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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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   2301. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4145102)
RIP, Orlando Woolridge. I hadn't heard about his condition.
   2302. JC in DC Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4145103)
Orlando Woolridge is dead.
   2303. Jimmy P Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4145107)
Are we making too much of the limitations of defensive-minded SFs? In recent years, Iguodla, Deng, Artest, Marion, and Josh Smith have made all star games. Battier, Bowen, Prince, and Tony Allen have been highly valued contributors with varying abilities to shoot.

Some of these guys didn't come into the league as defensive minded SFs, though. Smith, Deng, Iguodala, and Marion were all freakish athletes with offensive upside. Which I guess MKG is, too. Look at where these guys were drafted, though. I think Deng was the highest pick of them. I know that Artest and Marion were in the teens. It's just a big investment for a top 3 draft pick.

And the group of Bowen, Prince, and Allen kind of goes against drafting MKG that high. Allen was the 25th pick, Bowen wasn't drafted, and Prince was 23rd.

I mean, if you strongly believe MKG is Prince, it's worth it. If he's Tony Allen, you probably missed with a top 3.
   2304. andrewberg Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4145109)
Wow, not an uplifting obit for Woolridge. Do peole steal metal piping to sell for scrap for reasons other than getting drugs? Bubs would indicate not.
   2305. billyshears Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4145110)
Back to the free throw shooting discussion for a moment, I have to believe that when a player is as bad a free throw shooter as Drummond (or Eric Snow in college or early Karl Malone), there is a large psychological component to it - it's the yips of basketball. Obviously performance naturally declines from practice to games (though perhaps less with free throw shooting than shooting in general), but I would guess that really poor free throw shooters see a larger decline in their free throw shooting from practice to games than other players. I'm not sure if this makes it more or less likely that a very poor free throw shooter will improve, but I don't think it's solely a matter of spending more time in the gym.
   2306. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4145140)
Woolridge had a serious coke problem during his playing days, but the last thing I remember reading about him before today was that he'd kicked the habit and was doing well. This is a sad ending.

Woolridge had just about the most incredible NBA body before Karl Malone finished sculpting his out of granite. Strong like a bear and could jump out of the gym, but he was never much of a rebounder for a big guy and never played a lick of defense. There was hope when he came to L.A. that playing next to Magic Johnson would change things, but... nope.

R.I.P.
   2307. AROM Posted: June 01, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4145193)
Woolridge had just about the most incredible NBA body before Karl Malone finished sculpting his out of granite. Strong like a bear and could jump out of the gym, but he was never much of a rebounder for a big guy and never played a lick of defense. There was hope when he came to L.A. that playing next to Magic Johnson would change things, but... nope.


Yeah. He probably had the most impressive biceps in the league. Yet the only use he ever had for his physical advantages was to get higher on his jump shot than most people.
   2308. AROM Posted: June 01, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4145206)
Some of these guys didn't come into the league as defensive minded SFs, though. Smith, Deng, Iguodala, and Marion were all freakish athletes with offensive upside. Which I guess MKG is, too. Look at where these guys were drafted, though. I think Deng was the highest pick of them. I know that Artest and Marion were in the teens. It's just a big investment for a top 3 draft pick.

And the group of Bowen, Prince, and Allen kind of goes against drafting MKG that high. Allen was the 25th pick, Bowen wasn't drafted, and Prince was 23rd.


When Battier was picked #6 I thought he'd be a lot better at scoring than he ended up. He was an excellent shooter at Duke who scored 19.9 PPG his final, title winning, season. He got to the line about 5 times per game. He was definitely a finished product without a lot of upside, but he seemed to be the kind of guy who would score 15-18 per game for awhile instead of quickly becoming a defensive specialist and spot-up shooter.
   2309. puck Posted: June 01, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4145220)
At least he had that glorious year in the defense-free Paul Westhead system in Denver. 119.9 points/game, allowed 130.8. Wooldridge got his 25.1.
   2310. steagles Posted: June 01, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4145222)
As I responded to baudib, this is not allowed. From the Coon CBA FAQ:
brand has an ETA, so essentially, what we're talking about is that he will opt out, but have a guarantee from the sixers that they'll immediately resign him to a multi-year contract.

as i was saying, though, he's guaranteed 18MM if he does nothing, so even if we assume that he gets no extra money from doing this (which i don't think is a reasonable assumption, unless brand decides that staying here is worth giving up the potential earnings), that's still $6 million against the cap per year over the next 3 years, and while i really would not mind having him back, i just don't think that's a smart move.
   2311. smileyy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4145228)
Going back to harping on Jeremy Lamb, I take his skinniness as a strike against his work ethic too. I can understand a freshman coming out of college and being undersized -- he didn't have a ton of time to put on weight and just came off a season more grueling than anything he's gone through before. But a sophomore knows what that's like, and knows he'll need to be stronger to be more successful in college and in the NBA.

Do I have an irrational vendetta against Lamb (and maybe UConn)? Maybe. But I also don't think I'm wrong in that he'll have motivational and performance issues for at least the first half of his career.
   2312. andrewberg Posted: June 01, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4145232)
brand has an ETA, so essentially, what we're talking about is that he will opt out, but have a guarantee from the sixers that they'll immediately resign him to a multi-year contract.


It strikes me as similar to the situation with RJ in SA a couple years ago. They figured they could reduce their cap hit in the short term by committing a more reasonable annual value out into the future so the guy was slightly overpaid for a few years instead of grossly overpaid for one. Along those lines, I think it would take something like 3/27 to actually persuade him to exercise the ETA. Of course, with RJ, he deteriorated even further, so he remained grossly overpaid with that that lower figure, but was stuck there for years. I don't know if the same would happen to Brand. It is worth considering, though. I guess you could always just dump him on the Warriors.
   2313. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4145242)
I thought he'd be better at scoring as well, though not quite a 15-18 guy. That said, he turned out fine ... but it's a lot to expect of anyone that they'd contribute in the ways that Battier has.

I don't think MKG is a freakish athlete - he's a pretty good one. To that end, a more compact version of Luol Deng with less shooting / offense isn't a bad comp. MKG is better at getting to the rim and might be more versatile defensively than Deng was.

***

I was going to mention that Westhead season too... amazing numbers came out of that team.
   2314. smileyy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4145252)
I remember Woolridge being the leading scorer for the Nuggets when Paul Westhead was running his Loyola Marymount three-seconds-or-less offense with them. I really hoped he'd be successful at the NBA level (I was like 15), but I understand now why that can work in college and not in the NBA.

Loyola Marymount has archives from their 1990 Elite 8 season on their website. There's some fun boxscores in there:

http://www.lmulions.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/history.html

The 1990 Xavier-LMU game was one of the most entertaining games I've ever seen. Future NBA players Tyrone Hill and Derek Strong finished with 38pts/20reb and 24/24 respectively. Xavier finished +31 in rebounding and grabbed more offensive boards than LMU had defensive rebounds:
http://www.lmulions.com/sports/m-baskbl/archive/021805aah.html

Shaq had a 20pt/24reb/12blk performance against them when LSU won 148-141 in OT: http://www.lmulions.com/sports/m-baskbl/archive/022405aab.html

And of course, there was their annihilation of defending champ Michigan in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament. Shooting 40 3s and hitting more than half of them is a strategy: http://www.lmulions.com/sports/m-baskbl/archive/022405aal.html
   2315. andrewberg Posted: June 01, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4145260)
Do I have an irrational vendetta against Lamb (and maybe UConn)? Maybe. But I also don't think I'm wrong in that he'll have motivational and performance issues for at least the first half of his career.


I have a vendetta against UConn, but it actually works the other way: I think Calhoun does too much to prepare them for the pro game, not too little. They have a fairly long list of guys who were somehow better in the NBA than they ever were in college, or at least adapt extremely quickly to the pro game: Gay, Villanueva (the former), Allen, Gordon, Butler (the latter).

Now, contrast that with Syracuse, which routinely produces guys who face constant criticism for being too unmotivated/undisciplined or too self centered: Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, Melo, Wes Johnson, Donte Greene, everyone else.
   2316. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 01, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4145267)
They have a fairly long list of guys who were somehow better in the NBA than they ever were in college, or at least adapt extremely quickly to the pro game: Gay, Villanueva (the former), Allen, Gordon, Butler (the latter).

Kemba Walker! Would have been the bobcats all-star if they were required to have one.

Rip Hamilton.

Donyell Marshall was the opposite, Big East player of the year and took a long time to become an NBA starter.
   2317. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4145279)
(looks over lmu stuff)
Tom Peabody! The human bruise!
(my favorites on that team, besides gathers, were fryer and lowery - who spent a few years in the majors and maybe merited a little more time than that.)
   2318. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 01, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4145287)
To that end, a more compact version of Luol Deng with less shooting / offense isn't a bad comp. MKG is better at getting to the rim and might be more versatile defensively than Deng was.

More versatile how? Deng can guard 4s, I don't think that MKG will be able to. Both do/will likely struggle against 2s, although I bet MKG has more lateral quickness than Deng. But he's not going to be in Deng's league defensively, IMO, mostly because of the size/length/reach differences.

Some of these guys didn't come into the league as defensive minded SFs, though. Smith, Deng, Iguodala, and Marion were all freakish athletes with offensive upside.

I could be misremembering, but I don't remember anyone ever describing Deng as a freakish athlete. Were he a freakish athlete, he would have gone higher than #7.
   2319. Backlasher Posted: June 01, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4145297)
Shaq had a 20pt/24reb/12blk performance against them when LSU won 148-141 in OT: http://www.lmulions.com/sports/m-baskbl/archive/022405aab.html

One of my good college friends recorded this on his VCR and we would watch this from time to time.

hey have a fairly long list of guys who were somehow better in the NBA than they ever were in college, or at least adapt extremely quickly to the pro game: Gay, Villanueva (the former), Allen, Gordon, Butler (the latter).

There have been disappointments too:

Hilton Armstrong (12th Pick)
Hasheem Thabeet (2nd Pick)

I think the best UConn value pick was Clifford Robinson (2nd Round and an All Star)

More versatile how? Deng can guard 4s, I don't think that MKG will be able to. Both do/will likely struggle against 2s, although I bet MKG has more lateral quickness than Deng. But he's not going to be in Deng's league defensively, IMO, mostly because of the size/length/reach differences.

As I mentioned, I do want to see the combine before making any final judgments; however, I think MKG is a plus ballhandler and he has some real size. I had not seen anything that would suggest he would have trouble guarding the wings. Is there something about his quickness or movement that gives you that opinion?
   2320. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4145315)
More versatile how? Deng can guard 4s, I don't think that MKG will be able to. Both do/will likely struggle against 2s, although I bet MKG has more lateral quickness than Deng. But he's not going to be in Deng's league defensively, IMO, mostly because of the size/length/reach differences.

I think MKG (if he delivers on his promise) will be able to cover smaller fours and bigger twos. If you trust DE's pre-draft measurements, he's a half inch shorter and 8 pounds heavier than Luol. 2.5" less in reach, but he might be a little quicker laterally.

I slightly prefer draft day Deng to MKG. Deng, as you note, went 7.
   2321. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 01, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4145325)
One more thing from last night: I could watch this block all day. I still don't completely believe that it actually happened.
   2322. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4145363)
As I mentioned, I do want to see the combine before making any final judgments; however, I think MKG is a plus ballhandler and he has some real size. I had not seen anything that would suggest he would have trouble guarding the wings. Is there something about his quickness or movement that gives you that opinion?

I agree on waiting for the measurements. I thought I saw Ford say recently MKG was only 6'6" (but I can't find it now). Since he played more as a big guy, I'm having a harder time picturing him guarding 2's.

I think MKG (if he delivers on his promise) will be able to cover smaller fours and bigger twos. If you trust DE's pre-draft measurements, he's a half inch shorter and 8 pounds heavier than Luol. 2.5" less in reach, but he might be a little quicker laterally.

DE isn't loading for me today. What are their listed heights? Loul is supposedly upwards of 6'10" now, as he's grown since he's been in the league. But Loul can and does guard 4s and bigger 2s now, but he struggles against the bigger 4s and smaller/quicker 2s.

EDIT: FWIW, ESPN lists Deng at 6'9" and MKG at 6'7".
   2323. smileyy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4145369)
In pre-draft measurements, DX has

Deng: 6'7" / 6'8" in shoes, 7'0.5" wingspan, 9'0.5" standing reach
MKG: NA / 6.75" in shoes, 6'10" wingspan, NA
   2324. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4145372)
This is pre-combine for MKG, so I'm not sure how much to trust it.

Deng: 6-7 (barefoot), 6-8 (in shoes), 220 (weight), 7-0.5 (wingspan)
MKG: --, 6-7.5 (in shoes), 228 (weight), 6-10 (wingspan)

To be clear, I don't think we have any material disagreement on Deng.

Soft drink of his choice to smileyy.
   2325. steagles Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4145374)
draftexpress lists MKG at 6'7.5, 228 lbs, with a 6'10 wingspan. he also measured 6'7, 220 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2011 nike hoops summit in april of last year. both numbers are with shoes.

deng is listed at 6'8, 220 with a 7' wingspan.



oh, for ##### sake.
   2326. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4145382)
In pre-draft measurements, DX has

Deng: 6'7" / 6'8" in shoes, 7'0.5" wingspan, 9'0.5" standing reach
MKG: NA / 6.75" in shoes, 6'10" wingspan, NA

Deng: 6-7 (barefoot), 6-8 (in shoes), 220 (weight), 7-0.5 (wingspan)
MKG: --, 6-7.5 (in shoes0, 228 (weight), 6-10 (wingspan)

draftexpress lists MKG at 6'7.5, 228 lbs, with a 6'10 wingspan. he also measured 6'7, 220 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2011 nike hoops summit in april of last year. both numbers are with shoes.

deng is listed at 6'8, 220 with a 7' wingspan.

Deng: 6'7" / 6'8" in shoes, 7'0.5" wingspan, 9'0.5" standing reach
MKG: NA / 6.75" in shoes, 6'10" wingspan, NA

Deng: 6-7 (barefoot), 6-8 (in shoes), 220 (weight), 7-0.5 (wingspan)
MKG: --, 6-7.5 (in shoes0, 228 (weight), 6-10 (wingspan)

draftexpress lists MKG at 6'7.5, 228 lbs, with a 6'10 wingspan. he also measured 6'7, 220 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2011 nike hoops summit in april of last year. both numbers are with shoes.

deng is listed at 6'8, 220 with a 7' wingspan.

Deng: 6'7" / 6'8" in shoes, 7'0.5" wingspan, 9'0.5" standing reach
MKG: NA / 6.75" in shoes, 6'10" wingspan, NA

Deng: 6-7 (barefoot), 6-8 (in shoes), 220 (weight), 7-0.5 (wingspan)
MKG: --, 6-7.5 (in shoes0, 228 (weight), 6-10 (wingspan)

draftexpress lists MKG at 6'7.5, 228 lbs, with a 6'10 wingspan. he also measured 6'7, 220 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2011 nike hoops summit in april of last year. both numbers are with shoes.

deng is listed at 6'8, 220 with a 7' wingspan.


   2327. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4145385)
   2328. Eddo Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4145386)
MKG got my co-worker and I thinking: where would Deng go in a hypothetical re-do of the 2004 draft?

NBA draft, 2004, sorted by WS (bb-ref).

Howard remains the obvious #1. After that, candidates for #2 are (alphabetically) Deng, Iguodala, Kevin Martin, Josh Smith, Varejao. I have to think those five guys go 2-6.

After that, it's guys like Al Jefferson, Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris. Good careers, but not on the same level, right?
   2329. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4145389)
I think Iguodala goes #2, unless Philly has the 2nd pick. Deng 3, Smith 4, Varejao 5 and Martin 6.

Actually, Okafor still probably goes top 5. That's not a terrible draft.
   2330. Booey Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4145395)
Howard remains the obvious #1. After that, candidates for #2 are (alphabetically) Deng, Iguodala, Kevin Martin, Josh Smith, Varejao. I have to think those five guys go 2-6.

After that, it's guys like Al Jefferson, Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris. Good careers, but not on the same level, right?


Jefferson isn't on the same level as Varejao? I'd have put Varejao in with the lower group.
   2331. JJ1986 Posted: June 01, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4145406)
I'd probably take Smith 2nd if I were a bad or mediocre team. I see him as more of a potential centerpiece.
   2332. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4145408)
Man, Araujo. Ugggggggh.
   2333. Jimmy P Posted: June 01, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4145514)
Celtic fans will have Tim Donaghy masks tonight. Because, you know, the NBA is out to get the Celtics.

This really helps Boston sports fans' reputation.

Stay classy, Boston.
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