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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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   701. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: May 10, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4128537)
very sad flip after reading 699
   702. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4128556)
Things I've read on twitter today:

-Kobe is supposedly really sick but plans on playing (no surprise there).
-Pierce's knee is not good, but he should play also.

Of the 3 game 6's tonight, if home court didn't play into it I'd say the Hawks have the best shot of winning. So I expect all 3 series to end tonight.
   703. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 10, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4128586)
There is a video on the front page of ESPN, and the description is:

Stephen A. and Skip argue over who was the better player at 33: Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan.


I am having a hard time thinking of anything I would rather watch less than that.
   704. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: May 10, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4128592)
I am having a hard time thinking of anything I would rather watch less than that.


Chris Anderson downloading kiddie porn?
   705. robinred Posted: May 10, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4128602)
I am having a hard time thinking of anything I would rather watch less than that.


A special ESPN "SuperFans Roundtable" with Simmons, Abbott, LA Hombre, and me?
   706. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 10, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4128608)
A special ESPN "SuperFans Roundtable" with Simmons, Abbott, LA Hombre, and me?

I would order this on PPV.
   707. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 10, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4128617)
I would order this on PPV.

Me too. Love a good deathmatch.
   708. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 10, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4128625)
Wait... am I armed? Because I'd want to be armed.
   709. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 10, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4128637)
A special ESPN "SuperFans Roundtable" with Simmons, Abbott, LA Hombre, and me?

Nope, that's a must see. Someone's head would literally explode, and I don't want to miss that.
   710. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4128661)
I am having a hard time thinking of anything I would rather watch less than that.


Exit to Eden II?

   711. Into the Void Posted: May 10, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4128696)
#710, I believe linking to that photo is a ban-worthy offense.
   712. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 10, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4128809)
I'm having Charles Smith Game flashbacks.
   713. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 10, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4128827)
I'm positive the Bulls took nine seconds to get it across halfcourt with just over a minute left.
   714. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: May 10, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4128833)
Iggy FTs with 2 seconds? steagles' nightmare?

EDIT: Apparently not.
   715. Maxwn Posted: May 10, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4128835)
CJ Watson just used the extremely novel tactic of passing the ball to a terrible free throw shooter up 1 with about 10 secs to play. It didn't work well.
   716. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 10, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4128836)
What in the world was Watson thinking?
   717. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 10, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4128841)
Nice of TNT to give a "live look-in" of a game that was available elsewhere, stay with it for an unnecessarily long time, then go to commercial and come back to its own game late.
   718. Maxwn Posted: May 10, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4128847)
What in the world was Watson thinking?

Yeah, there's really no reason to ever give the ball to a guy like Asik in that situation. Not really even if he is all alone under the basket, which he was not. Watson really hung him out to dry on that one.
   719. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4128866)
NO MORE RYAN HOLLINS
   720. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4128867)
PLEASE
   721. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4128869)
Hollins over Stiemsma remains baffling.
   722. Spivey Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4128873)
The Eastern Conference Playoffs have mostly been pretty painful series to watch.
   723. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4128878)
Garnett's having a throwback game.
   724. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4128883)
You think he might have been a bit energized by those comments?

I love that he has 1 foul and Smith has 4.
   725. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4128887)
I do feel for our Chicago guys. What a way to end a great regular season. Is Boozer done in Chicago?
   726. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4128889)
Iggy FTs with 2 seconds? steagles' nightmare?
not that time. i was pretty burnt out by that point, so i was fairly calm about the impending disaster.

i really do understand how thibodeau has been so successful, but he was awful this series. beyond the rose thing from game 1, he put both gibson and noah back into games when they were severely hobbled after turning their ankles. and his allocation of minutes at PG was fairly puzzling. watson was horrific from the field, and whatever defensive limitations lucas may have, at least he was capable of putting points on the board. with the sixers struggling so badly to score, and with these games being so close, lucas's ability to actually make a shot could have been the difference between losing this series in 6 games and winning the series in 6 games, despite not having derrick rose.

and i think he made a mistake tonight by taking boozer completely out of the game in the 2nd half. again, points were at a premium, and even though he struggled from the floor tonight, he would have been a much more dangerous threat than asik was. that's before even getting into the FT thing.



anyway, if anyone didn't see it, doug collins first words at the press conference:
"i don't know how we won"

that sums up my thoughts, as well.
   727. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4128894)
That didn't end well. Anyone but Miami.
   728. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4128896)
Atlanta hanging tough
   729. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4128898)
That didn't end well. Anyone but Miami.

It ain't going to be the Celtics.
   730. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4128899)
You're down 1 point with 50 seconds left in a game six. GET HOLLINS OUT!!! WTF?!

(Thank you, Doc.)
   731. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4128900)
Amazingly stupid shot by Josh Smith. What was he thinking?
   732. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4128901)
The ankle is apparently critical to free throw shooting.
   733. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4128904)
Shouldn't this be two foul shots?
   734. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4128905)
whoa
   735. Maxwn Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4128906)
This is the definition of advancing by the skin of your teeth.
   736. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4128907)
that was ... odd
   737. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4128908)
The second foul by Q was an intentional, yes? Made no effort to make a play on the ball...
   738. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4128909)
The second foul by Q was an intentional, yes? Made no effort to make a play on the ball...


Probably, but that would've been real tough to call.

[more importantly, the Hawks blew their chances at the end physically and mentally]
   739. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4128910)
Hawks got screwed by the refs twice on that play. Yikes.
   740. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4128912)
Probably, but that would've been real tough to call.

No tougher than finding for the strange timing of the previous call...

But, yes.
   741. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4128913)
The call on the out of bounds was definitely bad. I don't see how you call an intentional on the other play, though, not in that situation.
   742. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4128914)
The call on the out of bounds was definitely bad. I don't see how you call an intentional on the other play, though, not in that situation.


completely agree. the egregiously bad call was the 1st one. The second "intentional" happens so often on those and I rarely see it called. The no call there didn't surprise me.
   743. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4128915)
I guess the Hawks fans can take solace in the forthcoming apology from the NBA for that 1st call. It's kinda like winning the series!
   744. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4128919)
I feel the same way about the Celtics as STEAGLES and Doug Collins do about the 76ers tonight.

Who's looking forward to some 74-70 ECSF games?
   745. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4128923)
I guess the Hawks fans can take solace in the forthcoming apology from the NBA for that 1st call. It's kinda like winning the series!


Were the refs not allowed to check the timing of the foul on replay there? I understand that almost no ref will call the intentional foul in that situation (I think it's stupid but whatever), but why didn't they check to see if the foul was committed before the ball was inbounded?
   746. JC in DC Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4128925)


Were the refs not allowed to check the timing of the foul on replay there? I understand that almost no ref will call the intentional foul in that situation (I think it's stupid but whatever), but why didn't they check to see if the foul was committed before the ball was inbounded?


Because the game was in Boston?

Nice start by the Nugs.
   747. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: May 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4128926)
I thought it was more blatant than many (outside of the context of game situation - first how he got tangled in Al's jersey, then he took Horford down) - but freely admit that that would be a tough call to make in that situation. Also, though I *think* I'm, to put it mildly, dispassionate about the Hawks - there's no doubt I was in advocacy mode during that last minute (all I got to see of the game).
Still, when I saw it, I thought: "Intentional foul! Lucky break! they should call that; Daniels didn't even hide it! Oh, they might not call that? They... they aren't signalling it. Oh. [ pause ] Crap, we're going to lose." (cue Horford going to the line)

Oh, the NBA does not give a #### about the Hawks and their fans. Which is fine, we don't merit it. Bad ownership, bad fans, boring team.
   748. baudib Posted: May 10, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4128935)

Chris Anderson downloading kiddie porn?


I had no idea that this was alleged to have actually happened and just figured it was standard fare from the twisted imagination of Sam Hutcheson.

   749. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: May 10, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4128937)
this is the boxscore from the last series-clinching game that the sixers won. the year was 2003. the starting lineup for that game was:

eric snow
allen iverson
keith van horn
kenny thomas
derrick coleman


   750. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: May 10, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4128943)
748/baudib: Well, inferred from current events. But, uuuuugggggghhhhh.
   751. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 11, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4128981)
Nuggs are pretty up for this one. Not sure Bynum can blame tonight's events on triple teaming.

You gotta love the way Andre Miller uses his butt. Would like to see the 50-yr-old Andre Miller in a movie whuppin some young kid in one-on-one....
   752. Booey Posted: May 11, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4128983)
I guess the Hawks fans can take solace in the forthcoming apology from the NBA for that 1st call. It's kinda like winning the series!


How often do they actually do that? I can only think of a few times right off the top of my head.

Because the game was in Boston?


Shhhhh....! Those kinds of things don't happen, got it?
   753. tshipman Posted: May 11, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4128985)
It'd be great if Pau Gasol would show up to one of these games.
   754. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 11, 2012 at 05:04 AM (#4129005)
I was stuck at work, so my brother and I were on the phone tonight talking about our basketball teams during halftime of Hawks-Celtics.

Him: So you think the Lakers will win tonight?

Me: In Denver? No. They're a terrible road team.

Him: You never know...

Me: I just hope they don't get blown out.

I'm really glad I didn't get to watch this game.
   755. JJ1986 Posted: May 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4129101)
The CW a few years ago was that Houston and Daryl Morey were bringing Moneyball to basketball, but it looks like the Nuggets are the team that's done that. They're starting two stathead favorites who fell in the draft due to size and two guys who they got by trading away an overrated superstar. They acquired a headcase in Javale McGee and he's now a useful part. Granted, they may have hit their ceiling, but they've done much better than Houston and started with basically just Anthony and Nene.
   756. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4129139)
It's sad that the season is finally over, but like Matt said, it effectively ended on April 28th. No need to drag it out any longer. It was frustrating how it played out last night, but I'm not nearly as upset about it as it seems everyone else in Chicago (sports radio is just torching Watson today; I also see a bunch of stuff out there on message boards, twitter, and even the texts I got from friends last night). This series loss meant absolutely nothing once Rose and Noah went down. I trust the Bulls front office to not overreact to the loss, but there's still stuff they can take out it (such as Rip is washed up and is not the answer at SG). I don't expect a lot of major changes next year, but wouldn't mind seeing them upgrade on Watson considering Rose will miss a good chunk of next year. They need to recognize Watson's performance during the regular season this year was a fluke and act accordingly.

I'm positive the Bulls took nine seconds to get it across halfcourt with just over a minute left.

The shot clock was most definitely on 15 when Watson crossed mid court. I think they changed the rule this past offseason to make the call based on the shot clock and not the ref's count. However, the shot clock started too early and well before the Bulls had secured possession. If the rule is based of the shot clock, the Bulls caught a big break there.

Yeah, there's really no reason to ever give the ball to a guy like Asik in that situation. Not really even if he is all alone under the basket, which he was not. Watson really hung him out to dry on that one.

Like I said, Watson is rightly getting a ton of criticism for that play. I was disappointed in several players last night and their awareness of the game situation (I'm looking at you, Rip), but that one really did hurt. Of course, he was clearly fouled well before he passed and it wasn't called; in game 4 the same thing happened to the Bulls where a foul wasn't called when it was given. I wonder if the refs have been instructed to make sure there's a lot of contact in that situation, because non-calls on obvious attempts are going uncalled.

Is Boozer done in Chicago?

I don't think so. No one will want to trade for him without the Bulls getting something terrible back (and you can amnesty guys you trade for so they'd be stuck with that contract). The Bulls are well over the salary cap, so cutting him doesn't get them any more space. Asik is a RFA and Gibson is the following season. If Mirotic were able to come over next year, then I'd be all for amnestying him. I think he's got one more year here, and then he's gone after next season.

i really do understand how thibodeau has been so successful, but he was awful this series. beyond the rose thing from game 1, he put both gibson and noah back into games when they were severely hobbled after turning their ankles. and his allocation of minutes at PG was fairly puzzling. watson was horrific from the field, and whatever defensive limitations lucas may have, at least he was capable of putting points on the board. with the sixers struggling so badly to score, and with these games being so close, lucas's ability to actually make a shot could have been the difference between losing this series in 6 games and winning the series in 6 games, despite not having derrick rose.

and i think he made a mistake tonight by taking boozer completely out of the game in the 2nd half. again, points were at a premium, and even though he struggled from the floor tonight, he would have been a much more dangerous threat than asik was. that's before even getting into the FT thing.


Unsurprisingly, I disagree with almost everything here and disagree extremely with the bolded part. Boozer was absolute garbage (1 for 11, almost all weak jump shots), and if he's not scoring he's a huge negative on defense. He wasn't hustling, he was making terrible turnovers, and was just plain worthless. Maybe he could have tried to buy a couple of minutes of rest for Asik by using Boozer at the beginning of the 4th, but the Bulls were on a huge run then and no coach is going to mess with that chemistry with such an awful option as Boozer.

I don't hold anything against Thibs for putting either Noah or Gibson back in the games. For Noah, I think he trusted the trainers who said he could go and when it was obvious he couldn't, he was pulled; it didn't cost the Bulls anything. For Gibson, there were no other options. Scalabrine is the next big off the bench, and he doesn't even deserve to be in the NBDL. While Gibson wasn't 100% either game 5 or 6, he was still better than Boozer. The Asik/Gibson front court dominated the Sixers this series, and especially last night (that 56 to 33 rebounding edge is insane). As for Lucas, I just flat out disagree. He's not a good decision maker, he's streaky as hell, he's a HUGE liability on defense (Holiday and Williams consistently burned him every time he was on the court all series). As poor as Watson shot and as terrible as that last decision was, he did have 10 assists and 0 turnovers and his defense on Holiday was key (although his consistent flopping every time he got switched onto Iggy was obnoxious).

And no comment on the Rose thing, it's been talked to death but he did nothing wrong there.

anyway, if anyone didn't see it, doug collins first words at the press conference:
"i don't know how we won"


Sixers shot under 40% again last night, which makes 5 of the 6 games (including 3 wins). They won, hell the only reason the series was competitive, was because of the Bulls' injuries.
   757. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4129160)
Anyone but Miami.

I'm 100% on the Spurs bandwagon now. I think they're the best team, and I think they're going to win. Also, I have no qualms rooting for them.

I wonder what Miami will do if they lose in the Finals again. Anything they can do around the edges is just shuffling chairs (amnesty Miller, sign a different shooter for the MLE is about all they can do; they have virtually no trade assets and their picks are just as unlucky to contribute next year as their picks this year). Will they get impatient and make a huge move? I was thinking what type of move they could realistically make that makes sense for the other team and yet still improves them. I keep coming back to Dwight Howard. To use a Simmons phrase, who says no first to a Wade/Bosh for Howard/Anderson/Richardson/Reddick deal? Orlando gets a huge return for Howard, better than anything they could get from NJ and they'd still be a borderline competitor playing Nelson/Wade/Hedo/Bosh/smoething. I think I like how Miami would fit together more playing Chalmers/Richardson/Lebron/Anderson/Howard with Battier/Reddick mix and matching as necessary. I think Miami could be better offensively and defensively with that lineup.

The second foul by Q was an intentional, yes? Made no effort to make a play on the ball...

Probably, but that would've been real tough to call.


I hate when officials wuss out and don't make the right call. If it's an intentional or flagrant* foul in the 2nd quarter, it's one in the last minute too. If it's borderline, it better be called consistently. In this case, it was blatantly wrong. Now, I'm open to suggesting that rule could be updated, but in that case last night it was flat out wrong.

Odd how both EC games were decided by FTs. Iggy made his, Asik didn't; and both Allen and Horford split theirs.

Granted, they may have hit their ceiling, but they've done much better than Houston and started with basically just Anthony and Nene.

Starting with Anthony really did give them a let up on Houston though, so I don't see how you can hold that against the Rockets. Getting screwed by Yao's injury and then the commissioner definitely put a damper on their plans. If this is their ceiling, is it really that much more of an accomplishment than what Houston's done (assuming the Nuggets don't win game 7)?

*After the Bulls Sixers game, Thibs said he had no idea why the Hawes foul on Asik wasn't a flagrant. Hawes definitely made no play on the ball, came down hard on Asik's neck and knocked him to the ground. I have seen that been called - and upheld as - a flagrant many times the past couple of years. It is definitely borderline, so I'm not necessarily upset it wasn't called that last night; but I do think there needs to more be consistency on that play.
   758. Jimmy P Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4129165)
Is Boozer done in Chicago?

I don't think so. I can't imagine anyone except maybe the Knicks taking him. And they'd be doing it just to get rid of Amare.

I'm not even sure he'd be amnestied. I really have a hard time believing that Reinsdorf would swallow that.
   759. jmurph Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4129180)
Wade/Bosh for Howard/Anderson/Richardson/Reddick deal


I would think Miami would say no. Giving up 2 of the 3 best players in the deal, and, as far as any of us know, the 2 reasons Lebron is playing for you, doesn't seem like a good move. And as bad as the media response will be if they get to the finals and lose again, having a core that gets you to the championship series two years in a row is about as much as anyone can possibly hope for in sports.
   760. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4129215)
I would think Miami would say no. Giving up 2 of the 3 best players in the deal, and, as far as any of us know, the 2 reasons Lebron is playing for you, doesn't seem like a good move. And as bad as the media response will be if they get to the finals and lose again, having a core that gets you to the championship series two years in a row is about as much as anyone can possibly hope for in sports.

I'd counter that Wade is going to turn 31 next season, he's an aging injury risk (this is overstated, of course). Howard is the best player in the deal (and there's no one in the deal that will ever be better than him going forward), and Bosh might be closer to Anderson than he is to Howard. You're right that the core for Miami isn't the problem, but it's that everyone outside of the core sucks or is extremely limited. I'd say if Miami loses again, they should do a hard analysis of why they lost and I wouldn't be surprised if the reasons come down to the non-core parts of the team and some of the overlapping skills of Wade/LeBron. I don't think Miami is getting full value out of Bosh since he's not a true inside force. I'd argue that a team built around LeBron and Howard is going to be the best defensive team in the league. And I think the pieces just fit better so it'll be a better offensive team but more importantly a more well-rounded and versatile offensive team. We've already seen that a Howard/Anderson front court is really effective and their skills complement each other nicely. I think were I to build a perfect team for LeBron I'd watch a dominating center like Howard (defensive presence, rebounding, low post skills) and a bunch of shooters (Anderson, Richardson, Reddick and Chalmers are all really good 3pt shooters). Imagine the 2009 Magic, but with LeBron in the Hedo role (Anderson is also better than Lewis and Chalmers is better than Wafer).

Obviously, both the Magic and Heat have off court reasons to consider as well, as you noted. Howard is still an UFA after this season. Are the Magic going to fire SVG regardless of what they do with Howard, but if they brought him back does Wade want to play for him again? What are LeBron's priorities, and does he agree this is making the team better?

Of course, if Miami wins this is all moot.
   761. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4129216)
I really have a hard time believing that Reinsdorf would swallow that.

There is a 0% chance of the Bulls trading for Amare. I do think Reinsdorf would swallow the amnesty if the team is getting better; like I said it's not creating cap room so there's no monetary benefit to keeping or cutting him*, it's just accepting Boozer as a sunk cost.

*Actually, does an amnestied player count against the tax? If not, then it would help Jerry's pockets to cut him after next year and that's always been his #1 priority.
   762. Jimmy P Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4129223)
I don't think Miami is getting full value out of Bosh since he's not a true inside force.

Agreed. I think he'd be the one to go. I can't see Miami, specifically Pat Riley, dumping Wade. There's just too much history and trust there. So, it'd be dumping some of the group of Bosh/Battier/Miller/Anthony.
   763. Quaker Posted: May 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4129279)
Better chance of winning: Phi over Bos or Den/LA over OKC?
   764. Jimmy P Posted: May 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4129280)
Den/LA over OKC

This one. I think the Lakers could really give OKC trouble.

Phi over Bos

This series is going to be painful to watch offensively
   765. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4129285)
It's sad that the season is finally over, but like Matt said, it effectively ended on April 28th. No need to drag it out any longer. It was frustrating how it played out last night, but I'm not nearly as upset about it as it seems everyone else in Chicago
I'm glad you're not feeling cratered by last night's loss. It must have been painful, to be sure, but mercy killings always are.

And I agree that the in-game criticisms of Thibodeau is off-base. From what I could tell on radio, Boozer took himself out of the game long before Thibodeau did, and if Asik makes even one of those throws, and nobody'd be arguing that Boozer should have gone back in.
   766. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4129289)
755--Faried, McGee and Gallo have significant, uh, upside for the Nuggets, I think (and Lawson probably has some still)--but the window is gonna be small. If you depend on half a dozen A- players all peaking at the same time, so many things can go wrong....
   767. andrewberg Posted: May 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4129297)
755--Faried, McGee and Gallo have significant, uh, upside for the Nuggets, I think (and Lawson probably has some still)--but the window is gonna be small. If you depend on half a dozen A- players all peaking at the same time, so many things can go wrong....


Yeah, but the impact of one thing going wrong (like Chandler missing half the year then getting hurt or Harrington providing nothing in the playoffs) is smaller. The Nuggets were actually pretty unlucky during the regular season and have still put themselves in a solid position. I think game seven will be very entertaining. I'll pick LA to win, but I don't think they're overwhelming favorites.
   768. robinred Posted: May 11, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4129338)
My hit on LAL/DEN, reposted from a Lakers' board. The first graph is not directed at this crowd, but at some Lakers' fans, who are (predictably) all over Ramon Sessions, and clamoring for Fisher:

People who want Fisher back should remember how he looked trying to run this offense back in January and February, and they should also remember that the Lakers' season ended in 2011 with a 122-86 loss which featured two ejections, one leading to a suspension, in spite of Fisher's leadership. It is a stretch, to say the least, to think the Lakers would be better off in this series with him instead of Sessions.

That said, I was and still am a big booster of the Sessions deal, but some people in LakerLand overreacted to it early. The guy is not an All-Star--he is a mid-pack PG with defensive issues, and he is not as good as Ty Lawson. It was predictable that Lawson would blow up a couple of times in this series, and he has.

As I said yesterday, I think the focus needs to be on Mike Brown right now. Coaches can only do so much, this team has roster issues, and while it is hard for people to wrap their heads around the idea that a team with Kobe, Pau, and Bynum isn't really any better than one without a true star, both the metrics and this series show that is in fact the case.

But the Lakers have HCA and were up 3-1, so even if the teams are even and although they are missing their best wing defender, they should win. The issues people have had with Brown are coming to the fore:

1. George Karl has a pretty simple, but effective, game plan. Disrupt the bigs, let Kobe score a lot, and figure the other guys can't beat the Nuggets from the perimeter. It is working, and Brown has had no counter for it. I think the "adjustments" stuff is sometimes oversold, but in a tight series, they can really matter. Brown seems unable to come up with them, and that also seemed to be true in Cleveland.
2. Brown seems unable to get the team motivated. Kobe Bryant, warts and all, of course mostly motivates himself. But Bynum and Gasol need handling, and they did not look ready to go last night. Part of that is obviously on them, and I suppose one might put part of it on Bryant. But to me, it is definitely a coaching issue as well.
3. Brown's mulish insistence on riding his horses so hard is not looking good right now. Bynum and Gasol looked gassed. Bryant, due to his maniacal conditioning and intensity has mostly fought through it (although he takes some plays off on D) and did again last night. The payoff for the heavy workload was HCA in RD 1--so they need to make that work.

Brown has two more guaranteed years on his deal and a hefty buyout. Even if the Lakers lose tomorrow, I am 99% sure his job is safe. This has been a tough season, he has a deeply flawed roster, and unlike Vinny Del Negro, he does not have Chris Paul to run his team on the floor. But I will be looking hard at Mike Brown tomorrow night, even though I have defended him some this season.
   769. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 11, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4129385)
1. George Karl has a pretty simple, but effective, game plan. Disrupt the bigs, let Kobe score a lot, and figure the other guys can't beat the Nuggets from the perimeter. It is working, and Brown has had no counter for it.
I haven't defended Mike Brown all season, but Brown's guys could make life a lot easier for him by hitting some open shots. Denver throwing their bigs into the paint has done a number on Bynum/Gasol, and that's a perfectly reasonable tactic against one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league — a few open 3s go down, and this series would have been over two games ago. Matt Barnes is shooting 13-48 (27%), and 3-24 from beyond the arc (12.5%). Sessions is shooting 29-72 (40%) and 4-17 (23.5%) from the arc. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant is shooting 45% overall (70-156) and 32.5% (13-40) from the arc, and while Barnes and Sessions are getting a lot of open looks, Bryant's shots are often of the high-degree-of-difficulty variety with little time on the shot clock.

This series is also putting the lie to Abbott's argument that Bynum's got all sorts of easy opportunities Kobe's stealing from him. Denver's bigs are doubling quickly on him, he has done a poor job getting rid of the basketball, and the offense grinds to a halt while he figures out what to do with it. The Denver help guys make interior passing difficult for Gasol. The only way to punish that type of defense is to hit open jumpers, and the Lakers aren't hitting their jumpers even though they're getting tons of clean looks. They miss shots, that allows Denver to run, and... boom.
   770. robinred Posted: May 11, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4129400)
Hombre,

That is a fair point, and I addressed it indirectly with the roster stuff.

Still, I haven't seen the Lakers trying any different stuff (more back cuts, more cross-screens out of the "Horns" set, using Bynum in a different way, whatever) that might help a bit. Brown and every other Lakers fan who can Google "Basketball Reference" knew going in that the Lakers lacked outside shooting.

And, yeah, as I joked in that email I sent you last night, like Abbott said, the "Lakers just need to let Bynum do his thing" and the Ws will follow.

Denver is a bad 3p team as well, and last night's hits were mostly regression to the mean--they had been at around 20% for the series. Whoever makes more 3s may well win tomorrow.
   771. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 11, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4129404)
Denver's biggest weakness this year was in allowing an ton of 3-point attempts (and also a high % against, iirc: but the former is more significant than the latter). It does seem that LA is not well set up to exploit that particular weakness. I'll give Karl some credit for benching Koufos and using two very different bigs to guard Bynum. And Faried seems to be getting steadily better on Gasol, from what (too little) I've seen.

PS--As a Nuggets fan, if I admit I kinda have a sneaking admiration for Kobe, do I then get to say #### a bunch of Andrew Bynum? Guy is such a whiny jerk....
   772. robinred Posted: May 11, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4129414)
if I admit I kinda have a sneaking admiration for Kobe, do I then get to say #### a bunch of Andrew Bynum? Guy is such a whiny jerk....


Lakers fans are just killing Bynum on-line today.

Last night, I thought, showed why so many Lakers fans always stick up for Bryant, even after he puts up a 3/20 or a 6/28.
   773. madvillain Posted: May 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4129425)
It's sad that the season is finally over, but like Matt said, it effectively ended on April 28th. No need to drag it out any longer. It was frustrating how it played out last night, but I'm not nearly as upset about it as it seems everyone else in Chicago (sports radio is just torching Watson today; I also see a bunch of stuff out there on message boards, twitter, and even the texts I got from friends last night). This series loss meant absolutely nothing once Rose and Noah went down.


Ding, ding, ding! I don't understand how BlogaBull can devote 1000 words to any of these games. Here in one sentence is your damn trenchant analysis: Chicago lost a top 5 NBA player and then a top 30 NBA player. Done and done.

______________

As for Boozer, he is what he is. A mildly effective 3rd option jumpshooting big with mediocre (at best) defense, when you factor in his defensive rebounding. Without Rose and Noah, he's "exposed". He's overpaid and it would not shock me at all to see them use the amnesty on him and then resign Gibson. I also expect them to make a huge push to Mirotik to come over in 2014-15 season. I don't know how they can structure the deal, but they can certainly promise him playing time.
   774. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4129450)
Better chance of winning: Phi over Bos or Den/LA over OKC?

Philly has a puncher's chance at winning if two of Pierce, Garnett, Allen and Rodno go down with injuries.

He's overpaid and it would not shock me at all to see them use the amnesty on him and then resign Gibson. I also expect them to make a huge push to Mirotik to come over in 2014-15 season. I don't know how they can structure the deal, but they can certainly promise him playing time.

I'll be shocked if he's amnestied this year, but not the year after. That's when Gibson becomes a RFA and would be the time I would hope there's a way to get Mirotic here to have a Gibson/Mirotic platoon at PF. Hopefully that's the year they can use the Charlotte pick (I don't see if being worth moving in any minor deals between now and then but I could be wrong) and have a mini-roster youth infusion.
   775. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4129452)
On Boozer and the Bulls, Zach Lowe gets a "well said." It's basically a much better written version of my position.
   776. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4129466)
Philly has a puncher's chance at winning if two of Pierce, Garnett, Allen and Rodno go down with injuries.
Having other people's starters go down with injury has worked for the Sixers so far!

And by the way...
“Closeout games are actually kind of easy. Teams tend to fold if you come out and play hard in the beginning.”
The Lakers better bring some ####### effort, because I can't find a good reason to think them the favorite for Game 7. They've been out-coached, out-executed, and out-worked by a pretty significant margin in three of the last four games, and if there's ever been a team that tends to fold in elimination games during the Bryant Era, it's the Lakers.
   777. Jimmy P Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4129477)
Awesome graphic showing the worst shooters in the NBA from various areas on the floor
   778. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4129483)
KCJHoop: Brian Scalabrine will be in the Celtics' series. CSN New England hired him to do pre- and postgame studio work in Boston's series vs. 76ers.


Just stay in Boston, don't come back to Chicago.

The Lakers better bring some ####### effort, because I can't find a good reason to think them the favorite for Game 7.

I'll give you 5:
1. It's in LA.
2. They have the best player, if not the best 3 players, in the series.
3. They were the better team all season (and are getting Artest back).
4. George Karl teams aren't exactly known for their playoff performances.
5. Henry Abbott won't have anything to write about if they lose (the next couple of days, yeah, but once we're deep in round 2 he won't).
   779. Booey Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4129487)
The Lakers better bring some ####### effort, because I can't find a good reason to think them the favorite for Game 7.


HCA is a pretty good reason. The home team has won 4 of 6 games this series.
   780. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4129493)
1. The Lakers lost Game 5 at home and it would have been a blowout but for that 3-point barrage by Bryant. In a one-game situation, I'm not counting on this as being a big advantage.
2. Yes, but Denver's quantity has been overwhelming LA's quality, and as RR said, nobody on the Laker staff seems to have any answers.
3. Denver had to deal with some key injuries that held them back record-wise. They're healthy now.
4. True, but that may just mean he goes out the next round.
5. If only.

Really, HCA is the only thing to hang your hat on if you're a Laker fan. I don't think that'll be enough. Right now, I'm around 60/40 the Lakers lose, but I expect that IF they're going to lose, they'll lose badly.
   781. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4129495)
Wait a sec, Boozer actually said this after last night's game:

“I thought I played well, especially with the kind of season it was,” Boozer said, when asked to assess his second season in Chicago. “We had the best record again in basketball, won our division again, had the top seed again, that’s all that matters, yo.”


Wow. I didn't think I could actually dislike him any more than I already did. I mean, this is a 30 year old man ending a sentence with the word "yo".
   782. GregD Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4129503)
That is an amazing quote. That's all that matters? All?
   783. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4129507)
777 is awesome. Love that guy's blog, consistently fascinating.
   784. Booey Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4129514)
Wow. I didn't think I could actually dislike him any more than I already did. I mean, this is a 30 year old man ending a sentence with the word "yo".


If I were a Bulls fan, I'd be much more bothered by the fact that he seems content losing in the first round after posting the best record in the NBA than I would about him using the word "yo,"
   785. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4129517)
I'm pretty sure that's not what was meant. It was a standard "My numbers don't matter as long as the team is winning" thing.
   786. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4129518)
"They are the biggest flopping team in the NBA," Vogel told reporters at Thursday's practice in Indianapolis. "It'll be very interesting (to see) how the referees officiate the series and how much flopping they reward."

"Every drive to the basket, they have guys not making a play on the ball, but sliding in front of drivers," Vogel said. "Oftentimes they're falling down even before contact is even being made. It'll be interesting to see how the series is officiated."


Vogel said some stuff before last year's playoff series against the Bulls. He seems to borrow from Phil Jackson when it comes to try and win calls through the press. Not that I disagree with him, but Hanborough might be the defensive flopper/48 leader in the NBA.
   787. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4129520)
If I were a Bulls fan, I'd be much more bothered by the fact that he seems content losing in the first round after posting the best record in the NBA than I would about him using the word "yo,"

If you look above your head quickly, you might hear a whooshing sound.
   788. Booey Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4129523)
If you look above your head quickly, you might hear a whooshing sound.


Yeah, I got what you were saying. Your phrasing just sounded odd to me. Sorry.
   789. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4129524)
I wouldn't read too much into Boozer's comments. He just lost a really tough game, and he didn't play particularly well, and he was on the bench in crunch time. Now that the game's over, he's got to live with himself, and I don't think it's the worst thing ever that he — perhaps delusionally — has decided to focus on the few positives that lets him get to sleep at night and get up the next day.

It does sound crazy-silly, I grant you, but pro athletes are a different breed. Their brains are just in a different reality.
   790. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 11, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4129546)
It is possible, according to the Denver Post, that Birdman is being extorted, rather than being a child pornographer. I certainly hope he stays a semi-lovable weirdo, rather than a monster.
   791. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 11, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4129588)
Yeah, I got what you were saying. Your phrasing just sounded odd to me. Sorry.

I was trying to make it jokey.

It does sound crazy-silly, I grant you, but pro athletes are a different breed. Their brains are just in a different reality.

Yeah, I know. It's just that comment followeing the terrible sub-par effort and performance in an elimination game that he's rightfully getting ripped for.
   792. Booey Posted: May 11, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4129632)
Booz is a frustrating player to be a fan of for sure. I spent 6 years while he was in Utah alternating between loving and hating him. When he's on, he's a 20-10 machine with a great shooting percentage. He's got a pretty fallaway J when he's hot and few players are better at finishing around the rim than Booz.

But he misses way too many games, his defense is widely indifferent, and every once in a while he just seems bored and basically mails in games altogether.

I feel ya, man.
   793. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: May 11, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4129736)
LeBron to be named MVP.

Carlos's #### doesn't work in the playoffs?
   794. robinred Posted: May 11, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4129834)

JVG really on the Clippers for not getting back on D on that sequence.
   795. AROM Posted: May 11, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4129839)
"It is possible, according to the Denver Post, that Birdman is being extorted, rather than being a child pornographer. I certainly hope he stays a semi-lovable weirdo, rather than a monster."

Me too. As far as the allegations go, is the issue little kids or a 17 year old?

Not that a 30+ year old man has any business with 17 year olds, but it's a much less toasty layer of hell than that reserved for pedophiles.
   796. Maxwn Posted: May 11, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4129843)
JVG really on the Clippers for not getting back on D on that sequence.

One of the underrated factors that opened up the post game for the Grizzlies early in Game 6 was Gasol and Randolph making a clear effort to bust it down the floor and beat the Clips to their spots. That seems to be happening some early tonight too.
   797. JJ1986 Posted: May 11, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4129882)
The Clippers are unbearable. Griffin just flopped his way out of a play.
   798. Spivey Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4130004)
I hate the Clippers. I can't imagine the last time I watched a series just hoping for excitement and came out of it rooting so heavily for one team. Chris Paul is an annoying ass with his flopping and his "looks", and he'll never be the same player he was 4 years ago. Blake Griffin is even more obnoxious. VDN is a shitty coach, and is also one of the scrubs that called himself a starter during Robinson's prime, so I hate him for that. They have Kenyon Martin on their team, for some reason.

Memphis looks like a clearly better team, nevermind more likable.
   799. Srul Itza Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4130012)
Memphis may be the clearly better team, but that is some of the chokiest free throw shooting at the end of a game that I have seen in a while.
   800. Spivey Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4130014)
That was some shady free throw shooting from Memphis. If I didn't have to be traveling for work next week, I'd pay whatever it took to be at the Game 7 Memphis/Clippers game.
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