Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4155254)
Any bench guys that can at least stay in front of someone defensively for 7 minutes?


Eddy Curry can probably stay in front of someone for a few minutes because it takes that long to get around him.
   1348. tshipman Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4155255)
Are we sure about this?


Not anymore I'm not! Christ has he disintegrated in the playoffs.


Any bench guys that can at least stay in front of someone defensively for 7 minutes?


James Jones is o-kaaaaaaay. If you're really sick of Battier. He's pretty much the same guy as Battier, just slightly shittier. Edit: side note: Battier is actually having a pretty good game.
   1349. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4155262)
Man, this is a lot of fun.
   1350. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4155264)
I don't get why Miami isn't puting James on Durant here.
   1351. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4155266)
I don't get why Miami isn't puting James on Durant here.

Great point.

Was just imagining Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass trying to check Durant. He'd probably have 38 right now, but only because he'd sat much of the 4th quarter with the Thunder up 25.
   1352. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4155267)
I am absolutely floored at the amount of times Durant has been left wide open.
   1353. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4155268)
Can someone explain to me when this blocking thing came into vogue in the NBA, i.e., where the defender gets into the paint while the offensive player is driving to the hoop and then the defender just stands there with his arms folded and flops onto the ground after absorbing the contact? It is so retarded, and I don't remember seeing it a few years ago. The defender isn't even trying to make a freaking play on the ball. He's not trying to block the shot or defend the shot or anything.
   1354. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4155272)
I've been watching the playoffs and enjoying them, but:

1. Foul calls and non-calls have a large element of randomness to them.

2. When a player drives to the net the refs get too whistle-happy. Is it not possible to defend someone without fouling them?

3. The flops are just incredibly ridiculous.

4. As are the proliferation of technical fouls.
   1355. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4155273)
Boy, but the Thunder are good.
   1356. tshipman Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4155275)
I don't remember seeing it a few years ago.


Definitely been around longer than that.

Can someone explain to me when this blocking thing came into vogue in the NBA i.e., where the defender gets into the paint while the offensive player is driving to the hoop and then the defender just stands there with his arms folded and flops onto the ground after absorbing the contact?


This article indicates the block/charge call coming into vogue around the year 2000, which very roughly jives with my memory. You'd see it before then, but more rarely.

Last season, the screws were tightened further with stricter definitions of fouls. Their main purpose was to counter a long decline in scoring and the perception that brute strength had become a more essential basketball skill than quickness and agility. Many basketball observers believe that rougher, sloppier play has contributed to the game's recent drop in popularity.
   1357. Booey Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4155279)
Why does Bosh suddenly think the power forwards role on the team is just to shoot 3's?

And that Durant guy is pretty good.
   1358. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4155280)
Thanks, tshipman.
   1359. Booey Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4155281)
Can someone explain to me when this blocking thing came into vogue in the NBA i.e., where the defender gets into the paint while the offensive player is driving to the hoop and then the defender just stands there with his arms folded and flops onto the ground after absorbing the contact?


It's been around for at least a decade, but I agree, I hate it too. Jumping in front of someone and falling down should never be an acceptable defensive play. It's cop-out D. Man up and make a play on the ball (and in return, the officials shouldn't make so many ticky tac calls on drives when defenders actually do try).

Edit: coke to tshipman
   1360. Booey Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4155282)
1. Foul calls and non-calls have a large element of randomness to them.

2. When a player drives to the net the refs get too whistle-happy. Is it not possible to defend someone without fouling them?

3. The flops are just incredibly ridiculous.

4. As are the proliferation of technical fouls.



Agreed on all points.
   1361. Booey Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4155283)
Good game, OKC. 1 down, 3 to go!
   1362. tshipman Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4155285)
Thanks, tshipman.


I should mention that it's a really fuzzy line. There definitely weren't guys who act like Harden/Battier until something like ... 2002? I remember Christie as a flopper. Fisher was definitely flopping to get charges around then. Manu's flopped like crazy since he's been in the league, but that's mostly on offense.

I should mention that now-a-days we think of it as a guard-centric strategy. Back in the day, however, it was a post defense tool. That was one of the ways you would defend against Shaq. I think the charge/block call came about in large part because of Shaq, tbh. Edit: it used to be a no-call.

I hate the call because it's one of those things you can call both ways. I think going to the international goaltend rules will help with it.
   1363. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4155287)
Also, I think I could coach these teams. When the cameras go into the huddle, the coach never seems to be saying profound things. It's always generic things like "protect the ball; contest every shot; go for all the 50/50s." I don't really know what I expect to hear, but I know I expect to hear something I couldn't have thought of myself. Not X's and O's, necessarily, but something more than "look for the open guy."

I get the same feeling as when MLB mics the pitching coaches.
   1364. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4155289)
Also, I think I could coach these teams. When the cameras go into the huddle, the coach never seems to be saying profound things. It's always generic things like "protect the ball; contest every shot; go for all the 50/50s." I don't really know what I expect to hear, but I know I expect to hear something I couldn't have thought of myself. Not X's and O's, necessarily, but something more than "look for the open guy."


Broadcast is not allowed to air anything remotely relating to tactics, so all we get is what you described.
   1365. JJ1986 Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4155290)
Also, I think I could coach these teams. When the cameras go into the huddle, the coach never seems to be saying profound things. It's always generic things like "protect the ball; contest every shot; go for all the 50/50s." I don't really know what I expect to hear, but I know I expect to hear something I couldn't have thought of myself. Not X's and O's, necessarily, but something more than "look for the open guy."


I think the networks skip the strategy parts on purpose. They focus on platitudes so nothing's given away.
   1366. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4155291)
Yes, and it's not just in the paint, but guys all over the court are hitting the floor continuously throughout the game. I can't imagine how that would happen naturally with anything near that frequency.
   1367. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4155292)
When the cameras go into the huddle, the coach never seems to be saying profound things. It's always generic things like "protect the ball; contest every shot; go for all the 50/50s." I don't really know what I expect to hear, but I know I expect to hear something I couldn't have thought of myself. Not X's and O's, necessarily, but something more than "look for the open guy."

They are careful not to show any actual strategy. There's an article in the SI Vault that mentions them showing Xs and Os in a Celtics/Sixers playoff game which Bill Fitch was thrown out of - watching on TV, he was able to relay defensive strategies out to the bench from the locker room via messenger. It's almost certainly not that simple.
   1368. The District Attorney Posted: June 12, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4155293)
Primer retweet:
@ppppolls: Don't think we ever released this but in February we found 4% of WA voters cheer for the Thunder, 17% root against them, 80% don't care
We also found on our February Washington (state) sports poll that 37% of voter wished they had an NBA team, 63% didn't care
   1369. tshipman Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4155296)
I think the networks skip the strategy parts on purpose. They focus on platitudes so nothing's given away.


I would have to imagine that some of the coaches ham it up/exaggerate the platitudes during the taped segments. From various interviews I can't recall right now, a lot of plays out of timeouts are drawn up by assistant coaches. And no one cares about assistant coaches.

My favorite art pieces are the Popovich and Phil Jackson mini-interviews. Here's Pop from this year's playoffs. Here's Phil's greatest hits.
   1370. PJ Martinez Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4155297)
Red Auerbach was upset about flopping nearly 40 years ago. He said coaches at the high school and college level were "teaching players how to fall," which he said was "unreal!"
   1371. Zipperholes Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4155298)
Broadcast is not allowed to air anything remotely relating to tactics, so all we get is what you described.
Wow, I did not know this, thanks. I was going to post something the other day that Doc Rivers must think his players have the mental fortitude of a T-ball team, because he's constantly imploring them to try harder.
   1372. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4155299)
Broadcast is not allowed to air anything remotely relating to tactics, so all we get is what you described.

I think the networks skip the strategy parts on purpose. They focus on platitudes so nothing's given away.

Oh, you're just speculating. Occam's razor tells us that in fact all NBA coaches are vacuous nitwits, unless scientific studies are done to convince me otherwise.
   1373. baudib Posted: June 13, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4155320)
Yeah, come on you guys. They can't show anything specific to strategy during those huddles. That's why they only show like a 10-second snippet of a timeout that happened 5 minutes ago.

Pretty sure the coaches would be ballistic if they showed more than some vague motivational talk.
   1374. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 13, 2012 at 02:57 AM (#4155336)
Really enjoyed this piece on flopping by an American baller playing in Israel. He comes down against it as cheap and kind of a dick move, but recognizes the ways in which it's an ethical grey area, which is kind of refreshing.
   1375. Srul Itza At Home Posted: June 13, 2012 at 03:22 AM (#4155338)
There definitely weren't guys who act like Harden/Battier until something like ... 2002? I remember Christie as a flopper.


Vlade Divac was the King of the Floppers.
   1376. PreservedFish Posted: June 13, 2012 at 03:49 AM (#4155341)
Vlade Divac was the James Joyce of floppers. He invented the genre and he perfected it to such an extent that he destroyed it, rendered future contributions unnecessary or superfluous. He sowed the flopping field it with salt. All subsequent floppers are base, rank imitators.
   1377. baudib Posted: June 13, 2012 at 04:36 AM (#4155351)
Oh, btw, on the game...

I didn't get to watch closely. Was it me or did the Heat try to go hard after Westbrook and decide to just leave Durant completely wide open all day? I saw Durant hitting some shots in the halfcourt offense where no one was within 10 feet of him.

Really bad sign for the Heat that they lose a game where A. they had a decent lead in the first half B. outshot the Thunder on 3s C. Battier had a big offensive night and D. Harden did very little.

Are the Thunder really going to play Fisher more than Ibaka and not get exploited by it? Color me stunned.

Note: LeBron has been making a number of careless passes the past few games. Pelton notes that the Thunder's length was giving him problems.
   1378. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 13, 2012 at 07:10 AM (#4155375)
I didn't get to watch closely. Was it me or did the Heat try to go hard after Westbrook and decide to just leave Durant completely wide open all day? I saw Durant hitting some shots in the halfcourt offense where no one was within 10 feet of him.

I don't know if it was BECAUSE of Westbrook, but yeah...at least 4 or so of Durant's 3PAs were of the wide open variety. I think he might be able to make those so MIA should look into that.
   1379. jmurph Posted: June 13, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4155394)
I'm all over the map in what to take from this game. A few thoughts:

1. If Durant is going to continue to guard Lebron for most of the game, I think it's safe to say Lebron will figure out how to exploit that a little better. He had a strong game, but (in my opinion) should have gone after Durant a lot more in the first half, rather than settling for jumpers.
2. As others have pointed out, Wade is just not getting it done. But I was disappointed in Bosh last night, too. He needs to do more on both ends of the court.
3. Durant makes scoring look very, very easy.
4. How much of the difference in the two halves in the Heat's offensive effectiveness do you credit OKC with? To me they clearly turned up the pressure on the ball, but I still think the Heat were too eager to bail them out with long jumpers. Their continued inability to put together 4 quarters of good offense in the playoffs is kind of baffling.
   1380. Conor Posted: June 13, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4155402)
On Durant's open jumpers, it seemed to me a decent amount of them came when Wade was guarding him. Wade seemed very quick to help off Durant, and you really just can't do that. I think that is kinda the player Wade is; he likes to help off his man to gamble to make a play, but when you are guarding Durant, that just won't work.

Note: LeBron has been making a number of careless passes the past few games. Pelton notes that the Thunder's length was giving him problems.


I thought there were some times he seemed way too eager to just launch jumpers over the top of Durant. Does anyone remember the play in the first quarter where Lebron drove and seemed to clearly be hit on the wrist/arm by Durant? I didn't see a replay, but that would've been Durant's second foul, and may have totally changed the game.
   1381. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4155414)
not an nba expert but vlade divac was notorious for flopping in the 90's

it was divac's only way to defend shaq.

dennis rodman flopped in the late 80's/early 90's

he would get a call and then vigorously clap his hands when the ref would be suckered into calling a charge

it was pathetic
   1382. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4155418)
i think the guy who really got the ball rolling, no pun intended, was danny ainge.

then you had laimbeer who brought the twist of big men flopping. previously it seemed to be a guards only thing where they would feign getting run down by the bigger man

the evolution of the flop would be a fun article

   1383. AROM Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4155425)
While the shocking development of Chris Bosh, 3 point specialist, was welcome against Boston, I think he's got to move back in a bit and play the game he's played his whole career. It's like if Erick Aybar has a 2 homer game, including a game winner in the 9th. Great thing for that game, but you don't want to see him swinging from the heels next time out. Bosh had an overall bad game. Towards the end Miami was down 6 (a few plays after being down 10), they needed a defensive stop big time, and the shot clock was winding down. Bosh somehow got totally faked out by Collison, with Bosh heading toward the sideline, and Collison back to the hoop for a dunk. That was pretty much the last chance Miami had.

Lebron didn't have any kind of shot working last night and still puts up a good stat line. Wade certainly needs to play better. One thing I didn't see last night was any Lebron-Wade transition game. I don't think that will last - OKC's sudden lack of turnovers can't last, Miami is too good at forcing them. That should make up for games where

Mike Miller really needs a DNP-CD next to his name. He's so totally useless at anything that doesn't involve jacking up a 3, and he's only hit 1 3 pointer in the last 5 games. Enough already. Give Jones those minutes. He's not good, but isn't a black hole of suckitude.
   1384. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4155426)
Am I the only person here that doesn't mind the block/charge call at all?

Ray said the defenders aren't trying to defend the shot at all. And I don't think that's true at all. Getting into the lane in is in itself a defense of the shot. If the defender has the ground, it's on the attacker not to initiate contact. If you let guys bowl into stationary defenders, there are about 24 players who instantly become unguardable. You have to leave defenders something.

Now I hate the flopping that goes along with it. But to me, that's on the refs. If the only way defenders get that call is when they flop, I can't blame them for it. If refs were calling the charge if the guy goes down or not, players wouldn't need to flop around.
   1385. AROM Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4155432)
Yeah, Rodman and Laimbeer are the first guys I remember noted for their flopping. My basketball memory doesn't go much further than that. Those Pistons were a rarity, an elite defensive team that was below average in blocking shots.
   1386. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4155435)
i think this rewarding a guy for standing on a basketball court is a weird approach to creating a game predicated on flow and movement.

that and i think there is a safety element. i only watch basketball every so often and i see guys getting undercut and the defender getting the call. that's awful
   1387. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4155437)
Am I the only person here that doesn't mind the block/charge call at all?

Ray said the defenders aren't trying to defend the shot at all. And I don't think that's true at all. Getting into the lane in is in itself a defense of the shot.


I side more with Ray here. If you take away the step in the lane offensive charge, which rewards basically a guy hanging around the low post and taking one step and standing still, you get the kind of basketball most people want. A player who beats his defender off the dribble should be rewarded for his skill.
   1388. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4155439)
laimbeer was such a bum. it's one of the travesties of history that such a player who introduced such awful things into the game was a component of championship teams.

the flopping

the cheap shot elbow to the head to instigate retaliation

the hysterical response to foul calls

laimbeer permanently stained the nba game in multiple ways

awful
   1389. AROM Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4155447)
If it wasn't Laimbeer it would have been somebody else. The problem with those ugly plays is that they can win games for you.
   1390. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4155449)
arom

laimbeer was a creep. he was a creep in college and he got meaner and uglier as a pro

cartwright threw elbows because cartwright was clumsy. laimbeer did it because he was mean
   1391. Tripon Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4155451)
Laimbeer's paying it for it now though. It's probably the main reason why he can't get a NBA head coaching job.
   1392. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4155455)
With charges / blocks, I really think there's a middle ground.

FPH is exactly right that a wholesale deletion of the charge rule from the books would be terrible for basketball. It would make the game too hard for guys who aren't built like tanks, and it would allow guys with a bit of a handle and tank build to dominate. It would make the game actually less dynamic and athletic in the long run.

The problem that can be fixed, I think, is a much more marginal one. We see the annoying charge happen when a player just barely slips into position before contact is initiated, then windmills his arms, falls on his bum, and draw the call. Just send out a directive that defensive position needs to be established a step or two before contact, and you've got the rule fixed.
   1393. JC in DC Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4155456)
I think this analysis of Laimbeer is silly.
   1394. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4155457)
Bird said he talks to Mahorn, but still doesn't have anything to do with Laimbeer to this day. He said Mahorn committed hard fouls but he wasn't trying to hurt you. Laimbeer was trying to. He also said that a lot of the stuff he did wasn't caught by the refs or tv.
   1395. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4155461)
I liked Laimbeer - he was a real solid ballplayer*. Then again, I'm one of the few people here who've admitted to flopping from the first day I played competitvely - I've got a high tolerance for different kinds of jerk behavior on the court.

Speaking of which, I read an interesting (though short) history of it once - can't find it after a quick search, though. Divac certainly is identified with the escalation of flopping in the league (the idea being that it was imported from Europe / soccer culture), though I'm not sure that he deserves as much credit as he gets here. Not that he didn't do it often / successfully.

i think this rewarding a guy for standing on a basketball court is a weird approach to creating a game predicated on flow and movement.
that and i think there is a safety element. i only watch basketball every so often and i see guys getting undercut and the defender getting the call. that's awful

All of this is fair - to the extent we can successfully legislate against the practice, I think that's great. But, if you can get away with it / are good at it - do it.

* I think 1391/tripon is probably right about why Laimbeer can't get a coaching gig, though there's few enough of those jobs that it's hard to say.
   1396. JC in DC Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4155465)
With charges / blocks, I really think there's a middle ground.

FPH is exactly right that a wholesale deletion of the charge rule from the books would be terrible for basketball. It would make the game too hard for guys who aren't built like tanks, and it would allow guys with a bit of a handle and tank build to dominate. It would make the game actually less dynamic and athletic in the long run.

The problem that can be fixed, I think, is a much more marginal one. We see the annoying charge happen when a player just barely slips into position before contact is initiated, then windmills his arms, falls on his bum, and draw the call. Just send out a directive that defensive position needs to be established a step or two before contact, and you've got the rule fixed.


I disagree. I think you're collapsing two distinct plays into one. One is the legit charge, where an offensive player (a tank) lowers his shoulder or otherwise takes away a legitimate defensive position by brute force. That should be prohibited. There's nothing athletic about that, and established defensive ground should be defended by officiating. The other is the driving charge, where one player attacks the basket and the other tries to defend by getting in his way. I can see keeping that in some minor way, but I think the vast majority of these should be eliminated. Players should be encouraged to stop that play by attacking the ball. This would increase athleticism b/c it would value Ibaka types over Battier types. Make both players meet around the rim. If you're too short or too unathletic, get out of the way, then, or strip the ball early.
   1397. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4155473)
If the defender has the ground, it's on the attacker not to initiate contact.

My issue with the charge call is that the current method of determining the foul is exactly backwards. It's an offensive foul for a lack of player control, yet officials focus almost entirely on the conduct of the defender -- i.e. whether the defender is set and outside the charge line. The focus needs to be the conduct of the offensive player and whether that player is out of control or contacting the defender to gain an advantage. It's ridiculous that a controlled ballhandler tends to get an offensive foul for incidental contact with a stationary defender, while one who barrels into the lane with his head down and using his off arm to create space tends to get the benefit of the call as long as the defender is moving or inside the line.
   1398. tshipman Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4155480)
I can see keeping that in some minor way, but I think the vast majority of these should be eliminated.


All you really have to do is just go back to the no-call on that play. The current situation is problematic because the NBA has decided that there must be a call when a body hits the floor (90% of the time at least).

If you got rid of the charge completely, with the hand-checking rules gone, the whole damn game would be watching guys take turns executing dribble drives. There has to be some give to incentivize jump-shooting. Currently, I think the model where the best players are the best because they're really good at getting to the FT line is flawed. It stagnates the game.

You can't just get rid of the charge call and call it a day, in my opinion. (not saying that you are saying that JC in DC).
   1399. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4155488)
Ray said the defenders aren't trying to defend the shot at all. And I don't think that's true at all. Getting into the lane in is in itself a defense of the shot. If the defender has the ground, it's on the attacker not to initiate contact. If you let guys bowl into stationary defenders, there are about 24 players who instantly become unguardable. You have to leave defenders something.


I disagree. This is not a defense of the player with the ball at all. It's merely a cheap exploitation of the rules.

A legitimate charge is when the guy is already established there for a second or two and then the offensive player bowls into him. That is not what's happening with a lot of these calls, where the offensive player is driving in an open lane and then suddenly a defender swoops in -- not to try to defend the play, but to establish position with his arms LITERALLY FOLDED so that he gets a cheap call.

------

As to Miller, he's not hitting his three's, but what makes it worse is that he hangs around frozen in position with his arm held high above his head while waiting to see if the ball goes down.
   1400. JC in DC Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4155511)
More than anything, the game was not about Miller, but Wade. Wade has got to give LBJ more than he did (and has). Miller is a very limited player, obviously, but Miami can win if Wade plays up to his prior level. If he does not (or cannot) then it is very unlikely Miami will win.
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