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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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   801. Maxwn Posted: May 11, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4130016)
Huge win. Marc Gasol is a beast.
   802. Maxwn Posted: May 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4130018)
Also, for the record, Bill Simmons said on Twitter that Chris Paul had "The Look" about halfway through the third.
   803. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 12, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4130023)
Randolph had some huge Z-Bounds in this game. Impressive how he has come back from injury. My opinion of him has changed so much over the past 2 years.
   804. Spivey Posted: May 12, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4130028)
Whichever Memphis fan that badmouthed Conley and acted like that was the worst deal in the history of basketball I think has some crow to eat. Conley is lighting it up from 3 this series.
   805. Maxwn Posted: May 12, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4130033)
Whichever Memphis fan that badmouthed Conley and acted like that was the worst deal in the history of basketball I think has some crow to eat.

I think you might be referring to Matt Moore who writes for CBS. He melted down on Twitter when they signed the Conley deal. He has eaten a lot of crow on that the last 2 years.
   806. rr Posted: May 12, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4130042)
Matt Moore


Moore writes some decent stuff, but I have a hard time with him because he is a Hater. Didn't know he trashed the Conley deal.

I wonder if "the Look" Tweet means Simmons was rescinding his Finals pick (Heat over Grizzlies).

So, two Game 7s for the LA teams back-to-back this weekend. Mike Brown and Vinny Del Negro: time for your close-ups.
   807. Maxwn Posted: May 12, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4130049)
Didn't know he trashed the Conley deal.

Oh, Jesus. When I say meltdown, I am not kidding at all. Someone has made a tumblr about it.

Matt Moore on the Conley Extension

It was not his proudest moment, although to be fair, Conley took a pretty big step forward the year after the deal was signed. That wasn't necessarily completely predictable.

Edit: The twitter thing starts at the bottom and works up.
   808. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4130149)
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.

That is not the player that signed in Chicago though. Had that player signed here, the Bulls would still be in the playoffs today. He's gotten more and more tenative to play inside, has a hard time finishing in there, and seems much more content shooting deeper and deeper fade aways.

Going back to the Bos/Atl series for a second:

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.


Link:

The NBA says a foul against Boston with 3.1 seconds left in Atlanta's season-ending loss on Thursday should have been called sooner, which would have given the Hawks a free throw instead of just the ball out of bounds.
The Celtics' Marquis Daniels held the Hawks' Al Horford as Atlanta was inbounding the ball trailing 81-79. Referee Eric Lewis called a foul, but ruled it came after Marvin Williams had released the ball, meaning it was just a common foul that resulted in another throw-in.

However, replays showed the foul occurred before the ball was passed and should have been treated as an away-from-the-play foul, in which case Atlanta would have been awarded one free throw and retained possession of the ball.


Someone else asked about review:

@NBA spokesman says replay review not available to determine when Daniels PF occurred or when Williams released ball. #Hawks
   809. steagles Posted: May 12, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4130301)
i am really looking forward to tonight's game. i'm fairly sure that it's gonna be an ugly mess, but considering where the sixers are as a team right now, i think that's a good thing. the sixers are at a disadvantage against physical teams like boston and chicago, but i can't help but feel that the more chippy these games get, the better it'll be for the long term development of the team.


   810. Booey Posted: May 12, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4130313)
#808 - Thanks. Where did you find that link? I wasn't being hypothetical when I asked how often the league does that. I was genuinely curious. Maybe it happens all the time and it just rarely makes it onto ESPN so I never hear about it.
   811. rr Posted: May 12, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4130329)
This is what I meant when I said "skill overlap problem" and when I said that Bynum and Gasol with Kobe "sounds awesome" but really isn't:

Put all those results together and the combination of Bynum and Gasol have played 816 minutes together in the post season and have played their oppositions to a virtual draw (1,622-1,624 for a minus-2). That is a very large sample size with little support that the duo of big men are a winning combination. The Lakers have been much better when the two weren't on the court together (a plus-289).


This was posted at Silver Screen & Roll today.
   812. tshipman Posted: May 12, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4130333)
This is what I meant when I said "skill overlap problem" and when I said that Bynum and Gasol with Kobe "sounds awesome" but really isn't:


I buy some of this, but not all that much of it. Why not quote the sample size from the entire season this year?

Are Bynum and Gasol preventing guards from knocking down open shots?

To me, that is bad statistics.
   813. baudib Posted: May 12, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4130345)
Uh, yeah. Especially since Bynum and Gasol have been playing together for years, including 2 titles.
   814. Backlasher Posted: May 12, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4130359)
I buy some of this, but not all that much of it. Why not quote the sample size from the entire season this year?

If you use the data at 82games, I calculate that the trio have played together for 1161.6 minutes and have a cumulative +81. That is about 57% of the minutes. Most of the combinations give you a good win percentage in the 50s, the win percentage only goes to he11 when Steve Blake is on the court (in the 30s). Rebound rate is extremely positive in the 50s (except for with Blake and Artest), but the TO rate is slightly below average with the trio. There is not great attrition when only one of the bigs is paired with McSofty or Murphy. The trio pretty much breaks even on outscoring their opponents (51-50), but the percentage drops to about 48% when one is missing.

I haven't followed all of rr's arguments about duplication of skills. He may have averred something that I did not see; however, I would not be inclined to agree. The Lakers are very, very good when initiating offense through Gasol at the high post, having good shooters spot up, and having a solid low post option. The trio has a higher probability of providing all three of these elements. (Of course, when the other shooters are not playing well, or the offense is being run in other means; they will struggle. That would be true of any team that didn't run their offense or had inefficient players.)

That raw stats will not show this as much because the team is still pretty darn good when only two of the trio are on the floor.

What should convince you about the value of the three together is the raw efficiency of Gasol and Bynum in converting opportunities. When you have that type of efficiency, an offense that exploits that efficiency is optimal. The best exploitation usually comes with Gasol moving the offense from the high post.

Moreover, I don't think their skills are duplicative. Gasol is a much better passer and short range shooter from both sides of the court. Bynum is the plus player on the blocks. When both play, usually a team is giving up a huge rebounding potential advantage from one of the two.

   815. Srul Itza Posted: May 12, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4130360)
Celts vs. Sixers. Only thing to root for is the ceiling collapsing.
   816. rr Posted: May 12, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4130363)
baudib,

ODOM, Gasol and Bynum won two titles together, with Odom on the floor with either of them more than they were on the floor with each other, and with Odom always on the floor with Gasol at the end of the close games. It's not that Bynum and Gasol together aren't good--obviously, they are. If you are playing teams even in post-season, you are doing well and you have a good team. But Gasol and Bynum without Odom are 3-3 against Denver and haven't won anything together. To use your snarky phrase from earlier, "It's not that hard to figure out." Bynum and Gasol are both better with their backs to the basket and close to the basket, and both of them, while being very fine players, are slow as hell on D. Add in the fact that Kobe is pretty slow now and also plays better near the basket and is a good post-up guy, and there you have it. Sure, they are still good. But the pieces just don't fit all that well. Kobe has joked in the media all year about how slow the Lakers are.

Zach Lowe wrote about the Lakers a couple of days ago, and here is what he said about Pau:

But here’s the thing: This is essentially the player Gasol is now, with Bynum emerging as the Lakers’ second option and full-time post-up presence. Gasol is a center trying his best to play the role of a stretch power forward, and the result has been more jumpers, more assists and fewer free throws. He took more long jumpers per minute this season than at any point in his Lakers career and attempted the fewest free throws per minute of his NBA career. This is the player the Lakers have asked him to become, and there will be games when jump-shooting big men miss a lot.


tshipman,

Of course it would help if the Lakers had a reliable shooter. Like I said last year, the Lakers won in 2009 and 2010 without reliable shooters in part because they got timely 3p shooting from Odom, Fisher, Ariza, Artest, and Shannon Brown. Last year, that deserted them, Dallas played great and rained 3s on them, and they got swept. But it was harder to do what Karl is doing--relentlessly pack the paint--when Odom was out there. Odom was not a great 3p shooter (32% career) but he could take them. He also could draw a big man out, put the ball on the floor, go to the rack, and create/facilitate facing the rim.

As to the season numbers, I have already linked to them on 82games.com in two other posts. Bynum and Gasol are good--but there is not some huge effect, and the Lakers have been very good in short bursts with Murphy on the court with certain lineup combos.

To be clear here, I am not bringing this up to trash Buss and Kupchak for the Odom deal, given how Odom has imploded. But an idea had taken hold with some people that Bynum and Gasol should be an unguardable combination that makes the Lakers a top-tier contender in spite of the rest of the roster. Lakers fans think they're not because Pau is a wuss and Bynum is a flake. KobeHaters think they're not because Kobe is a stubborn, selfish bastard who cares more about his numbers than he does about winning.

There is probably some truth in those assertions, but there is also a basic skill overlap issue with Gasol and Bynum that affects the Lakers on both sides of the ball. Phil relied on Odom as much as he did for good reasons.

   817. rr Posted: May 12, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4130369)
http://www.82games.com/1112/1112LAL2.HTM

http://www.82games.com/1011/1011LAL2.HTM

http://www.82games.com/0910/0910LAL2.HTM

http://www.82games.com/0809/0809LAL2.HTM

Those are the links to 82games.com numbers from 2009-2012. People can look for themselves if they like.

The key distinction here is the difference between "good" and "actually good enough to beat Oklahoma City or San Antonio." The Lakers issues are mostly 4-10, as has been obvious all year. But 1-3 don't fit as well and are not as effective as a lot of people believe. If they were, the Lakers would be tipping off tomorrow in OKC rather than tonight at 730 in LA.
   818. Backlasher Posted: May 12, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4130374)
Phil relied on Odom as much as he did for good reasons.

Phil also relied on Odom so much (or by implication, not Bynum) because he can also be a stubborn bastard.

Nevertheless, I think much of this analysis is missing one thing. Bynum is not the same Bynum he was in previous years. Many times he was hurt. More important, he is improved his restricted area game a great deal this season.

This is essentially the player Gasol is now, with Bynum emerging as the Lakers’ second option and full-time post-up presence. Gasol is a center trying his best to play the role of a stretch power forward, and the result has been more jumpers, more assists and fewer free throws. ...

There is much truth in this analysis; however, this analysis minimizes how good a passer that Gasol can be, and also doesn't take into account the fact that this new role has not significantly eroded Gasol's efficiency. The changes for Bynum have increased his efficiency.

IMHO, the Lowe analysis may exhibit a fallacy that I have seen in other sports writers. It presumes that a decrease in the optimal usage of one player results in a decrease in the optimal team strategy. If P. Gasol is hypothetically traded to the lower tiered team, then he is both more efficient as a player and more efficient to his team, if you used him as a back to the basket post option. However, in the Lakers' system, he is better playing his position as a high post player (which I don't think is a stretch 4, but YMMV), and he can perform this role better than the vast majority of options that are currently in the NBA. Of course, if you could trade him for a peak KG or a peak Barkley, they you would pull that trigger. There may have been a time a few years ago when a Boris Diaw could be a player of value to sneak into that role, wherein the amount you lost for the player replacement would be smaller than the amount you could save in salary or in other players (e.g. a better Blake), but I don't know if that player is in the NBA at this moment.

Like I said last year, the Lakers won in 2009 and 2010 without reliable shooters in part because they got timely 3p shooting from Odom, Fisher, Ariza, Artest, and Shannon Brown. Last year, that deserted them, Dallas played great and rained 3s on them, and they got swept. But it was harder to do what Karl is doing--relentlessly pack the paint--when Odom was out there. Odom was not a great 3p shooter (32% career) but he could take them. He also could draw a big man out, put the ball on the floor, go to the rack, and create/facilitate facing the rim.

In Artest lineups, the Lakers still shoot the corner three respectably this year. Its the top of the arc that is beating them down.

   819. Backlasher Posted: May 12, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4130379)
http://www.82games.com/1011/1011LAL2.HTM

In previous years, Zenny baby didn't play them together as often b/c there was Odom. Still 736 minutes and a +169 last year, about 744 minutes and a +171 in 2009, and about 816 minutes and +107ish (I did these in my head, so forgive me if they are slightly off). That is still looking pretty solid.

... Odom

If the argument is that the Lakers had better teams with a prior years version of Odom and Gasol, then I agree. This Laker teams has more vulnerabilities than its championship teams. But that Odom isn't here anymore, the previous year Bynum is better, and the combination of Gasol and Bynum is formidable enough to give them a solid matchup change against many teams. The Gasol/Bynum combination is still their optimum lineup, and I don't think you can move Bynum (or Gasol) to replace the combination that was the prior years Odom/Gasol.
   820. rr Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4130388)
NBa.com page--shows Bynum and Gasol's numbers together and when one is on the bench:

http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Andrew-Bynum-vs-Pau-Gasol|101115,2200;year=201112;season=r
   821. rr Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4130390)
Odom/Gasol last year:

http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Lamar-Odom-vs-Pau-Gasol|1885,2200;year=201011;season=r

   822. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4130397)
The Sixers still have a foul to give, so the Celtics have a shot to pretty much run out the clock here.
   823. tshipman Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4130399)
It's nice to see Backlasher again.


Of course it would help if the Lakers had a reliable shooter. Like I said last year, the Lakers won in 2009 and 2010 without reliable shooters in part because they got timely 3p shooting from Odom, Fisher, Ariza, Artest, and Shannon Brown. Last year, that deserted them, Dallas played great and rained 3s on them, and they got swept. But it was harder to do what Karl is doing--relentlessly pack the paint--when Odom was out there. Odom was not a great 3p shooter (32% career) but he could take them. He also could draw a big man out, put the ball on the floor, go to the rack, and create/facilitate facing the rim.


There's a difference between reliable shooting and guys just being brutal out there. Barnes was just brutal out there.


IMHO, the Lowe analysis may exhibit a fallacy that I have seen in other sports writers. It presumes that a decrease in the optimal usage of one player results in a decrease in the optimal team strategy. If P. Gasol is hypothetically traded to the lower tiered team, then he is both more efficient as a player and more efficient to his team, if you used him as a back to the basket post option. However, in the Lakers' system, he is better playing his position as a high post player (which I don't think is a stretch 4, but YMMV), and he can perform this role better than the vast majority of options that are currently in the NBA. Of course, if you could trade him for a peak KG or a peak Barkley, they you would pull that trigger. There may have been a time a few years ago when a Boris Diaw could be a player of value to sneak into that role, wherein the amount you lost for the player replacement would be smaller than the amount you could save in salary or in other players (e.g. a better Blake), but I don't know if that player is in the NBA at this moment.


I think the new offensive system limits Pau's abilities. Pau was really the perfect triangle player. I would have loved to have seen Pau play with Michael and Scottie, for instance.
   824. baudib Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4130402)
Well, that ending really sucked.

Obviously the Lakers were a lot better with Odom. Obviously it would if their guards hit 3s.
   825. PJ Martinez Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4130403)
...the Celtics have a shot to pretty much run out the clock here.

Literally.

Rondo has now tied Oscar Robertson on the playoff triple double list.

That block by Bradley on the Philly fast break late was pretty impressive.
   826. steagles Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4130407)
The Sixers still have a foul to give, so the Celtics have a shot to pretty much run out the clock here.
yeah, jrue really had to miss that FT since they still had a foul to give. and they probably should have fouled on the previous possession to extend the game.


   827. Spivey Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4130409)
It's frustrating to watch basketball players commit intentional fouls at the end of the game and them not be called. That play where Rondo grabbed Jrue was not a basketball play, and it annoys me that players get away with that.
   828. JJ1986 Posted: May 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4130412)
That block by Bradley on the Philly fast break late was pretty impressive.


I liked how he turned right around and ran down the court at full speed afterwards basically without stopping. Guy is totally focused.
   829. baudib Posted: May 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4130415)
yeah, jrue really had to miss that FT since they still had a foul to give.


and this

and they probably should have fouled on the previous possession to extend the game.


It's kind of inexcusable for them to not get a chance to tie the game in that sequence.

   830. rr Posted: May 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4130417)
Sessions just doesn't get down enough on Lawson--Lawson is too good to play lazy on.

   831. Spivey Posted: May 13, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4130427)
Does this quarter decide what the Lakers do with their basketball team? Or are they locked in with what they've got?
   832. tshipman Posted: May 13, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4130428)
Does this quarter decide what the Lakers do with their basketball team? Or are they locked in with what they've got?


What can they realistically do?

Amnesty Bryant? Amnesty Gasol, and then try to trade Bryant? Reignite the Howard/Gasol/Bynum talks?

Sessions is okay, and then everyone else on the team is not worth their contract. They can fire Mike Brown, but I would say that would be a good idea regardless of the outcome of this quarter.

Generally, the Lakers tend to luck into some random-ass deal that nets them a hall of famer that no one thought was available. Hard to see that happening here, but who knows?
   833. puck Posted: May 13, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4130431)
Who was saying 3's were going to be big? Lakers are hitting 'em.
   834. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4130433)
Gallo ####### killed the Nuggets.
   835. JJ1986 Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:11 AM (#4130434)
The Lakers are getting a second chance on every possession.
   836. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4130435)
The Nuggets insistence on doubling Kobe is ####### mind boggling...
   837. Spivey Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4130436)
Denver hasn't run a cohesive offense in the 4th quarter. The Lakers are just working harder. Gasol and Bynum have controlled the glass.
   838. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:17 AM (#4130437)
Denver's loss is on Karl and Gallo.
   839. Srul Itza At Home Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4130438)
yeah, 'cause the Lakers didn't have anything to do with it.
   840. Booey Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4130439)
Generally, the Lakers tend to luck into some random-ass deal that nets them a hall of famer that no one thought was available.


Yep. Unless Stern veto's it again...


(not that Paul really qualifies as a player that no one thought was available, but close enough)
   841. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4130440)
"The way they're double teaming, you could still play"-Kobe to Steve Kerr. That about sums up Karl's idiotic gameplan.
   842. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4130441)
yeah, 'cause the Lakers didn't have anything to do with it.

Obviously the Lakers do/did. My point is that the Lakers won because they dominated on the boards and hit a bunch of 3s. Boards were going to be an issue because of DEN's size and Faried's foul trouble, but the Lakers were able to fairly easy generate clean 3 point looks because the Nuggets kept doubling Kobe who CLEARLY was not in shoot first mode.
   843. tshipman Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4130443)
Yep. Unless Stern veto's it again...


You know, I didn't even think of that until after I wrote that comment. The Lakers have also historically drafted very well (in terms of netting true Superstars later in the draft, not in terms of overall value per pick or anything).

Part of the problem with the team is that they pretty much need a HOF caliber coach to deal with Kobe. I dunno. They're a second round team (congrats, guys!), but I don't see a lot of room for growth. They're definitely worse than SAT and OKC.

They need to trade Pau or Bynum for a HOFer or something silly like that to become a true contender again. I can't even come up with a silly, non-plausible trade that turns them into a championship team. I don't even know that Howard for Bynum does it (assuming Orlando wanted that deal).

Edit:
"The way they're double teaming, you could still play"-Kobe to Steve Kerr. That about sums up Karl's idiotic gameplan.


Kobe gives such better quotes now that he doesn't give a ####.
   844. rr Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4130445)
Gallinari and Miller were 2/19, so MWP basically earned his salary in this game. Like I said before the game--whoever hit more 3s, and Lakers needed timely 3s from a bench guy. Lawson is very good.

Denver outrebounded the Lakers 54-50. Denver also had more OREBs, 24-23.

I think OKC will take them in 5 or 6, and I think the Grizzlies will beat the Clippers tomorrow--with the caveat about Paul's health. IND/MIA will be good.
   845. tshipman Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4130446)
Denver outrebounded the Lakers 54-50. Denver also had more OREBs, 24-23.


Other way on the OREB's.

Lawson is very good.


One freaking playoff series. That's all I want. Just one series where the opposing PG doesn't look like a cross between John Stockton and Isaiah Thomas.
   846. rr Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:53 AM (#4130447)
Gallo ####### killed the Nuggets.


This is actually the second 1/9 game he has had this year against the Lakers when MWP was playing. I posted those numbers prior to the series; IIRC he was 6/30 in Denver's 3 losses to the Lakers. So, you might look at the possibility that MWP's defense is a factor here.

As to what the Lakers will do: I think Pau will be on the block unless they somehow knock off OKC. They may try to ask about a Deron Williams deal (for Bynum) if Williams is leaving for sure and Bynum has trouble against the Thunder. Sessions has been hurting his market value; he may actually re-up. Blake would be an amnesty candidate, but he obviously helped himself a lot tonight. The Howard stuff could start up again as well.
   847. rr Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:57 AM (#4130448)
Other way on the OREB's.


Ok, but I think the point holds.

As to PG...I overrated Sessions. I still like him, but his fundamentals on D are weak.

Derek Fisher, BTW, is leading the NBA this year so far in 3p% in post-season. I can't wait to read this or see it Re-Tweeted:

"Tell me Derek Fisher isn't going to beat the Lakers with a big 3. It's just a fact."
   848. andrewberg Posted: May 13, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4130450)
As to PG...I overrated Sessions]


Kahn could've told you that. Seriously, it's weird watching sessions and Hollins (mn's 2010 fa class) playing big minutes this late.

I haven't seen his name here much, so I'll say that Steve Blake's timely shooting swung the game.

Also, in both games the teams had equal fgm-fga. Very odd.
   849. rr Posted: May 13, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4130451)
because the Nuggets kept doubling Kobe


He had scored 74 points in the last two games. Steve Blake, who has basically played like crap for two straight years, and who is a very marginal player, had his best game as a Laker tonight. Denver held Bynum to 4/15 from the floor and Kobe only scored 17 points. I would say Karl would have taken that going in and assumed Blake was not going to go 5/6 from the arc.

The Lakers won because they gave up fewer points, not because they scored more. You can attribute all that to Gallinari if you want, but the Nuggets came up short on O more than on D.

   850. rr Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4130455)
I will remember this the next time Hollinger whines about Lakers fans bugging him on email or being "too sensitive."

johnhollinger John Hollinger
Surprise: Blake won them the game. Bigger surprise: Kobe allowed it. Instead of going hero-ball he passed out of every double.
about an hour ago


And, just in case the OKC fans wouldn't be fired up enough:

ChrisPalmer chris palmer
Metta on whether he'll shake James Harden's hand: "I don't shake subs' hands." Fair enough.
about an hour ago
   851. PJ Martinez Posted: May 13, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4130477)
Rondo confesses afterward he didn't know how he'd play in Game 1 because he didn't get a nap on Saturday.

No kidding.

Warning: that column may make people who dislike the Celtics want to throw up. (And fair enough, really.)
   852. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 13, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4130493)
The Lakers won because they gave up fewer points, not because they scored more. You can attribute all that to Gallinari if you want, but the Nuggets came up short on O more than on D.

Gallinari and D were separate issues, in my eyes. Gallinari, in addition to MWP playing good defense just alternated between poor and slow decisions. There was at least one ill advised pull up 3 in transition (other than the first couple years with the Knicks he really hasn't been the type of shooter that I would feel comfortable with taking that shot there, especially with how much he had been off all game) and a handful of times where he would get either Bynum or Gasol on the switch but rather than make an aggressive move towards the paint and potentially draw a foul, he pulled up for a fallaway that...that he used a TON in this series and is a move I'd never seen him use prior to. Of course, when he finally does try to be aggressive it's with MWP on him and he's stripped clean. That's a failure to recognize game situations on his part, IMO.

As for the Kobe doubling, I understand Kobe had scored a bunch of points earlier, but IIRC Steve Blake is a career 39% 3 point shooter, despite however poorly he may have shot this year that guy is probably going to knock down fairly clean looks and he was getting those because of the Kobe doubling strategy. I would have rather Karl trusted Afflalo to guard Kobe 1 on 1 and stay at home on the shooters at the point it became clear that 1.) the shooters were knocking down their looks and 2.) Kobe made it clear he was totally cool playing the facilitator role. Like you said, Kobe scored 74 points the last two games, but the Nuggets also won those games.

The rebounding thing was clearly my mind playing tricks on me based on those couple sequences in the fourth where Gasol grabbed ~ 23 consecutive offensive rebounds.

Also, I blame Henry Abbott for the Nuggets not going all in on hero ball and just giving the ball to Lawson and clearing out every time. Kudos to Kobe for asking for that assignment by the way.
   853. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4130596)
I blame Abbott because George Karl must have believed that a tired Kobe would shoot the ball in a game 7 4th quarter every time no matter what--I mean, why else would Karl go away from what had worked and switch to what....didn't?

[Aside: as a Nuggets and Tar Heel fan I have nightmares about the opposition draining uncontested 3--been having them for years now...]

I'm actually kinda happy with how the team got its #### together down the stretch. But ####### Gallo, yeah, he was the difference. Gallo is supposed to be the best scorer on this team; the Nuggets just ran out of half-court scoring and he was the main reason why.

   854. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4130598)
I think they have to sign McGee now. I like the core, a lot. If McGee and Gallo both develop some this could be a dangerous team next year. Gallinari, coming in to this year, was supposed to be Denver's best player; he was still rusty after the injury imo. NJ--you're right about this game, but I wouldn't give MWP all the credit--the whole series and down the stretch Gallo was pretty bad offensively....

What do people here think about Afflalo? Most Nuggs fans seem to think Afflalo is one of their top players; I tend to trust the advanced stats that say he's their worst starter. Especially if Gallo has reached his ceiling, then they desperately need their 2-guard to be somebody who can get a decent shot in the half-court, and Afflalo is not that guy. Nor am I convinced by his defensive stopper reputation. Not even Bill Simmons' advocacy sways me!
   855. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4130600)
"With their two stars ailing, can the Clippers close the door on Memphis?" asks ESPN breathlessly.

It's a ####### game 7 in Memphis' building, you dicks.
   856. puck Posted: May 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4130603)
So, how much would you offer JaVale McGee? I can see how he got his reputation, both good and bad.
   857. baudib Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4130615)
I like the Sixers' chances of beating the Celtics. That doesn't mean they will, because it is difficult to beat a decent team when you give one away. But it's pretty obvious they can play with the Celtics and should be able to win at least one game in Boston.
   858. Squash Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4130619)
That wasn't the first, Chris Paul is being allowed to travel all over the place today.
   859. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 13, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4130627)
OK, I saw "the Look"--on the jumper that made it 27-20--did Simmons call it? Bet the house on the Clips, everybody!!!
   860. PJ Martinez Posted: May 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4130662)
With all the talk of the low-scoring Bulls/Sixers/Hawks/Celtics games, it is 56-55 Memphis over LAC after three quarters.

Hell of a game regardless.
   861. JJ1986 Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4130664)
Is Speights hurt?

The Grizzlies bench is killing them. Mayo and Arenas just can't do anything on offense.
   862. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4130671)
Grizz starters aren't doing enough either--I don't like the word "choke" that much in sports, but they all seem really, really tight to me...
   863. JJ1986 Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4130681)
I thought Gasol just got badly fouled by Evans.
   864. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4130683)
Memphis can't catch a break here.
   865. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4130692)
OK, the small fan base teams are out--Stern's gotta love it--no conspiracy required!
   866. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4130696)
Memphis guards missed 27 of 33 shots. Tough to win with that and a limited Z-Bo.
   867. Tripon Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4130701)
865. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4130692)
OK, the small fan base teams are out--Stern's gotta love it--no conspiracy required!


Oklahoma City and San Antonio have the two best teams in the west. How much more small and Podunk can you get?
   868. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4130706)
Tripon, you're an LA guy, do I really need to explain what I'm talking about to you?
   869. Booey Posted: May 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4130721)
Sorry Memphis and fans. I was pulling for you.

Guess I'll be cheering for OKC from this point on.
   870. Srul Itza At Home Posted: May 13, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4130728)
Is there anything sweeter than watching Miami choke the day after LeBron picks up an MVP?
   871. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 13, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4130745)
Is there anything sweeter than watching Miami choke the day after LeBron picks up an MVP?

Watching LeBron play basketball?
   872. PJ Martinez Posted: May 13, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4130783)
Is there anything sweeter than watching Miami choke the day after LeBron picks up an MVP?

I'd be in a better position to answer that question if I'd had the experience of seeing it happen.
   873. baudib Posted: May 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4130803)
LeBron is the king of chokers. He chokes even when he wins!
   874. Booey Posted: May 13, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4130833)
LeBron is the king of chokers. He chokes even when he wins!


Pfft! They only won by 9. What a bunch of losers.
   875. rr Posted: May 14, 2012 at 02:39 AM (#4130880)
but they all seem really, really tight to me...


Lionel Hollins at the podium: "In a Game 7, you gotta just let it rip. We didn't let it rip."

While Indiana had some of the issues you would expect in a road playoff game from a young team that lacks an elite player, they are good and played well a lot of the game. So, I thought today was a good reminder of how great James and Wade really are, and why it still is, and will always be, hugely important to have superstars. That said, if Bosh is really hurt, well, Indiana can make this a long series, and as skeptical as I remain about Boston, (I think the 76ers will play them tough but eventually lose) I think Boston actually could beat Miami if Bosh is either gone or severely hampered. Miami simply still does not have much on the roster beyond Moe, Larry, and Curley.

If I were the Clippers, I think I would just hold Griffin out of Game 1 of the San Antonio series to see if that improves his knee.

With the Kings in the Western Conference Finals in the NHL, and none of the three LA teams having home court/ice, there will be six post-season basketball and hockey games at Staples Center later this week.
   876. rr Posted: May 14, 2012 at 03:58 AM (#4130888)
but the Nuggets also won those games.


The Lakers had a better ORTG than they did in Games 5 and 6, which supports your point, but again, Denver lost Game 7 on a lot on O. Their ORTGs were 110, 119 and 103 for the last three games. The pace in Game 7 was better for the Lakers--84.7. As to Gallinari, shooting-wise he had two pretty good games (7/14 and 9/16) and three pretty bad ones, but even in the bad ones, he was usually getting to the line some. Last night, he had 0 FTA. Looking at his NBA.com numbers, Gallinari had trouble with the Lakers in general--and was even worse against Barnes and Ebanks than against MWP. But MWP played more than 40 minutes last night. The other main thing MWP did was lead Brown to keep the Sessions/Blake combo off the floor. During the season, they had a +/- of -10.7 and in the Denver series, Miller was crushing them.

As to Kobe, he likely would have shot a lot in the 4th if single-covered. Karl decided not to go that route.

The Gasol/Bynum stuff: I mentioned earlier in the year, as tshipman did here, that Pau misses the Triangle. He also misses Odom. In Hill's very brief time with the team, Hill/Gasol combos have looked good. Obviously, Gasol/Bynum is the Lakers' best option simply on talent, but I think that Bynum time with a stretch 4 and/or Gasol time with an active, quick 4 might make the team better overall. That was obviously the logic used in signing Murphy and McRoberts, but Murphy just isn't more than a spot player and the Lakers' deliberate pace does not suit what McRoberts can do.

As to the OKC series, I think the Lakers have very little chance to win more than 1 or 2 games. Reposted from another blog:

The Lakers generally have two advantages over opponents: Kobe, even in his 16th year, is usually the best wing on the floor; and, of course, quality size. This team, however, has Durant, and Perkins and Ibaka match up pretty well with Bynum and Gasol and make them work for points and rebounds. Hill is OK, but Collison is better in the 3rd big/garbage/energy guy role.

Additionally, I don’t see how the Lakers can cover Durant, Westbrook, AND Harden, and Brooks puts all three of them out there together quite often. Finally, OKC leads the league in TOs…but the Lakers are dead last in forcing them and turn the ball over quite a bit themselves, particularly adjusting for pace.

Add in the schedule and the fatigue issues...
   877. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4131054)
Yahoo! Sports reporting that Bosh is out indefinitely with this abdominal injury. That's a real blow to Miami; they're nearly invincible when he plays well.

EDIT: Miami was 4-5 in games CB1 missed this season.
   878. JC in DC Posted: May 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4131058)
YahooSports reporting that Bosh is out indefinitely with this abdominal injuryThat's a real blow to Miami; they're nearly invincible when he plays well


True enough, but they're still pretty damned good w/o him. This sets things up quite well for LBJ to break the media narrative on him. If LBJ plays like last night and they keep winning, he'll flip that BS narrative on its head.
   879. rr Posted: May 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4131067)
Miami was 4-5 in games CB1 missed this season


Indeed. Boston in the NBA Finals is now a real possibility, and I think this puts SA and OKC above Miami for the moment (many thought SA was there already; I did not, though).
   880. rr Posted: May 14, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4131104)
Abbott reTweeted a Freakonomics link to a post by Dave Berri about Carmelo Anthony. Moses, you need to check it out.
   881. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 14, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4131113)
WAH! WHY YOU BREAK THE PAGE!
ahoo! Sports reporting that Bosh is out indefinitely with this abdominal injury.
Bill Simmons' crazy-ass fantasy is coming true. All the dominoes are falling.
   882. JJ1986 Posted: May 14, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4131115)
Bill Simmons' crazy-ass fantasy is coming true.


Too bad the whole season is asterisked. Probably double-asterisked now.
   883. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 14, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4131120)
Doubtful. Derrick Rose and Chris Bosh don't know The Secret.
   884. hokieneer Posted: May 14, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4131144)
Chris Bosh isn't worth an asterisk [/Simmons]
   885. AROM Posted: May 14, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4131221)
Last year Bosh played Kevin Garnett to a draw. Bosh had 12.8 points and 10.2 boards while taking 10.4 FG and 5.6 FT. Garnett
had 14.4/10.6 while taking 14.4 FGA and 3.2 FTA. Neutralize Garnett, and Wade/James can beat Pierce/Rondo. I don't have any
confidence that Turiaf can do anything close to that. Miami is not getting past the Celtics this year unless Bosh can recover
for next round. The way things are shaping up the Celtics will beat Miami in 6 or 7 games. It will include a game where Miami
loses a decent lead in the 4th quarter when Lebron forget he's the best player in the world for 15 minutes, as he's been known
to do now and then.

The Spurs will beat the Thunder to go to the finals, and in the final minutes of the clinching game, Tim Duncan will break his
leg on a freak play seconds before Popovich was going to pull him out. Celtics will have the biggest asterisk of any champion
ever, though Bill Simmons will not ever mention it. Forget the injuries, it will be all about heart, focus, the secret, and the
rest of that bullcrap.
   886. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 14, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4131252)
The way things are shaping up the Celtics will beat Miami in 6 or 7 games.


I agree that no Bosh is a big problem for Miami against the Celtics, but I think the state of Pierce's MCL is going to matter a lot too. They need him to slow down LeBron to have a chance in the series. His offensive game is cagey enough to at least largely work on a bum leg, but checking LBJ isn't easy for him at full strength, so if he's weak or laterally slow, the team will have trouble responding. I guess they could crossmatch with KG on LeBron and Pierce watching one of the limited bigs, but that would both exchange stopping LeBron for getting beaten up for Pierce and also limit KG's help effectiveness when LeBron is on the perimeter. Bosh being out is obviously a bigger issue, but if the teams meet, Pierce's state will matter a lot too. (Caveats about neither team having reached the ECF yet of course apply too. I think Boston should be favored to reach, especially with game one in hand, but that's hardly a sure thing.)
   887. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 14, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4131255)
Miami is not getting past the Celtics this year unless Bosh can recover for next round.

That's an overbid.
   888. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4131259)
I think it's more properly a reverse jinx attempt.

My guess* is that the Bosh injury, if it's as serious as reported, gives the Celtics maybe a one in four chance of beating the Heat, if they get by the Sixers and keep everyone healthy(ish) for two more playoff series. I can't see the Sixers beating the diminished Heat if they make the finals, or the Pacers winning their series.

*And this guess is informed by watching several playoff games for all the teams involved after occasionally lurking in this thread during the regular season. It's also informed by my overinflated sense of knowledge of basketball, the one sport I was sort of a little bit good at in high school.
   889. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4131262)
Abbott reTweeted a Freakonomics link to a post by Dave Berri about Carmelo Anthony. Moses, you need to check it out.

2 things:
1. You follow Abbott on Twitter?!?!?
2. Since when is Berri writing for them?
   890. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 14, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4131265)
(Caveats about neither team having reached the ECF yet of course apply too. I think Boston should be favored to reach, especially with game one in hand, but that's hardly a sure thing.)
I agree. Not only do I think Boston should be favored to reach the ECF (it's the Sixers, for goodness sakes) but they should be marginally favored to win the Eastern Conference outright if they stay healthy.

"But, Hombre, didn't you predict Denver to be the Lakers? C'mon, man!" I sure did. I just didn't see Steve Blake coming, or Miller, Gallo, McGee and Brewer combining to make only 4 of 35 shots. And even then, the game was on the razor's edge until Bryant knocked down the triple with less than a minute to go.

"But, Hombre, didn't you predict Memphis would beat the Clippers?" Hey, shut up! I'll fight you!
   891. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4131268)
2. Since when is Berri writing for them?
It's perfect. Berri is to basketball what Freakonomics is to sociology, psychology, and anthropology.
   892. rr Posted: May 14, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4131278)
1. You follow Abbott on Twitter?!?!?

Heh. I don't even have a Twitter account. But I usually read the Tweets on the sidebar of the ESPN NBA Front page.

2. Since when is Berri writing for them?

No idea. I avoid both Berri and freakonomics. I just thought it was kind of an amusing confluence of internet events.
   893. AROM Posted: May 14, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4131282)
I think the Sixers are more likely to be swept than win this series. But if they keep playing well and their game doesn't turn to feces in
the 4th quarter like last game, and they face an injured Miami in the ECF, then maybe a #8 seed could go and lose the NBA finals. It's
happened before in a strike season.
   894. Booey Posted: May 14, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4131284)
"But, Hombre, didn't you predict Memphis would beat the Clippers?" Hey, shut up! I'll fight you!


To be fair, most of the predictions in this thread picked the Grizz over the Clips.

Nuggets over Lakers in game 7, however...well, you may have been alone on that one.
   895. rr Posted: May 14, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4131296)
The Raptors appear to have an ambitious offseason plan, which may include chasing point guards on New York's radar. Toronto will be in direct competition with the Knicks for Steve Nash. But Nash is expected to look to sign with a bona fide contender, and the Knicks and Raptors don't fit that description. The Raptors are also a potential landing spot for Jeremy Lin. They like him and what he'd do for their attendance, but Toronto would have to "back-load" an offer to the restricted free agent, paying him gazillions in the final couple of years of a deal, and hope that the Knicks would not match. According to league sources, that's what the Raptors just might do if their Nash plan falls through.


si.com Truth and Rumors

As an aside, I think the Raptors have been talked about the least on the thread among all 30 teams.
   896. tshipman Posted: May 14, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4131310)
People are overrating Boston something fierce to believe that Miami - Bosh is a dog to them.

Boston just struggled to beat Atlanta without a healthy Horford and Josh Smith for the last couple games. I will take any action that someone wants to throw my way on Boston vs. Miami. I have around $2k in the bank that I can access easily. Just let me know.
   897. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 14, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4131323)
I'll bet all your money that Boston takes Miami. Of course, I will not be betting any of my own money...
   898. Booey Posted: May 14, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4131327)
As an aside, I think the Raptors have been talked about the least on the thread among all 30 teams.


Probably true. But considering that most the talk you hear about the Bobcats is just to point out how historically gawd-awful they are, maybe that's not such a bad thing for Raptors fans.
   899. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4131331)
We don't talk about Indy that much, and they're into the 2nd round of the playoffs. Until I posted a "Gee, the Pistons are playing well" thingy just before the ASG this season, I think we had less than three comments on the current Pistons team.
   900. tshipman Posted: May 14, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4131334)
Buddha used to talk about the Pistons.

But yeah, no one cares about the Raptors.
Flip.
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