Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, October 12, 2013

OT: 2013-2014 NBA Pre-Season + Prediction thread

Glen Rice Jr.

” cols=“100” rows=“20”>

A few rounds of pre-season games have already been played and we’re getting close to the start of the season, so let’s start a new thread to hide my terrible spelling in the last thread get some predictions going. as I think there is about now 7-8 guys that care about basketball (mostly Yankee / Angel fans).

But let’s not detract from what this site really is about, government shutdown and Glen Rice Jr.

RollingWave Posted: October 12, 2013 at 04:48 AM | 725 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 8 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›
   1. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: October 12, 2013 at 08:24 AM (#4570253)
Playoffs:

Eastern Conference:
(1) Miami over (8)Cleveland
(4) Brooklyn over (5) New York
(3) Indiana over (6) Atlanta
(2) Chicago over (7) Washington

Miami over Brooklyn
Indiana over Chicago

Miami over Indiana

Western Conference
(1) San Antonio over (8) Utah
(5) Golden State over (4) Memphis
(3) L.A. Clippers over (6) Dallas
(2) Oklahoma City over (7) Houston

San Antonio over Golden State
Oklahoma City over L.A Clippers

Oklahoma City over San Antonio


Miami over Oklahoma City


MVP: LeBron James
Scoring Title: Kevin Durant
ROY: Victor Oladipo
   2. RollingWave Posted: October 12, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4570263)
I'm gonna wait till closer to the start of season to predict, want to see most of the teams play in pre season to get a better feel, while you never want to take pre season too seriously, it does still tend to give you some things, especially on more middle of the road teams (and even teams you expect to dominate , if they lose all their pre season game like a certain team last year, you should probably raise major red flags, in short, at least look at who their main rotation guys are doing.)

so let's give a quick rundown of pre season teams you've seen and how they feel so far.

Houston : first team scary good, but haven't got to see Omer Asik yet. Omri Casspi might have a huge bounce back year. I feel their PF situation would end up being pretty irrelevant as Dwight in that system is simply scary.

Indiana : haven't looked that good, Granger been pretty bad in both game so far. first team seems out of whack as well. their defensive system of some reason seems off.

Wizards : hard to say, Rice Jr looks like he's going to force his way into the rotation one way or another, but the injury to Okafor and Porter scares me, especially since Nene looked like a statue in their first game. Their offense is likely to take a huge leap but their defense might take a huge fall.

Nets : team is very deep, a lot of their late rotation guys look like they can ball, I feel higher on them now then I was before.

Raptors : hard to say, Gay's getting to the line at a James Harden clip so far, but shot selection is still iffy, Derozan is slashing very well, but still can't hit a 3, those guys aren't letting Valencunas and Johnson do their thing which is a huge waste. mixed feeling so far.

Wolfs : Love's 3 pointer remain off but overall game looks solid, Rubio shot looks a little bit better . Shved looks better... also mixed. the individual guys look good but the sum have been iffy so far.

Add on.


   3. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 12, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4570264)
   4. rr Posted: October 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4570295)
Going back to the last thread--

SCHOENE loves the Wolves--had them winning 56 games last year, IIRC.
   5. Shibal Posted: October 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4570317)
How is Schoene, prediction-wise?
   6. RollingWave Posted: October 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4570337)
as KP explained though, part of Shone's love for the Wolfs is that it's system ends up projecting them to have a good defense, which is probably going to be difficult in practice.

But yeah, a healthy Wolf team should at least be in the mid 40s at worst. of course, that healthy part .........
   7. Booey Posted: October 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4570347)
But yeah, a healthy Wolf team should at least be in the mid 40s at worst. of course, that healthy part .........


Yeah I struggled with trying to decide where to put the Wolfs in my rankings. They look like they should be good, and I really, really want to believe in them...but they're still the Wolfs, so ultimately I had to leave them out. It seems that's generally a safer bet. One of those "I'll believe it when I see it" kind of things.
   8. Publius Publicola Posted: October 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4570351)
I don't think Lebron wins the MVP this year. Not because I don't think he'll be the best player again. But I think there will be someone in the same neighborhood who will get it just to change things up.
   9. Oscar Geronimo Posted: October 12, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4570399)
@ 5: SCHOENE routinely finishes last in the prediction sweepstakes over at the APBR Basketball boards. Kevin Pelton is a nice guy, but his prediction system is pretty lousy.

John Hollinger fared a lot better, but still wasn't able to beat the Bovada Vegas lines consistently.
   10. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: October 12, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4570434)
Indiana : haven't looked that good, Granger been pretty bad in both game so far. first team seems out of whack as well. their defensive system of some reason seems off.
i think anything they get from granger is gravy. lance stephenson played really well last year and i'm a huge fan of solomon hill, so if granger is done, he'll just slide down to 4th (maybe 5th, behind chris copeland) on their depth chart at wing.

i will say that i think they've lost more than people realize by replacing hansbrough with luis scola.


oh, and for the sixers, they look a lot better than you'd expect, but hopefully they're still bad enough at center and PG (and SG and SF and PF) to maximize their lottery odds.
   11. rr Posted: October 12, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4570436)
Pau Gasol greets the crowds at the Beijing Airport (Kobe is a big deal in China; that was one of the motivators for scheduling games there):



photo

I expect the China trip will be the high point of the season for the team.
   12. rr Posted: October 12, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4570437)
You cab click on the pic for video if you like...Kobe walks by with shades on, etc--Pau actually touches people, etc. Another reason I like Pau.
   13. BDC Posted: October 12, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4570439)
Just popping in to say that if I try to listen to the World Series on radio and the local ESPN station is playing a Mavericks preseason game instead, I will blame y'all.
   14. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 12, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4570460)
[11] Friends that I have who travel to that area comment on how insanely popular Kobe is over there. As I understand it, Derrick Rose is also more popular than LeBron there as well.

kpelton, thanks for the Wolves D explanation. That projection still feels high. Also, just thinking about their roster I like Rubio defensively, but he's the only guy I feel confident stating is an above average defender.
   15. Manny Coon Posted: October 12, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4570604)
I don't think Lebron wins the MVP this year. Not because I don't think he'll be the best player again. But I think there will be someone in the same neighborhood who will get it just to change things up.


I think with Westbrook injured the Clippers could end with the best record in the West or even the league and if that happens, I could see Paul getting the MVP or Durant getting it if OKC ends up with the best record even with Westbrook missing time, even if Lebron is better than both of them.
   16. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 12, 2013 at 09:08 PM (#4570679)
I'm in Hong Kong right now and spent yesterday in Macau. I haven't seen any Bulls or Rose stuff yet. But I've seens lots of LeBron stuff (there's a lot of Nike stores, and LBJ and Cristiano Ronaldo are the guys featured at all of them), and I saw one Kobe billboard. Of course, I've seen more of Yao than anyone else. There's also a couple of basketball courts that I've passed walking around and they've been crowded every time, including 11pm Friday night.

---

Bulls kept Rose out of today's game in Rio for "precautionary" reasons and said he had general soreness. Considering the minutes he's played (not more than 25 yet) in only a couple of really spread out games, I gotta say I'm a little worried.
   17. tshipman Posted: October 12, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4570695)
Playoffs:

Eastern Conference:
(1) Chicago over (8)Cleveland
(4) NYK over (5) Indiana
(3) Miami over (6) Toronto
(2) Brooklyn over (7) Philadelphia

Chicago over NYK
Miami over Brooklyn

Chicago over Miami

Western Conference
(1) Oklahoma City over (8) Utah
(4) Memphis over (5) Houston
(6) GSW over (3) San Antonio
(2) LA Clippers over (7) Denver

Memphis over OKC
LAC over GSW

LAC over Memphis

Chicago over LAC.

I think that Miami probably starts to slow down this year. This is year 4 of the big three, and Wade is only about 80% of what he was in 2011.
   18. Quaker Posted: October 12, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4570794)
As a Jazz fan I assure you they are not making the playoffs this year.
   19. Booey Posted: October 13, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4570950)
As a Jazz fan I assure you they are not making the playoffs this year.


That's my opinion as well. I do think the Favors/Kanter/Hayward/Burke core will be good eventually, but they're a year away at least. I suspect they'll be more fun to watch than most 30-35 win teams though.
   20. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: October 13, 2013 at 01:08 AM (#4570964)
I don't think this is the Knicks' season, but I'm still looking forward to watching this group. I thought Hardaway Jr. was a decent draft pick, plus this Bargs experiment should be interesting.
   21. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 13, 2013 at 01:21 AM (#4570966)
Burke broke his right index finger tonight.
   22. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 13, 2013 at 02:03 AM (#4570969)
HOU rotations on defense look much improved. Lin looks great, noticeably quicker through his jumpshot.

EDIT: Not ready to do my predictions just yet, but reading here and other places I can say that I am much higher on HOU and BKN than most. Fairly certain HOU is going to be my pick to come out of the West.
   23. RollingWave Posted: October 13, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4570972)
You should hold on your prediction just because between now and opening day injury can still change a lot.

Yeah, Houston's been obliterating the Pacers in these couple games so far, perhaps the most stunning thing so far for me is how good Omri Casspi's been. holy crap where was this guy in the last few years?
   24. Publius Publicola Posted: October 13, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4571102)
Two weeks into the Bulls’ preseason grind of practices and games, Rose was held out against the Washington Wizards with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.

...

GM Gar Forman was urging fans and media to remain calm, minimizing the “soreness” that apparently developed in Rose’s knee at practice Friday. Said Forman, as reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

“It’s not a major red flag or a huge concern. He’s got some soreness and we wanted to be conservative with it at this point.”

Being conservative, though, is what has so many fans on high alert right now.


Eh, Moses?
   25. Publius Publicola Posted: October 13, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4571104)
To Knicks fans:

I would completely dismiss the blowout yesterday. All of the Knicks key players sat out. Obviously, coach is wanting to get a good look at the on-the-fence guys before the pink slips are handed out.
   26. Publius Publicola Posted: October 13, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4571122)
Der K, it looks like Brandan Wright will be on the shelf for awhile. And isn't he a lefty?

:Associated Press

DALLAS — Mavericks backup center Brandan Wright is out indefinitely after injuring his left shoulder in practice.

The team said he sustained a small fracture Tuesday but will not need surgery. He will be evaluated weekly and there is no timetable for his return.

The 6-foot-10 Wright re-signed with Dallas in the offseason after averaging career highs of 8.5 points and 4.1 rebounds. He's the backup to newcomer Samuel Dalembert.


Also, Rodney Stuckey broke his thumb. Lots of pre-season injuries going around.
   27. Booey Posted: October 13, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4571129)
Burke broke his right index finger tonight.


Aw, dammit
   28. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: October 13, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4571188)
Moses my thoughts are that the travel may be more to blame for the soreness than anything to be concerned about.
   29. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 13, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4571457)
Eh, Moses?

See post 16.
   30. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 13, 2013 at 11:19 PM (#4571586)
Yup, Wright's a lefty. Injuries all around of late.
   31. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 14, 2013 at 03:19 AM (#4571799)
1 CHI - By multiple games. They win so much in the regular season, that continues.
2 BKN - I see a slow start, but they'll come on strong in the end and will have all the "momentum" going into the playoffs.
3 MIA - So many games over the years, and such an old roster. Everyone but LBJ misses games, and they cruise (or will be said to "struggle") in the RS.
4 IND - Better playoff team than RS team. Still not enough offense.
5 NYK - Probably as good as last year, but just got passed.
6 ATL - Same old, same old.
7 CLE - Even without getting that much from Bynum, they should be in the playoffs.
8 DET - Just barely, but size is a huge advantage.
9 MIL - The more I think about, they more I do like their offseason. Just don't know there's enough offensively here though.
10 WSH - Depth/size issues. Could jump to 8 if Wall takes the next step and is healthy all year.
11 TOR - Odd mix of talent, but still better than the rest.
12 CHA - Yuck.
13 BOS - Stevens will be a good coach, and partial season of Rondo enough to keep them ahead of the full on tank jobs.
14 ORL - I am not crazy about Oladipo, and think he'll struggle on this team, at least this year.
15 PHI - I like what they're doing, just some ways away.

CHI over DET
BKN over CLE
MIA over ATL
IND over NYK

CHI over IND - Equal defenses, but Bulls have a clear edge in offense.
MIA over BKN - will be the series of the playoffs.

CHI over MIA - time and depth finally catch up to the Heat. 4 straight Finals just is too much, and LBJ can't do it all alone. The BKN series takes a lot out of this team.

1 LAC - I'm not sure about the top 4 order here, any mix wouldn't surprise me. Feels like it's Paul's year to me though.
2 OKC - I wanted to put them lower, but early schedule is pretty favorable they'll win in spite of Westbrook missing time.
3 HOU - I think it'll take time to gel, I also think there'll be an Asik trade so they'll be better in the playoffs than RS.
4 SAS - Duncan won't be as good as last year and Manu takes another step back. Just enough for them to get passed by the other teams.
5 GS - No way Bogut plays 82, so they'll struggle some when he's out.
6 MEM - I think they'll be as good as last year, just not as good as the teams ahead of them.
7 MIN - I like the offense, skeptical of the defense. Fun to watch though.
8 DAL - Not the offseason they wanted, but better than last year's. Just enough to hold off Portland.
9 POR - Aldridge will demand a trade.
10 DEN - Worst offseason, IMO. Will miss Karl a lot.
11 NO - Better, but pieces don't fit.
12 LAL - By default. Wouldn't surprise me to see a Gasol trade.
13 SAC - Cousins will have a good year, still not enough besides him.
14 UTA - Step back year.
15 PHX - Someone has to be last out here.

LAC over DAL
OKC over MIN - very fun series to watch, high scoring.
HOU over MEM - I think it will be surprisingly not close.
GS over SAS - 7 gamer.

LAC over GS
HOU over OKC - Brooks could get fired after this.

LAC over HOU - Paul's year.

LAC over CHI - Paul's year.

MVP: Paul - Top seed helps him narrowly beat out Durant. LBJ will still be best player, but will finish 3rd. Rose 4th, Harden 5th.
ROY: Porter - Combo of available PT and decent enough team.
COY: Thibs - This will also be a vote for last year, considering the jump in RS record with Rose back.
   32. RollingWave Posted: October 14, 2013 at 03:52 AM (#4571801)
Well the overall success of the Clippers hinges a lot on DeAndre Jordan , if he can shoot free throws and generally take a step forward then I can see it, otherwise no. they'll peak out at 2nd round at best .
   33. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 14, 2013 at 04:21 AM (#4571802)
Well the overall success of the Clippers hinges a lot on DeAndre Jordan , if he can shoot free throws and generally take a step forward then I can see it, otherwise no. they'll peak out at 2nd round at best .

I disagree, at least as far as my predictions go, because I'm implying that the moves the Clips have made have lessened their reliance on Jordan and that I think they can win in spite of him or without him improving; or probably more accurately, their weaknesses are less weak - or more able to be covered up by other personnel/game planning/coaching - than the other contenders, IMO. Also implied in that prediction is a step forward from Griffin. Seeing as how I have the Spurs bowing out early and the Clips missing Memphis, the Rockets are the only team that would really be able to take advantage of that possible weakness (DAL and GS would be a good draw for the Clips). I just don't know if Howard is enough on his own offensively to really make LAC pay. In my predicted Finals matchup, I think the Bulls could do some things against Jordan, but ones that are negated by the Clips' advantages at PF (huge) and PG (small, but significant).

If the regular season shook out differently, I could agree that the Clips might not get by Memphis/SAS. I don't think by any means the Clips are favorites; any of LAC, OKC, HOU, CHI, BKN or MIA (in no particular order) could win the title this year, IMO.
   34. RollingWave Posted: October 14, 2013 at 05:51 AM (#4571805)
Yeah, it's hard to say how a lot of matchups shakes out , The Rockets last year when they matched up against the Clippers was hard to tell, since Harden didn't play in 2 of them (but they manage to win one of them big time , during the Clippers late season crappy plays. amusingly the Rockets played well last year without Harden) looking at the # it seems the main problem was they couldn't contain Griffin, where as their backcourts matched up well , so for that matchup it does hinge a lot on how the Rocket's new front court looks.
   35. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 14, 2013 at 06:15 AM (#4571808)
And how the Clips new wings fit in. Not to mention the defense and offense system changes, and the coaching upgrade. Etc, etc.

I'm not super confident with a lot of my picks - and I doubt anything short of significant injuries in the preseason is going to change my mind - so it was almost a process of elimination in the West and trying to imagine how the matchups played out. Even though I'm picking against Miami, I think I have a better idea on the East (save Brooklyn, and even then I feel like it's easier to imagine how that goes than the new looks Rockets and Clips). Needless to say, I'm pretty optimistic on the changes for those 3 teams.
   36. RollingWave Posted: October 14, 2013 at 07:50 AM (#4571820)
Everyone see that Miami has a weakness against good scoring bigs, but the problem is their overwhelming execution from Lebron and Wade tend to more than make up for it.

I have a hard time seeing the Rockets beating them.. at least this year, due to their none Dwight players still a year or two away from their peak, and their relative lack of experience and chemistry, of course injury and maybe a ridiculously good Howard series or bad Lebron / Wade series miiiiight change that, but the odds seems slim.

Brooklyn seems to have the right combination of matchup nightmare and experience to pull it off, the question is do they have the health and execution.

With the Clippers, I really don't know , from a pure talent POV I have a hard time seeing it if we consider how poorly teams with their PG as their best player typically do in a historical context when it comes to winning championships (unless that PG was much larger than a normal one like Magic.) And I fail to see how they stop Lebron with that roster, barring a huge leap defensively from either Jordan or Griffin (probably need both.) as much as VDN sucked as a coach, it's not like the Celtics were that inspiring in the last couple of years when you consider their overwhelming talent level.



   37. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 14, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4571844)
as much as VDN sucked as a coach, it's not like the Celtics were that inspiring in the last couple of years when you consider their overwhelming talent level.

The Celtics problem was that they couldn't score. Some of that may have been Rivers, but because I'm a Rondo "hater" I'm also going to lay some of the blame on him and his general overratedness. If Rivers can take care of things on the defensive end, get a system in place and get guys to really buy in, I'm positive Paul will handle the offensive end of things.
   38. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 14, 2013 at 09:05 AM (#4571847)
any of LAC, OKC, HOU, CHI, BKN or MIA (in no particular order) could win the title this year, IMO.

Still thinking about how it will all shake out/matchups, but my list of legitimate title contenders is MIA, BKN, CHI, IND, SAS, LAC, OKC, HOU. IND is definitely the shakiest pick out of the bunch because, as mentioned, their offense worries me. Them getting to the Finals is more dependent on matchups than any of the other 7 clubs.
   39. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 14, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4571852)
For a few fleeting moments, this will be my favorite thing.
'We goin' down a slide.'
   40. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 14, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4571860)
The Celtics problem was that they couldn't score. Some of that may have been Rivers, but because I'm a Rondo "hater" I'm also going to lay some of the blame on him and his general overratedness. If Rivers can take care of things on the defensive end, get a system in place and get guys to really buy in, I'm positive Paul will handle the offensive end of things.

That's my thought process, too. Plus, Reddick and Dudley are such great fits and I think both will have awesome years next to Paul. The fact that they were that good last year, even with VDN and their interior defensive questions, just makes me like their ceiling that much more. I'd like them even more had they gotten KG.

Still thinking about how it will all shake out/matchups, but my list of legitimate title contenders is MIA, BKN, CHI, IND, SAS, LAC, OKC, HOU. IND is definitely the shakiest pick out of the bunch because, as mentioned, their offense worries me. Them getting to the Finals is more dependent on matchups than any of the other 7 clubs.

I left SA and IND out of my list because I thought it would be hardest for both of them to get through all of the other teams. I wouldn't be surprised if either of them made the Finals, and I might be mildly surprised if they win, but it just seems like 8 teams having a legit chance seems too high so I had to cut it off.
   41. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 14, 2013 at 09:35 AM (#4571865)
I left SA and IND out of my list because I thought it would be hardest for both of them to get through all of the other teams. I wouldn't be surprised if either of them made the Finals, and I might be mildly surprised if they win, but it just seems like 8 teams having a legit chance seems too high so I had to cut it off.

I agree that the 8 feels high. Part of it, for me, is that I don't think MIA can make 4 straight Finals. If I was just thinking from a talent/they have LeBron James perspective I would say MIA comes out of the East and then because of matchups I could only see SAS, OKC, maybe HOU hanging with them, which would cut my contender list to 4. However, because it doesn't make sense to me that MIA will become the 3rd team (IIRC) in the modern era to make it to 4 straight Finals I am assuming someone has to/will beat them.
   42. Publius Publicola Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4571890)
The Celtics problem was that they couldn't score.


That wasn't the only problem. With a front line of Garnett, Bass and Pierce, they were undersized and usually got outrebounded. They also didn't have an inside scoring threat, since Garnett played mostly on the wing beyond the free throw line.

If Rondo is your only problem, you don't have a problem.
   43. Publius Publicola Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4571895)
For a few fleeting moments, this will be my favorite thing.
'We goin' down a slide.'


Lakers fans:

Did he get injured? No? Ah ########.
   44. RollingWave Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4571918)
The Celtics problem was that they couldn't score. Some of that may have been Rivers, but because I'm a Rondo "hater" I'm also going to lay some of the blame on him and his general overratedness. If Rivers can take care of things on the defensive end, get a system in place and get guys to really buy in, I'm positive Paul will handle the offensive end of things.
I'm dubious of Rondo as well in terms of a consistent floor general, but then you do have Garnett to run your defense, they were a bottom 3rd team defensively last year without him on the floor, now every team's defense drop off a cliff without their anchor sure, but it does go into how much the Celtic's defense was one man and not a system. (the Bulls for example have a much smaller drop off for Noah)
   45. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4571925)
There's so many thing I like about that Young clip:

1) He's somehow the -second- Laker to have a mishap tobogganing down the Great Wall of China (other was Chris Kaman, got a swollen finger for his troubles), which is a real Mad Lib of a sentence.
2) He's so joyous, so happy, so...(tumble).
3) He's Swaggy P. Of course he did this.
This should entertain Laker fans, non-Laker fans, young and old, papas and mommas and babies and robots, the dead, the living, everybody.

Maybe I'm overselling this.
   46. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 14, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4572182)
Lowe wrote a feature on the Knicks today. It was just as Knicksy as you would imagine, but the Knickiest part of all might have been the implication that Mike Woodson prefers to judge the defense by points per game rather than points per possession, which...says about all that needs to be said about this franchise.
   47. tshipman Posted: October 14, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4572266)
I'd like to update my projection above:

Number of NBA games I will personally be paid to attend this year: 5-10.
   48. madvillain Posted: October 14, 2013 at 08:47 PM (#4572360)
FWIW, Rose practiced fully today without issue and is expected back for the next pre-season game. Plenty of he-hawing back and forth about if this is part of "the process" that could have been expedited by playing in games last year. I dunno, who knows.
   49. Manny Coon Posted: October 14, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4572439)
Well the overall success of the Clippers hinges a lot on DeAndre Jordan , if he can shoot free throws and generally take a step forward then I can see it


They were already 3rd in the league in expected W/L last year, like OKC they underplayed their expected record, so they didn't really need to improve much to be right there with the best teams, at least in the regular season and unlike the teams ahead of them, they like did improve this offseason, likely by a good amount. Dudley and Redick should be much better than Butler and Billups and Rivers even if he's overrated is much better than VDN who is a joke.

I think with Westbrook missing time, the Clippers have as good a chance as anyone as finishing with the best regular season record. I don't have much as faith in them in the playoffs, but each of the last two years Griffin was injured in the playoffs and the year before Paul was hurt as well. With so many teams bunched near the top, health at playoff time is going play a pretty major role this year, and the health of all of Paul, Griffin, Westbrook, Rose, Wade and the Spurs is hard to predict.
   50. Publius Publicola Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4572533)
The guy who needs to step it up is griffin. His game is entirely dependent on his athleticism. If he's going to be the go-to guy, then he has to develop a floor game a nd a jumper
   51. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4572585)
The guy who needs to step it up is griffin. His game is entirely dependent on his athleticism. If he's going to be the go-to guy, then he has to develop a floor game a nd a jumper

I think he'll benefit the most on that team by playing for a real coach. Rose took a huge step forward going from VDN to Thibs. I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar with Griffin.

FWIW, Rose practiced fully today without issue and is expected back for the next pre-season game. Plenty of he-hawing back and forth about if this is part of "the process" that could have been expedited by playing in games last year. I dunno, who knows.

I think we just have to expect it's going to be a story most of the year. Every little tweak, or comment, is going to be overanalyzed to death. And yeah, I totally agree we could have gone through this last season.
   52. RollingWave Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4572600)
Hey, Royce White actually played ok in a pre-season game!

As for the Clippers, yeah I'm well aware of their scoring differential but I do feel at some point it cease to be just luck that makes the difference, in the case of the Rockets for example (another team that seriously underplayed their points differential.) it was obvious that their late game execution was horrendous as almost all the plays end up being a Harden contested jumper. I'm not entirely sure what's up with OKC but the Clippers goes back to my point on Jordan, they simply can't play him late in the 4th because he shot 30% from the free throw line, they'll get burned by hack strategies very badly. 2 of their 5 most talented player can't play in late situation, (Bledsoe being the other, since he's too often out of control) which really limits what you can do. Those teams were the equivalent of MLB teams with great hitters but terrible pitching especially via the bull pen. it's not really THAT much of a statisical outlier they lose more close games than other teams.

   53. Publius Publicola Posted: October 14, 2013 at 11:05 PM (#4572620)
Yeah, and all those things just put more pressure on Paul.
   54. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: October 14, 2013 at 11:12 PM (#4572638)
i've been thinking about potential lottery scenarios...and i'm pretty sure that toronto is gonna wind up with the #1 pick.
   55. RollingWave Posted: October 14, 2013 at 11:31 PM (#4572653)
[54] if there is a god I guess, but given their roster I have a hard time seeing them do that badly, Lowry / Derozan / Gay / Johnson / Valencunas every one of them is at least average to well above average starters. their bench is shaky but those starters should get them to 30+ win at a minimum. If anything, I have them as my 8th seed due to my general assumption that one or both or Washington / Cleavland will implode due to injury while Detroit's fit will be hilariously awful being a likely outcome. Teams that have at least played together for awhile like the Raptors seems like a prime candidate to do better than people suspect.

Of course, it could just as likely be that Lowry punch Casey in the middle of a game, Gay continue to do turnaround fadeaway 20 foot jumpers at the baseline. Derozan continues to brick every 3s and Amir / Valencunas fouls out of every game I guess.


   56. Manny Coon Posted: October 14, 2013 at 11:43 PM (#4572663)
As for the Clippers, yeah I'm well aware of their scoring differential but I do feel at some point it cease to be just luck that makes the difference, in the case of the Rockets for example (another team that seriously underplayed their points differential.) it was obvious that their late game execution was horrendous as almost all the plays end up being a Harden contested jumper. I'm not entirely sure what's up with OKC but the Clippers goes back to my point on Jordan, they simply can't play him late in the 4th because he shot 30% from the free throw line, they'll get burned by hack strategies very badly. 2 of their 5 most talented player can't play in late situation, (Bledsoe being the other, since he's too often out of control) which really limits what you can do. Those teams were the equivalent of MLB teams with great hitters but terrible pitching especially via the bull pen. it's not really THAT much of a statisical outlier they lose more close games than other teams.


Of course Del Nego was such a dunce, he didn't play Jordan at start of the 4th before the other team was in the penalty either. Obviously they don't have Bledsoe anymore, and Dudley, Redick and Collison all seem like fine supporting late game players.

Del Negro contributed to more of their late game problems as well, his plays and sub pattern late we always questionable and he pretty much stopped running offense for Griffin in the 4th entirely. Even an average coach should be a pretty decent upgrade over Del Negro.

The impact of Jordan's FT problems are overstated. Proper sub patterns would prevent most intentional fouling and even then he's only a year removed from shooting over 50% and a lot of coaches don't like to intentionally foul anyway. Ben Wallace was always a terrible FT shooter and it never kept him off the floor.
   57. kpelton Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:07 AM (#4572671)
I don't think the disconnect between the Clippers' differential and their record was really a product of close games. They were 8-8 in games decided by 5 or fewer and 18-14 in games decided by single digits. The larger issue is they had a ton of blowouts. They won 14 games by 20+, as compared to 11 for Miami.
   58. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4572683)
My concern about the Clips is their interior defense. Jordan and Griffin made so many mistakes that Odom and Turiaf had to play defense. Those guys aren't stars, but Mullens and Jamison are worse. Who won't run layup lines on them?
   59. rr Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4572685)
Yeah, that is the main issue with the Clippers. Odom even the last two years had a little value as a team defender (his work on the team D was one of the mostly hidden but important success factors in the Lakers 2008-11 teams IMO) and Turiaf is better than Mullens and Jamison.

Maybe Rivers can make a difference in that area, but I can see the Clippers having the best record in the West but not making it to the Finals.
   60. tshipman Posted: October 15, 2013 at 01:01 AM (#4572687)
My concern about the Clips is their interior defense. Jordan and Griffin made so many mistakes that Odom and Turiaf had to play defense. Those guys aren't stars, but Mullens and Jamison are worse. Who won't run layup lines on them?


I think a good chunk of that comes back to coaching. VDN was probably the worst coach in the NBA. Doc figures to bring in better help defense rotations.
   61. RollingWave Posted: October 15, 2013 at 08:09 AM (#4572722)
I dunno, I worry how much faith some of us here are putting into the River / VDN difference, it could be the case I suppose, given that VDN is bad enough, but if we subscribe to that, then the Kings should probably win a lot more games too.
   62. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 15, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4572734)
I agree that the 8 feels high. Part of it, for me, is that I don't think MIA can make 4 straight Finals. If I was just thinking from a talent/they have LeBron James perspective I would say MIA comes out of the East and then because of matchups I could only see SAS, OKC, maybe HOU hanging with them, which would cut my contender list to 4. However, because it doesn't make sense to me that MIA will become the 3rd team (IIRC) in the modern era to make it to 4 straight Finals I am assuming someone has to/will beat them.

This is like saying, a coin has come up heads 5 times in a row, therefore tails is due, and the next toss is not 50/50. It's a profound misunderstanding of how probabilities actually work.
   63. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 15, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4572743)
Number of NBA games I will personally be paid to attend this year: 5-10.

I'll bite.
   64. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 15, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4572771)
This is like saying, a coin has come up heads 5 times in a row, therefore tails is due, and the next toss is not 50/50. It's a profound misunderstanding of how probabilities actually work.

I don't think this comparison works at all, but ok. Either way, my response was not meant to be particularly rigorous analysis.
   65. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 15, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4572781)
This is like saying, a coin has come up heads 5 times in a row, therefore tails is due, and the next toss is not 50/50. It's a profound misunderstanding of how probabilities actually work.


I don't think this comparison works at all


Agree with the second quote. Making the finals is anything but random and independent. Obviously skill/talent is a huge part of it. Also I think each successive trophy/finals appearance gets harder. Diminishing marginal returns suggests a decrease in motivation, plus the wear and tear on the body playing the extra games and decreased off season (and probably other factors like poaching of second tier players, coaches and generally the ideas/concepts of the winner) makes repeats increasingly harder, even ignoring factors like age and injury.

That said the Heat are good enough I am not sure I would bet against them.
   66. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4572786)
I dunno, I worry how much faith some of us here are putting into the River / VDN difference, it could be the case I suppose, given that VDN is bad enough, but if we subscribe to that, then the Kings should probably win a lot more games too.

It's not just that, though it is significant. I'm getting deja vu here, but it's not like we're talking about a 41 win all of a sudden becoming a 62 win team - even thought that's exactly what happened to VDN's last former team*. The Clips are already at 56 wins, and I think they got better while the Spurs, Thunder, and Grizz likely got worse**. The Rockets also got better, but they have further to go***. You keep ignoring the upgrade from Billups/Butler to Reddick/Dudley, which while also an upgrade I think they're a better fit in that roster.

At the end of this though, it's really just a couple of predictions that like the Clips and I've already said mine is also matchup related. Let's see your predictions so we can nit pick them to death (I say completely in jest).

*The Bulls obviously had a lot of turnover, massively improving their bench. Again, Rose and Noah took huge strides forward, and a ton of credit for that goes to the coaching upgrade.
**None significantly, IMO, but I don't think you can say any of those teams are likely to improve over last season (maybe the Grizz).
***I think there's a ton more questions about the Rockets than the Clips, namely how big is the upgrade from Asik to Howard? How are Howard and Asik going to fit together? What will we see out of Lin this year? What will the Rockets get out of the 4 spot? Is Parsons for real? etc, etc, etc.
   67. Publius Publicola Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4572788)
Also I think each successive trophy/finals appearance gets harder. Diminishing marginal returns suggests a decrease in motivation, plus the wear and tear on the body playing the extra games and decreased off season (and probably other factors like poaching of second tier players, coaches and generally the ideas/concepts of the winner) makes repeats increasingly harder, even ignoring factors like age and injury.


See, I think the opposite. Once a player wins one, he begins to think of himself as a champion. So he expects to win in tense situations, maintaining his poise better because he's been there before and come through it on top. All the self-doubts dissipate away.

The trophys get harder for pretty transparent reasons- loss of key players either to injury, age or cap space, and the rise of teams designed to beat them.
   68. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4572794)
Agree with the second quote. Making the finals is anything but random and independent. Obviously skill/talent is a huge part of it. Also I think each successive trophy/finals appearance gets harder. Diminishing marginal returns suggests a decrease in motivation, plus the wear and tear on the body playing the extra games and decreased off season (and probably other factors like poaching of second tier players, coaches and generally the ideas/concepts of the winner) makes repeats increasingly harder, even ignoring factors like age and injury.

This. The Heat are the 2nd oldest team in the NBA; almost all of their contributors are on the wrong side of 30 (and LeBron and Bosh, the 2 that aren't, have played almost that many games in the NBA in their careers; I guess I shouldn't ignore Chalmers, but I am). They've played more games than anyone the last 3 years, in some cases by a fair amount. And outside of LBJ, they're already showing signs of age and breaking down. They've already been less than healthy the past couple of years come playoff time, this year they have significant more competition in their conference they might not be lucky enough to get by if not 100% healthy.
   69. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4572802)
I'd take field over Miami to win the league. Injuries happen, a lot can go wrong over a season, and it's not like the Heat have lacked close calls in their victories.
   70. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4572941)
This. The Heat are the 2nd oldest team in the NBA; almost all of their contributors are on the wrong side of 30 (and LeBron and Bosh, the 2 that aren't, have played almost that many games in the NBA in their careers; I guess I shouldn't ignore Chalmers, but I am). They've played more games than anyone the last 3 years, in some cases by a fair amount. And outside of LBJ, they're already showing signs of age and breaking down. They've already been less than healthy the past couple of years come playoff time, this year they have significant more competition in their conference they might not be lucky enough to get by if not 100% healthy.

That's a quality of the team argument, not an argument that making the 4th finals is somehow magically harder. If you want to make an argument that the Heat is worse, or their competition, then go for it. Not sure I would agree, but it's a reasonable argument. But that has precisely zip to do with how many times they have already won.

I'd take field over Miami to win the league. Injuries happen, a lot can go wrong over a season, and it's not like the Heat have lacked close calls in their victories.

I would too. It's generally a good bet. That's why so few teams make 4 consecutive finals. Brooklyn, Houston and Chicago, all look like they have a legitimate shot in a 7 game series. Miami is going to have to beat 2 of them. They'd need to be over 70% favorites in each series, in order to get over 50%. That said, I would still have the Heat favorite in the East, just less than 50%.
   71. jmurph Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4572945)
I keep looking at the bottom of the East and thinking that the conference looks worse than ever. But that's not really true- I agree with the idea put forth by several here that Miami, Chicago, Indiana, and the Nets could all conceivably win the title. And the Knicks are a perfectly cromulent middle-tier team, though I expect them to be worse than last year.

But man, the bottom of that conference, yikes. For instance, I expect Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and the Wiz to all be approximately terrible, but 2 of those 4 will almost certainly make the playoffs.
   72. Publius Publicola Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4572948)
I don't think the Wizards will be terrible. They played OK once Wall cam back. I give them an outside chance of making the playoffs.

And any team with Kyrie Irving is going to be OK. They're a young team that could surprise people.
   73. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4572949)
I'd take field over Miami to win the league. Injuries happen, a lot can go wrong over a season, and it's not like the Heat have lacked close calls in their victories.


When was the last time it wasn't a good idea to take the field over the favorite going into the year? I certainly agree with you, but I also think Miami has a better chance than any other individual team.

   74. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4572970)
Sorry, didn't meant to imply that I thought was being controversial.
   75. RollingWave Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4572999)
I dunno, I worry how much faith some of us here are putting into the River / VDN difference, it could be the case I suppose, given that VDN is bad enough, but if we subscribe to that, then the Kings should probably win a lot more games too.

It's not just that, though it is significant. I'm getting deja vu here, but it's not like we're talking about a 41 win all of a sudden becoming a 62 win team - even thought that's exactly what happened to VDN's last former team*. The Clips are already at 56 wins, and I think they got better while the Spurs, Thunder, and Grizz likely got worse**. The Rockets also got better, but they have further to go***. You keep ignoring the upgrade from Billups/Butler to Reddick/Dudley, which while also an upgrade I think they're a better fit in that roster.

At the end of this though, it's really just a couple of predictions that like the Clips and I've already said mine is also matchup related. Let's see your predictions so we can nit pick them to death (I say completely in jest).

*The Bulls obviously had a lot of turnover, massively improving their bench. Again, Rose and Noah took huge strides forward, and a ton of credit for that goes to the coaching upgrade.
**None significantly, IMO, but I don't think you can say any of those teams are likely to improve over last season (maybe the Grizz).
***I think there's a ton more questions about the Rockets than the Clips, namely how big is the upgrade from Asik to Howard? How are Howard and Asik going to fit together? What will we see out of Lin this year? What will the Rockets get out of the 4 spot? Is Parsons for real? etc, etc, etc.



I'm not really arguing the Clipper's regular season total, the only question for that is if they're more 58-59 or 60-62. My main concern remains the playoffs but I concede that matchup have a lot more to do with that than we all like to admit. And a coach that can draw up play surely helps.

As for the Rockets, yeah they have a lot of question to answer, though I'm generally optimistic on most of those . they're not really replacing Asik with Howard if they're not trading Asik (which is why I'm generally against that trade, since it's just fulfilling your own prophecy .) they're more like replacing 5-10 min of Omer Asik and 20-25 min of Cole Aldrich / Greg Smith with Dwight Howard, which is a totally different outlook.

Lin was really good after mid January and it seems that most people just ignore he came off major knee surgery. (in his first 20 some game he had a horrendous .480 TS%, in his last 20 some games he had a star level .570 TS%, usually if you have a 2nd year player with breakout performance but suffers major injury, then suck for a few month and then was back to where he was and maybe even a bit better by the end you'd say he's doing great , but not so much with Lin. probably a combination of his contract and confirmation bias there.. of course that he sucked again due to injury in the playoffs didn't help.)

if we look at Lin in the later 30-40 game stretch of the season you'd say he's pretty much right where you want him to be in terms of a more in control / sustainable version of his Knicks play, the only thing that still remain iffy is that the turnover are still on the high side (but no longer absurdly so.) I think he's fine, might never get to the point you'd like handle wise but the dude have a pretty large sample of being an effective and efficient scorer now. But you still hear idiotic comments like him not being good at going to the basket (when any rough look at his shot break down would tell you the exact opposite. last year, exactly 1 PG got to the rim more often and finished at a better rate than Lin, which was Tony Parker. this include his horrendous early season play.)

As for Asik / Howard, that's harder to say, the reason for optimism is that they did make Asik / Smith work for awhile last year, and Smith is like 90% Dwight on offense (but 20% on defense.) their offensive skill set is extremely similar (not as athletic obviously, but great finisher around the rim and a better free throw shooter with a somewhat usable post game.). And also the part that a small stretch lineup in the regular season is usually more likely to work by default. The Lineup's point is more or less to make Asik buy into the team than anything else. since any rudementary look at how the Rockets / Lakers (or indeed , most teams with a great anchor) do when said anchor sits would come to the conclusion that a backup of similar defensive caliber would be super super valuable.

From a system POV the most of the Rockets offense happens before they're set anyway, so the entire spacing issue is very likely to be overblown if half of the possession is Dwight / Asik rebound to Lin / Harden to whoever is the leaker for a fast break point. I can see it being a problem in regards to set half court plays where you want to dribble motion with Harden or Lin, but there's a lot of other things they do on offense anyway. and just because you can't shoot a outside jumper doesn't mean you can't be setting screens 18 feet away from the basket while they double team Howard in the post and you end up with a totally free Parsons or Harden cut. Most of the complaints seem to be starting for a rigid thinking that the Rockets offense must be totally like the Orlando offense now that Dwight's on board, which if you think about it... why?


As for Parsons, it's hard to say but man he really REALLY knows how to find back door cuts, and when you have Harden / Lin / Howard that draws a lot of attention that makes it an absurd combination. Defensively he needs to be more consistent though. which is kinda true for most of the roster outside of Dwight/ Asik.

I think they're too young to win this year, but it's certainly probable that they'll again be one of the most entertaining team to watch, if you look at their Asian games last week and how their system flow it's simply beautiful, and there were significant signs of improved defense (though Asik hasn't played yet.) also, in those 3 game their average pace was 110, so much for the theory that they'll slow down with Dwight (if they do anything close to that in the regular season, they'll be by far the fastest team since the 80s.)

Then again, despite being young, their 2 lead player have both been to the finals. so who knows. matchup is a issue at this point, and how Howard plays is another, they need to find and keep the balance of him being able to draw attention but not overly focused on going to the post (unless he's having a particularly good matchup / day.) From my observation so far all their perimeter players are changing their approach to pick and roll defense and much more actively trying to fight through screens than they did last year, which is good. They held the Pacers to very low scoring in those 2 games despite absurd pace, while the Pelicans game they did get scored 116 on and lost by 1 but that was almost entirely Anthony Davis destroying the non-Dwight lineups. (and also , Davis might be a freaking beast this year. Which might change my perception of the Pelicans a bit.)
   76. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4573031)
I think that the conventional wisdom is that it takes at least a year for a team to gel around two stars when they first come together. Some of that is probably coaching, some is probably figuring out spacing/timing, and a lot of it is probably getting the pieces around them that work best (both in terms of fit and using the competitiveness to attract new players). The 08 Celtics were an exception to that rule, but I think the composition of Houston's roster means they are a year away from championship contention. I could see them getting as far as the conference finals, though.
   77. Publius Publicola Posted: October 15, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4573078)
I'm not sure they're the exception. The '81 Celtics made a huge trade and won right away. Oscar going to Milwaukee gave them a title right away. Moses going to Philly in '83 gave them a title right away. The Blazers getting Lucas to pair with Walton gave them a title right away.

The '57 Celtics and the '80 Lakers you could also say fit in there.

   78. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4573092)
I'm not sure they're the exception. The '81 Celtics made a huge trade and won right away. Oscar going to Milwaukee gave them a title right away. Moses going to Philly in '83 gave them a title right away. The Blazers getting Lucas to pair with Walton gave them a title right away.

The '57 Celtics and the '80 Lakers you could also say fit in there.


The most recent of those examples is 30 years old. Since then, Jordan/Pippen, Duncan/Robinson, Shaq/Kobe, Shaq/Wade, Kobe/Pau, and Lebron/Wade all needed at least a season before winning. The 08 Celtics are an exception, and you could argue the same for Rasheed going to the Pistons, though the rest of that team was already in place.
   79. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 15, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4573123)
Olajuwon/Drexler would go into the "instant win" category. I don't think it changes the argument (about whether stars meshing takes some time) too much that Hakeem had already won a title.
   80. Publius Publicola Posted: October 15, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4573133)
The most recent of those examples is 30 years old.


What has transpired since that prevents a team from winning right away? The only thing I can think of is the salary cap, which prevents a major addition without compensating losses, and is an alternative explanation why it hasn't happened much since the eighties.
   81. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 15, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4573136)
Since then, Jordan/Pippen, Duncan/Robinson, Shaq/Kobe, Shaq/Wade, Kobe/Pau, and Lebron/Wade all needed at least a season before winning.

Not sure I buy the stars need a year to mesh argument. Off the top of my head, Shaqobe was more an issue of Kobe not being KOBE yet, LeBron/Wade was a success up until the last 4 games of the year when LeBron LeChoked, KaPow lost in 6 in the Finals to a great Celtics team, Shwyane were a couple Wade injuries from making the '05 Finals, etc.
   82. jmurph Posted: October 15, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4573148)
That's $4 in the celebrity nickname mashup jar, NJ.

EDIT: Scratch that. Shwyane was worth it.
   83. smileyy Posted: October 15, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4573162)
LaBrade? WaBron?
   84. andrewberg Posted: October 15, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4573188)
What has transpired since that prevents a team from winning right away? The only thing I can think of is the salary cap, which prevents a major addition without compensating losses, and is an alternative explanation why it hasn't happened much since the eighties.


Not sure I buy the stars need a year to mesh argument. Off the top of my head, Shaqobe was more an issue of Kobe not being KOBE yet, LeBron/Wade was a success up until the last 4 games of the year when LeBron LeChoked, KaPow lost in 6 in the Finals to a great Celtics team, Shwyane were a couple Wade injuries from making the '05 Finals, etc.


Good points. I do not mean this idea to be a rigorous scientific law. The league certainly has more depth and talent than it did in the 50s-70s so I think it is harder to win titles in general. I think the real problem with my generalization is that the teams that didn't win failed for different reasons. One reason that some of those teams failed is that they needed to get the right pieces around their stars and it took time to do that, which looks to be the case in Houston. If they can take a season to rearrange their talent so they have a more coherent lineup (get a real PF, get a wing defender to back up Parsons and Harden), they will be in much better shape next year.
   85. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 15, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4573349)
hawks sign cartier martin, who still has a puncher's chance of becoming an e'er popular 3'n'd type, to a non-guaranteed deal. (needs to get quicker, which is tricky.)
   86. RollingWave Posted: October 15, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4573572)
Jennings to miss the rest of pre-season with....... a factured Wisdom tooth...... OUCH.
   87. Spivey Posted: October 15, 2013 at 09:09 PM (#4573779)
I don't buy the stars need a year to mesh argument, as much as it's just really hard to make the finals, let alone win it. You're usually playing a team, at least in the conference finals and farther, with 2+ stars and a good supporting cast. There's a lot of luck in winning the finals. I think we sometimes forget about that.
   88. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:02 PM (#4573887)
I can see it being a problem in regards to set half court plays where you want to dribble motion with Harden or Lin, but there's a lot of other things they do on offense anyway. and just because you can't shoot a outside jumper doesn't mean you can't be setting screens 18 feet away from the basket while they double team Howard in the post and you end up with a totally free Parsons or Harden cut. Most of the complaints seem to be starting for a rigid thinking that the Rockets offense must be totally like the Orlando offense now that Dwight's on board, which if you think about it... why?

Well, if the defense is doubling Howard off a shooter instead off the screener when it's Asik, they deserve to be beat. I remain skeptical about Asik/Howard offensively until we see it.

Obviously you know a lot more about the Rockets than I do, and have more ideas of how their offense will work. I'm just in a wait and see mode, and I do think Howard has to show more than he showed in LA last year (I'm not blaming their collapse on him, but between his injury and the team not meshing, I just want to wait and see how Howard fits in, and for more than just a few preseason games).

get a wing defender to back up Parsons and Harden)

Isn't that the idea behind Ronnie Brewer this year?
   89. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4573889)
That's a quality of the team argument, not an argument that making the 4th finals is somehow magically harder. If you want to make an argument that the Heat is worse, or their competition, then go for it. Not sure I would agree, but it's a reasonable argument. But that has precisely zip to do with how many times they have already won.

It's both. It's the more games plus the team being more vulnerable to the more games. In addition, I'm also making the argument that their talent is ever so slightly worse than last year (due to age/wear/tear) unless Beasley or Oden work out, while their competition have all improved. Put it all together, and that's where I land on my prediction.
   90. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4573990)
Jennings to miss the rest of pre-season with....... a factured Wisdom tooth...... OUCH.

Yikes, that actually undersells the injury:

#Pistons announce Brandon Jennings out at least three weeks with impacted wisdom tooth and hairline fracture of mandible at base of tooth.

Treatment for Jennings includes immobilization for three weeks. Timeframe has him out at least the first 4 reg. season games.


And I'm betting he's not going to be 100% at the start after this.
   91. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4574012)
That's a quality of the team argument, not an argument that making the 4th finals is somehow magically harder.


I think each trip to the finals is harder than the one before, and there is nothing magic about it. Wear, tear, diminishing marginal returns and everyone else learning hurts your chances.
   92. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM (#4574013)
In classic fashion, Noah wore his swimsuit on the Bulls' flight to Brazil last week so that he could jump into the ocean as soon as the team arrived at its hotel.

I bet it was a speedo.
   93. Publius Publicola Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:47 PM (#4574045)
Went to the Wizards/Heat pre-season game tonight. Bradley Beal was very impressive. That backcourt is going to be very tough.

Also, Glen Rice Jr. looked very good in the limited minutes he got. Took it to the rim strong a couple of times and made a gorgeous and difficult 10 ft. runner.
   94. Booey Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:53 PM (#4574050)
In classic fashion, Noah wore his swimsuit on the Bulls' flight to Brazil last week so that he could jump into the ocean as soon as the team arrived at its hotel.

I bet it was a speedo.


Now there's some disturbing imagery...
   95. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4574055)
Incidentally, Rice apparently had the highest SD of any player in ESPN's nbarank - which makes sense.
   96. RollingWave Posted: October 16, 2013 at 12:40 AM (#4574072)
From a pure human health perspective, Jenning's injury is a lot more scary than most other sports injury, in the sense that you can survive with a torn ACL, but a completely messed up tooth can kill you especially in the days before modern medicine.

Yeah I watched most of the Wizards / Heat on NBA TV, Rice simply looked like he really knew where he needs to be at almost all times which you rarely see from rookies, and stuffed the stat sheet with blocks / steals / rebounds assists all over the place , I'd say he ends up their six man no later than early next season and the Wizards might run a lot of Wall / Beal / Rice lineups as early as this year . And his defense generally looked much better than I feared it would be.

The Heat played an awful game though, particularly Chalmers looked like he's been smoking weed with Beasley , and Norris Cole did Norris Cole things. Battier had a good game though.

Also, Seraphin remains horrendous, Vasley actually look ok this game in terms of being active around the ball.
   97. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 16, 2013 at 01:19 AM (#4574085)
Daniel Orton to the Sixers. That should make you happy, steagles.
   98. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 16, 2013 at 04:56 AM (#4574101)
Wow, the SCHOENE projection has the Knicks at 37 wins, but still the 7th seed? That's quite a drop from the Hawks with 45 wins.
   99. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: October 16, 2013 at 05:07 AM (#4574102)
Going back some....

I think if he himself spells it Adetokunbo, we don't need to use the weird transliterated-into-Greek-and-then-back-into-English spelling.

Hey, I'm just copying and pasting here. I can't spell it either way.


It's spelled Antetokounmpo on his jersey, for what it's worth.
   100. RollingWave Posted: October 16, 2013 at 07:59 AM (#4574125)
I think i'll subscribe to Jalen Rose's argument and simply go with Po for now ;)

Having said that, those 2 very young Euro kids (Giannis and Schroder) both have looked a lot less raw than I had assumed.

Also in regards to the Grantland countdown, Bill Simmons is inexplicably high on the Bucks for some reason. I'm higher on the Bucks than most and even then I'm still baffled by why he has them so high (or maybe he just forgot about them.)
Page 1 of 8 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAre Wil Myers' flaws fixable? | FOX Sports
(42 - 4:26pm, Dec 17)
Last: Zach

NewsblogDodgers sign Brett Anderson for $10 million
(38 - 4:25pm, Dec 17)
Last: zonk

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(4366 - 4:23pm, Dec 17)
Last: Manny Coon

NewsblogOrioles agree to one-year deal with LHP Wesley Wright, pending physical, source says
(7 - 4:17pm, Dec 17)
Last: zonk

NewsblogCooperstown vote: The Ron Chimelis ballot
(15 - 4:16pm, Dec 17)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(625 - 4:05pm, Dec 17)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogPitching-deficient Yankees re-sign Chris Capuano
(20 - 3:36pm, Dec 17)
Last: Ron J2

Newsblog"You Are F----d": Breaking down the first-year candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot (Sports Illustrated)
(11 - 3:27pm, Dec 17)
Last: Russ

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-17-2014
(20 - 3:24pm, Dec 17)
Last: Pops Freshenmeyer

NewsblogOT: Soccer December 2014
(290 - 3:16pm, Dec 17)
Last: CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo

NewsblogIndians sign Gavin Floyd to deal
(7 - 3:16pm, Dec 17)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogL.A. Times: Dodgers designate Brian Wilson for assignment
(29 - 2:42pm, Dec 17)
Last: Jay Z

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot
(92 - 2:33pm, Dec 17)
Last: Al Peterson

NewsblogPadres Sign Brandon Morrow
(15 - 2:20pm, Dec 17)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogNitkowski: Pirates drive the bus over the Marlins
(39 - 2:10pm, Dec 17)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

Page rendered in 0.7398 seconds
48 querie(s) executed