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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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   401. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4123665)
True, at peak Shaq was more valuable than Kobe (and probably just about everyone). But Simmons wasn't ranking value, or peak value, he was ranking careers


I think he was trying to take everything into consideration, including peak. In baseball, I'm generally more of a career over peak person, but I do think peak in basketball needs to be weighed a little heavier than in baseball since one player at his absolute best can have a greater impact on a teams championship chances. Shaq vs Kobe is a tough one. I'd still probably go with Shaq at this point because of the peak, but Kobe's getting closer every year. Another few seasons like his last couple and I might change my mind.
   402. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4123670)
He writes in a very light tone, but when it comes to opinions/content, I think he expects to be taken as seriously as any other writer, particularly on the NBA.

I guess, but though he filled a niche (*) he doesn't really write or think with anything resembling gravitas. He writes in the voice of a fan in a perpetual state of arrested development -- good for business in this era, but not much more. I enjoyed the book, but it really isn't on par with any serious books, even ones about sports. The distance between TBOB and, say The Breaks of the Game is a chasm; Simmons "admits" that, but I wonder whether he really believes it. He's carved out a great place for himself in new media, but I'd bet he confuses that with skill as an analyst/writer. We joke about his biases, but he really is biased ... and how serious an analyst can you be if you're that in the tank for certain teams and hate other teams that much?

(*) There hadn't really been a survey history of the league written by anyone before TBOB.
   403. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4123671)
This is from a (very pro-Kobe) blog called 20SecondTimeout:

http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2012/04/seven-games-of-life-without-kobe-bryant.html

Andrew Bynum's performance in 51 games with Bryant this season: 18.3 ppg, 12.5 FGA/g, .583 FG%

Andrew Bynum's performance in seven games without Bryant this season: 23.1 ppg, 19.6 FGA, .467 FG%

Pau Gasol's performance in 56 games with Bryant this season: 17.0 ppg, 13.6 FGA/g, .510 FG%

Pau Gasol's performance in seven games without Bryant this season: 21.1 ppg, 18.3 FGA/g, .469 FG%
___________

It must be noted that Bynum's field goal percentage without Bryant is much worse than the above numbers suggest if we take out his 12-14 performance last night versus Golden State's "twin towers" Mikki Moore and Mickell Gladness; Bynum should certainly dominate those guys with or without Bryant being on the court but Bynum's .423 field goal shooting in the other six games without Bryant


This guy also noted that Barnes and MWP both played very well when Kobe was out, although he failed to mention that Kobe himself does not have a very good shooting percentage. But OTOH, Abbott did not include the numbers above in his piece today, and I found them in about 15 seconds on Google. Abbott also cherry-picked a couple of plays when Bynum was supposedly bypassed but failed to note in any detail how Denver was defending overall; indeed; he hardly mentioned Denver in the piece, which is one of the biggest Haterboy blind spots: thinking everything that happens revolves around what Kobe does. Finally, Abbott made this assertion today in that piece as well:

Bynum knows he has already put in the work to do incredibly special and rare things on the basketball court. He has dunked on Shaq and been mentored by Kareem. He has been coached by Phil and won two titles. He knows he could be the star of Lakers highlights, hitting game winners. He knows the Lakers can win even more games than they do. If only he got to do his thing.


But he didn't back it up, ending the essay a couple of sentences later.


   404. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4123673)
and how serious an analyst can you be if you're that in the tank for certain teams and hate other teams that much?


I think his answer would be that he put Kareem and Magic 3 and 4 all-time, and Bird 5. He now has Kobe 8. He ranks the 1987 Lakers as the 4th-best team of all-time.

Not saying that proves you're wrong or anything, but I think that is how he would see it.
   405. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4123682)
wouldn't adjusted +/- be a better way of looking at that question, robinred? (well, another way.) looking at basketballvalue, gasol has the best numbers by far over the last two seasons, with bynum, then kobe. (stats-for-the-nba.appspot.com's rapm numbers also prefer gasol.)
   406. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 04, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4123683)
Henry Abbott and Kurt Rambis talk about Kobe, Bynum, and offensive efficiency. Rambis not on the same page as Abbott.
   407. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: May 04, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4123686)
Speaking of Shaq... Shaq was at my office a few weeks ago. I was walking down the hall and he came out of a doorway with a blind corner in a crouch. I was a step and a half away from drawing a charging foul. You think you know how big 7'1" and 3XX lbs is, but it's even bigger than that.
   408. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 04, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4123689)
   409. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4123693)
wouldn't adjusted +/- be a better way of looking at that question, robinred?


I don't know. I am not a big fan of adjusted +/-. Simple rating has Bynum at +7.8, Bryant at +7.7, and Gasol at +6.7. I didn't put the numbers above up as some kind of analytical trump card. What I do know is that Abbott and a lot of other people have asserted that:

a) Bynum has had a big breakout year (that is sort of true but mostly what has happened is that he has a higher USG and has stayed in the lineup while putting up similar stats to his past stats).
b) He would be even more awesome if his USG were even higher and the reason it isn't higher is because Kobe Bryant is a ballhog. Abbott even uses the term "ballhog" in the article.

With Bryant gone, however, Bynum's FGA spiked and his efficiency numbers tanked. That does not necessarily prove anything, but I think it is worth knowing if one is discussing Bynum's and Bryant's respective USGs and their effect on the team in a serious way. Abbott isn't doing that, but he is acting like he is, and that is why Lakers fans can't stand him.

The Lakers' overall numbers with Bynum, Gasol and Bryant on the court together this year are not all that impressive. My own opinion about that issue, as I have stated, is that the Lakers have skill overlap problems. In theory, it sounds awesome: "Kobe Bryant and two All-Star 7-footers!" But as I have said, there were reasons that Phil always had Odom finish games and why Odom got more minutes with Bynum or Gasol than they got with each other.

The defense of Bryant has always revolved around the idea that the diversity of his offensive game and the defensive attention he draws makes it easier for the other guys. The criticism of him is two-fold: first, that he takes difficult shots that he shouldn't take, and second, that his personality and style of play frustrates ("exasperates")his teammates, causing them to disengage defensively and stand around offensively, thus hurting the team.

When Bryant was gone, Bynum and Gasol shot a lot more and their percentages went down. The team did pretty well overall, but it was a small sample.

My other take is that Kobe often hurts the team on D a lot now but people only talk about his offense. He is still pretty good when he hustles, but lateral movement always goes with age, no matter how hard you work, and he rests/roams a lot on D. Put him out there with guys who can't D up, and it is a problem. You can see some evidence for these patterns on the Lakers' five-man units page at 82games.com:

http://www.82games.com/1112/1112LAL2.HTM
   410. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4123697)
Still a nasty cut that STAT has up there.
   411. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 04, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4123709)
This is a great article on Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. But man, as a Bulls fan, it was hard to read. So many mistakes, and so much wasted talent. Reading that re-inforced what always thought/said about the 2. Curry was the natural, but never was that interested in basketball but played because of how big he was*. His personality (passive, easy going) may play into that as well (I actually was surprised to read Jay Williams call him competitive in that piece). Chandler, OTOH, had the drive and always wanted to play basketball, but it wasn't natural to him. The best qualities of each in one person would have been an all-time great (of course, Tim Floyd and Bill Cartwright still would have found a way to #### that guy up too).

*I remember watching a high school game of his; the state championship against Schaumburg (a suburban, affluent school) his senior year. His team lost, and he was guarded by a couple of 6'4" kids the whole time. He didn't demand the ball, and allowed other guys to take too many shots; he also didn't play much defense. That's not to say I would overpsychoanalyze and should have known he'd bust out, but it wasn't promising even if you can see how much talent he had.
   412. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4123711)
You think you know how big 7'1" and 3XX lbs is, but it's even bigger than that.


Never met Shaq, but Mark Eaton came into my work a few times last fall, and holy hell that guy is huge.
   413. PJ Martinez Posted: May 04, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4123795)
With Horford and Pachulia out, and Collins already in foul trouble, the Hawks are currently playing Marvin Williams at center.

Boston should really be up by a lot more than 1.
   414. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: May 04, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4123837)
this officiating is just abhorrent. lou williams is getting mauled in the act of shooting and can't get a call, but when rip hamilton runs over a sixers defender and flails his arms, he gets a pair of FTs without touching the ball.

joey crawford has basically taken jrue holiday (who's been the sixers most effective player against the bulls this year) out of the game with that ########, and hamilton has 10 points while shooting 1/6 from the floor.


on the plus side, i love that the bulls have basically forgotten about asik and gibson these last two games. not that those guys are great, but their energy and activity can really be a momentum changer, and the game is just much more predictable when boozer and noah are leaned on so heavily.
   415. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: May 04, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4123851)
noah just went down in a heap there, and is limping off the court. that looked...painful.
   416. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4123860)
I don't understand how a team can get the ball with 40 seconds left, in a tie game, and not be able to go 2 for 1. Not only that, they had Willie Green take a contested long 2. And that is, in a nutshell, why the Hawks are the Hawks.
   417. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4123865)
I don't think I've ever seen a layup like Rondo's from an NBA player before.
   418. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4123867)
Noah absolutely should not be playing. I say that as a guy who has finished way too many games on a bad ankle.
   419. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4123871)
409: I didn't think you were (playing a trump card) and I'm not claiming that Gasol and Bynum are better than Kobe - simply suggesting that there's more going on that than factoid implied. I agree with most of your post.
(As for adjusted +/-... I love it in theory. We don't live in theory, though. I consider it an important, but lesser tool.)
   420. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4123872)
Rondo is putting on a clinic of missed layups in overtime.
   421. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4123874)
Asik and destroy.
   422. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4123876)
Chicago doesn't even look like they know how to run an offense right now.

Deng is hurt and Boozer is being exposed.
   423. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4123880)
If Boston wins this series, it's with an asterisk...
   424. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4123881)
Atlanta lost that game more than Boston won it. Good grief that game as painful to watch. This Chicago/Philly game has been too.
   425. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4123882)
HEROBALL FROM LUCAS!
   426. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4123891)
Boozer and Deng were really bad in the 4th. I do think Deng did not foul Turner on his drive late in the game, and those two free throws were big. But at the end of the day, they couldn't run an offense.
   427. PJ Martinez Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4123893)
As a Boston fan, I can't say an OT win at home against a Hawks team missing perhaps their two best players and for sure their three best big men is exactly encouraging. Glad to get the win, but hoping the next one, if it comes, is more emphatic.
   428. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4123895)
i am stunned by that finish.
   429. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4123914)
Without Rose and Noah, the Bulls just don't have an offense. Asik and Boozer almost never played together this year (I don't feel like looking it up now though), and it showed (doesn't help that Asik doesn't have a lick of offensive talent in his body). Deng and Watson couldn't hit the side of a barn; maybe it's injuries, but Philly is defending them well. Boozer talked about going into the post before this game, yet took fade away after fade away. Korver's been off the last couple of games (and took most of last year's playoffs). Rip is too old to carry an offense by himself (and never was good enough to do that for a series anyway). Brewer was terrible in game 2 and deservedly didn't play tonight. There just aren't any options left, and unlike game 2, everyone's going to be right when they talk about missing Rose (but not because they don't have anyone to take the shot, Tirico). To top it off, I don't even like this team without Rose. I barely tolerate Noah half the time, and while I like Deng, it's not like I actually enjoy watching him play. I never have liked Boozer, I still hate Rip, and I could take or leave the rest of em.

this officiating is just abhorrent. lou williams is getting mauled in the act of shooting and can't get a call, but when rip hamilton runs over a sixers defender and flails his arms, he gets a pair of FTs without touching the ball.

It's been a physical series, and there's a lot of contact going uncalled on both sides. Hell, I don't think Turner has made a drive this series where he hasn't committed an offensive foul and I don't think it's been called yet. And I know this was heat of the moment, but I still think it was wrong.

Let me preface this by saying the officiating didn't cost the Bulls the game; their offense was beyond terrible. However, there were 2 *brutal* missed calls in the last minute that weren't mentioned at all. On the Hawes missed jumper, Holliday double dribbled on the offensive rebound. He got the ball, and I think it was Brand that ran into him. He dribbled it once, collected himself on the contact from Brand, and then dribbled to the basket and was fouled. On the last Turner play, Elton Brand was in the lane for 8! seconds (I rewound and counted twice to be sure) while Turner was struggling with the ball and flopping around before drawing the foul. Sixers got 4 FTA out of those plays in the last minute. (They showed an earlier offensive interference call on Asik that was clearly wrong, but the Sixers were gonna get the rebound anyway so that blown call was irrelevant.)

The Heat really should just get a bye to the Finals. Maybe Indiana will play them tough - and if Boston makes it to the ECF(and I no longer have any delusions of the Bulls beating them even if they get by Philly and if Noah is out - and I'll be shocked if he isn't - they won't) they might steal a game if they're healthy by then, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Miami was undefeated going into the Finals.
   430. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4123923)
Wait... Denver is winning 41-26 and LAL is on a 9-0 run?
   431. Spivey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4123925)
The Heat really should just get a bye to the Finals. Maybe Indiana will play them tough - and if Boston makes it to the ECF(and I no longer have any delusions of the Bulls beating them even if they get by Philly and if Noah is out - and I'll be shocked if he isn't - they won't) they might steal a game if they're healthy by then, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Miami was undefeated going into the Finals.


Beyond the Heat, the East looks really bad right now.
   432. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4123934)
i am stunned by that finish.
yeah, i have nothing to add to that. i am just completely astonished at what happened tonight. 34% from the floor, 1/14 from beyond the arc, and they won the game.

anyway just quickly looking forward to sunday, i think that's a must win situation, as well. this game basically means nothing if they can't build on it in game 4 and put the bulls in the hole going back to chicago. as amazing as these last two games have been, if chicago wins on sunday, the series is back to even, and the bulls are back in the drivers seat, and that would just be a terrible outcome. there is no moral victory anymore. just playing the bulls tough is no longer acceptable. they need to win this. the bulls are wounded, the door is open, and i want to go to round 2.
   433. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4123944)
@vxmcclure23: Walking behind Joakim right now. He's struggling on crutches


This series is over.
   434. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4123955)
Expected Lakers to be flat tonight. Credit Denver for playing well. Lawson has been working it since Game 1.

No offense to all our Boston and Chicago fans, but I still not seeing anything from Chicago minus Rose, or from Boston, to reduce my skepticism about those teams trying to deal with Miami. Philly obviously has a real shot to win now, and if Smith can go in Game 4, I don't think Atlanta is dead, either.
   435. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4123958)
But we are at the point where you can go through our clothes and look for loose change.
   436. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 05, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4123961)
No offense to all our Boston and Chicago fans, but I still not seeing anything from Chicago minus Rose, or from Boston, to reduce my skepticism about those teams trying to deal with Miami.


I agree. As glad as I am that the Celtics pulled that one out, it was an uninspiring way to take out a Hawks team missing both Smith and Pachulia, especially with Ray Allen back (or partly back or whatever). If they can't find another gear they didn't show tonight, they're not going to have a chance against the Heat.
   437. Spivey Posted: May 05, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4123962)
"From the way too early" department, the doors have really parted for Philadelphia to get to the ECF here.
   438. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: May 05, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4123968)
"From the way too early" department, the doors have really parted for Philadelphia to get to the ECF here.
yeah, i've noticed that, but i agree that it's a bit premature.

   439. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 05, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4123976)
No offense to all our Boston and Chicago fans, but I still not seeing anything from Chicago minus Rose, or from Boston, to reduce my skepticism about those teams trying to deal with Miami. Philly obviously has a real shot to win now, and if Smith can go in Game 4, I don't think Atlanta is dead, either.

I like the Celtics to beat the Hawks, still, though I'm definitely not counting the Hawks out.

The question right now seems to be whether the Heat will need 4 or 5 games to take the ECF. Things do change in a hurry, though - we are all sometimes quick to change our judgments and expectations from game to game in the playoffs. You never know what's around the next corner, what might happen tomorrow.
   440. Yardape Posted: May 05, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4123981)
The question right now seems to be whether the Heat will need 4 or 5 games to take the ECF. Things do change in a hurry, though - we are all sometimes quick to change our judgments and expectations from game to game in the playoffs. You never know what's around the next corner, what might happen tomorrow.


Not that I think they'll win, but Indiana might give them some trouble before then.
   441. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4123983)
19 OREBs for Denver; they have guys who get after it. Kobe shot poorly. Brown needs to stop trying to play Blake and Sessions together IMO. I will be interested to see how the Lakers do in Game 4. MEM/LAC should continue to be interesting and intense.
   442. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4123985)
Joe C is right, big-picture. But at the moment if I am a Heat fan Indiana is more of a concern to me than who comes out of the other bracket. The Pacers were the 3rd seed on merit.
   443. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: May 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4123991)
The Lakers are the better team, more importantly, the more experienced team. However, at this point, the series consists of two home blowouts, and a 4-point Laker win at home in which the Nuggets shot 4-19 from 3. At one point tonight, Denver had a 29-5 run. The most important game is always the next one. Gallinari and Afflalo are the Nuggets best overall offensive players, maybe they can improve on 6-19 shooting. Just saying the while maybe its just LA needing to flip the switch, there is also evidence that Denver is getting better.
   444. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4123999)
There was no objective reason to think the Lakers were going to blow Denver away, based on either personnel or statistical evidence. The consensus pick in the series among analytical types is Lakers in 7; three or four guys in the "True Hoop Geek Smackdown" picked Denver. A couple of guys here picked Denver. The Lakers have struggled on the road all year, and teams down 2-0 often come home and really get after it.

Like I said before the playoffs, beating the Lakers will be a big deal to people emotionally as long as Kobe is wearing the uniform, but the team as it is at this moment is just a second-tier challenger, not much different in quality than the Pacers or the Clippers or the Grizzlies. The Lakers will probably win the series, but Denver had a pretty decent chance before it started and nothing has changed. If Denver wins Game 4, anything can happen in Game 5, or 7 if there is one.

Stuff that happened to the Lakers tonight:

serious trouble protecting the D glass
too many TOs
opponents packing the paint and the Lakers missing 3s

Has been happening all year.


   445. baudib Posted: May 05, 2012 at 04:08 AM (#4124007)
I'd trade both of these Sixers wins for a Flyers win in OT vs. the Devils the other night.
   446. GregD Posted: May 05, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4124050)
*I remember watching a high school game of his; the state championship against Schaumburg (a suburban, affluent school) his senior year. His team lost, and he was guarded by a couple of 6'4" kids the whole time. He didn't demand the ball, and allowed other guys to take too many shots; he also didn't play much defense. That's not to say I would overpsychoanalyze and should have known he'd bust out, but it wasn't promising even if you can see how much talent he had.
I saw him play in a regional game that year and was amazed 1) at how smoothly he could catch and turn and hit 5-8 foot bank shots, and 2) how infrequently he got the ball in position to do that given that he had a 6-inch height advantage and 100-pound weight advantage over his opponents. He didn't seem not to be trying; he was often doing vaguely the right thing. He just didn't seem, as you say, to ever be demanding. A friend of mine with me said it isn't like he wants to be 6-3 so he can shoot jumpers. He looks like he wants to be 6-3 so no one will notice he's there.
   447. PJ Martinez Posted: May 05, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4124075)
Apparently Rondo and James both have 7 career playoff triple doubles now. #5 on that very specific all-time list is Oscar Robertson, with 8. Then comes Wilt (9), Bird (10), and Kidd (11). Barring injury (and as long as Rondo's teams keeping making the playoffs; with James, that's a foregone conclusion), both will probably pass #5-2 in the next year or two. Not sure anyone can catch Magic, though: He had 30.

By the way, before you say, "Well, there are more playoff games now," Robertson got his in 86 games, Wilt in 160, Bird in 164, and Kidd in 145. Rondo has his 7 in 75 playoff games, James in 95.
   448. NJ in DC Posted: May 05, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4124177)
Didn't watch any of the games last night, but just caught the highlights. You have to appreciate Noah's dedication to holstering his gun after the jumper even on one leg.
   449. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 05, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4124190)

I agree. As glad as I am that the Celtics pulled that one out, it was an uninspiring way to take out a Hawks team missing both Smith and Pachulia, especially with Ray Allen back (or partly back or whatever). If they can't find another gear they didn't show tonight, they're not going to have a chance against the Heat.


The Celtics struggled against the Hawks in 2008.
   450. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4124227)
The Celtics struggled against the Hawks in 2008.


Sort of. But Boston won by 23, 19, 25, and 34 in that series. The fact that it went 7 meant a lot less than people thought it did. This ATL team is better than that one, but the Hawks had a pretty ragged group out there last night.

Basically, I think a lot of Boston and LAL fans are overrating their team's chances based on the names on the fronts and the backs of the jerseys (not here so much, but in general).
   451. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: May 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4124242)
On the Hawes missed jumper, Holliday double dribbled on the offensive rebound. He got the ball, and I think it was Brand that ran into him. He dribbled it once, collected himself on the contact from Brand,
is that ever called, though? usually the ref will give a guy the benefit of the doubt when he gathers the ball like that and then reestablishes his dribble.
Sixers got 4 FTA out of those plays in the last minute.
i think that was the most encouraging thing about last night's game. evan turner was 4/4 from the FT line in the 4th quarter, and jrue holiday was 4/5. late game FT shooting has been the bane of the sixers existence in the iguodala era, but holiday and turner iced the game from the line, and the team won game 3 because of it (it didn't hurt that the bulls were 0/4 from the FT line in the 4th quarter, themselves).

rose or no rose, noah or no noah, this was a game that the sixers would have lost two months ago.
   452. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 05, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4124272)
Basically, I think a lot of Boston and LAL fans are overrating their team's chances based on the names on the fronts and the backs of the jerseys (not here so much, but in general).
I think Boston has a legitimate chance at getting to the ECF. Other than Miami, there's no EC team that you can trust to beat any other good team in seven games right now. (Of course, nobody's going to beat Miami.) On the other hand, the Spurs and Thunder are clearly better than the Lakers, and there's at least two other teams that would give the Lakers fits over an entire series.
   453. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 05, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4124275)
Orlando with a good Dwight Howard would eat this Pacer team.
   454. tshipman Posted: May 05, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4124300)
Basically, I think a lot of Boston and LAL fans are overrating their team's chances based on the names on the fronts and the backs of the jerseys (not here so much, but in general).


Yes, I strongly agree with this. I expect both teams to lose in the first or second round.
   455. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4124312)
I think Boston has a legitimate chance at getting to the ECF


I agree with this, but I also think that Philadelphia (as well as Chicago and maybe even Atlanta) has a decent shot at the ECF. I can see where Boston fans are coming from; they can get out of the bracket and they match up well in some ways with Miami. But I see Miami as a prohibitive favorite.

And I agree with you and tshipman about the Lakers. They are still a good team, with Sessions helping the O and Hill being a bit better than McRoberts. But Kobe is almost 34, Pau is almost 32 and they are thin overall. Bynum is very good, but he's not Shaquille O'Neal. OKC and SA just look better.
   456. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4124319)
That was a smart play by Baby Davis there.
   457. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 05, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4124327)
It's a mystery how Overgrown Glen Bishop didn't even get called for a foul.
   458. PJ Martinez Posted: May 05, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4124331)
I think LA could reach the Finals. Maybe that's a paranoid fantasy, or maybe I'm basing that too much on past success, but they have mostly looked very good to me. Denver blitzed them early last night, and LA hung in there before the Nuggets pulled away. I'm not 100% sold on any Western team, and so a Lakers' run seems to me not at all out of the question.

I also thought Boston had an outside shot coming into the playoffs, but this series against Atlanta has certainly given me pause. Smith, Horford, and Pachulia were out last night. And it was in Boston. And Ray Allen was back. That game should not have been close if Boston is going to make a serious run.

I cling to some hope based on how well I think the Celtics were playing late in the season, but at the moment I'm not taking anything for granted -- not this series, and not the next round either (if they get there), let alone whatever might happen after that should they get that far.
   459. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4124346)
Interesting how SVG changed the play there--Davis on the bench, then Davis winds up taking the shot after IND defended to the 5-second call the first time.
   460. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 05, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4124403)
Oh, boy, THAT was close.

Edit: Griz-Clips, that is.
   461. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 05, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4124416)
is that ever called, though? usually the ref will give a guy the benefit of the doubt when he gathers the ball like that and then reestablishes his dribble.

If it's contact with the other team. That's why I mentioned it was Brand he ran into. It was a pretty clear double dribble.

rose or no rose, noah or no noah, this was a game that the sixers would have lost two months ago.

Uh, Rose *or* Noah and the Sixers don't win that game last night.

Thibs is saying Noah is a gametime decision tomorrow, but he's not playing. I mean, not much more to say. #### happens, it just feels like it's all happened to the Bulls. Now Deng is talking about putting off his wrist surgery until after the Olympics (and is his right, and I don't fault him for wanting to play for England in London), but the recovery time is 3-4 months, which means he'll miss the beginning of next season too.

I'm not 100% sold on any Western team, and so a Lakers' run seems to me not at all out of the question.

Really? The Spurs and Thunder look like the 2 best teams, and I'm not sure the gap is that close to the next tier teams (Lakers/Grizz/Clips).
   462. JC in DC Posted: May 05, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4124425)
#### happens, it just feels like it's all happened to the Bulls.


Yeah. Nothing's happened to NY. Just the Bulls. Cry me a river, Moses!
   463. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 05, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4124427)
With all due respect to Bulls fans, Memphis fan is probably a pretty hard guy to be right now.
   464. baudib Posted: May 05, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4124432)
Lakers are a threat, seems absurd to say they aren't. If Phil Jackson were coaching this roster I'd make them the favorites in the West.
   465. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4124442)
Lakers are a threat,


Sure. So are the Clippers. The Lakers are a "threat"--but not a serious contender.

If Phil Jackson were coaching this roster I'd make them the favorites in the


Well, if Phil were still here, Fisher (10 points on 4/5 shooting tonight--Lakers message boards are all over Steve Blake right now) probably would be, too.

The main question about Phil right now is whether any of the Knicks-related rumors about him will actually turn out to have legs. I am guessing no, but we will see.

OKC within 1.

Fisher with the shot to put OKC up 3.
   466. baudib Posted: May 05, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4124451)
Sure. So are the Clippers. The Lakers are a "threat"--but not a serious contender.


Yeah, no. I don't think the Clippers are a threat to beat OKC or SA. I think the Lakers are.
   467. PJ Martinez Posted: May 05, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4124459)
I'm with baudib. The Lakers are a threat in a way that the Clippers are not.
   468. Spivey Posted: May 05, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4124460)
Memphis needs to get their #### together.
   469. robinred Posted: May 05, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4124461)
I think the Lakers are.


Based on what?

The Lakers are very poor at forcing turnovers, and not very good at avoiding them (Denver was #18 in that category--last night, they had 6. The Lakers had 15). On the season, they committed 252 more TOs than opponents. Sessions replacing Bryant as the primary ballhandler has helped, but it is still an issue. When you are playing good teams, you need to limit their possessions and value your own. They also have trouble protecting the D glass, as Kenneth Faried will attest.

They do not shoot 3s well. They were 26th in that category. SA was #1. OKC was #11. LAC was #12.

They overcome these issues to an extent with size and core talent; they shot .457 on the year, while the bad guys shot .437. They get a lot of ORBs, although they give up a few more. But these issues, as they were last night, are just basic limitations the team has, due to how it is constructed. When they hit 3s and avoid TOs, as they did in Game 1 of the Denver series, they are basically unbeatable. But they do not have the personnel or the coaching to do those things consistently.

OKC had the most turnovers in the NBA but committed only 142 more than opponents. SA committed the 3rd fewest in the league, 11 fewer than opponents. The Clippers, thanks to Paul, were #2 in TOV, and committed 87 fewer than opponents. This, as much as anything, is why they have given OKC some trouble.

The Clippers, if they are able to get by Memphis, are unlikely to get out of the next round themselves. They are banged up, they miss a lot of FTs, and their roster is not that strong. But I have not seen anything all year long or in post-season that makes me think the Lakers are on a different level than either the Clippers or the Grizzlies are.
   470. baudib Posted: May 05, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4124471)
It's not that hard to figure out.

The Lakers have probably the best big man left in the playoffs in Bynum, a Hall of Fame wing player in Bryant, plus Pau Gasol. Star C/G combo + another really good player is pretty much the definition of a title contender.

Plus the Lakers went 6-2 vs. OKC and SA during the season.
   471. Backlasher Posted: May 05, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4124482)
Lakers are a threat, seems absurd to say they aren't. If Phil Jackson were coaching this roster I'd make them the favorites in the West.

With post players like Bynum and Gasol, Bruce Weber could coach them and they still would be a threat. But more seriously, it would seem this is the type of team that would be the least effected by Zenny baby and his triangles. A second post player is often lost in that offense. That offense been more effective when the off ball high post guy just gobbles the boards.

OKC had the most turnovers in the NBA but committed only 142 more than opponents. SA committed the 3rd fewest in the league, 11 fewer than opponents. The Clippers, thanks to Paul, were #2 in TOV, and committed 87 fewer than opponents. This, as much as anything, is why they have given OKC some trouble.

The second ball handler is an issue for the Thunder. People have made a lot about Dallas losing Chandler, but how much better would the Mavs have looked with Stephenson hawking Harden on some of those isolation sets they were running at the end of the game tonight.
   472. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: May 05, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4124485)
Uh, Rose *or* Noah and the Sixers don't win that game last night.
maybe...probably...but that's not what i'm talking about. without rose, without noah, that's still a game that the sixers would have lost if it had happened two months ago. i know there's extenuating circumstances, but i'm still choosing to view this as progress.
   473. Manny Coon Posted: May 06, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4124498)
The Clippers are significant threat to OKC, but San Antonio is a tough match up for them. Against OKC, Jordan is a much better player than against teams like Memphis or the Lakers, because his help defense helps greatly against Westbrook and Harden and they don't have bigs good enough offensively to punish his sometimes over aggressive play. Paul and Griffin give them problems as well.

The Spurs are a tougher match for Clippers, but not impossible, they did win in San Antonio this year, the season series was about even (2-1 Spurs, with one a close overtime win and decisive win by each team). It is also possible the Spur's age and health issues catch up on them at some point in the playoffs, like last year.

The Clippers are going to play Paul a ton of minutes in the playoffs, which will cover up some of their weaknesses.
   474. robinred Posted: May 06, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4124499)
The Clippers are significant threat to OKC, but San Antonio is a tough match up for them.


Correct. The LA teams, if they get through to RD 2, would have had a better shot at setting up the Hallway Series had the matchups spun the other way.

Plus the Lakers went 6-2 vs. OKC and SA during the season


You may have looked at 2011 data here. Or you mixed up the Clippers and the Lakers. This year, OKC beat LAL pretty easily twice and the Lakers' only win against them was the Elbow Game. The Lakers' three games against SA were all late in the year. The Lakers beat the Spurs easily (Bynum's 30-rebound game) but then the Spurs manhandled the Lakers twice. The Clippers, OTOH, beat Oklahoma City three out of four, twice by double digits. They were 1-2vs SA, with one loss coming in OT.

I see Manny Coon already noted SA/LAC results. Did not look to see which if any of SA's big guns rested those games.
   475. robinred Posted: May 06, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4124501)
Backlasher is back. This is a bigger comeback than Lamar Odom will have in 2013. Good to read you here.
   476. robinred Posted: May 06, 2012 at 01:17 AM (#4124506)
but i'm still choosing to view this as progress.


FWIW, there is really no such thing as an ugly playoff win for your favorite team. The 76ers won and they are up 2-1.
   477. Booey Posted: May 06, 2012 at 01:18 AM (#4124507)
I think LA could reach the Finals

Lakers are a threat, seems absurd to say they aren't


Not seeing it. Have you watched the Spurs and Thunder? Both going to sweep in impressive fashion. They're in another league over the rest of the west almost as definitively as Miami is in the east.

I think people are giving the Lakers too much credit based on past success. Yes, they won it all just two years ago. But they also got swept in the second round just one year ago. And this current team seems more on par with the 2011 squad than it does with the 2009-2010 team.

   478. Booey Posted: May 06, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4124508)
Anyone else think Blake Griffin will be involved in an ugly incident sooner rather than later? He seems to have a chippy attitude and he stares people down after almost every dunk. Someone's going to get sick of it eventually.

I love Blake Griffin. But c'mon.
   479. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4124517)
Yeah. Nothing's happened to NY. Just the Bulls. Cry me a river, Moses!

Nothing has happened to the Knicks they didn't deserve.

With all due respect to Bulls fans, Memphis fan is probably a pretty hard guy to be right now.

If you lose to a VDN team, it's your own damn fault.

but i'm still choosing to view this as progress.

Yep, if you can't beat 'em, just pray they hurt themselves. And make sure you cheer the injuries.

With post players like Bynum and Gasol, Bruce Weber could coach them and they still would be a threat. But more seriously, it would seem this is the type of team that would be the least effected by Zenny baby and his triangles. A second post player is often lost in that offense. That offense been more effective when the off ball high post guy just gobbles the boards.

Who woulda thought Phil to the Knicks would finally be the bait to draw BL out of hiding? You've been silent the entire Larry Drew era, no?

Anyone else think Blake Griffin will be involved in an ugly incident sooner rather than later? He seems to have a chippy attitude and he stares people down after almost every dunk. Someone's going to get sick of it eventually.

I know what you mean.
   480. robinred Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:14 AM (#4124519)
Someone's going to get sick of it eventually.


Lakers fans, of course, have already been harping on it for months. It was inevitable that there would be a little anti-Clipper sentiment developing in various quarters as the year progressed. I would guess Memphis fans are not that fond of the Clips right now.
   481. JC in DC Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4124521)
Anyone else think Blake Griffin will be involved in an ugly incident sooner rather than later? He seems to have a chippy attitude and he stares people down after almost every dunk. Someone's going to get sick of it eventually.


It makes me long for Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason.

Good to see you back, BL!
   482. baudib Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:32 AM (#4124522)
Collins has finally seen the light re: Turner.

"There's a lot of growth in young players," Collins said after the team's film session at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on Saturday. "We're trying to grow young players and win at the same time. Sometimes learning curves come at different times. I've had a lot of young players, some guys have maybe played more early than Evan did, but his growth has been off the charts.

"I don't know if we would have won that game earlier in the year. We're now finding ways to win those games, whether we get some defensive stops then find a way to score. [Friday] we made free throws. That's all growth. The relationship I've built with these guys for two years, we've talked so much. They know what we need to get done.''

   483. baudib Posted: May 06, 2012 at 04:40 AM (#4124530)
Does anyone want to talk about Mushnick? I sort of want to talk about it but it's opening a huge can of worms. I don't think it's a good idea to submit a separate thread about it.

Also I have a unique perspective on the situation but perhaps I shouldn't say anything about it at all.

   484. NJ in DC Posted: May 06, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4124573)
Does anyone want to talk about Mushnick? I sort of want to talk about it but it's opening a huge can of worms. I don't think it's a good idea to submit a separate thread about it.

Is this the New York Niggers thing? I haven't read much about it, but would be interested.

Went to MEM-LAC yesterday and had a shockingly good time. I've never been to a non-Knicks NBA game and while Chris Paul is one of my favorite players I didn't think I'd get as much into the game as I did. I was also impressed by the crowd. I assumed that since the Clippers a.) weren't good until this year and b.) are the city's second team the fans would be a bunch of bandwagoners who didn't really care. I was very wrong. Most of the people I sat around seemed like Clippers lifers who were very much into everything and it was also the most diverse crowd I've ever seen at a major sporting event. While Blake was clearly the most popular player he was also the guy most everyone was frustrated with. Was impressed by the crowd's acknowledgment of his shortcomings and everyone seemed to recognize that CP3 was just on another level. Also, the Reggie Evans lovefest was awesome. Just had a really good time and am really impressed by Clippers fans.
   485. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: May 06, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4124579)
Is this the New York Niggers thing? I haven't read much about it, but would be interested.

I can't read this without picturing NJ writing Mushnick an email saying: "Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter."
   486. Spivey Posted: May 06, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4124600)
Anyone else think Blake Griffin will be involved in an ugly incident sooner rather than later? He seems to have a chippy attitude and he stares people down after almost every dunk. Someone's going to get sick of it eventually.


I could see that. He also takes a pounding. He also went to Oklahoma, which naturally drops his moral compass down a few pegs.
   487. NJ in DC Posted: May 06, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4124623)
Does anyone want to talk about Mushnick? I sort of want to talk about it but it's opening a huge can of worms. I don't think it's a good idea to submit a separate thread about it.

Also I have a unique perspective on the situation but perhaps I shouldn't say anything about it at all.


Just read his comments, would be interested on hearing your htoughts.
   488. yb125 Posted: May 06, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4124650)
I could see that. He also takes a pounding. He also went to Oklahoma, which naturally drops his moral compass down a few pegs.


I don't watch enough to know, but did this chippy behavior start before or after he started taking a pounding?

   489. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4124665)
Does anyone want to talk about Mushnick? I sort of want to talk about it but it's opening a huge can of worms. I don't think it's a good idea to submit a separate thread about it.


Would be interested to hear your perspective too. From where I'm sitting, I'm not usually big on PC policing, but this seems incredibly stupid and racist to me.
   490. robinred Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4124673)
Most of the people I sat around seemed like Clippers lifers


Unlikely. Being the first playoff game in the Paul/Griffin era, that was not exactly a typical game. There are a lot of people in LA and SoCal who don't want to root for the Lakers for whatever reason, may have sort of adopted the Clippers, and who have gotten into the Clippers more the last couple of years. There are also people who have had Clippers' tickets for a long time, because it is a way to watch the NBA without paying Lakers prices or supporting the Lakers (Simmons is a big-money example of this) but as is the case with Simmons, buying the tickets was not originally about the Clippers per se. There certainly are "Clippers Lifers" and you may have been sitting with some, but I have lived in SoCal for almost 40 years and have met very few people who self-identify as hard-core, life-long Clippers fans.

LA NBA crowds are ethnically diverse and pretty knowledgeable, however, particularly in the mid-range and cheap seats. Many Easterners who go to games at Staples say something along those lines and often express surprise when they do so. I say this having been to games in LA with people from Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee who made very or somewhat similar comments.
   491. robinred Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4124674)
Is this the New York Niggers thing


Huh? He used that word in print? Or he got caught saying it?
   492. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4124677)
Mushnick was channeling and mocking Jay-Z's use of the n-word, as well as \"#######\" and "hos." Jay-Z essentially ratified exactly what Mushnick said, by saying now that Jay-Z actually has a daughter, he's not going to call other people's daughters ####### and hos anymore.(*)

Not only should people get off Mushnick's case, there's a lot of truth in what he says. Jay-Z's made a nice living out of calling other people n's and the rest -- a lot of it for the entertainment of white people. No reason Jay-Z can't own that.

(*) Not sure how that's going since he said it ... but he did say it.
   493. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4124679)
Huh? He used that word in print? Or he got caught saying it?

Just so everyone's clear, he said (paraphrasing), in the wake of the Nets' Jay-Z inspired rebranding, "As long as the Nets are going full Jay-Z why don't they go all-in and call the team the New York N_______ and call the cheerleaders the Brooklyn ####### and hos."
   494. NJ in DC Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4124681)
Mushnick's comments:
As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots — what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new “urban” home — why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment?
Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!


I'm not seeing the level of intricacy that SSB got from it but YMMV.
   495. robinred Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4124689)
If people respond to SBB, then we will officially have a "political thread", at least for awhile.

And not that anyone cares what I think, but it is fine with me if people want to talk about it. I find the complaining about "political threads" to be one of BTF's more tiresome memes. People who don't want to talk about it can go on talking about the playoffs.

As to the issue itself, I pretty much agree with a couple of things that Chris Rock has said on the issue--short, simplified version: depends on context, who, how, when, where, why. I also always think of Dick Gregory when this issue comes up. Rock has used on the N-word in his standup act in various ways. So, I think Mushnick is wrong and doesn't get it. YMMV.
   496. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4124690)
Nah, I'm done, about ready to head out to watch the Knicks' season end without a championship for the 39th consecutive year. I don't want to turn a good basketball thread political.
   497. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 06, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4124710)
Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----hes or Hoes.


If we've got "Hoes", I'm gonna go with "Bushes" and, let's see, "Nitrogen Fertilizers"--it's urban gardening, a hipster activity typical of Brooklyn!


   498. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 06, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4124721)
If Boozer wasn't fouled, Holiday sure as #### wasn't.
   499. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: May 06, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4124736)
If Boozer wasn't fouled, Holiday sure as #### wasn't.
the sixers definitely got a kind whistle down the stretch. that call and the one that put iguodala on the line really iced the game for the sixers.


but again, this was another game that the sixers would not have won 2 months ago.

i don't care about the bulls excuses (thinking about it, that's kind of a loaded word, so i'll just note that that's not meant to be a derogatory statement). i understand them, and i agree that this is a completely different series if the bulls were at full strength, but #### that, my team is winning, and i'm gonna enjoy it.

   500. robinred Posted: May 06, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4124743)
but #### that, my team is winning, and i'm gonna enjoy it.*


Nothing to say, but I just think all of STEAGLES' Bulls/76ers posts should have asterisks.
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