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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, May 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: Bryce Harper getting mooned by a Dodgers fan, how dumb interleague baseball is, or random spamming of Yankees/RedSox news that barely counts as news.

Tripon Posted: May 01, 2012 at 10:28 AM | 2330 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1101. Jimmy P Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4135352)
Simmons wrote a column about the playoffs today. Shocker, he said that the matchup people most want to see besides OKC-Miami is SAS-Bos. He also doesn't even consider Indiana a contender.

If Indiana beats Miami, they're a more serious contender than Boston.
   1102. Booey Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4135353)
Sure, but if the point up for debate is the relative merit of The Admiral vs. Stockton and Malone as players, the fact that this is a debate seems to me to be a point for Robinson. If Stockton and Malone were both better players, shouldn't it be a bit more of a walk than that, given what Robinson had on those teams?


But it's not really a valid debate. As I think I showed, the 90's Jazz were clearly better than the 90's Spurs using any measure of success other than regular season wins. By that logic, couldn't you say that the crap LeBron had as teammates in Cleveland was just as good as Wade and Bosh because they had similar regular season winning percentages and both made a Finals appearance? (going off regular season winning percentages, the 2009 and 2010 Cavs were actually BETTER than the 2011 and 2012 Heat)

   1103. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4135354)
#1019 - Ah, indoor (usually carpeted) church B-Ball courts...That's where my bro's and I learned to play as well. Good memories...


It might be because I'm younger and most of the churches around me were built in the 90s or later, but all the church courts I played on were hardwood. Most had the annoying dip in the ceiling where the curtains could be pulled out to divide the court, and that made it difficult to shoot 3s on one of the baskets but that's a pretty minor complaint for a free indoor basketball court nearby.
   1104. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4135357)
Dwyane Wade has two bad games and everyone is ready to crow about LeBron, shitty teammates, and karma? Hollinger et al. need to take a hit off the objective pipe.
   1105. Jimmy P Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4135364)
Dwyane Wade has two bad games and everyone is ready to crow about LeBron, shitty teammates, and karma? Hollinger et al. need to take a hit off the objective pipe.

Pretty sure the criticism about Miami's 4-12 has been there all year
   1106. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4135373)
I think Riles had some bad luck on Heat 4-12. Mike Miller was much pursued in free agency and was supposed to be the perfect compliment to the Three, but he's gone from injury to injury and he's never gotten right. Haslem, a good player, has fallen right off the table. And wither Norris Cole, the rookie who was so good in the first half?

The Heat have made some solid decisions, but have been very unlucky with their bench.
   1107. rr Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4135377)
the objective pipe.


I was reporting, not crowing. When the aroma from the objective pipe is wafting around us, we can see that Haslem, Miller, and Anthony are

a) Signed to five-year deals
b) Not very good

We can also see that the dropoff after Bosh is huge; as Jimmy notes, that was a topic last year. No matter how awesome James is, he is still one guy. Obviously Miami can still be in the Finals. But it is not going to be easy at all.
   1108. rr Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4135378)
The Heat have made some solid decisions, but have been very unlucky with their bench.

Hollinger said this to an extent. He also said that Riley overvalues "grinders" (think Brian Grant) and that can be a problem.
   1109. rr Posted: May 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4135390)
-- Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol was named the 2011-12 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the Professional Basketball Writers Association announced Friday.


He also announced that he is changing his name to Paz Gasol.
   1110. Zipperholes Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4135396)
What specifically is wrong with them? When I watch on TV, they seem like cromulent players. Are they just not good fits?

Anthony isn't a good rebounder for his size, but he seems to fit well defensively.

Battier is still a good defender who can guard any 2 or 3 except the elite ones.

Miller is still an awesome shooter.

Haslem is still a very good rebounder.

Chalmers is a nice PG who doesn't make a ton of mistakes and can shoot, so he doesn't need the ball in his hands.

Yeah, all these guys are somewhat one- or two-dimensional, but what team's 4-12 players aren't?
   1111. andrewberg Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4135397)
Pretty sure the criticism about Miami's 4-12 has been there all year


See, I also thought that the supporting cast was Miami's problem, but it turns out they don't know who they are:

I still have high hopes for the last two rounds, if only because three of our contenders (the Spurs, Celtics and Zombie Sonics) know exactly who they are, and our fourth contender (Miami) has no freaking idea whatsoever.
   1112. andrewberg Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4135402)
Anthony isn't a good rebounder for his size, but he seems to fit well defensively.

Battier is still a good defender who can guard any 2 or 3 except the elite ones.

Miller is still an awesome shooter.

Haslem is still a very good rebounder.

Chalmers is a nice PG who doesn't make a ton of mistakes and can shoot, so he doesn't need the ball in his hands.

Yeah, all these guys are somewhat one- or two-dimensional, but what team's 4-12 players aren't?


A few things:

First, there's no question that the Heat are one of the best teams. We are comparing them with supporting casts from other elite teams. Outside of the top 3, OKC has Ibaka, SA has Neal, Blair, Jackson, and Splitter, Boston has Bass, Allen, Bradley, even Indy has Hill and George. You could make a pretty good argument that ALL of those guys are better than anyone else on Miami.

Second, they're being exposed with Bosh out. Those guys are put together to play roles 4-12, but are being forced into 3-11. I know that doesn't have much practical meaning, but it does matter (seemingly especially from veteran players like Battier and Haslem) that they are not being asked to do what they have been asked to do most of the year.

Third, they have a specific weakness. Note that none of the strengths you listed included anything about power, size, or interior defense. I'm not sure I'd even call Haslem a "very good" rebounder at this point, and he's the only one who has that skill at all. Even if there aren't a lot of teams that still initiate the offense from the inside out, they ran into one, and the fulcrum of that system happens to be playing very well right now.

I actually agree with you that the shooting should be fine. Guys go cold. It is unlucky that they're all doing it now, but that straightens out over time.
   1113. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4135403)
See, I also thought that the supporting cast was Miami's problem, but it turns out they don't know who they are:

Sounds like he's got the "No Alpha Dog" explanation of the Heat's failures all ready to go. No sign yet of a "Winner's Curse" explanation of the Celtics' failures, but all it'll take is TV coverage of a couple of their players smiling while losing, indicating that they're not hungry anymore. Or possibly a couple of their players failing to smile while winning, indicating that it's not fun anymore and they're sick of the pressure.
   1114. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4135405)
I've been criticizing Riley's roster choices since the offseason that club was put together (and wrote a long bit to this effect on a laptop that died mid-screed about 80 posts back). Yes, they have been unlucky and are hamstrung by their cap situation, but - beyond targeting scrappers and good character types - they've overemphasized finding guys to complement the big three and neglected to land guys who can act as a plan B if something goes wrong.
   1115. smileyy Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4135410)
-- Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol was named the 2011-12 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the Professional Basketball Writers Association announced Friday.


Pau always leaves a note?
   1116. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4135414)
Pau always leaves a note?


If the PBWA is like the BBWAA, they're trying to get on his good side for when he does their heart surgeries down the road.
   1117. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4135419)
Pau always leaves a note?
Two words: Gift basket.
   1118. rr Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4135423)
What specifically is wrong with them?


Haslem, Miller, and Anthony, along with Chalmers, were obviously the guys Riley was counting on--they are the guys who got the long deals. Haslem and Miller are both over 30 and guys of that caliber often drop off when they are over 30. Riley gave both of them ~$5M. Miller's shooting was very poor for him last year, due to his injuries, and he got some of that back this year, but is still below previous levels. Haslem's shooting was really bad this year. Anthony was actually better this year than last but has almost no offensive value and will be 30 in August. Battier is 33 and also has almost no offensive value.

Miami's plan is based on James being the best player in the NBA, Wade being one of the Top 5, and Bosh being an All-Star. With no Bosh and Wade hurting, they are in trouble. But 4-12 have some issues that go beyond bad luck.

As to what Riley should have done instead or in addition...that is hypothetical, but Hollinger did provide a long list of guys who signed for similar/less money, including Dorell Wright.

I thought Miller was a great idea for years 1-2 but I was a bit skeptical about Haslem and Anthony at the time. Still, I picked Miami to win the title both this year and last.




   1119. Zipperholes Posted: May 18, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4135428)
First, there's no question that the Heat are one of the best teams. We are comparing them with supporting casts from other elite teams. Outside of the top 3, OKC has Ibaka, SA has Neal, Blair, Jackson, and Splitter, Boston has Bass, Allen, Bradley, even Indy has Hill and George. You could make a pretty good argument that ALL of those guys are better than anyone else on Miami.
I agree with this. IND (like DEN) is an anomaly because they're ridiculously deep, at the expense of having nobody who's elite on both ends. BOS, I don't follow enough to know. Riley has no excuse for not having a supporting cast as good as Ainge's. SA is an anomaly because, well, they're insane.
Third, they have a specific weakness. Note that none of the strengths you listed included anything about power, size, or interior defense. I'm not sure I'd even call Haslem a "very good" rebounder at this point, and he's the only one who has that skill at all. Even if there aren't a lot of teams that still initiate the offense from the inside out, they ran into one, and the fulcrum of that system happens to be playing very well right now.
1. I agree with what you say about power/size/interior defense. But Anthony is OK, no? But there's no excuse for not being able to put two guys out there who won't get dominated by Hibbert and West. They would match up much better vs. OKC, I think.

2. Haslem has had his highest TRR of his career the last two years. He was 17.7 this year. There may be noise there, I don't know: he's not sharing the court with Mourning and Shaq. EDIT: And of course, he's not playin 30+ minutes.
I actually agree with you that the shooting should be fine. Guys go cold. It is unlucky that they're all doing it now, but that straightens out over time.
Game 2:
MIA: 41.3 TS%
IND: 45.4 TS%
MIA: +4 shots at the basket

The Heat lost because they shot like crap.

Game 3:
MIA: 43.6 TS%
IND: 54.6 TS%
IND: +5 shots at the basket

The Heat lost because of play on both ends (OE: 89.2, DE: 111.8), but mostly on O.

Now, not having everyone being able to play off Bosh on offense is likely huge. But I don't know that "the 4-12" is really the problem.
   1120. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 18, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4135437)
I agree with this. IND (like DEN) is an anomaly because they're ridiculously deep, at the expense of having nobody who's elite on both ends. BOS, I don't follow enough to know. Riley has no excuse for not having a supporting cast as good as Ainge's.
Emphasis mine — I'm not sure about this. Boston doesn't have a Big Three, they have a Big Four, and that fourth guy is someone they got in a Draft Day deal when they were still awful and their budget hadn't been soaked by multiple max contract guys. Trying to put together a really good crew after you've committed over $47.5 million to three guys is a lot more difficult. I'm not saying Riley should get a pass or that Ainge hasn't been better at building a bench, but the circumstances that those two were operating under were very different.
   1121. GregD Posted: May 18, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4135443)
It might be because I'm younger and most of the churches around me were built in the 90s or later, but all the church courts I played on were hardwood. Most had the annoying dip in the ceiling where the curtains could be pulled out to divide the court, and that made it difficult to shoot 3s on one of the baskets but that's a pretty minor complaint for a free indoor basketball court nearby.
I think it's more to do with cash, so we'd see it when we played church schools (I went to a small private but not churchy school) that were newish. They'd save all this money by carpeting the gym and not having to do upkeep and use the gym as well for other stuff, then a few years down the road when they had more money take out the carpet and lay in real floors. The non-sound of the ball bouncing was weird. The worst though was playing a church school that played in their cafeteria on tile floors. People were sliding around like it was Jeffersons on Ice.
   1122. Quaker Posted: May 18, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4135475)
What is a realistic trade return for Al Jefferson? Ppl used to say the Pacers with Granger matched up well with the Jazz's trade needs, but now that they have Hibbert/West up front, I don't think Ind would have any interest in parting w/Danny for Big Al.
   1123. Srul Itza Posted: May 18, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4135481)
So, anybody watching Celts-Sixers who can explain to me how Boston is up 11 with 2 points and 3 boards from Garnett?
   1124. tshipman Posted: May 18, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4135482)
What is a realistic trade return for Al Jefferson? Ppl used to say the Pacers with Granger matched up well with the Jazz's trade needs, but now that they have Hibbert/West up front, I don't think Ind would have any interest in parting w/Danny for Big Al.


Kevin Garnett would probably be available ...

Kidding aside, you're going to get another project or an overpaid/undergruntled guy. You might get your choice of DeMarcus Cousins or Tyreke Evans. Caron Butler maybe. Brook Lopez, maybe a Jeff Teague or maybe Josh Smith if you squint a bit at it. If you want to set your sights lower, Brandon Jennings or Goran Dragic certainly would be available.

YMMV, but there wouldn't seem to be that much of a market for Big Al. He's poor defensively, everyone knows it, and he's frequently injured.
   1125. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 18, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4135495)
I feel bad for Steagles. He was so happy just a few days ago...
   1126. steagles Posted: May 18, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4135497)
So, anybody watching Celts-Sixers who can explain to me how Boston is up 11 with 2 points and 3 boards from Garnett?
the sixers have 7 turnovers...and 9 made FGs. honestly, i think it's a miracle that they're only down 15 at the half. a good team really should be up twice that.

and watching andre iguodala shoot FTs in this series just has me marveling at how he was able to hit 2 of them, in a row, in the last seconds of a game that decided the outcome of a playoff series.


   1127. PJ Martinez Posted: May 18, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4135501)
the sixers have 7 turnovers...and 9 made FGs. honestly, i think it's a miracle that they're only down 15 at the half. a good team really should be up twice that.

STEAGLES is right. Turner is 2-14! If not for Boston's own turnover and shooting problems, it wouldn't even be this close. Then again, if Philly could hit their free throws (13/21) it could be single digits.

Edit: Oh, also, Bass basically played the role of Garnett on offense in that half, knocking down jumpers (5-8 from the field).
   1128. Srul Itza Posted: May 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4135533)
And now its tied.
   1129. PJ Martinez Posted: May 18, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4135544)
Wow, big bucket by Iguodala. That may do it.
   1130. Srul Itza Posted: May 18, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4135547)
I feel bad for Steagles. He was so happy just a few days ago...


Happy days are here again.
   1131. steagles Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4135549)
Happy days are here again.
i was absolutely stunned by that 2nd half. i just don't have words for what took place tonight.

wow. just...wow.
   1132. steagles Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4135550)
oh, and i think it's about time to take elton brand to the glue factory.
   1133. baudib Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4135551)
Diehard Celts fan here at work says, "It was the worst game I've seen all year."
   1134. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4135554)
Just got home, listened to the last few minutes on the radio. That's TWICE now — first in Game 1, and now today — where the Celtics get on a roll that you think would knock the Sixers out and end the game, and the Sixers really showed their mettle. I'm going to stop trashing them, they've more than earned the respect due them.
   1135. Backlasher Posted: May 19, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4135568)
29 first half free throws in the Thunder-Lakers game. That is almost as many as in all of Game 2. Joey wants to get noticed.
   1136. Kurt Posted: May 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4135569)
The two consecutive fouls on Harden blocking Kobe's shots were absurd.
   1137. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4135572)
I didn't see the game at all: How long did Rondo play with 5 fouls?

   1138. AROM Posted: May 19, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4135574)
Trying to put together a really good crew after you've committed over $47.5 million to three guys is a lot more difficult. I'm not saying Riley should get a pass or that Ainge hasn't been better at building a bench, but the circumstances that those two were operating under were very different.


This season Boston paid about 56 million to their big 4. Miami paid 47 million to the big 3, and 52 million to their 4 highest paid players (Miller is #4).

I look at the individual players though and have a hard time seeing Boston's bench as more talented than Miami's. I think Miami has just done a poor job in figuring out how to fit everyone together.
   1139. steagles Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4135577)
two quick notes about tonight's game:

1, rondo, pierce, and garnett each played 40+ minutes tonight. i believe there's 2 days off before game 5, so there's some time for them to recover, but still, that could have lingering effects later in the series.

and 2, with tonight's win, the sixers have now set another record in this fascinating season. this was the sixers' 4th win of the playoffs where they shot less than 40% from the floor and, according to basketball-reference's play index, that puts them in a 5-way tie for the most such wins in a single postseason. they are now tied with the 1996 and 1997 chicago bulls, as well as the 2000 indiana pacers, and the 2003 new jersey nets. the nets and pacers both lost in the NBA finals, while the bulls won titles both years.

i think we all know what this means--THERE'S TWO MORE ROUNDS OF SIXERS BASKETBALL COMING OUR WAY!!! WOOHOOO!!!
   1140. andrewberg Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4135578)
That three by harden off the steal was cold blooded
   1141. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4135584)
Wow that foul by Harden on Bryant was... well, I am having trouble thinking of another explanation other than the fix being in.
   1142. AROM Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4135585)
I didn't see the game at all: How long did Rondo play with 5 fouls?


Just the last 33 seconds, intentional foul time.

   1143. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4135587)
Well, that was a ########### of a play, having a crucial possession coming down to a contested jumper by Ibaka with like 8 left on the shot clock does not seem like it should ever happen.
   1144. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4135590)
The end to the Lakers game was ridiculous IMO.

   1145. Backlasher Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4135591)
70 total free throws. 42 free throws by the Lakers. That is more than the Lakers took in Game 6 versus Sacramento. The +14 free throw margin is almost equal to the difference in the Game 6 versus Sacramento.

EDIT: I think the 70 FTAs tie an NBA record. See Link
   1146. Backlasher Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:53 AM (#4135596)
Correcting the previous post. Its not a record. The 70 is the record for one team.

Nevertheless, a few other interesting facts. The Lakes go 11-34 in the second half and score 49 points. The Lakes final field goal was at 1:34 and they win the game scoring 8 more points thereafter.
   1147. Quaker Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4135597)
Jefferson would fetch quite a bit more than Caron Butler. According to 82games, Al's PER was TWICE that of Butler's. What's more, Al has only missed 11 games over the past three seasons combined.

If the Jazz were to move Jefferson, I don't think it would be for a frontcourt player--they'd still have Favors, Millsap & Kanter--but for a guard/wing who can shoot and/or distribute.
   1148. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4135606)
Was at a grad party and missed the game. Soon as I saw that the Lakers had shot 42 free throws, knew exactly what I would find in the comments here.

Surprised Boston lost--saw the first five minutes of that one. Hombre is right: 76ers deserve credit for not quitting.
   1149. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 02:56 AM (#4135608)
The sequence that was really egregious was where MWP is shooting free throws when it should have been Durant shooting them at the other end.
   1150. andrewberg Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4135609)
I didn't think there was anything close to a "fix." the off ball call against harden was the only bad one I saw, and Kobe did a good job making it a tough call. The refs called it too tight, but it went both ways. Actually a very fun game.
   1151. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4135610)
Checking box scores, I see that the 76ers shot 36 FTs to Boston's 19. The 76ers ranked 30th in FTA during the season and attempted 154 fewer FTs than opponents. Boston was also weak in this area, attempting 180 fewer. (And, yes, I know the Lakers and OKC's ranks in that category as well).
   1152. andrewberg Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4135611)
The sequence that was really egregious was where MWP is shooting free throws when it should have been Durant shooting them at the other end.


I hate the lakers, but that was a clean strip of Durant. One of the few times they rightly let the play go on.
   1153. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:32 AM (#4135613)
It was really just the one call on Harden with ~2m to go that was egregious. I don't see how you make that call.

I agree that the rest of the game was pretty fair including a couple of OKC steal/blocks that could have been called fouls if there was really some sort of fix (I don't think they were fouls but this is the sort of thing where refs often just call fouls anyway.) But that one call as they were just walking up the court, man, I don't know about that one. Kobe didn't even try to sell it or anything.
   1154. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:53 AM (#4135614)
My bad then, I saw it and thought it was a foul, and then I looked up and MWP is shooting.

Checking box scores, I see that the 76ers shot 36 FTs to Boston's 19. The 76ers ranked 30th in FTA during the season and attempted 154 fewer FTs than opponents. Boston was also weak in this area, attempting 180 fewer. (And, yes, I know the Lakers and OKC's ranks in that category as well).


Difference is that the Sixers made huge shot after huge shot down the stretch, so there's not any sort of feeling that the refs handed the game to the Sixers, and the Sixers didn't win by capitalizing on one of the big 3(4) getting fouled out on some really ticky-tacky calls. In fact the only really key free throws down the stretch were KG hitting 2 to put the Celtics ahead at 78-76.

I didn't see a second of the game live, so I have no idea if the officiating was terribly one-sided in favor of the Sixers. Celtics fans are welcome to complain about it costing them the game. I've already admitted that the call on Garnett in Game 2 could have easily been ignored.

   1155. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:00 AM (#4135619)
So I want to get back to what I was saying about LeBron before. This will be a TL;DR

I don't see any way that LeBron doesn't retire as one of the top 3-5 players of all time, and I think I am being pretty conservative here. I am willing to make big allowances to people who maintain that having the dominant center is more important than having a dominant wing, so if you want to list 4-6 centers as the greatest ever, I can live with that.

GREATNESS It seems to me that in NBA discussions, we are quite clearly talking about peak ability, or at least prime ability, when discussing greatness. Because if rating players was heavily weighted toward longevity/career value, I don't see how you could put anyone over Kareem, and I don't think anyone puts Kareem in the top 3 greatest players of all time (I could be wrong about that).

82 games + playoffs is a really good sample size, and it seems that there is way less variance, among great players, in year-to-year performance that is not related to injuries or readily identifiable personnel/system changes. Luck seems to even out; there doesn't seem to be something like batters having a huge BABIP one year and then losing a ton of value the next when he regresses to the mean. (This does happen from time to time for guys who are primarily long-range shooters)

LeBron James is what he is. He could still get better; Jordan, to name an obvious example, improved his outside shooting as he got older. But he is already quite clearly good enough to be included among the greatest of all-time greats, it seems highly improbable that he will regress to a level worse than a No. 1 tier all-time great.

BIRD I cannot entertain the notion that someone like, Larry Bird, routinely listed among the top 5 players of all time, is greater than LeBron. I don't mean to pick on Bird, but he's a handy reference, especially since he plays the same position (sorta).

Bird had about 10 years of prime/peak ability. LeBron has played 8 years, 7 of them pretty much at MVP level. Bird had 10 years at 19.9 PER or better, 8 years at 21.9 PER or better, 4 years over 25.0, with a peak of 27.8. LeBron has 7 years over 25.0, and 3 over 30.0. In WS/48, LeBron has 3 years at 29.0 or better with a high of .318; Bird hit 23.0 or better 4 times with a high of .244.

LeBron is a better scorer than Bird, he's a better passer. He's a much better defensive player and he's more versatile at both ends of the court. He is much bigger and stronger than Bird. Bird was a better shooter, better FT%, and a better rebounder. Both are/were exceptionally smart/savvy players.

PLAYOFFS?! In the playoffs, LeBron has averaged 28.0/8.4/6.8. He has a 26.6 lifetime PER and .227 WS/48. To get an idea of how good those numbers are, they are pretty much a match for Akeem's playoff numbers in his 2 title runs (Akeem's PERs were 27.7 and 26.7, .221/.208). Bird averaged 23.8/10.3/6.5; PER 21.4 WS/48 .173.

LeBron has 8 40+ point playoff games, Bird had 5. Bird had 10 triple-doubles in 13 years, LeBron has 6 in 8 years. Bird's lifetime 3-point % in the playoffs was .321, LeBron .319.

Someone mentioned the series that LeBron "should have won." Bird's teams lost winnable series quite often:

1980 -- Celtics had best record in league, lost to 76ers in ECF 5 games.
1982 -- Best record in league, lost to 76ers in ECF in 7 games.
1983 -- 56-26 record, swept by Bucks (51-31).
1985 -- Best record in league, lost to Lakers in 6
1988 -- 57-25, lost to Pistons (54-28) in ECF in 6


LeBron had 2 seasons where he was on a team with the best record in the league and didn't win a title. On the other hand, his 45-win Cavs team almost knocked off a 66-win Celtics team. He led a 50-win team to the Finals. I've already noted a few of LeBron's more astonishing playoff feats. Bird was a fantastic clutch player; I don't see any reason to give him any sort of edge over LeBron in this area. If you'd like, I could go through a long litany of win-or-lose games that Bird didn't play particularly well in, or got outplayed by someone like Andrew Toney or James Worthy, or shot 4-for-17.

Rings -- I understand that Bird won three titles. I simply reject the notion that accumulating lots of rings elevates you to a much higher level than someone without them. For instance, Michael Jordan was a better player than Kobe Bryant. Jordan has 6 rings, Kobe has 5. If Kobe somehow manages to win 7-8-9 rings, he's still not better than Michael Jordan. The difference between the two is quite large, and tacking on more rings doesn't narrow the gap, barring a Bondsian late-career improvement by Kobe. YMMV

I reject the notion that LeBron, surrounded by McHale, Parrish, D.J., Ainge, Walton, etc. doesn't win 3-5 rings. I don't see any argument whatsoever for Bird over LeBron.

TL;DR LeBron is pretty good.
   1156. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:25 AM (#4135620)
Difference is


Didn't say there wasn't a difference. Didn't see either game. But the 76ers were outscored from the floor and normally do not get to the line that much or have that kind of advantage.
   1157. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:27 AM (#4135621)
I didn't say you didn't say there wasn't a difference. :)
   1158. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:49 AM (#4135623)
The +14 free throw margin is almost equal to the difference in the Game 6 versus Sacramento.


And three fewer than Philadelphia's over Boston in a game played last night. OKC was down 2-0 headed home in 2010, playing the Lakers. OKC won Game 3, 101-96. They shot 34 FTs. The Lakers shot 12. In Game 4, OKC hammered the Lakers, 110-89. They shot 48 FTs, and the Lakers shot 28. Back in LA for G5, it was 31-24 Lakers. The Lakers won G6, 95-94, even though OKC shot 31 FTs to the Lakers' 14.

   1159. Jimmy P Posted: May 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4135654)
Anthony isn't a good rebounder for his size, but he seems to fit well defensively.

Battier is still a good defender who can guard any 2 or 3 except the elite ones.

Miller is still an awesome shooter.

Haslem is still a very good rebounder.

Chalmers is a nice PG who doesn't make a ton of mistakes and can shoot, so he doesn't need the ball in his hands.


I think Anthony's a good fit for that team - if Bosh is healthy. If he's not, then Anthony becomes a liability because he's beyond worthless on offense. He's also way overpaid, and that is Riley's fault because he was the only bidder.

Miller may be an awesome shooter, he just can't do anything else. It was on Twitter during game 3 (and I think it was Lowe) that said Miller touched the ball five times, dribbled it four, and turned it over three. That's not what you want to see. After last season, he should've been amnestied. And he should be again this offseason.

I think Battier's done and living off his reputation.

Haslem is nice, but the guy wearing his uniform this year is terrible.
   1160. Tripon Posted: May 19, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4135729)
You know who the Heat needs? Carmelo Anthony. Just think about it.
   1161. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4135758)
The +14 free throw margin is almost equal to the difference in the Game 6 versus Sacramento.
Somewhere, a baby cries in Sacramento. The thought makes me giggle.

Finally watched the game this morning on DVR. There were a lot of calls, but except for the Harden bump on Bryant that #1153 pointed out (which seemed like a make-up for missing Durant's uncalled backcourt violation), I didn't see any whistle that seemed particularly egregious. The Durant strip with ~30 left looked perfectly clean. I think what we saw was basically Kobe Bryant, with his shot not falling, going deep into his bag of fakes and jukes and jabs and milking the officials for every call. And let's give credit: 41-42 as a team from the stripe is pretty incredible.
   1162. Booey Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4135769)
I don't think anyone puts Kareem in the top 3 greatest players of all time (I could be wrong about that).


Simmons listed Kareem as #3 in his book.

I don't see any reason why career SHOULDN'T be considered. I'm not talking about playing forever at a slightly above average clip to rank up counting stats (like Mark Jackson ranking 2nd on the assists list when he retired). But in ranking players with similar peaks, it makes no sense to me why is shouldn't matter if one player does it for a few seasons longer (like in the Malone vs Barkley/Robinson discussion above).

I simply reject the notion that accumulating lots of rings elevates you to a much higher level than someone without them.


Yep. People usually tell me that I only think that because my team doesn't have any. I loved Bird, for example, but it's hard not to look at his supporting cast throughout his career and come to any conclusion other than that several other big stars could've had at least 3 titles too had they been fortunate enough to play on that deep a team (LeBron, Malone, Barkley, pre-Duncan Robinson, Dirk, Minnesota Garnett, etc).

Not all players have an equal chance to win championships.
   1163. Booey Posted: May 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4135779)
The +14 free throw margin is almost equal to the difference in the Game 6 versus Sacramento.

Somewhere, a baby cries in Sacramento. The thought makes me giggle.


I understand why it must be frustrating for Laker fans to keep being reminded of that game, but they really need to stop pretending that it's just whiny Kings fans who are pissed that their team lost that saw a problem with the way that game was called. You could very easily find a bunch of quotes from sportswriters and commentators from outside the Sacramento area that trashed the officiating. The vast majority of the non-Lakers fans of the NBA I know think that game was fishy. Hell, Ralph Nader called for an investigation into it, remember?

There's a reason game 6 is and may always be used as exhibit A in unfair officiating arguments. I don't really think there's THAT many Kings fans, do you? If I were a Laker fan, I wouldn't insult people's intelligence by pretending there was nothing wrong. I'd just end the conversation by saying, "It was 10 years ago. Get over it."

I honestly believe Laker fans wouldn't have to keep defending it if they wouldn't keep TRYING to defend it. That only encourages the "Haters."
   1164. Backlasher Posted: May 19, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4135788)
I should note that the 11-34 with 49 points and the last field goal at 1:34 was originally tweeted by Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPBasketball). I should have credited them for those facts. Another interesting fact from the same source, "7 of Bryant's 18 free throws were on shooting fouls."

For some of my own observations:
In the six OKC-Laker games, here are the Lakes FG%, FTs, FT-DIFF, FTA per FGA and Outcome for the Lakes

38.6% FG%; 42 FTAs; +14 FTAs; .600 FTAperFGA; W+3
38.5% FG%; 14 FTAs; -2 FTAs; .175 FTAperFGA; L-2
43.2% FG%; 15 FTAs; -14 FTAs; .185 FTAperFGA; L-19
38.7% FG%; 40 FTAs; +12 FTAs; .377 FTAperFGA; W+8;
41.7% FG%; 23 FTAs; +6 FTAs; .273 FTAperFGA; L-9
38.5% FG%; 23 FTAs; -2 FTAs; .294 FTAperFGA; l-15

The Lakers average .295 FTAperFGA during the regular season. See Link

In both of the Lakes wins, they needed to get to the file line over forty times. Moreover, they needed to increase the amount of time they get to the line on a shot/possession ending basis by between 25% to 100%. They neede a differential of FTs grater than the final outcome of the score.

OKC was down 2-0 headed home in 2010, playing the Lakers. OKC won Game 3, 101-96. They shot 34 FTs. The Lakers shot 12.

Yes, they also had a rate of .425 FTA per FGA; .340 FTAperFGA; and .364 in the three games where the Zombies out FTAed the Lakers. All pretty high and in the range of the Lakes regular season win over the Zombie Sonics. Nothing quite like the .600 average the Lakes saw in the last game, or the .540 FTA/FGA in the Sactown Beatdown of 2002. In both cases, there are a shitton of possessions ending in free throw attempts, esp. considering the pace of the game and super esp. considering the number of times the team is actually attempting to shoot the basketball.

I think what we saw was basically Kobe Bryant, with his shot not falling, going deep into his bag of fakes and jukes and jabs and milking the officials for every call.

I would agree, except that only 7 of this FTs were on shooting attempts. See above.


   1165. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4135800)
I honestly believe Laker fans wouldn't have to keep defending it if they wouldn't keep TRYING to defend it. That only encourages the "Haters."


"It was 10 years ago. Get over it."



Every Lakers fan on this thread has admitted there was something up with that game--and it was BL who brought it up and is using it to make his case about this game. You want to tell people to "Get over it", start with him.

As to the rest, well, go read an ESPN message board some time. Or Dwyer, Moore, Abbott, Simmons et al. All this stuff is a two-way street. Like Maxwn said about the Kobe stuff, any fanbase would react the same way. And the scare quotes on "Haters"--give me a break.

And, look BL, there are basically Six Circles of Donaghy's InSterno:

1. The refs made some bad calls and called it too tight, but nothing really fishy happened. That is more or less what berg said.
2. There is an issue with how home teams get officiated, but it is not a Lakers/big market thing and it is just a human error issue.
3. There is an issue with how playoff games are officiated, involving home teams/teams that are behind in the series, but it is just a human error issue.
4. There is an issue with how playoff games are officiated that happens at the subtle direction of the league, in which they attempt to extend series for financial gain.
5. There is an issue with how playoff games are officiated, and it is done at the subtle direction of the league, in order to help big market teams win and stay in series.
6. There is an issue with how playoff games are officated, and it is done at the subtle direction of the league, and it is and has been done specifically to benefit the Lakers more than any other franchise and last night was yet another example.

Which do you think it is? Obviously you don't know, but it is time for you to show a little testicular fortitude, as you always liked to say.

As far as the FTA/FGA numbers, you can have that stat. I will take this one:

2010, FTA margin:

in OKC Thunder +69
in LA Lakers +4

Refs often say that they can call fouls on almost every play. The pattern of favoring the home team and the team behind in the series may be a problem; it would be fairly easy to study. But the problem with FTA/FGA ratio is that you are making subjective judgments about the nature of calls, and assuming that calls that do not involve shot attempts are necessarily suspicious calls if there is certain number of them, while it may be that the intense nature of playoff games, or of that game, leads to more calls of that type. But, if you think that the worm in the apple is ticky-tack calls on certain possessions that favor the Lakers and that stat is the trump card, just say so.
   1166. tshipman Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4135801)
Yes, they also had a rate of .425 FTA per FGA; .340 FTAperFGA; and .364 in the three games where the Zombies out FTAed the Lakers. All pretty high and in the range of the Lakes regular season win over the Zombie Sonics. Nothing quite like the .600 average the Lakes saw in the last game, or the .540 FTA/FGA in the Sactown Beatdown of 2002. In both cases, there are a shitton of possessions ending in free throw attempts, esp. considering the pace of the game and super esp. considering the number of times the team is actually attempting to shoot the basketball.


Okay, so in game 4 of the 2010 series, the ZombieSonics had 48 FTAs to just 76 FGA for a rate of .631! ZOMG the fix was totally in! I have no idea what this is supposed to prove. I have no idea what the relative number of FGA's is supposed to prove. This seems like mostly a function of whether or not the team got in the bonus early in the quarter.

OKC also was the 10th worst team in terms of opponent FTA's for this season. The Lakers had the fewest opponent FTA's all year. For the season, the Lakers were +374 in FTA's (+5.6 per game) and the ZombieSonics were +225 (+3 per game). The neutral expectation would be for the Lakers to shoot more FTs than the Thunder because they fouled less for the season.

In addition, last night, the ZombieSonics intentionally fouled on the last three possessions. That accounts for 6 FTAs from the final margin.

In short, this stat is garbage.
   1167. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4135803)
but they really need to stop pretending that it's just whiny Kings fans who are pissed that their team lost that saw a problem with the way that game was called.


You are reading too much into that remark. Hombre was just poking BL. IME even the most insulated Lakers fans are aware that emotions surrounding that game extend far beyond the Kings fanbase. Simmons brings it up several times a year; so does Hollinger. Chris Webber tweaked Shaq about it on national TV one night. It has been discussed on this thread several times; it has even been discussed on OTHER threads here a few times. It was a huge topic on the first OT basketball thread I was part of on BTF.

As to the actual game, I linked Roland Beech's play-by-play breakdown of it, which was posted at 82games.com a few years ago. Beech was an on-line analyst then, and now works for the Mavericks.
   1168. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4135805)
The Lakers had the fewest opponent FTA's all year. For the season, the Lakers were +374 in FTA's (+5.6 per game) and the ZombieSonics were +225 (+3 per game).

I like Cokes with ice. And good call on Game 4.
   1169. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4135806)
It appears Kobe is aware of Abbott:

“I don’t give a [expletive] what you say,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports late Friday. “If I go out there and miss game winners, and people say, ‘Kobe choked, or Kobe is seven for whatever in pressure situations.’ Well, [expletive] you.

“Because I don’t play for your [expletive] approval. I play for my own love and enjoyment of the game. And to win. That’s what I play for. Most of the time, when guys feel the pressure, they’re worried about what people might say about them. I don’t have that fear, and it enables me to forget bad plays and to take shots and play my game.”


   1170. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4135807)
Okay, so in game 4 of the 2010 series, the ZombieSonics had 48 FTAs to just 76 FGA for a rate of .631! ZOMG the fix was totally in!
I know. It's the only reason they won all those championships. The refs always give the Lakers games, except when they don't.

Hey, did you hear about the one where the refs threw games to the Laker? Yes I have, every year.
   1171. smileyy Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4135824)
[1165] My vote is a mix of 1 and 2.
   1172. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4135830)
My vote is a mix of 1 and 2

Fair enough.

__

To me, the MIA/IND series is the most interesting on the board right now.

I think OKC will still take the LakerZebras in 5. With no diss to STEAGLES, I still think Boston gets it done in 7. I think the Clippers will make some real noise in LA against SA (already up early) but SA will still prevail in 5 or 6.

But I think IND has a real shot with Bosh out and I could see it playng it different ways. Others may disagree.
   1173. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4135832)
But in ranking players with similar peaks, it makes no sense to me why is shouldn't matter if one player does it for a few seasons longer (like in the Malone vs Barkley/Robinson discussion above).


I don't disagree with this at all. But the widely accepted view seems to indicate little value is put on career length.

For instance, Bill Walton has approximately 0 career value, 440 career games, and he made the NBA's 50 Greatest list. Artis Gilmore played 1,300 games and isn't in the basketball Hall of Fame.
   1174. smileyy Posted: May 19, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4135840)
Pops almost gave the perfect sideline interview.
   1175. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4135844)
37-16 Clippers.
   1176. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4135850)
Couple of other notes on 2010:

In Game 3, the Lakers FTA/FGA was 12/84.
In Game 6, it was 14/79.

Total: 26/163/.159 for the two games. The first one got OKC back in the series, and Game 6, of course, would have set up a dramatic David/Goliath Game 7 had OKC pulled it out.

In those two games, Kobe shot 54 times, and attempted 4 FTs. In Game 3, which got OKC back in the series, he was 10/29 from the floor and the refs did not put him on the line once. Part of that was that he took 11 3s in that game, but that leaves 18 additional shot attempts on which he was not fouled.
   1177. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4135878)
Have to go with STEAGLES and say the Sixers will obviously win the NBA title. It just seems that no one is capable of stopping their strategy:

1. Shoot under 40%
2. Let opponent get out to double-digit lead.
3. ?????
4. Profit??????
   1178. Backlasher Posted: May 19, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4135885)
To RR

About a 3.3. I think it is close to what Tim d alleged. The league benefits from the result. They do not put pressure but many refs pull a game or series closer. Certain officials have worse tendencies than others. The lakes have been beneficiaries on a number of visible occasions. So have the heat and so have the celtics. I thought I had been clear about that in prior years posts but if not I hope that clarifies the position. In this particular instance I also thought I was clear in contemporaneous posts that I was concerned that the refs would move from letting them plat to being Ricky tack. I noted the trend started by this crew at halftime and particularly Joey Crawford showmanship. That trend got worse and started to slant. I did not engage in specific analysis of the Hardin fouls etc.

To tship

The usual narrative is that fouls go to the team that is more aggressive or that the fats are a function of pace. This game showed a drastic difference in how this occurred compared to other games. A large percentage of possessions were ending with ftas. We can argue about how much a team can control this outcome in fact that argument would be enjoyable. We can argue about whether a team in a particular instance did control this outcome. That would be less enjoyable nevertheless I presume we can agree there is less control than tovs ft% and fg%. I think it is worth acknowledging and discussing the impact of the referees on the game. It is not meant as a burn on a fan base
   1179. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 19, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4135886)
I think what we saw was basically Kobe Bryant, with his shot not falling, going deep into his bag of fakes and jukes and jabs and milking the officials for every call.

I would agree, except that only 7 of this FTs were on shooting attempts. See above.
It's not just on shots, it's on the jostling for post position as well, and Bryant managed to get (I believe the commentator's phrase was "goaded") Harden into some of those fouls in the post.
   1180. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4135893)
Robben is a choking dog. That is all.
   1181. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4135896)
That was one helluva halftime adjustment by the Spurs.
   1182. smileyy Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4135898)
I turned the TV on with the Spurs down 22. I didn't think it would last. Spurs are +36 since the Clippers had their largest lead.
   1183. tshipman Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4135901)
The usual narrative is that fouls go to the team that is more aggressive or that the fats are a function of pace. This game showed a drastic difference in how this occurred compared to other games. A large percentage of possessions were ending with ftas. We can argue about how much a team can control this outcome in fact that argument would be enjoyable. We can argue about whether a team in a particular instance did control this outcome. That would be less enjoyable nevertheless I presume we can agree there is less control than tovs ft% and fg%. I think it is worth acknowledging and discussing the impact of the referees on the game. It is not meant as a burn on a fan base


The usual narrative, at least as far as I'm concerned, is that fouls go to the home team. I don't think the difference in FTA/FGA is that weird and again, is mostly a function of how quickly a team gets in the bonus.

Let me be clear: I think that going into game 3, my expectation would be that the Lakers would have shot more FT's than the Thunder. This would be due to two factors: one team was behind in the series 2-0 and that team was playing at home. I think that would be the case for every team in the league. It is the way the NBA is. You get more calls when you're at home (especially when you're behind).

I don't think that the difference in FTA/FGA is meaningful at all, to be honest--especially given that 6 FTA's were due to the Thunder intentionally fouling and the Thunder took more 3 pointers. The refs called last night's game tightly (presumably on purpose given some of the chippiness in game 2).

I guess I don't see the value of discussing the impact of the referees. The Thunder lost all on their own. No one made them go 4/17 on 3pers. No one made them play Sefolosha. On the flip side, the Lakers had to hit 41/42 FTs to win the game. That *never* happens.
   1184. Srul Itza Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4135903)
I think the Clippers will make some real noise in LA against SA (already up early)



37-16 Clippers.


Don't blink. 69-57 Spurs. My guess is their flight landed late, and the Spurs did not actually reach the court until the middle of the 2d Period.
   1185. Srul Itza Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4135910)
Clips - 33 points in the First Quarter, 8 Points in the 3 Quarter.

And through 3 Quarters, a total of 21 FTAs -- by both teams combined, with the Clippers 4 of 6.

Where are all those LA homer refs when you need them?
   1186. Ebessan Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4135912)
Four points in ten and a half minutes of play for the Clippers.
   1187. AROM Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4135914)
24-0 run by the Spurs. I'm getting the idea that the worst thing you can do in the 2012 playoffs is get off to a big 1st quarter lead.
   1188. Yardape Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4135918)
Don't blink. 69-57 Spurs. My guess is their flight landed late, and the Spurs did not actually reach the court until the middle of the 2d Period.


It appears the Clippers disappeared from the court for much of the third quarter.
   1189. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4135922)
Where are all those LA homer refs when you need them?
In Kobe's pocket, where they always are.
   1190. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4135945)
For people who wanted Bill Simmons to predict things ahead of time, he did tweet this: "I'm at this game--Spurs down 15 but whole team is locked in including bench, have that collective "F these guys we can win this" vibe going."
   1191. Srul Itza Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4135955)
Four points in ten and a half minutes of play for the Clippers.


Scoreless for 8 minutes.
   1192. Srul Itza Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4135973)
It is one thing to go up by 22 points and eventually lose the game. It is another to go up by 22 points and be down by double digits in the 4th Period.

I think the Spurs spotted them the first period, just to make things more interesting for them.
   1193. Booey Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4135974)
You want to tell people to "Get over it", start with him.


I actually wasn't telling anyone to "Get over it." I was saying that if I were a Lakers fan, that's the response I would give whenever people brought up game 6.

As to the rest, well, go read an ESPN message board some time. Or Dwyer, Moore, Abbott, Simmons et al. All this stuff is a two-way street. Like Maxwn said about the Kobe stuff, any fanbase would react the same way. And the scare quotes on "Haters"--give me a break.


I haven't read most of them, so I can't comment on that. I'll give you Simmons; he's never been shy about his feelings for the Lakers. That said, I put "Haters" in quotes because it doesn't apply to everyone on this site or elsewhere that dislikes the Lakers or any of their players. My dislike of them is no different than my current dislike of the Heat, Celtics, Bulls, and Knicks, or of my past dislike of the Blazers and Kings. Hell, if no one leapfrogs the Warriors in the draft and they end up stealing the Jazz's pick with their blatant tanking, they're probably gonna vault their way to the top of my NBA sh!t list. It just doesn't make sense to me that others can say how much they hate Garnett or LeBron or whoever and not be called a Hater, but you yourself called me an "ever-vigilant Lakers Hater" just for pointing out another Bynum elbow incident when we were talking about past history and suspensions, etc.

but they really need to stop pretending that it's just whiny Kings fans who are pissed that their team lost that saw a problem with the way that game was called.

You are reading too much into that remark. Hombre was just poking BL.


If so, my apologies, Hombre.
   1194. Booey Posted: May 19, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4135977)
Spurs are invincible, BTW...
   1195. Booey Posted: May 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4135993)
The refs always give the Lakers games, except when they don't.


I'm not gonna comment on the main point of this post, but this is a really weak argument. It's basically saying that either EVERY game needs to have favoritism, or none of them do. And I've never heard anyone make that claim. The fact that the majority of games appear to be called correctly doesn't in any way disprove the idea that there might have been others that weren't.

Can you imagine if someone used that argument as a legal defense? "Sure, I killed those people. But think of all the people I DIDN'T kill! Either I have to be responsible for EVERY murder in the city, or else I can't be held responsible for ANY of them, right?"

Sorry to be snarky. I just don't understand that argument.
   1196. AROM Posted: May 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4135996)
"For people who wanted Bill Simmons to predict things ahead of time, he did tweet this: "I'm at this game--Spurs down 15 but whole team is locked in including bench, have that collective "F these guys we can win this" vibe going."

I'd be more impressed if he did something like that during last night's Sixer-Celtic game.
   1197. rr Posted: May 19, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4136008)
Hat tip to the Spurs.
   1198. steagles Posted: May 19, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4136035)
I'd be more impressed if he did something like that during last night's Sixer-Celtic game.
hell, even i had them out of the series altogether after that godawful first half.


i'm still at a loss for words at what happened last night. i just have no idea how they pulled that off. the sixers don't come from behind. they don't finish games (or close quarters) strongly. they don't win close games. not in the iguodala era, anyway.

but they're pulling all of that out of their hat so far this postseason, and while it's fun, i don't think there's anyone who could actually explain how it's happening.
   1199. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4136040)
More Lavoy Allen, less Elton Brand helps.

I was pretty annoyed when I heard Reggie Miller diss Allen as a non-entity on offense on TV a few weeks back. I am pretty sure Miller had never seen Allen play before. And, as I expected, Thad Young showing up in this series would be a big factor.

   1200. GregD Posted: May 19, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4136054)
For instance, Bill Walton has approximately 0 career value, 440 career games, and he made the NBA's 50 Greatest list. Artis Gilmore played 1,300 games and isn't in the basketball Hall of Fame.
Whoa. I did not know that. No A-Train? Maybe I'm confused, but that seems to me like a mighty, mighty f-up. The baseball HOF has some bad misses, but they are mostly on the order of picking the wrong guys between #150-500 for the last 150 spots. I mean Artis F-in Gillmore played in 11 All-Star games, had a legendary college career, won the ABA title and MVP his first year, is 10th in games, 2nd in Field Goal percentage (1st if you only count the NBA), 5th in total rebounds, 4th in blocks, 20th in points. He's 38th in PER and 6th in Win Shares. I wouldn't bet on him being in the top 6 players of all time, but it'd be hard to keep him out of the top 30-40, right? And the basketball HOF has 313 members! WTF?
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