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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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   2101. smileyy Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4143565)
My sense of schadenfreude, and Jordan's desire to have the biggest player/executive gap in history would love a reach of Barnes with the 2nd pick.
   2102. steagles Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4143571)
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.
i think he's more of a tyler zeller kind of guy. either him or mason plumlee.
   2103. Tripon Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4143574)
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.


Ah, but would you trade current Dwight Howard for 1st pick in the draft Dwight Howard?
   2104. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4143584)
Ah, but would you trade current Dwight Howard for 1st pick in the draft Dwight Howard?


Yes. It took Howard three years to become a legit all-star, and 4 years to develop his offensive game and become all-NBA 1st team material. I don't think those things were certainties. I can view a universe where Dwight Howard is just Tyson Chandler a significant percentage of the time. Current Dwight is quite a bit better than that.
   2105. steagles Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4143592)
i think the question should be this: if the deal is davis for howard straight up, and orlando won't make any other deal, and deron williams won't reup without the team trading for dwight howard, is that worth it?

if you can guarantee that you keep both williams and howard in the long term by trading davis, would you prefer that to having neither williams nor howard, but keeping davis on a rookie deal?


i kind of think that's a no-brainer, but it's kind of an irrelevant question now.
   2106. Tripon Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4143597)
I don't know about that, a Tyson Chandler who was the sole focus of his team as a young age instead of trying to share the ball with an unmotivated and out of shape Eddy Curry probably develops a better offensive game. I also think his defensive skills would still be developed as well.

Personally, I think Chandler's underrated.
   2107. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4143608)
I should state my thesis more clearly, I think.

In the NBA, due to the max contract, true superstar players (top 5-10 in the league guys) are the most important part of your team and the most valuable. They are very rarely available on the open market, and even when they are available, it's only around 3 teams (for any given player) that have a legit shot at signing them.

As such, draft choices are never as valuable as established superstars, unlike in MLB or the NFL. Even if you're confident that the guy you'd draft has a 50/50 shot at turning into Dwight Howard (and there's no way you should be that confident!), you would still trade him for the actual Dwight Howard in his prime.
   2108. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4143635)
[2107] That was my read exactly. It's irrelevant now though.

Another question for the group, before MJ took over as the consensus GOAT was there a time where Bird or Magic were considered GOAT or having the potential to be GOAT or was the title pretty much Russell's without a doubt?
   2109. JC in DC Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4143642)
Another question for the group, before MJ took over as the consensus GOAT was there a time where Bird or Magic were considered GOAT or having the potential to be GOAT or was the title pretty much Russell's without a doubt?


I've never experienced Russell as no doubt GOAT. The conversation was always Bird, Magic, Russell, Wilt, and KAJ, though the last a little less emphasized (wrongly imho, as you all know).
   2110. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4143652)
i've seen russell as GOAT many times.

i meant to link this before: draft lottery conspiracy theories.
   2111. Squash Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4143670)
As for the theory, I'd say I'm not sure it squares with the research I did here: http://82games.com/pelton13.htm and here: http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1412 showing increased efficiency by role players when playing with Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony.

This is a ways back now (life intervened), and first off props for doing research and posting in publicly. There are a few concerns one would have however. The question isn't really whether it's worth it to have Kobe on your team - clearly it is. He's a great player, top 10 all time probably, top 15 easily. Every team in the league would gladly take him. If Kobe takes a few extra shots a game, well bummer, but you live with it. Carmelo, while overrated, is also a very good player. Both guys draw a lot of attention, which would seem to make things easier for their teammates. That's a good thing.

The question isn't whether it's good to have Kobe or Carmelo, the question is whether there's a better version of Kobe or Carmelo that can be attained by them shooting less. I.e. it's not about comparing Lakers w/ Kobe to Lakers w/o Kobe, it's comparing Lakers w/ Kobe shooting a ton vs. Lakers w/o Kobe shooting a ton. 3.8 points of TS% is good. 5 is better. I'm not saying this is the case or whether that's attainable, but that's the real question. Obviously Kobe is awesome and you take him regardless. But is there a better Kobe? There's also the inverse relationship between efficiency and usage, in that efficiency tends to go down as usage goes up and vice versa. If you have a player on your team who is using 35% of the possessions there are significantly fewer possessions for other players to use, so we would expect their efficiencies to be higher with that guy on the court than without.

We also have to control for quality of opponent (witness how league strength and park effects have been a sea change in baseball statistics), and consider that we're talking about very small sample sizes regardless, since Kobe and Carmelo play most of their team's games. Also these stats are old - has this effect persisted? But the biggest issue is that we are in very short supply of Kobe's and Carmelo's - as I said you live with these guys shooting a little more than they should as they're net positives on offense regardless. What about all the other players in the league? A lot of teams have a guy who shoots too much. What if Jamal Crawford's shooting too much? Or, I hate to say this as he was a fave, Allen Iverson? Or Tracy McGrady, etc.

I'm not saying I know the answers - I'm just saying no one knows yet. We're still in the early stages of statistics. Basketball isn't like baseball - aesthetics actually tell us something about the quality of performance. We can see when a guy is taking low percentage shots, we can see at the end of a half when a guy says "I'm taking this shot no matter what". Does this style of play have no effect, a little effect, or lots of effect? No idea. Yet.
   2112. Squash Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4143714)
I've never experienced Russell as no doubt GOAT. The conversation was always Bird, Magic, Russell, Wilt, and KAJ, though the last a little less emphasized (wrongly imho, as you all know).

From my vague memories of the late 80s I would say Kareem was probably who people would have said was the GOAT, though I wouldn't put much money on it.

   2113. rr Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4143746)
Neil Paine does a detailed historical breakdown of the Knicks and Lakers, and why the Knicks' market has not helped them all that much. It is at BaskPro but is free for non-subscribers:

http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2324
   2114. rr Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4143759)
Add: My guess is that piece has already been linked, since it links here and actually quotes Booey. I have not read pages 20 and 21 yet.
   2115. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM (#4143773)
That LeBron block on Pierce leading to Wade clowning Dooling was beautilful.

Miami needs to make some free throws though.
   2116. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4143774)
LeBron James is the best player I've ever seen play basketball. Looking forward to the 4th.
   2117. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4143781)
Robinred - it was. I liked it too (and good on booey)
Spivey/1115 - yeah it was.
   2118. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4143798)
I think Miami needs to consider playing LeBron 48 minutes every game. No back to backs, a lot of commercial breaks...
   2119. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4143800)
Pierce took like 9 steps on that play.
   2120. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4143805)
Awful call on Pierce's 6th.
   2121. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4143806)
Ray Allen lives!
   2122. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4143811)
Primer RT:
@jonahkeri
LeBron has 6 inches and 800 pounds on Rondo. Half the court cleared out. Settles for a 20-footer.


   2123. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4143812)
Lots of gakking on FT's by Miami.
   2124. Squash Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4143813)
Boy the Heat really can't shoot free throws for ####.
   2125. rr Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4143818)
Rondo picked a good night to learn how to shoot.

Quite a performance.
   2126. Maxwn Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4143820)
Man, win or lose, hats off to Rajon Rondo tonight. This is some legendary #### right here.
   2127. JJ1986 Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4143823)
Not exactly a shining moment for these refs in OT.
   2128. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4143824)
Karl Malone kick.
   2129. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4143825)
You know, if the Heat were the Lakers, there would be some ######## about the officiating in this game.

/justsaying
   2130. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4143826)
WHo says there isn't? Rondo should have been on the line in a tie game. ####!
   2131. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4143828)
I dont blame KG for that foul, should have pushed harder
   2132. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4143829)
What a ####### joke. I can't wait for the Spurs to wax these guys in the Finals.
   2133. Squash Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4143832)
You know, if the Heat were the Lakers, there would be some ######## about the officiating in this game.

Against Boston? People mostly ##### about officiating when there's one team it would seem the NBA would clearly prefer to win (i.e. huge market Lakers vs. tiny market Sacramento). I don't think the NBA would be TOO upset if Boston and it's gigantic fanbase were to make the finals. Particularly if it's against the creaky Spurs rather than the young hot Thunder.
   2134. Squash Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4143833)
And Rondo, wow.
   2135. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4143834)
If there's any justice in the universe, there's a Larry Johnson call right here.
   2136. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4143836)
For the record, I don't believe in conspiracy theories. I do believe in terrible officiating, however.
   2137. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4143838)
Man, win or lose, hats off to Rajon Rondo tonight. This is some legendary #### right here.


It's best when it's hats off to Rondo AND they lose though.

I don't see any reason why any Celtics fan could act like they got robbed. It seemed like half the times that Rondo went to the line were on highly questionable calls.
   2138. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4143839)
But really... a couple of folks have said in this thread (and I agreed, silently) "Well, Boston will randomly hit their jump shots" or "Rondo will be special a night". These were explanations for why Boston would win a game. They happened and they still lost. I still think both Boston and (more likely) OKC will win a game. But I'm really looking forward to the Spurs vs. the Heat.
   2139. tshipman Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4143840)
People mostly ##### about officiating when there's one team it would seem the NBA would clearly prefer to win


In my experience, people mostly ##### about officiating when it's the Lakers (and the Bulls during the Jordan years).
   2140. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4143841)
Chalmers was huge tonight, especially in the first half.
   2141. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4143843)
Back-to-back Primer RT:

@WSzczerbiak: KG is another one who lacks the #clutchgene always has!


@ZachLowe_SI: Wally Szczerbiak shot 42.7%, including 28.5% from three-point range, in 54 career playoff games.


   2142. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4143844)
Speaking of rigged, the NBE's own team won the lottery tonight.
   2143. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4143845)
I don't see any reason why any Celtics fan could act like they got robbed. It seemed like half the times that Rondo went to the line were on highly questionable calls.

I disagree with you, but it's a moot point and not really worth arguing. Robbed is a funny word - would they have won if they make that call on Wade? I don't know. Just wish they had made it. So it goes.
   2144. Booey Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4143858)
Neil Paine does a detailed historical breakdown of the Knicks and Lakers, and why the Knicks' market has not helped them all that much. It is at BaskPro but is free for non-subscribers:


That was a good article. And it did make me smile to be quoted. :) I was at work when I read it and almost felt like pointing it out to my co-workers, but then I decided I probably shouldn't draw attention to the fact that I was hanging out on BBTF rather than actually working.

In my experience, people mostly ##### about officiating when it's the Lakers (and the Bulls during the Jordan years).


And the 2006 Heat.



   2145. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4143860)
Obviously Kobe is awesome and you take him regardless. But is there a better Kobe?
Yes. His name is Michael Jordan.
   2146. rr Posted: May 31, 2012 at 02:40 AM (#4143910)
Wojnarowski turns his baleful eye on the Commish and the lottery:

The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis. That's the worst part for the NBA; these aren't the railings from the guy sitting at the corner tavern, but the belief of those working within the machinery that something undue happened here, that they suspect it happens all the time under Stern.


http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--nba-s-problematic-ownership-of-hornets-opens-door-to-rigged-talk-over-draft-lottery-20120531.html
   2147. baudib Posted: May 31, 2012 at 03:19 AM (#4143916)
Some Sixers-related news:

1. Doug Collins is staying
2. As expected, Lou Williams will probably exercise his option. He wants a long-term deal.
3. Elton Brand also wants a long-term deal, and is willing to renegotiate.
4. Rumors that Rod Thorn is considering retirement. Who knew the guy was still working?

A lot of Sixers fans take out their frustrations on Lou and want him gone. The problem with Williams is he ends up with the ball a lot in crucial situations, as STEAGLES has noted many times, the Sixers had an unbelievably horrific record in close games, and a lot of those losses ended with Lou shooting a long 3 when down 2 or dribbling down to 1.5 seconds before making a bad pass or shot.

To me that says a lot more about the state of the Sixers than Lou Williams. You can't compare him to a starting SG let alone Kobe or Dwyane Wade -- Williams is a guy who plays 25-28 mins a game and provides instant offense off the bench and he's really good at that role. Granted, he's probably going to want a lot more money, and if some team wants to throw a huge contract his way and make him a starter, good for him. But definitely a guy I'd like to have back at a reasonable contract.

That said, with Collins coming back, it's probably not ideal to have all three of Williams, Turner and Iguodala returning.

Elton Brand has been a warrior and a really nice player over the course of his career. It seems he wants to finish his career in Philly. Unfortunately, signing him to some 2-3 year extension seems like a bad idea unless it's on a super team-friendly deal. Amnesty him, trade his expiring contract or get him back well below market value. Anything else would probably be a disaster.
   2148. baudib Posted: May 31, 2012 at 06:47 AM (#4143927)
Does anyone ever go back and read the original NBA playoffs thread? I still have it bookmarked. I perused a few pages to remind myself what we were arguing about 2 years ago:

1. There was a lot of argument when I called Derrick Rose a "transcendent star" early in the 2010-11 season.
2. I don't feel too comfortable about my comparison (as a statistical profile) of Blake Griffin to Charles Barkley. There was a brief period in Blake's rookie year where it looked like he had some talent for shooting 3-pointers and was a better passer than he is. Obviously still young and a really good player. Also, STEAGLES had Chris Paul joining Blake.
3. Remember when the Lakers' bench was deep and talented?
4. No one knew much about Kris Humphries.
   2149. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4143969)
Thanks for the responses re: Russell GOAT.

[2148] 1. I still disagree with your assertion.

2. Blake is a pretty good passer/ball-handler at the 4, IMO, but he sometimes makes poor decisions due to being overly aggressive. In particular, he loves to go to that spin move and sometimes gets himself trapped in the thick of the defense. The 3 point shooting does appear to be a fluke though.
   2150. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4143984)
I don't feel too comfortable about my comparison (as a statistical profile) of Blake Griffin to Charles Barkley.


As a statistical profile maybe. Karl Malone had a similar statistical profile, minus the 3 pointers. But for the visual, I don't think anyone compares. A 6'4 1'2, 275 pound man charging down the court with the speed of a guard, all the sane players getting out of his way, followed by a monster dunk. I don't think we'll ever see his like again, and that makes me sad.
   2151. JC in DC Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4143989)
As a statistical profile maybe. Karl Malone had a similar statistical profile, minus the 3 pointers. But for the visual, I don't think anyone compares. A 6'4 1'2, 275 pound man charging down the court with the speed of a guard, all the sane players getting out of his way, followed by a monster dunk. I don't think we'll ever see his like again, and that makes me sad.


I watched a highlight youtube of Barkley this weekend. I loved that guy. What a crazy athlete he was.
   2152. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4143992)
Celtics are precious. In game 1 Miami got to the rim all night long, with little challenge. So Rondo says this:

it was time for Heat stars to "hit the deck".

They said it, then they did it. They put Miami at the line instead of letting them have easy baskets. And after they followed through with their plan, what comes next? Of course, whining about all the foul shots Miami took.

"Rivers seethed, but he could change nothing late Wednesday night. "LeBron James took 24 free throws, and our team took 29."

If they want any chance of making the series a challenge, they need to keep it up, especially since Miami only made 31 of 47 free throws. I understand they need to be physical with the Heat, but shut up already about it. When you send somebody to the deck, he gets 2 free throws. This is the rule, and there's nothing new about it.

Rondo certainly was fouled on that play in OT. But he also got to the line earlier in the game with some very questionable ones. Biggest one that stands out to me: Rondo drives, Miller standing under the basket. Rondo misses shot, ref blows the whistle after seeing whether the shot is good or not. Miller barely moved, he's not actually capable of movement. At most he might have had a festering body part fall off and brush Rondo.
   2153. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4143993)
Anyone else think Miller should be nailed to the bench? I'd like to see all the minutes needed for a tall, 3 point shooting small forward go to James Jones. At least he's not an obvious liability on defense.
   2154. jmurph Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4144043)
2. Blake is a pretty good passer/ball-handler at the 4, IMO, but he sometimes makes poor decisions due to being overly aggressive. In particular, he loves to go to that spin move and sometimes gets himself trapped in the thick of the defense.


Did I miss it this year (completely possible, I didn't see the Clips that much), or does Blake have absolutely no post game? Every time I sat down to watch them play I ended up being disappointed in his lack of progress. Like others have said, he's already very good, but he just seems like he could be much better.
   2155. jmurph Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4144045)
Celtics are precious.


I'm a Celtics fan, but I think AROM and others have it right. I have no complaints. Lebron and Wade are getting in the paint all night, of course they're going to the line more. If anything, Lebron probably should have taken more than 24 FTs; he's entered that Shaq zone where he's basically fouled on every drive but doesn't always show it (except for the occasional flop, admittedly).
   2156. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4144062)
I don't know about that, a Tyson Chandler who was the sole focus of his team as a young age instead of trying to share the ball with an unmotivated and out of shape Eddy Curry probably develops a better offensive game. I also think his defensive skills would still be developed as well.

I've heard a lot of theories as to why Chandler didn't develop sooner. But this is the first time I've seen anyone blame Eddy Curry. Tyson had some success playing with Chris Paul (who doesn't?), but wasn't seen as the guy he is now until his 4th and 5th teams.

Wojnarowski turns his baleful eye on the Commish and the lottery:

I, for one, am sick of these conspiracies.

KCJHoop: FWIW, when I covered draft lottery every year during Floyd era, I got to sit in private room, watch proceedings. It's not rigged.
KCJHoop: I had to use the facilities AFTER draft lottery had already been conducted in private room. And guard escorted me. Awkward. But not rigged.


Elton Brand also wants a long-term deal, and is willing to renegotiate.

He just means an extension, right? No renegotiating is allowed.

1. There was a lot of argument when I called Derrick Rose a "transcendent star" early in the 2010-11 season.

I think you jumped the gun on that one, but were right. On the first couple of pages of the very first thread, I talked about Rose's ceiling being that high. I don't think I was convinced he'd get there (especially with VDN coaching him), but was glad to be wrong.

Rondo certainly was fouled on that play in OT.

Totally agree. And with the rest of the post, too. Pietrus in particular made some really, really dumb fouls (the clear path one, the one right after 2 minutes that looked like an end of game intentional foul, the OT jump and flail on the baseline). The 6th foul on Pierce is another one that's always called. If you're going to jump straight up, your arms have to be straight up too and stay that way until you land; his didn't. That foul is on Rondo though, for letting Wade blow right past him (perhaps fatigue is the real culprit there).
   2157. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4144065)
   2158. JJ1986 Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4144068)
Why would Stern and the NBA want the Hornets to get the top draft pick? It's not a huge market; they don't play much on national TV, and Davis isn't likely to make the team interesting all by himself. If it's an apology for ####### over the team for a few years then that's completely out of character. If it's a justification of squashing the Paul --> Lakers trade, it's not going to placate anyone. If I were rigging the lottery, I would have helped Brooklyn so they're not going to bomb their first season after the move.
   2159. JJ1986 Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4144095)
I absolutely hated watching last night's game. If it's that easy for players like Wade and James to draw fouls, then the rules for shooting fouls need to be relaxed. Something like the defender need to be moving towards or into the shooter in some way; none of this sideways or backwards contact. It makes for incredibly boring games.
   2160. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4144102)
Simmons went through the most likely teams to have the lottery fixed in their favor, giving a justification for each. Hornets were only #2, He had Brooklyn pegged as most likely to benefit from a fix. Another site I saw a rundown of the conspiracy reasons for every team to win the lottery. Except Milwaukee. They just flatly stated "David Stern is not going to fix the lottery for the Bucks."
   2161. Jimmy P Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4144137)
Why would Stern and the NBA want the Hornets to get the top draft pick? It's not a huge market; they don't play much on national TV, and Davis isn't likely to make the team interesting all by himself. If it's an apology for ####### over the team for a few years then that's completely out of character. If it's a justification of squashing the Paul --> Lakers trade, it's not going to placate anyone. If I were rigging the lottery, I would have helped Brooklyn so they're not going to bomb their first season after the move.

This. Add in that if you're Stern, you want the appearance that things aren't fixed. You don't do that by fixing it for the team that EVERYONE thinks it's fixed for (if that makes sense).

There were 4 reporters in the room last night. If it were fixed, we're talking some of the greatest planning ever.

   2162. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4144138)
I linked to that bit, AROM - thought they did a nice job.

I don't think rigging the lottery is worth the risk and, if I were to do it, it wouldn't be for NO.
   2163. andrewberg Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4144149)
The conspiracy theorists seem to think that the NBA wants New Orleans to get the top pick (even though their ownership is functionally over and the purchase price has already been set) so they can develop into a contender. Then, once they become competitive, the league will rig their playoff games so they lose to teams from bigger markets due to bad refereeing. It's the conspiracy equilibrium.

Also, people are kind of down on last night's game, but it was competitive, we saw some incredible plays at both ends, we saw Lebron taking a big role in closing out the game in overtime. It was a little sloppy, but we can't nitpick too much for games this deep in the playoffs. I enjoyed it.
   2164. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4144155)
we saw some incredible plays at both ends, we saw Lebron taking a big role in closing out the game in overtime.

After missing 2 potential game winners in regulation, of course. He short-armed the layup, and then the choice for the 20 foot fadeaway while being guarded by an exhausted and overmatched Rondo was pretty bad (and I should point out that while I appreciate JVG doing his part to squash the LeBron fails in the clutch talk, he couldn't have been more wrong that the last shot was as good as Miami was going to get there).
   2165. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4144158)
I don't think rigging the lottery is worth the risk and, if I were to do it, it wouldn't be for NO.


It's become such a joke at this point that there's not much the NBA can do. There's about a 95% chance that the lottery is won by a team that somebody can write a pretty good conspiracy narrative about. And if the pick goes to one of the teams in the other 5%? Well, obviously Stern rigged it to quiet down the conspiracy talk.

I agree that the risk is too great. Stern wouldn't need a huge amount of people involved, but definitely a few. And of this small group of corrupt men, what are the chances somebody gets busted for an unrelated crime (maybe an auditor who involved in green-lighting some major bank fraud or something) and then decides to sing? Or maybe someone gets old, tired of the games, and develops a conscience? Letting the picks fall where they may seems a much less stressful long term strategy for the league.

I would like to see this be more transparent. And if we can make it entertaining, so much the better. How about:

All teams must designate someone in their ownership group (say a minimum of 10%, so they don't throw a .00001 percent share to a ringer) to represent the team in a 1 on 1 basketball tournament. Obviously this works out well for the Bobcats. Prokorov should do well. Stern himself has to represent the Hornets, so they'll pick last among the lottery teams.
   2166. andrewberg Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4144163)
After missing 2 potential game winners in OT, of course


Yeah, I said overtime before to distinguish from him missing in regulation. Either way, he didn't shy away from the big shots.
   2167. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4144169)
and then the choice for the 20 foot fadeaway while being guarded by an exhausted and overmatched Rondo was pretty bad (and I should point out that while I appreciate JVG doing his part to squash the LeBron fails in the clutch talk, he couldn't have been more wrong that the last shot was as good as Miami was going to get there).


Rondo was so exhausted that he collapsed in OT and missed all his remaining shots. Oh, wait, nevermind. He was overmatched, but Lebron's advantage on Rondo is size and to exploit that he's got to put his back to the basket and take him down low, or shoot over him which he did. If he tries posting up, he gets triple teamed, and probably his best move at that point is to pass to an open teammate. I think I'd rather have James taking the shot he did than have Haslem or Battier or whoever take the final shot. With Lebron facing the basket, I think you have the best chance of managing the clock, making sure that the shot taken comes at the buzzer.
   2168. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4144172)
while I appreciate JVG doing his part to squash the LeBron fails in the clutch talk


If Lebron makes that shot at the end of regulation, it doesn't really affect the narrative. Lebron has made huge shots in the playoffs before. Buzzer beaters even. He even made some huge shots last year to close out the Celtics.

That talk remains until Lebron can make big shots like that in the finals.
   2169. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4144184)
We may have reached a point at which LeBron is as polarizing as Kobe, if not more.
   2170. Spivey Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4144185)
I tend to agree with 2167, but I think LeBron could have gotten a little closer.
   2171. billyshears Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4144186)
Not that I believe this, but I think the theory goes that the NBA agreed to rig the lottery as part of the sale of the Hornets to get a better price.
   2172. Jimmy P Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4144191)
Not that I believe this, but I think the theory goes that the NBA agreed to rig the lottery as part of the sale of the Hornets to get a better price.


Didn't work too well. They got more than they probably should, but it wasn't highway robbery
   2173. Backlasher Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4144192)
In my experience, people mostly ##### about officiating when it's the Lakers (and the Bulls during the Jordan years).

The officiating was not very good last night. People have already articulated a number of bad calls. They missed a number of calls that should have been easy. For instance, while they got it right on review, they miss Rondo having half a foot (not just a toe) over the three point line. There were a lot of fouls on questionable contact on drives. I have just stopped making critical posts on officiating. It doesn't seem to be a topic that most want to discuss on the actual calls or review of the specific officials or crews. I don't particular want to argue for a conspiracy theory that I do not hold.

The conspiracy theorists seem to think that the NBA wants New Orleans to get the top pick (even though their ownership is functionally over and the purchase price has already been set) so they can develop into a contender.

I thought the conspiracy theory was the #1 pick was part of the terms of sale to Benson.

He short-armed the layup, and then the choice for the 20 foot fadeaway while being guarded by an exhausted and overmatched Rondo was pretty bad (and I should point out that while I appreciate JVG doing his part to squash the LeBron fails in the clutch talk, he couldn't have been more wrong that the last shot was as good as Miami was going to get there).

As I recall, JVG also stated ~"This is what you want to do, put the ball in Lebron's hands." From JVG's point of view, that may have been the best shot they could get. Namely, if you decide that you are going to have LBJ run down the clock and iso, that may have been the best shot you could get. If you further decide that LBJ is going to be the shooter, then it further reduces the number of shots you could get.

I can't recall the source, but there was analysis on the interwebs that showed how offensive efficiency degraded based on how much time the player holds the ball. As I recall, there is a big drop off after two dribbles. Consequently, I agree with Moses they could have gotten a better shot, but IMHO, that would likely have required a different offensive set.
   2174. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4144196)
Rondo was so exhausted that he collapsed in OT and missed all his remaining shots. Oh, wait, nevermind.

Odd non sequitur. The point is more that he didn't use any advantages to get something better than a low percentage shot. Points about other people taking the shot, double/triple coverages are all fair, but it's still a 20 foot fade away over a much smaller player.

That talk remains until Lebron can make big shots like that in the finals.

It's probably going to have to be a game 7 game winner to shut most people up, and even that won't be enough for everyone. Or maybe 4 straight game winners to sweep the series.
   2175. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4144197)
Not that I believe this, but I think the theory goes that the NBA agreed to rig the lottery as part of the sale of the Hornets to get a better price.

Didn't work too well. They got more than they probably should, but it wasn't highway robbery
It took around a year and a half for the NBA to find a buyer so, like others have said, the #1 pick would have been part of the buy to sweeten the pot. I don't like conspiracy theories at all, so I don't really believe this... but it's sure fun to think about. And by fun, I mean infuriating.

#foreverbitter
   2176. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4144198)
Consequently, I agree with Moses they could have gotten a better shot, but IMHO, that would likely have required a different offensive set.

They ran a great play to get the first shot, but after LBJ got the offensive rebound he demanded the ball back and cleared everyone out and waited 10+ seconds before doing anything else.
   2177. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4144199)
BTW, is it time we reshuffle the Boston references to say, instead of the Big 3, we call them Rajon and the Rondettes? As Larry Bird might say, that was God disguised as Rajon Rondo out there last night.

If it took a legendary game by Rondo to keep the Celtics in it last night, I'm not sure this series lasts very long.
   2178. Backlasher Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4144203)
He short-armed the layup, and then the choice for the 20 foot fadeaway while being guarded by an exhausted and overmatched Rondo was pretty bad (and I should point out that while I appreciate JVG doing his part to squash the LeBron fails in the clutch talk, he couldn't have been more wrong that the last shot was as good as Miami was going to get there).

But to a large degree, this is Stern reaping what he has sewed. As a caveat, I think Stern has been a great commissioner and he has done a lot to make the NBA more profitable. However, were I do offer criticism is how he handled controversy. The evaluation of officials is very opaque. Discipline and reinstitution of officials is very opaque. It took Tim Donaghy and five plus years before the league admitted that the infamous game 6 was poorly called. There has never been a statement on Heat-Mavs 1. The only suspension I remember being announced was after Joey Crawford gave Timmy a T on the bench. He was out of the league for refusing to serve, then he was back, and I'm not sure we heard anything.

In addition, you can't get any real critical discussion on any controversial issue, b/c the participants are fined if they discuss the issue. We don't know what is reported by teams when they are allowed to make their critical reports, so we can't really analyze if there are any trends, etc. I recognize that this reduces some of the whining, but it also makes conditions more condusive to people expecting conspiracies. When you then have one of your officials caught betting on games, and he alleges other shenanigans, its going to exacerbate the problem.

I know most leagues like to keep the officials talk out of the narrative; however, there are some that are being more forthcoming. We are able to get more information from NCAA football conferences on ref reports. IMHO, this makes it better for the league image and for reducing some of the structural conspiracy theories.
   2179. OCF Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4144209)
I was watching some last night, and I'm wondering: has Battier's offensive game always been quite that one-dimensional? I started watching what he was doing: every single possession, he just went to a corner and stayed there. Often, he just sort of walked over to the corner, since there was no hurry getting there. He might as well have been hanging up a billboard saying, "The only thing I'm ever going to do is shoot the corner three. You don't have to worry about me doing anything else."
   2180. Booey Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4144220)
That talk remains until Lebron can make big shots like that in the finals.

It's probably going to have to be a game 7 game winner to shut most people up, and even that won't be enough for everyone. Or maybe 4 straight game winners to sweep the series.


He just needs to win a ring. How he actually plays in the series to get it is irrelevant. Players who have them aren't considered chokers even if they played like crap, and players who don't are guys with flaws in their games or mentality that prevent them from winning it all, even if they played awesome in the Finals and they lost cuz their teammates blew chunks.

It's asinine, but that seems to be the mindset.
   2181. Booey Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4144229)
In addition, you can't get any real critical discussion on any controversial issue, b/c the participants are fined if they discuss the issue.


Agreed. IMO, Stern helps fuel the conspiracy theories with his hypersensitivity about the issue. The fines players and coaches get just for mentioning a call are ridiculous. Are the fines this high or this common with any other sport? If a baseball player struck out looking and then said in the postgame interview, "That pitch was high", would he get an automatic fine of at least 25 grand?

How much was Frank Vogel fined for saying the Heat were floppers or whatever it was that he said? And Stern said it would've been even more if it were up to him. Really? Why are comments like Vogel's such a big deal?
   2182. Booey Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4144231)
Thurl Bailey just walked past my desk and said hi. Tall dude...
   2183. Backlasher Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4144233)
I was watching some last night, and I'm wondering: has Battier's offensive game always been quite that one-dimensional?

Battier has rarely been used as a player that creates his own shots; however, his position on the floor in the Heat's game is largely due to their offense. 77% of his shots are jump shots and 92% of them are assisted. See 82 games. Battier sparked an extensive discussion on the epic thread. You can read this love piece on Battier and Morley. IIRC, Andy is a big Battier fan.
   2184. JJ1986 Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4144240)
The attempt to pretend that NBA officiating is perfect or nearly-perfect makes no sense. It's clearly not that great, and is biased in all sorts of ways. Admitting mistakes and attempting to change things would be the logical way to make things seem fair and above board. Sticking to a broken system doesn't make it look less broken in the past, it makes it look more broken in the present.
   2185. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4144242)
Not to move away from conf finals talk, but I was looking at a draft site and saw that the Wolves were projected to pick a guard from Syracuse. I threw up in my mouth a little bit. What Flynn and Wes Johnson weren't enough? We need another Orange bust? Gak.

Of course the Wolves do need an SG, but please not from Syracuse.
   2186. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4144246)
Biggest one that stands out to me: Rondo drives, Miller standing under the basket. Rondo misses shot, ref blows the whistle after seeing whether the shot is good or not. Miller barely moved, he's not actually capable of movement. At most he might have had a festering body part fall off and brush Rondo.


This is actually the thing that's been driving me crazy all series. Bad calls happen, but the refs have been pretty consistently whistling calls after shots miss. I've noticed it more on the Heat, but that is almost certainly a combination of them driving more and my own confirmation bias. I can live with a bad call, but call it or don't. Whistling a foul two or three seconds after it occurs and the continuation shot has missed is unacceptable.
   2187. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4144248)
Thurl Bailey just walked past my desk and said hi. Tall dude...


Based on everything Booey has said in this thread, I have chosen to believe that he works for the mob.
   2188. JJ1986 Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4144251)
Not to move away from conf finals talk, but I was looking at a draft site and saw that the Wolves were projected to pick a guard from Syracuse. I threw up in my mouth a little bit. What Flynn and Wes Johnson weren't enough? We need another Orange bust? Gak.

Of course the Wolves do need an SG, but please not from Syracuse.


I feel like Moe Harkless is going to be a steal for someone around that range of picks, but he can probably only play SF.
   2189. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4144255)
He just needs to win a ring. How he actually plays in the series to get it is irrelevant.
The Russell-as-G.O.A.T. arguments were built around rings.
   2190. andrewberg Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4144257)
Bitter- my favorite college/pro teams are Georgetown and the Wolves, so to have two Cuse alumni submarine the Wolves as terrible top 5 picks is doubly painful. My first choice would be Rivers, cuz I think Rubio covers some of his shortcomings (size, defense, creating for others) and he could grow to cover some of Rubio's faults (perimeter shooting, finishing inside). It could be a sort of Kidd/Terry type of combo. Of course, Kahdelman has been pretty open about wanting to package that pick with more young guys to try to get a useful vet who can provide more stable shooting. I am fine with the idea in theory depending on the particular guy.
   2191. Booey Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4144258)
#2184 - Exactly. Even the NBA fans that don't buy into the conspiracy theories still generally agree that the officiating is inconsistant and just not that great overall. Why does the league put up with incompetant refs? That's almost as bad as putting up with crooked ones. Why can't they hire someone to do reviews of each game, grade the calls, and get rid of the officials that are consistantly awful? Games will be better, fans will have less to complain about, we'd see fewer flops, Stern wouldn't have to deal with as much conspiracy talk, etc. I don't see any downside to doing this.
   2192. rr Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4144259)
I don't think the lottery was rigged, but there are certainly enough circumstantial issues around this year's lottery to give people who

a) hate Stern
b) are Lakers fans
c) are Bobcats fans
d) are into conspiracies
e) all or any of the above

something to work with. That is also true of the ref issues that people talk about.

   2193. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4144263)
Odd non sequitur. The point is more that he didn't use any advantages to get something better than a low percentage shot. Points about other people taking the shot, double/triple coverages are all fair, but it's still a 20 foot fade away over a much smaller player.


With reasons not to post up (clock management and wanting Lebron to take it), his options are the long jumper or try to drive to the basket. I think if Pierce is on him, a drive to the basket starting with about 3-4 seconds could work, he can get by Pierce and even if he doesn't make the shot has a good chance of getting fouled.

With Rondo, I think the drive is off. The one advantage he does not have is quickness. If he drives on Rondo I think there's a very good chance of an offensive foul call, and the Heat don't need Rondo winning the game at the line with basically no time left. If Pierce is on him and he tries the jumper, Pierce is unlikely to block his shot but probably makes it a very uncomfortable jumper. On Rondo, the jumper he let fly looked pretty comfortable.
   2194. JJ1986 Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4144266)
c) are Bobcats fans


All three of them are pretty upset about the lottery.
   2195. Booey Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4144267)
Based on everything Booey has said in this thread, I have chosen to believe that he works for the mob.


I actually really did "lol" on that one!

Man, I wish that were true. It'd be so much more interesting than being an inventory analyst for a furniture retailer.

Edit: But if you'd rather still believe the mob ties, feel free to ignore that last line. I can't say I'd blame ya. :)
   2196. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4144272)
I can live with a bad call, but call it or don't. Whistling a foul two or three seconds after it occurs and the continuation shot has missed is unacceptable.


In game 1 I noticed that with the Heat getting the late whistles. Yesterday I mostly noticed it on Rondo early in the game. In any case, I totally agree that this is BS. It's as if the ref is thinking "I'm not sure if that was a foul. It was close but I don't want to give him an undeserved 3 point play. But if it was a foul, I don't want him to come away with nothing. I'll wait and see if the shot falls in, then I'll decide what to do."
   2197. AROM Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4144274)
Man, I wish that were true. It'd be so much more interesting than being an inventory analyst for a furniture retailer.


I would have guessed you work at a Big and Tall Mens Wear with all the mentions of the big men. I mean, everybody has to buy furniture, but specialty clothing would increase the odds your customers were giants.
   2198. Tripon Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4144279)
Might be time to just do away with the draft lottery. The whole point of the lottery (At least initinally) was to discourage teams from losing on purpose, but it seems to be happening anyway.

Can't have a conspircy if there's noting to conspire to.
   2199. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4144285)
"Hi, I'm Thurl Bailey. In my 15 seasons in the NBA, I spent a lot of time on the bench, so I know the importance of a comfortable place to sit...."
   2200. Backlasher Posted: May 31, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4144289)
I feel like Moe Harkless is going to be a steal for someone around that range of picks, but he can probably only play SF.

I agree. I think Harkless is one of the more undervalued players in most mock drafts. I also think Perry Jones can be a value pick based on where he is projected; however, Jones concerns me because he takes so many plays off. If he continues to do that, he could get pushed out of the association really quickly.

If he drives on Rondo I think there's a very good chance of an offensive foul call, and the Heat don't need Rondo winning the game at the line with basically no time left.

There would not be free throws on an offensive foul; however, a turnover that deep would create a court balance problem. The defending player may get a good look at the basket for a final shot.
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