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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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   701. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4313351)
Flip
   702. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4313367)
And no one could be rested before this?

The conventional wisdom is that getting the extra days rest at the end of the long trip, not to mention the extra night at home, is more valuable than a night off in a hotel. There's probably little to no evidence on this, but I can almost guarantee that's the line of thinking.

Kind of like sitting your star with 1 minute to go in the first and third quarters.
   703. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4313371)

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?


Not the same thing, for obvious reasons.

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?


I have said in every post that I don't think Stern should do anything. You should take this issue up with jmurph if you want to express diagreement about it, who suggested that Popovich should be suspended. I do think that Popovich deserves some criticism, though, and I have given him some.
   704. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4313386)
I paid damn good money for two on the Sunday before D'Antoni packed it in. Carmelo Anthony sleepwalked, pouted, and generally acted like a dog biscuit ##### the whole game. He's lucky he didn't get cited for larceny.

Is Stern going to get me my money back?
   705. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4313395)
May be wrong here, but I haven't seen anyone mention that part of why Pop did it last night is that the Spurs' next game is an important one with Memphis.
   706. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4313405)
1. Pop is a great coach, almost certainly the best in the business.
2. David Stern is an ass who should have retired years ago, and routinely suspends and fines people for terrible reasons.
3. Pop essentially threw the game last night (What is the difference between what he did and throwing a game? It was less subtle?).
4. The Spurs, hilariously, almost won the game that their coach was in the process of throwing.

I think all of those things are true. But I think #3 is the most important one in this case.
   707. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4313411)
It should be noted that Stern and Poppovich serve two completely different masters. No coach is ever going to retain his job if the team's ratings and ticket sales are doing well but the team is losing. Conversely, the commissioner's office does not care which teams succeed on the court (outside of probably preferring some big markets in the Finals) as long as the league is popular and healthy.

If the league really wants to preserve the TV vitality of game 17 on a Thursday night, it needs to agree with the teams (and the players' union) about an acceptable way to incentivize the coaches to balance the competitive interests of the team (and self-preservation) with the entertainment interests of the league. I do not think anyone is saying that Stern ought to enforce some nonexistent rule, but if there was such a rule, these are the competing interests it would have to address, at a minimum.

I would rather try to avoid ascribing moral imperatives to sports franchises or their constituent parts because I do not think you will find common ground on which all participants believe they have agreed. In other words, there are plenty of players and coaches who participate because they can and have no interest in our psychotic compulsions, nor should they.

Regarding the foreseeability- if you buy tickets to game 79, you might be able to do some anticipating to figure that a team might sit some players, but if you buy tickets to San Antonio's 4th road game in 5 days, you can probably anticipate that Duncan and Ginobili might not play, as well. That argument is not very compelling to me because it draws an arbitrary line about how smart and prescient the average fan is, and it could just as easily be drawn on either side of those two events.

Regarding the other examples- I absolutely do not think this situation is worse than tanking for the same reason NJ says- Popp is trying to maximize his team's competitiveness. If he thinks this is the best way to win the most games (or keep his team healthy enough to win the title) then I am not in a position second guess his knowlede of Duncan's knees or Ginobili's ankles. To get really reductionist, we look the other way on tanking because it is good for a bad team in the long run to maximize its chance to draft a young star and eventually get close to a title. Why would we second guess the Spurs for resting their stars in a game where they have a higher probability of fatigue or injury so they can maximize their chances to get close to a title in that very same season?
   708. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4313416)
Also, regarding the gambling component, games like this are a feature, not a bug. Gambling is about deploying data in the most efficient way. The casinos try to conceptualize all of this data and translate it into a betting line that makes the public bet. The possibility that the Spurs might rest stars would draw more money to Miami, which would push the line up (and which ultimately turned out to be a BAD BET). It is exactly what Vegas wants. On the other hand, smart gamblers can look at the schedule and anticipate that the Spurs might rest guys in these situations and bet the more favorable spread before the announcement pushes the public money against them. Again, that is the very essence of gambling.
   709. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4313426)
3. Pop essentially threw the game last night (What is the difference between what he did and throwing a game? It was less subtle?).

#### it then. Let's not let any players have any days/nights off ever. Matter fact, let's do away with subs and also have any strong bench players mandated as starters. And let's shoot Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha.

EDIT: In '08-'09 (memory might be off on all sorts of details here) Mike D'antoni had one of his ever present player issues with Nate Robinson and benched Nate for about 14 or 15 games. The very first game Nate came back he scored 41 points in a Knicks victory over the Hawks. Shouldn't there have been substantial penalties for the team benching a guy who was a Slam Dunk Champion and one of their best players?
   710. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4313437)
#### it then. Let's not let any players have any days/nights off ever. Matter fact, let's do away with subs and also have any strong bench players mandated as starters. And let's shoot Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha.


Yeah that's fair, there's obviously no in-between. You got me.

Look I'm not particularly fired up about this. I think I'm right, but I'm not burning any witches about it or anything. I think Berg's comments have been interesting. But can you take a stab at answering my questions in parentheses? Because I genuinely am not seeing it.

   711. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4313449)
707--a really thoughtful post....

but I wonder: should the ordinary fan's routine responsibility during the ticket-buying process include "I need to do due diligence to assume both teams will be trying to win?"

imagine coaches routinely adopt Pop's strategies here....."damn, it's a great matchup, but it's a back-to-back for the Thunder and the Lakers have played 3 in 4 on the road, better not risk it?"

suppose the Spurs have to refund full face ticket price to any fan in attendance who wants it--is this a fair penalty?

and as for gambling, what about the problem of perception this creates? given that it's not obvious to a bunch of hardcore NBA fans which of the games in this sequence would have made the most sense for Pop to rest those guys (read the past 50 posts)--given that strategic flexibility--the question "why rest them all TONIGHT?" is gonna always evoke a potentially disreputable answer.

   712. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4313450)
jmurph- To me, there is very little difference between what he did and throwing a game. The distinction is in the bigger picture, where coaches are not hired to win individual games, they are hired to maximize team success over time periods we have defined as seasons. If you throw a game in isolation, there is no reason to do so. If you throw a game in this case, it is to rest players to maximize success over the season. If you tank several games, it is to maximize the chance of success in future seasons.

NJ is going the other direction with the reductio ad absurdum, because if we define a coach's success by individual events, they should absolutely never rest players in games. The question is the period of evaluation- 10 years? a season? a month? a game? a quarter? a possession? Popp is clearly using the season as is measuring stick. If you want him to use something else, you're going to have to give him a reason to do so.

   713. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4313451)
Another thought: the Heat had to play the game, too. I know they get ESPN just like the rest of us, so they found out about 3 hours before the game that this one was just for fun and the Spurs didn't care about it. So then Spoelstra had to quickly decide whether to scrap the gameplan he had for the night and sit his stars, too, even though they presumably had a normal shootaround earlier in the day, so he was sort of committed at that point. And sitting them at home probably wouldn't exactly endear him to the owner. Or maybe that didn't happen at all, or it did happen but Spoelstra only spent about two seconds thinking about it and I'm overselling it, but isn't it just easier to act in good faith and assume a professional basketball game is going to be contested between two teams that are trying to win?
   714. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4313461)
711- I guess I would say caveat emptor. Fans are certainly not required to review all circumstances to determine which starters are likely to see the court, but if they choose not to do that, they are probably stuck with the tickets they bought. Robin earlier mentioned buying tickets to the xmas day Lakers-Clips game for a kid who usually does not get to go to those games. The xmas day games are probably the highest profile regular season games, and the ticket price reflects that. Still, Kobe could get hurt. Blake could get sick. D'Antoni could get mad at Gasol and bench him. Who knows?

We don't have an NBA team in Seattle, but I buy about a dozen sets of MLB tickets each year. I definitely take into account things like who is likely to pitch that day, whether it is a day after night game where guys will rest, if it is a getaway day. It does not insulate me from seeing a bad game (especially for the Mariners), but I maximize my chances of seeing a better game. You could apply similar principles here.

TLDR- Since you can do research to minimize your chances of buying tickets to a game where the stars rest, you kind of have to assume the risk if you buy tickets to a game where they end up resting. It sucks, but that is the natural reaction to coaches being judged by season success.
   715. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4313465)
Berg 712: Interesting points. But then the counter is that the league doesn't care about those things, and probably shouldn't. The season is made up of those isolated events. So the reductio ad absurdum in the opposite direction is that a season made up of unsporting individual events isn't much of a season.
   716. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4313467)
Speaking of coaching, the start of the DEN-GS game was a master class in abusing a specific player. The Warriors started out isolating Lee on Faried and Lee just killed him for about three possessions. Then, Karl switched Faried to Festus Ezeli, who just sprinted down the court to post up under the hoop and continued to embarrass Faried. It staked them to a big early lead, which mattered quite a bit since the ended up winning by 1.
   717. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4313470)
715- That is true, if the balance of the events are shaped like that. If we start seeing San Antonio tanking a majority of its games, Popp probably will be on his way out, too.
   718. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4313474)
Pops is the anti-Thibs. Thibs would have played Deng 48 minutes last night, and prayed for double OT.

I don't have really strong thoughts on this, and even though there are conflicting views here I find myself agreeing with virtually every post made on the subject (save the silliness in post 709).

suppose the Spurs have to refund full face ticket price to any fan in attendance who wants it--is this a fair penalty?

Who says no to a refund? That's several hundred thousand dollars, if not more (what about concessions, parking, etc?).
   719. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4313476)
In '08-'09 (memory might be off on all sorts of details here) Mike D'antoni had one of his ever present player issues with Nate Robinson and benched Nate for about 14 or 15 games. The very first game Nate came back he scored 41 points in a Knicks victory over the Hawks. Shouldn't there have been substantial penalties for the team benching a guy who was a Slam Dunk Champion and one of their best players?

I was at that game. Nate Robinson was literally unstoppable in the fourth quarter in overtime but that had a bit to do with 1) Mike Woodson insisting on playing Mike Bibby and 2) Mike Woodson refusing to send a second defender to help on Nate Robinson.
   720. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4313477)
They just played Toronto and the Wizards. Didn't seem to be an issue then. I agree, though, that it wasn't at random.


In the Toronto game (the first game of 4 in 5 nights on the road), the Spurs won in double-OT, and Parker, Duncan, Ginobili, and Green averaged just under 43 minutes. That's probably when Pop decided that they would take the Miami game off. The Spurs have played the most games in the league thus far (4 more than their main division rival who they're facing tomorrow), they've also played the most road games, and their stars are old. Maybe the decision to send those players home was in part a calculated complaint against the league's schedule-making, or maybe not, but there's a strong argument that it improves rather than diminishes their chances of winning the title this year. If a coach isn't permitted to set his rotation in a way that maximizes his team's odds of a championship in the current season, then I think that's a much bigger problem than the fans' disappointment at not seeing all the stars they were hoping to see.
   721. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4313484)
I don't know; it's not as though Stern is huffing about the integrity of the game itself, he's just mad because it was a TNT game on a night with only two games. It's hard to get upset about something so superficial and ancillary to competition.

The "throwing games" charge only works if Pop didn't think he'd get back more later than he was giving up last night.
   722. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4313487)
I don't have really strong thoughts on this, and even though there are conflicting views here I find myself agreeing with virtually every post made on the subject (save the silliness in post 709).


I agree with this.

This is just a much larger arrow that points to a big problem in the NBA: the elite teams put little value on the regular season. We've seen this for years, last night just highlighted it nationally.
   723. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4313488)
the points about what Pop should be doing are correct, obviously; the problem is systemic.

I guess what I'm thinking is: we've got a situation where the interests of the Spurs and the interests of all fans in attendance are starkly in conflict; now, since pro sports exist, the conflict has to be resolved in favor of that group of fans--no?

really the best solution would be for Stern to issue an apology for scheduling fail and cut refund checks to fans who attended. be the benevolent despot!
   724. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4313490)
723- That gets back to the question of whethe a sports team is a public good or a private business. I tend toward the latter. Even though they are the recipients of huge amounts of public money, I think the legal relationships between teams and cities usually make it those sums of money more like gifts than investments. It is a complicated issue, though.
   725. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4313491)
I know they did this a few times last year- does anyone know if any of those games were at home?

   726. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4313505)
I know they did this a few times last year- does anyone know if any of those games were at home?


Sometimes. I'm pretty sure they did it here (in Portland) once.

now, since pro sports exist, the conflict has to be resolved in favor of that group of fans--no?

No. Really, the only way that happens is if people start voting with the wallets.
   727. Gaelan Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4313511)
This is an entirely made up controversy. Anyone who has a problem with the Spurs needs to have their head examined. If ever there was a black and white issue, this is it. The NBA has no business interfering in coaching decisions and if they do levy sanctions the Spurs should sue the league. If I'm Popovich, I refuse to pay any fine, I make a huge stink, and I resign before I give the head office an inch. I mean seriously #### them and their tyrannical need to control everything which is much worse, much more anti-competition, than a very justifiable coaching decision.
   728. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4313517)
This is an entirely made up controversy. Anyone who has a problem with the Spurs needs to have their head examined. If ever there was a black and white issue, this is it. The NBA has no business interfering in coaching decisions and if they do levy sanctions the Spurs should sue the league. If I'm Popovich, I refuse to pay any fine, I make a huge stink, and I resign before I give the head office an inch. I mean seriously #### them and their tyrannical need to control everything which is much worse, much more anti-competition, than a very justifiable coaching decision.

Stern is entirely driven by TV; he doesn't give a fig for the fans who bought tickets. If this is Spurs at Cleveland, shown only on Fox Sports Ohio and Fox Sports SW, he doesn't say a thing.
   729. smileyy Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4313529)
It's hard to get upset about something so superficial and ancillary to competition.


This assumes a world where professional sports and venues for competition exist as some sort of universal fiat, or, as nick swisher says in [723]:

we've got a situation where the interests of the Spurs and the interests of all fans in attendance are starkly in conflict; now, since pro sports exist, the conflict has to be resolved in favor of that group of fans--no?


Really, the only way that happens is if people start voting with the wallets.


And by fans, you mean TNT/ESPN/etc. executives.

That gets back to the question of whethe a sports team is a public good or a private business. I tend toward the latter.


While each team is a private business, they're also part of a federation (national tv deals, revenue sharing), with David Stern as appointed head of that federation. Stern is looking out for the interests of that federation. Given what we've seen of the growth of tv money over the past couple decades, there's big incentive for individual owners to maximize league revenue.

OTOH, how large is the difference between this situation, and speculation that Phil Jackson would do the exact same thing with _himself_ on road trips? Is there an implicit prerogative to have the best coach on the bench for every game?

And on the gripping hand, there's plenty of room for a fan-sourced index of predicted quality of NBA games that could easily be created. I have no doubt that the tv executives I referenced above are considering the same thing now.

The competitive game we got last night is the great irony in all this. But its hard to say where Miami's dial was at for the game.
   730. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4313530)
This isn't about tanking (or about the fans, or competitive balance, or even TV), it's about Pops doing this in an intentionally visible way. If you choose to be the nail that sticks up, prepare to be hammered down.

...and I resign before I give the head office an inch.

Easy for you to say.
   731. JuanGone..except1game Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4313534)
The NBA has no business interfering in coaching decisions and if they do levy sanctions the Spurs should sue the league.


I'm really uncomfortable with that line in the sand. I don't agree with Stern in this situation, but I'm not sure why coaching decisions are sacrosanct and ownerhsip and player decisions aren't. Teams have submitted themselves as part of the NBA. I think that there can be common sense rules that allow the league to protect its product that could put limits on allowing teams to make player decisions that damage the league. I don't think that Pop went to far here, but if he say decided that he didn't want his starters involved in the entire road trip, I would probably side with Stern.
   732. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4313536)
So, is Stern going to start enforcing anti-tanking now? Because the last 1-2 months of the season, the 5 worst teams are usually "throwing games" in the same manner the Spurs did last night.
   733. smileyy Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4313538)

So, is Stern going to start enforcing anti-tanking now? Because the last 1-2 months of the season, the 5 worst teams are usually "throwing games" in the same manner the Spurs did last night.


Yeah...but nobody wanted to watch them anyway.
   734. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4313556)
Examples of Spurs benching starters last year. Note- I am not trying to discern where there are legitimate injuries, so some of these may have other explanations-

1/21 @ HOU, b2b, 3rd in 4, lost 105-102. No Duncan, Ginobili
2/21 @ POR, b2b, 8th of 9 game road trip. Lost 137-97. No Parker, Duncan, Ginobili
3/26 vs. PHI, 3rd of b2b2b (traveled for game 2, ouch), won 93-76. No Duncan
4/9 @ UTH, b2b, h&h, 3rd of 4, lost 91-84. No Parker, Duncan, Ginobili
4/18 @ SAC, 3rd of b2b2b, won 127-102. No Duncan

So the point that he usually does it on the road appears to be true, although he did rest Duncan at home during a brutal stretch. In any case, this practice is only new in the sense that Miami is higher profile than those opponents.
   735. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4313559)
Did anyone see this from Zach Lowe's Grantland piece?


Adam Silver, the league’s commissioner-in-waiting, gave the late-season version of this practice his blessing last April, as teams began resting guys in preparation for the playoffs, per USA Today:

“Strategic resting of particular players on particular nights is within the discretion of the teams.”
   736. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4313567)
This controversy is the best thing that could have happened to this thread. It's been a shell of it's former self so far this season.
   737. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4313588)
Yeah...but nobody wanted to watch them anyway.


I forgot the drawing power of the Spurs with regards to national tv audiences.
   738. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4313591)
. That argument is not very compelling to me because it draws an arbitrary line about how smart and prescient the average fan is, and it could just as easily be drawn on either side of those two events.


That's secondary. The main thing is that the Spurs haven't clinched jack yet; they have not established their playoff seeding or anything else and anybody going to Game 17 is going to know that.

To reiterate, I don't think Popovich should be punished and it is his prerogative. But I don't buy the arguments that this = April.
   739. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4313602)
This controversy is the best thing that could have happened to this thread. It's been a shell of it's former self so far this season.


Well it has been a while since someone foolishly tried to convince me that (a) Wilt was overrated and (b) Russell was the greatest center and perhaps greatest player ever.

I do agree the resurgence in the thread has been nice.
   740. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4313608)
To reiterate, I don't think Popovich should be punished and it is his prerogative. But I don't buy the arguments that this = April.


This isn't college sports. November wins = April wins.
   741. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4313611)
only doing it on the road, again, makes sense--travel is what's tiring, supposedly; and why screw your own home crowd when you can screw Heat fans with no financial repercussions?

again, the problem is the incentives don't line up right. Pop is making the right decision for him, the wrong decision for NBA basketball as a spectator sport. so why shouldn't the league change the incentives so they don't line up this way?

your home crowd should be most understanding of your team's longer-term interests, since they share those interests. let's see, why not something like this: announce you'll rest the guys on the first game of the homestand and do a promo: "Ride the Pine with Your Spurs!"--half price tix, fan who wins a draw gets to sit on the bench next to Manu! everybody wins!
   742. Spivey Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4313612)
Let me take this time to say that Popovich is the best coach ever. What the Spurs have done the last couple years is just surreal, the fact that they can keep running out 60 win teams where such a crazy amount of their production is coming from role players. I've never seen a coach better at getting the most out of his players.
   743. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4313624)
when you can screw Heat fans with no financial repercussions

The Heat had sold out every game before the season. They'd be at this game regardless of who the Spurs put in uniform.
   744. John M. Perkins Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4313626)
Chipper Jones missed 50 games this year. Several were his last game at an opponent. There were many fans that attended to see Chipper Jones play. Did Selig sanction the Braves?
   745. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4313634)
743--right, but this isn't true for lots of hypotheticals. I'm actually not so upset about this case; I just think that this is a crappy situations for fans and the "vote with your wallet" argument doesn't work well....

And re 742, absolutely: I mean, compare Danny Green's career to Wayne Ellington's....
   746. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4313640)
743--right, but this isn't true for lots of hypotheticals. I'm actually not so upset about this case; I just think that this is a crappy situations for fans and the "vote with your wallet" argument doesn't work well....



I was right earlier. I said that the Spurs did this last year here. Hollinger wrote about it today. The Spurs sat all their stars the game before the All-Star Break here, and the Blazers won by 40. No one made a peep about it nationally.
   747. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4313642)
Chipper Jones missed 50 games this year. Several were his last game at an opponent. There were many fans that attended to see Chipper Jones play. Did Selig sanction the Braves?


I don't think this gotcha is particularly comparable; in baseball, sitting one player, even a good player, does not virtually guarantee defeat like last night's decision did.
   748. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4313646)
Reading Henry Abbott's take on the subject has me convinced I'm on the right side of the argument. Just as a recap: flopping and tanking (by bad teams) merit daily hand wringing and proposals to change the rules. Tanking by good teams = excellent.
   749. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4313652)
does not virtually guarantee defeat like last night's decision did.

San Antonio led for most of the game.

Tanking by good teams = excellent.

Sure, it promotes competitive balance.
   750. The District Attorney Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4313654)
Woj's lede:
Before the emperor of the NBA leaves his Olympic Tower office, this is the holy war that those within the San Antonio Spurs' extended family expected David Stern to eventually wage on Gregg Popovich and his program's culture.
If so, jeezy creezy. Half the advertising during the game is devoted to attempting to prove that the players are the kind of upstanding individuals the Spurs churn out. But the Spurs' "culture" is a problem for the league?

If you don't like the fact that the team is in a small market in San Antonio, then make them move somewhere else.

Just total madness (again, if it's so).
   751. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4313655)
San Antonio led for most of the game.


Which I found very amusing, don't get me wrong.
   752. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4313662)
November wins = April wins

Not if your seeding is locked in, which it might be in April.
   753. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4313678)
that the Spurs' next game is an important one with Memphis.


Sure, but since the Spurs are co-favorites in the West with OKC the Miami game mattered, too. The "get ready for Memphis" argument would work better if you had to win the division to make the playoffs in the NBA.

Reading Henry Abbott's take on the subject has me convinced I'm

Haven't seen it, but in the case of Abbott I am confident that part of the reaction will be based on Stern=domineering, manipulative ahole and Pop=great coach and cool guy who doesn't let his team play Heroball.
   754. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4313687)
Still, Kobe could get hurt. Blake could get sick. D'Antoni could get mad at Gasol and bench him. Who knows?


In this case, Popovich. The ESPN piece said he made this call in July when he saw the schedule.

Certainly any guy could miss any game for any reason. Those scenarios are far different than what Popovich did here.
   755. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4313692)
Robin- what is your position on the issue. I do not want to start arguing with pointless non-sequitirs if avoidable. I know you said you do not think Stern should punish Pop, but I can see that you are bothered by it in some way.

If he owes a duty to the TV audience and/or the Miami fans, what is that duty and from where does it arise?
If he owes a duty to The League, what is that duty, what is "The League," and from where does that arise?
Finally, if these duties exist, how are the weighted against his duty to his employer and how they evaluate his performance?
   756. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4313693)
If so, jeezy creezy. Half the advertising during the game is devoted to attempting to prove that the players are the kind of upstanding individuals the Spurs churn out. But the Spurs' "culture" is a problem for the league?

I've never gone in for this stuff, but if it's true that Stern has a problem with the Spurs' "culture" and it involves them not being TV-worthy, and if he's been lying in wait to whack them (*), suddenly the notion that he wants the refs to do certain things to certain teams at certain times of the year doesn't seem so far-fetched.

(*) Yes, a lot of ifs there.
   757. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4313699)
The point I was trying to make in my previous post, apparently poorly, is that it's just a very slippery slope Stern is headed down here. How do you distinguish between the millions of reasons coaches might bench players to determine when the league needs to sanction them. Going back to my Nate Robinson example, one could make the argument that he was the single best player on the team that year and yet the head coach chose not to play him for over a month when he was completely healthy. Typing that sentence reminds me of when the Knicks also chose not to play a completely healthy (physically healthy) Stephon Marbury. Marbury and Robinson were "stars" as well so they were draws for both teams. If you are going to make a big deal out of what Pop did shouldn't you also have made a big deal about these sorts of situations? I understand that Pop's deal is "worse" because of the TNT angle, but I am wondering aloud from an actual fairness POV.
   758. jmurph Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4313706)
Haven't seen it, but in the case of Abbott I am confident that part of the reaction will be based on Stern=domineering, manipulative ahole and Pop=great coach and cool guy who doesn't let his team play Heroball.


In so many words (how could I forget Heroball when listing the world's ills according to Abbott?).

   759. JuanGone..except1game Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4313707)
Let me take this time to say that Popovich is the best coach ever. What the Spurs have done the last couple years is just surreal, the fact that they can keep running out 60 win teams where such a crazy amount of their production is coming from role players. I've never seen a coach better at getting the most out of his players.


Do. Not. Agree. I don't want to get to far into a playoffs vs regular season conversation, but basketball isn't baseball. I just don't think you can discount how different the playoffs are from the regular season. Plus, he is the production because he's such a great coach or that he is so good at finding good personnel at a cheap cost? Pop is one of the greatest, but I'm not going to pit some 60 win seasons in a league where teams don't go full throttle through the season against more championships from Riley, Red or Phil.
   760. JC in DC Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4313714)
This is just a much larger arrow that points to a big problem in the NBA: the elite teams put little value on the regular season. We've seen this for years, last night just highlighted it nationally.


This overstates things. They (rightly) put an instrumental value on the regular season. It has value, but its value is limited and in service to their goal of competing for the championship. Wins during the regular season matter, insofar as they both serve to show how the team is adopting the coach's instruction and to set the team up for the best avenue to the playoffs possible. Resting star players, particularly older players, is thus necessary to that larger goal. Likewise, particularly in Popps' case, seeing the second unit run the offense, compete on defense, and grow is critical to what he tries to do. His strategy is eminently defensible. I think, in fact, more teams should do it.

That said, there's no question it should bug Stern, but I don't see that he can, or should, do anything about it.
   761. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4313721)
Robin- what is your position on the issue. I do not want to start arguing with pointless non-sequitirs if avoidable.


I don't think that post was either "pointless" or a "non-sequitur." I think saying, "What if Kobe gets hurt?" has very little to do with Popovich did here, and I was pointing that out.

And, I made my position clear. I think what Popovich did warrants some verbal criticism but no formal punishment, either in terms of games or fines. That sort of thing happens all the time in organizations--reprimands.

I say this becuase there is AFAIK no rule that Popovich broke, and as far as I can tell, no reasonable rule that they could create to cover this (maybe nick swisher hygiene has some thoughts on that issue), but I do think that it wasn't really good for the game. As you point out, that is not Pop's issue--it's Stern's, so therefore I am OK with Stern's pointing that out.

Does Pop's doing this "bother" me? A little, but no more than people criticizing the great Gregg Popovich seems to be bothering you and others.
   762. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4313722)
Good post, JC.
   763. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4313727)
But the Spurs' "culture" is a problem for the league?
Indeed. IMO if that same team had played in Boston, LA, NY or Chicago the last fifteen years, IMO some in the MSM would fellate them no end.
   764. smileyy Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4313730)
They'd be at this game regardless of who the Spurs put in uniform.


The league impact of this continued type of behavior is long-term, not this one single game.
   765. andrewberg Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4313732)
I agree with what you say in your second and third paragraphs. I asked to clarify because I wanted to see how the prior comments fit into that. My phrasing was poor, but I meant to say that I did not want to argue over details that fundamentally support a position with which I agree.

I do not mind if people criticize Popovich. I just feel like Stern's reproach was unfair because it seemed to be holding him accountable to a set of rules that did not exist or at least did not apply to him.
   766. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4313742)
Finally, if these duties exist, how are the weighted against his duty to his employer and how they evaluate his performance?


I am not relating to this line of questioning, for a simple reason: you seem to be looking at this in legal terms. I am looking at it in competition/commercial terms. As JC suggested, again, there is no written Law of the NBA that I can see that Popovich broke here; therefore, Stern as the NBA Sheriff of Nottingham, can't really take Pop to NBA Court or put him in the NBA Stockade without using the NBA Royal Decree (for the good of the game and #### you if you don't like it) so Sternie is kind of dogged here (not that that will stop him from levying a big fine here if he feels like it).

But there were very legit competitive reasons for SA to try to win that game, and Popovich, for the sake of the big picture for his own team, chose not to try to win a game that fit into a paradigm that is part of NBA marketing (commercial) and handled it in a very drastic way, sending all his stars and about half his roster home.
   767. smileyy Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4313743)
[765] I think it comes down to this:


If you choose to be the nail that sticks up, prepare to be hammered down.


I can imagine a world where Stern knew he was going to do this _and_ Popovich / the Spurs coordinated with Stern to get publicly chastised for it -- that this was strategic on the part of the league. Because the league does have an interest in keeping from going too far down this slippery slope.
   768. robinred Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4313746)
I just feel like Stern's reproach was unfair


Well, like I said, on some level, I don't agree with that. I do think it was dumb and very Sternian to "pop" off about "sanctions" but as I said, I think saying, "I disagree with what Coach Popovich did there. The last I checked, the Spurs have not clinched the league's best record and that game counted in the standings. And I don't think it was good for the fans" would be fine. YMMV.
   769. Maxwn Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4313758)
I think what is going to happen here is Stern will fine the Spurs and then this will never come up again because no one will do what Pop just did, namely just have 4 healthy rotation players completely skip a game in the middle of the season. I say this because basically no one ever does this but Pop and he's only done it a couple of times. I think that this outcome will simultaneously be good for the league and not that big of a deal. Everyone including Pop will just go back to managing minutes and rest the way they do 99% of the time and Stern won't say a word about any of those decisions just like he never has before.

I certainly understand those who don't think any fine would be appropriate so I might also find it preferable if he didn't fine the Spurs and just essentially said don't do that again. But if he does fine the Spurs, I don't really care. Peter Holt is Chairman of the Board of Governors, he can take care of himself. I would not like to see Stern fine Pop, I understand why he did it and don't really blame him, but that doesn't mean I want him to do it again.
   770. smileyy Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4313770)
I think that this outcome will simultaneously be good for the league and not that big of a deal.


I agree. As I've thought about it and read comments, I'm coming to the conclusion that this is about a healthy tension between maximizing team performance and maximizing league performance.
   771. Into the Void Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4313789)
Stern has fined the Spurs $250,000.
   772. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4313790)
Whoa.
   773. Gaelan Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4313796)
If I own the Spurs I would go Al Davis on the league. This has all the markings of a personal vendetta against the Spurs and there is no possible justification for it. That said, this is the NBA which fixes drafts, games, and championships as part of their routine business so no one should be surprised by this/*

*Not hyperbole on my part. I don't watch because I don't think the league is on the level. This only reinforces my view.
   774. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4313800)
I still don't understand how you can punish a team for doing something that no rule exists prohibiting and that your own deputy commissioner explicitly endorsed just a few months ago. Creating a rule (admittedly hard to codify) that prohibits this in the future, okay, but it just seems mindboggling to me to punish the Spurs for this. Did Stern really not consider this situation (that Pop might do it in a marquee TV game) last year? The only way this makes sense to me is if they actually did have an obscure rule at least implying that this would be frowned upon that was put in in the offseason.
   775. Jimmy P Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4313801)
If I own the Spurs I would go Al Davis on the league.

I wouldn't do the lawsuits, but I'd make sure guys like Woj, Mannix, Hollinger, and others point out every time guys sit. Wade sits? There better be some press. Teams tanking all of April? Press release.

Most of the NBA media seems to be against Stern here.
   776. Spivey Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4313811)
Do. Not. Agree. I don't want to get to far into a playoffs vs regular season conversation, but basketball isn't baseball. I just don't think you can discount how different the playoffs are from the regular season.

Luckily he has an extremely strong resume in the playoffs as well.

I'm not going to pit some 60 win seasons in a league where teams don't go full throttle through the season against more championships from Riley, Red or Phil.

How was it different then? And for Riley and Auerbach, they had an absurd percentage of the NBA's talent on their team.
   777. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 30, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4313823)
This has all the markings of a personal vendetta against the Spurs and there is no possible justification for it. That said, this is the NBA which fixes drafts, games, and championships as part of their routine business so no one should be surprised by this/*

Oh, come on.

The point I was trying to make in my previous post, apparently poorly, is that it's just a very slippery slope Stern is headed down here. How do you distinguish between the millions of reasons coaches might bench players to determine when the league needs to sanction them. Going back to my Nate Robinson example, one could make the argument that he was the single best player on the team that year and yet the head coach chose not to play him for over a month when he was completely healthy. Typing that sentence reminds me of when the Knicks also chose not to play a completely healthy (physically healthy) Stephon Marbury. Marbury and Robinson were "stars" as well so they were draws for both teams.

I don't know what the line is here, but I think we could all agree there's a difference between these examples and the Spurs benching 4 starters. There were off court things in Starbury's case, for one, and if anything, the multiple games makes it less, I dunno what the word is, shady (I don't like that, but am too tired to think of anything else).

As JC suggested, again, there is no written Law of the NBA that I can see that Popovich broke here

The ESPN story has this blurb from the NBA statement:

The league's statement said the Spurs were in violation of league policy reviewed with the board of governors in April 2010 against resting players in a manner "contrary to the best interests of the NBA."


So, who knows exactly what that is or means, and whether or not it's official (reviewed makes it sound in the draft form, if you will).

I'm not going to pit some 60 win seasons in a league where teams don't go full throttle through the season against more championships from Riley, Red or Phil.

How was it different then? And for Riley and Auerbach, they had an absurd percentage of the NBA's talent on their team.


There's a big difference between Red and Riley's time frames (and in these cases, is the personnel aspect counting?). But what about Phil, for instance?
   778. smileyy Posted: November 30, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4313828)
That said, this is the NBA which fixes drafts, games, and championships as part of their routine business so no one should be surprised by this


The NBA does it to maximize league value, which benefits everyone. Fining "The Spurs" and not "Gregg Popovich" is perfect here, because its about business values, not individual behavior.
   779. steagles Posted: November 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4313884)
i think i'm gonna say that evan turner is now playing at the level that a 2nd overall pick should. and more importantly, i think he's gonna continue to do it for quite a few years to come.

he's had outbursts of scoring like this (10+ points in each of the last 8 games and shot 51/42/86 -- 55/107, 8/19, 25/29 -- while doing it) a few times over the last three years, but i think this is something more, something different. it's not just that he's making shots, it's that he's making his shots. guys like kobe (and starbury and nick young and jamal crawford) will take any shot from anywhere on the court at any time, and that was the way turner had been playing his first 2 years here.

but what he's done the last few weeks is, as i said, gone after his shot. if you look at his shot charts on bask-ref and compare this year (and this stretch of games in particular) to previous years, there's a much stronger concentration of shots coming from around the net, at the foulline, and on the baseline, whereas in previous years, there was no such grouping. and it's not just that he's taking those shots, because he's also creating them for himself off the dribble, as opposed to just being set up for them off the catch.

and i think that's important because i think it shows that he now understands where he can his shot off against NBA defenders.

also, he's taking and making enough 3s (he has as many made 3s this year as he had all of last year) to add some extra value to his statline.


so, 25 and 10 rebounds for turner tonight against charlotte in 36 minutes, and jrue holiday had 13 points and 15 assists in 38 minutes. but jason richardson won the game with 4 3s in the 4th quarter and turned a 2 point lead into a 9 point lead.
   780. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 01, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4313891)
Denver's defense is like a donut, a big hole in the middle. D12 was 7-9 from the field in the first quarter, everything from inside two, maybe three feet.

EDIT: And Jode Meeks is on FIIII-YAAAAAAAAAAH.
   781. JJ1986 Posted: December 01, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4313893)
I don't know what the line is here, but I think we could all agree there's a difference between these examples and the Spurs benching 4 starters.


But is there a difference between the Spurs benching 4 starters in Miami and the Spurs benching 4 starters in Portland or Utah?
   782. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4313896)
I don't know why anyone would watch this league at all anymore, now that Stern has fined a team because its coach was coaching the team.

Stern's actions are as bad as a player throwing games; the league has fined a team for trying to max out its chances of success over a long regular and postseason. The league scheduled 4 games in 5 days, and the team is trying to work with that, and the league fines the team - which feels like BS and is BS. It feels like the league is not on the level, that they favor certain matchups over others, that they care about certain games and teams more than others and let whether the game is nationally televised become a big factor and try to strong-arm teams based on that.

This is why everyone thins the league is rigged, because of stupid sh!t like this. It's why people thinks the league rigs games to get Celtics-Lakers in the Finals and what not.

Hint to David Stern: If you want teams to take each individual game more seriously within the framework of the entire season, don't have 98 teams make the playoffs.
   783. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: December 01, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4313902)
1. Ty Lawson was soooooooo so bad that half.

2. Since it seems Kobe Bryant will never decline ever how many years at his present level would he need before you could, with a straight face, say he's had one of the Top 5 or so careers ever? Not the best player, but best career.
   784. Maxwn Posted: December 01, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4313909)
2. Since it seems Kobe Bryant will never decline ever how many years at his present level would he need before you could, with a straight face, say he's had one of the Top 5 or so careers ever? Not the best player, but best career.

I'd have to think that over some. But if he managed to climb into the top 5 in minutes played that would be a pretty impressive combination of longevity, durability and dominance (I mean his career already is a pretty impressive combination of those things). He's at 17th now(15th NBA only) He needs a little over 7000 minutes to pass Elvin Hayes for 3rd all time. That's something like 3 seasons if he stays healthy and continues to play at a roughly similar level. To pass Kareem he needs like 15k mins. I'd guess that is impossible. If he somehow manages to play till he's 40 at a reasonably effective level and gets that far, I would be pretty damn impressed.
   785. robinred Posted: December 01, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4313910)
Moses,

Like I said upthread, I thought Stern's only "option" was the best interests of the game thing--there is no specific rule against resting all your best guys on TV against the Heat. The fine sucks IMO, and I don't like what Popovich did.

Just got back from a dinner party and saw that the Lakers scored 71 in the first half. The Lakers frighten and confuse me.

NJ,

Simmons had Kobe at #8 in the new TBOB. If you place a lot of value on:

career value
narrative

As Simmons does, Bryant is pretty high up there. Bryant deserves a lot of credit for how he has played so far this season, and to their credit, some guys who don't like him, like Mason and Hollinger, have noted as much.
   786. andrewberg Posted: December 01, 2012 at 02:52 AM (#4313936)
Just got back from a dinner party and saw that the Lakers scored 71 in the first half. The Lakers frighten and confuse me.


And you say I'm the one looking at things in a legal way :)

Wolves overcame a horrid shooting game to beat an ok Milwaukee team tonight. Larry Sanders put on a Show with a PT-REB-BLK triple double. Love is off right now.
   787. Spivey Posted: December 01, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4313940)
Larry Sanders is the most exciting player in basketball, and I'm not sure it's close. I ####### love that guy.
   788. Spivey Posted: December 01, 2012 at 03:14 AM (#4313941)
Also, as over the top as steagles is, Jrue Holliday is having a big time year.
   789. steagles Posted: December 01, 2012 at 05:42 AM (#4313954)
Also, as over the top as steagles is, Jrue Holliday is having a big time year.
*ahem*

STEAGLES


also, yeah, he really is. i actually think he's just playing around right now, getting a feel for what he can and can't do now that iguodala and louwill are gone. he had 2 points and 10 assists in the first half, setting up almost every sixer shot when he was in the game. and then he came out in the third quarter looking for his shot and scored something like 9 points in the frame.



oh, and also, i haven't really gone over the top yet this season. the sixers are 10-6, but 10 of those games have been at home. and then, they've lost to cleveland and detroit and milwaukee when they really shouldn't have lost to any of them. and then, only 2 of their 10 wins are against teams that are above .500, and even then, those teams (utah and boston) are only a combined 17-14.

i'm enjoying this season so far, but i have no illusions about this sixers team (as it is right now) being any threat whatsoever to a team that is actually good. however, luckily enough for the sixers, all but one of those teams is in the western conference.
   790. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: December 01, 2012 at 07:59 AM (#4313962)
however, luckily enough for the sixers, all but one of those teams is in the western conference.

I know the Knicks have gotten off to a great start, but I think it's unfair to exclude MIA here.
   791. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 01, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4314161)
oh, and also, i haven't really gone over the top yet this season.

I'm pretty sure post 565 happened....

But is there a difference between the Spurs benching 4 starters in Miami and the Spurs benching 4 starters in Portland or Utah?

No, and that's the point Stern can't defend. Unless he told the Spurs not to let that happen again last season (or just gave them a pass last season because of the lockout schedule); either way, it's still nothing solid the NBA can point to here.

The league scheduled 4 games in 5 days, and the team is trying to work with that, and the league fines the team

All I'll say here is that the 4 games/5 nights is not a new thing. It's been around for a long time now, and as others have said at other points during this discussion, last year's schedule was worse.
   792. Booey Posted: December 01, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4314163)
But is there a difference between the Spurs benching 4 starters in Miami and the Spurs benching 4 starters in Portland or Utah?


Only that no one outside of Oregon and Utah care about the Blazers and Jazz.

Simmons had Kobe at #8 in the new TBOB. If you place a lot of value on:

career value
narrative

As Simmons does, Bryant is pretty high up there.


Like almost everyone who ranks basketball players, Simmons puts a lot of emphasis on RINGZZZ. Kobe's career numbers are definitely impressive, but at this point are they better than Malone's? Garnett's? Barkley's? Robinson's? (they might be better than some of them; I haven't looked it up for a while). Kobe ranks higher than those guys mainly cuz he's won more RINGZZZ.

   793. Maxwn Posted: December 01, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4314167)
I'm pretty sure that ringzz is a big part of what robin meant by narrative.
   794. steagles Posted: December 01, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4314172)
I'm pretty sure post 565 happened....
565...
i'm not saying that jrue is better, or even as good, but he's starting to put himself into the conversation.
the list of players who have scored points and have more assists (total, per game, or per minute) is very short -- as in zero. he is having a really, really good year.

   795. robinred Posted: December 01, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4314190)
I'm pretty sure that ringzz is a big part of what robin meant by narrative.


Correct. Rings are actually the defining factor in popular/MSM narratives about great players' careers.

BTW Moses, I have some reservations about your comment about the thread being a shell of its former self; I think what is happening is that guys are staying off their hobby horses (I am trying to, with mixed results, but you notice that I am giving the thread less, "Look at this Abbott/Simmons BS" now that the season has started)and my recent Bryant, Abbott, and Simmons comments were in response to things others said about them or about related issues, first.

Booey's 792 is, I think, an example of a lot of what we saw on the "old thread." We know at this point where he stands on Kobe Bryant, and we know how he feels as a Utah fan about Simmons' treatment of Karl Malone's legacy in TBOB.

Also, we are in Month 43 of this thread; I think if we want to jumpstart it, maybe some new topics, sabermetric or historical, might be the way to go.
   796. robinred Posted: December 01, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4314198)
To get us started, TH is running a Bill James-style (with a nod to James and the 84 Abstract) "Coach Profile" series on NBA coaches. Here is the one from yesterday, on D'Antoni:

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/51996/the-book-on-mike-dantoni

Excerpt:

If basketball didn't exist, what might he be doing?

Subverting the dominant paradigm in the art world.
   797. nick swisher hygiene Posted: December 01, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4314201)
maybe I need to dive in with more implausible solutions to arguable non-problems?.......naah.

John Henson got 17 and 18 the other night. Tar Heel fan here, and I'm kinda surprised he's getting meaningful minutes this early, except, you know, Bucks. Does he look like a big goofy puppy out there?
   798. smileyy Posted: December 01, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4314203)
[796] I think we're resting for the playoffs.
   799. Booey Posted: December 01, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4314204)
Booey's 792 is, I think, an example of a lot of what we saw on the "old thread." We know at this point where he stands on Kobe Bryant,


I actually doubt I dislike Bryant as much as you probably think I do. I've just always thought that "Count the ringzzz!!!!" isn't the best way to rank players. At least not without acknowledging that playing for certain teams will give you a better chance to win than playing for others will.
   800. steagles Posted: December 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4314209)
John Henson got 17 and 18 the other night. Tar Heel fan here, and I'm kinda surprised he's getting meaningful minutes this early, except, you know, Bucks. Does he look like a big goofy puppy out there?
in 27 minutes. and he was a -14. that seems like a very unique stat line.

and speaking of milwaukee, someone is gonna make out like a bandit when they decide to trade 1 of udoh, sanders, or henson. all 3 of them are offensively challenged beanpoles who really shouldn't ever be on the court at the same time, and none of them are gonna be able to develop if their minutes keep getting siphoned off by the others.

and in case you were wondering, udoh still has that +/- thing working for him. despite not being very good himself, he leads milwaukee in net-on/off-court +/- this season, and for his career, his teams are +6 in O-rating with him on-court v. off-court. and his teams are 5 points better in D-rating with him on-court v. off-court.
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