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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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   901. Squash Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4151347)
Mike Miller is not an NBA caliber athlete. And he sucks from 3 right now. Basically, he's worthless.

I was just about to write that Miller is essentially a smoldering corpse at this point.
   902. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4151348)
The Cs are ice-cold.
   903. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4151349)
This is a stunning game from LBJ - just stunning.

   904. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4151352)
Wow.
   905. The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4151354)
The Celts can not exploit Miller though - so heaves on. Did hit 3's in earlier games
   906. The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4151355)
He lives on
   907. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4151356)
So, we've spent two days crushing LBJ for not showing up at the end of last game. Who do we crush from Boston for not showing up tonight? Or is the narrative that this is how things should have been to begin with? If so, that seems awfully kind to Boston, especially given how hard everyone's been on Miami lately.

What an amazing game by James. He's earning that King title tonight.
   908. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4151357)
There's nothing you can do about a game like this. Surprised it took him this long, actually.
   909. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4151358)
Just listening to the game in the car until just now, but I've never heard an arena so quiet.
   910. tshipman Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4151359)
I feel good about having predicted this.

By the way, Wade is contributing absolutely nothing. I will wager that no one will criticize him for this. Sucks to be LeBron--except for tonight!
   911. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4151362)
Or is the narrative that this is how things should have been to begin with?


I had a bad feeling as I logged on that the troll talking point would be that he's a pants pisser because he doesn't do this every game. Whatever. I'm just going to enjoy.
   912. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4151364)
Lebron is 19-26, the rest of the Heat are shooting 39%.

Primer RT:

@johnhollinger: But he only has four points in the 4th quarter.

   913. robinred Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4151365)
I notice that they went through Wade a lot to start the 4th. It worked in this game, and it does seem to be a deliberate strategy. When James' jumper is dropping, he looks like a guy who came back in a time machine from about 2040. Remarkable performance.
   914. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4151366)
He also has held Pierce to 4-18. But he's The Truth! We know his shots will go in!
   915. robinred Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4151368)
He also has held Pierce to 4-18.


Indeed. That happens sometimes when you get old and are banged up--even to a great player like Pierce.
   916. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4151369)
Can I add that it is fun to cheer against the Celtics? My MN roots have made me sympathetic to McHale and KG when they have been competitive, but this dead arena is hilarious.
   917. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4151370)
I guess if the Celtics had to lose this game, I'm glad it happened this way. If they'd lost a close one, or if Bosh and/or Wade (neither of whom I can stand) had gone off, I'd have a lot of trouble sleeping tonight. After this, though, you just kind of have to shrug and tip your cap.
   918. The District Attorney Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4151371)
Primer RT:
@the_ironsheik: the miami may it tonight, the boston worried because the lebron is the le real
   919. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4151372)
Can I add that it is fun to cheer against the Celtics?
Well, then, you can just come sit next to me!
   920. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4151373)
[916] On old Primer, I'd be posting as KG and expressing my disappointment in you, berg.
   921. robinred Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4151375)
Spolestra doing the Phil thing with his starters. I assume he will pull them now.

45 points and 15 rebounds. Game 7 on Saturday.
   922. Into the Void Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4151376)
LeBron's only good when it's a blowout...he still hasn't proven himself in close games like Wade has. :)
   923. robinred Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4151379)
Let's Go Celtics.

Like the Beat LA Chant back in 1982.

   924. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4151381)
When LeBron goes into video game mode, you have to muckle down and take care of the ball and hit your open threes, and none of that happened. Heat did a sterling job mucking up the Rondo-KG P&R, too.

I'm almost not even upset. LeBron was just unbelievable.
   925. The District Attorney Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4151392)
Primer RT:
@RealSkipBayless: Did tonight prove LeBron is clutch? HECK, no.
Now that LeBron has again reminded us just how gifted he is, he will be EXPECTED to do this to Boston in G7. Uh-oh. Trouble for Prince James
   926. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4151398)
[920]- he already won one for 'sota. Not much left to do.

Skip is sports Limbaugh. It its funny to anticipate how low they'll sink to stay in character.
   927. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4151399)
I predicted Miami would win this series earlier today, and obviously this game didn't do anything to change my opinion. My reasoning was (and is) the same that I had for the western series: Age wears down even the best players as a late round series progresses. It's not that the Celtics can't give the Heat a fight on Saturday, but that's just too much youthful power and defense for them to overcome. The Celtics might win the first quarter but that'll be about it. I hope I'm wrong but I wouldn't bet a plugged nickel that I will be.

In a final round of the Heat and OKC, since both teams feature young stars the youth difference won't be nearly as critical. I haven't seen much of OKC to base this on, but from what little I've seen I think they'll give Miami more balance accompanied by stamina than the Heat can handle. OKC can keep firing back against James and Wade on a level that the Celtics simply can't match over the long haul.
   928. tshipman Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4151401)
I'm like 90% of the way to hoping Miami wins it all just because of how sick I am of OKC being the white knight of basketball.

   929. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4151404)
I'm like 90% of the way to hoping Miami wins it all just because of how sick I am of OKC being the white knight of basketball.

What's often amazing to me about BTF is the seemingly continuing and reflexive way that some people's rooting interests are so rigidly formed by taking a 180 degree opposite view of what they think the MSM are telling them. It's as if they're following George Costanza's "I'll do the opposite" script. Truly a fascinating phenomenon that's every bit as silly as the way other people take whatever Lupica or Francessa say as gospel.
   930. robinred Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4151405)
Age wears down even the best players as a late round series progresses.


This would be fairly easy to study, but until it is, I am not going to assume it's true. Age didn't seem to hurt Nowitzki much in the 4th quarter of Game 6 last year. OTOH, a lot of people attributed Boston's Game 7 loss in 2010 to "running out of gas." Ginobili didn't play well in Game 6, but Duncan had a 25/14. Stephen Jackson hit 6/7 from the arc and would have been a hero if SA had held on. Kobe had 42 on 18/33 shooting in the Lakers' last loss; that was only a Game 5, but it was his best game of the playoffs and the schedule in that series was very compact. There may be something to it, but I would guess it varies from guy to guy. I think what happened to Boston tonight was mostly LeBron James, with a little Chris Bosh* making things easier for everyone, and Pierce showing his age/not being 100% thrown in.

*I posted Haberstroh with some numbers showing how Miami hit better on 3s this year with Bosh out there, as they did tonight, even though he doesn't shoot them himself. Might be coincidence, but it also might be that with him out there commanding a defender in the key, there is more room for the spot-up guys.
   931. baudib Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4151409)
I don't know if OKC is really the white knight of basketball. They're very much a team that features three guys playing hero ball -- third in the league in scoring and dead last in assists.
   932. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4151413)
I don't know if OKC is really the white knight of basketball. They're very much a team that features three guys playing hero ball -- third in the league in scoring and dead last in assists.

The last true "white knights" of basketball by a standard of hyper-intelligent team basketball featuring a minimum of "athletic" talent may have been the 1973 Knicks. Monroe was a shadow of his former self, Reed was long past his peak, and Bradley and DeBusschere weren't being mistaken for Pete Maravich. Frazier was their one "athletic" starter still in his prime, and he was primarily known as a playmaker and a defender, not a one-on-one offensive player. That team lived for pattern plays and hitting the open man, and it took them to a World's Championship.
   933. booond Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4151415)
The Celtics attempted to win without maximum effort or attention tonight. It didn't work. Tonight's game does not reflect their skill or age, it reflects on the situation. They had to win one of two. They didn't win tonight.
   934. Joel W Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4151418)
What's often amazing to me about BTF is the seemingly continuing and reflexive way that some people's rooting interests are so rigidly formed by taking a 180 degree opposite view of what they think the MSM are telling them. It's as if they're following George Costanza's "I'll do the opposite" script. Truly a fascinating phenomenon that's every bit as silly as the way other people take whatever Lupica or Francessa say as gospel.


Do you not have idiot friends and coworkers who are exactly the same way? Does it not drive you nuts? It drives me f'ing bonkers. The amount I read about Lebron being nicknamed "75 cent" or something like that, it drives me nuts, because it's completely lacking in empirical support. Of course, I've come around *the other* way on this. I got into a bit of an email spat with a prominent NBA writer about heroball the other day, because I think the NBA staterati can get way too set in their ways and lose an empirical, skeptical point of view about the world the other way. Nonetheless, this isn't just knee jerk contrarianism. Tonight I watched Lebron James obliterate my favorite team in a closeout game to go to the NBA Finals, and I watched in awe thinking of all the people who decided they knew who Lebron James was at his core have to eat crow.
   935. Spivey Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4151419)
Rondo only had 2 points in the second half. What a coward choker.
   936. Spivey Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4151420)
Hey Boston! Good job! Good effort!
   937. robinred Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4151421)
RoyceWebb Royce Webb, ESPN NBA
RT @MiamiHeraldHeat: DOC RIVERS: "I hope now you guys can stop talking about LeBron doesn’t play well in big games. That’s to bed."
2 minutes ago


RoyceWebb Royce Webb, ESPN NBA
LeBron does too. RT @jadande: Wait, Dwyane Wade refers to @WindhorstESPN as "B"? It's like that?
15 minutes ago
   938. robinred Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4151424)
email spat with a prominent NBA writer about heroball


Hope you had more fun than I did with Henry Abbott.
   939. baudib Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4151425)
LeBron disappeared in the last 8 minutes of the fourth quarter again.
   940. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4151427)
Hey Boston! Good job! Good effort!
Visuals.
   941. robinred Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4151428)
Difference Maker
The Heat shot 24-for-45 (53.3 pct) with Chris Bosh on the floor Thursday, and and just 13-for-31 (41.9 pct) with him on the bench.


Obviously, this is likely skewed by garbage time, but still worth noting.
   942. robinred Posted: June 08, 2012 at 04:59 AM (#4151432)
Boston was 1/14 on 3s. Miami was 7/16.
   943. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: June 08, 2012 at 08:05 AM (#4151451)
The Celtics attempted to win without maximum effort or attention tonight. It didn't work. Tonight's game does not reflect their skill or age, it reflects on the situation. They had to win one of two. They didn't win tonight.

Denial: not just a river in Egypt. They're going to get dismantled again tomorrow night more or less the way they did last night.
   944. jmurph Posted: June 08, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4151470)
The Celtics attempted to win without maximum effort or attention tonight. It didn't work. Tonight's game does not reflect their skill or age, it reflects on the situation. They had to win one of two. They didn't win tonight.


I have no doubt Boston thinks this was the case. It's been their M.O. during the entire Pierce/Garnett/Allen/Rondo run. Their confidence in their own abilities vastly exceeds the reality of the situation, which I think explains all of the game 7s against obviously weaker teams (not the Heat, but the Hawks and Sixers of the world). Was talking to my dad right before the game and I guaranteed they would come out slow, but I thought that slow start would be over after the first. Trying not to psychoanalyze, but they played like the series was over, like they already did the hard part in Miami and the Heat were just going to fold up shop. It was an embarassing performance.
   945. JC in DC Posted: June 08, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4151476)
I don't know about no mind games. Boston just got the #### kicked out of them is all.
   946. jmurph Posted: June 08, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4151478)
In terms of the actual basketball, last night made me think this series would have been over in 5 with a healthy Bosh on the floor. The ESPN talking heads all made the smart point (I think someone here pointed this out, too) that Garnett had been free to play center field the entire series without Bosh out there pulling him away from the basket, thus clogging up the driving lanes for Lebron and Wade.
   947. Spivey Posted: June 08, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4151483)
LeBron was great and Miami looks like a different team with a healthy or semi-healthy Bosh. But I think people are way too quick to write off Boston in Game 7. We have no reason to think Boston is going to roll over like everyone's acting. James isn't going to make all of these shots next game (probably). Boston's going to make more shots. Teams look good when they win, and bad when they lose. Yes, yesterday the team that won looked really good and the team that lost looked really bad. But we have a larger sample that suggests Game 7 is going to be close rather than like Game 6.

I think Wade needs to step up. I think I saw a stat that he is scoring like 5 points in the first half this series, on like 25% FG shooting. That's just pathetic.
   948. jmurph Posted: June 08, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4151487)
I think Wade needs to step up. I think I saw a stat that he is scoring like 5 points in the first half this series, on like 25% FG shooting. That's just pathetic.


I agree with this, and your overall take. I have no idea what to expect in game 7. I think it's highly unlikely we see another Boston no-show, and it's also unlikely (though a little less so) that Lebron goes off again. He's going to need help.
   949. AROM Posted: June 08, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4151490)
Wade's subpar scoring can be forgiven in context with his defensive effort. He was spending his energy trying to guard Rondo, and it worked. According to the TrueHoop blog, Rondo was 2 for 7 when guarded by Wade, 6 for 7 against other defenders.

I'm in awe of what Lebron did. I was expected something that looked more like this. He doesn't need to score 45 again, what Miami needs to do is keep up the defensive intensity for 48 minutes with minimal lapses.

As people have pointed out, Miami scored 30 points that 4th quarter. At the end Boston made the big clutch plays and Miami didn't, but they could have avoided the crunch time situations entirely. All they had to do was get back on defense. It's not like the Celtics had a great game offensively - they shot 41%, but without a few easy transition situations they could have been limited further.

They should be able to bring that intensity and focus to the court, but you never know, there is no excuse for not bringing it in a game 5 of a 2-2 series.

As far as age being a factor: Allen, Pierce, and Garnett are not the same players they were 4 years ago. That is why Miami has the better team. If those guys were 4 years younger Celtics would have probably won in 5. Beyond that, the idea that aging teams have a special disadvantage the deeper you go into the playoffs, I'm skeptical. The elderly, worn-out Pierce you saw last night was only 2 days older than the one who hit the dagger in game 5. And while his overall shooting line was 6-19, he was the one defending James, who finished 11-25.

I'd love it if Pierce was suddenly too old to score or be even a roadbump to slow down James. But I don't think that's the case. Just a bad game for him, and you still have to fear him in game 7.
   950. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4151509)
What's often amazing to me about BTF is the seemingly continuing and reflexive way that some people's rooting interests are so rigidly formed by taking a 180 degree opposite view of what they think the MSM are telling them.

I'll admit to having felt this pull before, yeah.

Game 7: Within the last week, both teams have looked great, both teams have looked lousy. I'll wait to see who shows up next.

The last true "white knights" of basketball by a standard of hyper-intelligent team basketball featuring a minimum of "athletic" talent may have been the 1973 Knicks.

Athleticism somewhat aside, but I think the recent incarnations of the Spurs qualify here. Also, I agree - the Thunder very much do not qualify here, with their iso heavy system. Don't get me wrong - they're quite likable - just a different model.
   951. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4151510)
He also has held Pierce to 4-18. But he's The Truth! We know his shots will go in!


Rondo only had 2 points in the second half. What a coward choker.


David Thorpe was tweeting during the game about KG not scoring with Bosh on the floor. So there's plenty of blame to go around were anyone to be so inclined...

LeBron was great and Miami looks like a different team with a healthy or semi-healthy Bosh. But I think people are way too quick to write off Boston in Game 7. We have no reason to think Boston is going to roll over like everyone's acting. James isn't going to make all of these shots next game (probably). Boston's going to make more shots. Teams look good when they win, and bad when they lose. Yes, yesterday the team that won looked really good and the team that lost looked really bad. But we have a larger sample that suggests Game 7 is going to be close rather than like Game 6.


We only have one game with a healthy or semi-healthy Bosh. So I'm not sure how much any of the first 4/5 games really tell us.

I'd love it if Pierce was suddenly too old to score or be even a roadbump to slow down James. But I don't think that's the case. Just a bad game for him, and you still have to fear him in game 7.


Even before last night, Pierce was having a sub-par series. He's also hurt.
   952. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4151519)
What's often amazing to me about BTF is the seemingly continuing and reflexive way that some people's rooting interests are so rigidly formed by taking a 180 degree opposite view of what they think the MSM are telling them. It's as if they're following George Costanza's "I'll do the opposite" script. Truly a fascinating phenomenon that's every bit as silly as the way other people take whatever Lupica or Francessa say as gospel.

This is an internet phenomenon. I've never heard anyone in real life say things like "I have no interest in the Giants but I hope Barry Bonds breaks the home run record so Skip Bayless will be annoyed", or talk about how much they hate Ryan Howard because he keeps getting undeserved MVP votes. But it seems like there's this tendency in people to just have a hair-trigger backlash when they think they're being told what to think on a certain topic, and therefore hate everything that seems overrated and love everything that seems underrated. In real life they fear being crucified on the wheel of conventional wisdom, but in cyberspace they can vent.

It's like we're all a bunch of Sean Hannitys, saying "What more reason do you need to vote for this woman? She annoys liberals! Therefore she's perfect!"
   953. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4151541)
Chad Ford tweeted out the combine measurements. Eventually, that will be in a much more readable format online.
   954. tshipman Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4151550)
This is an internet phenomenon. I've never heard anyone in real life say things like "I have no interest in the Giants but I hope Barry Bonds breaks the home run record so Skip Bayless will be annoyed", or talk about how much they hate Ryan Howard because he keeps getting undeserved MVP votes. But it seems like there's this tendency in people to just have a hair-trigger backlash when they think they're being told what to think on a certain topic, and therefore hate everything that seems overrated and love everything that seems underrated. In real life they fear being crucified on the wheel of conventional wisdom, but in cyberspace they can vent.


I do say this sort of stuff in real life. My primary team (the Lakers) and all secondary teams that I have a rooting interest in (Warriors, 76ers) are out of the playoffs, and I have to pick which team I will curse with my temporary fandom. Confounding the MSM narrative is just as good a reason as anything else. If the Lakers play the Heat in the Finals next year (hah!), I'll go back to hating LeBron as the chokingest choker who ever choked.
   955. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4151551)
Jared Sullinger is 6'7 and change? Hope he enjoys Italian culture.
   956. jmurph Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4151557)
Jared Sullinger is 6'7 and change? Hope he enjoys Italian culture.


No one thinks he'll be a good NBA player, do they? I haven't been following much draft talk.
   957. JJ1986 Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4151560)
The Pistons will probably draft Sullinger then so they have another player who doesn't fit any NBA position.
   958. tshipman Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4151570)
No one thinks he'll be a good NBA player, do they? I haven't been following much draft talk.


I do, personally. He's not likely to be a difference maker, top 5 in the NBA kind of guy, but I can see him turning into Paul Millsap.

Edit: Ben Wallace played center in the NBA at 6'8.
   959. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4151573)
Sullinger is considered a low risk, late lottery pick - which sounds about right.

EDIT: Don't think he has Millsap's athleticism. More like an upscale Craig Smith type.
   960. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4151579)
Sullinger is considered a low risk, late lottery pick

Is picking a sub-6'8" center "low risk"? I'm not seeing it.
   961. AROM Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4151583)
Edit: Ben Wallace played center in the NBA at 6'8


Ben Wallace was 7 feet tall with the 'fro.
   962. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4151589)
Why are we limiting Sullinger to Center? I think the Millsap comp is a good one.
   963. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4151596)
Sub 6-8 barefoot. Treat him like he's 6-9 - when we talk about how tall NBA players are, we talk in terms of their heights in shoes. He's a hair shorter than Kevin Love, yes?
I don't think anyone thinks he's going to be a great defender - good technique + bad body (in terms of pro d) should make him a liability, but not as problematic as the Blairs of the world. Also, I see him as a combo big man - playing the four (where he'll be slow) or five (where he'll be short), based on matchups and other personnel on his team.

I like the Scola comp more than Millsap.
   964. andrewberg Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4151622)
But I think people are way too quick to write off Boston in Game 7. We have no reason to think Boston is going to roll over like everyone's acting.


Cosign. We have no idea what will happen in game 7.

EDIT: Don't think he has Millsap's athleticism. More like an upscale Craig Smith type.


That was the exact comp I was thinking of. He has the profile of an underrated college big man, except he was so good as a frosh that he's not underrated. Late lotto and ok starter are probably appropriate for him.
   965. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4151623)
What's often amazing to me about BTF is the seemingly continuing and reflexive way that some people's rooting interests are so rigidly formed by taking a 180 degree opposite view of what they think the MSM are telling them. It's as if they're following George Costanza's "I'll do the opposite" script. Truly a fascinating phenomenon that's every bit as silly as the way other people take whatever Lupica or Francessa say as gospel.

This is an internet phenomenon....It's like we're all a bunch of Sean Hannitys, saying "What more reason do you need to vote for this woman? She annoys liberals! Therefore she's perfect!"


That's a crude way of putting it, but it's not too bad an analogy It has the added advantage of being able to let yourself think that you're in possession of some special font of wisdom that the Big Bad MSM will never acknowledge, either because they're hopelessly compromised or because they're just so stupid.
   966. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4151633)
But I think people are way too quick to write off Boston in Game 7. We have no reason to think Boston is going to roll over like everyone's acting.

Cosign. We have no idea what will happen in game 7.


Boston's obviously a much better team than they looked like last night, and I don't think they'll cave. But I do think that towards the end of the 3rd quarter they'll be playing catchup ball until the final buzzer. If I had to guess I'd say it'll wind up Miami by about 10 to 15. The only way I can see a different outcome would be if the Heat stupidly tries to let James do it all by himself and starts waiting around for it to happen, and then James reacts by reverting to his passive endgame performances from previous years. But that's a wish, not a prediction.
   967. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4151635)
   968. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4151646)
I do say this sort of stuff in real life. My primary team (the Lakers) and all secondary teams that I have a rooting interest in (Warriors, 76ers) are out of the playoffs, and I have to pick which team I will curse with my temporary fandom. Confounding the MSM narrative is just as good a reason as anything else. If the Lakers play the Heat in the Finals next year (hah!), I'll go back to hating LeBron as the chokingest choker who ever choked.


Same here. I am cringing at the thought of articles praising Derek Fisher as Mr. Clutchy McTools Championship Winner if the Thunder win. Otherwise I would root for them if Boston loses. Conversely I wanted the Spurs to win because I don't think enough is written about Duncan (recent SI article aside).
   969. The District Attorney Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4151656)
Poz, Wednesday: "To win, you have to go to a dark mental place that LeBron doesn't like to go to."

Poz, Friday: "He went to the dark place!"

Meh.
   970. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4151732)
Same here. I am cringing at the thought of articles praising Derek Fisher as Mr. Clutchy McTools Championship Winner if the Thunder win. Otherwise I would root for them if Boston loses. Conversely I wanted the Spurs to win because I don't think enough is written about Duncan (recent SI article aside).


This exactly.

I also agree with "we have no idea what will happen in game 7" and Sullinger being a soiid pick in the late lottery (the Millsap comp isn't bad, with the caveat that Millsap's development was of course far better than expected and the current Millsap is not who we should expect Sully to be -- that's a 90th percentile projection -- but I think he will contribute).
   971. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4151733)
" think this is what I meant about that dark place people must go to bring out the extremes of their talents. LeBron had come to Boston to conquer, and I would say he looked, acted and played fundamentally different from any time I’ve ever seen him. "

I think Poz is 100% right, as distasteful as that is.
   972. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4151736)
Draftexpress now has the combine measurements as well.
i think the most interesting things there are:
perry jones' lack of wingspan. 7'1 is not terrible, but when drummond measures at 7'6, and davis measures at 7'5, it is a bit underwhelming.

tyler zeller's not awful wingspan. i was expecting something like 6'10 for him, but he measured at 7' even. that's really not good, especially not for someone who expects to play a lot of center, but it's not gonna drop him out of the top 20.

the size of meyers leonard (7'1, 250, with a 7'3 wingspan). as i noted in 2010, i usually start off the draft process hating every white big man that is projected to go in the first round. sometimes, i never stop hating them (koufos, mullens, and hawes would be examples of that) and sometimes i actually grow to like them (aldrich and vucevic would be examples of that), but this year, i'm definitely a fan of leonard, and definitely not a fan of zeller. i think leonard's athleticism makes him a much more intriguing prospect.

john henson and kyle o'quinn both topped the combine in standing reach, at 9'3.5. i'm a big fan of both players.

i don't really think there were any big surprises.
   973. AROM Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4151746)
I like Derek Fisher in the role he's in with the Thunder. He's a smart player, plays hard, and can hit the three. He had to go from the Lakers though because they would not use him in a role he can handle. He should not play too many minutes and you have to get him out of there when the other team is exploiting him by using a speedy point guard.
   974. smileyy Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4151749)
Why do people think Sullinger will be less of a defensive liability than Blair? Is it the roughly extra inch and a half of height? Blair has the superior wingspan, leading to a roughly equivalent reach.

I'm not arguing Blair will be better than Sullinger -- just that he was the first (somewhat shorter) body comp that comes to mind. Which I realize can be significant, given that Sullinger is already on the low end of desired height.
   975. smileyy Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4151758)
[972] Its gotta suck to be on an extreme outlier of height and physical skillset, then just be "average" because you still only have the "average" wingspan for someone your height.

That's a freakish wingspan for Kyle O'Quinn.
   976. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4151760)
the size of meyers leonard (7'1, 250, with a 7'3 wingspan). as i noted in 2010, i usually start off the draft process hating every white big man that is projected to go in the first round. sometimes, i never stop hating them (koufos, mullens, and hawes would be examples of that) and sometimes i actually grow to like them (aldrich and vucevic would be examples of that), but this year, i'm definitely a fan of leonard, and definitely not a fan of zeller. i think leonard's athleticism makes him a much more intriguing prospect.

I think his athleticism is different than many of those other guys you named. He just isn't anywhere near polished of a player yet. There was definitely some development between his freshman and sophomore years. He's good enough now to make a defensive impact (depending on foul trouble), but it's going to be several years until he's anything more than a put back/alley oop offensive player. He has ok form on him jump shot though, so that's something. While I don't want to say he has this high of a ceiling, there were many times when watching him play these past couple years where he reminded me a of fresh out of HS Tyson Chandler. He even has a similar build (Meyers isn't as skinny as Tyson was at that age, but isn't as muscular as Tyson is now but I could see him getting there eventually).
   977. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4151761)
" think this is what I meant about that dark place people must go to bring out the extremes of their talents. LeBron had come to Boston to conquer, and I would say he looked, acted and played fundamentally different from any time I’ve ever seen him. "

I think Poz is 100% right, as distasteful as that is.


Count me in as well. I missed the first 10 minutes of the game and couldn't see the score when I first turned in. But there was Lebron with a look on his face that seemed malevolent. I get it, that facial interpretations and body language reading is probably 90% bs, but he seemed to be a different guy last night. I think we saw his Dark Willow side come out last night.
   978. andrewberg Posted: June 08, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4151767)
he looked, acted and played fundamentally different from any time I’ve ever seen him.


Looked/acted- okay, he smiled less. Good luck establishing any causation there. The simplest explanation is probably that it was a huge, huge game. Played? No. He plays that way often. We may not have seen him attack the basket early in games that much since he has been in Miami, but he definitely did it in Cleveland, and there have been times when he came out like that in Miami (usually without the gaudy final totals because they are up by enough to rest him if he has a huge half in the regular season). The difference is that he made a ton of tough shots. Did his muscle fibers conspire with his synapses to react more perfectly under these tense circumstances? I haven't a clue.

i think the most interesting things there are:


I also noted Terrence Ross' sub-4% body fat. He's making Ray Allen look like Greg Ostertaag.
   979. Manny Coon Posted: June 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4151829)
Sub 6-8 barefoot. Treat him like he's 6-9 - when we talk about how tall NBA players are, we talk in terms of their heights in shoes. He's a hair shorter than Kevin Love, yes?
I don't think anyone thinks he's going to be a great defender - good technique + bad body (in terms of pro d) should make him a liability, but not as problematic as the Blairs of the world. Also, I see him as a combo big man - playing the four (where he'll be slow) or five (where he'll be short), based on matchups and other personnel on his team.

I like the Scola comp more than Millsap.


How does his size and athleticism compare to Boozer? Boozer was a great, polished college player, but slipped in the drafted because people didn't think he was athletic enough.
   980. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: June 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4151830)
I think Poz is 100% right, as distasteful as that is.

There's no question that Poz is 100% correct here.

It's almost like before the game, James said to himself "f*ck this sh*t" and flipped a switch inside. Instead of just going out there to play a game and have fun last night, he finally decided to unleash the raging beast within.

If he played with that kind of passion, energy, determination, aggressiveness, and I would say even fury every game, he would never have to hear any crap from anyone ever again.
   981. Manny Coon Posted: June 08, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4151842)
Do you not have idiot friends and coworkers who are exactly the same way? Does it not drive you nuts? It drives me f'ing bonkers. The amount I read about Lebron being nicknamed "75 cent" or something like that, it drives me nuts, because it's completely lacking in empirical support. Of course, I've come around *the other* way on this. I got into a bit of an email spat with a prominent NBA writer about heroball the other day, because I think the NBA staterati can get way too set in their ways and lose an empirical, skeptical point of view about the world the other way. Nonetheless, this isn't just knee jerk contrarianism. Tonight I watched Lebron James obliterate my favorite team in a closeout game to go to the NBA Finals, and I watched in awe thinking of all the people who decided they knew who Lebron James was at his core have to eat crow.


Of course if the Heat lose game 7 or lose to the Thunder all that nonsense will probably start right back up.
   982. NJ in DC Posted: June 08, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4151847)
If he played with that kind of passion, energy, determination, aggressiveness, and I would say even fury every game, he would never have to hear any crap from anyone ever again.

All that because a guy smiles less than we're used to, huh?
   983. smileyy Posted: June 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4151852)

All that because a guy smiles less than we're used to, huh?


And performs better at the same time.

If the Thunder don't win a title, maybe we'll hear about how Kevin Durant lost his smile too.
   984. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 08, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4151853)
All that because a guy smiles less than we're used to, huh?


Everybody knows that smiling is a sign of weakness of character. That's why Magic was so terrible.
   985. GregD Posted: June 08, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4151860)
How does his size and athleticism compare to Boozer? Boozer was a great, polished college player, but slipped in the drafted because people didn't think he was athletic enough.
Sullinger looks much different than Boozer, though surprisingly their weights are fairly similar--Sullinger was 280 in the season and 268 in predraft measurement, while Boozer is listed at 266. But they appear different and play differently. Sullinger is essentially--I mean this as a compliment--a big bully. He's got a giant ass, a broad back, and a willingness to drop down and back his men to the basket, or to pin them on his hip and let them flail to try to reach his shot. (He also has relatively long arms.) Boozer could do more things as a college player, was more refined, more comfortable facing the basket or moving the offense, but was nowhere near as effective in the paint. Sullinger is a poor man's Elton Brand, though he obviously is extremely unlikely to reach that level of effectiveness. The problem is that a bully is only effective while he can bully people and undersized pure post players either become very effective or disappear from the league entirely.
   986. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: June 08, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4151862)
This is decidedly not speaking as a guy who lives near UNC, but I think people underrate Zeller a bit - he's a very steady defender. Reminds me a little bit of a taller Nick Collison (better shooter than Nick, not as burly (to Z's detriment) - both smart players. I don't think this comp will occur to others, mind you. Maybe more accurate to say that there's a little bit of Collison to his game, but whatever.

Sullinger v. Boozer: Both measured 6-07.75 barefoot. Sullinger came in 10 pounds heavier (268 to 258), with a slightly lesser wingspan (85.25" v. 86.25"). So, pretty close.

Sullinger v. Blair: Beyond the size difference, Sullinger's always had a pretty solid rep as a "percentage" defender, afaict - whereas Blair's was more middling. IIRC (questionable + I'm overgeneralizing), Blair was thought to defend with his arms a bit - poking out steals and such, as opposed to getting in your way.
   987. NJ in DC Posted: June 08, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4151871)
Everybody knows that smiling is a sign of weakness of character. That's why Magic was so terrible.

I've really enjoyed the what makes LeBron so great and why he's brought the Cavs so far is the joy he plays with always so loose and smiling what makes LeBron fail and the Cavs come up short in the postseason is that he doesn’t have that seriousness/killer-instinct Kobe/MJ/etc. had what makes LeBron and the Heat fail to live up to expectations is that they were playing too tight and serious, this isn’t the same joyful LeBron we know what makes LeBron and the Heat different this year is that LeBron is back to that happy place he was in with the Cavs when he played so excellently what makes the Heat about to lose to the Celtics is that LeBron just doesn’t have the edge The Great Ones do what made LeBron so incredible last night was how no-nonsense he was…rollercoaster. Six Flags should invest in one.
   988. AROM Posted: June 08, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4151896)
Of course if the Heat lose game 7 or lose to the Thunder all that nonsense will probably start right back up.


If they lose game 7 against the Celtics, Lebron's rep is right back to where it was 24 hours ago. It's hard to imagine a situation where his rep survives intact but the Heat lose. I guess he could score 40, do it consistently (score in the 4th as well as the first), have the rest of the Heat shoot as bad as last night, and lose if Boston goes 12-18 on threes or something. That seems unlikely. For the Celtics to win James probably has to have a subpar game by his standards.

If Miami wins game 7, I can see a situation where he goes off on OKC, shoots great throughout the series, makes some big steals, averages 35 per game, and OKC's offense is just too much and they win 4 shootouts. OKC has home court, has generally played stronger in the playoffs, and I don't think Lebron will get too much blame if he loses well to them.
   989. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4151957)
I just want to note that very few people seem to think this has anything to do with Boston and everything to do with James. The Heat will win or lose this series, goes the narrative, and Boston's just a plot device. Compared to the merciless pounding the Heat took the last few days, Boston's gotten off scott free.
   990. smileyy Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4151959)
I think it goes back to the "House Money" discussion of a few pages back. After the Rose injury, why haven't expectations been reset in the Eastern Conference, such that Boston has something to lose here too.

I mean, in the Finals, I'd favor OKC over Boston, but I wouldn't bet large sums of money on it. The C's are title contenders in this playoffs, so a loss for them means something too.

But this is the modern media -- there's only room for one narrative
   991. robinred Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4151963)
I don't think Lebron will get too much blame if he loses well to them.


Depends on the optics. One of the things that makes The Jordan Narrative The Jordan Narrative is that addition to the substance, he has the The Optics: The Shot, The Shrug, The Follow Through (after the push off). Right now, James' Optics are The Checked Shirt and The Pep Rally, and his sound bites are "South Beach" and "not five...". So, even if he averaged 37 a game, if they lost, and he has a memorable, very bad, optical moment, he will take as much crap as ever.

To address Andy's point, the tension isn't "smart" vs. "stupid." It is narrative vs. analysis. Skip Bayless may or may not be "smarter" than I am, but his interests revolve exclusively around narratives, sensationalism, and provocativeness. I am actually more interested in narratives than most guys in this thread are, but I like to keep them and analysis distinct in my mind, and note the places where I think they overlap.

No one commented on it, but prior to Game 5, I linked to and quoted Zach Lowe of SI.com, who is one of the more even-handed of the new-breed stat-oriented writers. Lowe's take--that James sometimes looks to pass when a Kobe/Wade type would shoot, and that works both for and against his team in crunch time--is IMO correct. James is, as Simmons said, more the "evolutionary Oscar and Magic" than he is a Jordan-styled player, like (obviously) Kobe, and to a lesser extent, Wade.

What I saw last night was:

1. James looked to score, period. Not that he played selfishly, but that he focused more on "eating first" to use the new meme.
2. His jumpers were falling, and when that happens he is absolutely unguardable.
3. Bosh's presence does in fact make a difference in Miami's spacing that is noticeable and has an effect Garnett's ability to roam in this particular matchup.

Add that to the stoic facial expressions, and last night James was a "killer."

As to Game 7, the safe, obvious pick is that Boston will can more 3s, Pierce will shoot better, James will play (for him) a "normal" game, and the game will be competitive, but Miami will prevail by 5-10 points--90-83, something like that.
   992. Booey Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4151965)
I mean, in the Finals, I'd favor OKC over Boston, but I wouldn't bet large sums of money on it.


Really? I would. I imagine they'd have pretty significant odds in Vegas.
   993. robinred Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4151969)
Boston's gotten off scott free.


I cruised by a Boston blog, and the guy there just killed Pierce for his shooting. It sounded--exactly--like the way a couple of Lakers Bloggers went off on Kobe after the 6/28 showing in Denver. The guy may have cooled down this morning, but he basically accused Pierce of being stubborn, stupid, selfish, and of really hurting the team. I almost posted and said, "Lakers fan here--think you are being too hard on PP" but thought better of it.

As far as the narrative about Boston:

They won in 2008 when they had the best team
They did not have Garnett in 2009
They were underdogs in 10 and they are underdogs now

So, no, they are not going to take much crap in the MSM.
   994. Booey Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4151970)
One of the things that makes The Jordan Narrative The Jordan Narrative is that addition to the substance, he has the The Optics: The Shot, The Shrug, The Follow Through (after the push off).


Which one was The Shot? The game winner over Craig Ehlo and Cleveland?
   995. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4151972)
1. James looked to score, period. Not that he played selfishly, but that he focused more on "eating first" to use the new meme.
2. His jumpers were falling, and when that happens he is absolutely unguardable.
3. Bosh's presence does in fact make a difference in Miami's spacing that is noticeable and has an effect Garnett's ability to roam in this particular matchup.


1. and 3. are the most important factors to me. If James' shot is falling, it really doesn't matter what's going on, he's going to pile up points. The important thing for Miami is that he looks for his shot, because if he's aggressive on offense, just by himself he puts a ton of pressure on Boston's defense so even if his shot isn't falling, he's making the defense move and shift and scramble to cover him and that opens up the court for other things to happen. If Bosh is around, that makes it doubly easy for James, since it keeps KG from getting a pass at guarding anyone at all and lets him hog the paint.

The Heat work best when they play a less extreme version of the Sixers' Iverson offense, with James dominating the ball and making decisions. The criticism from Game 5, when he wasn't aggressive in the 4th and didn't try to get to the ball, was completely valid. The psychoanalysis that went along with that was over the top, but what happened was obviously a problem, and they obviously addressed it in Game 6.
   996. robinred Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4151973)
Which one was The Shot?


Yep.
   997. smileyy Posted: June 08, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4151979)

Really? I would. I imagine they'd have pretty significant odds in Vegas.


Me too, but would you be surprised when the Celtics D smothered them, Allen and Pierce are alive for enough games and Rondo is able to dial it up for enough games to win? I wouldn't.
   998. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 08, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4152005)
Is anybody else hoping for a Celtics/Thunder finals partly to see what the hell would happen between KG and Perkins over 4-7 games?
   999. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 08, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4152007)
Not really; only people who care about the Perkins vs. ex-teammates dynamic care about that. I'd be curious to see how KG deals with having to contend with some as quick as Ibaka guarding him, boxing him out, etc.
   1000. NJ in DC Posted: June 08, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4152034)
I got a kick out of the player reaction to LeBron's performance. Stuff like this is why I love Twitter. I find it amusing to try and decipher the relationships guys have when they're not playing each other. Thought Paul George's tweet was interesting in that regard.
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