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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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   201. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4147309)
I don't blame Wade for wanting that last shot. I do blame him for not going after a better shot. After the fly-by, he could have gone for a closer shot for the tie, but he just stood there and measured it for what seemed like a loooooooooong time. On the other hand, I'm glad Wade's taking his lumps. These playoffs have showcased the petty, petulant side of him that's been glossed over for far too long.
   202. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4147315)
Chalmers, wiiiiiiiiide open. Hard to pin any blame for that last play on Spo.
   203. PJ Martinez Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4147318)
When KG is on the floor, Boston is simply a better team than Miami -- at least a Bosh-less Miami. The question is whether that advantage is enough to make up for 1) how much better Miami is when KG's not on the floor, and 2) Miami's homecourt edge.
   204. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:02 AM (#4147333)
When KG is on the floor, Boston is simply a better team than Miami -- at least a Bosh-less Miami.
I think that's the key right there. Bosh getting hurt should have ended the Heat vs. the Pacers, but the Pacers were too s-o-f-t to take advantage. It's funny, the dominos that've fallen because of injuries in these playoffs.
   205. tshipman Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4147341)
When KG is on the floor, Boston is simply a better team than Miami -- at least a Bosh-less Miami.


This is an overreach. Just because they have so far this series, does not mean this continues to be the case. KG's play has been a bit unsustainable.
   206. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:42 AM (#4147353)
I don't blame Wade for wanting that last shot. I do blame him for not going after a better shot. After the fly-by, he could have gone for a closer shot for the tie


I'm not buying this. Wade needs to hit the 3 only half as often as the 2 to make it a better play -- maybe less than half as often as Boston, being at home and with LBJ having fouled out, was probably more than a 50-50 bet to win if the game went to 2OT. I'm pretty sure his odds of hitting the 3 were at least half as good as his odds of hitting a 2 he could have gotten (even adding the possibility of getting fouled and making 2/2 from the line).
   207. rr Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:42 AM (#4147378)
Unsurprisingly, Windhorst reporting that Bosh is expected to go in Game 5.
   208. baudib Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:44 AM (#4147383)
I'm with Athletic, on live TV (haven't seen replay) it ended up that Wade got a decent look, at least I thought so.
   209. Squash Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:46 AM (#4147384)
This is an overreach. Just because they have so far this series, does not mean this continues to be the case. KG's play has been a bit unsustainable.

Yeah, I agree. Everything's been going right for the Celtics and pretty much everything wrong for the Heat, yet the series is tied 2-2 with two more games in Miami. The Heat have played one good game in 4 yet they've been right there in every one. Tonight Wade sucked, LeBron was bleh (for LeBron), Haslem was good but no one else really was, Rondo was very good, Garnett was great, Allen was acceptable, Pierce was bleh (for Pierce), the Celtics were at home, they jumped out to a big early lead ... and the game went to OT, with Miami having shots to win it twice. A game in which LeBron and Wade both have it going is going to be a blowout KG or no and the odds would say that's coming at some point. Wade isn't suddenly a terrible player. Anything could happen, of course, but at this point you still bet on Miami.
   210. Squash Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4147387)
Unsurprisingly, Windhorst reporting that Bosh is expected to go in Game 5.

You'd think he's got to at this point. It's not a broken leg, he's got to get out there and take a shot.
   211. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:08 AM (#4147408)
I'm not buying this. Wade needs to hit the 3 only half as often as the 2 to make it a better play -- maybe less than half as often as Boston, being at home and with LBJ having fouled out, was probably more than a 50-50 bet to win if the game went to 2OT.
But we're not talking about his odds on average, we're talking about one specific shot, and if he doesn't make it his team loses.

I'm with Athletic, on live TV (haven't seen replay) it ended up that Wade got a decent look, at least I thought so.
He got a wide open look. He also had a path to the basket a mile wide and Chalmers on the wing. If he drives, the defense would have to move to contain him, and then there's shooters everywhere. Instead, he takes a beat -- maybe two -- before shooting.

I agree that with James out and Boston at home, the Celtics would win that 2nd OT, but I'd rather take my chances in the 2nd OT than have a guy who, before this game, was shooting around 27% from the arc take that shot.
   212. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:12 AM (#4147409)
KG's play has been a bit unsustainable.


How so? He's averaging about 21.7 and 9.7 on 50% shooting. His career averages are 19.3 and 10.6 on .499 shooting; his season averages are 15.8 and 8.2 on .503, and he's got a matchup advantage over all of Miami's bigs. These are not crazy numbers for KG. On defense he's been amazing, but he's been this good on D all season (or at least since he got his legs under him). If you were claiming that Bosh's return is going to force KG to focus more on individual D at the expense of his ability to help, that's one thing. But if you're claiming that he's performing above his true ability, I really don't see it. He is this good.
   213. baudib Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:26 AM (#4147410)
But we're not talking about his odds on average, we're talking about one specific shot, and if he doesn't make it his team loses.


yes. but. Even if he makes a 2-pointer 100%, his team still loses probably greater than 50% of the time. Whether or not he could have kicked it out for a higher % 3 is debatable, but then that brings with it inherent risk of a turnover. The EV of the 3 on wide-open look has to be higher than that of taking a 2.
   214. PJ Martinez Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4147455)
Everything's been going right for the Celtics and pretty much everything wrong for the Heat, yet the series is tied 2-2 with two more games in Miami.

I'm not sure what "everything" includes here. Generally, when people talk about stuff "going wrong" in this context, they mean stuff that is somewhat random/unpredictable -- three-point percentage, beneficial officiating, certain kinds of injuries, etc. I haven't looked over all the numbers in detail, but nothing jumps out to me in that regard.

It's true, I think, that Boston has a much smaller margin for error than Miami does. Because of their ability to create turnovers and finish in transition, not to mention the ability of Wade and LeBron to get hot at any time, Miami can suddenly reel off a big run at almost any moment. Generally speaking, Boston does not have that capability.

But so far, each team has won one home game decisively, and one in overtime. In four games, the Heat have scored 6 more points than Boston. Miami obviously remains the favorite, but this has been a very close series so far. It could just as easily be 3-1 in Boston's favor as it could be 3-1 Miami.
   215. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4147461)
[209] Squash - Garnett was great last night? His D was, but he also shot 8-20.

   216. Spivey Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4147464)
I don't mind the play Wade made. You want a 3 there with LBJ out. Chalmers being open in that screen capture was irrelevant, that was pretty much the other side of the court and it wasn't going to be an easy pass, a defender is trailing him and Rondo appears to recognize where Chalmers is.

I was thinking Spoelstra would be fired if they lose this series, but who would take over?

The Heat, LeBron and Wade in particular, need to start making their free throws.

The last 4th quarter play was much more egregious than the OT play I think.
   217. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4147467)
Everything's been going right for the Celtics and pretty much everything wrong for the Heat, yet the series is tied 2-2 with two more games in Miami.
I'd say that by far the most important thing to happen in this series happened before the series, when Chris Bosh got hurt. If Chris Bosh were healthy, I expect it'd be 3-1 or 4-0 right now to the Heat. So in that sense, much more has gone right for the Celtics than not.

I don't really see it in the specifics. Garnett's play has been very good, but not terribly out line with what you'd expect, given that Miami doesn't have a legitimate big. Rondo has been good Rondo more often than bad Rondo, but he hasn't just flipped the switch entirely. Pierce has played ok but been contained by the Heat wing defenders, and Allen has been bad (due to injury). The Celtics certainly haven't been shooting the lights out (44% and 31% compared to 46% and 37% in the regular season).

If you play this series through four games over and over, with the rosters Miami and Boston had going into the series, I think 2-2 comes out as the most likely outcome. Followed by Miami 3-1, sure, but I don't think anything terribly weird has been happening in the games.
   218. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4147473)
This is an overreach. Just because they have so far this series, does not mean this continues to be the case. KG's play has been a bit unsustainable.


Yeah, I agree. Everything's been going right for the Celtics and pretty much everything wrong for the Heat, yet the series is tied 2-2 with two more games in Miami. The Heat have played one good game in 4 yet they've been right there in every one. Tonight Wade sucked, LeBron was bleh (for LeBron), Haslem was good but no one else really was, Rondo was very good, Garnett was great, Allen was acceptable, Pierce was bleh (for Pierce), the Celtics were at home, they jumped out to a big early lead ... and the game went to OT, with Miami having shots to win it twice. A game in which LeBron and Wade both have it going is going to be a blowout KG or no and the odds would say that's coming at some point. Wade isn't suddenly a terrible player. Anything could happen, of course, but at this point you still bet on Miami.

I'd say so, and mostly due to the Boston age factor, which I can't see them overcoming as the series grinds on. OTOH having not watched a single NBA game all year until this round, I probably have no way of knowing that.

And yes, of course with Bosh the series might be over by now, but then given the circumstances of how he and James got to Miami in the first place, that's got to be one of the least sympathetic complaints in the history of sports. If Miami can't win with all the talent they've got out there now, I don't want to hear any of it.
   219. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4147476)
On Spo... Jared Dudley said: "Does anybody know why type of offense Miami is running? SMH!U have to have your go to plays down the stretch.I just see Iso's and no spacing"
That and nice putting a better shooting lineup on the floor are my issues with his end game work. Note: I do think he's a good coach in general.

As for Wade - he's not a great outside shooter, yet he looked reluctant* to consider any other shot but a game ending three. That said, he was criticized by an ESPN talking head for not jumping into Daniels to get three free throws - which I think is a bit much to ask.


* I'm soft pedaling here, both on Wade's skills from the outside (29% from three on his career, 2-15 on potential game winner from distance w/ 30 sec or less left (sez prutti) ... and his willingness to pass/drive. Part of why he desrves criticism isn't just that he took that shot, but that he limited the team to his taking that shot. Suboptimal and probably selfish (and I don't like to cast value judgments based on shot selection).

The last 4th quarter play was much more egregious than the OT play I think
It was also egregious, I'll say that. Wrong personnel, seemingly no plan, Chalmers took a defender to LBJ (iirc), not a great pass and to the wrong guy (I'm okay w/ his passing given how he was covered - but that was going to happen w/ LeBron).
   220. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 04, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4147516)
I don't blame Wade for wanting that last shot. I do blame him for not going after a better shot. After the fly-by, he could have gone for a closer shot for the tie, but he just stood there and measured it for what seemed like a loooooooooong time. On the other hand, I'm glad Wade's taking his lumps. These playoffs have showcased the petty, petulant side of him that's been glossed over for far too long.

This.

It's funny, the dominos that've fallen because of injuries in these playoffs.

I don't know if funny is the word that I'd use.... Whether or not it's true, there's going to be a ton of talk about the schedule and how it's contributed to injuries (well, there's already been plenty, but I'm expecting it to be the main offseason topic).

I'm not buying this. Wade needs to hit the 3 only half as often as the 2 to make it a better play -- maybe less than half as often as Boston, being at home and with LBJ having fouled out, was probably more than a 50-50 bet to win if the game went to 2OT. I'm pretty sure his odds of hitting the 3 were at least half as good as his odds of hitting a 2 he could have gotten (even adding the possibility of getting fouled and making 2/2 from the line).

Because they were trailing, I think it changes things. There's limited to no extra value to holding for the last shot if you lose if you miss and there's no time for another shot/extending the game.

---

I'm surprised to see so little talk about the 6th foul on LeBron. I was also surprised to see JVG swallow his tongue during the replays.

I never thought I'd see myself type these words out, but: I'm enjoying the hell out of Rondo this series. He's still a dick (who doesn't want to kick Battier?) and I really don't know how good he is and I don't like him, but everything about him right now - including the halftime interview - I'm enjoying.
   221. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4147545)
I'm surprised to see so little talk about the 6th foul on LeBron.

The best take on all those excessively called away from the ball contact fouls is that any game that goes into OT should have the individual foul limit extended to 7. In fact I'd extend it at the rate of one extra foul per OT period.
   222. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4147550)
In fact I'd extend it at the rate of one extra foul per OT period.
I've long advocated this, yes. Would you allow for re-entry?
   223. JC in DC Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4147559)
Would you allow for re-entry?


Absolutely.
   224. Spivey Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4147563)
The 6th foul on LeBron was garbage. I'm loving that these series are both good and the playoff schedule. There's a conference final game every night!
   225. AROM Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4147566)
I'd say so, and mostly due to the Boston age factor, which I can't see them overcoming as the series grinds on. OTOH having not watched a single NBA game all year until this round, I probably have no way of knowing that.


At this point the age factor means absolutely nothing. Garnett at 36 years and 35 days is going to be just as dangerous as Garnett at 36 years, 33 days (or whatever the number is). At this point everyone is playing on adrenaline. They probably feel it on their off days but I doubt they feel anything once the game starts. Age may even be an advantage once they've gotten this far, as Boston feels like any game could be their last as a group while Miami can feel like they'll have an equal shot next year. In game one the Heat had an advantage with a few days off while Boston had only 1 after the G7 against Philly. After 4 games, everybody is equally tired, and Wade/James in particular have played a ton of energy draining minutes.

Same with the injuries to Allen and maybe Pierce. At this point they mean nothing. If they are on the court, they are dangerous. The only injuries that are relevant are to guys like Bosh and Bradley. Dooling surprisingly played well enough, and he and Allen have contained Wade enough, that I don't see what more a healthy Bradley would do, other than keeping others fresh. A healthy Bosh can be expected to match Garnett in production over a series, and that has been very badly missed.

I'm surprised to see so little talk about the 6th foul on LeBron. I was also surprised to see JVG swallow his tongue during the replays.


I don't have anything to say other than it was completely expected once they rang Pierce up. The refs were calling a bunch of fouls on the stars of both teams. Lebron got his 5th with about 6 minutes in regulation and 11 in the game. He can't afford stop playing hard. Frankly I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did. I'm completely depressed about this game, and I've got a ton of what ifs going on in my head. First on the list is why didn't I record the game with more than 30 extra minutes. I had to put my daughter to bed so I wasn't watching the 2nd half live. My DVR ran out with about 3.5 minutes to play.

My biggest problem is why the Heat couldn't score more than 2 freakin points in 5 minutes. Then there's shot selection. While I didn't see the end, when you're down by 2 it's not a good idea to hold till the final second and give yourself about a 30% chance to win. The James possession at the end of regulation - that would have been a justifiable time for Lebron to hold till the buzzer, and if he gets the shot he had in G2 he's probably got a 50/50 chance to win it. Better than risky the ball ending up in a non-shot-creator's hands like Haslem for an off balance desperation shot that goes in maybe 10% at most. Starting the game down 18-4 or whatever is horrible too. It's a lot easier when you show up on time and don't dig yourself a huge hole at the beginning.

Heat had their chance to win. They blew it. Now I'm convinced I'm watching a slow motion replay of 2010. #207 is the first I've heard about a Bosh return. I'm not sure if that will help more than it hurts at this point. Now a healthy Bosh would offset Garnett. But a Bosh working his way back from injury could be a disaster - I expect him to be rusty and to get torched by Garnett for a bit while he works his way into the series, and there just might not be enough time left for him to assert himself as an asset.
   226. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4147567)
No 7 fouls, no re-entry. Attrition is part of the drama of OT.

I thought #6 on LeBron might have been related to #6 in Pierce. I hate to call it a makeup call on something so critical, but Pierce's was a whistle-swallower.
   227. Spivey Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4147572)
I thought #6 on LeBron might have been related to #6 in Pierce. I hate to call it a makeup call on something so critical, but Pierce's was a whistle-swallower.

Yeah, they were both bad. I thought the refs were abysmal, really trying to put their stamp on the game. Joey Crawford is an asshat.
   228. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4147579)
Yeah, they were both bad. I thought the refs were abysmal, really trying to put their stamp on the game. Joey Crawford is an asshat.

A friend of mine and I have a joke about him that he loves inserting himself into the game so much, he's actually yelling "CRAWFORD!" on every call.

Needless to say, there were a lot of "CRAWFORD!!!" texts back and forth last night.
   229. rr Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4147583)
tomhaberstroh Tom Haberstroh
Since Bosh got hurt, the Heat are -7.4 per 48 mins with KG/Hibbert on court. When they sit? Heat are +33.2 per 48 (!).
50 minutes ago
   230. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4147585)
In fact I'd extend it at the rate of one extra foul per OT period.

I've long advocated this, yes. Would you allow for re-entry?


No, since the only problem I have with fouling out is that when it comes to OT it effectively changes the ratio of allowable fouls to minutes. If a player gets 6 in 48 minutes** that's one thing, but to send a player packing for 6 in 53 or 58 just seems to do nothing but ensure a diminution in the quality of the game. I can see the point of rewarding roster depth as an argument in favor of the current setup, but I still would rather see the game decided by Pierce and LeBron than by two substitutes who were only in there because of the foulouts.

**A ratio which was clearly patterned after the NCAA rule of 5 in 40 minutes. If NBA regulation were 60 minutes, the limit would almost certainly be raised to 7 or 8, which would roughly parallel the ratio in the proposal I'm making.
   231. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4147590)
I thought #6 on LeBron might have been related to #6 in Pierce. I hate to call it a makeup call on something so critical, but Pierce's was a whistle-swallower.


Yeah, they were both bad. I thought the refs were abysmal, really trying to put their stamp on the game. Joey Crawford is an asshat.

I don't watch the NBA that much prior to the playoffs, but those refs last night were doing their best to ruin the flow of the game. "No harm, no foul" is a rule of thumb that needs to be paid a lot more attention to in games like this.
   232. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4147596)
Same with the injuries to Allen and maybe Pierce. At this point they mean nothing. If they are on the court, they are dangerous. The only injuries that are relevant are to guys like Bosh and Bradley.


I loathe the Celtics, but I'm not sure how you can even say that. Allen is averaging 38% shooting and Pierce is averaging 37% shooting in this seires. I get it that the defensive work is still there for both of them, but that's a significant departure from career or season norms. That's a lot more than nothing in a series that easily could be 3-1 Celtics with a bit of offense down the stretch in game 2.

I never thought I'd see myself type these words out, but: I'm enjoying the hell out of Rondo this series.


Agreed. I would have been pissed if those Pau/Rondo rumours had ever come to fruition, but I think it was largely my anti-Celtics lenses on. He's really turned himself into a menace on the court and while I'm sure that I would find him as frustrating as Pau at times, when Rondo's on his A game he's unbelievable to watch.
   233. tshipman Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4147601)
Since Bosh got hurt, the Heat are -7.4 per 48 mins with KG/Hibbert on court. When they sit? Heat are +33.2 per 48 (!).


Again, this is sort of a garbage stat. Garnett is the Celtics' best player. Hibbert is either the Pacers' best player or in their top 3. We should expect teams to play worse without their best players in.

I imagine you could find similar stats for the Heat when LeBron sits.
   234. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4147604)
At this point the age factor means absolutely nothing. Garnett at 36 years and 35 days is going to be just as dangerous as Garnett at 36 years, 33 days (or whatever the number is). At this point everyone is playing on adrenaline. They probably feel it on their off days but I doubt they feel anything once the game starts. Age may even be an advantage once they've gotten this far, as Boston feels like any game could be their last as a group while Miami can feel like they'll have an equal shot next year. In game one the Heat had an advantage with a few days off while Boston had only 1 after the G7 against Philly. After 4 games, everybody is equally tired, and Wade/James in particular have played a ton of energy draining minutes.

Yeah, but adrenaline is a lot easier to replenish when you're 8 or 10 years younger

Same with the injuries to Allen and maybe Pierce. At this point they mean nothing. If they are on the court, they are dangerous. The only injuries that are relevant are to guys like Bosh and Bradley. Dooling surprisingly played well enough, and he and Allen have contained Wade enough, that I don't see what more a healthy Bradley would do, other than keeping others fresh. A healthy Bosh can be expected to match Garnett in production over a series, and that has been very badly missed.

Not to be rude, but that seems like selective discounting. Allen and Pierce may still be "dangerous", but they're not nearly as productive as they would be without the injuries, and that clearly puts the Celtics at a disadvantage.

EDIT: coke to JuanGone
   235. AROM Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4147613)
I loathe the Celtics, but I'm not sure how you can even say that. Allen is averaging 38% shooting and Pierce is averaging 37% shooting in this seires. I get it that the defensive work is still there for both of them, but that's a significant departure from career or season norms. That's a lot more than nothing in a series that easily could be 3-1 Celtics with a bit of offense down the stretch in game 2.


Shooting percentages are generally down in the playoffs. You are facing better defenses and the intensity level is greater. Pierce is usually being guarded by an All-NBA first team defender. Allen was terrible in game 1, but has made his share of big baskets since. They are dangerous on offense, and they are not getting burned on defense.
   236. AROM Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4147626)
I'm not sure where to quickly get series specific stats, but other than Rondo, Garnett, and Lebron it seems like a lot of people are shooting well below their typical numbers.
   237. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4147629)
Not to be rude, but that seems like selective discounting.
I agree with this as well.

That may be a garbage stat, tshipman - but I do think it's telling as to what's going on. The Heat really, really miss Bosh.
(what robinred said in the next post)
   238. rr Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4147633)
Again, this is sort of a garbage stat.


Stats aren't really either great or "garbage" in most cases. They are information to be put in context. What that number indicates (not proves, but indicates) is that not having Bosh is a real issue for Miami. Someone posted last year's stats for Garnett and Bosh in the MIA/BOS series, and Bosh played him pretty tough. IIRC their numbers were pretty even.

Boston does a lot better in general when Garnett is out there; he anchors their D and is their only post threat. But I think Bosh's absence has clearly accentuated that issue. I think the Heat misses Bosh more on O than on D. They certainly could have used him in OT last night.
   239. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4147637)
Shooting percentages are generally down in the playoffs. You are facing better defenses and the intensity level is greater. Pierce is usually being guarded by an All-NBA first team defender. Allen was terrible in game 1, but has made his share of big baskets since. They are dangerous on offense, and they are not getting burned on defense.


In last seasons series against the same team, a much healthier Allen shot 47% overall, 50% from three and averaged 16.4 points a game. Flying through screens is not Wade's defensive game and I think Allen's numbers last year show that. There is no way that the difference between last year and this year is insignificant to the Celtics success.
   240. rr Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4147648)
Allen and Pierce may still be "dangerous", but they're not nearly as productive as they would be without the injuries,


You have no way of knowing what they would be doing in this series if they were 100% healthy, and one of the standard memes this time of year is that no one is 100%. Also, when you build your team around guys who are 35 years old, injuries/nicks/fatigue are pretty much part of the deal, and I am not big on injury narratives when the injured guys in question are actually playing 35-40 minutes a game.

By the same token, Miami's roster construction, and the lack of depth behind James, Wade, and Bosh, is part of the deal with them. Garnett and Rondo have been great and they deserve a lot of credit. But Boston does not, shall we say, have a particularly persuasive injury narrative in a postseason in which Chris Bosh and Derrick Rose have played six quarters between them.

Edit: JuanGone makes a good point about Allen--but again, he is 35, and every series is different.

   241. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4147652)
Does anyone on here write for a basketball blog or have some experience in journalism? I’m looking for sources for a story I am writing about Olympic basketball, and would really appreciate anyone open to participating. I tweeted Clyde Fraizer for the sheer hell of it, but I'll be sighing and crying if that hail mary were my only idea.
   242. tshipman Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4147658)
Stats aren't really either great or "garbage" in most cases. They are information to be put in context. What that number indicates (not proves, but indicates) is that not having Bosh is a real issue for Miami. Someone posted last year's stats for Garnett and Bosh in the MIA/BOS series, and Bosh played him pretty tough. IIRC their numbers were pretty even.


Last year the Celtics were -8 with Garnett on the floor and -22 overall (or I suppose -14 when he was off the court? Not completely sure how this works).

This year against the 76ers (who had no significant injuries in the frontcourt), the Celtics were +71 with KG on the court and just +26 overall for a gap of 45--or greater than the difference in the Heat series.

I agree that stats need context, but when you state a stat and elide the context in order to improve your argument, it's garbage material. (not accusing you of this, accusing Haberstroh)


That may be a garbage stat, tshipman - but I do think it's telling as to what's going on. The Heat really, really miss Bosh.


I agree that the Heat miss Bosh.
   243. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4147661)
But Boston does not, shall we say, have a particularly persuasive injury narrative in a postseason in which Chris Bosh and Derrick Rose have played six quarters between them.


I completely agree that there are levels of injury, and you'll never hear me give Celtics fans a ready excuse especially for this series. My issues is with the all or nothing, either a guy can't play because of injury so it really matters or he can play with the injury and it doesn't matter at all argument that AROM seemed to putting forth. Relying on old guys like Pierce, Allen and KG always makes injuries a risk and like you said, is part of the deal.
   244. rr Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4147665)
not accusing you of this, accusing Haberstroh)


Fair enough. I think Haberstroh posted about this topic today, and used the Tweet to get clicks to the article.
   245. rr Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4147669)
Does anyone on here write for a basketball blog or have some experience in journalism?


Kevin Pelton and Neil Paine from BaskPro/ESPN have lurked here. Don't know if they could or would help you, or if that is what you are looking for, but they are nice guys and certainly have the exp.
   246. Jon T. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4147699)
Garnett's +/- numbers have been large all year and massive in this year's playoffs, not just in the Miami series. Part of it is his excellent play, but also that he is being replaced by Ryan Hollins and Steimsma.
   247. AROM Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4147702)
My issues is with the all or nothing, either a guy can't play because of injury so it really matters or he can play with the injury and it doesn't matter at all argument that AROM seemed to putting forth.


I have no idea how much they are affected by the injury. What I was trying to say is the injuries are irrelevant to how the Heat prepare to play them (they can't afford to underestimate them) and to fans who are now disappointed that the Heat have not had an easy series. If they were as badly disadvantaged as the media tells us the Heat would have swept the series by now.

I agree that the Heat miss Bosh.


I think with a Bosh in the lineup, Lebron doesn't foul out. He wouldn't have been defending Garnett on that play where a double foul was called. Let him play his game instead of trying to compensate for the Heat deficiencies (because he's the only one who can) and he probably sticks around.

   248. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4147731)

Kevin Pelton and Neil Paine from BaskPro/ESPN have lurked here. Don't know if they could or would help you, or if that is what you are looking for, but they are nice guys and certainly have the exp.


Thanks.
   249. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4147758)
Prutti on the Heat's last play of OT.

That picture of Wade's form...ugh. It almost looks like he's trying to kick his leg out towards Daniels to draw a foul.
   250. rr Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4147764)
http://espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/

Haberstroh on Bosh:

Looking at his numbers in NBA.com's stats tool, we find that 56 percent of Wade's shots come inside the paint when Bosh is on the floor in the playoffs and he's making those shots at a scorching 76 percent clip. When Bosh has sat, those numbers tumble; only 51 percent of his shots come in the paint and his conversion rate plummets to 61 percent. When we talk about Bosh's ability to draw defenders, it's not just a made-up cliche. There's hard evidence that easy looks are harder to come by when he's sitting.

Bosh, the floor-spacer
When you look at Miami's numbers with and without Bosh here in the playoffs, the biggest thing that jumps out is not the rebounding; it's their 3-point percentage. With Bosh on the floor, the Heat shoot an above-average 38 percent from downtown. When he's benched, that percentage drops to a putrid 31 percent. Might not seem like much, but when you're dealing with a shot that delivers three points on the scoreboard, every percent counts.
   251. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4147782)
Allen and Pierce may still be "dangerous", but they're not nearly as productive as they would be without the injuries,

You have no way of knowing what they would be doing in this series if they were 100% healthy, and one of the standard memes this time of year is that no one is 100%.


"No way of knowing" with any precision, but it's a pretty fair bet that with those two in their normal playoff condition (plus a year), they'd be contributing more than they have been.

Also, when you build your team around guys who are 35 years old, injuries/nicks/fatigue are pretty much part of the deal, and I am not big on injury narratives when the injured guys in question are actually playing 35-40 minutes a game.

I agree with the first point about the Celtics roster, but not using that as an excuse if they lose is one thing, and discounting the lack of productivity just because they don't have anyone better to put in instead is another. BITD there were plenty of sore-armed pitchers who sweated through a 150 pitch complete game, but gave up 8 runs instead of the 3 or 4 they were routinely giving up when they were healthy. That was part of the overall equation, but acknowledging that doesn't negate the effect that the injury had on their effectiveness.

By the same token, Miami's roster construction, and the lack of depth behind James, Wade, and Bosh, is part of the deal with them. Garnett and Rondo have been great and they deserve a lot of credit. But Boston does not, shall we say, have a particularly persuasive injury narrative in a postseason in which Chris Bosh and Derrick Rose have played six quarters between them.

I wasn't trying to equate their situation to Miami's or Chicago's, though I will note for the record that the Celtics beat the Heat three times in a row in April, the first two of which were with Miami's Big Three playing their usual quota of minutes.

OTOH I will say this: If the Heat can win it all without Bosh, I'll have a lot more respect for LeBron than I've had ever since that ESPN clown show. I'll say right up front that I'm glad that Bosh isn't playing, because now we'll have a better chance to see what LeBron and South Beach are really made of. But maybe that's just my inner Cleveland talking.

   252. andrewberg Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4147820)
OTOH I will say this: If the Heat can win it all without Bosh, I'll have a lot more respect for LeBron than I've had ever since that ESPN clown show.


I don't see what one has to do with the other. Winning without Bosh reinforces that he's a tremendous player, but we knew that before, during, and after The Decision. If The Decision turned you against him, it would have had something to do with his personality, but winning basketball games doesn't change his personality, and it logically shouldn't change anyone's perception of his personality.
   253. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4147852)
I'll say right up front that I'm glad that Bosh isn't playing, because now we'll have a better chance to see what LeBron and South Beach are really made of. But maybe that's just my inner Cleveland talking.
I'm kinda there, too; part of me would like to see Lebron never win, just to stick it to the "Witness" hype machine. However, Miami's racked up a bunch of wins the past two years with one Finals appearance (and perhaps another on his way) with a team that, with Bosh out, is increasingly obviously just two guys and, as Mark Cuban would say, 9 merry men of minimum. Whatever Lebron is "made of", he's clearly the best player in basketball and one of the best players of all time. That he may lose to a team with possibly four future Hall of Famers should not detract from our evaluation of James' abilities.
   254. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4147877)
I'm kinda there, too; part of me would like to see Lebron never win, just to stick it to the "Witness" hype machine.


I'm on the opposite side of this one. Assuming the Celtics don't manage to steal a championship, I want the Heat to win it. All of the various media sturm and drang around LeBron is an amplified version of the "Dirk is soft" BS that last year's championship finally killed, and I would like nothing more than to be able to enjoy NBA coverage with LeChoke trolls popping up any time he enters the discussion. I mostly want good basketball, but insofar as I care about LeBron off the basketball court at all, I am sick and tired of all the Wiltesque baggage about how a player that good ought to already have rings. If he can get that monkey off of his back, I'll be thrilled.
   255. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4147885)
   256. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4147893)
[255] I caught that too. On the other hand, Chris Bosh always looks like that.
   257. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4147903)
Now that Cassell's out of the league, is Bosh the ugliest guy in the NBA?
   258. rr Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4147909)
but not using that as an excuse if they lose is one thing, and discounting the lack of productivity just because they don't have anyone better to put in instead is another


Perhaps, but it is a fine line, when you are talking injury narratives. One could just as easily say that Boston is fortunate that all three of those guys are available and able to go 40 (the Lakers were very fortunate with Bynum, Gasol, and Bryant this year) and they are certainly fortunate that Rose and Bosh both suffered serious injuries.

As far as the regular season results, I said prior to the playoffs that Boston matches up well with Miami, and that is clearly still the case.

As to your observations about and reactions to James, I have been reading your stuff for a long time, and I know that you don't like it when you think people stack the deck in certain ways, be it WRT PEDs or politics, and that was part of your reaction to James. But as some of us said at the time, Miami getting those three guys on the same team has not thrown the league out of whack or made it a joke. James deserved some flack, and he got it and more. But LeDecision has not, that I have seen, really harmed the NBA competitively, as many of his critics said it would.

WRT "LeChoke trolls" I was hoping the back-to-back would calm the chatterstorm around Bryant. To some degree it has, but in many ways it hasn't. Had he shot better in Game 7 perhaps it would have. But James is a different kind of guy and a better player, so maybe it will quiet more people down if and when he wins.
   259. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4147913)
OTOH I will say this: If the Heat can win it all without Bosh, I'll have a lot more respect for LeBron than I've had ever since that ESPN clown show.

I don't see what one has to do with the other. Winning without Bosh reinforces that he's a tremendous player, but we knew that before, during, and after The Decision. If The Decision turned you against him, it would have had something to do with his personality, but winning basketball games doesn't change his personality, and it logically shouldn't change anyone's perception of his personality.


I'll gain added respect for his basketball talents if he shows he can lead the Heat over the Celtics and the Thunder (or the Spurs) without Bosh in the lineup. He's already proven that he's an all-time All-Star talent, but up to now his biggest consistency in the postseason has been his lack of it.

And yes, I most definitely want to see him go ringless for the rest of his career, and contemplate the sort of respect that money and individual accomplishments can't bring you. Doesn't mean he's a horrible person, just means that his disgusting performance on ESPN night still sticks in my throat. It was one thing for him to leave Cleveland for La-La Land South on his own, because scores of other superstars have made similar moves, but stacking the deck by bringing Bosh with him put him in an entirely new category of mercenary.

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

I'm kinda there, too; part of me would like to see Lebron never win, just to stick it to the "Witness" hype machine. However, Miami's racked up a bunch of wins the past two years with one Finals appearance (and perhaps another on his way) with a team that, with Bosh out, is increasingly obviously just two guys and, as Mark Cuban would say, 9 merry men of minimum. Whatever Lebron is "made of", he's clearly the best player in basketball and one of the best players of all time. That he may lose to a team with possibly four future Hall of Famers should not detract from our evaluation of James' abilities.

I'm perfectly capable of separating my opinion of LeBron's place on an all-time fantasy league team (where he'd be the other forward next to Bird) from my wish that he never wins a championship with a roster as rigged as the one he set up. I'm sure he'll get the Heat past this round, but let's see what he can do in the next one.
   260. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4147914)
But those two rings make Cassell the prettiest naked mole rat in the colony! (I was a fan of Cassell in Houston and Minnesota)
   261. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4147925)
I'm sure he'll get the Heat past this round, but let's see what he can do in the next one.
Count the lack of ringzzzz!
   262. jmurph Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4147924)
But LeDecision has not, that I have seen, really harmed the NBA competitively, as many of his critics said it would.


Great point, RR, and one I'd like to see others acknowledge (I don't mean here).
   263. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4147927)
As to your observations about and reactions to James, I have been reading your stuff for a long time, and I know that you don't like it when you think people stack the deck in certain ways, be it WRT PEDs or politics, and that was part of your reaction to James.

That wasn't part of it. That was all of it. I was a huge LeBron fan when he was with the Cavs, and while I was hoping he'd stay there, if he'd gone elsewhere without taking Bosh along with him I wouldn't have had the same reaction at all. The fact that it was "South Beach" instead of Chicago or some other city only compounded the offense.

But as some of us said at the time, Miami getting those three guys on the same team has not thrown the league out of whack or made it a joke. James deserved some flack, and he got it. But LeDecision has not, that I have seen, really harmed the NBA competitively, as many of his critics said it would.

I don't remember ever saying anything like that, but if they make it past Boston (which I'm sure they will), it's going to be even more fun if Oklahoma City or San Anton denies him a ring than it was when Dallas did it. (I have to hold my nose rooting for any team from that city, but I somehow managed to do it.)
   264. Booey Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4147932)
I mostly want good basketball, but insofar as I care about LeBron off the basketball court at all, I am sick and tired of all the Wiltesque baggage about how a player that good ought to already have rings. If he can get that monkey off of his back, I'll be thrilled.


I agreed with this when he was in Cleveland, but IMO LeBron and company tried to "cheat" their way into some easy titles by joining forces in South Beach. The fact that they haven't been able to get it done (yet) doesn't in any way make me sympathetic to their plight. It was the attempt - regardless of the results - that warrant the criticism.

And basically everything Jolly said above.

Now that Cassell's out of the league, is Bosh the ugliest guy in the NBA?


Not as long as Hedo Turkoglu is still digging his way out of the grave each morning to put on a uniform.
   265. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4147935)
Count the lack of ringzzzz!

Well, you know damn well that LeBron's counting. He knows that multiple rings would add to his luster in a way that not even multiple MVPs can.
   266. JJ1986 Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4147936)
Last year, Dallas had a payroll $20 million more than Miami. This year, Boston has the highest payroll in the game. Miami isn't stacked more than these teams.
   267. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4147943)
Yes, but they did it the right way, through the brute force of cold hard cash.
   268. jmurph Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4147946)
The fact that it was "South Beach" instead of Chicago or some other city only compounded the offense.


I don't want to pick a fight, but when you're resorting to this, you just need to cop to the fact that your stance is irrational. Which is fine- I have an irriational hatred of lots of things, sports world or no- but seriously. Chicago had a better team in place, an actual star point guard to distribute to Lebron, etc.
   269. jmurph Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4147950)
Yes, but they did it the right way, through the brute force of cold hard cash.


As a Celtics fan, I look back fondly on the days watching a young Garnett, Allen, and Pierce growing up in the league together and learning the ropes. Were there growing pains in their younger years? Sure there were. But that long, painful growing process was worth it.
   270. Jon T. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4147951)
I thought if a player gave up shots, points and $ to play for a winner that was a good thing?
   271. AROM Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4147955)
That wasn't part of it. That was all of it. I was a huge LeBron fan when he was with the Cavs, and while I was hoping he'd stay there, if he'd gone elsewhere without taking Bosh along with him I wouldn't have had the same reaction at all. The fact that it was "South Beach" instead of Chicago or some other city only compounded the offense.


I just don't get this. Sign as a free agent with an already deep team, OK. Sign as a free agent on a team with a thin roster, along with another big free agent, very very bad. To each his own. There have been "rigged" teams as long as there has been an NBA. Including the one Lebron is playing against right now.

I didn't like the whole ESPN special, but there are a few things I do like about this: 1) The players made the decisions. It was not the typical rigging being done by guys in suits. 2) They chose Miami, and it wasn't Boston, New York, or Chicago* getting the rigged team.

*I know Chicago got their 3 peats from their own draft picks, and New York has never actually had that kind of team in Basketball. But Chicago won enough with Michael, and nobody is going to feel sorry for a city that's had the Yankees. I'm glad Miami has these guys.

   272. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4147958)
This year, Boston has the highest payroll in the game.

What's your source for that? Are you sure it's not the Lakers? Granted, the Celtics are certainly right up there.
   273. JC in DC Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4147959)
has this (http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8007685/nba-playoff-scoring-2012-vs-scoring-1985) been discussed? It's an article by KAJ. I love that guy. We need more basketball analyzing and writing ex-NBA stars.
   274. andrewberg Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4147960)
I don't want to pick a fight, but when you're resorting to this, you just need to cop to the fact that your stance is irrational.


I would settle for an acknowledgment that the "playoff choker" trope and the "easy way out in South Beach" trope are separate, and the former is largely employed as a smokescreen of objectivity to obscure the personal animus embedded in the latter.

Edit: I guess that makes it the new analog for the "Kobe's a rapist/Kobe's a ball hog" fishiness.
   275. AROM Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4147961)
I should add that the best rigged team from my POV would be this team:

C Bynum
F Gasol
F Lebron
G Kobe
G Wade
6th man: Bosh

But the only chance of that happening was in a video game.
   276. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4147963)
The fact that it was "South Beach" instead of Chicago or some other city only compounded the offense.

I don't want to pick a fight, but when you're resorting to this, you just need to cop to the fact that your stance is irrational. Which is fine- I have an irrational hatred of lots of things, sports world or no- but seriously. Chicago had a better team in place, an actual star point guard to distribute to Lebron, etc.


Fandom is by its nature irrational. No argument there. But no matter what Chicago's roster was like at that point, or Dallas's payroll, the fact remains that when LeBron got another superstar to go with him, he charted new territory of roster stacking. If he'd gone to Chicago without Bosh, the Bulls might well have won the whole thing last year as a result, but it still would've been following a template that had been in place for many years. This was different, and in my irrational opinion, worse.
   277. JJ1986 Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4147965)
What's your source for that? Are you sure it's not the Lakers? Granted, the Celtics are certinaly right up there.


I just grabbed it from here.
   278. JJ1986 Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4147967)
LeBron got another superstar to go with him, he charted new territory of roster stacking.


Didn't Wade and Riley arrange most of that? Two people already associated with the Heat.
   279. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4147969)
I would settle for an acknowledgment that the "playoff choker" trope and the "easy way out in South Beach" trope are separate, and the former is largely employed as a smokescreen of objectivity to obscure the personal animus embedded in the latter.

The first trope was formed by LeBron's consistent inconsistency during the playoffs, culminating in his final game in a Cleveland uniform. But he's got plenty of time to shed it, and I'm sure he will. (Hey, even Barry Bonds got past that one eventually.)

But the second trope is entirely separate, and would remain whether he winds up with 10 rings or none. And it's only "personal" in the sense that it was LeBron who engineered it, not anyone else.
   280. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4147970)
[277] Ah, look at that.
   281. AROM Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4147971)
If C.C. Sabathia himself had gone to the 2009 Yankees and they won it all, fine. But that scumbag had to take Mark Teixiera with him as well.

Edit: And A.J. Burnett too, who wasn't half bad in 2009.
   282. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4147972)
LeBron got another superstar to go with him, he charted new territory of roster stacking.

Didn't Wade and Riley arrange most of that? Two people already associated with the Heat.


I'm not rooting for either of those two any more than I'm rooting for LeBron, but Wade and Riley were merely doing what players and GMs have been doing ever since the advent of free agency salary caps.
   283. andrewberg Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4147975)
has this (http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8007685/nba-playoff-scoring-2012-vs-scoring-1985) been discussed? It's an article by KAJ. I love that guy. We need more basketball analyzing and writing ex-NBA stars.


KAJ's central hypothesis is that scoring is down because players aren't learning the finer points of the game with long college careers. It might also have something to do with pace. He contrasts this ECF with the 1985 Finals. The 85 C's had a 101.6 pace factor and the Lakers had 103.2 (neither was at the very top of the league). This year, the Heat are 91.2 and the C's are 90.4 (both slightly below average). Is college going to teach guys how to convince their coaches to play at a faster pace? Seems flawed to me.
   284. JJ1986 Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4147976)
What if Bosh (and Wade) had signed first? A few days before LeBron? Would he still have been bringing Bosh with him?
   285. Jon T. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4147978)
Great point AROM.
   286. andrewberg Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4147980)
I'm not rooting for either of those two any more than I'm rooting for LeBron, but Wade and Riley were merely doing what players and GMs have been doing ever since the advent of free agency salary caps.


Wait, no, there's inconsistency here. The difference isn't in what the participants tried to do, it is in the circumstances. Lebron signed with a team that looked good on paper, Riley and Wade recruited the top free agent to their team. Both can be construed as typical.

On the other hand, Lebron signed with another big ticket FA on a team that had a star, and Wade and Riley swayed two all-stars to come sign with a third in the same offseason. Neither of those circumstances is typical. Describing one as the former and one as the latter is full on cherry picking.
   287. JC in DC Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4147981)


KAJ's central hypothesis is that scoring is down because players aren't learning the finer points of the game with long college careers. It might also have something to do with pace. He contrasts this ECF with the 1985 Finals. The 85 C's had a 101.6 pace factor and the Lakers had 103.2 (neither was at the very top of the league). This year, the Heat are 91.2 and the C's are 90.4 (both slightly below average). Is college going to teach guys how to convince their coaches to play at a faster pace? Seems flawed to me.
I'm not going to defend the Center Greater Than Russell, but he does offer his as a PARTIAL explanation for the decline.
   288. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4147983)
If C.C. Sabathia himself had gone to the 2009 Yankees and they won it all, fine. But that scumbag had to take Mark Teixiera with him as well.

If that had been the product of C.C. himself rather than the ownership, it would have put that set of signings in a completely different light. But what Cashman and the Steinbrenners did that year was no different from the Angels did in bringing in Pujols and Wilson last winter, and I never complained about that, even though I've never rooted for the Angels since the 2002 World Series.
   289. Booey Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4147989)
#277 - The thing that stuck out the most for me in that link wasn't any of the teams, but that Rashard Lewis is still the 2nd highest paid player in the NBA. And Gilbert Arenas is 5th. Awesome.
   290. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4147994)
What if Bosh (and Wade) had signed first? A few days before LeBron? Would he still have been bringing Bosh with him?


That's nothing but squid ink. The two had been talking about this idea for quite some time, and the timing of the signings was irrelevant.

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

Wait, no, there's inconsistency here. The difference isn't in what the participants tried to do, it is in the circumstances. Lebron signed with a team that looked good on paper, Riley and Wade recruited the top free agent to their team. Both can be construed as typical.

On the other hand, Lebron signed with another big ticket FA on a team that had a star, and Wade and Riley swayed two all-stars to come sign with a third in the same offseason. Neither of those circumstances is typical. Describing one as the former and one as the latter is full on cherry picking.


But the critical point you're gliding over is that LeBron's team looked a lot better "on paper" since he knew that Bosh was going to be there, a circumstance he encouraged Riley to pursue. Without that guarantee, he might well have gone somewhere else. That's the difference.

   291. AROM Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4147996)
But what Cashman and the Steinbrenners did that year was no different from the Angels did in bringing in Pujols and Wilson last winter, and I never complained about that, even though I've never rooted for the Angels since the 2002 World Series.


True. Only difference is in 2009 it actually worked. Though too early to count the Angels out, they've been playing better lately. Not that any of it bothers me.

In basketball terms, did it bother you when Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady signed in Orlando? That one turned out to be a disaster, but at the time it sure looked like they'd set up an instant dynasty. Problem was that team also had Mike Miller. He always screws these things up.
   292. JC in DC Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4148002)
Are we really going to relive the Decision when I've tried to distract us into a much better, more repetitive conversation about Russell and KAJ?
   293. JJ1986 Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4148003)
He always screws these things up.


He's also even uglier than Chris Bosh.
   294. Eddo Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4148009)
I think what leaves a rotten taste in so many people's mouths regarding The Decision is that the players made such a spectacle of it. On its face, as many have pointed out, it's not really an atypical decision: a great player gave up some money and usage to go to a team he felt provided the best chance at a ring. But it was the visits by the three to so many cities, James televising his decision, etc., that turned the whole thing into a surreal display.

EDIT: I've come around to being fine with it, from a basketball/competitiveness point of view. I despise the Heat, but I think that's actually moreso because of Wade, actually.
   295. jmurph Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4148013)
Are we really going to relive the Decision when I've tried to distract us into a much better, more repetitive conversation about Russell and KAJ?


You're right, sorry for my part in that.

For the record I don't buy the premise. Haven't we just accepted that teams straight up didn't play defense in the 80s?
   296. andrewberg Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4148016)
a great player gave up some money and usage to go to a team he felt provided the best chance at a ring


#OccupySouthBeach
   297. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4148018)
Bosh isn't ugly so much as he is funny looking. There's overlap (hi, Sam Cassell), but they're different things.
   298. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4148020)
decision: you know, the only real problem i have with it (apart from the spectacle they were responsible for in orchestrating it) is that it was with miami, one of my least favorite franchises.
   299. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4148021)
But what Cashman and the Steinbrenners did that year was no different from the Angels did in bringing in Pujols and Wilson last winter, and I never complained about that, even though I've never rooted for the Angels since the 2002 World Series.

True. Only difference is in 2009 it actually worked. Though too early to count the Angels out, they've been playing better lately. Not that any of it bothers me.


It wouldn't change my opinion one way or the other if the Angels ran the table or finished last. What they did was entirely with precedent. The only problematical thing about those two signings relates to the Angels' financial capabilities in a big city market, but that's up to the other owners and Selig to deal with, not any individual team.

In basketball terms, did it bother you when Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady signed in Orlando? That one turned out to be a disaster, but at the time it sure looked like they'd set up an instant dynasty. Problem was that team also had Mike Miller. He always screws these things up.

I know this sounds like an excuse, but Orlando has been off my radar since Nick Anderson tanked those three free throws and killed any prospect of a competitive 1994-95 finals. But did Hill and McGrady plan their joint move together like James and Bosh?
   300. Jon T. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4148022)
In response to the KAJ article, my guess would be that players today get better overall coaching as they are growing up, as the high school, AAU and other ranks have become so much more intense. They play many more games with AAU and etc, and they have ability to go to the 5 star camps and all that. I am not sure how you would quantify that compare to previous years, and of course a lot of the AAU coaches are not exactly in it just to teach kids.

I agree with you that KAJ was better than Russell
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