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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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   1701. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4139307)
and whatever happens, i just really hope the sixers don't lose game 7 by 20+ points. they probably deserve to lose that game by 20 points, but it'd just be a really terrible end to the season.

Impossible. There is no such thing as a terrible ending to the charmed season they've had. It's house money.
   1702. steagles Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4139354)
Impossible. There is no such thing as a terrible ending to the charmed season they've had. It's house money.
if it was game 5, and they were down 3-1, i'd agree that they'd be playing with house money.

but they've played boston even through 6 games, and there's no moral victory left to be had here. maybe i'll feel differently in 2 months, but right now, with the entire season down to 1 game, there is no acceptable outcome other than victory. and if they lose this game big, it would tear down at least some of the good will that's been built up this postseason. and the fact that they'd be losing to boston, a team is that is ####### terrible, would just make it that much worse.



i will say that if philly manages to win game 7, i'd much rather play the heat in the eastern conference finals than the pacers. i don't know that they could win either series, but if they get massacred, i'd rather it be at the hands of miami.
   1703. AROM Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4139369)
but right now, with the entire season down to 1 game, there is no acceptable outcome other than victory.


Got to agree with notSteagles. There is time to look back on a season and be proud that your team went further than anyone thought they could. That time is definitely not on the eve of a game 7.

I really wish this game was scheduled for Friday. Sixers are better suited to coming back from short rest due to depth and youth. More importantly if Miami goes 7 we'll have 2 games on Saturday and nothing on Friday. I don't like nights without basketball if you can help it.

i will say that if philly manages to win game 7, i'd much rather play the heat in the eastern conference finals than the pacers. i don't know that they could win either series, but if they get massacred, i'd rather it be at the hands of miami.


What's Granger's status with the ankle? I think Philly, on the slim chance they get that far, should be able to beat the Pacers without Granger. But if he's out, that's also the end of pretty much any chance they have of stopping Miami.
   1704. baudib Posted: May 24, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4139451)
Losing game 7 in Boston would be awful.

BTW, it was a nice effort by Elton Brand, who's been a pretty good player in a long career but never had the chance to go this far in the playoffs. The rest will probably help the Celtics more than the Sixers, but he needs it if Collins is going to ride him for 35 minutes again.

   1705. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4139480)
Count me among the voices saying that there are no moral victories in a Game 7 situation. If you get to a Game 7, then that's a winnable situation. If you lose a winnable situation, that's not a celebratory moment.
   1706. rr Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4139518)
Not having Bradley seemed to hurt Boston in Game 6 quite a bit. Hubie Brown kept talking about how Holiday was was getting around the corner on Rondo. I think Bradley's absence gives Philadelphia a better shot than they would have otherwise.

I would guess that any Chicago fans watching Game 6 felt, shall we say, a little frustrated.
   1707. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4139523)
but they've played boston even through 6 games, and there's no moral victory left to be had here. maybe i'll feel differently in 2 months, but right now, with the entire season down to 1 game, there is no acceptable outcome other than victory. and if they lose this game big, it would tear down at least some of the good will that's been built up this postseason. and the fact that they'd be losing to boston, a team is that is ####### terrible, would just make it that much worse.

Well, the Celtics have two blowout wins, while the Sixers win last night by 7 was the most comfortable they've had by far. I agree with you on the moral victory part, at least for the game seven - anything can happen in one game, and losing a game 7 never feels good. That said, the Sixers are absolutely playing with house money being in this series to begin with. We should be talking about who a better matchup for the Bulls is between Miami and Indiana right now, after the Bulls had finished dispatching both the Sixers and Celtics in 5 and 5 or 6 games, respectively. The Sixers had INCREDIBLE luck to get by Chicago (or, rather, the Bulls had incredibly bad luck, same difference). Don't forget that.

The Celtics have also had bad luck with injuries. Two rotation guys out for the year with heart problems. Bradley and his trick shoulder would have made a difference on the Sixers guards last night. (edit: coke to rr, with ice). Ray doesn't really count since he's 67 years old.

I saw this taking seven games after game two and I feel the same way as I did then. I still expect the Celtics to take care of business on Saturday. If they shoot even 38% last night they win. Certainly anything can happen in one game, and a Sixers win wouldn't shock me, but I'm pretty confident.

What's Granger's status with the ankle? I think Philly, on the slim chance they get that far, should be able to beat the Pacers without Granger. But if he's out, that's also the end of pretty much any chance they have of stopping Miami.

Granger is supposedly playing tonight, though who knows the level of effectiveness he'll have.
   1708. baudib Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4139528)
It's not house money, and just because Bulls fans are bitter about it doesn't make it so. The Sixers gave away Game 1 and could easily be resting up to play Miami right now, and that's going to leave a really bad aftertaste if the Celtics go on to win.


   1709. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4139531)
It's not house money, and just because Bulls fans are bitter about it doesn't make it so.

I'm not a Bulls fan.

Ultimately, yeah, it's house money. The Sixers are where they are because Derrick Rose's knee blew out. They should have been done in 4, maybe 5 games in the 1st round. They should not be where they are. Can you explain why you think that's not playing with house money? Your team shouldn't even be in this round.
   1710. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4139532)
It's not house money, and just because Bulls fans are bitter about it doesn't make it so. The Sixers gave away Game 1 and could easily be resting up to play Miami right now, and that's going to leave a really bad aftertaste if the Celtics go on to win.

You can't play those games. I could just as easily say the Celtics gave away game four and they shouldn't have even had to play last night after wrapping up the series in Boston.

But, I'm not. Because it doesn't work that way.
   1711. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4139534)
Same token - if the Celtics win game 7 and make the conference finals, they are playing with house money. Healthy Chicago would almost certainly have beaten them, and probably would have smoked them.
   1712. baudib Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4139536)
I know you're not a Bulls fan. I think it's been adequately explained above; there's no such thing as house money in a Game 7. The Celtics are beatable, old and tired. The idea that the Sixers should be satisfied because they shouldn't be here is ridiculous. Plus it's the ####### Celtics and losing any series to the Celtics is just terrible.

Not sure why they shouldn't be here because I am pretty sure they won 4 games against the Bulls, just as the Celtics won 4 games against an undermanned Hawks team. If you take this far enough, every series played by anyone is house money because Portland should be en route to their third straight title led by MVP candidates Oden and Roy.
   1713. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4139542)
You can't play those games. I could just as easily say the Celtics gave away game four and they shouldn't have even had to play last night after wrapping up the series in Boston.
But you do play those games when you say that a team shouldn't be where they are, that they wouldn't be here if not for X or Y.

Besides, this can be both house money and a tremendous disappointment. Yes, they got profoundly lucky with Chicago's injuries. On the other hand, the Sixers aren't on the verge of getting swept out by an overpowering foe, they're playing a winnable Game 7 against a beatable team in a series where they've already won one on the road. Nobody's going to favor the Sixers in this game, but I can't see the odds being much worse than 3-1 for tonight.
   1714. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4139550)
But you do play those games when you say that a team shouldn't be where they are, that they wouldn't be here if not for X or Y.

A Derrick Rose injury and a young team "giving away" game 1 of that series are very different things, though. The latter is highly subjective, while to say that the Bulls would have beaten the Sixers with a healthy Rose is a near certainty.

Besides, this can be both house money and a tremendous disappointment.

I agree with you, as I said in a different way in [1707]. It's both of those things (potentially).
   1715. PJ Martinez Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4139554)
   1716. Booey Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4139557)
Besides, this can be both house money and a tremendous disappointment. Yes, they got profoundly lucky with Chicago's injuries. On the other hand, the Sixers aren't on the verge of getting swept out by an overpowering foe, they're playing a winnable Game 7 against a beatable team in a series where they've already won one on the road. Nobody's going to favor the Sixers in this game, but I can't see the odds being much worse than 3-1 for tonight.


This. I don't see why the Sixers or their fans should just be happy to even still be here when they have a realistic shot at going even further. You sit back and take pride in a surprisingly successful season only after you've gone as far as you have any reasonable chance of going. Anything less should be a disappointment.
   1717. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4139560)
I think couching things in terms of "house money" implies that fans or players should be satisfied that they've gotten as far as they have or because they didn't deserve to get this far in the first place. I'll buy the argument that they had the Chicago series fall into their laps. Once the semis started, though, the Sixers have earned their opportunities. To me, "house money" ends after Game 5. Games 6 and 7 you get to own them because you earned them.
   1718. baudib Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4139567)
A Derrick Rose injury and a young team "giving away" game 1 of that series are very different things, though. The latter is highly subjective, while to say that the Bulls would have beaten the Sixers with a healthy Rose is a near certainty.


No one's equating a Derrick Rose injury to blowing a lead in a game. The point is this series is eminently winnable, and losing a series that is eminently winnable that you don't wins sucks big time.
   1719. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4139586)
I would guess that any Chicago fans watching Game 6 felt, shall we say, a little frustrated.

Chicago fans watching that game also hate themselves (yes, I watched some of it; it's ridiculous Rondo made the all-D team).

It's not house money, and just because Bulls fans are bitter about it doesn't make it so

So you don't know what house money is? It's house money because you're not supposed to be there. It took 2 injuries to get the Sixers here. If Noah didn't break* his ankle, Bulls still would have won. ####, the Bulls choked 2 close games away after Noah got hurt. Goddammit, why am I still talking about this...

Healthy Chicago would almost certainly have beaten them, and probably would have smoked them.

Smoked.

Besides, this can be both house money and a tremendous disappointment.

This is true. And you should be disappointed if they lose Saturday. But it doesn't not make it free cheese (as Stacey King might yell inexplicably).

*It wasn't broke, but I don't know how the hell not.
   1720. baudib Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4139589)
Yeah, not house money at all.
   1721. steagles Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4139594)
So you don't know what house money is? It's house money because you're not supposed to be there. It took 2 injuries to get the Sixers here. If Noah didn't break* his ankle, Bulls still would have won. ####, the Bulls choked 2 close games away after Noah got hurt. Goddammit, why am I still talking about this...
because you know that noah's ankle is going to be a lingering issue throughout the rest of his career, sapping his athleticism and taking him out of the lineup anytime he tweaks it. he'll probably never be the same player again.

and rose, well, you know that he's just going to be another brandon roy. that the explosive athleticism that he had was just taken away in seconds, and that he, too, will never be the same player he was before the injury.

and with these injuries, you know that the bulls championship window has ended before they even got their first.
   1722. rr Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4139608)
1715. PJ Martinez Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4139554)

"You're Really Not the Kobe that We Used to Know"


I used to think that Abbott disliked Kobe, but since he just emailed me and explained at great length that he really doesn't, and why what he is doing is more or less a basketball public service forced on him by the MSM and the Lakers fanbase, it's all good now.

So, like we were saying: all fans, small market and large, good teams, OK teams, and bad teams, will always stick up for their guys against outside criticism/backhanded compliments/hypotheticals.

Boston is 17-4 at home in Game 7s, and home teams win Game 7s something like 70% of the time. That said, Boston can always lose if their jumpers aren't dropping often enough, and they will miss Bradley on the perimeter against Philadelphia. I'd make them about 2-1 favorites in this game.
   1723. Booey Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4139623)
I used to think that Abbott disliked Kobe, but since he just emailed me and explained at great length that he really doesn't, and why what he is doing is more or less a basketball public service forced on him by the MSM and the Lakers fanbase, it's all good now.


Wow. I'd be curious to hear the explanation. In a nutshell, how did he justify it as a public service or as something that was forced upon him?
   1724. Jimmy P Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4139631)
Wow. I'd be curious to hear the explanation. In a nutshell, how did he justify it as a public service or as something that was forced upon him?


Agreed. I'd also like to hear him talk about he's the best basketball writer around. Just ask him, he'll tell you.

Chicago fans watching that game also hate themselves (yes, I watched some of it; it's ridiculous Rondo made the all-D team).


See, if you were a Purdue fan, you'd know to stop caring once your key player tears his ACL.
   1725. rr Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4139634)
Booey--

If you would like to email me, you can read it for yourself. I commented on PJ's link because I thought it was funny that literally a day after I got said missive from Abbott, he decided to link to some guy making fun of Kobe by using a novelty song. The Lakers are out; they are not really news in any obvious sense right now. The day-after post-mortems and what-nexts are pretty much done until the actual off-season gets rolling. Exit interviews are over. No one other than Lakers fans--and guys like Abbott--is really thinking about Kobe Bryant that much at the moment.
   1726. smileyy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4139645)
See, if you were a Purdue fan, you'd know to stop caring once your key player tears his ACL.


Those could-have-been's never stop hurting huh? The one's for Xavier aren't quite as bad, but they still sting.
   1727. Zipperholes Posted: May 24, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4139647)
So you don't know what house money is? It's house money because you're not supposed to be there. It took 2 injuries to get the Sixers here. If Noah didn't break* his ankle, Bulls still would have won. ####, the Bulls choked 2 close games away after Noah got hurt. Goddammit, why am I still talking about this...
What does "not supposed to be there" mean? That is meaningless. There is no such thing. Who is "supposed to win" is a fiction created by media and fans. A true competitor doesn't give a #### about that.

Rose and Noah were not on the court. What they would've done isn't relevant to anything, except maybe some musing for entertainment purposes about "what the 2012 Chicago Bulls could've been" and a Bill Simmons column for us to laugh at.
   1728. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 24, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4139666)
All NBA teams came out
First team
Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Dwight Howard

2nd team
Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Andrew Bynum

Third team

Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony,Tyson Chandler, and Dirk Nowitzki.
   1729. JJ1986 Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4139677)
All NBA teams came out


I don't understand why they still use archaic positional definitions. If they're combining it should be 2 and 3; 4 and 5, not 1 and 2; 3 and 4.
   1730. stubbyc Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4139683)
I used to think that Abbott disliked Kobe, but since he just emailed me and explained at great length that he really doesn't, and why what he is doing is more or less a basketball public service forced on him by the MSM and the Lakers fanbase, it's all good now.


Fair or unfair: Kobe Bryant has a decent shot at being the most historically overrated player of all time.
-----------

A lot of the people who knock Lebron try to differentiate Kobe as this "closer" that Lebron is not. Abbott has basically researched the situation and stated (convincingly) that it's bullshit. Someone statistically inclined like Abbott likely sees Lebron as by far the best player in the game and is frustrated with the false narrative surrounding Kobe. Is he over the top? Sure. but that's not the point.

There are plenty of people willing to denigrate Kobe and I promise I'm not trolling. However, when people talk about the NBA 20 years from now most will say Kobe was the best player of this generation (rather than Lebron). I think that's a shame.
   1731. smileyy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4139686)
Who do you replace Kobe with on the 1st team (not that I'm arguing about his exclusion). By B-Ref Win Shares its James Harden (#6), but more likely Russell Westbrook?
   1732. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4139687)
Fair or unfair: Kobe Bryant has a decent shot at being the most historically overrated player of all time.
If Bryant ever gets his hands on a sixth ring, that will absolutely happen because he'll get mentioned in the same breath as Jordan. As it is, he's being put on the same level as Magic Johnson, and Johnson's well above his pay grade.

However, when people talk about the NBA 20 years from now most will say Kobe was the best player of this generation (rather than Lebron). I think that's a shame.
That's a bit much; it's not comparing Shaq to Christian Laettner. Bryant's an all-time inner-circle guy, and comparing Lebron to Bryant would be akin to comparing Jordan with Magic from that era. Yes, Jordan ranks above Magic and Lebron ranks above Bryant, but the difference between #1 and #2 isn't so great that it's "a shame."

For example, look at the all-NBA teams that came out today. Other than James, how many of those guys are going to have a career comparable to Bryant's? Durant, perhaps. Dirk and Wade won't catch him. Parker, Melo, Bynum? Doubtful. Chandler, of course not. Howard, Rondo, Westbrook and Love are young, but it's hard to see them move that high up the ladder. So among Kobe's contemporaries, it's Lebron, it's Duncan, and ... perhaps nobody else.

In the argument between Kobe As Greatest Closer and Kobe As Overrated Bum, what gets lost is that Kobe's been pretty great for a really long time. The idea that there's shame in comparing him to anyone really doesn't give Bryant his due.
   1733. steagles Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4139690)
david west is having a hell of a start to this game.
   1734. JJ1986 Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4139692)
Who is the backup 4 tonight? Howard?
   1735. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4139698)
28 all, despite the Pacers shooting 58% and outrebounding the Heat 15-4.
   1736. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4139702)
It feels like the Pacers are doing all the work in the game to stave of an inevitable explosion.
   1737. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4139705)
Uh oh. James hurt?
   1738. PJ Martinez Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4139709)
I commented on PJ's link because I thought it was funny that literally a day after I got said missive from Abbott, he decided to link to some guy making fun of Kobe by using a novelty song.

Can't tell if "he" here = me, or if Abbott also linked to this song somewhere. If it's the former: I linked to the song here because I found it mildly amusing and thought it would be of interest. After however many months/years this thread has been going on, I figure it's clear that I personally am not obsessed with Kobe Bryant one way or another. He's a fascinating and great player, and for an NBA fan he's news 365 days a year.
   1739. JC in DC Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4139716)
Indiana holds the ball way too long.
   1740. JC in DC Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4139718)
This does have the feel of an Indiana loss.
   1741. Srul Itza Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4139719)
So is this the "I'm still Dwyane Wade, Damnit!" game? Because I remember when people talked about him as if he was really, really good.
   1742. JJ1986 Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4139728)
Barbosa is having an awful game.
   1743. JC in DC Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4139730)
Miami's d is excellent, Indiana's energy is all futile and whiny, and yet they're still in it. They've got to get their #### together or this will be a 9 point Miami win.
   1744. Squash Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4139731)
That happened fast.
   1745. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4139732)
Indy can't afford anymore turnovers.
   1746. smileyy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4139733)
Break out your cameras -- James Jones shot and hit a 2-pointer.
   1747. JC in DC Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4139735)
Indy can't afford anymore turnovers.

They've got some credit apparently, and bought a few more. This is ridiculous. M's D is great, but man, Indiana holds the ball forever.
   1748. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:11 PM (#4139736)
collison is a -20 in 14 min of pt. psycho t is a -19 in 8 min.
   1749. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4139743)
For example, look at the all-NBA teams that came out today. Other than James, how many of those guys are going to have a career comparable to Bryant's? Durant, perhaps. Dirk and Wade won't catch him. Parker, Melo, Bynum? Doubtful. Chandler, of course not. Howard, Rondo, Westbrook and Love are young, but it's hard to see them move that high up the ladder. So among Kobe's contemporaries, it's Lebron, it's Duncan, and ... perhaps nobody else.

Given the value of big man defense, I think it'd be pretty easy to make arguments for Duncan, Garnett and (eventually) Howard above Kobe. I also think the LeBron-Kobe gap is sizeable.
   1750. smileyy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4139747)
What's Indiana's FA situation like? They have a couple year window of being very competitive here, don't they?
   1751. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4139748)
I eager to hear what Larry Bird's comments will be after this game.
   1752. baudib Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4139751)
I think peak Wade is better than peak Kobe, incidentally. I recognize that this might be a case where Kobe's superior career value/durability outweighs any peak edge.
   1753. JJ1986 Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4139752)
Wade is not losing this game. The Pacers could have done better on offense, but I'm not sure they could have done anything on D.
   1754. rr Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4139765)
PJ,

Abbott linked to the song today--as I said pretty clearly in the second post (pronoun is next to Abbott's name, not yours) Not directed at you. But, no, I don't think Kobe is news 365 days a year, except to certain types of people.

Fair or unfair: Kobe Bryant has a decent shot at being the most historically overrated player of all time


Neither, really, but I think this is more of an emotional question than an analytical one. First, you have no idea what people will be saying about James and Bryant in 20 years. If it makes you feel any better, Abbott is very confident on that score. As he wrote to me during the e-lecture, "Time is on my side." It seems reasonable to guess that advanced stats will continue to become part of player evaluation and that within the next ten years someone will write a stats-driven all-time plyayer ratings book. Even in the present, it is not as if James is a secret. Barkley, for example, said James is by far the game's best player, as did Bird. Simmons has said over and over and over again that Jordan was far better than Kobe is.

Second, where Bryant goes historically depends in part on how much emphasis one puts on peak/career value. That is a subjective question.

Third, again, James has won 3 of the last 4 MVP awards, and is 27. He may well win 3 of the next 4 and his team may well win the next two or three NBA titles. It is too early to talk about how James will be seen historically.

Finally, yes, Abbott is "frustrated by the false narrative." But what he doesn't really get that is that the degree of said frustration is in large part about his own feelings rather than some journalistic imperative. As we just saw on this page, people's degree of frustration is often based on personal rooting interests and likes/dislikes.

As to the actual merits of Abbott's work, yes, there are certianly some knee-jerk Lakers fans who pull out the ringzzzzz and don't read his stuff critically. But there are more comments now that express weariness with the bias, repetitiveness, passive-aggressivness, and backhanded compliments than with the actual content. Abbott makes some decent points, and Kobe FOR SURE forces shots sometimes. Lakers fans talk about that all the time. But Abbott seldom writes about issues such as coaches' play calls, the composition of the LA roster, crunch-time failures or "heroball shots taken by personal favorites such as Paul and James, and lards all his Bryant posts with thinly-veiled cheap shots. It would be easy enough to provide multiple examples of each. Indeed, the email he sent me included examples of almost all of these things. Calling him a stats-oriented writer, maybe. Compared to a guy like Wilbon, sure. But Abbott actally writes about personalities and issues as much or more than he writes about numbers, and does not not do any original stat work himself.



   1755. Booey Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4139769)
Other than ringzzzz, why aren't Garnett and Dirk on par with Kobe?

Edit: Not dissing The Mamba, I promise. Genuinely curious.
   1756. PJ Martinez Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4139774)
Abbott linked to the song today--as I said pretty clearly in the second post (pronoun is next to Abbott's name, not yours) Not directed at you.
Got it. My bad.
   1757. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4139780)
To me, "house money" ends after Game 5.


This.

I do think that the Celtics are likely to win, but I wouldn't give them better than .7 or so for game 7, and almost no chance against MIA should they advance. It's pretty clear that the 2-guard spot is a gaping hole right now: Philly is flat-out ignoring Ray Allen, which is both unprecedented and totally successful so far. Historically, he's been a perennial 50-40-90 threat, even in the playoffs. These playoffs, while his 42.5 FG% is pretty in line with his career norms, he had plenty of minutes facing bench players before Avery went down; it's also slightly inflated by some easy points off lucky rebounds in game 6. He's shooting .267 from deep and .600 from the stripe.

Losing Avery hurts, particularly when you imagine this version of Ray Allen trying to guard Wade. Since #0 joined the starting lineup, the Cs' offense, execrable for most of the season, performed well above average. It was only a portion of a shortened season, so you can't extrapolate any strong conclusions about the Celtics' offense's true level with that lineup. Still, it was promising and now it's gone.
   1758. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4139785)
Henry Abbott gives a good justification for focused criticism of Kobe, and on those terms I have defended him here at some length before. But his execution is terrible, dipping into pettiness, and the way he uses Chris Paul as a foil is lazy, sloppy, and moralistic. I can understand some of that as a reaction to what I imagine is a torrent of hate mail from a dumb, vocal minority; nonetheless, it's unprofessional.
   1759. The District Attorney Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:20 AM (#4139795)
when people talk about the NBA 20 years from now most will say Kobe was the best player of this generation (rather than Lebron).
No, it's the opposite. As time passes, stats win out and subjective "he didn't carry himself like an alpha dog" type criticisms get forgotten.

I think this is only even a possibility if Lebron wins zero championships.
   1760. Backlasher Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4139804)
RE: Popular perception

It is very hard to gauge popular perception on divisive players. What you feel is the perception depends on the circles you travel in. I am sure there are message boards (and maybe even some journalists) that will define all Lakers results with a positive mamba spin, e.g. "Kobe didn't get enough help tonight." on Lakers losses and "Kobe is the winningest winner that has ever won" on Laker victories. Likewise, I am sure there are message boards (and maybe some journalists) that will focus on ripping Kobe no matter what he does. I have not followed the Abbott controversy so I will not offer any opinion. Nevertheless, among espn journalists, I find Adande on the opposite end of the spectrum, ie, rarely putting any blame on Bryant.

I presume that many of the visitors to basketball-reference are likely big hoops fans. I like the idea of their elo-chess player rating system. Rather than do a roundtable like discussion were dominant personalities can control the outcome, they let anyone that is interested to vote on the better of two players. They use an elo system to rank the outcomes, and they stage the matchups so that you don't have dissimilar players poising the outcome(e.g. someone voting for Steve Hawes over Wilt Chamerlain). While I do not agree with all the rankings, they do provide a pretty good glimpse into popular opinion in terms of people focused on basketball Here are the current top 30

1,Magic Johnson
2,Michael Jordan
3,Larry Bird
4,Oscar Robertson
5,Hakeem Olajuwon
6,Bill Russell
7,Tim Duncan
8,Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
9,Jerry West
10,Wilt Chamberlain
11,LeBron James
12,Shaquille O'Neal
13,Moses Malone
14,Charles Barkley
15,David Robinson
16,John Stockton
17,Julius Erving
18,Karl Malone
19,John Havlicek
20,Elgin Baylor
21,Rick Barry
22,Kevin Garnett
23,Steve Nash
24,Bob Cousy
25,Dirk Nowitzki
26,Kobe Bryant
27,Bob Pettit
28,Scottie Pippen
29,Clyde Drexler
30,Dominique Wilkins
   1761. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4139806)
I'm glad the Heat won so that the road to the title is Miami and OKC/SA. That way there won't be any chance of a footnote to the Sixers' championship.
   1762. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4139808)
but if the Spurs win doesn't that make them the Redskins of the NBA, winning the Title in strike/lockout shortened seasons?
   1763. smileyy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:18 AM (#4139809)
Didn't the Spurs win the other lockout-shortened title too?
   1764. Booey Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4139811)
#1760 - Problem with lists created by fan voting is that players are ranked by popularity as much as they are by ability. In the rankings on baseball reference, for example, all the "steroid guys" are rated ridiculously low. Old time players also generally tend to get snubbed a bit on lists like this too. Russell 6th? Wilt 10th?
   1765. Booey Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4139812)
Didn't the Spurs win the other lockout-shortened title too?


Yeah, but also 3 times in non lockout seasons.
   1766. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4139813)
23,Steve Nash
24,Bob Cousy

26,Kobe Bryant


I think we found the most overrated player, at least by one measure.

If some advanced metrics came around that said Nash was better offensively than Magic or Jordan I'd be willing to buy it but he's so much worse defensively than anyone on this list it's really hard to take that seriously.
   1767. smileyy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:43 AM (#4139816)
[1765] Lockout shortened seasons are the new market inefficiency.
   1768. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4139819)
14,Charles Barkley
15,David Robinson


No one actually takes Charles over Admiral, c'mon.
   1769. kpelton Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4139821)
Are Kobe and LeBron even the same "generation"? That LeBron will still be in his prime as Kobe ages over the next few years surely is important context for how they'll be remembered in 20 years, unless of course the Mayans are right.

baudib - 10-year RAPM rankings show Nash's value comparable to anyone outside of LeBron and KG and as average defensively:
http://stats-for-the-nba.appspot.com/ranking

No. 4 there is a fun one in the context of our discussion a while back, although this measure doesn't include any adjustment for durability. And not all those results pass the laugh test, certainly.
   1770. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:25 AM (#4139822)
Nash is better defensively than Wade and Kobe, really? OK

For pure offense, Nash is obviously right up there with anyone in history. But my gut instinct is to say that Jason Kidd, who doesn't really enter anyone's conversation for top point guards, would rate better than Nash based on superior defense and rebounding. If Nash is actually better than a lot of people who are considered good defenders it's quite a revelation.
   1771. rr Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4139824)
BL,

One of the many smart things you have said on the thread was when you said that you were not really into "precise ordinal rankings" of players. I agree. The key things to realize about Bryant are:

1) He was not as good even at peak as the very best players ever, like Jordan and James. Some people think he is, including a lot of MSM guys, and they are wrong.
2) He has had an awesome career in terms of durability and production, and is still a hell of a player even now. Some people ignore and/or diminish that in various ways because they don't like him and the way he plays, including some new-wave stat guys, and they are wrong.

Whether that puts him 9th or 14th or 26th or 39th or 46th or 67th on a list is not really a big deal to me personally, although I suppose it may matter to a lot of people, and lists are fun.

As to Adande, he grew up in LA, lives there, used to cover the Lakers for the LA Times, and AFAIK, has not, as Abbott has, put himself forward as a teller of needed, objective truth in the face of great opposition. Further, Adande is a traditional writer, not a "stats guy." You can argue, I suppose, that he should attached to ESPNLA exclusively, rather than to the main site, but Hollinger, Mason, Abbott, and Simmons would seem to balance Adande pretty nicely.
   1772. rr Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:51 AM (#4139826)
I think we found the most overrated player, at least by one measure.


Hey, back off on the Cooz.
   1773. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:58 AM (#4139827)
Not Cooz. Probably underrated if anything.
   1774. rr Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:02 AM (#4139828)
Not Cooz.


It was a joke, as you likely know.
   1775. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 05:44 AM (#4139839)
Philly.com has been running some stuff on the 30th anniversary of the 1982 ECF. Hard to believe it was 30 years ago, but I'm reminded of it when I realize this is from a time when newspapers ran 2,000+ word game stories. There's even a Mike Bantom mention. Really gets across the point of how heavily the Celtics were favored.

Sixers magnificent in 7
   1776. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 25, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4139860)
   1777. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 25, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4139875)
Other than ringzzzz, why aren't Garnett and Dirk on par with Kobe?

Edit: Not dissing The Mamba, I promise. Genuinely curious.


Garnett's a little closer to Kobe, but both are better defenders and have three more seasons played than Dirk.
   1778. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 25, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4139881)
Re: 1760 and ranking players - I'd be all in for an NBA Thread all-time greatest list and discussion in the offseason, Hall of Merit-style. I know it's something we discussed before, but maybe there's enough critical mass for it now?
   1779. Backlasher Posted: May 25, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4139894)
#1760 - Problem with lists created by fan voting is that players are ranked by popularity as much as they are by ability.

I think ALL lists are influenced by poplularity. Its just that popularity changes in different segments of the population. I can't argue the relative merits of Zelmo Beaty, and I doubt there are more than a small few on this thread that could either. Its just that in certain populations certain numbers or measures become popular. They then will vote on players they have never seen based on those numbers and measures. Most of the time, the popularity of those rates also change.

Nevertheless,as rr notes, I am not big into ranking things into precise oridinal numbers even when I might have some basis to be able to do the ranking. I do not offer the list as evidence that player a is better than player b. I offer the list in the context of the discussion of whether Kobe's legacy will negatively overshadow the legacy's of Garnett, Diggler and James.

IMHO, I don't think it will. Diggler, Kobe and Garnett are clustered together in an informed fan vote, not a Cowherd media gimmick poll. There is seperation between these guys and King James.

Whether that puts him 9th or 14th or 26th or 39th or 46th or 67th on a list is not really a big deal to me personally

Me either, see above.

You can argue, I suppose, that he should attached to ESPNLA exclusively, rather than to the main site,

That is not my intent. I don't have a problem with Adande, and I frequently like his dimes. I was just pointing out that he writes his Lakers coverage through Kobe. I'm not sure that has to be done. As a Hawks fan, I was able to like 'nique; read that he shot too much; frequently agree that he shot too much; and not have a problem with those reports. I don't recall the AJC flowing all coverage through 'nique either, as much as the narrative seems to run through Kobe. Of course, there is a lot more media now, and that could affect my perception.

As I mentioned above, I cannot offer an informed opinion on Abbott. I am not an insider; I probably don't consume as much of these articles as most on this thread; I don't follow him on twitter; and I wasn't present for all the prior discussion on this thread. I can empathize with you b/c as my post history on other threads go, I can certainly get a little offput when I see certain constant memes being perpetuated and hammered. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't waste my money on it either. I just hope it doesn't impact your enjoyment or participation in the thread if we do talk about the Mamba because he gives us plenty to discuss.
   1780. Jon T. Posted: May 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4139912)
when they had the player of the decade for the 2000's, they entire discussion was Kobe or Duncan, with barely a mention of Garnett. Simmons, who is probably the most popular basketball writer and a Kobe hater, has Kobe as the 7th or 8th best player of all-time, and does not have KG in the top 20. I think most basketball fans would agree with those relative rankings, and would laugh at the though of KG in the same class as Bryant.
   1781. Backlasher Posted: May 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4139926)
Are Kobe and LeBron even the same "generation"?

Analytically, you can certainly separate them for all the reasons you mention. Kobe is in the Diggler generation.

Perceptively, I am not so sure. As long as there are little Laker fans putting on their Mamba underoos, Kobe and Lebron are going to be compared together in the news cycle. If I understand correctly, the issue is the relative performance of Lebron vs. Kobe in this newscycle wherein Lebron can get dogged for making the right basketball plays and Kobe can get lauded for making the wrong basketball plays. If that continues for any length of time, then Lebron's peak could be distorted by those reports. FWIW, I just think that the fans who care enough to talk about this 20 years later will be able to sort everything out.
   1782. JJ1986 Posted: May 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4139934)
when they had the player of the decade for the 2000's, they entire discussion was Kobe or Duncan, with barely a mention of Garnett.


I don't think there's anyway Garnett could be #1 since he's behind Duncan and they play basically the same position.
   1783. Booey Posted: May 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4139939)
14,Charles Barkley
15,David Robinson

No one actually takes Charles over Admiral, c'mon.


Actually, almost every ranking I've seen does indeed put Sir Charles over the Admiral, including Simmons in his book.

Of course, ranking either of these players above Malone is just silly. :)

Simmons, who is probably the most popular basketball writer and a Kobe hater, has Kobe as the 7th or 8th best player of all-time, and does not have KG in the top 20.


Simmons rankings were widely influenced by ringzzzz. Basically, the players who have them know the "secret" to winning, and the players that don't had some fatal flaw in their game that made it their own fault why they couldn't get it done. Teammates, timing, luck, etc, didn't seem to enter into the conversation much.
   1784. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4139944)
i actually have long considered cousy a bit overrated, but haven't done the research. please enlighten me.

abbott: i used to like him, have gotten kind of tired of his schtick and rarely read him anymore - and this is apart from all the kobe stuff. insider itself is a very useful service and well worth the few bucks a year i pay via whatever weirdo mag subscription site i got it through. have been on the fence about subscribing to bb-pro the site (haven't done it yet), but eagerly purchase the annual and have recommended it to many, many others outside of this forum.

i'm not into ordinal rankings of players either, but - nonetheless - would be willing to participate in a HOM type project.

   1785. AROM Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4139966)
Old time players also generally tend to get snubbed a bit on lists like this too. Russell 6th? Wilt 10th?


If anything I think the old timers are over represented on this list. You have Robertson, Russell, West, Chamberlain, Havlicek, Baylor, Pettit, and Cousy. That's 8 guys who played in the 1962-63 season.

How many active players are on the list? Only 6, Lebron, Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, Dirk, and Nash.

There is no way you had more truly great players 50 years ago than you do today. Though since the active players are in mid career, they could move up the list. Maybe a decade rom now Wade, Paul, and Howard will be in the top 30. Looks like about 10 years ago 14 of those guys were active.

   1786. AROM Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4139978)
i actually have long considered cousy a bit overrated, but haven't done the research. please enlighten me.


He never won a title before Bill Russell showed up, but at least made the playoffs every year. But he was a high volume scorer with a league average shooting percentage, and led the league in assists 8 years in a row. Assists were harder to come by, because the scorers were less generous (not sure if this is actually true) awarding them, and because shooting percentages were so low (this definitely hurts assist totals).

I think I can see Cousy as having a similar status in his game as Chris Paul does in today's game, with the qualification that the level of play was much worse.
   1787. smileyy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4139984)
I feel like pace is a reason for so many 60s guys showing up.

I feel like the conversation started with the notion of "best player of his generation". I see it more as eras of best players:

LeBron
??? (Kobe/Duncan/???)
Shaq
Jordan
Olajuwon*
Jordan
(my NBA history ends here)

The Shaq-LeBron interregenum is the interesting place.
   1788. AROM Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4139986)
I think the idea of Robertson ahead of Russell/Chamberlain is absurd. But after we've added the careers of Kareem, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, Duncan, Moses, and Shaq to the list then it's not obvious that you need to keep the first 2 great modern style big men in the top 5.

While it's hard to rank them, especially the ones who played so many years apart, I have some opinions based on matchups I've seen or studied:

Russell > Chamberlain
Ewing < other elite contemporary centers
Olajuwon > Robinson
Duncan > Shaq (equal at peak, but Duncan's effort didn't disappear at times)
   1789. Booey Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4139996)
If anything I think the old timers are over represented on this list. You have Robertson, Russell, West, Chamberlain, Havlicek, Baylor, Pettit, and Cousy. That's 8 guys who played in the 1962-63 season.


True, as far as number of players go. I was talking more about the rankings of individual players, specifically Russell and Chamberlain. I've never seen any other list that ranked either of them so low.

There is no way you had more truly great players 50 years ago than you do today.


Definitely true, but it seems to me that era adjustments and quality of competition arguments start coming into play more once you extend these lists beyond the top 30 or so all time inner circle greats. On baseball lists, for example, the top 30 or 40 generally seem to have an almost equal number of players from each decade. But when you expand the list to say, top 100, then you should see many more players from 1990-2010 than you would from 1900-1920. The true handful of elites from each era should usually be ranked about equally though, IMO.

   1790. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4139997)
I believe the rule was that assists were only awarded on baskets scored without a dribble.

   1791. JC in DC Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4139999)
KAJ below Duncan, Robertson, and Olajuwon is absurd.

I have a special place in my heart for Barkley. His years in Philly were special. I don't think I've ever seen anyone with a body like that combined with his handle and explosiveness. I loved that guy.
   1792. Booey Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4140002)
I believe the rule was that assists were only awarded on baskets scored without a dribble.


What's the rule now? I've heard one dribble, I've heard 2 dribbles, and I've heard that there is no official criteria and it's entirely up to the scorekeeper's judgment.
   1793. andrewberg Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4140011)
How many active players are on the list? Only 6, Lebron, Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, Dirk, and Nash.


You're also forgetting that this era is not complete, whereas a lot of those guys were not yet considered all-time greats as of 1962. It is likely that some of the group of Paul, Rose, Westbrook, Durant, Wade, Griffin, Parker, Howard, Wall, Love, Rondo, Anthony, Irving will be viewed in that light (ie, > Nique, Drexler) by the time they retire.
   1794. andrewberg Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4140013)
Yeah, that list is strangely overrating Big O and Hakeem relative to historically comparable players. It is reasonable to argue that Olajuwon is better than Robinson, or even Shaq, but not by the margins on the list. I don't know how you start making the argument that Robertson is greater than Wilt or Russell. Contemporary accounts, MVP/All-NBA votes, stats, and championships would ALL put him below them.
   1795. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4140014)

You're also forgetting that this era is not complete, whereas a lot of those guys were not yet considered all-time greats as of 1962. It is likely that some of the group of Paul, Rose, Westbrook, Durant, Wade, Griffin, Parker, Howard, Wall, Love, Rondo, Anthony, Irving will be viewed in that light (ie, > Nique, Drexler) by the time they retire.


Don't forget Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
   1796. Squash Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4140016)
If anything I'd say assists are handed out too generously now, particularly on some home floors. These games where Rondo ends up with 20 assists with 16 of them on jumpers, for instance. Even a lot of Nash's assists were easy transition buckets. It's a relic of a stat. And it's kind of like saves - there's only one player on the team who's really in position to rack up a bunch of them and therefore be treated like a star. I think the question should be this - to what degree does a player i.e. point guard improve his teammate's shooting percentage when he's on the floor? That's really what he's supposed to be doing. Getting them easier shots, which would then be completed at a higher percentage. I'm sure there are people looking at this already but it seems the pertinent question to me.
   1797. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4140023)
I don't know how you start making the argument that Robertson is greater than Wilt or Russell. Contemporary accounts, MVP/All-NBA votes, stats, and championships would ALL put him below them.


Based on Kevin's response earlier, I must have missed a Big O debate but there's a really good case that he's historically underrated. Going by stats, Oscar looks as impressive as anyone, IMO. In trying to adjust for league pace/norms he looks a lot like Magic.
   1798. Booey Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4140026)
I must have missed a Big O debate but there's a really good case that he's historically underrated. Going by stats, Oscar looks as impressive as anyone, IMO. In trying to adjust for league pace/norms he looks a lot like Magic.


Probably cuz he only has one ring, rather than ringzzzz. And the one he got came later in his career as his teams second option (a la Drexler and Robinson).
   1799. steagles Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4140027)
here's today's sixers blog fix:

I Really Want The Sixers to Win Game 7

The above statement may seem "Well, Duh" to the average passersby, but for the few of you who've hung around for awhile, you know that it's more than that. While the big NBA to-do this year was tanking, I've been driving the tankwagon for a few years now and the idea of NOT rooting for the Sixers to lose has become somewhat foreign to me, sad as it seems.
   1800. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4140058)
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