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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OT: NBA thread—November2012

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: um…baseball?

link is to the previous month’s thread. 


oh, and since i can make everyone see this every time they click on this thread, let us discuss the…unique hairstylings of the sixers projected frontcourt:

steagles Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:05 PM | 894 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nba


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   601. andrewberg Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4311545)
flip
   602. robinred Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4311572)
As I said last year, the biggest issue with Old Kobe is not his knees--it's his hands, and we see that in the TO rate. The KBros ran a story in preseason saying that Kobe is now doing old-school dribbling drills as part of his regimen to try to alleviate the problem, but the guy's fingers are so jacked up that it doesn't help much. Here is what Bryant himself had to say about the possible effect of Nash's return:

Bryant believes that tune might sound even better when Steve Nash finally returns and the two are able to mesh their games in harmony.

"[The shooting percentages will] probably get better because I have to do less with the ball," Bryant said. "I'll have more catch-and-shoot opportunities, more catch-and-go opportunities, and I'll really be able to get to the basket, really attack the rim and score."


In preseason, I said that it was obvious that the Lakers could win the title, and it was also obvious that the team might not work due to age, depth, health, and fit issues. So far, we are seeing the "not work" scenario.

Bryant's performance last night was a good example of the chicken-egg thing with his USG. It easy to focus on the 16 misses and the 10 TOs, and the fact that Howard only took 10 shots.

OTOH, Gasol, Morris, and MWP were a combined 3/23 from the floor, and the team other than Kobe, who was 11/13 at the line, was a combined 12/30 on FTs, as Hombre noted. Given those numbers, and the fact that Howard was 3/12 from the stripe, it is easy to see why Bryant decided to try to win the game by himself.
   603. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4311584)
Gasol is at his best when he can switch up playing both low and high, this year with Howard and last year with Bynum unusually healthy, he's playing a more static role usually farther away from the basket where he's just not as good. When they won their championships, he was usually playing with Odom (Bynum was usually hurt) and both of them could play more dynamic and interchangeable roles and were excellent at keeping the ball moving as well.


This sort of thing is why basketball is so freaking hard to analyze at a player level. There are so many dynamic factors that play into it. So reading this I started to wonder if some positions are more susceptible to output swings based on those factors than others.

In other words it feels to me that the forwards are most susceptible to who they play with and the style of game, whereas guards might be less so. Obviously system and tempo matter, but my first thought is shooting guards are least influenced by other factors and power and small forwards are the most, with PG and Center being influenced potentially by system, but less so by the other players on the floor.

I have spent all of ten minutes thinking about this, so don't you dare tell me I am wrong - seriously though what do people think, are there positional differences in sensitivty to system and who you play with?
   604. Tripon Posted: November 28, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4311612)
Switching to college basketball talk for a sec: How does Ben Howland still have a job?

(Yes, I'm just bitter that UCI couldn't beat UCLA, but Cal Poly did. Urgh. I don't ask for much, but beating UCLA would have been great for the program.)
   605. smileyy Posted: November 28, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4311653)
[604] I think his recruiting class bought him another year. He might want to start performing with that class, though.

But yeah, we're a long-time removed from the 2008 NBA UCLA team.
   606. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 28, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4311753)
The last 10 years of LeBron James on PTI.
   607. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 28, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4311755)
Sacre sent to the D-League. That's at least 1 less great GIF every night the Lakers play.

[606] Watched it yesterday. The thing that stuck with me the most is how young Young LeBron looked. At the time I always thought he looked like a grown man, but I guess not. Or my mind/age is playing tricks on me.
   608. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4311810)
So the University of Minnesota is either engaging in a sneakily-disguised massive game theory experiment or has gone slightly bonkers: They have a new promotion: for $75, you get a pass that gets you into any and all of its Big 10 conference home games (9 in all). The catch: if Minnesota loses a game you attend, the pass expires. So it's an attempt to lure people into attending games against weak opponents and siphon off some of the demand to attend games against good opponents.
   609. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 28, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4311811)
Bip.
   610. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 28, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4311815)
The last 10 years of LeBron James on PTI.
I can't believe he's been in the league for 10 years. He's as unstoppable as ever. I don't think James needs to match Jordan's ring total to be considered the greatest ever; just a couple will do.
   611. robinred Posted: November 28, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4311820)
I don't follow college bball much anymore, but I was under the impression that UCLA's recruiting class would make them a Top 15-20 type team and possibly Top 10. Basically, I think Howland needs to get the team to the Sweet 16 to keep the gig, and losing to Cal-Poly SLO at home certainly indicates that that won't happen. But I suppose that UCLA might look a lot better on March 1 than they will on December 1.
   612. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 28, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4311829)
Primer RT:
Marcus Thompson ?@gswscribe
Andrew Bogut said his return could take "one, two or three months." http://bit.ly/UcHrUU via @stewardsfolly


Too bad, but I'd be shocked if he ever stays healthy. On the plus side this should help Jazz get a good pick from Golden State.
   613. steagles Posted: November 28, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4311849)
I don't follow college bball much anymore, but I was under the impression that UCLA's recruiting class would make them a Top 15-20 type team and possibly Top 10. Basically, I think Howland needs to get the team to the Sweet 16 to keep the gig, and losing to Cal-Poly SLO at home certainly indicates that that won't happen. But I suppose that UCLA might look a lot better on March 1 than they will on December 1.
their recruiting class was decimated by NCAA sanctions. they lost their #1 recruit before the season even started, and i think they lost another guy, too.
   614. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 28, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4311854)
their recruiting class was decimated by NCAA sanctions. they lost their #1 recruit before the season even started, and i think they lost another guy, too.

Shabazz Muhammad (the #1 or #2 recruit in the country) had his suspension lifted/eligibility restored after the first couple of games and actually played in the Cal Poly loss. I don't follow them enough to know about another guy.
   615. smileyy Posted: November 28, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4311860)
Kyle Anderson is the other guy, who's been eligible all season.
   616. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 28, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4311868)
Ken Berger ?
Timberwolves announce that Ricky Rubio has been cleared to resume full-contact practices with the team.


   617. Tripon Posted: November 28, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4311880)
Shabazz Muhammad (the #1 or #2 recruit in the country) had his suspension lifted/eligibility restored after the first couple of games and actually played in the Cal Poly loss. I don't follow them enough to know about another guy.


Josh Smith, and from what I been told from UCLA fans, its because Ben Howland didn't baby him like he needed to. (Smith is apparently very sensitive). Also, Smith is a size of a house and looks like it. He got too fat.
   618. steagles Posted: November 28, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4311889)
who says no to this trade? i had to screw around with the players involved, due to some trade restrictions (for instance, i'd much rather trade kwame brown or spencer hawes or nick young, but because they signed new contracts this offseason, they can't be traded until december 15), so this is more of a broad-strokes type of scenario.

for the sixers, they'd get amar'''e without really giving up all that much value, and what value they do give up would be sent to charlotte for a bunch of slop, meaning that the knicks wouldn't get any benefit from them.

the knicks would shed amar'''''e's contract, and get rid of him before he screws up their current melo/chandler dyanmic.

the bobcats would get good players for shitty ones.


but getting back to the sixers (since that's what everything must always be about), they'd have a potential starting lineup of bynum-amare-turner-(shumpert/wright/richardson/young)-holiday with lavoy allen, kwame brown, bismack biyombo, arnett moultrie, maalik wayns, and whatever other pieces they don't trade or put in the starting lineup (spencer hawes, thad young, nick young, jason richardson, dorell wright, or iman shumpert).

amar'''e and bynum would be a very frail 4-5 combo, but if healthy, they'd be a devastating offensive 1-2 punch. if you add the still-young, still-improving backcourt combo of jrue holiday and evan turner, and then whatever else you manage to acquire/hold onto, this team's ceiling seems quite high. even if you have to play without one of bynum or amar''''e, you'd have some really solid defensive players to fill in with. and if you have to play without both of them, well, it's not like you'd be going much of anywhere without bynum anyway.


any thoughts?
   619. smileyy Posted: November 28, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4311901)
but if healthy, they'd be a devastating offensive 1-2 punch


You're right, in the sense that "if A, then B" is always correct when A is false.
   620. andrewberg Posted: November 28, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4311910)
who says no to this trade? i


For those who didn't click, the trade was: NYK get B Gordon (2 y left), Diop. PHI gets Amare, Biyombo, Shumpert. CHA gets Thad Young, Richardson, the immortal Dorrell Wright.

We spent all offseason killing the Knicks for not spending on Lin since they were already capped out and would have a hard time bringing in other talent. Gordon would save money relative to Amare, but not enough to get them under the cap, so what's the point? And even if Amare is not what he once was, you're still better off with him coming in off the bench than Gordon. Plus, Shumpert looked like a possible impact player before the injury, so throwing him in (even with the acl tear) is risk on top of a pointless cash dump.

Plus, this is real life, where the Knicks are unlikely to downgrade from a high profile player to a low profile player.

I think the bigger impediment is that it short-circuits the Charlotte youth movement. Biyombo has shown flashes of usefulness as a defensive anchor. More importantly, Young + Wright + JRich is a bad financial move, makes them a lot older, and does not get them close to contention. They are in a position to basically target flexibility around Kemba and MKG and see what happens. That trade would make them less flexible.
   621. andrewberg Posted: November 28, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4311914)
Ken Berger ?
Timberwolves announce that Ricky Rubio has been cleared to resume full-contact practices with the team.


Hopefully that includes backyard wrestling.
   622. Booey Posted: November 28, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4311916)
Too bad, but I'd be shocked if he ever stays healthy. On the plus side this should help Jazz get a good pick from Golden State.

Yeah, since they screwed us out of that pick last year. Tanking bastards.

Not that I'm still bitter or anything.
   623. steagles Posted: November 28, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4311967)
More importantly, Young + Wright + JRich is a bad financial move, makes them a lot older, and does not get them close to contention.
young is 24 years old and is very good. dorell wright is on a one-year deal. neither would figure to be impediments to the bobcats long-term plans. jason richardson is both old (well, 32) and under contract for 3 years, so that may be an issue, but he's also a pretty good player, and he's making 6MM, not 16MM, so his contract isn't exactly a cap-killer.

We spent all offseason killing the Knicks for not spending on Lin since they were already capped out and would have a hard time bringing in other talent. Gordon would save money relative to Amare, but not enough to get them under the cap, so what's the point?
no, shedding amar'''e doesn't get them under the cap, but it does get them under the luxury tax, which is important for monetary purposes as well player acquisition purposes.

And even if Amare is not what he once was, you're still better off with him coming in off the bench than Gordon. Plus, Shumpert looked like a possible impact player before the injury, so throwing him in (even with the acl tear) is risk on top of a pointless cash dump.

Plus, this is real life, where the Knicks are unlikely to downgrade from a high profile player to a low profile player.
all are fair points. but 1, are they actually willing to bring amar'''e off the bench? and 2, is he a good fit coming off the bench playing alongside jr smith, steve novak and marcus camby? 3, shumpert isn't just a throw-in, i'd want him specifically because i do think he is very good.
   624. andrewberg Posted: November 28, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4311979)
Leave it to the dream to get un-ejected after being sent to the showers. Standing O for thabeet!
   625. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 28, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4311994)
wiz up 2 with < a minute left

steagles trade: i don't do that as any of the the three teams, which is impressive.
   626. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4312015)
Harden's getting skunked by his old teammates, 1-12 shooting after 3 quarters.
   627. Booey Posted: November 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4312021)
I don't know what's less impressive; Phoenix losing to Detroit by 40, or Portland losing to the Wiz by 2. The Wizards are just an awful, awful team right now.
   628. andrewberg Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4312026)
Anyone watching wolves-clips tonight?
   629. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4312027)
I'm gonna be listening to it. We'll have tea.
   630. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4312030)
Rondo. I withdraw further commentary due to my bias. But another suspension is in order.
   631. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4312032)
I just watched the highlight on NBA.com. What a douche move. Don't anyone tell me that that reaction had nothing to do with his team being down by 16 when it happened.
   632. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4312034)
626- not to take anything away from okc but the rockets took a detour on their flight in today to go to McHale's daughters funeral in Minneapolis. Got in just a couple hours before tip.
   633. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4312036)
Charlie Villanueva was +32 tonight. Just found that amusing.
   634. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4312037)
not to take anything away from okc but the rockets took a detour on their flight in today to go to McHale's daughters funeral in Minneapolis.
I had no idea. No man should have to bury his child. Awful, awful thing.
   635. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4312038)
why is durant playing almost the entire game tonight v houston?
   636. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4312041)
Chauncy Billups is playing for the Clips tonight.
   637. steagles Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4312044)
if you could choose any 2 of these players, who would you take:
Age  G GS  MP  FG  FGA  FG%  3P 3PA  3P%  FT FTA  FTORB DRB  TRB AST STL BLK TOV  PF  PTS
 23 15  9 322 4.0  9.3 .434 0.0 0.0      1.6 1.7 .933 3.2 3.5  6.7 2.0 0.2 2.0 1.6 4.0  9.6
 33 14 12 305 3.8 10.5 .360 0.0 0.1 .000 3.0 3.7 .806 3.2 6.7  9.9 2.4 1.3 2.1 1.8 4.7 10.5
 30  9  6 112 3.2  7.1 .455 0.0 0.0      1.3 2.9 .444 3.5 4.5  8.0 1.3 1.0 1.3 0.6 6.1  7.7
 24 15  0 306 5.8 12.9 .445 0.5 1.2 .400 1.5 2.6 .591 2.5 7.1  9.5 2.6 0.6 2.4 1.8 4.5 13.5
 22 13 13 378 5.5 11.6 .475 0.0 0.0      1.1 1.6 .706 2.8 7.5 10.3 1.9 0.8 1.3 2.2 3.4 12.2
 24 15 15 528 6.3 12.2 .514 0.0 0.0      1.8 2.8 .634 2.4 5.6  8.0 1.4 1.6 0.7 1.4 2.7 14.3 



   638. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4312054)
I don't understand why Utah is starting a Foye-Tinsley backcourt while Hayward and Burks are relegated to bench duty.
   639. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4312058)
Billups looked pretty good his first few minutes back.
   640. OCF Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4312066)
637: I take it from the general statistical shape that these are all bigs, 4/5 types? But how does a big have a .360 FG%, like the second guy on the list? Just from the stat line, the fourth guy on the list (24 year old) looks like the most active and involved - most assists, most blocks, highest points per minute. Although since he's not a starter, he may be playing against lower quality opposition than the other guys on the list, so that's a caution.

I have no idea who any of them are.
   641. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4312068)
I don't know how you can really make a judgement from 9-15 games. I guess I'd go with the younger guys with the best stats, but it's hard to say.
   642. andrewberg Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4312071)
I have no idea who any of them are.


Without looking at the stats, I will guess Iguodala and Wright are involved.

The clippers color guy is pretty brutal.
   643. steagles Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4312073)
Without looking at the stats, I will guess Iguodala and Wright are involved.
nah, not this time.
637: I take it from the general statistical shape that these are all bigs, 4/5 types? But how does a big have a .360 FG%, like the second guy on the list? Just from the stat line, the fourth guy on the list (24 year old) looks like the most active and involved - most assists, most blocks, highest points per minute. Although since he's not a starter, he may be playing against lower quality opposition than the other guys on the list, so that's a caution.

I have no idea who any of them are.

Rk           Player  Season Age  G GS  MP  FG  FGA  FG%  3P 3PA  3P%  FT FTA  FTORB DRB  TRB AST STL BLK TOV  PF  PTS
1       Lavoy Allen 2012
-13  23 15  9 322 4.0  9.3 .434 0.0 0.0      1.6 1.7 .933 3.2 3.5  6.7 2.0 0.2 2.0 1.6 4.0  9.6
2       Elton Brand 2012
-13  33 14 12 305 3.8 10.5 .360 0.0 0.1 .000 3.0 3.7 .806 3.2 6.7  9.9 2.4 1.3 2.1 1.8 4.7 10.5
3       Kwame Brown 2012
-13  30  9  6 112 3.2  7.1 .455 0.0 0.0      1.3 2.9 .444 3.5 4.5  8.0 1.3 1.0 1.3 0.6 6.1  7.7
4     Spencer Hawes 2012
-13  24 15  0 306 5.8 12.9 .445 0.5 1.2 .400 1.5 2.6 .591 2.5 7.1  9.5 2.6 0.6 2.4 1.8 4.5 13.5
5    Nikola Vucevic 2012
-13  22 13 13 378 5.5 11.6 .475 0.0 0.0      1.1 1.6 .706 2.8 7.5 10.3 1.9 0.8 1.3 2.2 3.4 12.2
6    Thaddeus Young 2012
-13  24 15 15 528 6.3 12.2 .514 0.0 0.0      1.8 2.8 .634 2.4 5.6  8.0 1.4 1.6 0.7 1.4 2.7 14.3 
   644. Booey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4312085)
I don't understand why Utah is starting a Foye-Tinsley backcourt while Hayward and Burks are relegated to bench duty.


I hate complaining after wins, but the way Corbin is dividing playing time this season is really starting to bug me. IMO Foye, Tinsley, Carroll, and now Earl Watson get too much PT, while Hayward, Burks, Evans, and especially Favors get too little. I'd like to see Kanter get more minutes as well, but I don't know who's floor time he'd take.

And Burks never getting off the bench while Tinsley and Watson combine to play all 48 minutes - while scoring literally zero (!) points between them - makes me want to start breaking things. To their credit, they only took one shot and they did have 13 assists, but still...
   645. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4312086)
I don't understand why Utah is starting a Foye-Tinsley backcourt while Hayward and Burks are relegated to bench duty.


Jazz seem to hate Burks, and appear to be fine just letting him rot on the bench while Tinsley and Watson keep getting PT.

Hayward is still getting PT off the bench, and I think getting more time away from Jefferson and Millsap might be good for him so he's more active in the offense.
   646. andrewberg Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4312090)
Turiaf just tried to get a block after the whistle, accidentally swiped Love in the face and got a T. Leave that to the experts.
   647. stevegamer Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4312091)
who says no to this trade?

In addition to the trade evaluator itself, hopefully anyone involved with the Sixers. I don't want to see Amar'e here. He's expensive, old, declining, possibly a locker-room issue, and injury-prone - what's not to like there, except everything? Was the goal there to subtly tank the season for a better pick?

The Knicks benefit to that trade is the lack of Amar'e and his contract. Not sure I do it as them, but possibly. Charlotte has no incentive to give Biyombo for that package, as much as I love Thad Young as a player.

In the choose two, clearly you don't want the old guys. I'd probably want Vucevic & Young. I think Hawes is done developing, and I am pretty sure Lavoy Allen is close to done developing - he's an adequate defense & rebounding PF with work ethic issues.

   648. steagles Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4312095)
Jazz seem to hate Burks
isn't it possible that he's just not very good? because going back to the 07 draft, there's a lot of busts at the position. corey brewer, rodney stuckey, marco belinelli, daequan cook, morris almond, alando tucker, brandon rush, demar derozan, gerald henderson, wayne ellington, wesley johnson, xavier henry, james anderson, eliot williams, dominique jones, and JIMMER!!.

these are all first round guys. and they're not even guys who were destined to bust, either. i liked morris almond when he came out. same thing with wes johnson and james anderson and dominique jones, but they're just haven't been many SGs to come out who are actually good. the only good (not just decent, but actually good) SGs to come out in the last ~5 years have been eric gordon and james harden. and even eric gordon hasn't been that good.


i actually think this is just the way things are gonna be for the foreseeable future. if you have handle, you're a PG. if you have size, you're a SF. but SGs? they're just guys who aren't big/long enough to guard the 3 and who aren't good enough with the ball in their hands to run the point. i know the traditional positions are fading from relevance, but i think the lack of quality SGs will only be exacerbated by that.
   649. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4312104)
isn't it possible that he's just not very good?


Sure. I like his athleticism and potential, but I think there's a high bust chance with him since he's not a good shooter. However, his rookie season was decent for someone so raw, and the Jazz have not given him any chance this season to show whether he can build off of that. If Corbin was taking away his PT to play good players it wouldn't bother me so much, but they're not playing him because he might be bad while they're playing Tinsley and Watson (and Carroll) who they *should* know are definitely awful.
   650. steagles Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:54 AM (#4312117)
In addition to the trade evaluator itself, hopefully anyone involved with the Sixers. I don't want to see Amar'e here. He's expensive, old, declining, possibly a locker-room issue, and injury-prone - what's not to like there, except everything? Was the goal there to subtly tank the season for a better pick?
no, the goal of that is not to tank, it's to take a shot at jumping the line.

for the cost of acquisition, amar'''''e offers the greatest potential. if you look at what he does, he has range out to 18-20 feet, and that fits the sixers offense. he is great out of the pick and roll (even with his decline last season, he was still one of the best pnr screeners in the NBA, according to synergy), and that fits the sixers offense. he gets to the FT line, and that again fits the sixers offense (or at least, it's something the sixers offense would benefit from).

if we assume the health of bynum and we assume the health of amar''''e (yeah, yeah, i know "if A, then B..."), you have one of the best cutters/pnr screeners in the NBA (amar''''e) and you have one of the best post-up bigs in the NBA (bynum). and you have 2 forwards who get to the FT line 4-5 times per game and hit their FTs at a solid rate.


and then, w/r/t injuries, i think that's a bigger factor for bynum than it is with amar'''e. amar'''e had microfracture surgery and then came back the next year and played 82 games. he's had back/knee issues for a while, but he's played 78+ games in 4 of the last 6 years (and that's with last year being cut short by the lockout/fire extinguisher), which indicates to me that he plays through whatever's nagging him.



i just don't see this as being that much of a risk (at least in terms of championship likelihood). if amar'''e sucks, but bynum's healthy, the sixers will be basically the same team they were supposed to be. if bynum's hurt, but amar'''e is healthy and productive, then you are basically last year's team, except you have a legitimately good scoring forward. and if bynum's hurt and amar'''e sucks, you're basically right where you are now, in that you're too good to be at the top of the lottery and you're nowhere near good enough to get to the second round without an insane amount of luck.

but...if bynum's healthy and if amar'''e is good, you have the two best interior scorers in the eastern conference (really, who's better? bosh? maybe. but boozer? garnett? lopez?), plus jrue holiday, plus evan turner, plus whatever else you manage to keep (hawes, young, young, richardson, wright, wayns, allen, brown) or acquire.


   651. Booey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4312429)
isn't it possible that he's just not very good?


I think Tom nailed it in #649. I actually think it's pretty likely that he's not going to be very good, but the Jazz should at least give him a chance to find out for sure. They're sitting a guy that has an outside shot of being good in favor of some vets that they KNOW aren't very good.

   652. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4312470)
@Netw3rk: You always hear that it's a weak era for the center position but really it's a great era for injuries to centers.

This is fairly true, isn't it? He went on to point out Yao, Oden, Bynum, and Bogut all haven't had the careers they could have. A few key career-ending/altering injuries can really alter the landscape for a generation.
   653. Into the Void Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4312475)
I like how Steagles' breakdown of how valuable Amar'e could be doesn't once mention defense.
   654. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4312484)
I like how Steagles' breakdown of how valuable Amar'e could be doesn't once mention defense.


Well it shows some respect for reality anyway.
   655. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4312571)
Dallas Cuts Troy Murphy In order to add Derek Fisher, Who will start over Darren Collison
What is going on in Dallas?
   656. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4312573)
So, Derek Fisher, huh?

---

Maybe this Nets/C's thing might actually be a thing.

   657. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 29, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4312787)
2 games for Rondo.
   658. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 29, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4312808)
Greg Poppovich, FTL:

With the road miles piling up on his veteran team, the Spurs coach has dispatched four of his top five leading scorers home to San Antonio in advance of tonight’s nationally televised game against the Miami Heat.

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green did not travel with the team after Wednesday night’s win in Orlando, instead heading back to South Texas this morning for an extra day of rest leading up to Saturday’s sure-to-be-rugged home game against Memphis.

The four were spotted on a Southwest flight making a pre-lunch escape from central Florida.

As a result, the Spurs – who were already without injured small forward Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson – get set to take on the defending NBA champions using a roster of nine players.
   659. Jimmy P Posted: November 29, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4312817)
The four were spotted on a Southwest flight making a pre-lunch escape from central Florida.


Seriously, Southwest? The Spurs aren't springing for more, not even first class?

It amuses me to think of them in the C boarding group getting stuck in middle seats.

   660. steagles Posted: November 29, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4312860)
I like how Steagles' breakdown of how valuable Amar'e could be doesn't once mention defense.


Well it shows some respect for reality anyway.
he was a decent enough defender in phoenix and he was a decent enough defender in new york. and personally, i think defense is very overrated as an individual attribute.

just to go back to iguodala, since i'm familiar with him, he was viewed as one of the best defenders in the NBA, but in moving from philly to denver, denver's D-rating has improved from 20th in the league last year all the way to 18th this year. and iguodala himself has gone from a 98 D-rating last year to a 105 D-rating this year.

similarly, jason richardson, dorell wright, and nick young have all seen their D-ratings improve drastically. richardson's has gone from 105 last year to a 100 this year. dorell wright has gone from 109 to 99. and nick young has gone from 110 to 106. in addition, all 3 of these players are 8 points better than their career D-ratings.


when it comes to defense, coaching matters, coachability matters, intelligence matters, effort matters, and physical ability matters, but i believe that, for the most part, those last 4 things are present in ~80% of the players in the NBA, so the difference between their individual performance is, again for the most part, that first one -- coaching. if you have someone on the bench who is competent and respected and who gets the team to buy in, i think it's pretty easy to turn a poor defensive team into an average or above one, or to turn a poor defensive player into an average or above one.
   661. Into the Void Posted: November 29, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4312877)
I would agree with that to a certain extent- there is a good article up on Grantland (http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/43662/warriors-come-out-and-play-defense) about how the Warriors are playing much better defense this year largely because they decided to change how they defend the pick and roll. Which is also probably why Wright's D-rating has improved this year.
   662. Spivey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4312901)
Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, and Danny Green are all going to be missing tonight's games flying home early. And with Kawhi Leonard and Captain Jack out, tonight's game could get ugly.
   663. The District Attorney Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4312912)
Stern says "substantial sanctions will be coming" to the Spurs.

Because clearly, Gregg Popovich doesn't know what's best for his team.

This is pretty outrageous.
   664. smileyy Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4312920)
personally, i think defense is very overrated as an individual attribute.


I think so too. Well, I think individual defense is overrated. But I think individual contribution to team defense is very important. And that's not something that Amar'e brings to the table. Yes, system matters. But so does players contributing to that system.

Because clearly, Gregg Popovich doesn't know what's best for his team.


He certainly doesn't know what's best for opposing fans.
   665. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4312922)
I don't see how it is remotely acceptable for Stern to take any action at all over this. The league dictating rotations, or punishing for rotation choices, seems like the slipperiest of slopes.
   666. smileyy Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4312925)
[665] I think if they were at the game, but on the bench the whole night, it'd be the same, but different.

I think a suspension of the 4 for the next home game is reasonable.
   667. Into the Void Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4312930)
I think a suspension of the 4 for the next home game is reasonable.


Really?? That would be outrageous. I think the most he can do is fine the organization (which would also be BS).
   668. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4312936)
I think a suspension of the 4 for the next home game is reasonable.


What rule did they break, though? Why should the league have the right do dictate anything like this, especially without letting teams know ahead of time of the new rules? Any real sanction here would be sudden and ex post facto.
   669. Spivey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4312939)
I agree this is horseshit to punish the Spurs. But this is one of the marquee games of the year and I was really looking forward to watching the game - it would only have been my 2nd or 3rd "watch the full game". I'm pretty bummed they did this. But their schedule has been ridiculous.
   670. smileyy Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4312941)
Ok, I can be sympathetic to those arguments. I'm not sure the actual rules, but there's an assumption that teams will put a competitive squad on the floor. Ok ok, The Wizards exist...there's an assumption that a team will _attempt_ to put a competitive squad on the floor. OTOH, SA is up 27-22 after the first quarter. So maybe I'm losing my argument.

But this is one of the marquee games of the year and I was really looking forward to watching the game


This is why the league has an interest. Also: basketball reasons.
   671. JJ1986 Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4312956)
Are the Spurs going to be punished even if they win?
   672. Srul Itza Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4312970)
Especially if they win.
   673. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4312982)
Maybe if they want teams to give 110% in all 82 regular season games they should make it so you can't lose half of them and still make the playoffs. I know I'm preaching to the choir.
   674. andrewberg Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4312994)
Popp should respond by forfeiting b2bs from now on.

How is this worse than GS last year?
   675. Srul Itza Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4313004)
If the Spurs actually win this one, Popp should walk into Stern's office, moon him, lay a few thousand bucks on the desk as a fine, and walk out.

And the whole thing should be captured on film (from a tasteful angle) for a reality TV show.
   676. Spivey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4313007)
Wow, that was really stupid Ray Allen.
   677. Srul Itza Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4313026)
Well, at least they beat the spread.
   678. robinred Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4313029)
I have said a few times that the schedule should be shorter--they should play about 60-64 games, rather than 82, over approximately the same timeframe. Popovich's amusing decision IMO illustrates one of many reasons that it would be a good idea. It won't happen for obvious reasons, any more than shortening the playoffs will, but I think you would get a better product and there would still be plenty of games for the hardcores to watch.

I agree that Popovich and the Spurs should not be punished, but I also think this is a bit of grandstanding by Popovich. He obviously knew that sitting all those guys for a national TV game in Miami would cause a mini-shitstorm.
   679. robinred Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4313033)
People were talking about injured big guys earlier; Brook Lopez will miss the next two with foot problems. Not a good sign for Brooklyn or for Lopez.
   680. steagles Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4313035)
I agree that Popovich and the Spurs should not be punished, but I also think this is a bit of grandstanding by Popovich. He obviously knew that sitting all those guys in a national TV game in Miami would cause a mini-shitstorm.
i see it more as him trolling the heat and playing a heel for the fans. personally, i think it's a fun bit of gamesmanship, but this was a marquee game on the schedule, and popovich killed it, so i can understand the appeal of punishment, but in this case, i think it's best to not feed the troll and just let it go.

   681. Spivey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4313037)
Patty Mills got called for an offensive foul late in the game using his body to create space on a fadeaway jumper - it was the kind of foul that guys like Patty Mills get called for, but guys like LeBron and Dwyane and Ginobili don't get called. The Heat have been doing a really good job of winning games like this - they did this against Milwaukee. I think the announcers were riding Wade a little hard, but I think the ultimate point is right - if he doesn't step up his game, the gap between them and the other really good teams is slim. If he plays big time basketball, they're very, very difficult to beat.

Also, Memphis is playing some big time basketball.
   682. robinred Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4313040)
i see it more as him trolling the heat and playing a heel for the fans. personally, i think it's a fun bit of gamesmanship, but this was a marquee game on the schedule, and popovich killed it, so i can understand the appeal of punishment, but in this case, i think it's best to not feed the troll and just let it go.


Perhaps; Popovich is a shrewd man, and his style is a subtle one. But I tend to think if he was "trolling" anyone, it was the league, not the Heat. Riley and Spoelstra didn't draw up the San Antonio schedule. Also, every team plays in 4-in-5s--the Lakers just did it last week.

   683. Spivey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4313044)
I think Popovich knew this would cause a shitstorm, but I don't think that's why he did it. I think he did it because he didn't think they were likely to win, he didn't want the situation to lead to a bad game which would #### with their mojo. And I think the gamesmanship was related to potentially playing Miami (and also to not make them look vulnerable to other teams if they lost by 30 with the big 3). All in all, I think it's an issue only because the NBA scheduled tonight around this game and it got #### on. I do think that Popovich probably took some smug glee out of the fact that he was shitting on Stern after the NBA game them this ridiculous road stretch that was followed up by their big in division rival at home.
   684. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4313057)
That's all well and good, but it was an excellent game anyway. Well-played, competitive, and a fun story about the reserves playing up.
   685. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4313075)
but it was an excellent game anyway.


That's not really the point, though. Like I said, I don't think the league should do anything; if Popovich wants to sit his guys, then he should be able to. But I don't think it is cool or cute or anything like that, either. I like it on a visceral level because I like tweaking Stern, but even with the SA bench "playing up", Popovich took something away from the fans who paid hefty prices to see the game.

I just spent about $200 buying two nosebleed Lakers tickets as a Christmas gift for a working-class family that I know who can't afford such things so their son can see a game live. In thanking me, he made a point of listing all the stars on both the Lakers and that night's opponent (the Clippers) and talked about how much he really, really hopes that Paul, Kobe, Nash, Griffin et al all play that night so he can see them all in person on the court. It is not Gregg Popovich's job to care about stuff like that, but stuff like that definitely matters to the league, as well it should.
   686. Into the Void Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4313081)
I like it on a visceral level because I like tweaking Stern, but even with the SA bench "playing up", Popovich took something away from the fans who paid hefty prices to see the game.


The point Kenny Smith made on the TNT halftime show is- how is that any different from a team sitting it's starters at the end of the year once they've clinched a playoff spot? Why is it acceptable to take something away from the fans in April but not in a game in November, a month into the season? Obviously this is all about Stern's ego.
   687. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4313089)
Why is it acceptable to take something away from the fans in April but not in a game in November, a month into the season?


The competitive ecology argument is somewhat different than the entertainment/dollar argument, and Smith is conflating the two. Anybody really upset with Popovich should hope that Miami goes 59-23, San Antonio goes 58-24, the Spurs lose Game 7 in Miami in June, and the first question to Popovich in the presser is, "Remember that game here in November when you sat your three best players and lost by five?"

Also, in the NBA, the question isn't usually so much so "clinching a playoff spot" as it is "clinching the seeding you want" and different coaches play that different ways. If the Spurs and OKC are both 56-25 going into the last game of the season, but Duncan needs a day off, well, we will see what Popovich does. I am not sure how he has played it in the past. Phil Jackson sat Kobe late in 2010, putting rest ahead of seeding. In other years, he didn't play it that way.

Finally, I think it is "acceptable." I have said that I don't think Stern should do anything. But I think it is fine if he SAYS something negative about it, like "I disagree with what Coach Popovich did there, and I think it hurt the fans." I don't see what Popovich did as being irrelevant from the league's POV. The league markets the regular-season to casual fans based on marquee TV games; it doesn't market based on a Warriors/Kings game in April.
   688. tshipman Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4313092)
Pop sitting his top 4 guys seemingly at random also affects the gambling part of things. I realize that most people here don't care about that, but it does create the potential for impropriety if it became commonplace.
   689. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:43 AM (#4313095)
The other thing I would add is that I think many, or maybe even most, fans are aware that if they have tickets for Game 79 on the schedule, some starters may be sitting since playoff seedings have been clinched. This was Game 16 for SA, they have clinched nothing, and Popovich sat all his stars and a couple of key secondary guys. He actually didn't just "sit" them; they weren't even at the game. That is his prerogative as the coach, but it is not exactly NBA business-as-usual.
   690. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:04 AM (#4313099)
Actually, Game 17.
   691. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4313105)
Completely subjective, but...George Karl teams are absolutely horrific at executing down the stretch. What dumb, dumb, dumb basketball by the Nuggets.
   692. Maxwn Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:46 AM (#4313110)
The other thing I would add is that I think many, or maybe even most, fans are aware that if they have tickets for Game 79 on the schedule, some starters may be sitting since playoff seedings have been clinched. This was Game 16 for SA, they have clinched nothing, and Popovich sat all his stars and a couple of key secondary guys. He actually didn't just "sit" them; they weren't even at the game. That is his prerogative as the coach, but it is not exactly NBA business-as-usual.

This. April is different because April is different. There are trade-offs for the NBA between putting the best product on the floor every night and allowing coaches to do whatever they want to increase their odds of a championship or whatever. Just because they decide it is one thing in April when everyone sort of knows it might happen and it has a direct effect on rest and seeding for the playoffs doesn't mean that Stern is somehow out of line for saying its an entirely different thing in ####### November.

Where I live now, I am basically one of the only hardcore NBA fans. I hear all the time from the generalized sports fans around here that they don't watch the NBA much in the regular season because none of them care until the playoffs. Having spent a few years going to a lot of regular season games, I think that's mostly bullshit, but it is nonetheless a perception that the league battles. Having Popovich not even bring half his rotation to a big TV game does not help.

When I was still in Memphis, I had a buddy living in Middle Tennessee who had been a big fan of the Spurs and in particular Duncan for a long time. He drove 4 1/2 hours to come see a game with me when the Spurs were in town. If Pop had left Timmy, Manu, and Tony in San Antonio it would have been pretty crappy. That's the thing that Stern is and should be concerned about.
   693. Maxwn Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:54 AM (#4313113)
Having said all that, I'm glad he did that and they lost so that ESPN's standings page quits showing the Spurs being -0.5 games back of the Grizzlies. That was getting weird. I believe if they had won it would have shown them being -1 games back.
   694. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4313162)
Trying to win meaningful games seems to me to be basically the only ethical obligation that professional sports teams have. I think RR and Maxwn have articulated why this is different than when seeds are already clinched in April. I think a suspension (of Pop, not the players- they don't control their own playing time) would be totally justified, but I doubt Stern hands down anything more than a big fine.

Also, if anyone doubts this was Pop trying to make some statement (don't ask me what, I don't get it), to the league, I watched the Spurs play their normal guys on Monday night in-person against possibly the worst team in league history. I assure you they could have defeated the Wiz sans Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili. They all came out early, it was a blowout, but they did play.
   695. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 30, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4313174)
I admit I don't understand Pop. It is kind of bizarre, but he clearly is trying to prove some point or accomplish something other than just get his guys some rest (there are plenty of less controversial ways he could have done that).

The whole controversy speaks to the odd dynamic of pro leagues. Each team is supposed to act as an independent entity in trying to win as much as it can, but at its heart each league is a collective with the product being the competition between entities and anything which seriously compromises that competition (in reality or even perception) is a danger to the collective even if it is beneficial to a single team.
   696. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4313264)
I find the Popovich move to be fascinating. As I don't watch the NBA much other than the playoffs, I wasn't aware of the history with these kinds of moves. The ESPN article explains the various factors that likely went in to Popovich's decision - including his own past history w/r/t this - quite well. Though it leaves out that he had money on the Heat :P

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8692304/san-antonio-spurs-sit-4-top-5-scorers-vs-miami-heat

I know he didn't mean it this way, but it's kind of like, "Four games in five nights? F you..."
   697. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4313305)
. I know he didn't mean it this way, but it's kind of like, "Four games in five nights? F you..."

Well, my guess is that he did kind of mean it that way, but of course I don't know. As Crosseyed and Painless and Maxwn note from different angles, playing an 82-game schedule and having more than half the teams in the league make postseason creates some structural and perception problems. OTOH, I doubt that Stern, Popovich, the Spurs owners, and the Spurs players would like to see pay/revenues cut back by by 25-30% or so to play a 64-game schedule and have only four teams per conference (three division winners and a Wild card) make the playoffs instead of 8, which I think would probably be a better product in terms of actual basketball. And, as I said, AFAIK every NBA team plays at least one 4-in-5, as the Lakers did last week.
   698. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4313329)
Pop sitting his top 4 guys seemingly at random also affects the gambling part of things. I realize that most people here don't care about that, but it does create the potential for impropriety if it became commonplace.


It's not random. It's the 4th game in 5 days, all on the road. They've been on a road trip since the 21st. He did not pick this game at random.

Popovich took something away from the fans who paid hefty prices to see the game.

What about when stars get hurt? Do the fans get refunds then? Does every fan that paid to see the Bulls this year get some money back?

What's Stern going to do when Pop brings those guys, starts them and has them play one minute, and then they sit the rest of the game? Fine him for his player rotations?
   699. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4313335)
It's not random. It's the 4th game in 5 days, all on the road. They've been on a road trip since the 21st. He did not pick this game at random.


They just played Toronto and the Wizards. Didn't seem to be an issue then. I agree, though, that it wasn't at random.
   700. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4313350)
It's the 4th game in 5 days, all on the road.


And no one could be rested before this? Yeah not random, but that doesn't make it OK (or bad I guess).
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