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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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   201. steagles Posted: May 02, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4121819)
   202. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 02, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4121823)
[199] That's ridiculous and awesome at the same time.

Ronald Murray!
   203. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4121824)
[201] Like a scorned child! No wonder they're sick of him.
   204. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 02, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4121837)
from last night

I think Collins did a good job getting him off the court before he could pick up a T. It was his 3rd foul in the first half, 2 of which were on over the back calls.

Hawes has missed about 5 layups so far this series. He doesn't look good out there at all.
   205. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 02, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4121844)
Brief college interlude: Butler is joining the A-10.
   206. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 02, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4121958)
As happy as I am that Chandler won, I'm disappointed Ibaka came so close. Unless, of course, I'm incorrect in thinking of him as one of those guys who has high block totals because all he does is go for blocks without actually affecting the defense.
   207. Jimmy P Posted: May 02, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4121971)
As happy as I am that Chandler won, I'm disappointed Ibaka came so close. Unless, of course, I'm incorrect in thinking of him as one of those guys who has high block totals because all he does is go for blocks without actually affecting the defense.

I'm pretty sure that's what he is. Hollinger and Lowe have been saying the same thing for a few weeks.

Hollinger wrote about injuries and their frequency today. Long story short, there's been no increase this playoffs.
   208. OCF Posted: May 02, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4122044)
I was watching that last regular season Laker-OKC game (the "MWP elbows Harden" game). The Lakers staged a highly improbable late comeback to win that game, and Ibaka helped that comeback along by being called for goaltending three times in a very small space of time. You'd think that even one goaltending call would get your attention in an "OK, the rules say I can't do that" sort of way.
   209. thok Posted: May 02, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4122058)
Butler is apparently joining the A-10 as a replacement for Temple. Should somebody tell the A-10 that they aren't allowed to add a team in a perfectly logical manner?

Edit: Coke to Athletic Supporter in 205.
   210. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4122077)
Finally, it seems like the A-10 is committing to seeking out basketball-only programs that are committed to fielding top-100 basketball programs. I hope that adding programs like Butler (and potentially VCU and GMU) will help show programs who haven't been relevant in decades (if ever) like Fordham, LossSalle and St. Bonaventure the door.
   211. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 02, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4122078)
Utah's off to a slow start...
   212. JJ1986 Posted: May 02, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4122093)
Tinsley looks totally useless out there. I'd go without a point when Harris is sitting.
   213. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 02, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4122129)
Good thing Corbin wants to limit using the big lineup otherwise the Spurs might get wide open three point looks nearly every possession.

And Jefferson is less than useless today. What an embarrassment.
   214. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 02, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4122131)
20-0 run for San Antonio. Millsap just stopped it.

Edit: 22-2 run to finish the half. Good lord. Halftime score: 53-28.
   215. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4122139)
Tinsley looks totally useless out there. I'd go without a point when Harris is sitting.


Wellll...Harris has a -27 in 14 minutes, and Tinsley has a +4 in 10 minutes... (I know its not that simple)
   216. smileyy Posted: May 02, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4122144)
http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2255

the Knicks--who've lost 12 straight playoff games, matching the Grizzlies for the longest postseason skid in NBA history


Did not know that.
   217. Spivey Posted: May 02, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4122167)
Utah has some nice pieces but they need a cornerstone. What's funny is in a couple of years this team could contend if they had Deron Williams. Though it actually looks like he had a bad year (for him). Still, I like how they rebuilt their team on the fly.

If NJ doesn't resign Deron Williams, and I don't think they will because that team around him is garbage, they could be Bobcats bad next year.

Stephen Jackson could have been someone like Andre Iguodala I think. Basically, everyone on the Golden State team that was an 8 seed and *flat out better* than a 67 win Mavericks team proved that they were underachievers.
   218. Srul Itza Posted: May 02, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4122169)
San Antonio is administering a beat down of epic proportions to Utah.
   219. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 02, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4122177)
Can we please get one decent game tonight, Grizzlies and Clippers?
   220. thok Posted: May 02, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4122180)
Stephen Jackson could have been someone like Andre Iguodala I think. Basically, everyone on the Golden State team that was an 8 seed and *flat out better* than a 67 win Mavericks team proved that they were underachievers.


You do realize that Stephen Jackson was only on that Warriors team for 38 games that year, right? And that Baron Davis was injured part of that time as well? The Warriors went 16-5 down the stretch just to make the playoffs as a 42-40 team.
   221. Manny Coon Posted: May 02, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4122181)
As happy as I am that Chandler won, I'm disappointed Ibaka came so close. Unless, of course, I'm incorrect in thinking of him as one of those guys who has high block totals because all he does is go for blocks without actually affecting the defense.


I think that takes it a little too far, as those blocks and other contested shots are valuable. His defensive +/- numbers for example are good, but not great. I think Ibaka and also Deandre Jordan are guys with the physical tools to be elite defenders, but are only mediocre in their mental game/effort/consistency, however those tools still go a long way, and they are solidly above average overall, despite whatever frustrating moments and lapses they may have. Guys like this can be frustrating, because they seem like they should better than they are, even if they are still good (Corey Maggette was the offensive version of this player during his prime).

Would have liked to see Rubio get some votes, his defensive was fantastic and a big reason Minnesota was much better when he was healthy. I'm surprised Duncan didn't get any votes. Taj Gibson needed some votes too.
   222. Spivey Posted: May 02, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4122210)
You do realize that Stephen Jackson was only on that Warriors team for 38 games that year, right? And that Baron Davis was injured part of that time as well? The Warriors went 16-5 down the stretch just to make the playoffs as a 42-40 team.


Yes. I realize they were good late in the year, and the next year. I also realize the rest of their career.
   223. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 02, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4122238)
Good one in Memphis tonight.
   224. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 02, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4122239)
When Boris Diaw has a +41 against your team in 28 minutes, that's a sign that things may not have gone so well.....
   225. tshipman Posted: May 02, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4122248)
Stephen Jackson could have been someone like Andre Iguodala I think. Basically, everyone on the Golden State team that was an 8 seed and *flat out better* than a 67 win Mavericks team proved that they were underachievers.


Even if I were to accept your premise as true (which I don't. Jackson, for instance had a good run of 3p shooting, but has never been a good 3p shooter for his career), why isn't mental make-up part of talent?

Chris Paul's ability to make quick decisions is accepted as part of his talent. Kobe's determination and willingness to study for hours and hours is accepted as part of his. I don't see why it's realistic to say that at age 30 or whatever, someone is going to stop being a knucklehead.
   226. Spivey Posted: May 02, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4122255)
I very much consider effort part of their talent. But I think attitude is something that is more easily controlled than hand eye coordination or some of the tools he has. I think it would have been a way for him to improve. I think the fact that he gave very different effort for different teams is the heart of the problem.
   227. Booey Posted: May 02, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4122275)
Missed most the Jazz game cuz I was stuck at my fiance's softball game instead. They got creamed 11-4, and I still lucked out by seeing the more competitive of the two games. My hell.

If the Spurs sweep us and Minnesota gets a high pick from us making the playoffs and we end up losing out on the Warriors pick, I'm gonna really question whether making the playoffs was good for our long term future or not (not that it would've had any effect on the Warriors tank job).

Utah has some nice pieces but they need a cornerstone. What's funny is in a couple of years this team could contend if they had Deron Williams. Though it actually looks like he had a bad year (for him). Still, I like how they rebuilt their team on the fly.


Agreed. Granted, we wouldn't have some of those nice pieces (Favors in particular) if we'd kept Williams, but he'd actually be a perfect fit for this team.

   228. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4122318)
I think Ibaka and also Deandre Jordan are guys with the physical tools to be elite defenders, but are only mediocre in their mental game/effort/consistency


/skill/experience.

Both those dudes have good timing (not as sure about Jordan's timing, actually) and are big, long, and crazy athletic-- if you have that combination of talents, you're going to start racking up blocks quickly. Playing 24+ seconds of team D without a single breakdown, communicating effectively while an offense comes at you at NBA speed, and shutting down a pick and roll? Those are easy to #### up, and doing them well takes a lot of time and coaching. Those two guys in particular are young and a bit raw-- if their overall defensive games haven't picked up in a few years, then it makes sense to start picking on their mental game and effort.
   229. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4122389)
If NJ doesn't resign Deron Williams, and I don't think they will because that team around him is garbage, they could be Bobcats bad next year.

This really undersells how terrible the Bobcats were this year; they were the worst team of all time. Even if Deron leaves BKN, Lopez, Wallace and Brooks are all better than anyone Charlotte had this year. The Nets will be bad, but just normal bad, not historic bad.

Basically, everyone on the Golden State team that was an 8 seed and *flat out better* than a 67 win Mavericks team proved that they were underachievers.

We already had the matchup discussion. And yes, GS was better by the end of the year than their record indicated*. But in no way were the Warriors clearly better than Dallas that year, but their strengths matched up perfectly with the Mavs' weaknesses.

*How much better though? 8 wins? 10 wins?
   230. JJ1986 Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4122392)
Lopez, Wallace and Brooks are all better than anyone Charlotte had this year.


Wallace is reportedly planning on leaving.
   231. Spivey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4122398)
But in no way were the Warriors clearly better than Dallas that year, but their strengths matched up perfectly with the Mavs' weaknesses.

Yes, it was a bit hyperbole. But those teams as constructed in the playoffs... if they played 100 times Golden State would have won the majority of the games. That's just what I mean by better. I realize there were matchup factors, but they also had a lot of guys who have been questioned for effort/attitude for large parts of their career all playing hard at the same time.
   232. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4122404)
Wallace is reportedly planning on leaving.

Ah, I see. He has a player option for $9.5mil. I knew not to include Kris Humphries, who is an UFA.

Yes, it was a bit hyperbole. But those teams as constructed in the playoffs... if they played 100 times Golden State would have won the majority of the games. That's just what I mean by better. I realize there were matchup factors, but they also had a lot of guys who have been questioned for effort/attitude for large parts of their career all playing hard at the same time.

Fair enough. But in those 100 games, how many would Baron Davis miss and how many would guys on the Warriors not try and for how many games?
   233. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4122433)
We already had the matchup discussion. And yes, GS was better by the end of the year than their record indicated*. But in no way were the Warriors clearly better than Dallas that year, but their strengths matched up perfectly with the Mavs' weaknesses.

*How much better though? 8 wins? 10 wins?


I mentioned this during the matchups discussion, but with essentially the same teams the following season the Warriors won 48 games and the Mavs 51, so there really may not have been that big a difference between them to begin with. The Warriors were better than their 2007 record and the Mavs were almost certainly worse than theirs.
   234. tshipman Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4122442)
Yes, it was a bit hyperbole. But those teams as constructed in the playoffs... if they played 100 times Golden State would have won the majority of the games. That's just what I mean by better. I realize there were matchup factors, but they also had a lot of guys who have been questioned for effort/attitude for large parts of their career all playing hard at the same time.


I just disagree with this. I thought that GS winning was an upset. Dallas was, and should have been favored. GS hit a higher FT % and Dallas a lower one than their season averages (GS higher by 30 points, and Dallas lower by 25).

Dallas lost, but I hate the reverse narrative that claims that the team that loses was always destined to lose. The series went 6 games.
   235. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4122476)
Dallas lost, but I hate the reverse narrative that claims that the team that loses was always destined to lose. The series went 6 games.


I agree about the reverse narrative thing in most cases, but even ignoring the hindsight I mentioned in 233, GS won the regular season series with Dallas too (I think it was 3-1). They played a fast paced and reckless style that Dallas had trouble defending, and even before that series started, the Warriors looked like they'd be a much tougher matchup for the Mavs than the 25 game difference in their records would indicate. I specifically remember NOT being too surprised by the upset.
   236. Manny Coon Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4122533)
/skill/experience.

Both those dudes have good timing (not as sure about Jordan's timing, actually) and are big, long, and crazy athletic-- if you have that combination of talents, you're going to start racking up blocks quickly. Playing 24+ seconds of team D without a single breakdown, communicating effectively while an offense comes at you at NBA speed, and shutting down a pick and roll? Those are easy to #### up, and doing them well takes a lot of time and coaching. Those two guys in particular are young and a bit raw-- if their overall defensive games haven't picked up in a few years, then it makes sense to start picking on their mental game and effort.


I agree and skill and experience are probably a better way of describing what they are lacking. It always frustrates me when Clipper fans try to tell me Reggie Evans is a better defender than Jordan; Evans might execute better defensively, but he's short and slow and Jordan is long and quick, and makes up for the difference in skill several times over (most of the time), the situation with Ibaka compared to Collison or Mohammed is likely similar. The veterans might look better because they aren't making as many mistakes, but they aren't making as many difference making plays either. A guy like Garnett, Howard, Chandler or Duncan is able to do both.
   237. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4122593)
Oh god. Whatever you do robin, don't read Simmons's atricle from today. You can hover over the url to see why.

---

So Bosh probably won't play for Miami tonight after flying home to be with his wife having their baby.
   238. JJ1986 Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4122613)
Simmons top footnote titles:

1987 (Len Bias)
1988 (Len Bias)
1989 (Len Bias)
1990 (Len Bias).
   239. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4122621)
Funny, but he only barely mentions Bias and he wasn't in any specific one on the list.
   240. jmurph Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4122622)
I'm a Boston fan and frequent Simmons apologist, but there's no way I'm reading that article because it was obviously written specifically to preemptively dismiss what he assumes will be Lebron's first title. No thanks.

   241. Kurt Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4122625)
Ha ha ha, the intro to the column actually isn't that bad but he actually does half-jokingly mention Len Bias.
   242. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4122659)
I tried to read it, but the Laker hatred was just too much. He just can't turn it off.
   243. rr Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4122663)
Oh god. Whatever you do robin, don't read Simmons's atricle from today. You can hover over the url to see why


Heh. I think this really means, "Please don't get robinred started on Simmons and Abbott yet again." ;-

I looked through it. Not my kind of thing, but it is actually fairly well-balanced for what it is. As noted amusingly above, where Simmons really gets most out of hand with the hypotheticals is scenarios he has suggested about hypothetical multiple Boston titles--like literally 4 or 5 additional titles added to the three they did win in that era--based on Len Bias.

I agree, as I noted a few days ago, that this is partly a LeBron James thing. Lockout + Rose will = "LeBron still has something to prove in the playoffs" for media guys looking for "provocative" narratives if Miami does win it this time.
   244. rr Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4122664)
I tried to read it, but the Laker hatred was just too much.

Hmmm. I only skimmed it.
   245. JuanGone..except1game Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4122667)
Ha ha ha, the intro to the column actually isn't that bad but he actually does half-jokingly mention Len Bias.


He is crazy. I hate to be dragged back into this, because I'm still bitter about his post 2008 Finals column. The Perkins '10/Bynum '08 tradeoff that he wants to give is beyond laughable.

1) Bynum was averaging a .230 WS/48 in 2007-008 (albiet in only 35 games). Not only was that higher than Kobe's numbers that year and just below Pau, but its the highest of any non-Shaq/Dwight Center playing more than a couple of games in the past decade. He was a top 3 player for the Lakers and I'm not sure Perkins wasn't the 6th best player on the Celtics in 2010 (including Rasheed).

2) Simmons conveniently forgets that Bynum had a severe knee injury for the entire 2010 playoffs. He went from 15pts/8rbs in the reg season to 7pts/5rbs in the Finals. Even that year, you make the trade-off of Perkins for a healthy Bynum.

I feel dumber for engaging in this lunacy.
   246. rr Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4122672)
One thing I give Simmons credit for: in the piece, he mentions the 1968 Celtics, noting that Billy Cunningham missed the ECF that year for Philly. That fact was missing in a few key spots in TBOB.
   247. Manny Coon Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4122681)
In the section about the Ewing's injury in 99, Simmons says "when Marcus Camby, Chris Dudley and a young Kurt Thomas were New York's only other big men", as if they are weak, but that seems like a pretty good group of players for having a starter missing and they could also play Larry Johnson at PF. The reason the Knicks did so well without Ewing that year is because Camby did really well in the playoffs that year and was/is a very good player in general.
   248. Kurt Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4122689)
Also, Charles Smith never got fouled.
   249. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4122704)
Also, Charles Smith never got fouled.


That's what amazes me about that play. You watch in realtime and think there's no way he didn't, but it's unbelievable just how clean those blocks are.
   250. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4122727)
Teams that win the NBA Championship are generally good *and* lucky. Film at 11.
   251. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4122729)
Also...I really do think the '97 Knicks could have done damage against the '97 Bulls. I'm being serious, don't throw stuff at me.
   252. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4122742)
Also...I really do think the '97 Knicks could have done damage against the '97 Bulls. I'm being serious, don't throw stuff at me.

*Throws ball at NJ*
   253. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4122748)
Teams that win the NBA Championship are generally good *and* lucky.
Unless you're the Celtics, in which case you're good, but unlucky, because really, let's be honest, I mean, I'm not saying the Celtics deserved to win more championships than they did because they didn't, but it's obvious they should have won so many more and deserved to but fate is cruel and the great thing about being a fan is that you have to suffer to really know love, except for all that winning. It's like The Wire somehow, and also, Vegas strippers.

/shorter Simmons
   254. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4122755)
<slow clap>
   255. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4122765)
Unless you're the Celtics, in which case you're good, but unlucky, because really, let's be honest, I mean, I'm not saying the Celtics deserved to win all more championships than they did because they didn't, but it's obvious they should have won so many more and deserved to but fate is cruel and the great thing about being a fan is that you have to suffer to really know love, except for all that winning. It's like The Wire somehow, and also, Vegas strippers.

/shorter Simmons


Number of Celtics titles he gave a footnote to in the column: 5
Number of titles for which the Celtics were the reason for the footnote (i.e. a title they could/"should" have won): 4
Number of times in the column he references himself being a homer: 3

But, whatever.
   256. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4122768)
*Throws ball at NJ*

2-2 in the regular season!!! I hate David Stern and the stupid bench rule. I really do. Perhaps more than I hate Charles Smith.
   257. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4122770)
I tried to read it, but the Laker hatred was just too much. He just can't turn it off.


To his credit, he actually did include some Celtics titles in this article too (for once).

Also...I really do think the '97 Knicks could have done damage against the '97 Bulls.


Nah. I'll swear until the day I die that the '97 Jazz were the best team the Bulls ever played in any of their title years and up to this point they'd also get my purely unbiased vote that I'm sure has nothing to do with me being from Utah as to the best team of my lifetime that didn't win the title...and even they weren't beating the Bulls (but oh, were they close!). The '97 Knicks weren't better than the Jazz. They would've gone down in 5 or 6 at the most.
   258. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4122774)
2-2 in the regular season!!!

So were the Heat that year. What else have you got?
   259. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4122780)
The '97 Knicks weren't better than the Jazz. They would've gone down in 5 or 6 at the most.

I'm not saying they were better than the Jazz, but I do think they matched up fairly well to the Bulls. In the 4 regular season matchups the Bulls won by 1 at home, lost in NY by 4, won in NY by 2, and lost at home by 2.
   260. JJ1986 Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4122783)
It's just a bad idea for a column. For this 'footnote' thing to be something, it has to effect fewer titles. Simmons mentions 24 championships, 21 of which have happened in the last 40 years. If that many are "footnoted", then that's just part of the game. It's the nature of things that the best team doesn't always win, whether because of injuries or timing or officiating or anything else.
   261. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4122784)
So were the Heat that year. What else have you got?

The Heat got blown out in one of those games though, CHI-NY always came down to the final minute.
   262. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4122786)
It's just a bad idea for a column. For this 'footnote' thing to be something, it has to effect fewer titles. Simmons mentions 24 championships, 21 of which have happened in the last 40 years. If that many are "footnoted", then that's just part of the game. It's the nature of things that the best team doesn't always win, whether because of injuries or timing or officiating or anything else.

Agreed, hence my comment in [250].

Well, mostly agreed - it's fun to spitball that stuff, but at the end of the day, yeah, lucky AND good wins NBA championships, unless you have Jordan or Shaq or Magic or Bird or Moses plus other stars. So maybe "good and lucky" or "just really ####### awesome".
   263. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4122789)
#259 - True. But close playoff games usually ended as Bulls wins. I know - the Jazz were on the wrong end of those games 3 times in '97 and 3 more in '98.
   264. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4122790)
The Heat got blown out in one of those games though, CHI-NY always came down to the final minute.

One of the Heat's wins was by 10 - in a game they led by 13 at the half and 17 after 3. Your turn.
   265. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4122792)
One of the Heat's wins was by 10 - in a game they led by 17 after 3. Your turn.

No one likes a bully.
   266. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4122793)
Number of Celtics titles he gave a footnote to in the column: 5
Number of titles for which the Celtics were the reason for the footnote (i.e. a title they could/"should" have won): 4
Number of times in the column he references himself being a homer: 3

Simmons' caveats-within-caveats:

The 1968 Celtics:
Then again, Russell and Wilt battled in eight different playoff series … and Russell prevailed in seven of them. Russell finished his career 10-0 in Game 7s and 16-2 in elimination games; Wilt finished 4-5 and 10-11. When in doubt, you always wagered on Russell over Wilt. So I don't know.
In other words, yes, Cunningham, Chamberlain, Greer, and Jackson were all hurt, but... you know, you always wagered on Russell over Wilt. So even though he says "I don't know", he knows.

In 1965, sure Elgin Baylor was lost, but
Then again, Elgin and the Logo NEVER beat Russell in a playoff series.
So there's that." In other words, he knows.

In 1974, Allen, Robertson, and McGlocklin (the entire Bucks backcourt) were hurt but, you know, it was really about Heinsohn double-teaming Kareem, so
Can you really blame Lucius Allen and Jon McGlocklin for not taking care of business there?
In other words, he knows.

Meanwhile, he's got Boston also winning in 1958, 1973, 1987, 2009, and 2010 but for cruel, uncaring fate. He writes at the top, "We make excuses when we lose; we overlook those same excuses when we win." Thus, this awesome column became basically a list of excuses why the Celtics either should have or shouldn't have won the title (except that even when they shouldn't have, they should have).
   267. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4122798)
Also, both the Heat and Knicks wins in the last week of the season came sans Rodman or Kukoc.
   268. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4122799)
I'm not saying they were better than the Jazz, but I do think they matched up fairly well to the Bulls. In the 4 regular season matchups the Bulls won by 1 at home, lost in NY by 4, won in NY by 2, and lost at home by 2.

What about the previous and next seasons?
   269. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4122800)
It's the nature of things that the best team doesn't always win, whether because of injuries or timing or officiating or anything else.


IMO it's inexcusable for teams to lose cuz of bad officiating, but I agree completely about injuries and timing. They always have and always will be a big part of sports. It's pointless to make note of it every time it happens when it happens pretty much every other season.

And for those who think Simmons was too hard on the Lakers, he also put a "footnote" on all 4 Spurs title teams.
   270. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4122806)

Meanwhile, he's got Boston also winning in 1958, 1973, 1987, 2009, and 2010 but for cruel, uncaring fate. He writes at the top, "We make excuses when we lose; we overlook those same excuses when we win." Thus, this awesome column became basically a list of excuses why the Celtics either should have or shouldn't have won the title (except that even when they shouldn't have, they should have).


Clearly you don't have any biases yourself.
   271. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4122809)
What about the previous and next seasons?

I was hoping one of you Bulls fans would show up.
   272. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4122813)
Simmons "footnote" years include:

1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012...

7 of the last 8 seasons and 13 of the last 20. Sorry, but it's not a "footnote" worth mentioning when it's the type of thing that happens 65 (or 88!) percent of the time.
   273. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4122817)
No one likes a bully.

I liked this post.
   274. Kurt Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4122818)
IMO it's inexcusable for teams to lose cuz of bad officiating, but I agree completely about injuries and timing. They always have and always will be a big part of sports. It's pointless to make note of it every time it happens when it happens pretty much every other season.

Agreed. It's sad to say, but at this point winning a title because Derrick Rose got hurt* isn't any more footnotey than winning a title because John Starks goes 2 for 18 or Chris Webber shrinks from the moment.


* Not conceding at all that a healthy Rose would have won the title
   275. Yardape Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4122821)
Before the Clippers-Grizzlies series started, Maxwn pointed out that it was the Grizzlies' turnover-forcing defence against the Clippers (and Paul) and their ability to take care of the ball. So far, the Grizzlies have been winning that battle, and I think it's crucial. The Clippers are not a good enough defensive team to get away with that many turnovers.

The insane comeback in game 1 gives them a good chance to win the series, but if they don't clean up the turnovers I think it's going to be Memphis.
   276. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4122824)
Clearly you don't have any biases yourself.
I absolutely do; I cop to my sports bias every single time. I'm just pointing out that Simmons' very well-known and often self-admitted bias is on prominent display in this column. I didn't write those excerpts I posted, he did, and you don't see those "yeah, but" caveat-within-caveat deals in his footnotes for the other teams.

Pushing the Celtics is his Thing, and it's always been his Thing. I'm just saying that he's doing his Thing again.
   277. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4122825)

7 of the last 8 seasons and 13 of the last 20. Sorry, but it's not a "footnote" worth mentioning when it's the type of thing that happens 65 (or 88!) percent of the time.


Apparently we have differing definitions of 'footnote'.

I mean, in theory since in every postseason there are reasons one can point to why the result turned out the way it did, every season should have a footnote. The footnote helps explain what happened.
   278. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4122828)
What about the previous season?

In the previous season the 72-win Bulls lost to the Knicks by 32. In their other 9 regular season losses the total margin was 45. Glad you asked.

/unbiased reporting
   279. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4122840)
I was hoping one of you Bulls fans would show up.

The Knicks couldn't beat the Bulls when they actually played (save the footnoted 94 series), so I might as well let him have the imaginary series (including last year and this year).
   280. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4122841)
Apparently we have differing definitions of 'footnote'.

I mean, in theory since in every postseason there are reasons one can point to why the result turned out the way it did, every season should have a footnote. The footnote helps explain what happened.


Exactly. And if EVERY season has an equal reason for including a footnote, I think it's more logical if NONE of them do.

I like narrative and knowing why teams did what they did just as much as the next person, but I don't think most the teams listed in the article deserve any special mention over dozens of other teams that won (or lost) depending on whatever factors were going on that postseason.
   281. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4122842)
In the previous season the 72-win Bulls lost to the Knicks by 32.
The Bulls won the other three games against NYK that season, two of them by 20 and 21 points.
   282. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4122855)
The Bulls won the other three games against NYK that season, two of them by 20 and 21 points.

Those games were misleading, which is why I left them out of the analysis so as not to corrupt the data.
   283. smileyy Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4122860)
If Fringe can do one thing for society, it can build a bridge to an alternate universe where Len Bias has a few fringe All Star seasons before he washes out of the league as an alcoholic cokehead.
   284. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4122861)
Those games were misleading, which is why I left them out of the analysis so as not to corrupt the data.
So awesome.
   285. Monty Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4122865)
Oh! Wait, I've got one...

"I haven't seen this many footnotes since I read Infinite Jest!"

(drops microphone, walks off stage)
   286. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4122867)
It's like The Wire somehow, and also, Vegas strippers.

And The Peach Pit on 90210.
   287. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4122871)

Exactly. And if EVERY season has an equal reason for including a footnote, I think it's more logical if NONE of them do.


I would disagree that every season has an equal reason. Some reasons are more equal than others.

I mean, a goodly portion of those footnotes have been the subject of debate in this very thread. It's not like the selection was arbitrary.
   288. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4122873)
How do the '81 Celtics not make the list? Magic was hurt all year, his knee was still bad in the playoffs, they lost a stupid 2 out of 3 mini-series, and the WCF was between two .500 teams. In '80 and '82, a healthy Laker team won it all.

The '99 Spurs being on the list, much less #2 on the list, is just silly. Robinson still pretty much in his prime; Duncan a total beast -- that team was borderline juggernaut. And, as noted above -- Cokes to all -- Camby was better in those playoffs than Ewing would have been and the Knicks were not a true 8 seed.
   289. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4122875)
Pushing the Celtics is his Thing, and it's always been his Thing. I'm just saying that he's doing his Thing again.

Fair enough, can't really disagree with that.
   290. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4122886)
'94 Rockets is silly, too; they won it again the next year when Jordan played.

So "Number 1" and "Number 2" are both silly. Simmons is pretty much just trollin' at this point.
   291. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4122889)
In '80 and '82, a healthy Laker team won it all.

Of course, Tiny Archibald got hurt in game 3 of the ECF for the Celtics that year and they narrowly lost to the Sixers, in a year in which the Celtics had the best record in the NBA and 63-19 and went on an 18 game winning streak. SI has this to say about them that April:

"The only question to be settled by the Eastern Conference playoffs is not which team is the best—the Boston Celtics are—but whether the defending champions should field a second entry composed of their bench."

"Then, when the NBA finals are over, look for the Celtics to be riding down Boston's Commonwealth Avenue in their second straight ticker-tape parade. Paper covers rock."

Does this mean the Celtics would have won in 1982 if Tiny was healthy? No. Just pointing out the problem with this sort of analysis.

WCF was between two .500 teams

In the 80s, the Western Conference was the Lakers and a bunch of .500 teams. Who else was there? The Gervin Spurs? The Doug Moe Nuggets? The Mark Aguirre Mavs? From 1980-89, there were 35 50 win teams in the East, compared with only 24 in the West. Let's just footnote all of the Lakers' titles in 80s while we're at it, shall we? ;-)
   292. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4122891)
However you feel about the footnote titles column, here's today's real news that Bill Simmons is a jackass: he had to withdraw his MVP vote because of betting on the MVP race. Apparently he talked about betting (on LeBron, I believe) before the season, and then the NBA went ahead and gave him a ballot, which he filed. Dumb of them to give it to him, dumber of him to not realize he shouldn't turn it in.
   293. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4122892)
Does this mean the Celtics would have won in 1982 if Tiny was healthy? No. Just pointing out the problem with this sort of analysis.
That's the entire premise of Simmons' column today!
   294. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4122893)

"I haven't seen this many footnotes since I read Infinite Jest!"

(drops microphone, walks off stage)


I liked this post as well.
   295. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4122899)
However you feel about the footnote titles column, here's today's real news that Bill Simmons is a jackass: he had to withdraw his MVP vote because of betting on the MVP race. Apparently he talked about betting (on LeBron, I believe) before the season, and then the NBA went ahead and gave him a ballot, which he filed. Dumb of them to give it to him, dumber of him to not realize he shouldn't turn it in.

How about that. I don't remember him saying he had a vote for MVP, but I do remember him writing about voting for another award (can't remember if it was ROY or COY or DPOY).

EDIT: I don't listen to podcasts, and the article linked there mentions he recorded himself filling out the ballot.
   296. Jimmy P Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4122900)
Simmons had his MVP vote taken away because he bet on Lebron winning MVP before the season (and before he knew he had a vote).
   297. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4122901)
That's the entire premise of Simmons' column today!

I wasn't defending the premise. See [250]. My response to your [266] was that the column wasn't actually biased toward the Celtics - but you chose to read it that way. You chose only to post about those years - when you could have chosen to post about 2009, where all he says is "That would have been a phenomenal Finals rematch".

How about 1973? "The Knicks won by 16. It's hard to believe anyone would have beaten Frazier that day. Just don't tell my father this."

1958? "...it would have been the flukiest fluke of flukes if Russell made it through that 13-year run without suffering one Finals-compromising injury."

I get why people, ESPECIALLY Lakers fans, have trouble with Simmons. As a Celtics fan, I have trouble with J.A. Adande, and he's not half the homer Simmons is. That said, I think a lot of you read what you want to read in his columns. I am guessing, if I had certain other allegiances, that I might often do the same thing.
   298. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4122905)
'76 Celtics at 20 is way, way, way too low. They probably lose to the Warriors -- the defending champs who were deeper and better in '76 (*) -- and the Warriors aren't there only because of a vintage 70s on-court fight and a vintage 70s poutfest.

Not to mention the asterisk of all asterisks -- the fact that the Nets and Nuggets were in the ABA. Either of them could have (**) beat the Celtics. The Nuggets were a 50-win team in the NBA the next year; the Celtics were a 44-win team; we'll unfortunately never know what the Nets could have been with Dr. J.

The '78 Bullets are #1; a very good case could be made for the '76 Celtics at #2.

(*) Nice jump forward for Silk, huge jump forward for Phil Smith, addition of Gus Williams, 59 wins.

(**) But might not have.
   299. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4122913)
How about 1973?
From Simmons:
The Verdict: A more blatant injury-related footnote than 2012 (Rose), 2009 (Garnett) or 1965 (Baylor) because Boston was clearly the favorite that year, and also, Havlicek was the league's best forward by any calculation. (Check out his slew of All-NBA nods if you don't believe me.) Even the Knicks fans don't seem overly affectionate about their '73 crown; the 1970 team gets brought up roughly 15,000 more times.
He's blaming the series loss on Havlicek's injury.

1958?
From Simmons:
I'm curious … do you think the greatest defensive player ever would have (a) swung those last three tight losses, and (b) helped hold Pettit under 50 points?
Obviously, he's blaming the series loss on Russell's injury.

I'm sure I do read into Simmons' writing my own biases, but in this case I don't have to because he wrote them right in, and I've been quoting directly from his column. I didn't put the 'yeah, but' stuff about the Celtics in his footnotes, he did. I'm not distorting his POV and I'm not twisting his words; I've been quoting directly and in context. I'm not being unfair to him. Everything that I've pointed out about his column, he wrote it in his column.
   300. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4122925)
Even the Knicks fans don't seem overly affectionate about their '73 crown; the 1970 team gets brought up roughly 15,000 more times.

Bullshit ... but who cares? The '73 team -- with Pearl and Lucas -- was better. The ECF was 1-1, both blowouts, when Havlicek hurt his shoulder and the Knicks won game 3 by 7 at Boston Garden in the game that he did.

The Knicks then blew out a 60-win, fully healthy, defending champion Laker team in the Finals. It's ridiculous to assume the Celtics would have beat the Knicks even with Havlicek.
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