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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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   2001. thok Posted: May 29, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4142433)
The NBA wasn't particularly good at shooting in Russell's day. This year, Charlotte shot .414 from the field: that's would have lead the league in Russell's first three seasons. (The NBA got better, but the 60's era Boston's defense is somewhat historically overrated.)
   2002. PJ Martinez Posted: May 29, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4142613)
Speaking of all-time rankings, where does Popovich rank among coaches? I'd put him behind Jackson, naturally. Popovich or Riley is a more interesting question.

I don't put him behind Jackson. I understand why most people probably do, of course, but no coach has ever impressed me more than Popovich.
   2003. JC in DC Posted: May 29, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4142631)
And what does "more athletic" add? If this were a trampoline context, I could see that being relevant. "More athletic" is like saying he's "better looking." Chris Washburn was probably a better athlete than either Russell or Duncan. Didn't get him very far.
   2004. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 29, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4142642)
I'm going to change my Western Conference Final prediction, and go with Spurs in 5, at most.
   2005. Srul Itza Posted: May 29, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4142647)
The Spurs are holding serve on their home court -- so far. The play-offs don't start until the home team loses.
   2006. Spivey Posted: May 29, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4142659)
The Spurs are holding serve on their home court -- so far. The play-offs don't start until the home team loses.


This isn't really true at all, especially when a couple of teams that can win on the road are playing. It's especially not true when the favorite wins their first 2 games. The series still hasn't begun yet. They win game 3, and the series has both simultaneously begun and ended because it's 3-0.
   2007. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: May 29, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4142661)
If anyone missed it (and would be interested), Kevin Arnovitz and Beckley Mason took inspiration from the Abstracts to profile Popovich and Brooks today.
   2008. Spivey Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4142668)
Was Russell really more athletic or did he just look more athletic? I'm pretty sure Duncan would have looked like an athletic freak if he was playing against a bunch of unathletic stiffs. I haven't really seen Russell's games at all. That is also arguably the only era in basketball where a guy could be an all-time great on defense alone.

Edit: I realize Russell didn't suck on offense.
   2009. JC in DC Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4142676)
That is also arguably the only era in basketball where a guy could be an all-time great on defense alone.


Let's not go crazy, Spivey. He wasn't playing against a bunch of bums, first. Second, he was a ferocious rebounder, by all accounts a good passing big man, and he scored as well. Add in his defense and leadership, and he'd be great in any era.
   2010. Spivey Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4142677)
We've discussed coaches before, and I said then that I rate Pop the best coach of all time. Nothing that's happened in the last two years has changed my mind.

A very underrated move was him trading George Hill, one of his personal favorites (and one of mine), for the rights for Leonard. It was a smart deal because the Spurs weren't necessarily getting the better player, they were getting the player they needed.
   2011. Spivey Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4142684)
Let's not go crazy, Spivey. He wasn't playing against a bunch of bums, first. Second, he was a ferocious rebounder, by all accounts a good passing big man, and he scored as well. Add in his defense and leadership, and he'd be great in any era.


Yeah, I probably went over the line there, and I did get the edit in late. I still think quite highly of him, and I thought Simmons had a pretty convincing argument for Russell vs. Wilt. Still, things being close to equal, I'm going to take the guy who did it in a higher skilled more athletic league
   2012. Spivey Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4142699)
Did 300 pound Diaw just drive around Ibaka from the 3 point line and make a reverse layup on him? The Spurs having the best record in the west last year and this honestly boggles my mind.
   2013. Spivey Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4142704)
Oklahoma City can't afford to be losing games where Durant is on fire.
   2014. Darren Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4142707)
Why can't they call intentional fouls on intentional fouls? IT'S THE WHOLE REASON THE RULE EXISTS!
   2015. baudib Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4142708)
Hack a Tiago.
   2016. Backlasher Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4142726)
Why can't they call intentional fouls on intentional fouls? IT'S THE WHOLE REASON THE RULE EXISTS!

There is no intentional foul rule currently in the NBA. Intentional fouls are permitted. Flagrant fouls occur for excessive contact; away from the ball fouls can occur in the last two minutes if the foul occurs before the ball is inbounded; and clear path fouls can occur for any foul where... "The ball and an offen-sive player must be positioned between the tip-of-circle extended in the backcourt and the basket in the frontcourt, with no defender between the ball and the basket when the personal foul occurs. There must be team control and the new play must originate in the backcourt, including throw-ins, and the offended team must be deprived of an opportunity to score an uncontested basket. " Other than technicals, fighting, and elbowing these are the only fouls carrying enhanced penalties.
   2017. AROM Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4142727)
Hack a Splitter took about 15 minutes of real time, and only 1 minute off the game clock. It started with about 2:30 in the third and ended around 1:30. The Spurs were up 16 when it started and still up 15 when it ended (in the middle of free throws when Splitter left, so +14 a second later).

Seems pretty pointless, especially that early. The strategy means you either put your better players deeper into foul trouble, or else you have to keep a scrub on court for intentional foul purposes.
   2018. rr Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4142732)
As I post whenever Russell comes up, Dean Oliver, way back in Basketball on Paper, wrote a Chamberlain/Russell piece. A lot of the data would we want is simply not there, so Oliver extrapolated as best he could, based on team data, etc. His tentative conclusion was that Russell's impact on D was in the neighborhood of six points a game over a typical center of that time, and that impact is roughly equal to Michael Jordan's impact on O using Oliver's methods.


SA/OKC:

1. So far, Hollinger has been exactly right, and I have been dead wrong.
2. After Game 5 of the semis, a gracious non-trolling OKC fan showed up at the Laker blog I hang out at, and this guy said that OKC "was built to beat the Lakers" and that was one of the main reasons Presti wanted Perkins. Mission accomplished, but like last year, one of the Texas teams has surged and turned out to be the real obstacle.
   2019. Spivey Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4142734)
This game got ugly, right around when the Splitter shenanigans happened.
   2020. AROM Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4142745)
I've tried estimating defensive ratings for teams before we have complete statistics. We know how many points are scored and allowed, and how many rebounds and fouls a team has. I assume that opponent free throws occur proportionally to fouls committed, and opponent FT% is assumed to be league average. I try to estimate opponent shot attempts missed from team rebounds, and shots made from (points allowed - FT made)/2. I don't know anything about turnovers or proportion of offensive rebounds, if there is a disparity there it would mean the estimate is off. But if a team in reality allowed a higher FG% than I estimate, and made up for it by forcing a ton of turnovers, then the end result saying they are a good defensive team is still correct.

Anyway, Bill Russell's teams are the best defensive teams, relative to league. For his career the league shot 42%, and his teams allowed an estimated .394 FG%. Other teams had defensive seasons as good as the Celtics, but the real impressive thing is they never had an off year, they had great defensive ratings every season Bill Russell played. They were slightly below average the year before his debut, and slightly better than average the year after he retired.

Russell is, in my opinion, correctly credited with the lion's share of this defense because the center is the most important defensive position. Other players can play great man on man defense, the shot blocking center plays man on team defense. Almost all of the greatest defensive teams have a dominant center in common.

Other teams ranking high in single season ratings are the 1993 Knicks (Ewing, Oakley), the 1989 Jazz (Ser Eaton, the Mountain), the Bucks with Kareem and the Spurs when Duncan and Robinson played together.

Pre 1970, Russell's Celtics have the top 4 spots (1964 being their best) and Nate Thurmond's Warriors the best of the rest. Wilt's Warriors were outstanding in 1964 but otherwise mediocre. His Sixer and Laker teams were very good on D, but not quite at the Celtics' level.

   2021. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4142746)
Why aren't people calling it the "Hit-a-Splitter" strategy? "Hack" is only the default term because of Shaq. If there's a synonym that works better with the player's name, I say we use it.

Hit-a-Splitter notwithstanding, the Western Conference playoffs continue to be, in my opinion, far more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to watch than the Eastern Conference playoffs.
   2022. AROM Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4142749)
Yeah, my estimates match what Dean Oliver did. I have no doubt Russell had the greatest impact in his time on defense. How good his defense compares to centers playing in the modern era against bigger, stronger, faster players is a tougher question.
   2023. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4142750)
One thing in Russell's favor, comparing him to modern players, is that his teams were as good on D as young Kareem's Bucks playing just a few years apart. So we know Russell could defend as well as a 7'2, long-limbed athletic freak. And Kareem was no defensive underachiever like young Wilt, he was the best the early 70's had to offer, and hung around long enough to play against the modern greats like Hakeem, Robinson, and Ewing.
   2024. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4142753)
Hit-a-Splitter notwithstanding, the Western Conference playoffs continue to be, in my opinion, far more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to watch than the Eastern Conference playoffs.


That pretty much goes for the entire last decade, as well.
   2025. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4142754)
20 in a row now for the Spurs, including 10 straight in the playoffs. Anyone else think the 2001 Lakers 15-1 might be in jeopardy?

It's going to be fun seeing King James and the superfriends lose in the Finals again (although having to listen to the "LeBron isn't a winner" crap for another year will get a little annoying).
   2026. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4142756)
It was a bit of a surprise when Dallas beat them last year. Some of that Lebron talk will be mitigated (if the finals is indeed Miami-San Antonio) by the Heat being underdogs this time.
   2027. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4142758)
Bill Simmons today suggested that lack of rest last season might have contributed to Lebron's 4th quarter meltdowns in the finals. I know, he's suggesting it's not 100% mental! What is this world coming to?

I don't think more rest for Lebron is an option though. Let's say the Heat should expect to beat Boston in 5 with Lebron playing 45 minutes. Rest him a bit, give him 35 MPG and they expect to win in 7. Now for one thing, in that hypothetical world there is no way Lebron sticks to 35 minutes in a game 7. But even if he did, Lebron playing 35*7 is 245 minutes, and 45*5 is only 225. He's probably better off doing what he can to end the series quickly and get his rest before the next series starts.

Now if he could beat the Celtics in 5 playing fewer minutes, then he'd be better rested for the finals, but Miami sure does not look like a team that can win without Lebron and Wade dominating. I suspect the real motivation Simmons had is he wished Lebron would go easy, look beyond the ECF before it's over, and give the Celtics a chance to surprise.
   2028. Backlasher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4142761)
Seems pretty pointless, especially that early. The strategy means you either put your better players deeper into foul trouble, or else you have to keep a scrub on court for intentional foul purposes.

To continue citing Dean Oliver, isn't one of his tenets that an underdog should always try the risky strategy even if no particular strategy is better. I think that is what Brooks did in progression; he tried the Splitter strategy when he thought he had the advantage. Despite not having an immediate plus/minus impact, it looks like it did reduce the PPP, and definately changed the Spurs offensive flow. He then went smaller for awhile.

Anyway, Bill Russell's teams are the best defensive teams, relative to league.

Neil Payne tried to extrapolate ORTG and DRTG on some old time teams and then mapped them based on how many standard deviations they were from the league. The Russell Celtics still look good, but not quite as dominant. The research is here.

IMHO, Russell is tough. We have tons of anecdotal accounts of his great defense. The clips do show athleticism, particularly in closing to players for the block. They also show good position defense even when the player puts his body into Russell to try to minimize the shotblocking (some great Dipper v. Russell clips on this one). We have huge rebound numbers, and we have plenty of extrapolated evidence that his teams were very solid defensive teams. How we ultimately try to translate his freak skills into modern equivlancies are tough.

I think if we had more numbers, we could see his transcendency as a unique player. For instance, I think he would stand out if you could do similar studies like skeptical sports did for Rodman. See Link. When players truly take a skill and elevate it beyond its traditional usage, then normal analysis is not able to pick that up as much.


   2029. baudib Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4142762)
Everyone is in agreement that Russell is the greatest defensive player, possibly by a huge margin

All-time leaders, defensive Win Shares:

1. Russell 133.6
2. Kareem 94.5
3. Akeem 94.5
4. Wilt 93.2
5. K. Malone 92.4 (really?)
6. Duncan 88.6
7. Hayes 83.7
8. Garnett 83.5
9. Ewing 81.4
10. Admiral 80

Incidentally, Russell has the shortest career of anyone in the top 10, with Robinson the only other guy under 1,000 games.
11-20, you start to get a mix of guards/wings and bigs: Havliceck, Parish, Kidd, B. Wallace, Mutombo, Pippen, Shaq, Stockton, Jordan, Unseld.

Not sure how much we should trust the precision of these lists, especially since stats such as steals and blocks are largely unavailable for the careers of Russell and Chamberlain (and also West and Cousy. Incidentally, Cousy rates higher on DWS than West). For the most part, I think most people would agree that that's a pretty good ordinal list.

I'd like to know how AROM and Dean Oliver rate the defense of Duncan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Olajuwon, etc.
   2030. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4142765)
#1988 - Thanks for the memories, Tom. The greatest moment in franchise history and by far my all time personal favorite sports memory. Stockton could forever do no wrong in my eyes after this. I probably would've defended him if he'd gone on a chainsaw killing spree.


Well his victims would clearly have deserved it.

I remember being really upset in that game when they got behind, and went out to shoot hoops to calm down. Luckily I came back in to see the comeback. I remember being down by more than 10 in the 4th, but I forgot how good Stockton was (outside of the final shot) to close out the Rockets:
The Jazz trailed by 13 points with 6:42 left, but Stockton fueled a furious finish, scoring Utah's final nine points in the last 1:23. He totaled 15 in the fourth quarter.

Karl Malone had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Jeff Hornacek scored 18 and Greg Ostertag added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz, who play the Bulls in the Finals. Game 1 is Sunday at Chicago, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

WebArchive.org

I don't believe what I bolded really happened.
   2031. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:43 AM (#4142766)
5. K. Malone 92.4 (really?)


Yeah, that's pretty funny, even though Malone was a good defender. But with as many GP as he had (4th all time), defensive rebounds (they're included right because he's 1st all time for just the NBA), and steals (11th all time) it's not quite as weird though he obviously wasn't better/more valuable than any of the bigs or the better wing defenders on that list.
   2032. Backlasher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4142767)
And what does "more athletic" add? If this were a trampoline context, I could see that being relevant. "More athletic" is like saying he's "better looking." Chris Washburn was probably a better athlete than either Russell or Duncan. Didn't get him very far.

Its a bad shorthand, but I think as applied to Russell its an estimate of how he would likely be better in TRB%, BS% and Opp TS% than whomever was "less athletic." We often hear that term also applied to Elgin Baylor, and I interpret to mean a greater TS% on shots in the paint based on the snippets i see of his game.
   2033. baudib Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4142768)
Yeah, that's pretty funny, even though Malone was a good defender. But with as many GP as he had (4th all time), defensive rebounds (they're included right because he's 1st all time for just the NBA), and steals (11th all time) it's not quite as weird though he obviously wasn't better/more valuable than any of the bigs or the better wing defenders on that list.


Considering how long his career is, I guess it shouldn't really be surprising. He played almost twice as many minutes as Dennis Rodman.
   2034. baudib Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4142775)
Coaches: I think Popovich, Jackson and Auerbach are the ONLY candidates for No. 1 and I really can't put anyone else in their category.

Red Auerbach is such a towering figure in basketball history it is really difficult to compare anyone to him, even from other sports. He practically invented the modern game of basketball. He had a HOF-worthy career AFTER he retired from coaching. And I really hate Red Auerbach.
   2035. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4142899)
Neil Payne tried to extrapolate ORTG and DRTG on some old time teams and then mapped them based on how many standard deviations they were from the league. The Russell Celtics still look good, but not quite as dominant.


I checked the link and the same teams from my calculations show up on his list - the order is slightly different but I think we're on the same page. Russell's Celtics are not head and shoulders above the rest of the great defensive teams in the NBA for single season ratings. What is most impressive is simply that they did it 13 years in a row, with great to dominant defensive ratings and never took an off year. When looking at the other defensive dynasties in the league, you can find some good 5-6 year stretches, but the longevity and consistency of what Russell's teams did is unparalleled.

I'd like to know how AROM and Dean Oliver rate the defense of Duncan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Olajuwon, etc.


Dean's formuli were used for the defensive ratings Basketball Reference. Though I see they only go back to the mid 70's when blocks and steals were first tracked. Duncan rates #2 after Gar Heard (6-6 forward once blocked 230 shots). Robinson #4, Hakeem #13, Mutombo #23 (way too low), Kareem #24 (excluding his best early years). Shaq rates only #57, which seems reasonable to me. Shaq could dominate defensively when he was motivated (like his 95 DRtg for 1999-2000) but didn't play at that level consistently.

I don't have my own individual defensive ratings, just team level ones from which we can infer great defense from the key defenders on those teams.

Kareem with the Bucks defended at a Russell-like level, but he didn't maintain that for nearly as long as Bill did (and if he had he probably doesn't maintain his offensive game for so many years). Wilt's teams had great defensive years later in his career, not quite at Russell level but close. In his early years it appears he had no time for D given all the scoring he was doing.
   2036. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4142918)
Just out of curiousity, I was wondering who is the greatest player to never play in the NBA finals? Greatest player without a ring comes down to those denied by Jordan: Barkley, Malone, and Stockton. I'll leave Lebron out of this since there's a good chance he gets his ring one of these days.

But to never play in the finals doesn't bring an obvious candidate to mind. Looks like Steve Nash wins this dubious honor, ahead of Dominique Wilkins.
   2037. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4142931)

But to never play in the finals doesn't bring an obvious candidate to mind. Looks like Steve Nash wins this dubious honor, ahead of Dominique Wilkins.


I'd toss George Gervin's name into the hat as well, though I don't know that I'd take him over either of the guys you mentioned.
   2038. baudib Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4142939)
AROM:
Wilkins never made it to the ECF, I believe. Candidates: Gilmore and Gervin, Dan Issel.

I don't have my own individual defensive ratings, just team level ones from which we can infer great defense from the key defenders on those teams.

Kareem with the Bucks defended at a Russell-like level,


I assume that you mean the Bucks with Kareem, as you say you don't have individual defensive ratings. Not sure why but Kareem's individual Win Shares don't come close to Russell's, he's just merely another great defensive center by that measure.

Kareem's early career stats probably need some air taken out with league strength declining due to rapid expansion. In 1967-68, the NBA had 12 teams; in 1970-71, Kareem's title year with the Bucks, the NBA was up to 17 teams plus another 12 in the ABA (which, by 1971, was probably equivalent to a AAAA league at minimum).
   2039. Backlasher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4142941)
But to never play in the finals doesn't bring an obvious candidate to mind. Looks like Steve Nash wins this dubious honor, ahead of Dominique Wilkins.

To add more to the all-never-played-in-a-finals, I don't think the following players also never played in a finals: Pete Maravich Grant Hill and Artis Gilmore. Chris Paul has not played in a finals yet either.

As for Nash, that Neil Paine research also highlights how that Phoenix offense compared to the rest of the league.
   2040. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4142967)
Karl Malone had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Jeff Hornacek scored 18 and Greg Ostertag added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz, who play the Bulls in the Finals. Game 1 is Sunday at Chicago, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

I don't believe what I bolded really happened.


Ah, Ostertag. No other Jazz player has ever caused me to yell at the TV as much as he. He actually wasn't bad in 1997, though, which if memory serves is what got him a big contract that led to his downward spiral of laziness and crappiness.

5. K. Malone 92.4 (really?)


This didn't really surprise me. Obviously he's not on par with the other guys on that list, but he was all NBA defensive first team in his prime, and when a guy plays 18 years without missing more than 2 games in any of them, he's going to rank pretty high in a lot of counting stat categories.

Greatest player without a ring comes down to those denied by Jordan: Barkley, Malone, and Stockton.


Elgin Baylor belongs in this group too, and he's the only one who can't use MJ as an excuse. Another Jordan victim - Ewing - might round out the top 5 (or is Nash better than Ewing?)
   2041. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4142982)
Kareem's early career stats probably need some air taken out with league strength declining due to rapid expansion. In 1967-68, the NBA had 12 teams; in 1970-71, Kareem's title year with the Bucks, the NBA was up to 17 teams plus another 12 in the ABA (which, by 1971, was probably equivalent to a AAAA league at minimum).


Probably about right for the ABA. When the league started it was definitely a minor league. I once looked into the NBA background of the top ABA players in 1967, many were guys who were drafted in later rounds, played at the end of an NBA bench, and were cut. Then there's Cliff Hagan who was a legit star in the NBA from about 1958-1962. A 24/10 guy at his peak, he had declined quite a bit by 1965-66. He retired at 34, took a year off, and came into the ABA as a player/coach. His WS/48 went from .095 in his last NBA year to .196 in the ABA, which is about where he was at his peak in the NBA from ages 26-29. Going to the ABA was like turning back the clock for him.

As a personal example, the effect seems like what playing on a 9' rim would do for me, I could do the things I used to do on a 10's rim.

Then the ABA started competing with the NBA for top players and the quality improved. In 1976-77 the Nuggets, Spurs, and Pacers came into the NBA and combined for a .528 winning percentage, with the Nuggets winning a division. Those 3 teams had a .591 combined record the last year of the ABA, so league quality was only slightly better in the NBA - such difference is no more remarkable than the conference disparity we see now and then.

I leave the Nets out because they would not have finished 22-60 had they been allowed to keep Dr. J. The other teams more or less entered the NBA intact.
   2042. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4142983)
Somebody link to the pic of Ostertag I posted during his aborted d-league comeback this season. Phrasing 'cause he looks near full term.

Quantifying defense is so hard, even now...
   2043. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4142988)
At least Baylor can say he played for a championship team. Not much, and not very well - he retired after 9 games in 1971-72 and was long gone before the playoffs.
   2044. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4143002)
At least Baylor can say he played for a championship team. Not much, and not very well - he retired after 9 games in 1971-72 and was long gone before the playoffs.


Did he still get a ring though? I didn't think that he did...
   2045. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4143008)
We got a shoutout on BaskPro today as Neil Paine tackles the Knicks' inability to take advantage of the NY market.
   2046. baudib Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4143023)
The Lakers got Magic and Worthy (No. 1 overall picks) because of some batshit crazy trades/compensation.
   2047. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4143024)
#2045 - Woo hoo! One of my posts was quoted and was the subject of a full length BaskPro article! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside! :)
   2048. andrewberg Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4143035)
Site just ate a long post that was basically trying to hose all of us down about San Antonio. Short version is this: they are playing great, but it is always safer to bet that the next game will be at their true talent level than the crazy level of the last several games. Diaw's passing probably raised that baseline somewhat, but they are not suddenly a 75-80 win team. Several factors could work against them. OKC can continue to make defensive adjustments and could hardly do worse. Going on the road might cool off their role players (as the wives' tale goes), or it could have whatever effect it had in the regular season causing them to lose 14 away as opposed to 5 at home. Westbrook could play better despite the tough defense. Even if they get through easily, Miami is no pushover. I know Miami has struggled with SA's 3's in the regular season, but they are much better equipped to handle PNRs and should theoretically make life tougher for Parker, who has had wide open passing/driving lanes all series.
   2049. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4143049)
Short version is this: they are playing great, but it is always safer to bet that the next game will be at their true talent level than the crazy level of the last several games.


It's not just the last several games, though. It's 20 and counting. And I'm not sure that the balanced, perfectly well oiled machine their offense and defense has been over this run ISN'T their true level of ability. They're clicking in a way that's going to make them very, very tough to beat 4 times in a series.

Besides, even if it is just a hot streak that's beyond their true talent level, it's sure come at the right time. As Dallas proved last year, occasionally you can ride that wave all the way to the title.
   2050. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4143054)
It's not just the last several games, though. It's 20 and counting. And I'm not sure that the balanced, perfectly well oiled machine their offense and defense has been over this run ISN'T their true level of ability. They're clicking in a way that's going to make them very, very tough to beat 4 times in a series.


Back from vacation:

I think the key to beating the Spurs is going small. You cannot beat them with Perkins/Ibaka/Sefalosha on the court at the same time. It's too many guys who can't do anything. IMO, the Thunder should be going small as much as possible in order to leverage their strengths (shooting and energy) and minimize the Spurs'. In addition, the Spurs second bigs all play small. Diaw (whom I cannot ####### believe is playing meaningful minutes), Bonner, etc., all play from the perimeter.

The same is true in reverse with Miami sans Bosh. LeBron hates guarding bigs, so Battier is picking up a lot of the minutes guarding the bigs on the court. Teams with two and a half quality big men should be able to punish Miami.
   2051. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4143093)
They're clicking in a way that's going to make them very, very tough to beat 4 times in a series.


I can't see them losing 4 out of 5 at this point. But I think it's more likely that OKC will at least win a game or two before the Spurs go to the finals. I have noticed a pattern over a few decades of watching the NBA: Team looks impressive while winning 2 games at home. Articles are written about how unbeatable they are. Switch of venue, and the other team wins some games. The home team that started 2-0 usually wins, but most of the time it's not a sweep.

Diaw (whom I cannot ####### believe is playing meaningful minutes)


That blows my mind. The worst team in NBA history has no use for him, so of course he's good enough to start on the league's best team. Popovich used some magic pixie dust here.
   2052. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4143117)
It’s not that, that surprising on paper, is it?

Diaw’s strengths are almost entirely as a complementary piece – plus playmaker (who began his NBA career as a PG and can play all over the floor when his weight permits it) who actively dislikes shooting and is famously hit and miss with regard to effort/motivation. When on – he’s a solid defender and decent at lots of things. When off – he doesn’t try all that hard. Real high basketball iq.
So, stick him on a terrible team that badly needs high usage players and (though I’m not anti-Silas) not coached all that creatively … he plays a fair amount, but doesn’t try all that hard (especially on defense), isn’t able to add scoring, isn’t part of the team’s future, not able or willing to give them a hook to keep him around.
Stick him in SA – where the coach loves to mix and match his personnel – and a motivated (and a bit slimmed down from his offseason gorge and now playing defense) Diaw becomes quite useful.

Note: this is not to deny that pixie dust was involved.

***

This is also a fun case to look at how PER and WS/48 can differ (in SA, his usage went down, FG% went way up, and the team was a lot better (among other things)):
CHA: PER 10.8, WS/48: -.023
SAS: PER 12.1, WS/48: +.125
career: 13.1; .079
league avg: 15.0; .100
   2053. andrewberg Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4143121)
Besides, even if it is just a hot streak that's beyond their true talent level, it's sure come at the right time.


AROM is absolutely right about this- tides turn. And you are absolutely right that the hot streak has done wonders for them. Those two series wins and two WCF games are in the bag, and 10 playoff wins (in a row or not) are tremendously valuable. Conversely, it seems like one of the key observations of the sports analytic community is that it is exceedingly difficult (or impossible) to PREDICT hot streaks. The fact that they have played this well probably raises the baseline level a bit for projections, but it does not replace it altogether. I know Booey does not literally mean that their 20-0 streak is their true talent level because that would make the the best team in basketball history by a wide margin, and that's unrealistic.

That blows my mind. The worst team in NBA history has no use for him, so of course he's good enough to start on the league's best team. Popovich used some magic pixie dust here.


How about another bit of conventional wisdom: bad coaches get hung up on what players can't do, good coaches find a way to utilize what players can do. All I heard from Silas and the Charlotte people this year was that Diaw needed to be a better interior scoring presence for a team who had lots of inefficient perimeter scorers. Well guess what, Diaw likes to pass out of the post and shoot jumpers. He has always done that and probably always will. Despite his size, he is not an interior scorer. San Antonio has an offense that can utilize big men who like the swing passes out of the post, so Diaw's natural ability is put to better use.

I will concede that it is unlikely that he would ever fit in Charlotte because his skill set is a bit of a luxury item (and it is no coincidence that his greatest moments of nba relevance have been in highly skilled, fast paced offenses that feature lots of movement and passes to open shooters).

Edit: Looks like Der K beat me to it. I have one cherry coke zero and one diet mountain dew left. Only the ccz is cold. I'll let you pick.
   2054. Jimmy P Posted: May 30, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4143151)
I think the key to beating the Spurs is going small. You cannot beat them with Perkins/Ibaka/Sefalosha on the court at the same time. It's too many guys who can't do anything. IMO, the Thunder should be going small as much as possible in order to leverage their strengths (shooting and energy) and minimize the Spurs'. In addition, the Spurs second bigs all play small. Diaw (whom I cannot ####### believe is playing meaningful minutes), Bonner, etc., all play from the perimeter.

The Thunder did this in the first game and got destroyed in the process. The Spurs had a field day, it was one of the keys to their 4th quarter comeback.

But, this is also what I said about the Thunder before the playoffs. They just have too many guys who do nothing on offense, and it's really hard to play 3-on-5 every possession. Who is even worth guarding in this group: Perkins, Thabo, Ibaka, Collison, Fisher.
   2055. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 30, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4143175)
I *literally* just ran out of ccz, so half of that.
(your description was better anyway.)
   2056. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4143187)
The Thunder did this in the first game and got destroyed in the process. The Spurs had a field day, it was one of the keys to their 4th quarter comeback.


That wasn't what I remembered, and not what BBREF seems to show here. (this feature is really cool, btw)

It looks like the lineups for most of the 4th in game 1 were:
OKC
Westbrook/Harden/Fisher/Durant/(Collison and then Perkins)
SAS
Parker/Neal/Ginobili/Jackson/Duncan

I think that Perkins is giving them nothing and needs to more or less be benched. I further think that the answer to SAS's PnR is to switch aggressively with athletic defenders. The problem in the 4th quarter of game 1, to my eyes, wasn't that they were playing only one big, it was that they were playing the wrong big, gave Fisher extended minutes, and Harden sucked eggs.

(Game 2, I wouldn't take too much from if I were the Thunder. The Spurs went nuts, Parker especially. I don't think he'll hit on that many long range shots in the rest of the series.)

   2057. Jimmy P Posted: May 30, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4143195)
Wojnarski is reporting that Deron Williams will only stay with the Nets if they get Dwight Howard.
   2058. Maxwn Posted: May 30, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4143197)
I think that Perkins is giving them nothing and needs to more or less be benched.

The word you are looking for is cut. He needs to be cut. I will also accept amnestied as a more specific answer.
   2059. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4143198)
Also, the Thunder aren't a great defensive team. They finished 10th in the league this year in DRtg, but were as close to the Cavs at 26th as they were to the C's who were first. The Spurs offense is just a thing of absolute beauty right now. They most likely won't face a great defense these playoffs either; no matter which of Miami or Boston get to the Finals (and it's most likely going to be Miami), neither will be at their peak defensively due to injuries (even if Bosh plays, he's not going to be at 100% IMO).

If it is Heat/Spurs, the Heat have a chance simply because they have the 2 best players. But Wade and LeBron would have to be SPECIAL in the same game 4 times. Unfortunately one of the Heat's greatest defensive weaknesses is the 3pt shot, and it's something the Spurs are so good at. The Spurs are playing great defense so far in the playoffs, but also weren't great defensively during the regular season. It's funny seeing the reactions to people talking about the Spurs scoring 120 points last night, as they're just now realizing how good they are offensively (they were this good last year's regular season too).

It's hard imagining any of the East teams, even at full strength, beating the Spurs the way they're playing right now.
   2060. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4143201)
I know Booey does not literally mean that their 20-0 streak is their true talent level because that would make the the best team in basketball history by a wide margin, and that's unrealistic.


Correct. I'm not saying they're one of the best teams of all time or anything, but they had an argument as to being the best this year even before the playoffs begun. And as you and AROM alluded to, whether they've been playing out of their minds or not, those wins have already happened and that hot streak (if that's all it really is) has already gotten them to the verge of the finals. If that streak continues even 2 games into the finals, they'll have an almost insurmountable lead by the time they come back to earth.

I actually do expect the Thunder to end the streak and win once in OKC. But I also think they lost their chance to win the series when they couldn't complete yesterday's comeback. 0-2 against a team as good as the Spurs is a lot to overcome.
   2061. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4143207)
Correct. I'm not saying they're one of the best teams of all time or anything, but they had an argument as to being the best this year even before the playoffs begun.

I'm really rooting for the Spurs to win because of this alone. I like it better when the best team wins the title, unlike what happened in the NFL and MLB their last seasons and what's going to happen in the NHL this year. It just seems "right" this way, and if that means UK and Calipari get a title for a couple of years, so be it.
   2062. Backlasher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4143208)
Also, the Thunder aren't a great defensive team.

That is why I am a bit surprised at all the hateration towards Thabo. The Thunder have generally been more effective when he has been on the floor. If the choice is between him and DFish, then I think you do need the extra defense. DFish had a hot hand for a few minutes in game 1, but that has been about it.

Also, I agree with tship. Steve Kerr talked about the Thunder going smaller during the game. If Manu hadn't been such a closer, it would have looked even better. It still looked like a plus strategy.

Its Perk that is the most out of place when SAS doesn't post Duncan. Serge can still give you a bit of offense and be a good rim protector. Collison can also play with surge and defend outside the paint a bit.
   2063. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4143211)
It's hard imagining any of the East teams, even at full strength, beating the Spurs the way they're playing right now.


I disagree. In these first two games, SAS is getting a ton of FT attempts and hitting their 3pers. Admittedly, those are skills for SAS, but those skills have a high degree of volatility. SAS was 17th in the league at FTA at 21 per game. They've gone over that in each game (around 25 per after you take out the intentional fouls).

In addition, this same team lost last year in the second round. They're also highly vulnerable to injury (and play three pretty injury prone guys). Finally, one of their big guys is not capable of playing big minutes. LeBron can go 45 minutes. Ginobili can do around 35 at most.

I'm pretty sure that SAS is not as good as they've looked the last two games.
Edit:
Its Perk that is the most out of place when SAS doesn't post Duncan. Serge can still give you a bit of offense and be a good rim protector. Collison can also play with surge and defend outside the paint a bit.


Yes, I agree here. The problem is Perkins because he doesn't provide any shot blocking on all the drives to the hoop. He's just not a great help defender. The problem that OKC is having is poor help defense on dribble penetration (edit: and SAS hitting a really high % on 3pers)

Triple Edit: As evidence, Kendrick Perkins had the same block % this year as Channing Frye.
   2064. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4143216)
Looking at 82games stats, Perkins this year allowed a 17.6 PER to his counterparts. Thunder were +4.2 with him on the court and +9.3 with him off. Ibaka only allowed 12.5 PER to counterparts, and the team was +6.2 on, +7.0 off. Strangely enough, they played best with Collison on the floor (+9.4 on vs +4.7 off) despite him allowing 19.5 to counterparts.

Looking back a few years, Perkins never had a very good rating on PER allowed. Though I can see those unadjusted ratings being misleading if he's specifically used when the opponent has a high scoring big man on the floor.

   2065. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4143219)
55 games is not a hot streak. Their scoring margin the last four months is 9.7. It's 10.9 in games they didn't out-and-out tank. This is a great team that took a month to round into form after the league decided to queer the start of the season.
   2066. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4143225)
In addition, this same team lost last year in the second round. They're also highly vulnerable to injury (and play three pretty injury prone guys). Finally, one of their big guys is not capable of playing big minutes. LeBron can go 45 minutes. Ginobili can do around 35 at most.


Worse than that. Memphis took them out in the first round last year. But no worries, last year's team didn't have Boris Diaw.

   2067. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4143226)
I'm pretty sure that SAS is not as good as they've looked the last two games.

Who's only talking about the last 2 games? They've been awesome for months now (as 2065 points out).

In addition, this same team lost last year in the second round. They're also highly vulnerable to injury (and play three pretty injury prone guys). Finally, one of their big guys is not capable of playing big minutes. LeBron can go 45 minutes. Ginobili can do around 35 at most.

First round. And in the sense I was discussing, I was ignoring injuries for the East teams, so the same would apply here. At their peak, which is where they are right now, they are better than the best of the East at their peak, IMO.
   2068. Backlasher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4143243)
Looking at 82games stats, Perkins this year allowed a 17.6 PER to his counterparts. Thunder were +4.2 with him on the court and +9.3 with him off.

I think Perk is an asset for many teams and in many situations; but as noted by rr, Perk was brought to Oak City to put Pau on his ass and push Bynum off the blocks. If SAS' primary offense was posting Duncan, then he could still be an asset albeit probably giving up a higher PER than would look attractive.
   2069. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 30, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4143283)
Strangely enough, they played best with Collison on the floor (+9.4 on vs +4.7 off) despite him allowing 19.5 to counterparts.

This seems to be true every year, so it shouldn't really be surprising at this point. Collison is very effective on offense, gobbling up offensive rebounds, converting a high percentage of his shot attempts, and spacing the floor better than their other big men. He lacks the size or athleticism to be a great man defender, but he's crafty on that end and plays solid team defense as a result. Over the past 3 seasons, OKC has been +7.9, +9.5, and +6.3 with Collison on the court versus off (via 82games), while Collison's opposing PER has consistently been 17+.
   2070. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 30, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4143295)
55 games is not a hot streak. Their scoring margin the last four months is 9.7. It's 10.9 in games they didn't out-and-out tank. This is a great team that took a month to round into form after the league decided to queer the start of the season.
In the Spurs' last 33 games, they've had a 20 game winning streak and an 11 game winning streak. The only two losses (back to back) were when they tanked a roadie in Utah on April 9th (2nd of a back-to-back, Duncan, Parker, Manu all sat out, the reserves faded in the 4th), then lost the next one to the Lakers when Bynum grabbed 30 boards. That's it. Toss out the tank job in Utah, and they're 31-1 in their last 32.

I think we've been blind to their greatness.
   2071. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4143313)
It's hard for me to understand why some people still aren't convinced that the Spurs are legit. We're not talking about a good but clearly not great team that's just on an epic hot streak like say, the 2008 Rockets, who had a winning streak of 20+ games but lost in the first round to no one's surprise and were led by a "superstar" who's won as many playoff series as I have. We're talking about a team that tied for the best record in the NBA and who's star player/coach duo has already taken home the title 4 times before.
   2072. AROM Posted: May 30, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4143327)
I think we've been blind to their greatness.


I don't think I've been blind to it. What I've seen has been a thing of beauty. Especially the Parker to Manu, behind the back to Parker in the corner for a wide open three, Tony hesitating a few seconds to let the suspense build, then draining it. That play got the same kind of reaction that usually comes from a Wade lob from 50 feet to James for a throwdown in transition.

I just don't think 31-1 is for real. One thing that has always been true in every sport is you're never as good as you look when things are going well, and you're never as bad as you look when things aren't (unless you're really that bad, then pretty soon they won't let you play anymore).

Spurs are not a 97% win team, I'm pretty sure of that. But they don't have to be. If they are .667 team against top 4 competition then they'll break the streak in OKC, win the series at home in 5, then pop some champagne after game 6 of the finals.
   2073. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4143332)
Spurs are not a 97% win team, I'm pretty sure of that.


Of course not. No team ever has been.

But they don't have to be. If they are .667 team against top 4 competition then they'll break the streak in OKC, win the series at home in 5, then pop some champagne after game 6 of the finals.


Exactly. And this is pretty much what I expect to see happen.
   2074. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4143411)
Having a heated argument with a friend about whether it makes sense for the Nets, if they get the #1, to trade Randolph for Howard. I said I could see an argument being made depending on the severity of Howard's injury and Deron's preference. He countered by saying that he's fairly certain Anthony Randolph will be KG 2 and that prime KG > prime Howard (again, assuming he comes back full strength). Do people here feel that prime KG > prime Howard?
   2075. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4143420)
1 year of Dwight Howard >> infinite years of Anthony Randolph.

He countered by saying that he's fairly certain Anthony Randolph will be KG 2


"Fairly certain" is several levels of crazy. Sure, this is possible, Randolph is hard to project, but you trade him for Dwight Howard every day and twice on Sundays.

As to the non crazy part of that, I would take prime Howard over prime KG but I could see it the other way.

Also, Anthony Randolph is on the Nets? I must have missed that.

EDIT: Do you mean Anthony Davis?
   2076. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4143421)
Do people here feel that prime KG > prime Howard?
Yes, though we may not have seen prime Howard yet.

He countered by saying that he's fairly certain Anthony Randolph will be KG 2
Can't quite wrap my head around this one.
   2077. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4143424)
I meant Anthony Davis btw. ####. Always make that mistake.
   2078. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4143427)
I think I only trade Davis for Howard if I can get at least one of Howard and Deron to sign a long-term extension. This probably comes down to marketing in Brooklyn and whether you really do need to strike while the iron is hot or if you can build the fan base as easily if you're good in a couple years as opposed to right away, I'm not sure if there are good models on that.
   2079. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4143429)
OH! In that case, YES. Assuming Howard is healthy, the Nets would be able to run out a starting five that includes Howard at C, Gerald Wallace at SF, Kris Humphries at PF, Deron Williams at PG, and Gerald Green/Anthony Morrow at SG. That's a good team, a top four team in the East right now, maybe top 2 since Rose is going to be MIA for Chicago.

EDIT: This assumes as AS notes, that Williams and Howard agree to stick around.
   2080. Booey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4143430)
Having a heated argument with a friend about whether it makes sense for the Nets, if they get the #1, to trade Randolph for Howard.


I think you trade a guy who COULD be a star for a guy who IS a star and should continue to be so for many more years any day of the week.

Edit: Assuming Howard is healthy and committed to a long term contract, etc, of course.
   2081. Jimmy P Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4143440)
I think you trade a guy who COULD be a star for a guy who IS a star and should continue to be so for many more years any day of the week.


No brainer. Howard's a top 10, probably top 5, player in the NBA. Trading him for a good but non slam dunk #1 is a no brainer.

It'd take more than that. I believe Zach Lowe wrote about this today. They'd need to throw Brooks in for contract, I think renounce Humphries, and probably give Orlando a little bit more than just Davis and Brooks.
   2082. smileyy Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4143442)
I think one of the teams would get the better end of that deal, but that it would probably be a good move for both teams.

Though this assumes that Howard really wants to play somewhere besides the Nets, but will play there if he can get a bit more money due to salary rules. If you think he'll play there anyway, you keep Davis and sign Howard as a FA. The worst that happens is you end up with Anthony Davis.
   2083. Jimmy P Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4143445)
If you think he'll play there anyway, you keep Davis and sign Howard as a FA.

But, you're making the assumption he's not getting traded to a team he likes and signs and extension. If you're the Nets, you're putting a lot of faith that a very wishy-washy guy won't sign an extension wherever he's traded.
   2084. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 30, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4143460)
No brainer. Howard's a top 10, probably top 5, player in the NBA. Trading him for a good but non slam dunk #1 is a no brainer.

*Probably* top 5? I think the question is how far behind LeBron is he for #2. So hell, yes, I trade the #1 pick for him.

OH! In that case, YES. Assuming Howard is healthy, the Nets would be able to run out a starting five that includes Howard at C, Gerald Wallace at SF, Kris Humphries at PF, Deron Williams at PG, and Gerald Green/Anthony Morrow at SG. That's a good team, a top four team in the East right now, maybe top 2 since Rose is going to be MIA for Chicago.

Yep. They also have Lopez, who doesn't have much use on this team. He can be moved for an upgrade at SG or for depth. Wait, I guess he's in the deal for Howard. I think Hollinger said the Nets could work it so they have enough cap space to absorb Howard's deal if they renounce Humphries.

If the reports today are to be believed that Williams will stay if they get Howard (and that BKN is where Howard really wants to be), then I have no hesitation trading the pick if they get it.
   2085. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4143491)
Yeah, the only number one overall pick of the last 20 years that I don't trade for Dwight Howard is LeBron (and maybe, maybe the Oden/Durant draft). Your upside has to be all-time great HOFer before I don't make the trade for Dwight.
   2086. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4143498)
If you haven't checked out the ESPN NBA podcast with Ryen Russillo, the episodes with Bruce Bowen are very good. I hated him as a player, but he makes a good analyst.
   2087. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4143509)
Lottery starts now.

14. Rockets
13. Suns
12. Bucks
11. Trailblazers
10. Hornets
9. Pistons
8. Raptors
7. Warriors
6. Nets —> Goes to Portland
5. Kings
4. Cavs

Not sure this is good for the Warriors. Devastating for the Nets.
   2088. JJ1986 Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4143510)
And any chance the Nets have of a quick turnaround die like that.
   2089. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4143512)
Have the Trailblazers ever had an extended run of mediocrity? I'm too lazy to check, but I feel like they ALWAYS are somehow either good or, right when they're about to decline to mediocrity/badness they get solid draft picks.
   2090. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4143513)
Anybody still think the Hornets would've been better off as a capped-out middle-tier team with a core that's exiting its prime?

Anybody?
   2091. Maxwn Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4143514)
Rigged.
Edit: J/k, but no seriously.
   2092. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4143515)
Not sure this is good for the Warriors.


Does it really matter which pick they #### up?
   2093. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4143518)
3. Wizards
2. Bobcats
1. Hornets

Hornets get #1. I'm shocked, SHOCKED.
   2094. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4143528)
Anybody still think the Hornets would've been better off as a capped-out middle-tier team with a core that's exiting its prime?
Yeah, they're in prime position... to be purchased by a rich buyer. It was never a "basketball decision", it was a financial decision by the league to veto a trade that three GMs thought was pretty fair for all three teams. As it is, the Hornets are OF COURSE better off at the expense of the Lakers and Rockets. Pardon me if I think the league commissioner ought to treat the Lakers and Rockets (or at least the Lakers) with some even-handedness.

The league-owned team got the #1 pick. Color me not surprised.
   2095. smileyy Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4143534)
I'm fine with the NBA doing that. I'm not fine with them lying about it.
   2096. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4143535)
I'm happy for the Hornets, and hope they can put together a decent team around Davis and Gordon.

Primer RT:
@DraftExpress Well deserved #1 pick for New Orleans. They competed all season. No tanking there at all.


It's too bad the Warriors got to keep their pick this year, but Jazz will probably get it next draft as long as Bogut is somewhat healthy.
   2097. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4143536)
Ummmmm... the league already sold them to Tom Benson in April.

Gordon may or may not stick around - he's a FA.
   2098. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4143543)
True. The basketball-decision veto came before that happened. I'm still hung up on that.

#foreverbitter
   2099. steagles Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4143546)
Ummmmm... the league already sold them to Tom Benson in April.
it was a package deal.


anyway, that's a pretty solid lottery for the sixers. brooklyn lost their pick, and two potential suiters for iguodala (GSW and SAC) both have lost their chance at pulling davis or MKG.

i'll take it.
   2100. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4143555)
At least I'm not Michael Jordan. He's probably booking a flight to Atlantic City right now to try and gamble his mad away after telling someone to get Harrison Barnes' agent on the phone.
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